Reusable comments – new feature for marking in Blackboard

As part of this summer’s Blackboard upgrade, a new feature will be available for marking in Blackboard. The Content Library, part of Bb Annotate, allows individual markers to save time by having a bank of reusable comments.

You can keep a master comment bank, use these when marking in any of your Blackboard courses, and edit individual comments once added to assignments, if required.

Screenshot of reusable comment tool in Blackboard

The Blackboard upgrade will take place between 9 pm on Friday 30 July and 9 am on Tuesday 3 August.

More information about summer 2021 Blackboard developments.

If you have any questions, please email

Issue bulk downloading assignments affecting some staff (including for file upload exams)

A small number of staff have reported an issue downloading Blackboard assignments using the bulk-download tool in Course Tools > Download Assignments.  Having selected the relevant assignment and students, when clicking ‘Submit’ the expected zip file download does not appear. Blackboard have been informed and are investigating as a matter of urgency. 

What to do if you experience this

Clearing Blackboard cookies has been shown to resolve this issue.  Please follow the instructions below to clear cookies, then try downloading again. If you continue to experience problems, please contact


  1. On your computer, open Chrome. 
  2. At the top right, click the three dots and then Settings. 
  3. Under ‘Privacy and security’, click Cookies and other site data. 
  4. Click See all cookies and site data. 
  5. At the top right, search for ole. 
  6. To the right of ‘’, click the bin icon. 
  7. Close all instances of Chrome and Edge. 
  8. Reopen Chrome, log in to Blackboard and try the download again. 


  1. On your computer, open Edge. 
  2. At the top right, click the three dots and then Settings. 
  3. Under ‘Cookies and Site Permissions’, click  Manage and delete cookies and site data. 
  4. Click  See all cookies and site data. 
  5. At the top right, search for ole. 
  6. Click the down-arrow next to ‘’. 
  7. To the right of ‘’, click the bin icon. 
  8. Close all instances of Edge and Chrome. 
  9. Reopen Edge, log in to Blackboard and try the download again. 

Apologies for any disruption caused. We will provide updates on this blog as soon as we have them.

Hiding marks and feedback until ready for release

As the assessment period starts, schools should please ensure that Blackboard Grade Centre columns are hidden from students until marks and feedback are ready to be released. You can check a column is hidden from students by looking for the circle with a red line through it in the column header.
A column header with the 'hidden from students' icon
If it is not hidden, and you need to hide it, click the down arrow next to the column header and select Hide from students (on/off).
The menu to hide columns from students
For Turnitin users, please be aware that a persistent bug means you must make the submission point unavailable after making any changes to the settings. For more details, please see our previous blog post on Turnitin submission point availability issues.
If you have any questions, please email

Turnitin service issue on evening of Friday 12th March

Turnitin have informed us that they had to carry out emergency maintenance on the service on the evening of Friday 12th March.

The service was unavailable between 16:30 and 18:30 GMT.  Between 18:30 and 21:00 the service was restored, but details of student paper matches in the similarity report were not available.

The service was fully restored at 21:00.

We apologise for any disruption this may have caused.  Further information is available on Turnitin’s Status page.

If you have any questions please contact

Issue affecting some Turnitin submission receipts resolved

The issue affecting some Turnitin submission receipts has been resolved. The issue was first reported on Friday 5th March and Turnitin informed us it was resolved in the early hours of Saturday 6th March. Our testing has now confirmed this. During this period students may not have received email receipts when submitting their work, even though the submissions themselves were successful. Any students who did not receive an email can still download their digital receipt using the instructions provided previously.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions, please contact 

Some students not receiving Turnitin submission receipts

We have had reports of some students not receiving email receipts when submitting to a Turnitin assignment. The submissions themselves appear to have been successful, but the receipt was not received.

We have reported this issue to Turnitin and they are currently investigating.

In the meantime, if students do not receive a receipt by email they can check their submission has worked, and download a copy of the submission receipt, by following these instructions:

  1. Go to your Blackboard course and locate the submission point.
  2. Click View/Complete.
  3. Click View.
  4. Click the grey download icon.
  5. Click Digital Receipt.

Location of the grey download icon

We apologise for any disruption or inconvenience this may cause, and will post an update as soon as we have further information from Turnitin.

If you have any questions please contact

Replacing feedback files in B1 workflow (bulk upload)

This issue may affect you if you bulk upload feedback files using the B1 workflow.

We have had two reports of a bug which occurs when two (or more) feedback files of the same name are uploaded and released using the B1 bulk upload (for example, if uploading and releasing the same zip file twice). The bug causes two errors:

  1. It becomes impossible to remove both files.
  2. Removing one of the files breaks the link to access the other file.

If the content of the different file versions is identical, they can be left as they are and students will simply see two identical files. If you find yourself in a position where you are experiencing this bug and the content of the file versions is not identical (even if they have the same name), please contact the DEO.

In order to prevent this issue occurring, if you need to replace existing feedback files always remove them before uploading new versions, as per our instructions.

This issue has been reported to Blackboard and they are investigating. We will provide an update when we hear more from Blackboard. In the meantime, if you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.