Summer 2021 Digital Learning Projects

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Here is a summary of the current projects the eLearning team is working on between now and the start of term 21/22:

Mobile phone showing Blackboard ULTRA on screen
Blackboard ULTRA

ULTRA Base Navigation

Ultra is the name of the new interface coming soon to My Studies. In July 2021 we will upgrade the base navigation of My Studies to ‘Ultra Base Navigation’. This means the home, studies, personal and help tabs will all disappear and be replace with new navigation. However,  module and course study areas remain in the ‘original experience’ (no change). Read more on the ULTRA project site – internal staff only

ULTRA Pilots

Across the 21/22 academic year we will pilot Ultra course/module areas with selected courses. These pilots will gather feedback, understand best practice and technical implications ahead of a wider roll out. They will also help us design a new ‘module template’ for Ultra modules in 22/23. Discussions and training with schools are now underway. Read more on the ULTRA project site – internal staff only

Assessment Review and Processes

The university has committed to providing a simpler workflow for students to submit assessments electronically. Work is underway to plan the tools we will use in the future. We are also improving guidance and resources as we move to more online assessments, focussing on accessibility and supporting students with Learning Support Plans.

Module Triggering and New School Sites

Module triggering will open in late May for the 21/22 academic year. The new template has been improved to better support assessment.

School areas are being moved from My Studies to Sharepoint Online.
Read more on the change for School areas – internal staff only

Meetings will be held over the next few months with each school office to explain the changes, including new ways of communicating with students through course and school level email addresses.

Mahara and studentfolio

Mahara (studentfolio) our externally hosted ePortfolio will be closed down on 1st Sept 2021.

We are currently supporting staff and students to move content off the old platform and supporting new solutions for 21/22.

University of Brighton and studentfolio logos

Video: MS Stream recordings change and Mediastream to Panopto migration

Microsoft are changing the way Teams recordings work and ending the integration with Stream. Videos instead will be integrated with OneDrive/SharePoint. We are testing the workflow changes this will bring about to provide resource and support for the summer when the change happens.

Mediastream is moving to read-only mode in July and support is being provided to help staff move their video content to Panopto, which will additionally provide all the feature benefits of using Panopto, ie. captioning and interactive content.

Blackboard storage management

In the 2021/22 academic year, modules on My Studies will have a 2GB quota/allowance for files stored in a module study area. For some teaching staff, there will be a need to change practice to avoid exceeding the quota which will ensure better usability and accessibility for our students. We are providing support to help staff manage their large files.

See more on Blackboard Storage

New websites and web servers

The current IS website is no longer available and digital support for staff is currently spread across multiple blog sites as well as My Studies. We are bringing this together into a new Digital Tools site on Sharepoint Online over the summer.

We are also working to improve security of some of our older services and modernise the platforms on which they are hosted.

Recent Comments



Written by:

Katie is the eLearning Services Manager at the University of Brighton.

One Comment

  1. Linda Rothwell

    Please note, school level email groups are not going to be available in August due to data inconsistencies.

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