We are planning a minor update to Blackboard between 9 pm on Sunday 16 December and 9 am on Monday 17 December. We will confirm the maintenance following further testing of the update. If we can proceed with the work, there will be unavailability over this period and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
We have recently identified problems when trying to upload submissions to Turnitin using the Safari browser (version 12.0) where the upload appears to hang and never completes.
We have notified Turnitin of the error and they are working to resolve the problem. Until there is a resolution, the work around is to use a different browser, both Chrome and Firefox can be downloaded and used on a Mac.
We will update this blog with any further information.
Turnitin have announced that their service is available again
Turnitin UK is currently unavailable; Turnitin have reported that their engineers are investigating the issue as a priority. We will update this blog with new information as we receive it; you can also follow Turnitin’s own status reports here.
Following the successful overnight upgrade to Blackboard the service is now available. The upgrade has improved the functionality through which students can download annotated feedback from Box View. Our Electronic Marking of Assessment support pages include guidance on how students can do this.
We can now confirm that, as previously announced, Blackboard will be unavailable during the period between 10 pm on Sunday 14 October and 9 am on Monday 15 October. This downtime is to allow us to perform an update that will, among other things, make it possible for students to download annotated copies of their marked assignments. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
As an Instructor, if under “My Courses” on your Blackboard home page you see “not currently available” or “unavailable” after the course name, this means the course is unavailable to students. Instructors can still access and edit the course.
There are two ways to make your courses available to students
- You can use the Quick Tools on your Blackboard Home page. Click Course Availability and turn the On/Off button next to the course to the required state.
- Click on the course
- Under Control Panel, click on Customisation
- Click on Properties
- In section 3, Set availability, select Yes
- Click Submit
If you have any problems or queries please contact Digital-Education@bristol.ac.uk
We are delighted to announce that Blackboard Ally will be available from Monday 24th September. Ally is a new tool which improves the accessibility of content uploaded to Blackboard for all users, including those with disabilities.
This video shows how Ally works to improve the student experience, save staff time and give the University an insight into how it meets its legal requirements for accessibility.
Ally automatically converts uploaded content into a variety of accessible alternative formats, such as audio, tagged PDF and ebook. Staff will see a small colour-coded meter icon next to uploaded content; clicking this icon will provide guidance on how to improve accessibility and provide quick ways to amend the uploaded content.
Students do not see the accessibility score icons and will only ever see links to the automatically-created alternative formats.
Having accessible content benefits all students by providing formats that meet their needs. Additionally, new legislation coming into force requires all public sector websites, intranet pages and downloadable content to have accessible alternatives after 23rd September 2018. VLEs like Blackboard are included in this legislation, so we’re pleased to provide a tool to ensure Blackboard complies with this while taking pressure off University staff to meet requirements.
We have had reports of the error message: “Failed to save Content item. Please try again” appearing when attempting to upload files to Blackboard using the latest Safari browser. It is possible to upload files using the Chrome browser however, please see here for instructions on how to install this browser on a mac.
We are working with our suppliers to remedy this error and hope to have a fix applied soon. We will update this blog with any further information and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
IT services have alerted us to an issue where returning students are not able to access their email through Gmail. This issue started at 11pm on the 17th September. Any announcements or emails sent using blackboard will also be affected by this issue.
Please see the IT services status page for further information and updates.