December Downtime

Hi Folks- it has been a while since we last posted a blog. Of course, that means we have been extra busy dealing with the hectic start of term (which I’m sure you can all empathise with!)

We have also been busy settling into our new home in the Library and we do feel very much part of a bigger family now!

Back to business… as you know, we continually strive to improve the Blackboard Learn experience. As part of this we undertake to upgrade the system twice annually (once each in the 3rd week of December and July).

This year the date of the upgrade falls during the week 16-20th December 2013. This means that the system will not be accessible during this period. Of course, we will aim to minimise the downtime as far as possible.

Key contacts from Schools and Central Services will also be reminded in a separate email.

We will post a follow up blog to tell you more about the new features you can expect in Blackboard Learn  – Service Pack 13!

We have moved!!

The Learning Technology Team has now relocated and, as of today, is based within the Library.

We have been busy moving our belongings from the Lecture Centre and are now settling into our new space. Unfortunately there has been a temporary disruption to our service, but we have done our best to minimise this.

We are confident the move will impact our service to you positively!

LibraryThe Library: our new home!

Noticed a difference?

 You may well have tried logging into Blackboard Learn today to find that there is a difference.

The Computer Centre has launched “Brunel Sign In” which has integrated IntraBrunel and Blackboard Learn under one authentication system.

What does this mean? Seamless access to Blackboard Learn when you access this via Intra Brunel (i.e. no need to log in separately!)

If you do happen access Blackboard Learn without “Brunel Sign In” you will also see the new (and hopefully improved!) login page:


 We believe this should lead to a better user experience overall!

Thanks to the folks in the Computer Centre for their hard work.

Launching the Blackboard Newsletter

The Blackboard Newsletter has recently been launched by the LTT. This is designed to provide a quick summary of key Bb Learn developments at Brunel on a quarterly basis.

Given that we at Brunel are all such a busy bunch, the newsletter is deliberately designed to be brief and NEVER longer than a single page! For those who are interested in reading a little more, the articles will usually link to further information.

Take a look at our first issue today!


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!



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


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:

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”.