All 2015/16 modules will be available in Blackboard by Monday 27 July 2015. There is no Blackboard downtime scheduled and there will be no changes to Blackboard for the new academic year. However, you will notice some changes in the way that assessments are copied over from existing 2014/15 modules into the new 2015/16 modules. These changes have been made in order to tidy up the grade centre, and to avoid potential issues with assessments being accidentally made available to students.
Blackboard tests are copied over, but not deployed
This applies to all Blackboard tests, including OLAF exams. An existing test will not be available to students, and there will not be a column for the test in the grade centre. As an instructor you can access the test to edit it, and you can deploy it to make it available again to the 2015/16 cohort. The steps to do this are outlined below:
1. To view and edit an existing test: click on Course Tools in the Control Panel. Select ‘Tests, Surveys and Pools’ from the drop down menu, then click on Tests.
2. The tests area lists all tests that exist in the module. Locate the test you wish to view/edit in the list (you can sort items in the list by Name and Date Last Edited). Hover over the name of the test and click on the drop down arrow. Click ‘Edit’ to open the test for editing.
3. To deploy an existing test: go to the area in the module where you want to make the test available to students. Click on the Assessment menu and select Test.
4. See the information on Blackboard Help for instructions on making the test available. You may also find the help page on test options useful.
Turnitin assignments are copied over but hidden from students
It is not possible to reuse an existing Turnitin assignment, so you do not have an option to deploy an assignment again. However, as an instructor you can view hidden assignments if you need to refer to them (for example to check the settings that you used for Turnitin assignments run in 2014/15).
Note that no student data is rolled forward from one year to the next, so a rolled over Turnitin assignment in a 2015/16 module will not contain any student work. If you need to refer back to 2014/15 students’ work you will need to access this in the 2014/15 version of the module.
Date Management Tool
If there is any content in a module which has Date/Time Restrictions set up for it, at the Blackboard rollover the content is copied and the date restrictions rolled forward by one calendar year (e.g. an item that was made available from 1 November 2014 will now be set to become available from 1 November 2015).
Blackboard has a Date Management Tool that allows you to easily amend Date/Time Restrictions for all content in a module in one place. The tool can be used to amend all content simultaneously, or choose to amend dates/times for individual items. This Blackboard Help page explains how to use the different options in the tool.
Content areas are hidden by default
When content is copied from an existing 2014/15 module into a 2015/16 module by default it is hidden from students at the top level. This is done to allow instructors to update/amend content if required, before making it available to the new cohort of students.
Hidden content areas are identified by an icon of a white box with a black line through it, like this:
To make a content area available to students, hover over it in the menu, click the drop down arrow, and select ‘Show Link’:
Remember that you can double check what students can see in a module using the student preview mode (explained in this post).
Last year’s ReCap recordings are not copied over
A reminder that ReCap recordings are not copied when modules are rolled over in Blackboard. If the 2014/15 version of a module included a ReCap content area this will be copied into the 2015/16 module, but it will not contain any recordings until new ones are created during the module.