New Teaching with Technology website

Teaching with TechnologyToday we are proud to launch our new Teaching with Technology site, aimed at staff at NUI Galway who need some information, support or resources to help them make better use of technology in their teaching.

This replaces our old Blackboard support site, and includes information about a wider range of technologies offered at an institutional level via CELT (AV technologies, Blackboard, Turnitin), or popular technologies in the cloud (such as twitter, facebook or prezi).

We hope you’ll visit and give us your feedback.

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Blackboard Rollover 2015

The annual rollover and creation of new courses will take place this summer in August. It’s a little late this year because of a related infrastructure project. Watch out for further updates on this soon.

Availability of new courses for 2015-16

We aim to create and provide access to 1516 courses on Blackboard by Monday 17th August.

As in previous years, if you are currently an instructor on any 1415 course, you will automatically be given access to the equivalent 1516 course.

Cleardown of courses from 2011-12

All staff and students currently have access to 4 years’ worth of courses on Blackboard. In preparation for the rollover period, all 1112 courses will be cleared from Blackboard.

If you have any content contained (only) within a 1112 course, it is important that you take a copy of this content before Friday 31st July. Individual items can be saved locally, or you may choose to export your course as a package suitable to re-use in another Blackboard course. For assistance, please contact

If you have any student submissions contained within a 1112 course, please ensure that you have saved these locally as they will no longer be accessible on Blackboard after Friday 31st July.

The good news is that this will help to clear up your MyCourses list when you login. For more information on how you can manage this list, see a previous post – Organising your MyCourses list.

Training and Resources

The CELT Learning Technologies team are in the process of revamping our Blackboard resources site and a new, improved site will be launched shortly. In the meantime you can continue to use the existing resources at

We are also currently planning our third Blackboard Festival, a week of training opportunities on various aspects of Blackboard, including drop-in sessions, information sessions and workshops. Details will be announced soon.

You may also be interested to learn that the CELT Learning Technologies team is now on Facebook. Follow us there for updates on our activities and information about upcoming events and workshops. We hope you’ll comment on our activity, ask questions and offer your suggestions.

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Cloud Profiles Deletion Emails

We’ve had a number of enquiries from people who have received an email from Blackboard with the subject Blackboard profile inactivity.

The body of the email reads:

Hi YourName,

You are receiving this email because you have not used your Blackboard profile in almost a year! If you do not access your profile by doing one of the following it will be permanently deleted in 30 days:

  • Log into your school’s Blackboard site and visit your profile.
  • If you no longer have access to your school’s Blackboard site, create a free account on CourseSites and use this email address when setting up your profile. You will be given the option to connect your CourseSites Blackboard profile to this one.

If you do not want your profile to be saved, you can ignore this email. This will only affect your Blackboard Cloud Profile. Any Blackboard accounts at your institution that are still active will not be affected. Please refer to the help page for more information about Blackboard Cloud Profiles.

These emails are not spam, though they might appear that way, and Blackboard has not been hacked. Please don’t panic if you get one of these emails. It just means that you haven’t accessed your social profile on Blackboard within the past year. It does not mean that you are locked out of Blackboard.

You can choose to completely ignore and delete the email, without any affect to your Blackboard account.

If you’d like to access your social profile (just to see what it’s all about), see more about profiles in the short video below, or visit the Blackboard help pages.

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Blackboard Feedback Survey 2015

Survey_WhiteWhy take the survey?

As you end your studies in NUI Galway this year, we hope you will take the time to tell us about your experiences in using technology as part of your learning – both what you liked and what you think could be improved. We will use this information to better understand your experiences, and use it to help inform change.

NUI Galway Students

Take our survey here:

NUI Galway Staff

Take our survey here:

The survey is run by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and you and your answers will remain anonymous at all times.

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Known Issue – Comments on blogs and journals can’t be read

Some users are experiencing an issue when using graded journals and blogs on Blackboard.

When an instructor posts a comment on a student’s post, the student is unable to view the comment. A “loading” message appears, but the comment never loads (see image).

Comments loading

Blackboard has identified this as a “Known Issue”, but there is no target date (as yet) for a fix.

Instructors are advised to use the Feedback area to the right of the journal to give comments to students. This can be read by students.

Alternatively, the issue does not appear when using ungraded blogs or journals. So, if you are creating a new blog or journal, consider using the ungraded version, and create a separate column in the Grade Centre to track grades.

For advice, instructors should contact us by emailing blackboard @

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Grade Centre workshops announced

Exams to grade

creative commons licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by lordsutch:

To assist in returning provisional semester 1 results to students, CELT is offering the following workshops:

Workshop: Returning Provisional Grades to Students in Blackboard

It is possible to return grades to students, in a secure manner, using the Grade Centre on Blackboard. Students will only have access to their own grades; it is not possible for them to see the grades for other students in the class.

This hands-on workshop will bring you through the steps necessary to ensure that you can securely return grades to students.

Tasks that will be included:

  • Setting up the Grade Centre to ensure secure return of grades
  • Creating a new column for provisional grades
  • Releasing results
  • How the student access grades

Depending on the group, we can look at more advanced tasks:

  • Downloading the Grade Centre to work offline (in Excel)
  • Uploading grades from whitesheets [new tool]
  • Returning letter grades instead of percentages
  • Exporting grades from Grade Centre to whitesheets [new tool]

Participants should be comfortable with the basic functionality of Blackboard.


  • Tuesday 20th January 2:30 – 4:30 OR
  • Wednesday 21st January 10:00 – 12:00 OR
  • Tuesday 27th January 2:30 – 4:30 OR
  • Wednesday 28th January 10:00 – 12:00

Numbers in each workshop are limited, so it is essential to reserve your place in advance. To book a place, please complete the form available online. Bookings will be taken on a first come basis, so early registration is recommended.

All workshops take place in AM102, Ground Floor, Arts Millennium Building

Further workshops on using Blackboard to enhance teaching and learning are planned. For an up-to-date listing of our events during the year, visit the CELT website at

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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