ACES Workshops for Semester 2

Just a reminder to sign up to our workshops!

The workshops this semester are:

  • Blackboard Submission Points and the Grade Centre
  • Providing Marks and Feedback

Please Sign up through Google forms!

Don’t forget that we also offer one-to-one support, to set up a meeting just contact us!

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Potential issue for Edge users when submitting assignments to Blackboard

There is a potential issue affecting students who submit their assignments to Blackboard using the Microsoft Edge browser. Students who submit their work using Edge and who have a copy of the work open whilst the submission is in progress are encountering an issue whereby the content of the file that is submitted becomes blank (i.e. any text, images etc. are removed and a single blank page is submitted).

When advising students or publishing guidance about submitting work to Blackboard, please can you alert students to the following advice:

If you have recently submitted an assignment to Blackboard using the Edge browser please check both your email receipt for the submission and review your assignment via the submission point. If you have ‘0 bytes ‘ file size showing on your email receipt and/or a blank page in the assignment preview window, you will need to submit your work again via the Start New Submission button. (Please note: if you are a student studying in ACES or SBS you may need to request an additional attempt via the Faculty Helpdesk before you can reattempt your submission).

If you are an Edge user who is yet to submit (or needs to resubmit because of a problem), ensure you do not have a copy of your work open whilst submitting your assignment to Blackboard, or better still, use an alternative browser.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your work is successfully submitted. Always check your email receipt and the submission point again following each submission.

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Improving the assessment and feedback experience

Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor, shared his thoughts on the University’s recent National Student Survey on his blog, and within this highlighted that assessment and feedback should be an area of focus for all teaching teams as we continue to strive to improve the student experience.

The move to online management of assessment (OMA) from September 2016, supported by resources generated through the Assessment Journey Programme, provides an opportunity to address some of the issues raised by student feedback, specifically the timeliness of assessment feedback and the quality of feedback.

Here is a summary of the guidance and support that is available to help course teams make improvements around assessment and feedback.

To support the move to OMA, the Assessment Journey Programme will continue to develop the suite of resources and offer training in conjunction with Faculty TEL Teams.

If you have any queries in relation to the above or feel further support is needed, please contact us at ! Assessment Journey Programme.

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iPad loan service now available!

The University recently announced changes to its Equipment Policy to facilitate mobile and flexible working, and support the move to online management of assessment in the University.

In addition to the roll out of laptops (as required), it was agreed that a central loan service would be developed to provide academic staff with temporary access to mobile equipment during assessment periods.

We are pleased to confirm that an iPad loan service is now available to all teaching staff on full academic contracts.

Please note the following guidance for accessing this service:

  • Requests can be submitted to Digital Technology Services (DTS) by using the iPad loan request form
  • The loan equipment is provided specifically to support the delivery of online management of assessment
  • The loan period will align with the period of marking and feedback within each semester – a maximum period of 16 weeks within a semester, after which the equipment will need to be returned to DTS
  • Please allow a minimum of 5 working days for processing (between submitting a request and collection)
  • Once a request has been approved by DTS, a confirmation email will be sent including a date and location for collection
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ACES Workshops

Just a reminder to sign up to our workshops!


  • Setting up online submission in Blackboard
  • Overview of marking technologies – what’s possible?
  • Providing marks and feedback in Grade Centre
  • Turnitin for automated originality checking

Please Sign up through Google forms!


Drop-in sessions:

  • Monday 14th November     14:00-15:30       Owen 322
  • Tuesday 6th December       11:00-12:30       Howard 5221
  • Thursday 15th December   14:00-15:30       EMB 3119
  • Thursday 12th January       13:00-14:30       Norfolk 504
  • Friday 20th January            14:00-15:30      Howard 5221



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Review of the first two phases of the Assessment Journey Programme

We are now coming into the third and final year of the Assessment Journey Programme!

To keep yourself updated on the progress of the programme so far, please find: Review of the first two phases of the Assessment Journey Programme

  • For staff, the programme has developed and launched the Assessment Essentials resource which offers support to staff members throughout the entire assessment life cycle. The resource provides how-to guides, case studies, and policy information to assist throughout the assessment life cycle.
  • For students, Assessment4Students is an online resource that provides students with guidance and support around assessment including policy around submissions.

Keep up-to-date with Assessment Journey Programme news with the AJP blog.

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Digital Learning Project approved and underway

The Digital Learning Project supports the objectives of the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy and Digital Strategy by improving teaching and learning and enhancing the student experience through the use of digital technologies.

In support of this, the University Projects Board approved an initial exploratory phase of work to run from September 2016 to February 2017, which includes:

  • A detailed assessment using a benchmarking tool to understand our current position in relation to digital learning
  • Definition and communication of our digital learning vision – what ‘digital’ in learning means for SHU
  • Identification of options to achieve the vision i.e. how to improve digital learning at Sheffield Hallam
  • Recommendations for improvements to digital learning for the University Projects Board to consider

The project is being led by Professor John Leach, Dr Graham Holden and Dr Alison Purvis, and directed by a Change Team which has senior academic representation from all four faculties.

During the next few months, the Project Delivery Team will be engaging with colleagues and students across the University, as well as external parties, to draw on their knowledge, ideas and experience.
Find out more about the project here.

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NEW Batch Upload tool on Blackboard

We would like to announce the launch of a tool to help staff manage assessment online. The tool enables the bulk download of student work and the upload of feedback file attachments and marks generated electronically outside of Blackboard into Grade Centre for an assignment submitted online.

This would be particularly useful for staff who are uploading an individual feedback file for each student.  

The following instructions provide guidance on the 6-stage process:
Stage 1 – downloading
Stage 2 – unzipping files
Stage 3 – creating feedback
Stage 4 – zipping files
Stage 5 – uploading feedback
Stage 6 – accessing Grade Centre to check that the upload has worked correctly

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Blackboard Related Screencasts

Four screencasts have been created to help support members of staff within the ACES department. These provide step-by-step instructions on how to use student preview, create RLO’s, mark offline submissions and create feedback rubrics.

Accessing Student Preview in Blackboard:

Creating and Linking RLO’s:

Creating and Adding Feedback Rubrics:

Creating Feedback for an Offline Submission:

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How to set up Online Submission Points

This video guide aims to demonstrate how you can set up a submission point in Blackboard:

Important things to note as an ACES member:

  • The recommendation for ACES is that you select ‘Multiple attempts‘ from the drop down list, and then type ‘2′ for the maximum attempts. This then allows the student to submit a second time in case they encounter problems.
  • The recommendation for ACES is for the submission point to remain open 25 days after the deadline to allow for extensions.


For more information about managing assessment online, visit:



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