Collaborate Ultra Workshop

We are delighted to announce that we are hosting a Collaborate Ultra workshop on May 31st.  Registration for the event is available on Eventbrite.


Are you developing or teaching an online or blended course next semester? Would you like to be able to hold live teaching sessions with your students online? Do you need a tool to support collaboration and virtual conferences with students or research colleagues who are not co-located?

Collaborate Ultra is a webconferencing tool that utilises audio and video and provides functionalities such as chat, application sharing, presentation mode and an interactive whiteboard. The platform is intuitive for the user and allows for synchronous online learning, collaboration and communication.

At NUI Galway, Collaborate Ultra is embedded in Blackboard and a meeting room is ready for all instructors and students to use. You can also invite guest users to Collaborate Ultra rooms. Sessions can be recorded and archived for future use.

It’s easy to use and can support up to 250 participants in a session. There is no software to be downloaded, it all just works in your browser.

This workshop will be useful for those who:

  • Wish to explore the varitey of uses for Blackboard Collaborate
  • Are already using Blackboard Collaborate for teaching and learning, but would like to explore its full potential
  • Wish to collaborate remotely with others on research and projects


Gillian Fielding from Blackboard will be on campus to run the workshop on using Blackboard Collaborate for teaching, learning and collaboration. She will focus on use cases, based on her knowledge and experience with clients around the US and Europe. All are welcome.

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Returning Results- full guide

We’re approaching that time of year again – and final module marks are due to be returned, for undergraduates, by 24th May.

You’ll be pleased to know that we now have a full guide to using the Blackboard Grade Centre for returning marks, which is available from our website:

Returning Results using the Blackboard Grade Centre (opens as PDF)

Other handy resources are:

And if you have a question not answered by these, here’s who to contact:

Who to Contact


Following our experience last year, when Online Results Entry (ORE) via Blackboard was introduced, and given the different practices that exist within individual Schools and Disciplines, training on Returning Student Results in the Grade Centre is best provided at a School/Discipline level.

If your School/Discipline would like to schedule a hands-on workshop, we’d be happy to work with you. Just send a request, indicating potential dates and likely participant numbers, to blackboard @

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Returning Results Using the Blackboard Grade Centre – Our New User Guide

In our new and extensive Blackboard Grade Centre guide, you will find all of the information necessary to return results.  Some of the topics included are:

  • Parts of the Grade Centre
  • Visibility of marks to students
  • Managing and organising the Grade Centre
  • Returning marks
  • Using Excel with the Grade Centre
  • FAQs and contact information

Please download the guide from our website:

Returning Results Using the Blackboard Grade Centre v. 1.0



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Irish Blackboard User Group – Regional Workshop

The Blackboard Customer Success team are coming to UCD on Thursday 9th February to provide a free workshop –  “Enhanced Assessment and Feedback”. This hands on workshop will provide you and your peers with an opportunity to review, analyse and prioritise key institutional assessment and feedback related challenges and opportunities. We will then identify relevant Blackboard solutions and share with you use cases and best practice examples to inspire you use these to best effect.

The workshop is free for Blackboard customers.  Bring as many colleagues as you like. Places are limited and are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. To book your place, sign up on the Eventbrite page.

Workshop Content:

Assessment and feedback – an institutional perspective

  • Examination of key drivers and challenges
  • (Reputations, quality of process, quality of data, legal, business efficiencies, risk etc.)
  • Placing use cases on a confidence/effectiveness model
  • Highlight relevant Blackboard solutions

Assessment and feedback – innovation and organizational change

  • Identifications for drivers for change
  • Gap analysis of practice and stakeholder experiences
  • Prioritisation of opportunities for change
  • Highlight relevant Blackboard solutions

Target audience:

Academic staff, eLearning staff, TEL Champions, staff engaged in quality assurance and curriculum enhancement, Learning Technologists, academic staff developers, etc.


Alan Masson, Head of International Customer Success, Blackboard

Gillian Fielding, Customer Success Advocate, Blackboard


B154A SCW – O’Brien Centre for Science – West



09:30 coffee, registration and networking

10:00-16:00 prompt

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Irish Blackboard User Group – Academic Adoption Day

We have some exciting news for you. We are hosting a day-long workshop for all Blackboard users in Ireland.

The Blackboard Academic Adoption day will cover key hot topics relevant to Blackboard Champions, academic developers, instructional designers, academics and others involved in the championing the use of Blackboard across your organisation. This day will give you an opportunity to meet your peers and discuss with Blackboard experts how to effectively promote and support the educational adoption of Blackboard. The session will address the following key themes of educational Blackboard adoption:

  • Institutional opportunities and barriers to enhancing the effectiveness and impact of your Blackboard adoption;
  • Enabling best practices to achieve efficiency and time effectiveness for academics (and learners);
  • What are the key skills, knowledge and resources necessary to be an effective institutional Blackboard / educational technology champion?
  • Relevant examples of best practices


Dr. Alan Masson, Head of International Customer Success, Blackboard

Gillian Fielding, Customer Success Advocate, Blackboard

For information, and to sign up for the event, register on our eventbrite page.

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Known Issue: Student Preview with Turnitin submission causes error

We’ve recently become aware that the Blackboard student preview feature – which is very useful for what students can/can’t see in your Blackboard course – no longer works with Turnitin assignment submission links.

If you create a Turnitin assignment and then switch to Student Preview to try out the link for yourself, then clicking on the View/Complete link will produce an error message looking something like this:


We have contacted Turnitin, who responded:

The Blackboard Basic plugin does not support Student Preview Mode for instructors. Since version 2.6.1, this functionality has been blocked due to it previously causing issues with student limits and mapping records, resulting in some assignments becoming unusable.

Please be reassured that this error only occurs when viewing a Turnitin assignment using the Student Preview mode. Your students will not see this error. They will be able to submit their work as normal.


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Announcing the 4th Annual Blackboard Festival #BbFest16

Image of Galway Arts Festival

Galway Arts Festival*

We’ve enjoyed the Galway Arts Festival, including the mud at the Big Top. We’ve seen the style at the Galway Races. So what’s the next big event in your calendar?

As the new academic year approaches, we’ve been planning the schedule for the 4th annual Blackboard Festival, and we hope you’ll join us.

Scheduled to take place just before the start of teaching, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to learn something new about Blackboard to use in your courses this year.

We aim to cater for all staff who use Blackboard, no matter what your level of experience. So, whether you are completely new to Blackboard, a regular who would like to know a little more, or an expert, we are confident that you’ll find something of interest in our programme.

Three Days of Workshops and Demos

The festival will take place over three days at the end of August. Starting on Friday 26th August, we have a day aimed mainly at new or less experienced users. The festival will continue on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th, with workshops suitable for those who already have a little Blackboard experience.

Highlights include: a new Attendance Tracking tool from Qwickly, exploring the use of Badges in your course; and a new version of Collaborate, making it easier to create and join online classroom sessions.

The at-a-glance programme can be found below. You’ll find more details and a chance to sign-up to one, two or more workshops at our online booking form.

Festival Programme

Blackboard Festival 2016 – schedule at a glance



* flickr photo by catherinecronin shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

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