This is a guide for Admin Teams about Blackboard Ultra. It’s written to highlight things that are new or different compared to the old version of Blackboard.
It’s not a complete explanation of how information in SITS is transferred to Blackboard. If that’s needed, we can offer group training sessions for Admin Teams as required. If you would like any further assistance or to book a training session, contact eLearning@Tees.ac.uk
The vast majority of the setup is the same:
- Modules will still be created as “one Blackboard module per SITS module code, per period code, per academic year”, with all occurrences put together in the same Blackboard module.
- The VLE? box in the MAV record must still be ticked to make a module appear in Blackboard.
- If a module has several occurrences in MAV (each with the same module code, period code and academic year), the VLE? box must still be ticked for each occurrence to include the students from that occurrence in the Blackboard module.
- Students must still have an “active” status in an SCE record for the current academic year in order to be able to log in to Blackboard (or until November, the previous academic year).“Active” meaning the same set of statuses the university uses for creating a normal IT / Email account.
- To be enrolled on a module, a student still needs an “active” status SCE record, which is linked to an SCJ, which in turn is linked to an SPT which has the module listed in its Modules Taking.
- External Examiner enrolments will continue to work in exactly the same way as now (using EEA / EEX records).
What is Different?
- For a module enrolment to appear in Blackboard, a student needs an “active” status SCE record for the current academic year (which is linked to an SCJ record, which in turn is linked to an SPT which has the module listed in its Modules Taking).
Previously, the SCE record had to be the same academic year as the one in which the module was studied.
Until November, students will need an SCE record in the current or previous academic year.
- Additional module leaders / tutors should now be added to “standard” Blackboard modules using MKR records (rather than using Add Module Leaders in the Control Panel).
This is the same method for adding tutors that is already used for TU Online modules.
Additional support on using MKR records is available from the FCD Helpdesk.
- It will also be possible to enrol yourself / another person in a module by contacting the IT Service Desk, but ultimately, using MKR records will be quicker for you.
- Behind the scenes, Blackboard Ultra works in a very different way to the existing Blackboard, this means that Add Module Leaders and Quick Enrol can no longer be available.
We hope to re-introduce this functionality in the future (both Add Module Leaders for use by teaching staff, and Quick Enrol for use by Admin & IT staff), but in the meantime additional teaching staff should be added to modules using MKR records.
- Similarly, the Module Box feature, which was developed in-house at Teesside, will need to be redeveloped for Blackboard Ultra. We hope to bring this back during the course of the academic year.
It’s worth highlighting that even though Module Boxes are not currently available, the preferred processes for enrolling External Examiners into modules are still available and working, and we would ask Schools to continue adding examiners to modules either through EEA/EEX records in SITS or in the appropriate section of the Support Module website.
- Support Modules (and their enrolments) will work in exactly the same way as now, except the website for managing them will be different to the one you use now (although it will look absolutely identical).
- It’s no longer tenable for the university to give Blackboard access to every associate (X) account without regard to need or appropriateness. To address this, Associate accounts will additionally need to be approved in My Resources before they can access Blackboard. Further details will be circulated later. Although, it’s worth noting that this will be in addition to existing processes (such as ensuring the associate has a valid “association” on the Associates website).Please contact email@example.com for any further assistance.