Friday, 5 July 2013

LearnUCS Summer Upgrade - Common Tasks

With the LearnUCS Summer Upgrade fast approaching, we have compiled a list of common tasks and new features for lecturers and accompanied that with a video guide of how to complete the task in the new LearnUCS release.  We will be adding to this list over the next few weeks.  If you are a UCS lecturer and you would like access to the test environment to have a play with the new version, please email

New Features

Navigation:  This release of LearnUCS uses a new Dashboard style navigation system.  All notification are made to the dashboard, allowing you to reply to blog post and discussion posts without having to go to each separate module/course areas.   The new Retention Centre also sends notifications to the dashboard as do many tools.

Inline Grading Tool: Probably the biggest new feature is the Inline Grading tool.  This tool allows lecturers to view and annotate a student's online submission directly in the browser via the Gradecentre.  This means there is no need to download the document to mark it off line, which in turns removes the need to upload feedback to individual students.  Below is a link to the a video showing the new Inline Grading tool in action.

Retention Center: The old Performance Dashboard has been replaced with a new Retention Centre that allows quick and easy access to learner analytics.  This gives the lecturer a dashboard to view set rules, notifying them of warnings including, students not logging in, missed assessment deadlines and more.

Content Editor: The Content Editor is a replacement for the old text box editor, this has now been completely reworked and now allows for changes to colours and fonts and more.  This now is a proper WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor.

Profiles: Blackboard Profiles are a new tool allowing all users to create a profile of themselves, that also has a one way connection to Twitter and Facebook.  This one way connection allows you to pull in your avatar - photograph and profile text to LearnUCS.  Profiles are used to allow users to identify each other, so you can roll your mouse over someones name on a discussion board in your course/module, to see more information about that person, if they have chosen to use their profile.

Common Tasks

Discussion Boards: The discussion board tool has been completely rewritten, giving a much better experience for users.  You now get to see all messages in a thread without having to click to see each one.

Calendars: This tool has also been completely rewritten, all calendars can now been seen from the dashboard in a single view.  This view allows changes to be made to the calendars without having to go to each separate area.  You can also link the LearnUCS calendar to other external calendars, if you are a Google Calendar user, you can display the LearnUCS calendars in Google.

Course Files: Using Course files allows you to upload structured zip files into LearnUCS which can then be unzipped in the same structure.  You can also use drag and drop if you setup the WebDAV feature.

Adding Files from Course Files:  If you use Course Files to add materials to LearnUCS, you will need to know how to add those to your module to allow students to access them, this video shows how to do that.


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