Blackboard upgrade - summer 2012

The 2012 summer upgrade to Blackboard version sp8 has been completed successfully.  We hope you find the new look an improvement. Enhancements support the University's Technology enhanced learning (TEL) strategy and respond to staff and student requests in a number of areas. They include:

Increasing convenience

  1. Quicker navigation between courses, and  "task based navigation” e.g. from Grade Centre in one course directly to the Grade Centre in another
  2. Improved course rollover. Easy access to previous years' courses , so staff do not need to archive courses, and students and staff have access where this is appropriate
  3. Quicker and easier editing of content through “BB Drive”, which allows you to open and save files in Blackboard as if they were on a network drive

Enhancing the learning environment

  1. Cleaner, more contemporary and less cluttered look and feel: rollover editing, meaning editing icons only appear when you move your mouse over them
  2. Course “structures”: templates which can be quickly and easily applied to courses. These contain course areas, optional sample content, pedagogical information, and instructions to help you design your course
  3. Improved wikis, blogs and podcasts through the new Campus Pack 4 service
  4. Easy to apply themes to make courses more visually engaging: these add a background image and change the colour of the interface, and can be changed

Supporting active, collaborative and participatory learning

  1. Personal learning spaces, which students can own and manage for  personal or group activities - Personal Learning Spaces will be released on Friday 17th August.
  2. Integration with Google apps through “Bboogle”, which allows embedding of Google content e.g. documents in Blackboard
  3. Easy recording and creation of podcasts directly through the Blackboard interface
Summary of key features and differences in Blackboard version sp8

Roadshows and drop-in sessions

The Technology enhanced learning (TEL) team are once again offering roadshows and drop-in sessions to update colleagues on the changes and enhancements in the new version of Blackboard. The sessions last approximately one hour and will include demonstrations and the chance for staff to ask questions. 


Choose your own preferred time and venue and we will come along to run a session for your team, Department, School or Faculty. If you would like to request a roadshow, or if you have any  questions or concerns please contact


These informal sessions take place once a week in 8-10 Berkeley Square. No need to book, just turn up. Feel free to bring your lunch.

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