Blackboard packages for summer exams

Following a review of feedback from Schools on the January assessment period, the Exams Office and Digital Education Office will be implementing improvements for summer exams to provide greater consistency and clarity for students. For exams in which students are required to submit files in Blackboard a standard package will be imported into the relevant Blackboard courses. This will include instructions, Blackboard submission points, and Grade Centre configuration, and will show students personalised start, finish and 'submit by' times, any Alternative Exam Arrangements they may have.

As set out in the Education and Student Cycle, exam papers should be submitted to the Exams Office by 30th April.

We recommend schools choose PDF as the standard single file format for student submissions, unless there is a particular requirement for a different format. Information on the file format required should be included in the exam paper.

The Exams Office and DEO will be in contact with the relevant Schools regarding setup and import of the Blackboard package.

Information for School administration teams

Please note: this information only relates to exams in which students are required to upload files, not MCQ type exams.

  1. The standard package will be imported into the 'Assessment, submission and feedback' (ASF) area and Grade Centre of the relevant courses. It will include student instructions, Blackboard submission points, and Grade Centre configuration, and will show students' personalised start, finish and 'submit by' times, taking into account any Alternative Exam Arrangements
  2. Use of the exams package in Blackboard requires the submission type in eVision to be set as Bb Other. This will be changed centrally in eVision, and any submission points, tests or Grade Centre columns previously created in Blackboard by the integration will be removed. For this reason, administrators in Schools should not
    • change submission type for exams in eVision
    • edit any columns or submission points that have already been sent to Blackboard
    • send any new exams to Blackboard
  3. Support and training will be available from the DEO on how to configure Blackboard for marking, including set up of marker groups
  4. 'Marks from submissions will need to be mapped onto Bb Other columns in Blackboard before marks are extracted to eVision. Guidance for School administrators will be available.
  5. The package is only available for Blackboard submission points (not Turnitin), and uses the B1 workflow. Blackboard has advantages over Turnitin in this context: significantly higher file size limit and allows submission of more than one file per assignment. Work can still be bulk uploaded to Turnitin after submission for similarity checking.

Information for markers

  1. The marking workflow used with this package is workflow B1. This supports anonymous marking either by a single marker or distributed between more than one marker, and allows production of virtual exam attendance lists. (Workflow B3 is also supported, but not recommended.)
  2. Use of workflow B1 addresses an issue whereby some images did not display correctly in assignments submitted in Word format when these were viewed within Blackboard. Staff will be able to bulk download work to mark offline, for example annotating a PDF file or completing a Word feedback form, and bulk upload marks and feedback.
  3. The DEO will be offering training for staff on use of this workflow and support materials will also be available. Further information will be provided after the Easter break.

If you have any questions about the package or marking workflows, please contact the Digital Education Office.

For questions regarding exams in general, including exam papers, please contact the Exams Office.