Have a look at the eLearning news for the month of September. This includes information about updates to MyAberdeen, six tips to help you through the start of the academic year and the accessibility tip of the month.

MyAberdeen Updates

Below you can find a list of some of the updates applied to MyAberdeen since the August release:

Collaborate

  • You can now create Collaborate sessions in Ultra courses before you open the course to students. This allows you to pre-schedule sessions in your course at any time
  • Attendees can now get a browser pop-up notification when someone joins or leaves a session 

Original Course View

  • If you delete a course folder that contains graded items with no attempts, then the corresponding columns are also deleted from the Grade Centre

Ultra Course View

  • Needs grading: In order to help the grading process in Ultra Course View there is now the option to filter by Needs Grading. Within the Gradebook, click on an assignment to see all the submissions made and use the new Filter option to display only the submissions that need grading. This option does not currently appear for graded discussions or group submissions
  • Group self-enrol: group assignments and discussions now have the option to use self-enrol groups

For a comprehensive list of all the updates and fixes applied to MyAberdeen, please visit the Blackboard Learn Ultra page.
For advice and tips on building your course in the Ultra Course View (UCV), please visit the Ultra Central course page on MyAberdeen (currently available only to staff in the five Schools transitioning to UCV this summer).

Known issues

There are some know issues we would like to draw your attention to, and on which Blackboard are currently working on. We will update this once these issues have been fixed, so remember to check back:

  • No major known issues at the moment
Six tips for the start of the new academic year

Can you access your 2019-20 courses? 

Ensure all the courses you are teaching appear in your Courses tab on MyAberdeen. If any of your courses are missing, first check with your School admin officers to see if they can add you to the area. If they are unable to do so or the area does not exist, please contact the eLearning team.  

Remember, you can naviagte your courses by term. The default option will be Current Courses which will show courses listed in the current term.

Is your course open to students? 

Remember to open your course or ‘make it available’ to your students when you are ready for them to access your the area. Also remember to 'make your content visible’ or ‘unhide’ the content if appropriate. Only the Course Coordinator has the relevant permission to open courses. 

Both Original and Ultra courses can be opened from the base navigation menu. Simply go to the Courses tab and click on the ellipses to the right of the course title, then select Open course. 

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Favourite your courses 

Use the ‘favourite’ function on the Base Navigation to make it easier to find the courses you are teaching on MyAberdeen. Simply go to the Courses tab and click on the star icon to the right of the courses you want to mark as a favourite. This will then push these courses to the top of your list and you can click the icon again to deselect the favourite.  

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Collapsing course menu – Original courses 

Please be aware that the left-hand menu in Original course areas is collapsible. If you or your students cannot see the left-hand menu, click the right pointing arrow highlighted in the image below. 

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Using PowerPoint at the lectern

If you wish to view your PowerPoint slide notes in the classroom whilst your students see only the slides, you can use a keyboard shortcut to switch views since the computer sees the monitor and projector as two separate displays. Pressing the “Windows Logo Key + P” on the keyboard allows the lecturer to change the option from Duplicate to Extended Desktop and then start your slide show.  The presenter view with slide notes can now be viewed on the PC monitor by the lecturer whilst the students see the slides as normal on the projector. To switch back to the original view, use Windows Logo Key + P and select Duplicate.  For more keyboard shortcuts, have a look at the Microsoft web site.

Find out about new features and changes 

Remember to come back to our News page every month, where you can check on any new content or functionality added to MyAberdeen as part of the monthly updates. You can also check this page to see if there are any known issues with using MyAberdeen and how to work around these. 

Accessibility Tip of the Month

Structuring your documents using Heading Styles in Microsoft Word and other Office products improves the accessibility of your document. Screen reader users especially rely on the heading structure to navigate Word documents, as demonstrated in this video by Assistive Technology Showcase.  

Using Styles will also make editing the document much easier for you:  

  • It's quicker and easier to apply a Heading Style than change each parameter (e.g font, size, colour) manually each time  
  • Table of contents can be automatically created if you have used Styles to format your document  
  • Changes to fonts, sizes and colours of text can quickly be applied to the whole document by modifying the Styles 
  • Converting a properly formatted Word document to PDF, ensures the PDF also retains the heading structure  

The Styles panel can be accessed from the Home tab.  

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