Collaborate Ultra Common Questions

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Blackboard Ultra

We’re updating Weblearn to incorporate the new Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation this summer (exact date tbc). This new navigation has a sleek, modern look and feel and will save you time with simpler workflows and easier access to important information. 

What is the Ultra Base Navigation?

It is a modern, intuitive navigation menu that lives outside of modules. It includes links to new pages such as the Activity Stream, Calendar, Messages, etc. that provide quick access to the most critical information consolidated from all your modules.

What does this mean for me?

  • Your modules will not change. They will look and operate exactly as they do now
  • Once Base Navigation has been enabled you will see the new navigation as soon as you log into Weblearn
  • The Weblearn start page will be replaced by the ‘Activity Stream’ showing all recent activity on your modules and course sites
  • Your modules will be available on a ‘Modules’ link in the new navigation menu

How will this enhance your efficiency and experience?

  • Works well on mobile devices. This navigation is designed to work well regardless of which device you’re using.
  • Aggregates important information. All your module and organisation information – like calendar, messages and grades – is now consolidated into one global view, minimizing the time spent navigating into each individual module.
  • Only one click away. See something that needs your attention? Just click on it and you will be taken directly there, minimizing clicks and saving time.
  • Communication. A new messages tool will become available, allowing students check all of their Weblearn messages from a central page. This is a great new tool for users who are less likely to check their university email
  • Piloting Ultra Module View. Interested staff will be able to pilot Blackboard’s new module interface, the Ultra Module View.

Will I be affected by downtime?

The upgrade will take hours rather than days. It will be scheduled for an evening or weekend slot after the main teaching and marking period for this year is over.

Once you access the upgraded version, the first page you see will be the activity stream and all modules will appear on the ‘Modules’ tab. Your modules will be exactly the same as before, so there is no need to get your head around new functionality or tools immediately.

What will the change look like?

The current Weblearn landing page will be replaced by a menu on the left that allows you to access essential functions in one click.

screenshot of activity stream

You’ll find all of your modules and organisations under links on the new menu

When you access a module, it will open as a layer over the new Ultra Base Navigation menu. Everything in the module will be exactly the same as on our current Weblearn version.

screenshot of original module

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Weblearn Upgrade 27-29 June 2020

Weblearn will be unavailable from 1am on Sat 27 June until Mon 29 June as we move to the most up-to-date version of Blackboard Learn.

Weblearn downtime – 27th to 29th June

The work will start at 1am on Sat 27th and should be completed by Mon 29th June. Weblearn will be unavailable to users during the upgrade. We will aim to make the system available again as soon as possible on Monday.

What is included in the yearly upgrade?

As part of the upgrade, Weblearn is moving to a cloud hosting platform called Blackboard SaaS (Software as a Service).

No more downtime for upgrades!

Applications need to be upgraded regularly to get access to improved or new functionality and to make sure they remain secure. Since updating a large application like Weblearn takes a fair amount of time, we currently need 2-3 days downtime to apply an upgrade.

Once we’re on SaaS hosting, upgrades can be applied throughout the year in small increments without the need for 2-3 days downtime over summer.

What else is changing?

The upgrade consists mainly of bug fixes and security updates, and Weblearn will look the same as before.

Grading Weblearn assignments – moving from Box View to Annotate

On June 22nd Blackboard will change the current Inline Grading tool for Weblearn Assignments (not Turnitin) from Box View to a new tool called Annotate. Annotate will provide improved functionality and all pre-existing annotations created through Box View will be migrated and visible in Bb Annotate.

View the full Bb Annotate infromation

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Bb Annotate for Weblearn Asignments

On 22 June Weblelarn Assignments (not Turnitin) will transfer to Bb Annotate, the new inline grading tool provided by Blackboard. The transfer will take a few days to complete and you can continue to access and work on assignments during this period.

An example submission in the annotate view

Annotate was created in partnership with institutions across the globe and it will replace the Box View grading tool. The new customisable feature set includes:

  • Selection of document view settings
  • Comments (similar to the Turnitin Bubble Comments)
  • Annotation tools such as free hand drawing, shapes, highlighter pen, customisable stamps/images and text
  • Content library of reusable comments
  • Search feature
  • Print or download annotated submissions
  • Various colour selections, and more.

More information

Frequently asked questions



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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is available to all students and staff as part of Office 365. Teams offers a secure platform for online collaboration where students can share files, chat, hold web conferences and collaborate on documents simultaneously, making Teams an ideal solution for projects and group work.

Instead of your students migrating to a social network such as Facebook or Whatsapp, they can use Teams for online collaboration which means they won’t have to share their personal details with their peers or a third party outside the universities jurisdiction. Microsoft Teams encompasses all the key features of a social platform in a secure location.

Microsoft teams logo

Get started with Teams by entering your full username in the ‘Get Started’ box at https://teams.microsoft.com/start

Staff: username@staff.londonmet.ac.uk
Students: username@my.londonmet.ac.uk

Training and how to guides are available on the Microsoft website, or you could use LinkedIn Learning to view the Teams Essentials Training course (Tip: use the Contents list to skip through each section).

Watch the Teams overview video

The below scenarios are examples of how Teams could be used at this university.



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Resources and support for students

Weblearn Staff Help (login required) contains a collection of centrally managed resources for students which provides guidance on online submission, using the university IT systems, creating assets for projects and submission and more. These resources have been put together so they can be shared with students across the university without the need for them to be redeveloped for each course.

Below we have listed some examples of the resources available through Weblearn. If you can’t find what you are looking for on the Weblearn pages, maybe LinkedIn Learning could help!

IT Induction information

The IT Inductions area contains information, not just for new starters, but on common tasks students will undertake during their degree. Examples include:

Weblearn specific information

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Student FAQs

Students frequently use Weblearn to complete tasks and access their learning materials and there are some common questions which come up time and time again. We have put together a list for staff and a list for students to answer some of these common questions.

Add to student FAQs

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Staff Common Questions

London Met students and lecturers use Weblearn for learning and teaching purposes and as such there are some common questions which come up time and time again. We have put together a list for staff and a list for students to answer some of these common questions.

For example, have you ever wondered what the black exclamation mark which sometimes appears next to a Turnitin submission means?

 

If you have any questions that you would like answered, please add them to the Staff Common Questions form and we include them in our list.

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LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning iconLinkedIn Learning is a platform where you can access thousands of online video tutorials and courses so you and your students can learn to use popular software packages like Microsoft and Adobe. It also features a whole host of professional development topics like leadership skills and time management.

Courses and tutorials can be embedded into Weblearn modules and organisations so students can access them alongside their learning materials. 

The list of videos below is a small sample of training that’s available on LinkedIn Learning and it’s completely free for all London Met students and staff. Simply with your university details. eg:

Staff:
username@staff.londonmet.ac.uk
Password

Student:
username@my.londonmet.ac.uk
Password

Linkedin Learning: http://lil.londonmet.ac.uk

Sample tutorials (login required)

Microsoft Word

Microsoft PowerPoint

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Observations of a London Met learning technologist at Digifest 2019.

I recently dipped into Digifest 2019, an annual edtech event for staff in higher education held over two days every year in March. This year we were in Birmingham and the focus was shaping education for a hyper-connected world.

 

Keynote slide listing the top ten skills most likely to be in greater demand up to 2030.

One of the keynote speech slides which lists the top ten skills most likely to be in greater demand up to 2030.

The opening keynote speech was delivered by Joysy John director of education, Nesta. (Nesta being an international innovation foundation). She attempted to answer the question ‘How, in a rapidly changing world, do we create an education system that prepares all learners to thrive in the future world of work?’ She based her answer on Nesta’s research concerning the future of skills which shows that skills like creativity, communication, problem-solving and resilience will be more important than ever.

Making more effective use of technology and data can help make education more convenient, accessible and effective. Businesses, academia and government will need to work in partnership to ensure that the education system is fit for the future.

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