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Learning Technology Team

NILE Help, Support & Training

Information for Staff

NILE training and support for UON staff

Note for staff working at partner institutions

For staff working at partner institutions in the UK and overseas, please see the page 'NILE support for UK & international partner staff'.

There is a great deal of help, support and training for University of Northampton staff who want to find out how to get the best from NILE.

UON staff can access support in the following ways:

Also available is Blackboard's Lecturer Webinar Series, a set of seven webinars which look at teaching using Blackboard Original and Ultra courses.

Contact the Learning Technology Team

If you are a member of University of Northampton staff having problems with NILE and need to get in touch with someone, you can do so in one of the following ways:

Contact your Learning Technologist directly. If you don't know who this is, see Who is my Learning Technologist

Email the LearnTech Support at

Complete the NILE Enquiry Form

If you are having problems with PebblePad, you can complete the PebblePad Contact Form

Essential Teaching Technology for Academics

All new members of academic staff will need to meet with their learning technologist in order to complete the Essential Teaching Technology for Academics part of their mandatory training. Essential Teaching Technology for Academics is, for the most part, an introduction to the NILE, the University's virtual learning environment, and is delivered 1:1 at a time and location (either online or at the Waterside campus) to suit.

If you don't know who your learning technologist is, you can find out who they are and how to contact them at: Who is my learning technologist?

NILE Ultra Course Development Workshop

Transform your NILE Ultra course with an Ultra Course Development Workshop 

Do you want to create engaging, accessible, student-friendly Ultra courses that meet the NILE Design Standards? Then our Ultra Course Development Workshop is just what you need! 

During an Ultra Course Development Workshop your learning technologist will help you take your Ultra course design to the next level. The workshop is designed to be flexible and tailored to your needs, whether your course is in the early stages of development or already well-established. 

How it works

The workshop will normally last for an hour, can be carried out in person or online, and will focus on developing a single Ultra course. During the workshop your learning technologist will explain the principles and practices of good Ultra course design, which you can then apply to other Ultra courses. 

What to expect

The exact content of each workshop will vary, depending upon the extent to which your course meets the NILE Design Standards, but during the workshop, we'll work with you on some or all of the following: 

For courses which do not meet the NILE Design Standards: 

  • Organising your course so that it meets the NILE Design Standards. 

For courses which already meet the minimum NILE Design Standards: 

  • Improving the accessibility and mobile-friendliness of your course content;  
  • Adding an eye-catching course banner, and using images to improve the look-and-feel of your course; 
  • Recommending NILE tools that could make your course more active; 
  • Making use of progress tracking and analytics to understand how well your students are engaging with your course. 

How to book 

To book an Ultra Course Development Workshop, please contact your learning technologist

LearnTech bespoke, on-demand training workshops

The Learning Technology Team provide bespoke, on-demand NILE training either in-person or online for individual members of staff, and for groups of staff. To book a NILE training session, simply contact your learning technologist.

Your learning technologist can provide training on any aspect of NILE, including:

  • Getting started with NILE
  • Getting up-to-speed with Blackboard Ultra
  • Designing and building an excellent Ultra course
  • Creating and deploying tests in Ultra courses
  • Setting up and marking Turnitin and/or Blackboard Ultra assignments
  • Using Ultra journals and discussions with students
  • Using the announcements and messaging functions in Ultra courses
  • Running online teaching and learning sessions using Collaborate
  • Using Kaltura to create video content
  • Using Padlet with your students
  • Adding pre-recorded Film,TV and radio content via BoB (Box of Broadcasts)
  • Embedding LinkedIn Learning content
  • Making your NILE courses more active

LearnTech scheduled training workshops

The following scheduled training courses are available to book at: Staff Development - Learning Technology Training

  • CLEO - Collaborative Learning Experiences Online
  • H5P tutor friendly tools within NILE for creating engaging and impactful content - Awareness and Practice session
  • Introduction to MyEngagement
  • Record and edit a short video using tools available to you
  • Xerte Training for beginners – Create interactive e-learning
  • Xerte Toolkits online software - Advanced (for staff with experience of Xerte)

Using NILE for teaching and learning

Lecturer Webinar Series: How to Teach with Blackboard Learn Basics

Between November 2021 and June 2022, Blackboard are offering a series of seven free webinars to understand how Blackboard Learn Original and Learn Ultra can support your teaching, your subject and your students’ learning. You can sign up for one, some, or all the webinars. Even if you can’t make the live webinars, by signing up you will receive the recordings of the sessions that you signed up to.

The full series of webinars is as follows:

How do you to create and effectively use discussion forums in Learn Original and in Learn Ultra?
Thursday, November 4 at 10:00am GMT
>> View Recording

How do you create and upload content in Learn Original and in Learn Ultra?
Thursday, December 2 at 10:00am GMT
>> View Recording

How does Adaptive Release work in Original and Conditional Availability in Ultra?
Thursday, February 10 at 10:00am GMT
>> View Recording

How do you design and manage assessment items in Learn Original and in Learn Ultra?
Thursday, March 10 at 10:00am GMT
>> View Recording

How do you create a marking structure and provide feedback using rubrics, audio and video in Learn Original and in Learn Ultra?
Thursday, April 7 at 11:00am BST
>> View Recording

How do you use the Grade Centre in Learn Original and the Gradebook in Learn Ultra?
Thursday, May 12 at 11:00am BST
>> View Recording

How to use data and key tools to monitor and support student progress and personalised learning in Learn Original and in Learn Ultra?
Thursday, June 9 11:00am BST
>>View Recording

If you require assistance with NILE, please contact LearnTech Support using the NILE Enquiry Form

If you require assistance with PebblePad, please contact PebblePad Support using the PebblePad Contact Form