University Learning Management System (LMS)

The University Learning Management System (LMS) Blackboard was updated in Jan 2014. That updates introduced new tools and enhancements to existing tools and features. The following list provides brief descriptions with links to tutorials and short demonstration videos.

SEAMS has been updated with new features and improved work flows, to learn more see SEAMS Update - January 2014

Group management

Groups can now be created and uploaded via a spreadsheet, this will make the creation and allocation of students to multiple groups easier.

Smart views automatically created for Groups
Smart views in the Grade Centre are automatically created from the Groups tool. You can make these smart views appear as quick links in the left-hand menu for your tutors or yourself.

Watch Demonstration: Group Management

To learn more see: Group Management

Restrict tests to a physical location using IP addresses

IP addresses identify specific computers and are a good method to enforce the location-restriction requirements. In conjunction with ICT you can determine a range of IP addresses that correspond to a location, like a lab, to deliver online tests at that location. Students will only be able to access the online test from the nominated IP addresses (or location).

To learn more see: Restricting Tests

Global navigation menu updates

Access your updates through the global navigation menu. From the Updates page, you can see all notifications for every course and organization you are enrolled in. Course message updates will be available through the ‘updates’ page in the global navigation or the ‘What’s new’ module. You can reply to discussion board messages through this interface without logging into individual websites. Global navigation also allows you to jump into any updated area of your UoS website.

Watch Demonstration: Global Navigation

Grade center improvements

Blackboard has made several improvements to grading and Grade Centre in the latest update:

  • Define 'Score Attempts Using' settings from the 'Options' page – a workflow improvement to make multiple attempts simpler to grade.
  • Tests – You can now adjust the test totals in a test that has been taken by students, and adjust the total points possible. You have more control over Grade Center fields that are auto-summed from tests. Instructors can adjust the total points possible while maintaining the integrity of the test.
  • Grading Schemas – an enhancement to allow for schema percentages to be greater than 100%
  • My Grades for students – students can change the order in which grades are displayed.

To learn more see: Grade Center Improvements

Improvements to assessment and communication tool interfaces

  • Simpler easier interface for marking blogs and wikis
  • Instructions is now above the content for quick reference.
  • By default the instructions are minimised in Assignments but expanded in Blogs, Journals, and Wikis.

New test and survey options

New settings called Test Availability Exceptions have been added to the Test/Survey Options page, available after the test or survey is added to a content area. The new settings allow you to select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings.

You can use exceptions to accommodate differing student needs. You can change these settings at any time, even after the test has been attempted by some students.

To learn more see: Test and Survey Options

Tests now contain access logs which enable you confirm whether a student began a test or ran into problems during a test. The log provides detailed information on student test attempt interactions.

To learn more see: Test Access Log

Student and staff profiles

Staff and students can upload a photo of themselves and attach a short biography to their profile. The creation of profiles is voluntary, the user has full control over who can see their profile.

To learn more see: Profiles

Improved student view

The 'Go To Student View' function now shows an accurate student view. You will see your UoS website exactly as your students do and you'll be able to test your quiz, assignments etc.

To learn more see: Student view tool

Improved lecture recording booking form

The Echo360 lecture booking form has been updated, you can now view and edit any past bookings you have made. New UoS websites made in the LMS will be available in the booking form within 30 minutes of the website being created.

To learn more see: Stream recorded lectures