News & Updates

News & Updates

News and Updates from 2023

January

Is Your Course Ready for the Start of Term? 

New staff might be interested in our videos on the MyAberdeen Staff Toolkit.  These have been updated to focus on the Ultra course view and to reflect recent updates. If you are a Course Coordinator, please follow the guidance on how to add additional teaching staff to your course and how to make your course available. Additional teaching staff are usually enrolled with the role of “Lecturer”. The “Course Coordinator” role should only be used by Course Coordinator(s). Our course readiness checklist has been updated to help all teaching staff prepare for start of term.   

Support Available for Improving MyAberdeen User Experience 

Do you need help with ensuring that your course materials are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities or specific learning differences? If so, the eLearning team are offering a new Course Accessibility Service for Course Coordinators, which will provide you with additional resource to enhance the accessibility of learning materials on MyAberdeen - both to improve the student experience and to aid compliance with digital accessibility regulations. More information about the Course Accessibility Service

Upcoming Workshops 

A range of workshops by eLearning are being offered for the start of term, see course booking for further information. 

Pilot of MS Teams integration with MyAberdeen 

We are piloting an integration between MS Teams and MyAberdeen. The integration creates a new Teams area, provides a link from your course area to the Teams environment, enrols your students and allows staff to easily invite users from your course area to a Teams meeting. If you are interested in being involved, please email eLearning@abdn.ac.uk marked for the attention of Gavin Innes.  

Feedback on the Inclusivity and Accessibility in Education Framework 

We are gathering feedback on the Inclusivity and Accessibility in Education Framework and its usefulness in terms of day-to-day practice. We would appreciate if you could fill out our feedback form to share your thoughts and any suggestions you have.  

MyAberdeen Enhancements 

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen.  Further information about the latest update is available online

  • View and edit grades for anonymous submissions prior to posting 
  • Essay Question Model Answer 
  • Non-posted grades included in Grade History 
  • Test Question and Page Randomisation 
  • Progress Tracking: Status and filters for group submissions 
  • Bb Annotate: Create categories inside the content library 
  • Show icons for Turnitin Gradebook and Grades 
  • Discussions – No Activity After Due Date 
  • Improvements to Messages recipient types by course role 
  • Blackboard Collaborate is now known as Class Collaborate, still the same product, just under new ownership. 
  • Mobile View: Expand and Collapse Course Faculty and Details & Actions sections

News and Updates from 2022

December

MyAberdeen Enhancements December

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen.  Further information about the latest update is available online.

  • Improvements for copying content
  • Drag & Drop Improvements when rearranging files
  • Question banks descriptions & search
  • New course links tool
  • Simpler exit actions for student preview
  • New single student progress report
  • Additional information about icons – alerting you to an accommodation or a due date exception

Deletion of Turnitin Papers

If staff need to remove a submission from the Turnitin inbox, there are now two options: to remove from the inbox or request permanent deletion. As a member of staff, you have the option to remove a submission from the inbox which will allow a student to resubmit, for example if a student has simply submitted the wrong draft of their essay.  Their second submission will automatically be filtered out of the similarity report and not be listed as a match, provided it is submitted once more to the same assignment.  Removing from the inbox is quicker and the as deleting permanently from the Turnitin database requires approval from the eLearning team.   Requests for submissions to be permanently would only normally be required where perhaps confidential data has been submitted in error.  More information is available on the Turnitin help pages.

November

MyAberdeen Enhancements in November

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen.  Further information about the latest update is available online.

  • Hotspot question type has been added, with support for keyboard navigation
  • New option to add page breaks to tests
  • Students are now notified if their connection is lost during a test
  • Enhanced overview for an individual student within the Gradebook
  • Weekly Course Activity Report under the Analytics tab
  • Files from the Content Collection can now be added to Ultra Documents
  • The Turnitin/Panopto icon will now be displayed instead of the rocket icon
  • Unread Messages indicator within the messages tab on the base navigation
October

MyAberdeen Enhancements in October

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen.  Further information about the latest update is available online.

  • Improved access to Student Grades Overview
  • Student Progress report for course content
  • Formulas added in content editors using the maths editor or by typing LaTeX equations accessible with screen readers are accessible with screen readers.
  • Improvements to Blackboard App Settings
September

MyAberdeen Enhancements in September

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen.  Further information about the latest update is available online.  

  • Rubric Copy Between Courses - Staff can now copy rubrics between courses from the Copy Content menu option.
  • Question Bank Sorting Controls - Staff can now sort questions within Question Banks.
  • Reply to Discussions When Grading - Staff can now reply to discussions when grading student participation.
  • Grade History - The grade history for students now includes a log of changes to non-posted grades.
  • Summary List of Inline Assignment Comments -  In an assignment, users can now see a list summarising all the inline comments in a side panel.
  • Test Timer Notifications - Students will now be reminded of the time remaining in online tests.
  • New Ally Alternative Format - Students can now choose to access learning materials online in a new alternative format called “Microsoft Immersive Reader”

 New Mobile App for MyAberdeen

The Blackboard mobile app for MyAberdeen has been updated, giving it additional functionality.  You can now do everything on the mobile app, just as you would on the desktop web version.  You can manage push notifications within the app settings or the Activity Stream on MyAberdeen.  Existing staff users should remove the old Instructor app. The app is available for Apple iOS via the App Store and Android devices via Google Play Store.

August

MyAberdeen Enhancements in August 2022

There have a been a large number of enhancements to MyAberdeen over the last few weeks, in particular with significant improvements to tests. The following are the main updates for August:

  • New mobile app
  • Import and export of groups
  • Messages can now be sent before course is available
  • Student Preview user can be deleted
  • LaTeX can be rendered in Ultra
  • Question banks can be created and edited

Further information about the latest update is available online.

July

MyAberdeen Enhancements in July 2022

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen. Further information about the latest update is available online.

Ultra Course View

  • Updated Panel for Messages - Messages can now be authored and read on a larger panel for improved user experience.
  • “LTI item” now renamed to “Tools (Panopto) - Previously, when inserting a Panopto video to an Ultra Document, users would select Insert “LTI item” to select a video. This has been renamed to “Tools Panopto”.
  • Copy Question Banks - Staff can now copy question banks from the Original course view to the Ultra course view.
  • Prohibit Backtracking in Tests - When using the option “One question at a time”, staff can now also select to prohibit backtracking within a test.
  • Grade History Download - Staff can now download a record of the changes made to grades from the Gradebook as an Excel file or comma separated values file (CSV).
  • Edit Test Question Points - Staff can now change (override) the points a student earns on an assessment question.
  • Test Question Filtering Improvements - Students can now more easily filter test questions, for example to show unanswered questions.
  • Categories for Graded Discussions and Journals - Staff can now assign a category that does not match the assessment tool used.
  • Multiple Choice Question Improvement - To enhance the user experience, the text “Choose at least one correct answer” has now been removed from tests.
  • Inline Rendering of files in Course Content, Folders, and Learning Modules - Documents and images can now render inline in Course Content, folders, and learning modules - that is, displayed within the browser but out with an Ultra document.
  • Improvements to Rendering of Equations - Mathematical equations are now rendered in course areas using scalable vector graphics (SVG) format.
  • Points Overall Grade Calculation Option - It is now possible to calculate the overall grade by total points, rather than being weighted by percentage. We recommend continuing to use the weighting percentages.
  • Blackboard Collaborate – Breakout Groups and Polls now available when using the AWS Chime option, Breakout Groups can now be paused and resumed, anonymised mentions in recordings also includes @ tags, option to reduce background noise now available.

Panopto Enhancements

Home Page

  • New look and feel – repositioned Create button on our Panopto web site to be more prominent, and centralised search bar for enhanced usability.  The option to download the Panopto recording application can now be found in the Create menu.

Creation

  • Faster post-edit video processing – creators can now publish in seconds after editing a video.
  • Smart chapters - automatically indexes videos with a table of contents for easier navigation.  More about Smart Chapters on Panopto support pages.

Captioning

  • Improved automatic captions - an update to the automated speech-to-text engine has improved ASR caption quality.
  • Find and replace - quickly find and replace all instances of an incorrectly transcribed word.  Panopto will now also highlight words in captions generated with low confidence (see screenshot).

Image showing how Panopto highlights words in captions generated with low confidence. Words in a portion of captions text shown as underscored with dotted line

  • New keyboard shortcuts - keyboard shortcuts have been added for common actions used during caption editing, including pausing and resuming video playback, at the current caption’s time-point.
  • Caption end time - when editing a caption, you can now specify an end time.
  • Site level dictionary – the eLearning team can now add a list of common specialised words or proper nouns to the Panopto dictionary at site level to improve the accuracy of automatic captions.  If you would like words added to the list, please email these to elearning@abdn.ac.uk

Other

  • RSS Feeds - Panopto will be deprecating the use of RSS feeds in Panopto for increased security.
June

MyAberdeen Enhancements in June 2022

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen. Further information about the latest update is available online.

Original and Ultra Course View

  • Blackboard Collaborate - A new option to use Collaborate on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Chime technology is available within the session settings.
     

Ultra Course View

  • Embedded Documents - Common file types can now be embedded in an Ultra document or assessment, as well as having the option to download.
  • Blackboard Ally - Staff can now use Ally to check the accessibility of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content in Ultra documents, for example when editing text and images.
  • Multiple Attempts in Group Assessments - The option to allow multiple attempts to group assessments is now available to staff.
  • Journals – now allows unlimited entries, improved navigation, improved pagination and a count of graded journals for staff.
April/May

MyAberdeen Enhancements in April / May 2022

Please find below some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen. April’s update was large but also delayed and so this MyAberdeen Enhancements communication is larger than normal and includes some additional functionality for Ultra tests that some staff have been eagerly awaiting. You may also have noticed the new “in-product updates” pop-up within MyAberdeen itself. Further information about the latest update is available online.

Original

  • Text tips for images

Ultra and Original

  • Session Time Out Warning
  • In-Product Updates and User Engagement Surveys
  • Course Activity Related to Grades Report
  • Undo and Redo in Bb Annotate (available later this month)

Collaborate

  • Live data insights

Ultra

  • One Question at a Time
  • Prevent Grades from Auto-Posting
  • Calculated Numeric Question Type
  • Download Results
  • Functionality for Students in Tests
  • Staff Access to Submission Receipts
  • Student Feedback Display Controls
  • Weighted Overall Grade Calculation
  • Unlimited Journal entries
  • Displaying Code Snippets
  • Usernames Visible to Staff
  • Granular Content Copy
  • Mobile App Improvements
March

MyAberdeen Enhancements in March 2022

Below are details of some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen. Further details about the latest update are available in our guide.

Updates Applied 3rd March

Ultra: New Peak Panel When Creating Learning Modules

When staff create a learning module in Ultra, all settings now appear in a peek panel (layer on right hand side). From the peek panel staff can:

  • Name the learning module
  • Set the visibility of the learning module for students
  • Add an optional description
  • Apply forced sequence to the content in the module. Note this option is no longer available on the Release Conditions panel

Ultra: Learning Modules Forced Sequence

Staff can now add more content to a learning module when the forced sequence option has been applied. If staff add or change content, a warning is displayed: "Additions and changes in content can make students who already started the module follow a different order."

Ultra: Sticky Header in Tests

Tests now have a header to improve the user experience. The header is sticky, meaning that it is always visible as a student navigates the test. This header also appears in assignments that include questions. Please note, the header does not appear when the test is viewed on a small window or mobile device. The new header displays the following helpful information:

  • A progress bar
  • Time remaining if the instructor has set a time limit
  • The number of answered questions out of the total questions in the test or assignment
February

MyAberdeen Enhancements

Below are details of some notable enhancements to MyAberdeen. Further details about the latest update are available in our guide.

Updates Applied 10th February

Original: Force Completion changes to better support Multiple Attempt Tests

The Force Completion option now requires a time limit and automatic submission. This change enforces the submission of incomplete or abandoned attempts.

Original and Ultra: Incorrect submission date on assignment submission receipt

The assignment submission receipt previously included the timestamp when the student started the attempt. The timestamp now shows the time/date the student submitted the attempt.

Ultra: Prohibit late submissions

Select this setting in assessments to enforce a hard deadline and disallow a late submission. In-progress and saved attempts will auto-submit at the due date. Note that selecting "Prohibit late submissions" auto-enables "Prohibit new attempts after due date" (see following update). Students with accommodations can continue working past the due date. This feature does not work with Peer Review or Group submissions. 

Ultra: Prohibit new attempts after due date

Select this setting to prevent students from beginning a new attempt after the due date. Staff can enable the "Prohibit new attempts after due date" option on its own. This supports a scenario when students should have the full amount of time available on a timed test. A student can resume any attempt saved before the due date passes. This supports a scenario where the student experiences a disruption during the assessment. Students who submit an attempt after the due date will have their submission marked as late. This feature does not work with Peer Review.

Ultra: Pronunciation display and recording

Users can now add text guidance and an audio recording of their name to their user profile. Users can use the text guidance to describe the pronunciation of their names for other users or they can record the pronunciation of their name. Text guidance and audio recordings appear with pronouns next to their name in course areas. This feature does not work in the Safari web browser.

January

eLearning Team Updates

This month we welcome Paulina Martinkova to the eLearning team, who joins our two year Graduate Trainee programme. 

January also sees the launch of our new Course Accessibility Service which is aimed at raising awareness of accessibility issues and supporting staff to fix issues with course documents. The service, carried out by our eLearning Support Assistants, is currently being piloted with a small number of courses in the Ultra view.

MyAberdeen Enhancements

This month sees the switch-on of the pronouns feature within MyAberdeen. Users can now specify their pronouns on the profile pages to appear next to their name in discussions and messages. Currently, the pronouns only appear in the Ultra course view with functionality for the Original course view expected in the future.