Xerte upgrade issues, problem identified, new upgrade date 12th June

Our colleagues in IT Services experienced an issue during yesterdays Xerte upgrade which resulted in the service being unavailable till 9:30am this morning.

They have identified the cause of the issue and have rolled back to the previous version and Xerte is now live.

This means the feedback bug experienced in limited circumstances has not been fixed. We will upgrade Xerte with the latest version Wednesday 12th June to fix this issue.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the downtime.

[Open] Turnitin issues with Firefox and Safari

We have been made aware that some instructors and students are seeing the error message ‘invalid or missing state’ when trying to access Turnitin when using Safari or Firefox. We are currently investigating the issue with Turnitin; in the meantime, please use Chrome or Edge, as these browsers do not appear to be affected. 

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Questionmark OnDemand Scheduled Maintenance 15 June 2024 09.00-1500

Questionmark will be carrying out scheduled maintenance on Saturday 15 June between 09:00 and 15:00.

The purpose of the maintenance is to deploy system updates to ensure the ongoing reliability, security and up time of the platform.

During this time users may experience service disruption. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

If you have any questions, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

Turnitin Paper Lookup tool

Turnitin has released the Paper Lookup tool that will allow instructors to retrieve submissions from past assignments (including Basic and Direct Building Block and LTI assignments).

The tool will allow those instructors who have previously interacted with the submission point:

  • to retrieve reports generated for the submissions – including the Similarity Report, Grading Report, and a combination Similarity Report and Grading Report – within the Blackboard environment
  • to access past submissions and associated reports from students who may have dropped from the course or are inactive.

To access the tool, instructors should navigate to Course Management in their current or past Blackboard courses. Then, click on Course Tools and find the Turnitin Paper Lookup Tool near the bottom of the list. This tool will also be available in Blackboard Ultra, accessed via ‘Books & Tools’ in the Ultra course view.

Recovering files

If you need to recover a Turnitin submission from a course where you have not previously interacted with the submission point, locate the Turnitin submission point and wait for the Assignment Inbox to load. You will then be able to find any files submitted to that submission point.

This process can be slightly more challenging with Turnitin Building Block submissions (ie older Turnitin submissions with a View/Complete link). For these, you will need to identify the unit owner, administrator, or instructor who marked or moderated the papers and ask them to retrieve the files for you.

Administrators and Instructors will be able to access submissions using the new Turnitin Paper Lookup Tool. To access it:

  1. Log into a course using your instructor account
  2. Navigate to Course Management
  3. Open Course Tools
  4. Click on Turnitin Paper Lookup Tool.
  5. Type the course name in the search bar
  6. Click on the course name to find all the Turnitin assessments in the course
  7. Click on a specific assessment to access the assignment inbox with the submitted files
  8. You will be able to download:
    1. Similarity Report
    2. Original File
    3. Grading Report
    4. Grading and Similarity Report.

If the original unit owner, administrator, instructor, marker, or moderator is no longer employed in your school, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk with the instructor’s details, the name of the submission point you are trying to access, and the name of the student whose submissions you are trying to retrieve.

For more information about the tool, please visit The paper lookup tool for Feedback Studio – Turnitin Guides.

Updates to Padlet Moderation and Roles

Padlet has recently made some changes which may impact on your usage.

Safety Net moderation
Padlet has introduced a moderation feature called ‘Safety Net’ to block inappropriate comments. This will not alter any existing Padlets, but will impact on new Padlets. By default, all new Padlets are now given the moderation setting ‘Auto’, which applies the feature.  If a post is considered to be inappropriate, the Padlet owner will be emailed for approval before the Padlet is made publicly available. If working in a live environment, the post will be flagged directly on the Padlet for the owner to approve.  If you find that Padlet is blocking comments you wish to include, the moderation settings can be altered in the ‘Content’ section of your Padlet’s settings.

Learn more about this in Padlet’s blog or read our guidance in order to learn how to change your moderation settings.

Change to roles in Padlet
Padlet has introduced a new role called “Commenter”, which will only allow visitors to comment on posts and not to edit or add new posts. Alongside this, anyone with the “Reader” permission will no longer be able to to comment.

Xerte upgrade 4th June – MCG feedback issue identified.

An issue has been identified with Xerte, in which it fails to show feedback for multiple-choice questions in limited circumstances. To resolve this issue we are planning an upgrade to the latest version on 4th June between 8am and 1pm.

During this time, Xerte resources will be unavailable to staff and students. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

[RESOLVED] Advisory message about Blackboard email services outage: check emails sent last night.

We were informed of a temporary outage of Blackboard email services after close of business yesterday (08 May 2024). This issue affected all Blackboard email services globally, including any Blackboard notifications that were also sent as emails and the production of submission receipts.

Whilst the service has now been restored, we advise you to check and resend any Blackboard emails you attempted to send yesterday.

[Resolved] Issue with Blackboard receipts

Blackboard has successfully resolved the issue with their receipting tool. Consequently, students submitting work to a Blackboard Assignment should now receive a confirmation email containing the details of the submitted work and a link to the document.

Please note that the issue only impacted student submissions to Blackboard Assignments on Tuesday, 7 May. Nevertheless, all receipts were securely stored in Blackboard, and students were able to access their submission records by navigating to the Submission Receipts section within My Marks.

[Closed] Issue with Blackboard receipts

We have identified an issue with our Blackboard receipting tool, which is currently not always sending out email receipts to students after they have submitted their work. The receipts are always being stored in Blackboard, however.

As a temporary measure, we therefore advise students to check the “Submitted” section of “My Marks” after submitting their work. If a receipt is not recorded there, they should attempt to submit their work again and then contact their school if the issue persists. However, if a receipt is present, they should take a screenshot, note the time, and be assured that their work has been successfully submitted.

We are prioritising this matter and have raised it with Blackboard as an urgent issue. We will provide updates as soon as the issue has been resolved.