[Resolved] No access to Re/Play materials added via the “Build Content” menu option

We are pleased to announce that the issue preventing Re/Play materials being uploaded to Blackboard using “Build Content” has been resolved. This means that all Re/Play material impacted by the incident on Monday 7 February is now accessible to students.

Please accept our apologies for any difficulty this issue has caused you.

If you encounter any further issues, please contact the IT Service Desk or email the Digital Education Office.

Teams for teaching survey – closing date 4 Feb, noon

If you have used Microsoft Teams for teaching, or might consider using it in the future, we would be grateful if you could take this survey. It should take less than five minutes. The feedback will inform future development and support for Teams for teaching.

Please also pass the link to colleagues who you think may be interested.

Take the survey or find out more about Teams for teaching.

Blackboard marks transfer maintenance, 17 Nov, 10 am – 11 am

IT Services are making some technical changes to the systems that handle student marks. As a result of this, the ability to transfer marks from Blackboard to SITS/eVision will be unavailable on Wednesday 17 November between 10 am and 11 am. 17 November should be considered an “at risk” day, and we recommend that you do not transfer any marks on this day. If you were planning on transferring marks out of Blackboard on 17 November, or shortly afterwards, please let the Digital Education Office know by emailing digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Sky online access issue

We have become aware of a nationwide issue this morning for customers of Sky and Now TV which has affected their online access to University services, including Blackboard. It appears that Sky has now fixed the issue, but if staff or students continue to experience problems, they can contact the IT Service Desk for support on 0117 428 2100. As a reminder, if students experience any technical issue with assessments, they should contact the Blended Learning Team on 0117 374 2833.

Issue affecting some videos in Blackboard

We have been made aware of an issue whereby some videos embedded in Blackboard will not play. This issue only affects a particular type of video – those embedded directly into Blackboard using an older, deprecated method – and doesn’t affect videos that are hosted in Re/Play. We are updating the broken videos we know of with a working link, and are also working with Blackboard on addressing the root cause of the issue.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

Blackboard courses for the new academic year (2021-22)

Shortly after the University’s central systems switch over to the new academic year, on August 1, new Blackboard courses will be created for the 2021-22 taught units. These will generally be a copy of the previous year’s course, where that exists, with the summative assessments and Grade Centres cleared ready for the coming year’s assessments. The copies will include the course template structures that were adopted last year by most schools, but the content will need refreshing and resetting for the new academic year. In particular, staff should make sure to remove any of the exam “packages” that were added for the summer assessment period, to avoid confusion.

Students across the University really liked the structure, clarity and consistency provided by the Blackboard course templates, and said how much these helped them with their studying. Carrying this structure forwards, with refreshed content, will help to continue this enhanced student experience of learning.

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

Blackboard migration summer 2021

This summer, our Blackboard system will be migrated onto cloud servers. Blackboard will be performing this work, supported by IT Services and the Digital Education Office, between 9 pm on Friday 30 July and 9 am on Tuesday 3 August. Our Blackboard system will therefore be unavailable during this time, and we apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.

The cloud migration will move our Blackboard system from its current location on Blackboard’s servers in Amsterdam onto a ‘cloud’ infrastructure based in Frankfurt, provided by Amazon Web Services. This will allow our system to automatically scale to meet demand and will also enable us to receive bug fixes and upgrades regularly throughout the year, rather than having to wait for the summer upgrade. Consequently, you may occasionally see small changes to Blackboard during the academic year, but the DEO will test these before they go live and provide supporting materials and guidance in advance of any changes. Finally, the migration will also eliminate the need for any scheduled downtime in the future, as upgrades and fixes can be performed without taking our system down.

For further information, please see our project page for Blackboard developments or email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Blackboard developments summer 2021

This summer, our Blackboard system will be developed in two significant ways: the software will be upgraded to the latest version, and the whole system will be migrated onto cloud servers. Blackboard will be performing this work, supported by IT Services and the Digital Education Office, between 9 pm on Friday 30 July and 9 am on Tuesday 3 August. Our Blackboard system will therefore be unavailable during this time, and we apologise for any inconvenience this will cause. The developments will bring several benefits, which are outlined below.

Software upgrade

The software upgrade will bring many incremental improvements and bug fixes, along with big changes to the Content Editor – the ‘text box’ tool that you see whenever you are creating or editing an item in Blackboard. These enhancements include better copy-and-paste from external sources, improved accessibility, easy text wrapping, and the ability to display computer code snippets.

Additionally, a new feature in Bb Annotate, the Content Library, will allow individual markers to have a bank of reusable comments for marking assignments in any of their Blackboard courses.

Cloud migration

The cloud migration will move our Blackboard system from its current location on Blackboard’s servers in Amsterdam onto a ‘cloud’ infrastructure. This will allow our system to automatically scale to meet demand and will also enable us to receive bug fixes and upgrades more quickly. Finally, it will eliminate the need for any scheduled downtime in the future, as upgrades and fixes can be performed without taking our system down.

For further information, please see our project page for Blackboard developments or email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.