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This post collects together a few useful updates from the Learning Technology Team.

NILE related

Brand new to NILE this summer is greater support for pronouns and name pronunciation. Staff and students who would like to can now add a written and an audio pronunciation of their name, and can select their preferred pronouns. If these are added, they will be displayed on the Ultra course profile cards. Staff and students can also add their photo to their course profile too. Adding a photo, selecting your preferred pronouns, and adding a pronunciation can be done from the NILE profile page:

Blackboard is upgraded every month, with most of the new features and enhancements being applied to Ultra courses. You can always find out all about the upgrades and new features at:

The University of Northampton is now three years into its five year project to move NILE from Blackboard Original to Blackboard Ultra courses. While it might seem like we’ve only completed the first year of a three year project, the project actually started back in 2019, around six months before the UK’s first COVID lockdown in March 2020. You can find out more about the project, at:

Have you created a great Ultra course? Or, do you know someone who has? We’re really keen to find out more about how staff have used Ultra courses this year, and to highlight and celebrate example of good practice with Ultra. Find out more, and make a nomination (before the 18th of September) at:

What new features do you want to see in your Ultra courses? Tell us (before the 18th of September) here:

Would you like help creating captivating NILE content? If so, Anne Misselbrook, E-Learning/Multimedia Resources Developer, is the person to talk to. Find out more about how she can help you here:

And if creating captivating, interactive NILE content is your thing, you’ll also want to find out about H5P, which is new to NILE this summer:

• Back in January, we announced some important changes to the way that Turnitin works in Blackboard Original courses. From the end of August, 2022, all Turnitin assignments submitted to Blackboard Original courses via a Turnitin Basic submission point will become permanently read-only (i.e., all feedback and marks will be locked, and will not be able to be modified). Turnitin assignments submitted to Ultra courses are not affected by this change. Since UON changed from Turnitin Basic to Turnitin LTI assignments back in February 2022, all Turnitin assignments in Original courses set up since 7th February, 2022, will have used Turnitin’s new Turnitin LTI assignment, which means that staff are unlikely to be impacted at the end of August. To read the original blog post about the changes to Turnitin, please see:

Academic updates

MyEngagement (Student Engagement and Analytics) – the replacement for LEARN is now live. Please contact for any training, or come along to one of the scheduled training courses:

Launch of the Centre for Active Digital Education (CADE). If you would like to be more involved in the work of the Centre, or have a general interest in Game Based Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Distance Learning, or Virtual Reality then please email You can find out more about CADE at:

Interested in gamification? Find out more about the GAMING: (Gamification for the Advancement of Multiprofessional/Interprofessional Groupwork) project at:

• Dr Anastasia Gouseti considers why supporting teachers and students with developing critical digital literacies (CDL) appears to be more timely than ever. In March, she presented a new framework of critical digital literacies created by the DETECT Erasmus+ project, which you can find out about at:

In February, Helen Caldwell, Emma Whewell, Cristina Devecchi, and Rob Howe, ran the Teaching and supporting a digital future: UoN Showcase event. You can review the recordings of all the sessions at:

Training, support, and other useful links

All staff and students are able to check their digital fitness / digital capability using the Jisc Digital Discovery Tool. Find out how to access this here:

Have you discovered the excellent resources available on LinkedIn Learning? This is available for all staff and students. Information for staff about LinkedIn Learning is available at: (UON staff login required), and is available for students at:

Finally, if you need support with NILE, please see guides and FAQs on the Learning Technology Team website (, come along to one of our training sessions (, or get in touch with your learning technologist (

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This post brings together some of the useful updates from the team which have been posted in the past few months.

NILE related

Guidance on setting up your new NILE course for the upcoming academic year?

NILE Quality Standards – What should be included in every NILE site

What is the new NILE homepage for staff

What is the new NILE homepage for students

Find out about the exciting move to Blackboard Ultra

Changes to the Blackboard Assignment Tool

Changes to NILE programme courses

NILE updates for anonymous marking

Virtual classrooms: A reminder not to use the Microsoft Edge browser

More improvements for the virtual classroom in March 2020

Creating Accessible content

See 3 steps towards making accessible content

How to meet the accessibility regulations in NILE

Checking how accessible your content is within NILE

University of Northampton finishes 28th in a World Wide Competition to improve accessibility

Improving your knowledge of creating accessible online content. During this one-hour essentials course, you will learn easy and practical steps to ensure your online content – documents, attachments, files, videos, animations and web copy – is accessible to anyone who needs it. 

  • To view dates and register for this training, please visit HR Self Service > navigate to the Course Catalogue > search for Creating Accessible Online Content.
  • If you need help using the Staff Development function in U4BW please see the short user guide.

Creating innovative content / academic updates

Want to show your commitment to technology? – become an Associate Member of the Association For Learning Technology (ALT)

Don’t Panic! Surviving and thriving in the world of online teaching

Using Xerte to make interactive e-tivities for the new IPE curriculum

Record and edit video using tools available

Dr Charlotte Dann reflects on winning STaR Award Tech Savvy Lecturer of the Year

Alison Power is a fan of Xerte Bootstrap template

Training and Support

The Learning Technology Support site

Find out who your Learning Technologists is

What training opportunities are currently being offered (including creating video, Xerte, Turnitin, Padlet and NILE tools)?

See the full range of courses available through C@N-DO (including Storyboarding your module, CAIeRO for Individuals, and Exploring Feedback). For more support on these areas and moving towards semesterisation then email

Are you making full use of the excellent resources on LinkedIN for Learning? This is available for all staff and registered students.

Information on all courses offered through the staff development NILE site

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