Opportunity for staff to try out hybrid teaching rooms

From 13th – 17th September IT Services are offering staff the chance to try out new equipment available for hybrid teaching, as follows:

  • Chemistry Lecture Theatre 2 – three drop in sessions at 11:00 to 12:00 on Tuesday 14 , Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 September. IT Services staff will be on hand to explain how to use the new equipment.
  • The following lecture theatres will also be available from 9:00 until 17:00 from Monday 13 September until Friday 17 September. Please note, IT staff will not be present in these rooms to assist.
    • Chemistry – LT2 (apart from 11:00-12:00 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
    • Physics – Frank
    • BioMed – C42
    • 43WR – G.01
    • Ada Lovelace – SM1

If you have any queries please contact the IT Service desk.

Incident management for the reassessment period

As mentioned in today’s Education and COVID-19 bulletin (no 73) , the full process for incident management during the reassessment period is now available.  Staff should familiarise themselves with the process particularly around stakeholder engagement, communication with affected students and reporting and escalation.  Below is a summary of key actions.


  • Ensure local back-up plans are in place and students are aware what they should do in the event of an incident

In the event of an incident:

  • Individual student:  for technical issues refer student to the Blended Learning Team helpdesk (tel: +44 (0) 117 374 2833 or email: service-desk@bristol.ac.uk): for non-technical issues refer the student to the School Office.
  • Exam level:
    • Implement agreed backup plans.
    • Communicate to affected students via agreed routes stating you are aware of the issues and informing them of what they should do.  If you are unsure of these, contact your School Office.
    • Contact the Exams Office if you think you may need to reschedule the exam.
    • Inform your FED of the nature of the incident and resolution.
  • Major incident: check the IT Status page and DEO blog in the first instance, if there is nothing reported, contact the DEO.
  • Report the incident to your FED and FEM so they are aware of the exams and students that have been affected and can coordinate the response via Silver (assessments).

Check Edge and Chrome are up-to-date if using Turnitin

Previously we reported that staff were unable to create or edit some Turnitin assignments and that students were sometimes unable to resubmit assignments.

We are pleased to say that Google have resolved this issue in their latest update for Chrome and Edge. The error never affected non-Chromium browsers such as Firefox and Safari.

We have asked that students who are submitting work to Turnitin ensure their Edge or Chrome browsers are up-to-date, or use a non-Chromium browser such as Firefox or Safari. If they don’t, they may find their ‘resubmit’ button doesn’t work.

For staff, the same advice applies to creating or editing Turnitin assignments with Post-Dates more than two weeks after the Due Date.

We apologise for the disruption caused. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

Update on Turnitin issue affecting assignment creation, resubmission and download in Chrome/Edge

Previously we reported that users were unable to create or edit some Turnitin assignments. Following further reports of disruption to other Turnitin features, Turnitin have now added this issue to their Known Issues page.

An update to how Google Chrome (and other browsers based on ‘Chromium’ eg Edge) handles popups has caused problems with some of the Turnitin functionality. The affected features are:

    • You are unable to create or edit assignments to have post-dates more than the default amount of 2 weeks after the due date.
    • The resubmit button is sometimes unresponsive and unable to be used.
    • Submissions are unable to be bulk-downloaded from the assignment inbox. They can still be downloaded individually.

We have been assured that Turnitin are working on resolving this as a priority.

Workaround: The error does not affect non-Chromium browsers such as Firefox and Safari. It also does not affect previous versions of Chrome or Edge. If you have access to any of these, please use them to carry out the above actions.

We apologise for the disruption caused. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

Turnitin scheduled maintenance: Saturday 14th August 2021

Turnitin have advised us that there will be scheduled maintenance taking place on Saturday 14th August from 16:00 – 18:00 BST. Turnitin services will be unavailable at this time.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

You can stay up to date with Turnitin system status by visiting the Turnitin status page.

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 digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

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 digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.


  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 ‘www.ole.bris.ac.uk’, 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 ‘bris.ac.uk’. 
  7. To the right of ‘www.ole.bris.ac.uk’, 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.