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ANZ Blackboard Users Group

9 Posts authored by: scolly

UQ Update May 2019

Posted by scolly May 15, 2019
  • Preparing for Bb Upgrade July 6/7/8 2019 to 2018 Q4 CU6
  • Our Bb is still on-prem while we wait for outcome of a VLE review. Going to market this year. Hope to go cloud at that point. Aiming to decide on system by EOY and then spend 2020 building integrations and preparing for first migrates.
  • Piloting H5P during S2 for Blackboard, Open edX, and Drupal.
  • Big push on grades security – trying to get people to use gradecenter instead of spreadsheets. Held up by a common need for hurdles that Bb does not do.
  • Running an RFO for an eAssessment (eExam) solution, and working on a mandatory BYOD policy. 
  • Testing Adaptive Learning - Proof of Concept - Cerego
  • Deploying Active Learning: Echo ALP in S2. Providing training. Piloteers, Video interviews etc.
  • Procuring an Open edX environment so we can expand use of edX content into more courses. Doing this at a rate of 20 courses per year. Focusing on largest courses. Have more than 3,600 courses. Collaborating with Tsinghua University in Beijing to build a shareable edX courses. China gov has plan for unis to start using C9 generated content.
  • Deploying Echo Lecture recording Auto-Transcriptions just for courses with students that need it.
  • Promoting Academic Integrity training.
  • Deployed Padlet site licence
  • Ongoing deployments of ePortfolios into new programs. 24 programs currently.
  • Piloted Eesysoft and writing business case.
  • May revisit bus case for TII Authorship Investigation tool at end of 2019. Big push on academic integrity on many fronts.
  • Trialed Kaltura RAPT. Probably not suitable for average academic but good for building high quality program materials.. esp if content shared

UQ Update March 2019

Posted by scolly Mar 20, 2019
  • Preparing for Bb Upgrade July 2019. Took a while to get the dates.
  • We are still on prem while we wait for outcome of VLE review but hope to go cloud.
  • Big push on Grades Security – trying to get people to use gradecenter instead of spreadsheets. Held up by a common need for hurdles
  • Testing Scenario Based Learning test - RAPT
  • Testing Adaptive Learning - Proof of Concept - Cerego
  • Testing Active Learning: Echo ALP Deployment- Ailsa
  • As mentioned – running a VLE Review - Due for RFT complete by Jule 2019
  • Starting to include edX content in our Bb courses – and supporting that. At rates of 20 / year
  • Bespoke Edge tool support (Ailsa)
  • Running an RFT for an eAssessment (eExam) system
  • Deploying Echo Lecture recording Auto-Transcriptions
  • Promoting Academic Integrity training
  • Running a project to develop a BYOD policy and equity support program
  • Ongoing deployments of ePortfolios

UQ Update Jan 2019

Posted by scolly Jan 16, 2019

In 2019 we are working on the following projects:

  • In July an upgrade to April 2019 release: Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019
  • Deploying Echo ALP - initially focusing on it being an option for Turningpoint Responseware
  • We expect to progress with a BYOD device policy
  • Our EOI and RFT for e-assessment systems will continue
  • We are conducting a Virtual Learning Environment review to see if there might be better options for LMS and associated suite of systems. The review is expected to be done by June.
  • Meanwhile more mods to our on-prem Bb: a bulk file upload tool to allow annotation of assessment material using alternate tools; a Bb to student system grades transfer tool; maybe a grades hurdle tool.
  • Have been piloting Eesysoft - leading to a business case
  • Building more exemplar courses - partly using edX (connected to Bb)
  • Hopefully will have a new corporate training LMS as part of the new HR system - and offload them from Bb which does not seem to cope with the numbers (100K+)
  • More Chalk and Wire ePortfolio deployments
  • Have decommissioned Adobe Connect in favour of Zoom
  • Runnning an adaptive learning tool proof of concept using Cerego
  • Running a scenario based learning proof of concept using Kaltura RAPT.
  • Runing a micro credential project
  • Building an Analytics dashboard for coordinators
  • Student placements project
  • Promoting: best practice online course design standards to increase consistency across courses: grades management security; pre-recorded lectures; high value classroom experiences;







UQ Update April 2018

Posted by scolly Apr 18, 2018

Projects on...

  • e-assessment to find an e-exam system and establish a BYOD program
  • Likely to change from Adobe to Zoom
  • bus case for Padlet site licence
  • Rolling out Best Practice Course Design Guidelines
  • Bb upgrade in July (on prem)
  • LMS options review during 2018 - EOI
  • Looking at Eesysoft Analytics
  • lots more
  • Rebuilding 30 large courses / year to have dream features - possibly using SPOCS

We've just ran a JISC survey on student  technology and prelim results from 5K+ students ion Bb is


Simon Collyer



UQ March 2018 Update

Posted by scolly Mar 14, 2018

On this year: LMS review; Lecture cap review; implementing new course design standards; bedding-in Echo cloud; still on-prem Bb (q4-2016); doing e-exams EOI; Looking at a BYOD policy (does anyone have one?); moving our professional development courses off Bb; Continued deployment of Chalk and Wire e-portfolio system; might decommission Adobe and use Zoom for virtual classes; Might get Padlet integration with Bb; Next Bb upgrade July 2018; Interest in Eesysoft.



UQ November Update

Posted by scolly Nov 15, 2017

Deploying best practice course design guidelines across all courses during 2018 to raise the average design standard and help students navigate.

UQ is rebuilding 10 exemplar courses per year for next 3 years, likely to include 1 or 2 SPOCS in each.

Bb upgrade during Xmas break - waiting for bug patch

Working on contract to move Echo to cloud at start of Summer Semester or soon after

Expecting to cancel plans to move Bb to SaaS - and stay on prem at least another year

Collecting feedback on whether can replace Adobe connect virtual classroom for Zoom web conferencing which is now well established.

Deploying Chalk and Wire eportfolio system to another 20 programs (will be 60 total) S1-2018 then opening to all students

Getting increased take-up of ithenticate (now over 700)

Kaltura use for student video assessment still growing rapidly

Auditing grades management practices to see if we can tighten up systems and processes to secure grades

Sad that Office Mix is being discontinued but Kaltura can do embedded quizzes that link to Gradecentre

Pushing for some Bb mods like direct xfer of grades to Si-net; a grading schema with hurdles toool

Deployed mirroring 360 to all teaching spaces - allows staff/students/groups to present work on main screen




UQ Update Sept 21-2017

Posted by scolly Sep 20, 2017

Hi Everyone,

In Nov we start sending all lecture recordings to hosted Echo ALP

At xmas we will have another go at the Bb upgrade

We have a new SaaS environment and will pilot large OHS courses during S1-2018... and then run all courses on SaaS starting Nov 2018

Chalk and Wire eportfolio deployment going well with 9 programs on in S1 and 10 during S2 and 15 planned for S1-2018

Deployed iThenticate to researchers - proving popular

Deployed Mirror360 to all theatres - for screen sharing e.g. Instructor iPad to front while walking around OR student group screen sharing to front

planning to build more SPOCS into courses as part of the active learning push

Piloting IBM Watson in one course

Also piloting future learn in one course


UQ Update Jan 19th - 2017

Posted by scolly Jan 18, 2017

Key UQ eLearning Activities for 2017

  • The Blackboard Upgrade will occur in July 2017 – to Q4-2016 release
  • Echo may be moved to the cloud in November 2017 if we can negotiate a reasonable price.
  • Significant progress will be made preparing to move UQ Bb to SaaS ready for end of 2018.
  • Will finally have Best Practice for Online Course Design guidelines along with a new course template.. and expect resources to deploy this widely.
  • Expect developments on the Student Experience Strategy. The PVC may approve resources to build key elements of the strategy into all courses.
  • The eLearning team will search for and support a supplementary discussion board (as per T&L request).
  • The eLearning team will move from ITS  to Library.
  • Expect expansion of the of the e-exams pilot, and a project to shortlist and select an official central exam system.
  • Expect progress towards a BYOD policy for student smart devices (driven by ITaLI).
  • Decommission 2 of 3 legacy ePortfolio systems – and expanded use of Chalk and Wire.
  • Deployment of iThenticate.
  • Training and communication focus areas next year: Active learning tools; pre-class learning content generation; Online marking; Peer assessment for group work.
  • Expect more of the University’s elearning technology needs will be achieved through Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) integrations.
  • Expect movement towards more sustainable content creation which will involve economies of scale derived from open access material or publisher collaborations.


Anecdote: Student Video Assignments: The figure below shows student video assignment growth from 1 Terabyte to 9 Terabytes over 3 years (2014-2016), to the point that they are a popular accepted and effective form of assessment of communication skills and understanding of material. Kaltura student video assignments achieved 284,517 views during 2016.



Video assessments are an important fit for UQ because:

  • UQ has a focus on identify verified assessment. In this case you can see and hear the student. S
  • It’s a far more efficient way to assess communication skills or clinical skills than class presentations or OSCE’s. It does not take up tute time, and it can be assessed anywhere the coordinator has internet.
  • It fits the UQ student strategy with the focus on group work and in-class active learning
  • It’s a powerful formative tool (students practice and fine tune their scripts over and over), but also an excellent summative tool for assessment.
  • Instructional videos produced by coordinators provide analytics to show which students have viewed the video and when


Anecdote: The eLearning Solutions Service helped 135 Course Coordinators across the University transform the eLearning experience for 27,214 students. The eLearning team presented to 23 full school meetings attended by 713 staff. Through these presentations and through promotion of the video case studies online marking increased from 176K/ year to more than 200,000/ year (figure below).


Simon Collyer

  • Last Blackboard upgrade was in July 2016 - to Q4 2015 release - on premise

  • Next Bb upgrade expected July 2017 then to SaaS in late 2018

  • Expect to migrate to Echo cloud around Nov 2017

  • Implementing new student strategy

  • In 2017 we are likely to deploy iThenticate for thesis and research paper checking.

  • About to release new standards for online course design

  • Deploying Chalk and Wire ePortfolio system

  • The future of the central eLearning systems support team is being considered as part of a restructure proposal for IT Services at UQ

  • Increased concern about ‘ghost writing’ by students

  • Increased concern about security of grades management

  • Ongoing growth in online marking using TII FeedbackStudio. The figure below compares Semester 1 data over the years

  • eLearning technology focus areas for 2017 will include: active learning class engagement tools; pre-class learning material esp video (Mix with Quizz, Echo, Kaltura with Quizz etc); online marking; peer assessment for group work