New Blackboard – new Browser required

Are you missing links from the top of your Blackboard page – such as ‘Learning Edge Homepage’? Do you see something like this:

If so, you are probably using Internet Explorer 7 on a PC – and will have difficulty accessing many of the facilities such as returning to the GO Portal or your Blackboard home page.

Here are two easy fixes: download and install either (even both!) the Firefox or Chrome browser from these links:


Google Chrome


Mozilla Firefox

The Learning Technology Development Division of Learning Services

Getting ready for THIS year!

Next steps for academic staff – and one thing you SHOULDN’T do!

At this time of year all academic staff should have gained access to the Blackboard course areas they will be using this year*.  Here are three guides from LTD that address the next steps:

Enrolling colleagues: One of the first tasks that course leaders need to do is to enrol their team into the course.  This single sheet guide shows you how to do this in a few clicks.


Copying content.  This guide covers the two main techniques for copying course materials from previous years: a complete copy of everything, or just selecting individual components.



Making the course available: By default all the courses in Blackboard are unavailable – it is the task of the course teams to make them available to students.  This single sheet guide shows you how.

And what you shouldn’t do:

Enrol Students!

This is done automatically via direct links from the student record system.  Enrolling students like you enrol colleagues above will challenge the student experience as any such enrolments will be deleted in the next few days.

There are generally two reasons for students not being enrolled:

  1. They are not enrolled correctly in SID – if you don’t have access to SID perhaps ask your course/departmental administrator(s) (FAS, FoE, FoH).
  2. The student’s cohort is not part of a course merge – again, speak to your course/departmental administrator(s) for help.

Finally, there are many other guides available from LTD – available from this easy to remember tiny url:\LTDGuides.

The Learning Technology Development Division of Learning Services.

*if you haven’t got access yet, please approach your module / year / programme leader – if you are a leader please approach your administrator (FAS, FoE, FoH) to give you access.
**All faculties have been doing manual enrolments.  If you think some of your student enrolments may be deleted please check that those students have a permanent cohort based enrolment by contacting your administrator or your learning technologist.

‘Digital Practitioner Series – What’s New With Service Pack 8′ – Session Notes

For those who couldn’t make it to this week’s session on Blackboard’s recent Service Pack 8 update, I thought it would be worth making the session notes available.

The notes take you through ten changes to Blackboard, including the new Text Editor, new Course Themes and Structures, as well as changes to the Tests tool.

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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technologist

‘Digital Practitioner Series – What’s New With Service Pack 8’ – Thursday 6th September 2012

The next session in the Digital Practitioner staff development series will look at the recent update to Blackboard – Service Pack 8.

Service Pack 8 was applied in July and adds improvements such as a new Text Editor, full support for Google’s Chrome browser, and a clearer interface. In this session we will show you the updates so that you are aware of how to make the most of the new possibilities.

The session will run on Thursday 6th September between 12 and 1pm, in the LINC Development Room (2nd floor of the LINC building) and you can book by going to the session’s page on the staff development pages.

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Peter Beaumont
Learning Technologist