Blackboard is the University’s Virtual Learning Environment providing you with access to your learning materials, resources and services to support your studies.

Blackboard has recently undergone an upgrade, providing a more accessible, responsive and intuitive environment.  You will still have access to your previous years' 'Original' Blackboard sites, however, all Blackboard sites from September 2022 will be in a new 'Ultra' format.

Find out what is new and what is different with Blackboard Ultra

Every course provides core learning information through dedicated blackboard sites for each module.

Institution Page
When first logging in to Blackboard you will arrive on the Institution Page of Base Navigation. Here you will find links to important information, support and guidance as well as direct links to our other tools e.g. PebblePad, Padlet, Mentimeter as well as Student Webpages.

Courses and Modules
Selecting the Courses and Modules link from the left-hand Base Navigation menu, will display the list of courses and modules on which you are enrolled. Click on the name to open and view the site.

Profile Page
Selecting your name from the left hand menu on Base Navigation will open your profile page. Please take a moment to hover and select the pencil icon that appears next to certain fields, such as; your profile image, pronunciations, pronouns and notifications.

Activity Stream
The Activity Stream offers a consolidation of all the most important information and activities across all courses and modules you are enrolled on, see what's new, what is due and what needs attention.

This link will display a summary for each module course site with what has been marked or what is due to be submitted.

For further guidance and support using Blackboard please visit our online guides for Blackboard Ultra or Blackboard Original.

Blackboard Collaborate is the virtual classroom platform through which students will attend live, interactive tutorials and seminars. It also provides students the opportunity to meet in real-time for group discussion and collaboration.

How can I access it?

Blackboard Collaborate is available through your Blackboard site, with a unique virtual classroom available for each session that is taught digitally. As with all University web services, we recommend students use Google Chrome as their standard web browser on PC, Mac or Android to get the best experience in Blackboard Collaborate. For iOS/iPadOS users we would recommend using Safari.

How can I use it?

Information on how to use Blackboard Collaborate can be found on the Collaborate Overview pages, with guides available on how to get started and how to use the platform.

How do I set up my own Collaborate classroom space?

Dedicated Collaborate rooms for group work can be requested from academic staff on your module.

The University uses Turnitin for electronic submission (e-submission) of work.

This online service also allows you to upload draft versions of your assessments prior to final submission, and is designed to help you and your tutors check your work for originality and help guard against plagiarism.

How can I access it?

Turnitin is accessed through your Blackboard.

Where possible the consistent University-wide Turnitin setup requires that:

  1. All Turnitin Assignments must be created within module Blackboard site(s) in a central Assessments area.
  2. There must be at least two draft Turnitin Assignments per module for students to use.
  3. There must be a separate folder for final submissions for each assessment using Turnitin, within which there must be separate submission points for final (on-time) and after deadline submissions.
  4. There must be a separate folder for reassessment, within which there are sub-folders for each assessment, again each containing separate submission points for final (on-time) and after deadline submissions. This should appear beneath the initial assessment folders when and if required.

How to Submit to Turnitin

  1. From within your Blackboard site, select the Assessments folder and locate the correct Turnitin Assignment.

  2. Select the Title of the assignment

  3. From the right-hand panel that opens check that the Due Date has not passed, then select the Launch link.

  4. From the Assignment Dashboard screen, select Upload Submission.

  5. Either drag and drop your submission on the Submit File area or click to navigate to the location from which you wish to upload your file from.

    Although you cannot upload directly from OneDrive for Business, you can download to your desktop and then upload to Turnitin.

  6. enter a Submission Title.

  7. Once the correct file has been selected, click on Upload and Review.

  8. Wait for the preview thumbnail image and details of your upload to be displayed. Check that it is the correct paper that you wish to upload, all pages have uploaded and that any formatting looks correct.

  9. Select Submit to Turnitin.

  10. Wait for the green tick to appear, your screen will return to the Assignment Dashboard where a green Submission uploaded successfully Download Digital Receipt banner appears at the top of your screen.

  11. Click on the Download Digital Receipt link to download and save your digital receipt.

Similarity Reports

Your Similarity Report will be available to view:

  • Draft Shortly after first submission; 24 hrs after each subsequent submission
  • Final (on time) Shortly after the deadline (Turnitin Due Date and time)
  • Final (after deadline) Shortly after submission

A few points to note:

  • Submission to Turnitin must be in a single file, therefore your front cover sheet, assignment and bibliography/appendix must be combined into a single file.
  • The file must be less than 100MB
  • Files must have at least 20 words of text.
  • The maximum paper length is 800 pages
  • It is best practice to upload your file in PDF or Microsoft Word format
  • Other file types allowed: Excel. PowerPoint, HTML, RTF, WordPerfect, PostScript, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs and plain text.
  • You cannot upload a file directly from OneDrive for Business to Turnitin.

PebblePad is the University’s e-Portfolio tool. It is a personal and private tool that can be used to support learning and professional development.

You can keep a blog or diary within PebblePad; store resources and files and you can create and publish a website showing people examples of your work and development.

Some academic courses may require you to use PebblePad in a specific way, but all students can use it individually to support their learning and development.

How can I access it?

To access PebblePad, click on the PebblePad link located near the bottom of the Institution Page of Blackboard Base Navigation, under the Additional Technology and IT Services group.

On first opening, you will be presented with some introductory videos. Please watch these before closing the window.

From the PebblePad Home page select the Learning Centre for guidance on how to use PebblePad or select Get creative to start building your e-portfolio.

It is also possible to convert your PebblePad account to a personal account so that your resources are still available to you even after you have left University. Personal accounts created in this way are free of charge.


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