Blackboard upgrade 2020, 5 – 6 August

The Digital Education Office will be upgrading Blackboard from 5 pm on Wednesday 5th August 2020. Blackboard will be unavailable until midday on Thursday 6th August. (Please note that these dates have been changed from those announced earlier, following consultation with schools.)

This update is part of essential service maintenance. The core Blackboard functionality and interface will remain the same, but the upgrade will allow us to explore integration with Microsoft Office 365. 

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.  

 

Blackboard upgrade completed, 23 July 9.30 am

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 digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

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

Blackboard upgrade, 7 pm Sunday 22 July – 12 noon Monday 23 July

As a final reminder, the Blackboard upgrade will take place between 7 pm on Sunday 22 July and midday on Monday 23 July. Blackboard will be unavailable during this time, so please do not schedule any activities requiring Blackboard during that period.

New Blackboard courses for 2018-19 units and programmes will become available to staff between 2 and 8 August.

Please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Blackboard upgrade, 22-23 July 2018

This year, the Blackboard upgrade has been scheduled to take place between 7 pm on Sunday 22 July and midday on Monday 23 July. Blackboard will be unavailable during this time, so please do not schedule any activities requiring Blackboard during that period.

New Blackboard courses for 2018-19 units and programmes will become available to staff between 2 and 8 August.

Please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Blackboard has successfully moved to an externally-hosted service

We are pleased to announce that Blackboard is now running as an externally-hosted service. If you experience any issues, refreshing your browser cache (http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/), completely closing your browser and restarting it, or rebooting your machine should fix the issues. Please let us know if you experience any persistent issues: tel-help@bristol.ac.uk.

Find out more about the changes at our project page.

For Blackboard support, training and advice, please contact us: tel-help@bristol.ac.uk.

Blackboard – improvements to design and mobile experience (note: changes to course menus and themes will be restricted)

As part of the move to external hosting project, we will be upgrading Blackboard to version Q4 2016. This brings many improvements and increased functionality as well as a new visual theme. Accessibility and mobile improvements will remove course themes and course menu colour customisation options.

The Learn 2016 Theme is cleaner and has ‘responsive design’ elements, allowing it to resize and reorder content to take best advantage of the screen size. It will give users a more consistent experience across devices and is optimised for delivery over mobile. Many functions that previously did not work well on mobile devices, such as discussion boards and tests, are much improved.

This theme has been created to follow accessibility standards (WCAG 2.0 principles [link: https://www.w3.org/2004/10/wcag2-nav/wcag20princ.html]) which results in a clearer design that works for all users. Good practice such as keyboard navigation and suitable colour contrast are built into the theme with no need for users to enable them prior to use. To further improve accessibility, legacy ‘course themes’ and colour customisation features have been removed. Course differentiation can be achieved using banners and images, we will provide guidance on how to create and upload graphical content using free online tools. Contact us at tel-help@bristol.ac.uk to arrange support/training. We can run bespoke sessions for a school or teaching team on request.

The screenshots below show a course with the old theme (top) and new theme (bottom):

Blackboard will be:

  • Unavailable between 1:00 am until 12:00 pm on Friday 21 July
  • Read-only between 12.00 pm on Friday 21 July and 7:30 am on Tuesday 25 July (any changes/uploads made will be lost)
  • Unavailable for an hour between 7:30 am and 8:30 am on Tuesday 25 July. Blackboard will return as a full service at 8:30 am
  • Unavailable between 7:00 pm on Sunday 6 August and 2:00 pm on Monday 7 August for upgrade.