This is a reminder that Turnitin Services will be unavailable on Saturday 13th July from 16:00 – 00:00 as they will be conducting scheduled maintenance. Users will be unable to submit and grade during this window.
The Digital Education Office will be upgrading Blackboard from 7pm on Monday 29th July 2019. Blackboard will be unavailable until midday on Tuesday 30th July.
This update brings general improvements to Blackboard, including audio/video feedback for submissions. Keep an eye on the blog for updates.
Course rollover and new course creation for 2019/20 will take place on Monday 5th August 2019. Blackboard will continue to be available as normal during this process. Staff enrolments will roll over from 2018/19 or 2017/18 courses as applicable. For any issues with new course enrolments, please contact your school admin team in the first instance.
Please be aware that Turnitin Services will be unavailable on Saturday 13th July from 16:00 – 00:00 as they will be conducting scheduled maintenance. Users will be unable to submit and grade during this window.
Turnitin have resolved an issue which was causing sessions to end prematurely in Feedback Studio. Service was affected between 3:04 and 04:36 am. All services are now back to normal.
We have had some reports of submissions to Blackboard being 0 bytes (empty) when accessed for marking. In the past this has been identified as a problem with a browser, initially with Edge and then with Safari. These errors have since been fixed in Blackboard upgrades, however if you have students and markers still reporting similar problems it may be prudent to offer your students some advice for when they upload a submission:
Start the submission at least an hour before the due time.
Make sure you are on a stable, secure connection, an intermittent wi-fi connection could cause problems.
Close the document before trying to upload it to Blackboard.
Wait to see the document rendered properly on screen before assuming that it has uploaded.
If you are having problems, change browser and/or refresh the cache in the browser you are using.
Check that your internet connection is still active and you are still logged in to Blackboard properly (restart the machine and log out and back in).
If you are unable to submit properly email your school administrator immediately attaching a copy of the submission and let them know you have a problem. They can then clear the submission and allow you to try again if necessary.
Blackboard will be performing essential maintenance to their data centre in the early hours of Friday 31 May 2019. Some network disruption is expected for around 30 minutes towards the beginning of the maintenance window, which runs from 2 am to 6 am.
We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
IT Services have successfully resolved the issue with Single Sign-On which prevented users from logging in to Blackboard. Apologies once again for the inconvenience.
A problem with the University of Bristol Single Sign-On service is preventing the majority of users from accessing Blackboard. The Problem started in the early hours and IT Services are working on a fix. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will update the blog when we have further information.
If you are interested in marking offline eg using Word, would you like to try out a new tool which allows the upload of feedback for a whole cohort or for groups of students? The Digital Education Office is running our third hands on session on the 22nd May where you can have a go. The session will be suitable for markers or administrators who support marking.
Alternatively we will also be running a Webinar demonstration/Q&A on the 24th May. This session will be recorded.
More information on the tool
In order to better support markers who mark offline, the Digital Education Office has been working with Blackboard on development of a tool which allows Instructors to:
- batch download assignments, including by group (eg if you are marking a subset of students within a unit)
- mark offline eg annotating an assignment or completing a separate feedback sheet in Word
- batch upload marks and feedback files.
This video provides an overview of how the tool works. Please note that currently the tool can only be used where students have submitted an assignment in Blackboard.
Turnitin have reported that the earlier issue has been resolved and all systems are back to normal.