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London Blackboard User Group Meeting

Friday 26th April 2013, London Metropolitan University

Thanks to Bryony Bramer for providing a summary of last week’s meeting.

What’s New at London Met (Sandra Heidecker, London Metropolitan University):
Sandra introduced the group to some of the custom building blocks in use at London Met, including enabling Staff to check their account and enroll themselves on a specific sub-set of allowed modules (using an intermediary database). She also explained the reasons behind the login page design in use at London Met and spoke about some current considerations regarding reporting.

Custom building blocks for online coursework submission (Kevin Lowman, University of the West of England):
Kevin and his colleague Nick Fielding demonstrated the online coursework submission workflow in use at UWE. Assignment data is imported from the SIS to automatically create Blackboard assignments submission areas in the relevant courses, a new ‘Coursework Submission’ tab enables students to see and submit all their assignments and receive feedback in a single location, submissions can be packaged up for offline marking and reuploaded, and information is then passed back to the SIS. This (and more) is all possible by the implementation of a number of bespoke building blocks that have been created / enhanced at UWE, along with some pre-existing building blocks.

Online coursework submission and Blackboard rubrics (Adel Gordon, University of Northampton):
Adel spoke about how Northampton are using rubrics for assignment marking. After looking at a comparison of the Blackboard and Turnitin rubrics, she went on to explain how rubrics are integrated as part of the module development process, and to demonstrate some of the feedback that has been received from users.

Discussion session: Piloting the use of rubrics (Linda McBain, University of Law):
Linda led a discussion on the practicalities of setting up a pilot of using rubrics. At the University of Law, there are a variety of different marking styles and some very specific criteria in use, so their pilot will have a number of different strands. A number of challenges were identified, such as the difficulty of copying rubrics and having a wide range of different criteria, and well as issues of staff not having dual or wide monitors which would make it easier for them to use the rubrics.

Social tools in Blackboard (Steve Hoole, Bucks New University):
Steve spoke about the many developments that have happened at Bucks New over the past year including full online submission and moving to managed hosting, and those that are planned for this year including reviewing training provision and introducing Blackboard social tools. He gave a comparison of Skype vs the Blackboard IM tool and explained why Bucks New have chosen to roll out Blackboard IM.

Blackboard announcements from the Blackboard Europe Conference (Paul Wigfield, Blackboard):
Paul spoke about the changes in Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 12 which has just been released. These include major improvements to the calendar, discussion board, inline grading, granular test feedback and set up. He also spoke about some of the developments that are being considered for future releases.


Thank you to all of you who attended the London Blackboard User Group meeting on Friday 26th April, and particularly to our brilliant speakers and hosts.

 I have now added some of the presentation resources from the meeting to the London BUG Connections site, where presentations from recent meetings are also available.

 To access the Connections site, go to: https://connections.coursesites.com

 Once you have signed up and logged in to the ‘Bb Connections User Group Community’, click on ‘User Group Folders’ from the left-hand menu and then choose ‘By Region’ > ‘Europe & UK User Groups’ > ‘London BUG’.

 Future meetings are currently being planned and more details will be sent to the list when dates and locations have been finalised.

 Provisional dates for meetings in 2013 are the afternoons of Friday 26th July and Friday 6th December.

 Bryony Bramer. Virtual Learning Environment Manager. Learning Resources. Regent’s University London, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NS. T: +44 (0)20 7487 7530 | bramerb@regents.ac.uk. www.regents.ac.uk/blackboard