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Learning Technology Team

NILE & Other Technology Guides

Information for Staff

1. Identify your module-level NILE courses and request any necessary course merges

1.1 Decoding your module-level NILE course IDs

Each module-level NILE course has a unique trinity-coded ID; for example, PHI1001-STD-2122.

The first part of the course ID is the module code; in this case, PHI1001.

The second part of the course ID is the session code, in this case STD. STD (standard) is a common session code and denotes that the course is delivered on campus here at the University of Northampton. Other common session codes are: SPR (spring); SUM (summer); AUT (autumn); DL (distance learning). Courses delivered by our UK and international partners have their own session codes, such as: MC (Moulton College); SL (Sint Lucas); DEI (DEI College, Greece). As well as these more common session codes, there are also many, many others.

The third part of the course ID is the academic year; in this case 2122, denoting the academic year 2021/2022.

1.2 Understanding why you may have multiple NILE courses for the same module

It is often the case that you will not have one single NILE course for each of your modules that contains all of your students. This happens when, for administrative reasons, the students you are teaching as a single cohort are in fact split across several session codes. For this reason it is important to discuss with the Curriculum and Student Records teams which session codes (or sessional variations, as they are often called) are being used.

You can contact the Curriculum team at:

You can contact your Student Records Team at:

It is necessary to gather this information because for each sessional variation there will be a different NILE course. So, for example, while my three-year degree students will have been enrolled on the PHI1001-STD-2122 version of my NILE course, my PHI1001 students who began their studies at UON on the Foundation programme will have been enrolled on the module with a session code of STDFF, and will be enrolled on a NILE course with the ID PHI1001-STDFF-2122. Additionally, my Erasmus students will have been enrolled on the module with an ERA session code, and will be on a NILE course with the ID PHI1001-ERA-2122. Thus, my cohort of PHI1001 students are spread across three NILE courses. Fortunately, it is possible to merge multiple NILE courses together so that there is a single NILE course for your cohort.

However, sometimes different session codes are used for particular teaching and learning purposes, such as to identify students on different pathways who are taking the same module. In these cases, normally the programme team has requested that students from one pathway are enrolled on the module under one session code, and student from another pathway are enrolled on a different session code. This means that although these students are taking the same module at the same time, they can be taught as discrete cohorts and can have different module-level NILE courses. For example, if I was teaching my PHI1001 module to Education students and to Politics students and I was teaching them separately and wanted correspondingly separate NILE courses for my module, I would request different session codes - perhaps STDED and STDPL. My Education students would then be enrolled on my PHI1001-STDED-2122 NILE course, and my Politics students on PHI1001-STDPL-2122. So, just because there are sessional variations of a NILE course does not mean that they should necessarily be merged together.

When students begin to be enrolled on their modules, you can see if there are multiple session codes in use by looking at the module record on OASIS. You can access OASIS on campus at and off-campus via Citrix at Guides about how to use OASIS are provided on the OASIS login page.

The following screenshot from OASIS shows a module, EDU2024, in which three different session codes are in use: STD; STDCY, and; STDFF.

1.3 Requesting NILE course merges

If you find that your cohort of students is going to be spread across multiple session codes, and will thus be similarly spread across multiple NILE courses, you can contact your Student Records Team to request that these sites are merged together so that you have one NILE course which contains your complete cohort.

You will need to tell Student Records which course you want to be the parent course (i.e., the course that you will actually be using), and which courses (known as the child courses) you want to be merged into the parent. The merge process feeds the enrolments from the child courses into the parent course, meaning that you can have one NILE course for the whole cohort. Once the merge takes place, the child courses will no longer be available to those students, and they will access the parent course instead.

In the above case of EDU2024, normally EDU2024-STD-2122 would be the parent course, and EDU2024-STDFF-2122 and EDU2024-STDCY-2122 would be the child courses.

You can contact your Student Records Team at:

1.4 How to check whether all your students are enrolled on your NILE course, and who to contact if you think that some students might be missing

Once teaching has started, or is about to start, if you are concerned that some of your students might be missing from your NILE course, please see our FAQ, 'Some students are missing from my NILE course. Who do I need to contact?'

2. Identify your NILE programme-level course

As well as NILE courses for each of your modules, there is also a programme-level course for your programme.

There is only one programme-level course per programme per academic year, and all students studying that programme are enrolled on it (single and joint honours, full and part time, all years of study).

Programme-level NILE course IDs have two parts to them and are in the following format: CBAAHISTY-2122

The first digit of the ID, which is always C, denotes that this is a programme-level NILE course. The following three digits of the ID refer to the type of programme, and the most common of these are: BAA (BA); BSC (BSc); BEN (BEng); FDA (FdA); FDS (FdSc). Digits five through nine denote the particular programme, in this case HISTY = History. As with module-level NILE courses, the final part of the course ID denotes the academic year in which the course is delivered.

If you are unable to find your programme code, please contact:

3. Enrol yourself onto your courses

Staff are not automatically added to the courses on which they are teaching (although students are), so you will need to add yourself to your module-level and programme-level courses by selecting the 'Enrol as a Tutor on your Modules' link on the NILE Institution Page. You can find more information about this process on our guide: Finding and enrolling yourself onto your NILE course(s).

4. Design and build your NILE course

One you have enrolled on to your NILE course, you will want to create a course structure using learning modules and folders. Once this is done, you can then add and teaching and learning content and activities, and assessment submission points. You can re-order and re-organise your course structure and the location of your course content within your course once it has been added, but it is much easier to plan in advance than it is to re-organise your course later on.

4.1 Review the NILE Design Standards

The NILE Design Standards contain information and guidance on how to set out your NILE course. For more information, please the guide: NILE design standards, expectations, and guidance for an excellent student experience.

4.2 Create a course structure and add content and activities to your NILE course

You can create a course structure by using content containers, in particular, learning modules and folders.

Once you have a structure in place, you can then create and add content to your course.

As well as providing high-quality resources for your students, it is also important to devise activities to encourage your students to engage with those resources and with the theories, practices and ideas they encounter. More information about this is provided by Learning and Teaching Enhancement: Active Blended Learning.

4.3 Copy content from your old NILE course into your new NILE course

If you are planning to reuse materials from an existing NILE course you will want to copy these across into your new course. You can easily copy material from one Original course into another, or from one Ultra course into another, but copying content from Original courses to Ultra courses is not recommended. You can find out more about the course copy process in the following guides:

4.4 Check the accessibility of your course content

All content available to students in NILE courses must meet the 2018 Accessibility Regulations. You can find more about how to make sure that your NILE course content is accessible on our guide, Making your NILE courses accessible.

4.5 Create an introductory video

If you have not already done so, we would encourage you to create your own video introduction to your module or programme. This could be a ‘talking head’ style video in which you give a friendly introduction to your module. Or, perhaps, it could be a screencapture-with-voiceover style video in which you give your students a tour of your NILE course so that they know where everything is. Or you could do both. Either way, shorter is better – a couple of minutes or so is ideal. Information about how to do this is available in our Kaltura guides.

4.6 Add your contact information

In your NILE course you should include information about the key people who may need to be contacted by students enrolled onto your module. Ideally, there will be a photo and contact details, along with how to make an appointment, and information such as office hours.

  • In an Original course, contact information should be available to students in the 'Contacts' course menu item.
  • In an Ultra course, contact information should be available to students within 'About this module' at the top of the course content area.

Other useful contacts for students are available via the ‘Assist’ link in the main menu in NILE.


4.7 Set up your reading list

You will need to set up a link to your reading list.

4.8 Set up your assessment submission points 

Assessment submission points can only be used once, and should never be copied over from previous year’s NILE courses; therefore, you will need create new assessment submission points in your NILE courses each year. Guidance about creating assessment submission points is available on the staff pages of the Learning Technology Team website - see the section headed 'Assessment Workflows'.

When setting up your assignment submission points, please take note of the following mandatory requirements from the UON's approved NILE design standards.

  • For Original courses: All summative assessment submission points must be created in the 'Submit your work' course menu item.

  • For Ultra courses: All summative assessment submission points must be created inside the 'Assessment and submission' module.

In both Original and Ultra courses, summative assessment submission points should be available directly inside the 'Submit your work' course menu item or 'Assessment and submission' module, and should not be placed anywhere else, or, without good reason, inside folders within the 'Submit your work' or 'Assessment and submission' areas. Where these requirements are not followed, and where students are unable to submit due to not being able to find their assessment submission points, any student complaints are more likely to be upheld.

Summative assessment submission points include submission points for work that is summatively assessed via any of the following tools:

  • Turnitin
  • Blackboard Assignment
  • Blackboard Blog
  • Blackboard Discussion
  • Blackboard Journal
  • Blackboard Test

5. Preview your course and release it to your students

By default, NILE courses are unavailable to students, so you will need to make your course available for them to see it. However, before making your course available it's a good idea to check how the course will appear to students by using the Student Preview feature built into the Blackboard interface.

It is very important to make sure that all of your NILE courses are available prior to your students starting, otherwise they may believe that they have not been correctly enrolled onto their programme and modules. You can find out how to make courses available on our guides:

Should you require urgent assistance with NILE, please contact the LearnTech Support Helpdesk via the online contact form