What’s happening?
As part of our regular programme of NILE maintenance and improvements, this summer there will be a short period when work will be completed.
When is it happening?
Between  10:30pm on Saturday 21st July and 10:30am Sunday 22nd July, the Blackboard software that underpins NILE will be upgraded to the latest service pack (SP9). NILE will be unavailable during this time.
Changes to NILE in v9.1 SP8
The Blackboard software that underpins NILE will be upgraded from version 9.1 service pack 5 to service pack 9.
The service pack will fix some minor problems in the current version, and add some functionality to existing features. There will be some improvements to the look and feel. The main changes are listed below:
Look & Feel
  • New Theme for 2012 – user feedback and on-going development of NILE user interface means that there is a new look and slightly modified layout which should be more efficient and intuitive.
Assessment and monitoring
  • Negative Marking – you can now give negative points for wrong answers, this stops guessing on multiple choice questions!
  • Automatic Re-grading – if you have an invalid question in a test you can drop, give full credit, change point value or change the correct answer and the score is recalculated and updated in the grade centre.
  • Timed Assessments Enhancement – you can now choose to make the test “auto submit” at the end of the allocated time or purely warn the student they are now over time. Also there is a prominent progress indicator bar and with only one minute remaining the line turns red to serve as a visual cue.

Grading and feedback (the Grade Centre)

  • Needs Grading – gives you better visibility and access to items that need grading in your module. You can also set minimum student activity prior to needing grading such as the minimum number of posts in a discussion board.
  • Interactive Rubrics – create grading rubrics and attach to assignments to help towards consistent grading. Choose to let the student see/not see the grading rubric prior to assignment submission via the grade centre.
Where can I find more information?
More details on the changes can be found on the full release notes  for Service Pack 8, Service Pack 7 and Service Pack 6. If you have any questions about any of the changes, please contact the Learning Technology team.
Don’t forget, you can also use our new feedback form, available on the Help tab in NILE, to tell us what you think of the changes!
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