Useful start of term Digital Education links for staff

  1. Refreshing Blackboard courses – preparing your Blackboard course for a new teaching block 
  2. Make your Blackboard course available to students  
  3. New Unit Teams for TB2 are now available to activate if you wish to use them 
  4. Ensure your Re/Play set up is right for Lecture Capture 
  5. Blackboard course design 
  6. Online assessment – including planning and running tests, and electronic management of assessment workflows 
  7. Daily DEO drop-ins 
  8. DEO training – on Develop 
  9. Tools and software 

For queries, please email 

[Resolved] Turnitin loading error for instructors

Turnitin has now solved the issue that gave intermittent access to Turnitin, slowness when opening Similarity Reports, and generated errors when attempting to grade or add feedback to student’s submissions. Staff accessing these services may have been affected between 10:19 and 15:31 today, January 16.

Students were not affected by this issue.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.

[Closed] Turnitin loading error for instructors

It has been reported that staff may be experiencing issues with slowness when opening Similarity Reports in Turnitin, and receiving errors when attempting to grade or add feedback.

Students making submissions are not affected by this issue.

Turnitin UK is currently working to bring the service back to optimum health. We will update this blog with any further developments.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us

Reminder – Turnitin maintenance 14-15 January 2023

This is a reminder that Turnitin services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance by the supplier from Saturday 14th January 2023 at 17:00 until Sunday 15th January 2023 at 01:00 GMT. During this maintenance window users will be unable to submit or mark papers, or view marks, feedback and similarity reports.

Further information is available on the Turnitin status page.

Hiding marks and feedback until ready for release

Before exams, coursework or timed assessments are marked, schools should please ensure that Blackboard Grade Centre columns are hidden from students until marks and feedback are ready to be released. To prevent students from seeing marks too early, you should also ensure Total and Weighted Total columns are hidden. Check a column header for a circle with a red line through it which indicates the column is hidden from students.

Demonstration column

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

If this option isn’t available, or if the column has a green tick next to it, you will need to hide it in a different way:

Total column

  1. Click the dropdown arrow next to the column name.
  2. Click Edit Column Information.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and set Show this column to students to No.
  4. Click Submit.

For more information on administering Electronic Management of Assessment workflows, please see our EMA guidance page.

If you have any questions, please email

[Open] Turnitin M14: 11 error with PowerPoint submissions

There have been occasional and intermittent errors reported by users when attempting to access PowerPoint files submitted to Turnitin. Affected files cannot be opened within Turnitin and students may not get a digital receipt.

The error typically reads:

Turnitin M14 error message

The Digital Education Office has reported this issue to Turnitin, who are investigating. Currently, they believe it to be related to certain uses of images in PowerPoint, including PowerPoint templates and animations.

The issue can be avoided if students save PowerPoints as PDFs for submission. Students can save work created in PowerPoint as a PDF by selecting “Save As” and changing the file type to PDF.

If you require further guidance, or have any other queries, please contact the Digital Education Office.

Clear your cache to prevent possible equation display issues

Occasionally users may find equations do not display correctly in Blackboard. If this occurs you should clear your browser cache, then refresh/reload Blackboard.  Clearing the cache can also be done in advance as a preventative measure once you have logged into Blackboard eg if students are taking a test which includes equations 

Firefox is unaffected by these occasional equation display issues. 

How to clear your cache


  1. Click on the group of three dots in the top-right corner of the Chrome window to open the menu.
  2. Select ‘Settings’ from the menu.
  3. On the ‘Settings’ screen, select  ‘Privacy and security’
  4. Click on ‘Clear browsing data’.
  5. On the ‘Clear browsing data’ screen, tick the box next to ‘Cached images and files’, set the time range to ‘All time’ and click ‘Clear data’.
  6. Close down the Settings tab and refresh/reload Blackboard.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Click on the group of three dots in the top-right corner of the Edge browser window to open the menu.
  2. Select ‘Settings’ from the menu.
  3. On the ‘Settings’ screen, select ‘Privacy, search, and services’ from the list on the left side of the menu.
  4. Under the ‘Clear browsing data’ heading, click ‘Choose what to clear’.
  5. Set Time range to ‘All time‘ , tick the box next to ‘Cached images and files’ and click ‘Clear now’.
  6. Close down the Settings tab and refresh/reload Blackboard.

Instructions for other browsers on how to clear the cache should be available from the Help section on the browser menu, or its online support pages.

Apologies for any inconvenience. The DEO is continuing to work with Blackboard on a permanent fix.

Important information if batch uploading papers to Turnitin

Staff using a Blackboard marking workflow who require Turnitin similarity reports can batch download assignments from Blackboard and batch upload them to Turnitin. Since the move to the Turnitin LTI integration this functionality (zip file upload) is only available to Instructors via the Turnitin website (please contact DEO if you require instructions).
Batch upload via the Turnitin website should not be used if marking is to be done using Turnitin. Papers uploaded in this way will not sync with the Blackboard Grade Centre.
If marking with Turnitin is required papers must be submitted via Blackboard.

If you have any queries please contact