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.
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.
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.
Turnitin are sponsoring a competition in a bid to raise student awareness of contract cheating. Please tell your students that they have until Friday 2nd November for the chance to win £1,000. To receive the money they need to submit the most creative way of making students aware of the risks / inacceptable nature of contract cheating.
Contract cheating occurs when one person completes academic work (e.g. assignment, exam, test, quiz, exam) on behalf of another person who then submits it for academic credit. This behaviour undermines the quality and integrity of the degree, and it undermines the entire education system.
A whiteboard declaration ahead of the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating.
Designed to further develop the key themes from the autumn Learning Technologies conference, this event had something to offer for every individual that works in the Higher Education sector. The event was split in two main parts, a jam-packed exhibition that included more than 30 free seminars and the annual Learning Technologies Summer Forum Conference that forms part of a wider community of TELT professionals.
From an in-depth approach into the current issue of using Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality for educational purposes, to content creation strategies, design methodologies and developing a Learning Culture and Agility, this conference had something for everyone. If you didn’t get the chance to visit the conference, don’t worry because all of the seminar recordings can be found on YouTube.