Panopto Assignment Workflow in Blackboard Learn Ultra

In our previous blogpost we outlined some of the changes to Panopto with our move to Blackboard Learn Ultra.

In this blogpost we’ll outline the changes to using Panopto for Assignments. Panopto Assignments are used for students to submit a recording or presentation.

As part of this change, we recommend that you:

  1. Create a Blackboard Assignment
  2. Students submit via Blackboard Assignment and upload via the Panopto submission tool

The advantages to this new workflow are that:

  1. The workflow for submission and marking is easier
  2. Marks and feedback automatically go into the Gradebook
  3. Students receive an email receipt for their submission

To support staff with this process, we have a Panopto Assignment guide that takes you through setting up the assignment, student submission, and marking on our Lecture Capture webpages.

We’ve also got a FAQ for staff and students.

If you’ve got any questions, please contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (

The Ultra Essentials Playlist

If you’re a busy bee preparing your courses before the students arrive and don’t have any time to attend training sessions, how about visiting our new bite sized training video clips on how to work in Blackboard Ultra.

We’ve created The Ultra Essentials Playlist to help staff to familiarise themselves with the exciting new features in Ultra. The playlist is comprised of 15 short videos (2-8 minutes) with a longer first introductory video Introduction to Blackboard Learn Ultra.

If you’re unsure about how to do something specific in Ultra or just need a quick refresher then take a look at our bilingual training videos. Here’s a breakdown of the individual video clips:

  1. Navigating your Ultra Course
  2. Creating a Link to your Reading List
  3. Creating a Link to all Panopto Recordings
  4. Creating a Folder and Learning Module
  5. Creating a Document
  6. Copying content from previous years
  7. Link to individual Panopto recording
  8. Creating a Turnitin Submission Point
  9. Creating a Blackboard Assignment
  10. Creating a Blackboard Test
  11. Creating a Link
  12. Creating a Collaborative Document
  13. Creating a Discussion
  14. Creating a Journal
  15. Creating an Announcement

We are still providing online training sessions in English and Welsh and you can book and view other sessions on the booking page.

If you have any questions about Blackboard Learn Ultra then email:

Changes to the Vevox PowerPoint Add-in

Vevox, the University’s supported polling tool, has updated its PowerPoint Add-in.

From September 2023, colleagues making use of the Add-in should use the updated version.

Please see our FAQ for how to use the new PowerPoint Add-in.

In our recent blogpost, we wrote about the new AI question generator.

If Vevox is new to you then take a look at our support materials and our previous blogposts.

We’ve also got a training session taking place on Monday 18 September, 14:00-15:00. This session is run by colleagues from Vevox. Book your place online.

Vevox is a great way to make your teaching interactive and further student’s learning.

August 2023 Blackboard Learn Ultra Update

One of the benefits of moving to Blackboard Learn Ultra is the increased enhancements to the virtual learning environment.

In this blogpost, we will outline some of the new functionality available in this month’s update.

1.   Groups

The location to manage the Groups feature has changed. You can now access this directly from the top menu of your course:

Screenshot of menu item with groups highlighted.

See groups guidance for additional information.

2.   Images for Learning Modules

You can now add images to Learning Modules.

Image of a Learning Module with an image

Learning Modules offer a way for you to organise your content. For further information, see Learning Modules guidance.

3.   Ultra Accessibility Checker

To ensure that your content is as accessible as possible, use the accessibility checker.

image of a document being created with the accessibility checker score highlighted

As you create your content, your accessibility score will be generated to alert you to any changes that you might want to make.

4.   Flexible Test grading

When it comes to grading tests, you can now grade by question or student in Ultra. See Blackboard’s test guidance and flex grading for further information.

For other updates this month, take a look at Blackboard’s Release notes.

If you’ve got any questions about using any of these features or Blackboard Learn Ultra, contact

Blackboard Ultra Project Update

The big news since our last update on the Blackboard Ultra project is that we have started departmental training sessions. It’s been great getting to meet staff and demonstrate the basics of using Ultra. To date 200 people have attended a session, and we’ve got more sessions lined up over the summer.

If you’re not able to attend your departmental training session, then we’ve got a number of centrally organised ones for you to join.  

In addition to this, and to make sure that colleagues have access to full Ultra functionality, we’ve got the following sessions scheduled (available in Welsh and English): 

  1. E-learning Enhanced: Using Tests
  2. E-learning Enhanced: Designing Wiki Alternatives
  3. E-learning Enhanced: Using Discussions
  4. E-learning Enhanced: Using Journals
  5. E-learning Enhanced: Designing Blog Alternatives

You can view our sessions and book your place on the course booking page.  

We’re also working behind the scenes on our integrations with other tools. At the moment, we are working on making it easier for you to find the correct academic year Panopto folder when you create recordings. We think that this is going to make things much easier when teaching starts again. Keep an eye out for news on this.

We’re looking forward to welcoming colleagues from Anthology / Blackboard and Bangor University to the annual learning and teaching conference. We’ve got a whole day of Ultra-related events on 4th July. If you haven’t booked your place at the conference, you can do it on our conference webpages.

If you’ve got any questions about Ultra, contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (  

External Speakers at this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference: Part 1: Blackboard

We’re delighted to welcome a number of external speakers at this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference.

View our full programme and book your place online.

On Tuesday 4 July, we’ll be joined in person by colleagues from Blackboard.

Colleagues will have the opportunity to hear about future developments, work on and enhance their blackboard ultra modules, and provide feedback to the company on enhancements.

Please see below for our speakers’ biographies.

Read More

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the 11th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, which is just over a month away, 4-6 July.

This year’s conference theme, Transformative Teaching: Creating Opportunities for Learning, aims to reflect the commitment that AU staff have to enhance the student learning experience.

We’re pleased to confirm our full programme.  We will have 2 days in person (Tuesday 4 July and Wednesday 5 July) and 1 day online (Thursday 6 July).

We look forward to seeing you at the conference, and please remember to register for the conference by completing this online form. 

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Considerations for Generative AI Detection 

This blog post is written by Generative AI Working Group members. 

The landscape for learning and teaching in the age of Generative AI has been developing rapidly. As staff will be aware, the UAP regulation has been updated to address the use of AI in student assessment. The UAP Form and penalty table have been updated to include ‘Presenting work generated by AI as if it were your own’ (approved by Academic Board March 2023). 

A Generative AI working group, chaired by Mary Jacob, was created in January 2023 to coordinate university efforts. Please see Generative AI for current guidance and resources. We are designing training materials for staff and students that will be available well before next academic year. 

Advice for marking 

On 3/4/2023, Turnitin enabled its AI detection tool. At present, staff can see the ‘AI Score’ but students cannot. This may change if Turnitin updates the tool later in the year. Please see Launch of Turnitin AI writing and ChatGPT Detection Capability on the LTEU blog and Turnitin’s AI Writing Detection from Turnitin (note that sometimes the same passage can be identified as both AI generated and matching an external source).  

There is a clear consensus among experts in the sector that no AI detection tool can provide conclusive evidence.  

This comes from the QAA, the National Centre for AI in Tertiary Education (sponsored by Jisc), and others. You can find links to this evidence on the Generative AI page, including the QAA recording where Michael Webb from the National Centre explains why this is the case. 

If you face a potential UAP case, your professional judgement is key to making the right call. Here is the best advice we can give departments: 

  1. Use the Turnitin AI detection tool in conjunction with other indicators – The Turnitin detection tool can identify red flags for further investigation but cannot provide evidence in itself.  
  1. Check sources – Gen AI often, but not always, produces fake citations. These can seem plausible at first sight – real authors and real journals, but the article doesn’t exist. Check the sources cited to see if they are 1) real and 2) chosen appropriately for the assignment. Is the source on topic? Is it the type of source a student would have read when writing the assignment (e.g. not a children’s book used as a source for a business case study)? This isn’t conclusive proof of AI use, but it is solid evidence that the student didn’t do things correctly. 
  1. Check facts – Gen AI often produces plausible falsehoods. The text may sound reasonable but include some made-up ‘facts’. Gen AI is not intelligent, but merely a sophisticated predictive text machine, so if you spot something that seems a bit off, check to see if it is a plausible falsehood. 
  1. Check level of detail – AI tends towards overly-generic output, e.g. using abstract terms with no concrete definitions or examples. Is the essay or report written in generalities or does it include concrete examples in enough detail to support the conclusion that a student wrote it? Again, lack of detail isn’t conclusive evidence that the student cheated but it can be a red flag in combination with other factors.  
  1. Hold an interview to determine authenticity – If you see strong indications of unacceptable academic practice, an interview or panel where the student is asked questions about their assignment may be a way to get conclusive evidence. We know this isn’t feasible at large scale, however. This is a sticky problem not only for our university but across the sector.  

To find out more about Generative AI, see the Weekly Resource Roundup for events and materials, e.g. this article specifically about a study on Turnitin’s AI detection: Fowler, G. A. (3/4/2023), We tested a new ChatGPT-detector for teachers. It flagged an innocent student, Washington Post. Fowler explains how they tested it, what they found, and why it generated the false results.  

In short, if staff don’t see anything suspicious other than the Turnitin AI score, we would recommend against bringing a UAP case forward. There’s too much potential for harm if the student really didn’t cheat. 

Branwen Rhys: LTEU’s latest recruit

I joined the LTEU team just after Easter this year as a part-time E-learning Support Officer. I previously worked as an Academic Registry Officer supporting the innovative Nursing Team and their first cohort at the University.

Originally from Anglesey, I moved to Aberystwyth in 2005 to take a Graduate Trainee Librarian post with IS Services and to complete my distance learning Information and Library Studies qualification at DIS (at somewhat less of a distance).

In my mind, this was a temporary move down south with a view to returning to north Wales. However, I’m still here 18 years on, happily married with 2 children, 2 guinea pigs, an eighty year old tortoise and no plans to relocate!

I left the University after a year and worked for the next 15 years or so at the National Library of Wales. I undertook various roles within the Digital Developments Unit working on and leading projects such as ‘Cylchgronau Cymru’, David Lloyd George’s Online Exhibition, Portraits Online, ‘From Warfare to Welfare’ and more recently, the ‘History of Medicine and Health in Wales before the NHS’ project.

Outside of work, I enjoy all sorts of arts and crafts, music, and going for walks with the family. Professionally I am an educator who enjoys empowering others with the information and skills needed to work more efficiently. I am pleased to return to IS to a post closer to my librarian roots and look forwards to becoming an established member of the LTEU Team.

Turnitin Building Block retired

In summer 2022 we moved to a new version of Turnitin. As support for our previous version of Turnitin has now ceased, the historical version (known as Turnitin Building Block) will be retired on 31 August 2023.

This means that any marked assignments will no longer be accessible to staff and students.

Students should download any historical assignments (from pre-academic year 2022-23) and save them.

Staff should contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit ( if they still need to access Turnitin assignments in the Building Block for marking purposes.

Even though access will be removed, the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit will still be able to request marked assignments via Turnitin support. If you require this after 31 August 2023, please contact the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (