[Closed] Issue with submissions to Blackboard group assignments ongoing

Unfortunately, the intermittent bug affecting group submissions to Blackboard assignments is still ongoing. This does not affect individual Blackboard assignments or Turnitin assignments.

When a student submits to a group assignment, the bug means that they may be presented with an error message: ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ Additionally, the submission may not generate any receipt so students will not receive a confirmation email. Despite this, the submission will be successful.

We have reported and further escalated the issue with Blackboard, and they are working on a fix as a matter of priority.

We also wanted to reassure students that their submissions have been made, despite the error message and lack of receipt. Students can check if their submission has been successful as follows:

  • Submit as usual.
  • If you encounter a red banner saying ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ use the left-hand menu to return to the Assessment, Submission and Feedback area.
  • Locate the assignment submission point as before and click on it.
  • You should be presented with a review page displaying the work you submitted.
  • We recommend you take a screenshot of this page for your own records. Be sure to include the submission date and time (under ‘ATTEMPT’ on the right-hand side) in the screenshot.

We apologise for the inconvenience and will blog again as soon as we hear anything further from Blackboard. If you have any concerns or questions, please get in contact with us: digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

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 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.

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

If you have any questions, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

[Closed] Issue with submissions to Blackboard group assignments reoccuring

We have been informed that an intermittent bug affecting group submissions to Blackboard assignments has reoccurred. This does not affect individual Blackboard assignments or Turnitin assignments.

When a student submits to a group assignment, the bug means that they may be presented with an error message: ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ Additionally, the submission may not generate any receipt so students will not receive a confirmation email. Despite this, the submission will be successful.

We have reported and further escalated the issue with Blackboard, and they are working on a fix as a matter of priority.

We also wanted to reassure students that their submissions have been made, despite the error message and lack of receipt. Students can check if their submission has been successful as follows:

  • Submit as usual.
  • If you encounter a red banner saying ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ use the left-hand menu to return to the Assessment, Submission and Feedback area.
  • Locate the assignment submission point as before and click on it.
  • You should be presented with a review page displaying the work you submitted.
  • We recommend you take a screenshot of this page for your own records. Be sure to include the submission date and time (under ‘ATTEMPT’ on the right-hand side) in the screenshot.

We apologise for the inconvenience and will blog again as soon as we hear anything further from Blackboard. If you have any concerns or questions, please get in contact with us: digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

Turnitin scheduled maintenance – Saturday 8th January 2022

Turnitin have advised us that there will be scheduled maintenance taking place on Saturday 8th January from 00:00 – 08:00 GMT. 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.

[Open] LaTeX editor in Blackboard slow

We have identified an error when using the LaTeX maths editor in Blackboard that causes a significant time lag when trying to enter code into the editor. We have raised the issue with Blackboard and they are working on a fix that will be applied in a future update, but they have not yet provided a timescale for this. Investigation suggests that this issue is related to LaTeX equations that have been (correctly) entered into the editor between double dollar signs ($$…$$). To work around this issue, therefore, these equations can be re-created using the ‘MathType’ equation editor itself rather than LaTeX code.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will provide an update as soon as Blackboard provide one. If you have any queries, please contact us.

[Closed] Issue with submissions to Blackboard group assignments

This has now been resolved – please see the update blog post for more details.


We have been informed of a bug affecting group submissions to Blackboard assignments. This does not affect individual Blackboard assignments or Turnitin assignments.

Update 10/11/21: This issue appears to be intermittent so may not affect all assignment submissions.

When a student submits to a group assignment, the bug means that they may be presented with an error message: ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ Additionally, the submission may not generate any receipt so students will not receive a confirmation email. Despite this, the submission will be successful.

We have reported and further escalated the issue with Blackboard, and they are working on a fix as a matter of priority.

We also wanted to reassure students that their submissions have been made, despite the error message and lack of receipt. Students can check if their submission has been successful as follows:

  • Submit as usual.
  • If you encounter a red banner saying ‘Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again.’ use the left-hand menu to return to the Assessment, Submission and Feedback area.
  • Locate the assignment submission point as before and click on it.
  • You should be presented with a review page displaying the work you submitted.
  • We recommend you take a screenshot of this page for your own records. Be sure to include the submission date and time (under ‘ATTEMPT’ on the right-hand side) in the screenshot.

We apologise for the inconvenience and will blog again as soon as we hear anything further from Blackboard. If you have any concerns or questions, please get in contact with us: digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

Adding Re/Play videos to your Blackboard course

There are two recommended ways of adding Re/Play videos to your Blackboard course. Both ensure that the videos are only made available to users within the relevant Blackboard unit spaces. Which you choose will depend on how you want the video to appear to students:

  1. Add it as a standalone item. This shows the video as an individual Blackboard item in a small player.
  2. Insert a link and thumbnail image. This allows additional text to be added around the video to contextualise it. The student clicks on the link to open the video.

A third option – embedding a video player within a Blackboard item – is available, but not recommended, as it means the video would be viewable by anyone within or outside the University if shared.

Instructions, including video guides, for all these methods can be found at: Uploading, enhancing and adding videos to your course (bris.ac.uk)

If you wish to use the third option, embedding a video within a Blackboard item, the ‘Who Can View’ permission for the video in ‘My Re/Play’ must be set to ‘Everyone’. This means that the video can be shared with anyone within or beyond the University who has access to the link. To set this permission:

  1. Log on to Blackboard
  2. Select the ‘My Re/Play’ tab at the top
  3. Locate the presentation you wish to set permissions on
  4. Click on the padlock symbol to unlock it
  5. Click on the video
  6. On the right-hand side, in the ‘Who can view’ section, adjust the slider to ‘Everyone’

If you embed a video in this way but don’t set the permission to ‘Everyone’, then students will be asked to authenticate by Mediasite (as shown in the screenshot below), but will still not be able to access the video.

Mediasite Authenticate screen

If you have any questions, please contact digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Qwickly Course Tools slow to load

We have had reports of the slow loading of the Qwickly Course Tools on the Blackboard home page and we are investigating this with the supplier. If you are experiencing problems using the tool to change your course availability for students, you can also set course availability by clicking the ‘padlock’ icon at the top right of the banner bar in your course:

The Qwickly Attendance tool, accessed in courses, remains unaffected. Please see the guidance on how to manage and record teaching attendance using Qwickly.