Currently viewing the tag: "NILE"

The LearnTech team have made available a guide which collates the various hints and tips for marking online using the SaGE workflow.

This guide brings together solutions to the most common problems which the team have picked up with staff marking online. If any member of staff needs to clarify any points or needs addition training then please contact the LearnTech team as we will always be able to provide support.

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SaGE Essentials
This session is for both staff who are new to Submission and Grading Electronically (SaGE) and those who need a refresher on the current process. The event will cover the SaGE workflow including marking in Turnitin;  passing grades to the NILE gradecentre; downloading grades to send to the SATs; and working with the External Examiner. (12 places)

Date (s)    Time
9/10/13    9:30-12:00
15/10/13    2-4:30
25/10/13    9:30-12:00
31/10/13    2-4:30
4/11/13    9:30-12:00
13/11/13    9:30-12:00
21/11/13    2:00-4:30
25/11/13    2:00-4:30

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Adding value to your SaGE experiences [NEW]
Available for staff who already have SaGE experience but would like to attend a small group session to review their current processes and see if anything may be changed or improved
(Limited to 4 places)

Date (s)    Time
23/10/13    9:30-11:30
4/12/13    2-4:00

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SaGE Beyond the Basics (Rubrics)
A dedicated session for those who have already attended the SaGE Essentials session and are confident with the basic SaGE workflow. The event will focus on both the Turnitin and NILE rubrics which are currently available. Rubrics are useful for specific styles of marking and may only be suitable in certain situations. (12 places)

Date (s)    Time
17/10/13    2-4

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SaGE Beyond the Basics (Using the NILE assignment submission area / groups and video submissions)
A dedicated session for those who have already attended the SaGE Essentials session and are confident with the basic SaGE workflow. This event will focus on the NILE assignment submission area which may be used for both individuals and groups. It will also cover alternative styles of assignment submission such as video submissions. (12 places)

Date (s)    Time
24/10/13    2-4

Register on

All of the sessions above  are also available on request for bespoke events (such as for Subject group training). Please contact your Learning Technologist or mail  for details on arranging these.

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The most common method of marking online will be using Turnitin. The guidance for this has now been reduced to 10 steps which will form the basis for all staff “SaGE Essential” training sessions.

Staff wishing to explore alternative methods of marking online should contact the LearnTech team.

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Following on from a school session on SaGE and the new NILE site format there were a few items which required more detail / clarification. I thought that a lot of the issues were relevant to all users so have copied the response here. Apologies for the long post, but I hope you read to the end as there is a lot of useful information here that will apply.


The blog posting which is aimed at academic staff to prepare their courses and modules for the 12/13 academic year may be found at:


From the session on the 10th July the following further detail is provided:

1) I seem to now have many variations of sites when I only had one last year – do I need all of these?

NILE has now created one module site for each session which is stored on the Student Record system (QLS). Sessions have been used in many different ways on QLS – sometimes they signify different start dates and at other times they signify a module which runs in different locations or a different mode of delivery. Students are added to their sites based on the session data held on QL.

If you have sessions where the content AND assessment timescales are identical (perhaps where it is just the location which varies) then the Module Leader may opt to combine these on NILE. Send an email to to make this request. You should remember that when combined, communication (announcements, notifications) will go to all of the students on the module unless otherwise specified (e.g. setting up groups and targeting the groups specifically).

If the session content is the same but the start dates / assessment timescales are different (e.g. some students start in September and others start in February) then the sessions should be kept separate. This is due to the requirement to assign a separate assignment submission area for each assessment deadline, and deliver information and learning materials at different times of the academic year.  You can copy material between modules if it is important to share updated material – email if you need assistance on this.

2) The new template which is provided on the Course and Module areas is restrictive – Can I add to these or change the wording?

The wording which now appears on the left side of the module templates was agreed by the Learning and Teaching Committee prior to the PSR and then re validated by the University Student Experience Committee (SEC) more recently. It is based on a clear module layout and wording which students have been requesting on feedback to NSS and ISS. The material which is proposed on the template forms the minimum standards for a NILE module and this will be quality checked later in 2012. Some staff may already be exceeding the content and layout which has been proposed and we would wish this continue… Ideally these sites would then form the basis of exemplary sites to showcase to other staff. Any reduction in module content or significant change of wording from the basic template should be agreed by the SEC prior to student delivery. Many of the menu items such as “Submit your work” or “Reading List” must remain to maintain to consistency throughout NILE and aide central support (and students) to easily locate submission areas etc.

The second part of the session on the 10th July focused on SaGE and referred to three main locations for material on SaGE which I have listed below in order of their importance:

1)    The SaGE blog

This is regularly updated with all of the latest news and guidance on SaGE. Of particular note in here are the SaGE workflows which guide staff through SaGE in a number of simple steps: The workflows are a way of simply explaining the SaGE process with links to relevant resources as needed. They are also a useful resource to go back to at any point in the process to refresh knowledge/memory.


2)    The SaGE userguides

The guides provide further detail on using any of the available tools to submit online and provide feedback. All of the major guides that help with the SaGE process are linked to from the workflows.


3)    The SaGE website

A general information page which contains an overview of SaGE and a link to some of the key resources.


All of the above materials are interlinked and always refer staff back to the Learning Technology team for guidance and support as required.


Staff are particularly advised to review the paper which was taken to UET and SEC on SaGE which identifies the list of assessments which are exempted at this stage (


This paper did identify a number of exceptions such as portfolios, artwork and dissertations. With regards to some of the items mentioned in the meeting, log books, notebooks, presentations and practical outputs would either be considered examples of portfolios or fall into a similar category to artwork. Presentations (powerpoint files), however, can be be converted to enable them to be submitted through Turnitin so may not be authorised as an exemption. Jill Holden is considering this currently and an update will be put onto the SaGE blog with details (including guidance on how to convert the files).
If one of your assessments is a series of entries into a log book, using a blog/journal could be considered as an electronic alternative to the paper based model. These tools work well with the Mobile app and could be good way to introduce recording information electronically in the field/lab. The tools also integrate into the Grade Centre in NILE, so feedback can be provided electronically and Grades can be provided online. Note: these are options, not requirements at present.


Whilst some of the examples mentioned do not immediately fit the SaGE model (practical submissions, presentations/performances) there is the opportunity to add a column to the Grade Centre in NILE which could hold marks and feedback for the student’s work. Hence even though there is no electronic submission, the system could be used to provide electronic feedback.


Some staff requested information regarding the use of e-submission and marking across the country. According to Turnitin, 98% of UK universities use Turnitin for originality checking. 50% of these use the GradeMark tool to markup papers. There really is some great work taking place using these tools. There are a few examples of great practice at UoN in the Case Studies category on the LearnTech blog. Of particular note are Anne Eason’s experiences with SaGE. Externally, there is some great work the University of Huddersfield, alongside JISC and the HEA who run the EBEAM project (Evaluating the Benefits of Electronic Assessment Management) and have some really useful and interesting posts on their blog.

For those who need more detail on the summer 2012 changes then please follow the links below:


General Information on all of the Learning Technology Changes Summer 2012


Specific Information on the QNIG project and the development of baseline module / course templates h/2012/05/23/closer-links-between-nile-and-the-student-record-system/


The key changes being made for the NILE upgrade on 21/22nd July 2012


If I have left out any other details / information then please do contact me.


Best wishes,


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You can now easily add audio feedback to student’s work!

Tutors now have the ability to leave a voice comment in GradeMark to give students additional substantive feedback that is clear, engaging, and easy to understand.

With just a few clicks, instructors can quickly record a detailed voice message and attach it to a paper. This new GradeMark feature is especially useful in disciplines where written assignments are graded primarily on content vs. writing skills (such as science lab reports). Also, adding a voice comment gives you the opportunity to more fully explain your feedback.

With voice comments, students can hear the content of the message, and more importantly, the context of the feedback and tone of the tutor’s voice.

To add a voice comment, go to the General Comments area in GradeMark, and click the microphone at the top of the right section. You will be asked to allow access to the microphone the first time you use it.

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There is a new guide on the help tab of NILE that gives you an overview of the grading process in NILE.

The University uses the 25 point scale (you can find this in the staff and student handbooks). NILE, however, uses a 100 point scale that converts a corresponding number to a letter to maintain consistency across all tools (quizzes, Turnitin, Assignment Tool, Grade Centre).

This guide gives you details of the scale and how to set up the schema in your module site on NILE. It also gives you a handy table with the 25 point/letter/100 point scales so you can easily determine the value you need to enter when grading in NILE.

Follow this link to access the guide

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We have recently discovered that some assistive technologies do not work well with Turnitin. Screen readers like JAWS work when non-standard settings are selected, but are hard to follow and navigate.

So, if you anticipate asking a student with additional needs to submit their work online, please contact the team for advice, at least two weeks before the first submission is due.

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The following bug has been brought to our attention today. Some files created in MS Word 2007, which have charts pasted in from Excel, cannot be reopened by other users because the chart corrupts the file. This results in the following error when you attempt to open the file:

Screenshot of error: The Office Open XML file file_name cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents.  Details No error detail available

According to Microsoft website this is a known issue with Office 2007. You can see more details about this on Microsoft’s support website.

This error has affected some tutors wanting to download student assignments that have been submitted through NILE. For files submitted to Turnitin, there is a workaround for this, which is to choose to download the submitted files in PDF format rather than the original (.docx) format. You may also be able to open the files using Word 2010 if you have access to this. Please note that this bug does not seem to affect those using the online grading tool (Grademark).

We would also recommend that any members of staff asking students to submit files containing charts should advise them to convert their file to PDF (e.g. using the Save As PDF option in Word) before submitting it.

If you encounter this error and would like advice, please contact the Learning Technology team.

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If you are a module leader, for every module that you lead you MUST:

  • Make sure you have a NILE site for each module. If you haven’t or if you have any technical queries, please contact the learning technologist for your School – If you’re not sure who this is have a look at the LearnTech contact page.
  • Set up a button for each piece of course work on your module site according to the guidance in the attached sheet. It is very easy and should only take a minute or two
  • Set up a submission area (under the button) for each assessment (except exams). You need to set up a site for first sits and resits. This means if there is an exam and 2 pieces of coursework for a module you will need to set up 4 submission areas.
  • Most people will get their students to submit via the Turnitin Submission area but there is a second way that it can be done, which is better for group presentations or work with additional submissions and non-text based file formats (e.g. .PPT, .XLS, .ZIP etc). These are not difficult to set up either.

Click these links to open the guidance documentation:

Setting up the button on your NILE site (DOC, 31KB)

Setting up an Assignment Tool Submission Area in NILE (NOT Turnitin) (DOC, 20KB)

Setting up a Turnitin Submission Area (DOC, 18KB)

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All module sites on NILE will need to have a button on the left menu that points students into an area where all submission points (Turnitin or the NILE Assignment Tool) will be housed.

All new module sites that are set up from this point onwards will have the button. If your site does not have the ‘Submit your work’ button you need to create one.

You can do this by hovering your mouse over the plus (+) symbol at the top of the left menu and clicking Create Content Area. You can then enter ‘Submit your work’, tick the box to make the button available to users and click Submit. Please ensure you use the text Submit your work so it is consistent across ALL module sites on NILE.

If you already have a button that you use for electronic submission of your students work, you can re-use this BUT you will need to change the name of it to ‘Submit your work’. You can do this by clicking on the small chevron arrows on the right side of the button, and select Rename Link.

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