We are delighted to announce Blackboard Ally will be available from Monday 24th September. Ally is a new tool which improves the accessibility of content uploaded to Blackboard for all users including those with disabilities.
This video shows how Ally works to improve student experience, saves staff time and gives the university an insight into how it meets it’s legal requirements for accessibility.
Ally automatically converts uploaded content into a variety of accessible alternative formats such as audio, tagged PDF and ebook. Staff will see a small colour coded metre icon next to uploaded content, clicking this icon will provide guidance on how to improve accessibility and provide quick ways to amend the uploaded content.
Accessibility score icons
Students do not see accessibility scores and will only ever see links to the automatically created alternative formats.
Having accessible content benefits all students by providing formats that meet their needs. Additionally, new legislation coming into force requires all public sector websites, intranet pages and downloadable content after 23rd September 2018 to have accessible alternatives. VLEs like Blackboard are included in this legislation, so we’re pleased to provide a tool to ensure Blackboard complies with this whilst taking pressure off University staff to meet requirements.
Our Blackboard Ally page contains links to guides and videos. If you have any comments or further questions please contact us via email@example.com.
We are currently experiencing some problems with email replies from our ticketing software TOPdesk being sent directly to user’s spam folders. If you have recently sent in a request to Digital-Education@bristol.ac.uk can you please check that your spam folder does not contain any follow up correspondence.
We are working with IT Services to resolve the issue and hope to be back to normal shortly.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
We have had reports of the error message: “Failed to save Content item. Please try again” appearing when attempting to upload files to Blackboard using the latest Safari browser. It is possible to upload files using the Chrome browser however, please see here for instructions on how to install this browser on a mac.
We are working with our suppliers to remedy this error and hope to have a fix applied soon. We will update this blog with any further information and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
IT services have alerted us to an issue where returning students are not able to access their email through Gmail. This issue started at 11pm on the 17th September. Any announcements or emails sent using blackboard will also be affected by this issue.
Please see the IT services status page for further information and updates.
Turnitin have reported that some users may currently be unable to submit larger files, as well as experiencing slow submission and reporting times. The system is working through a backlog of submissions. You can stay up-to-date with Turnitin system status by following @TurnitinStatus on Twitter.
We have had a communication from Turnitin warning us of possible intermittent service problems. As yet we have not experienced any problems with the service although you may find that uploads are slower than usual.
Turnitin are currently working to resolve the problem and we will keep this blog updated with any further information.
On Saturday 22 September, between 4 pm and 12.30 am the following morning, Turnitin will be performing some proactive emergency maintenance. During this maintenance window you will be unable to submit or grade papers. You can stay up to date with Turnitin system status by following @TurnitinStatus on Twitter.
We are investigating a a temporary glitch with staff course enrolments in Blackboard 2018 courses this morning, which we believe has been fixed. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience any issues. Students should not have been affected.
Turnitin have reported that they have resolved the networking issue that was causing intermittent access, and that their services should be available again now.
Turnitin have reported that they are currently experiencing connectivity issues. They are working on resolving these, but until they do, we will experience intermittent availability of the Turnitin service. We will post updates when we get further information from Turnitin, and you can see Turnitin’s status here: https://twitter.com/TurnitinStatus.