New Look Bb Mobile App

Hi Folks! You may have noticed that Blackboard completely redesigned the mobile app (launched last week).

For those that have previously downloaded this (or any new users), you may wish to download/ update it to take advantage of the new look interface.

Some of the new features include:

  • You can now “favourite” an area of a Course for easy access later on
  • More support for text formatting (e.g. bold, underline, italics and hyperlinks)
  • New layout for discussions that show you the history of each reply

Below are a few previews to demonstrate what you can expect.

We think it looks great. Take a look and see what you think!

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Launching the Blackboard Banter Blog

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed some changes to this blog (which was previously known as the “Blackboard Project Blog”). Now, as it was a successful part of the Bb Learn Project, we thought “why do away with it??”

So after a spate of rebranding and a new title, we would like to present to you the new look “Blackboard Banter Blog”! This is your one stop source to get the latest news about Blackboard Learn tools, features and updates. You are also free to post comments to the LTT here.

So if you like this blog, please do spread the word and get your colleagues to subscribe today!Image

Bb Learn is back in business!

We know how much you all missed Bb Learn whilst it was down for the upgrade, so it makes me very happy to let you know that it is now back up and available for use.

The upgrade to Service Pack 11 was designed to address some of the persistent bugs (“headaches”) in the system, so you should have a better user experience overall.

Thanks to the Computer Centre and the Learning Technology Team who worked very hard on the upgrade this week.

Launching the Bb Learn Tools Card 2013

Have you ever wondered what Blackboard Learn can do for you? Are you overwhelmed by the number of tools within the system? If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions then the Blackboard Learn Tools Card is for you.

We have produced a handy single page reference of all the Bb Learn Tools at a glance. It is available online here. We revise it annually so that you are kept up to date with the latest tools.

We have already sent laminated copies to our Blackboard Champions. If you would like a laminated version for your desk or for your colleagues, drop us a line at ltt@brunel.ac.uk

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We are upgrading to SP11!

As you know, we continually strive to improve our VLE here at Brunel. One of the most important ways we do this is by implementing service packs twice a year.

And so the time has come to implement our next service pack- SP11, which will be installed between 15th-19th July, during which time Blackboard Learn will not be accessible.

Schools and Central Services have already been informed and there is also a notice on the Bb Learn login page.

Drop us a line if you have any questions: ltt@brunel.ac.uk

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Service Packs: helping us to improve the VLE for you!

Assignment Receipting now available in Blackboard Learn!

Hi Everyone! I haven’t posted in a while so I thought I would offer a small (but hopefully useful!) gift in the form of our new Blackboard Learn Building Block: “Enhanced Receipting”.

This tool automatically sends an email receipt to students after they have submitted an assignment to Blackboard Learn. This is helpful because it…

•will allow students more clarity when submitting, e.g. “did I submit the right file?”, as well as keeping a record of the date / time submitted

•will give students peace of mind that assignments have been submitted successfully

•will allow students and staff to retrieve a copy of receipts from within their Blackboard Course if a receipts folder is set up

Best of all- it is automatically available in the system and you don’t need to do anything to set it up!

If, however, you do want to create a receipts folder within your Blackboard Learn Course, we have a simple step by step guide available on the “Help Me LTT” tab entitled “Assignment Receipting”.

u-Link is history!

Just a quick note to let you know that u-Link was decommissioned as of 5pm yesterday. So Blackboard Learn now becomes the only supported VLE for Brunel.

Staff and students have been emailed individually in advance to let them know of this, and so they will already be aware.

If you do have any questions, you can, of course, get in touch with the LTT (ltt@brunel.ac.uk)

Brand New Blackboard Learn Course Template for 2013/4

As you will no doubt be aware, the next academic year is already looming and what better way to see it in than a brand new template for your Blackboard Learn Course?

So here are some of the features you can expect to see…

- A brand new Course homepage containing a notifications dashboard, keeping students updated on module activity with alerts for new content and impending deadlines
- Grade Centre columns created by the template will be hidden by default to allow you to better control when to release grades

The template will be applied to any newly created Courses in Bb Learn- so it will be available for all 2013/4 Courses.

Of course, if you wish, you may decide not to use the template and simply to copy your 2012/3 Course content over to next year, removing the bits you don’t want. Either way, design your Course the way you choose!

A sneak peak at the new template!
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Out with the old and in with the new…

Seems like spring is finally here and in the true spirit of the season, we are having a bit of our own spring clean in the LTT!

The time has now come to close the doors on u-Link. This will finally be shut down on 3rd June. Students and staff will soon be sent an email to remind them to download any materials before u-Link is gone for good.

And we are pleased to announce that we have some brand new Blackboard Mobile Learn training lined up for those of you who would like to learn more about the mobile app. Learn how to create a mobile compatible test that students can complete on the go, see how your Blackboard Learn Course looks in the app and discover tips to make your Blackboard Learn Course more mobile friendly!

Places can be booked via the Staff Development website here.

What a day: Tech Zone 2013!

A big thanks to all of you that popped in to the Tech Zone today. We had a great time and hope you left feeling inspired.

In fact it seems that some of you were so inspired that we are going to be doing it all over again… tomorrow at the Business School Staff Day!

So if you fancy a Tech Zone round your School or Department, drop us a line – ltt@brunel.ac.uk

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The Tech Zone 2013: a source of inspiration!