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Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

The eLearning Year - A Month by Month Review of eLearning related Activities

Academic staff, administrators and support staff as well as the eLearning team all have important roles to play in giving our students a great eLearning experience. Part of that is making sure that certain tasks happen on time. To give us all a clear picture of what needs to happen and when it needs to happen for Blackboard to be student-ready on time, we've compiled the table below. It provides a clear overview of different types of tasks over time for academics and administrators.

See also these Knowledge Base / StaffNet News articles:

 

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Jump to month:

September October November December January February March April May June July August

indicates actions repeated from the previous month.

NB: The Online Exams instructions are specifically related to summative online exams within the exam period.

Month Administrator eLearning related activity Academic eLearning related activity
Sept.

Visibility and Status of Blackboard Courses

All courses will be typically become visible to students (assuming academic chooses the default "Start Date" option upon activation) one week before the start date in Campus Solutions (18/09/2017). This is 11th September 2017.

Suspended courses: Please contact your eLearning team if a course is not running in 2017-18 (e.g. if an academic is on sabbatical)

In semester one of 2017-18, the access to Blackboard module sites by students will change. Students will be able to see their own previous years’ Blackboard module sites. For more information on what is happening and what you need to do, please see the following guide: Extended Student Access to Courses

Student System (CS) Processes

Ensure Class Combinations are dealt with systematically; get help from the SSO and eLearning team. CS documentation is available on the IT Services website.

Please contact the CS Help Desk for assistance: Email: cs.records@manchester.ac.uk; Tel. (x65444)

Submission of Coursework via Turnitin

If Academics are planning to use Turnitin for the first time in your School, please contact the eLearning team who will organise a training/support session for Administrators and Academics in the School. Please allow 6 weeks before the planned submission date.

New Academics

Blackboard should become accessible and course(s) visible as soon as:

  • HR contract and IT sign up are complete
  • Employment start date has passed
  • Teaching roles are assigned in the correct classes in Campus Solutions
  • Those classes have been activated for Blackboard through My Manchester

 

Visibility and Status of Blackboard Courses

Your 2017-18 courses can be found under the Future tab in the My Courses portlet of the University portal/My Manchester.

  • Review your Blackboard course for 2016-17 and identify changes you wish to make for 2017-18
  • Consider whether you will want to adapt the exist course or design from a clean slate (this will dictate the "Template" choice you make when activating the course)
  • Review the changes to the Standard Course Structure and think about when you wish to integrate these, or whether designing from a clean slate will be easier

If you have not already done so, activate your 2017-18 classes in My Manchester > My Courses, selecting the 2016-17 course as a template roll-forward the course content if appropriate.

For the "Start Date" option during activation, please use the default "1 week before start date in Campus Solutions", unless you have a good reason for doing otherwise. (Students will then access to courses from 11th September 2017.)

After your course is activated it will automatically appear to students enrolled on that course according to the choice you made for "Start Date".

Suspended courses: Please contact your eLearning team if a course is not running in 2017-18 (e.g. if an academic is on sabbatical)

In semester one of 2017-18, the access to Blackboard module sites by students will change. Students will be able to see their own previous years’ Blackboard module sites. For more information on what is happening and what you need to do, please see the following guide: Extended Student Access to Courses

Preparing your Blackboard courses

Read this Knowledge Base article for more information about Start of Year activities, including updates on Assessments.

If you have any problems or questions, contact your School Learning Technologist(s).

Blackboard Courses admin

Check that students are listed in the Grade Centre. If not, contact your School/Discipline/Program administrators.

All student enrolments are managed through Campus Solutions so you will not be able to add students manually to courses via Blackboard.

Students and staff can access other courses for observation/auditing purposes by requesting the course leader to request this access on your behalf from the eLearning team.

New Academics

Your Blackboard course(s) should become visible to you as soon as:

  • Your HR contract and IT sign up are complete
  • Your employment start date has passed
  • You have a teaching role in the correct classes in Campus Solutions
  • Those classes have been activated for Blackboard through My Manchester (whether by yourself or a colleague)

If you are not confident in using Blackboard, we recommend that you attend Blackboard training or arrange a session with your School Learning Technologist.

Administrator Academic
Oct.

Submission of Course Work

Support Academics and students undertaking online course work submission via Turnitin or Bb9. Academics who are new to Turnitin must contact the Humanities eLearning Team for support and training before using Turnitin for assignment submission.

Information and support available from your eLearning team.

Online Exams

If Academics in your School are planning online exams for Semester 1 courses, ask them to get in touch with the eLearning team who can provide a training and advice session (for Administrators and Academics). If the exam is to proceed, then you need (as soon as possible) to inform the Exam Office for new and existing online exams and provide them (when available) with the details of students who are registered with the Disability Support Office (who may require special arrangements). This will enable the Exam Office to schedule these exams for January timetable)

Using your Blackboard Courses

Set expectations for use of online resources with students e.g. log on weekly/use of discussion boards, online activities and assessments.

Submission of Course Work via Turnitin (Turnitin)

If you have not attended the training, please book a training session. Please allow at least 6 weeks before the date of the Assignment.

Set up online submission of coursework via Turnitin.

Support students undertaking test submission.

Other

Consider using online or other technologies such as Turning Point handsets to get mid-course feedback/review. Contact your eLearning team for more information.

Online Exams

If you are planning Online Exams for Semester 1 courses, you should contact your eLearning team who can provide a training and advice session. You will also need to get in touch with your School Assessment Office whom, by their turn, will inform the Exam Office.

Administrator Academic
Nov.  

Blackboard Courses - Getting ready for Semester 2

Review your Blackboard course from last year and identify changes you want to make. Do you want to adapt your existing course or start afresh?

If you have not already done so, activate your 2017-18 classes in My Manchester > My Courses, selecting the 2016-17 course as a template roll-forward the course content if appropriate.
For the "Start Date" option during activation, please use the default "1 week before start date in Campus Solutions", unless you have a good reason for doing otherwise. (Students will then access to courses from 22nd January 2018).

If your Reading List is updated from last year, apply the updates through the Library reading list service or send the updated list to your discipline librarian.

Insert a link to your Reading List (Link2Lists) if you have not already done so. Instructions are available in the Knowledge Base. More information is available on the Library's website.

Attend eLearning training if you do not feel confident with aspects of Blackboard and/or want some structured guidance.

If you have any problem or question, contact your School Learning Technologist.

Administrator Academic
Dec.

Students System (CS) Processes (Sem. 2)

Copy Prior Term Schedule

Check that instructors are associated to the class within the Student System (CS).

Check that TAs are also associated to the class (so that they can access the Blackboard course).

Ensure Class Combinations are dealt with systematically; get help from the SSO and/or the eLearning team. CS documentation is available on the IT Services website.

Please contact the CS Help Desk for assistance: Email: cs.records@manchester.ac.uk; Tel. (x65444).

Blackboard Courses - Getting ready for Semester 2

Review your Blackboard course for 2016-17 and identify changes for 2017-18. Activate course for Semester 2 (see notes above) if you have not done so already.

If you are creating an entirely new course, get in contact with your School Learning Technologist for eLearning training and support.

Make sure the Reading List (Link2Lists) is linked in the Blackboard course.

More information is available on the Library's website.

Attend eLearning training if you do not feel confident with aspects of Blackboard and/or want some structured guidance.

If you have any problems or questions, contact your School Learning Technologist(s).

Administrator Academic
Jan.

Visibility and Status of Blackboard Courses

Semester 2 Blackboard Courses will typically become visible to students one week before start of Semester on 22nd January 2018 (dependent on choice of "Start Date" made upon activation).

Students System (CS) Processes

Copy Prior Term Schedule

Check that instructors are associated to the class within the Student System (CS)

Check that TAs are also associated to the class (so that they can access the Blackboard course)

Ensure Class Combinations are dealt with systematically; get help from the SSO and elearning. CS documentation is available on the IT Services website.

Please contact the CS Help Desk  for assistance: Email: cs.records@manchester.ac.uk; Tel. (x65444)

Online Exams

Supporting academics who is conducting online exams/liaising with the Exam Office/eLearning team (when appropriate)

Visibility and Status of Blackboard Courses

Semester 2 Blackboard Courses will typically become visible to students one week before start of Semester on 22nd January 2018 (dependent on choice of "Start Date" made upon activation).

Blackboard Courses

Ensure all your online content for Semester 2 is reviewed, dates are correct, adaptive release applied if required.

Online Exams

If you have an online exam scheduled for the January exam period:

Two weeks before the start of Exams:

  • Provide students with a mock/practice test prior to the examination (This is extremely important to enable them to familiarise themselves with this type of assessment and the exam format)
  • Like paper examinations, once the online exam created, it must be thoroughly checked by the academic online before the paper copy of the examination is submitted to the Exam Office in case of any amendments. Please note the submission date for online examinations is the same as the paper examinations, your assessment officer or the examinations office will be able to inform you of this date as they will have received these deadlines at the start of the year.
  • Ask your eLearning advisor to deploy the online and apply the settings
  • The eLearning advisor will test the exam in the cluster using the eAssessment Desktop browser.
  • Check that ‘Guest’ accounts have been created by the eLearning team (in case some students are unable to log in on the day).
  • If appropriate, ask the eLearning team to create additional instances of the exam (selectively released to students allowed extra time).
  • You will need to ensure that your assessment officer is aware of any special instructions that need to be passed on to the invigilators and they will need to inform the examinations office of these.
  • Please remind students before the examination period that they will need their student ID cards and MUST know their usernames and passwords for the online examination.

On the day of an individual Exam:

eLearning team will ensure that the exam is released (i.e. visible to students) before the start of the exam and hidden afterwards.

You must be available on the day of the examination for any queries on the exam. This will be communicated from the examination office to your assessment officer who will contact you. Staff should be contactable via telephone, they do not need to be in the examination PC Cluster itself. There will be an e-Learning Technologist and the exams office invigilators within the PC cluster on the day of the examination. 
Administrator Academic
Feb.

Visibility of Previous Year's Sections:

Contact your eLearning team if a course is not running this year (e.g. if academic is on sabbatical)

Online Exams

If Academics in your School are planning online exams for Semester 2 courses, ask them to get in touch with the eLearning team who can provide a training and advice session (for Administrators and Academics). If the exam is to proceed, then you need (as soon as possible) to inform the Exam Office for new and existing online exams and provide them (when available) with the details of students who are registered with the Disability Support Office (who may require special arrangements). This will enable the Exam Office to schedule these exams for May/June timetable)

Submission of Coursework via Turnitin

If Academics are planning to use Turnitin for the first time in your School, please contact the eLearning team who will organise a training/support session for Administrators and Academics in the School. Please allow 6 weeks before the planned submission date

Visibility of Previous Year's Sections:

Contact your eLearning team if a course is not running next year (e.g. if you are on sabbatical)

Online Exams

If you are planning Online Exams for Semester 2 courses, you should contact your eLearning team who can provide a training and advice session. You will also need to get in touch with your School Assessment Office whom, by their turn, will inform the Exam Office.

Using your Blackboard Courses

Set expectations for use of online resources with students e.g. log on weekly/use of discussion boards, online activities and assessments

Administrator Academic
Mar.

Submission of Coursework via Turnitin (Turnitin)

If Academics are planning to use Turnitin for the first time in your School, please contact the eLearning team who will organise a training/support session for Administrators and Academics in the School. Please allow 6 weeks before the planned submission date

Support administrative issues related to online submission of course work via Turnitin (Turnitin).

 

 

Other - Student Feedback

Consider using online/other technologies such as Turning Point handsets or online questionnaires to get mid-course feedback/review (in addition to US).

Your eLearning team will be happy to provide information and support.

Submission of Course Work via Turnitin (Turnitin)

If you have not attended the training, please contact the eLearning team to book a training session, allowing 6 weeks before submission date.

Set up online submission of coursework via Turnitin.

Support students undertaking test submission.

Administrator Academic
April

Scheduled Maintenance - Spring 2018

Blackboard upgrades are sometimes applied during Easter vacation periods. During this time Blackboard would be unavailable to staff and students for approximately three days. Note: there are no confirmed planned updates at this time; should this change, proper advanced notice would be given.

Please remind your students of the downtime and ensure that any online activities you are asking students to do take into account this downtime. Please adjust any deadlines as appropriate. Guidance about handling downtime which affects online submission can be found on the Humanities T&L Policies and Guidelines page under Assessment and Feedback.

More information will be provided about the new features applied during the upgrade and articles will be available on the Knowledge Base.

Scheduled Maintenance - Spring 2018

Blackboard upgrades are sometimes applied during Easter vacation periods. During this time Blackboard would be unavailable to staff and students for approximately three days. Note: there are no confirmed planned updates at this time; should this change, proper advanced notice would be given.

Please remind your students of the downtime and ensure that any online activities you are asking students to do take into account this downtime. Please adjust any deadlines as appropriate. Guidance about handling downtime which affects online submission can be found on the Humanities T&L Policies and Guidelines page under Assessment and Feedback.

More information will be provided about the new features applied during the upgrade and articles will be available on the Knowledge Base.

Administrator Academic
May

Online Exams

Supporting academics who is conducting online exams/liaising with the Exam Office/eLearning team (when appropriate)

Miscellaneous

Receive relevant information from eLearning team to include in student handbook

Feedback to eLearning School Liaison:

  • When you will be scheduling most classes
  • When all your classes should be scheduled
  • When you will be adding Instructors
  • Whether you want to include a brief introduction to Blackboard as part of your induction for new students
  • What new courses will be starting next year and who is the Academic lead

Student System (CS) Processes

(making ready before start of next Academic Year)

Copy Prior Term Schedule

Check that instructors are associated to the class within the Student System (CS)

Check that TAs are also associated to the class (so that they can access the Blackboard course)

Ensure Class Combinations are dealt with systematically; get help from the SSO and elearning. CS documentation is available on the IT Services website.

Please contact the CS Help Desk  for assistance: Email: cs.records@manchester.ac.uk; Tel. (x65444)

 

Online Exams

If you have an online exam scheduled for the May/June exam period:

Two weeks before the start of Exams:

  • Provide students with a mock/practice test prior to the examination (This is extremely important to enable them to familiarise themselves with this type of assessment and the exam format)
  • Like paper examinations, once the online exam created, it must be thoroughly checked by the academic online before the paper copy of the examination is submitted to the Exam Office in case of any amendments. Please note the submission date for online examinations is the same as the paper examinations, your assessment officer or the examinations office will be able to inform you of this date as they will have received these deadlines at the start of the year.
  • Ask your eLearning advisor to deploy the online and apply the settings
  • The eLearning advisor will test the exam in the cluster using the eAssessment Desktop browser.
  • Check that Guest accounts have been created by the eLearning team (in case some students are unable to log in on the day).
  • If appropriate, ask the eLearning team to create additional instances of the exam (selectively released to students allowed extra time).
  • You will need to ensure that your assessment officer is aware of any special instructions that need to be passed on to the invigilators and they will need to inform the examinations office of these.
  • Please remind students before the examination period that they will need their student ID cards and MUST know their usernames and passwords for the online examination.

On the day of an individual Exam:

eLearning team will ensure that the exam is released (i.e. visible to students) before the start of the exam and hidden afterwards.

You must be available on the day of the examination for any queries on the exam. This will be communicated from the examination office to your assessment officer who will contact you. Staff should be contactable via telephone, they do not need to be in the examination PC Cluster itself. There will be an e-Learning Technologist and the exams office invigilators within the PC cluster on the day of the examination. 
Administrator Academic
June

Student System (CS) Processes

(making ready before start of next Academic Year)

Copy Prior Term Schedule

Check that instructors are associated to the class within the Student System (CS)

Check that TAs are also associated to the class (so that they can access the Blackboard course)

Ensure Class Combinations are dealt with systematically; get help from the SSO and elearning. CS documentation is available on the IT Services website

Please contact the CS Help Desk for assistance: Email: cs.records@manchester.ac.uk; Tel. (x65444)

Other

Remind Academics to contact Library to update Link2Lists reading lists.

Send list of new courses to School Liaison person or contact your eLearning team.

Visibility & Status of Blackboard courses

This year's Semester 1, Semester 2 and All Year courses will now be listed under the Ended tab in My Manchester.

Blackboard Courses (making ready before start of next Academic Year)

Review your Blackboard course for next year, identify changes from this year.

If your classes have been scheduled, activate and rolling forward your Blackboard courses.

Contact the Library to update Reading Lists. More information is available on the Library's website.

If you have any problems or questions, contact your School Learning Technologist.

Visibility & Status of Courses Blackboard courses

This year's Semester 1, Semester 2 and All Year courses will now be listed under the Ended tab in My Manchester.

Administrator Academic
July

Student System (CS) Processes

Copy Prior Term Schedule

Check that instructors are associated to the class within the Student System (CS)

Check that TAs are also associated to the class (so that they can access the Blackboard course)

Ensure Class Combinations are dealt with systematically; get help from the SSO and elearning. CS documentation is available on the IT Services website.

Please contact the CS Help Desk  for assistance: Email: cs.records@manchester.ac.uk; Tel. (x65444)

Blackboard Courses - Making ready before start of next Academic Year

Review your Blackboard course for next year, identify changes from last year.

Contact the Library to update Reading lists. Make sure the Reading List is live on your Blackboard course. More information is available on the Library's website.

If you have any problems or questions, contact your School Learning Technologist.

Administrator Academic
Aug.

Student System (CS) Processes

(making ready before start of next Academic Year)

Copy Prior Term Schedule.

Check that instructors are associated to the class within the Student System (CS).

Check that TAs are also associated to the class (so that they can access the Blackboard course).

Ensure Class Combinations are dealt with systematically; get help from the SSO and elearning. CS documentation is available on the IT Services website.

Please contact the CS Help Desk for assistance: Email: cs.records@manchester.ac.uk; Tel. (x65444).

Other

NEW Student System (CS) Processes.

New Academics

Check they are registered associated to their class in CS

Blackboard Admin. and Support

Ensure all admin. related documentation in the Standard Course Structure is up to date

Invite to attend Blackboard training beforehand

Visibility and Status of Blackboard Courses

All Semester 1/2 and All Year courses for the next academic year should be visible to Academics (if they have been correctly scheduled in Campus Solutions) - see above "New Academics".

Blackboard Courses

(making ready before start of next Academic Year)

Review your Blackboard course for next year, identify changes from last year

If your classes have been scheduled, activating and rolling forward your Blackboard courses.

If you are creating a new course, get in contact with your School Learning Technologist for eLearning training and support.

Contact the Library to update Reading Lists. Make sure the Reading List link is live on your Blackboard course. More information is available on the Library's website

Maybe attend eLearning training sessions.

If you have any problems or questions, contact your School Learning Technologist.

New Academics

Your Blackboard course(s) for the next academic year should become visible to you as soon as:

  • Your HR contract and IT sign up are complete
  • Your employment start date has passed
  • You have a teaching role in the correct classes in Campus Solutions
  • Those classes have been activated for Blackboard through My Manchester (whether by yourself or a colleague)

We recommend that you attend Blackboard training organised by the eLearning team.

Visibility and Status of Blackboard Courses

All of next year's Semester 1 and All Year - and most of Semester 2 - classes for the next academic year should be visible to Academics (except New Academics - see above) in My Manchester > My Courses.