Digital Learning Update 2020/21
Blackboard (MOLE) renamed Blackboard
There is no requirement to update links to old MOLE help web pages immediately. Any existing links to will redirect users to the new website location. However colleagues are encouraged to update departmental handbooks and web pages when convenient, removing references to MOLE.
Setting up your Blackboard courses for the new academic year
It is important for staff to check their Blackboard courses are ready for the start of teaching. Staff need to carry out the following processes to ensure their courses are ready for students:
- Check you can access your 2020/21 course in Blackboard's Courses menu
- Check staff enrolments - only Module Lead Instructors and Module Administrators are enrolled automatically
- Check your teaching material is ready - content is not automatically copied forward from the previous academic year
- Make your course available to students
Training Sessions and Support
The Digital Learning Team are offering a number of training sessions throughout September and October covering the following topics:
- Using Blackboard for online course delivery
- Virtual classrooms with Blackboard Collaborate
- Creating video content for learning and teaching
- Introduction to digital accessibility and digital resources
- Blackboard Tests for formative assessment
Digital Learning Advice Slots are available on a one-to-one basis, Monday to Friday, to discuss the use of digital technology in learning and teaching, tailored to your specific needs and requirements.
Also the Digital Learning Helpdesk is staffed Monday to Friday, 8am - 5pm, for queries relating to using digital learning tools. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blackboard Collaborate Test Room
New and returning students can access a Blackboard Collaborate test room to check their connection. During the time slots below, support will be available within the test room to help students test their connection, and troubleshoot any issues with their microphone or webcam.
Tuesday 22 September 2020, 3-4pm
Thursday 24 September 2020, 3-4pm
Friday 25 September 2020, 3-4pm
Monday 28 September 2020, 3-4pm
Wednesday 30 September 2020, 3-4pm
Please note, all times listed are BST.
We have launched new software, called Eesysoft, which will add useful contextual help as users navigate through Blackboard. You'll begin to see pop up help messages like the one above, and this will be expanded over the coming weeks.
Programme Course Requests
Programme level courses can be used to contain information that is common to a number of modules, allowing staff to have a broader view of a programme. These courses complement the normal module view and work towards the institutional directive towards programme level approach.
If you require a Blackboard course for your programme, this is available on request. Students at all levels in a programme will be automatically enrolled on to the course.
To find out more about programme level courses, click the link below.
It is important to make sure your course content accessible, and that you are aware of recent changes to legislation regarding public sector web content.
Full guidance on creating accessible learning and teaching materials, including how to use the Blackboard Ally accessibility tool, can be found here:
Library Resource Lists and Subject Guides
From your Blackboard courses you can link to Library resource lists and subject guides, to ensure students can find all their reading materials in one place, and explore other useful resources to support their studies.
Elevate Learning and Teaching Essentials: Digital Learning
Elevate provides an essentials resource covering key aspects of learning and teaching practice at The University of Sheffield. This resource is strongly recommended to colleagues new to teaching or the University, and also provides a useful refresher for existing teaching staff.
The digital learning essentials guide introduces the core tools supported by the University, covering Blackboard, electronic assessment and feedback, and interactive classrooms.