The new academic year is finally here! As we look forward to welcoming back existing students and meeting a new cohort, the eLearning team has gathered together some information that will help you prepare for the start of teaching. This edition of the eLearning newsletter includes:

  1. Important Changes to Turnitin
  2. Hybrid/Dual Mode Teaching – An eLearning Guide
  3. Course Opening Dates
  4. Updating your 2021/22 Blackboard Course
  5. Blackboard and Student IT Induction
  6. Microsoft Teams – Guidance for Teaching
  7. Introduction of Gradescope
  8. Blended Learning Summer Support Sessions

Important Changes to Turnitin

Full information regarding Turnitin changes can be found here.

In time for the new academic year, the University will be undertaking an upgrade to the Turnitin System which is run via Blackboard. Please ensure that you read the following information to see how these updates affect your online delivery.

What is happening?

In the next week, the University will be switching on a new and improved version of Turnitin within our Blackboard system. This new version of Turnitin integrates into Blackboard in a different way (LTI) than the existing version (henceforth titled “Turnitin (Legacy)”.

Over the course of the coming academic year, the University will be switching to Turnitin (LTI) and decommissioning Turnitin (Legacy). While this transition occurs, both versions of Turnitin will be available for staff to use.

What differences will you experience this semester?

  • You can still use Turnitin as normal at this time. However, when adding a new Turnitin assignment via the existing route (Blackboard Course > Assessments > Turnitin Assignment), you will observe that the title “Turnitin Assignment” has changed to “Turnitin Legacy”.
  • When using the “Build Content” menu, you will observe a new item within the list titled “Turnitin”, this represents the new version of Turnitin.

In the next few weeks and months, the eLearning Teams across campus will be working hard to issue information and training to all staff and students regarding the new version of Turnitin.

What do you need to do?

Please continue to read announcements in the ongoing weeks/months as we issue more information and guidance. The FBMH eLearning Team will continue to communicate information and training about these changes as soon as we are able.

At this moment in time, we have a number of recommendations based on the most likely scenarios. More information can be found at the following page:

Important Changes to Turnitin

Hybrid/Dual Mode Teaching – An eLearning Guide

Dual-mode teaching (also referred to as dual delivery, blended synchronous learning or hybrid flexible teaching) refers to a teaching method where the same learning activities are experienced by students on-campus (in-person) and remote students within a single group session and at the same time (synchronous). For example, a session where some students are present in a physical teaching space on-campus, while others join in remotely via Zoom.

The university has invested heavily in Hybrid/Dual Mode Teaching over the summer, if you are interested in learning more on how to run a session for yourself, check out the FBMH eLearning Guide here.

Course Opening Dates

Semester 1 and Full Year Blackboard courses are set to go live to Students in the next few weeks for new and returning students. During the bulk activation process, course administrators and school educational leads were consulted in order to ascertain the best dates for release of courses based on CS start dates. Below are the agreed dates for courses to go live this September for most courses (please note that where courses were not included in the bulk course roll over, they are not included in the below):

  1. School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate: 20th September
  2. School of Biological Sciences Postgraduate/School of Medical Sciences/School of Health Sciences: 13th September
  3. Blackboard Communities running from previous years: Available all year round.
  4. New Blackboard Communities: Available on the date agreed/arranged with the eLearning Team.

We advise all Staff to check that their courses are currently open in Blackboard for editing asap. Should your course be missing, you should follow these steps in order:

  1. Please see your CS administrator in the first instance to ensure you are enrolled correctly. 
  2. Check that your course has been activated by going through the steps here.
  3. If after 24 hours of course activation and confirmed enrolment you still do not have access to your Blackboard course, please contact the eLearning Team.

Updating your 2021/22 Blackboard Course

The eLearning Team have put up several guides on how to update your Blackboard courses on our Website. Here are some we think can help you if you are looking for some advice:

Blackboard and IT Induction for Students

All new students enrolling into FBMH are advised to complete an online induction before commencing their studies. This process helps students to become familiarised with the software and tools that they’ll be using throughout their time at the university, as well as pointers on where to find certain information.

The FBMH Online Induction can be accessed here.

NEW: Microsoft Teams – Guidance for Teaching

A collaboration between eLearning staff across the University has resulted in the publication of updated guidance for teaching staff on how to use Microsoft Teams in communicating and collaborating with colleagues and students (to supplement Blackboard).

This guidance covers the benefits for teaching, a best practice model for course or unit, FAQs and a matrix to help you identify which Teams app might be best suited for a task.

The FBMH eLearning website also offers guidance on using Teams for collaborative learning.

Introduction of Gradescope

Part of the Turnitin family, Gradescope is a tool especially useful in disciplines where assessment involves, wholly or partly, the submission, marking and feedback of handwritten work or examinations e.g. in math-related subjects, languages or other where formulas or special characters are used. See more on Gradescope’s website.

If you are new to Gradescope, we invite you to join you one of the following sessions:

  • ‘Meet Gradescope’ workshops for academic staff at University of Manchester – sign up via
  • Bi-weekly workshops offered by the Gradescope team on Wednesdays at 3 pm (BST) for a quick walkthrough of the platform and to learn how to get the most out of this tool

For more information contact your eLearning team.

Blended Learning Summer Support Sessions

A series of support sessions have taken place across the summer in which colleagues have been sharing successful experiences in different areas of blended learning, particularly in relation to assessment.

Please see the latest blog post on the FBMH eLearning training website which details all of the sessions that have taken place so far and those upcoming. If you were unable to attend any of the sessions that have already occurred, recordings from these can also be found in the above link, alongside details of how to register and attend any of the remaining sessions. 

Please contact if you have any further questions.

If you have any other suggestions for additional sessions, please email directly.

eLearning Newsletter – Start of Year 2021