HP5 is now available to staff – create quizzes and learning materials

H5P is now available to all staff through Blackboard. H5P uses attractive templates to create quizzes, interactive learning resources and presentations. H5P content can be embedded into Blackboard or added as a standalone link to pass marks into the Grade Centre.

H5P provides examples and tutorials for its various templates, you can read more in our guide to creating and embedding H5P resources.

Take a look at our H5P page for an overview of the tool. If you have any questions, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

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 deep link generators – old links may need updating

Our Deep Link Generator and External User Deep Link Generator allow you to create direct links to Blackboard Course and Organisation pages, which will send people to the correct page even if they are not already logged in to Blackboard. These are primarily used for emailing links to specific pages in Blackboard to students and staff. 

We have had to update these tools, following a recent change to the authentication method used by the University.  Please note that you may need to refresh your browser cache to see the updated version of the tool. 

Any links created prior to the August 3rd using these tools will need to be updated. You can do this by recreating the links using the updated tools: Deep Link Generator, External User Deep Link Generator 

If you are not sure whether a link needs updating, you can test it by clicking on the link (broken links will always result in an error). If you don’t have the original link, you can find it by following the simple steps in this video:  

Text Version of Guide

If you have a large number of links that need updating, or have any questions, please contact us via digital-education@bristol.ac.uk 

Scheduled Maintenance – Blackboard Collaborate Ultra 12th August

Blackboard Collaborate has advised us that there will be scheduled maintenance taking place on Thursday, August 12tth, between midnight and 4 am. During this time, users will experience intermittent availability. The purpose of the maintenance is to update Collaborate to version 21.14. You can read about improvements to functionality on the Collaborate Release Notes page.

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

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

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

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.