Refined business contingency process now in place to support assessment

Over the past few months, the Assessment Journey Programme team has been working with a number of key stakeholders across the University to define and test a business contingency process that will be implemented in the event of system downtime.

The agreed process will ensure that there is a consistent approach should Blackboard be unavailable for the submission of student work or the marking or provision of feedback by academic staff.

Details on the agreed process can be found in Assessment Essentials.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. What will happen if a submission point is unavailable at the time of submission?
    A. An extension from the time the system is restored is to be provided to all affected students. Digital Technology Services will place a standard message on Blackboard and Faculty Student Services teams will contact students with further details. Module Leaders do not need to take any action.
  2. What will happen if Blackboard is unavailable at the time of, or becomes unavailable during, a Blackboard test?
    A. The Module Leader should liaise with the affected student(s) to arrange an alternative date and update Blackboard accordingly.
  3. What will happen if system unavailability prevents access to work for marking?
    A. An extended period of time equivalent to the duration of system unavailability (up to 48 hours) will be allowed to complete the marking and provide feedback to students. Module Leaders should advise students by email if there is to be a delay in providing feedback due to system unavailability; either at the time of marking or the time of releasing feedback. If staff can still meet the original turnaround times this is encouraged.

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 academic teaching staff.

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

‘Show and tell’ sessions at the Learning & Teaching Conference

We were delighted to see so many people at our AJP drop in session at the Learning & Teaching Conference last week.  We had 50+ visitors and some very useful discussions around the various technologies on display.


Academics and TEL leads led the ‘show and tell’ sessions covering inline marking, audio feedback, voice recognition software, feedback rubrics and screencasting (these five case studies are attached for your reference).  We will be posting more case studies over the next few weeks.

Audio Feedback – Michelle Blackburn

Feedback Rubrics – Jayne Revill

Inline Marking – Andy Price

Screencasting – John Metcalf

Speech Recognition – Colin Beard

B00A3798B00A3819B00A3792Many of you liked our Powerpoint presentation and asked if we could share it with you, so here’s a link: AJP – LT Conf June 15 PPT

Our next ‘public appearance’ will be at the Staff Conference on 6th July and the HWB LTA event on 9th July. So come and say hello!

Come and see us at #SHULT15. Drop in and have a go!

As part of the Learning & Teaching Conference on 25 June, The Assessment Journey Programme will be hosting an information session in Room Owen 222 (just off Heartspace) over the lunch break.

Come and meet colleagues sharing their academic practice and technical know-how through ‘show and tell’ drop-in sessions throughout the lunchtime. Have a go at Voice recognition software; Inline marking; Audio feedback; Feedback rubrics, Screencasting and lots more.

See the attached floor plan for the layout of the session – just follow the footprints!


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or contact us by email at ! Assessment Journey Programme