Blackboard Collaborate scheduled maintenance, Thursday, January 14, midnight – 4 am

Blackboard Collaborate has advised us that there will be scheduled maintenance taking place on Thursday, January 14, between midnight and 4 am. During this time, users will experience intermittent availability. The purpose of the maintenance is to update Collaborate to the latest version.

During the maintenance, you can check Blackboard’s service status page.

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

Please check the IT service status page to see how the University’s systems and services are working and for planned maintenance information.

May Blackboard Collaborate Update


Collaborate use in the University has been incredibly successful since the lockdown created the need to teach online. In April Collaborate has facilitated 2.88 million cumulative minutes of online learning and been used by just under 9.5 thousand users.

Staff created 5728 individual sessions. 2468 recordings were made, with over 1253 hours length in total. A total of 8488 individual recordings were viewed.

Blackboard have made some changes to the Collaborate tool to maintain quality and make scheduling large sessions for 250 to 500 users easier for instructors. A new ‘Large scale session (250+)’ option is available in Session Settings. Previously larger sessions would require liaison with the Digital Education Office and would be created on a separate server. To improve performance, they have disabled some functionality for students in large scale sessions, such as sharing audio/video, drawing on whiteboard and Breakout Groups. Chat functionality is also off by default but can be turned back on during a session.


Xerte upgrade and downtime 27th April

Xerte Upgrade Monday 27th April

Following recent advice from the Xerte Development Team, IT Services will be upgrading Xerte to version 3.8.5 between 8am and 4pm on Monday 27th April.

This upgrade contains important and essential security updates. We apologise for the late notice and timing; however, the upgrade is essential to ensure Xerte remains a safe and secure tool for staff and students.

In addition to the security improvements, this upgrade will bring us up to the most recent version and brings the following benefits:

  • New page types including ‘Text Correction’.
  • Sub-templates and Learning Designs.
  • Improved tracking of Project Plays.
  • Improved and accessible Hotspots.
  • Better integration with Mediasite (Re/Play) video content in Media Lessons.
  • Improved Display Modes.
  • Improved accessibility.
  • Improved Audio Player

We will blog again when Xerte is available for staff and students.

Blackboard upgrade completed, 30 July 9am

The Blackboard upgrade has been completed ahead of schedule, and Blackboard is available again now. The Digital Education Office has tested all key functionality, and is continuing with further in-depth testing.

If you come across anything that isn’t behaving as you expect it to, please email

Further details of the upgrade, and other DEO developments, can be found on our website.

Blackboard Upgrade and Course Rollover 2019

Blackboard Upgrade  

The Digital Education Office will be upgrading Blackboard from 7pm on Monday 29th July 2019. Blackboard will be unavailable until midday on Tuesday 30th July.  

This update brings general improvements to Blackboard, including audio/video feedback for submissions. Keep an eye on the blog for updates.

Course Rollover 

Course rollover and new course creation for 2019/20 will take place on Monday 5th August 2019. Blackboard will continue to be available as normal during this process. Staff enrolments will roll over from 2018/19 or 2017/18 courses as applicable. For any issues with new course enrolments, please contact your school admin team in the first instance.