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Have a look at the eLearning news for the month of November. This includes information about updates to MyAberdeen, a look at the Accessibility tip of the month and an Ultra Course View tip and good practice showcase.

MyAberdeen Updates

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

Ultra Course View 

  • Empty learning modules removed: the empty learning module that appeared on a blank course is now removed. This caused issues with users accidentally creating a learning module when trying to add other content to their courses. 
  • Document description: Ultra Documents now have a Description box which can be populated. Populating this can improve the student experience and prevent any unnecessary clicks. 
  • Assessment settings panel update: The previous Done button in the Assessment settings panel has been replaced by two buttons: Cancel and Save. This should improve the experience of using these settings and makes it clearer as to what will happen when exiting the settings panel. 
  • Error message when deleting: three new error messages have been added to provide more details as to why users cannot delete some items. 

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 that have transitioned to UCV). 

Known issues 

  • When trying to submit to Turnitin, some students are receiving the following error message: Invalid or missing state.  See the Turnitin quick guide for troubleshooting advice. 
  • Some students might receive Overdue notifications for assignments they have already submitted. We are trying to identify why this is happening, so please forward any such student queries to eLearning. 
Accessibility Tip of the Month

How to Create Accessible Tables in Word 

Tables in Word are used to display tabular information. Accessibility issues arise when:  

  • Tables are used for layout, for example, to display text and images in a specific way.   
  • Tables have nested tables, or split and merged cells 

Identify the Header Row 

If you are using a table to display data, you will need to identify the header row. Select the cells of the header row, then right click and select Table Properties. Navigate to Row tab, and tick Repeat as header row at the top of each page and untick Allow row to break across pages. This video by Microsoft also explains the process.  

Identifying the header row will allow the screen reader to read the table correctly. You will not see any visible difference, unless the table spans across more than one page.  

 For more information, check the Writing Accessible Documents guide.  

Ultra Course View - Tips and Good Practice Showcase

Conditional Availability

In order to create a course that is more interactive and customisable to your requirements you can use Conditional Availability. This is something that was broadly done for the online course Discovering Mindfulness (Learning).
On the Course Content page for any item that you create there are 3 options for students’ visibility: Visible to students, Hidden from students or Conditional availability


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For the aforementioned course, which is divided into six modules, students have access to modules 2-6 only if they have achieved a specific mark at the end of each module. Then they can move forward to the next module. 
There are two ways of setting the Conditional Availability for your course, either by Date or by Performance. For Discovering Mindfulness (Learning) this was set only by Performance.
 

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Release content based on Performance

   
If you choose the Performance option, you can release an item or folder depending on the students’ performance. For example, you might want the students to gain a specific mark in a test before they are able to see the next materials in the content area. 
 

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Release content based on Date 


If you choose the Date option, you can release a specific item or folder on an exact date or for a specific period of time.


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Visibility Settings


Finally, when you set up the Conditional Availability you can also manage the Visibility Settings, by making an item either Visible to students or Hidden from their view. 

 

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  • Visible to students: You can show the item to the students before they are able to access it. In this case the students will be able to see either the dates that the item will be available or the information about their access based on their performance. 

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  • Hidden from students: This option hides the item from students’ view in the Course Content area and they can access it only when the Performance or the Date requirements are achieved.