Live streaming of lectures in Re/Play – what you need to know

Automated live streaming of activity timetabled as a Lecture is now available from Re/Play equipped rooms. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

To schedule live streaming, the Unit Director or Head of School (or their delegate) should contact the IT Service desk, giving the unit code, unit name, teaching block, and name of requestor. This should be done at least 48 hours before the session.

Screenshot showing a broadcast icon for a live stream 

The stream will be available to students when the session starts, by using the Re/Play link within the unit’s Blackboard pages (usually in the left-hand course menu, though this may vary depending on your school’s template). Students may need to refresh the page at the start of the session if they can’t see the live stream link. The live stream will be the first item listed, at top left, and will have a broadcast icon instead of a screenshot.

Staff can add the Re/Play link to your Blackboard course menu if it isn’t there already. To do this:

  1. Click the plus ‘+’ button at the top left of the menu
  2. Click on ‘Tool Link’
  3. For ‘Name’, type in ‘Re/Play’
  4. For ‘Type’, select ‘Mediasite Automatically Provisioned Collection’
  5. Tick ‘Available to Users’
  6. Click on ‘Submit’

Some live streaming wasn’t working on Monday due to room data problems. This issue has now been fixed and you will be contacted if it affected you.

Further information can be found in our Live streaming with Re/Play page. Please contact if you have any problems.

Duplicate groups appearing in Qwickly Attendance by Course Groups

An issue has caused activity groups from last year to appear alongside this year’s groups in Blackboard courses. If you have set up Qwickly by Course Groups, in many cases the result is duplicate activity groups appearing in the Qwickly Attendance tool. You may therefore find two instances with the same name, one containing students and one empty.

If you are taking attendance by group in the Qwickly Attendance tool, you may need to click on both instances of a group to find the one that contains students – if a group contains students, they will be listed on the page as soon as you select the group.

To resolve this issue, we are working on removing timetabling groups that do not contain any students.

There are two options you can take in Blackboard to manage this issue while we are working on a fix.

  • Option 1 – rename empty groups to start with {S}Z rather than just {S}. This should move them down the group selection list in Qwickly, making it easier to find and use this year’s groups to take attendance. However, this may mean your groups page is still slow to load (link to how to rename groups).
  • Option 2 – delete the empty groups. Please note that this carries risks, for example if a group with students is deleted in error it may not be possible to retrieve information already entered for that group.

The DEO will blog again when we have more information on an institutional fix. Please be assured that this does not impact the use of Qwickly to take attendance from the start of term.

How to rename or delete empty groups

As mentioned above, to manage this issue while we are working on a fix you can rename or delete the empty groups. To do this:

  1. Go to your Blackboard course and navigate to Users and Groups > Groups
  2. Step through the pages by clicking the arrows under Group Settings until you can see the S+ groups (these start with the {S} symbol)
    Screenshot showing the navigation arrows beneath Group Settings
  3. Find the duplicate (empty) group, as in this example
    Two groups are listed with the same name, the second is highlighted as it has 0 students

Option 1 – rename the empty group

  • Click on the down-arrow next to the group name with 0 students and click on Edit
  • Change the name by adding Z to the name starting with {S} (for example, {S}ZPSYC…) and click on Submit

Option 2 – delete the empty group

  • Click on the down-arrow next to the group name with 0 students and click on Delete
  • You will be prompted with ‘This action is final and cannot be undone. Would you like to continue?’ Click on OK

Summer work on Blackboard, Re/Play and Teams for Education – new features and scheduled downtime

Over the summer we will be working to improve our systems and introduce new features. Blackboard, Re/Play and Teams for Education will all see improvements and new features. Please contact if you have any questions. 


  • Migration onto cloud servers – this will scale the capacity of the system to meet demand, enable us to receive bug fixes and upgrades more quickly, and eliminate the need for any downtime for future upgrades and fixes. 
  • Improved text editor – key features include: better copy-and-paste, improved editing from mobile devices, improved accessibility, display computer code snippets, easy text wrapping around images. 
  • Reusable comments bank – a new feature will allow individual markers to maintain a bank of reusable comments 

As previously announced, Blackboard will be unavailable from 9pm on Friday 30 July to 9am on Tuesday 3 August while the migration to the cloud server takes place. For further information see our Blackboard developments summer 2021 project page. 


  • New manual recording app – in our equipped rooms you will now be able to make full use of in-room camera equipment 
  • Live streaming – a new service for live streaming from our equipped rooms 
  • New Desktop Recorder – we will be introducing a new desktop app called Mosaic 

We have also fixed a security problem relating to embedded content – embedded videos added before 19 July 2021 have been replaced with direct links, and all new embedded content should use the mashup tool. 

For further information see our Re/Play summer improvements page. 

Teams for Education 

Microsoft Teams offers tools for collaboration, discussion, teamwork and community building. These are intended to complement Blackboard. 

  • Optional Teams space for each taught unit – Teams spaces will be created automatically, with students and teaching staff, but will be hidden from students buy default 
  • Simple integration between Blackboard and Teams – for active Teams, direct links will be added between Teams and the appropriate Blackboard courses 

For further information see our Microsoft Teams for teaching project page. 

Teams for teaching – current plans and how to get involved

Microsoft Teams will be part of our core set of supported digital education tools in 21/22. The DEO is working with IT Services to scope and implement a simple way for Teams to be used in programmes and units with minimal administrative overheads. We are working closely with users and stakeholders to shape the service. 

The project has enjoyed an enthusiastic engagement with existing and potential users of Teams for teaching. Many thanks to all those who have contributed. Through surveys, interviews, and a well-attended focus group, we are refining use cases for: 

  • Synchronous teaching through Teams meetings   
  • Engagement, discussion and community-building at a class or group level 
  • Staff- and student-led teaching and groupwork. 

Student membership of unit and programme Teams will be synchronised with SITS data – if students join or leave a course, that will be reflected in the membership. The space will be linked to the relevant Blackboard unit. Programme spaces will be available on request. 

Group activity can be achieved by creating public or private channels within a unit or programme Team. Staff and students can continue to create their own Teams for other groupings but will need to maintain membership manually.  

For more information, or to get involved, look at the Teams for teaching project webpage or contact 

Daily drop-ins and upcoming webinars

We are still running our daily drop-ins (3pm on working days, no need to book, ask us anything).

In addition we have webinars coming up in the next couple of weeks:

  • 13 Oct, 11am – Advanced Blackboard course design
  • 14 Oct, 11am – Engaging online discussions
  • 14 Oct, 3.15pm – Introduction to Blackboard Annotate
  • 19 Oct, 1pm – Marking online using Blackboard marks and feedback extension
  • 20 Oct, 1pm – Introduction to creating and managing tests in Blackboard
  • 21 Oct, 11am – Advanced Blackboard course design
  • 21 Oct, 1.30pm – Blackboard basics

Details and booking on the DEO events page