[Resolved] Some Blackboard pages displaying incorrectly

An issue was identified at around 5 pm on Friday where, for some people, Blackboard pages were not displaying properly in their web browser. The issue was reported to Blackboard, who took steps that fixed the issue on Saturday morning. Anyone who is still experiencing this issue should clear the cache in their web browser (using, for example, these instructions), which will allow the pages to display correctly again.

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

[Open] MathType Equation rendering issue in Blackboard text editor

A display issue has been discovered when using the MathType equation editor within the Blackboard text editor.  If you are currently using either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as your browser, you will notice that any equation, once published, will be displayed as plain text.  

It is recommended that staff and students use Firefox when required to view any mathematical equations, as the issue is not present in this browser.

This issue will be fixed in the next Blackboard update scheduled for the 6th October.

System update to Qwickly Course Tools now completed

Qwickly Course Tools, in Blackboard, has now received an essential system update. This tool allows users to make changes to multiple courses, such as:

  • changing course availability
  • posting announcements
  • sending emails.

The update has improved accessibility and replaced the main navigation with a new left-hand menu. The link to Qwickly Course Tools will appear differently on Blackboard’s home page:Qwickly Course Tools link

Our documentation has been updated to reflect the changes.

If you have any questions, please contact digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

System update to Qwickly Course Tools

The essential system update to Qwickly Course Tools in Blackboard will now be taking place on Wednesday 31 August.

The update will improve accessibility and replace the main navigation menu with a new left-hand menu to make the system easier for instructors to use. The Qwickly settings have also been reconfigured to further simplify use. Details of the changes can be found on our Service Improvements page. Qwickly will remain available to staff throughout the update.

Some temporary loss of access to Blackboard – Monday 15 August 9-11pm

Some students may have lost access to Blackboard between 9 pm and 11 pm on Monday evening, due to central student records incorrectly showing these students as having left the University. At 11 pm, IT Services re-enabled the student enrolments manually and have temporarily disabled updating Blackboard from central student records while the root cause of the issue is being investigated. We apologise to any students who may have been affected.

Refreshing Blackboard courses 

The summer Blackboard “rollover” process creates a copy of a previous year’s unit course (where one exists) for the new academic year, with all the teaching materials and files. (If your school is introducing a new or refreshed Blackboard template, though, this may not be the case.)

Preparing your new Blackboard course is a great opportunity for you to refresh it by removing duplicate or obsolete content and implementing students’ feedback, to enhance their experience and their effective use of the digital learning environment.

Read the Guidance for staff on refreshing Blackboard courses for more information, or contact the DEO at digital-education@bristol.ac.uk .

2022/23 Blackboard courses are now available to access

The annual “rollover” of Blackboard courses is now complete, and the 2022/23 Blackboard courses are now available to access.  

The courses are copies of the previous year’s courses, where those exist, including any template. New units, or units that have had a change of unit code, will be generated as copies of the school’s template, or as a generic template if your school does not have its own template. Please contact the Digital Education Office if you are interested in adopting a school template for the 23/24 academic year.  

Students are automatically enrolled onto the courses for the programme and units that they are registered to in SITS. Instructor enrolments are copied from the previous year’s courses; instructors will need to be manually enrolled onto any new courses. Please contact your school office if you to be added to any new Blackboard courses.  

Programme-level courses and organisations are persistent and do not roll over.  

The Assessment, Submission and Feedback areas of the new courses will be cleared of assessments, along with the Grade Centres, ready for the coming year’s assessments. Guidance on setting up assessments can be found on BEAM.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk. 

[Closed]Formula rendering issue in Blackboard tests

This issue has now been resolved.

Blackboard have identified a problem with the rendering of some formula questions in existing Blackboard tests. A partial fix was rolled out on Friday 15th July which means that all newly created questions (from the 16th July) are displaying without a problem. Blackboard are now working on a fix for existing questions.

As for now, the only workaround available for this issue would be using Firefox browser, as it renders MathML natively, so the images will look well there. The WIRISplugin converts that MathML to image so browsers like Chrome that don’t support MathML can render it. You may use this option as a workaround while we wait for the fix.

Blackboard integration changes

The way that tools such as Turnitin and Re/Play integrate with Blackboard is changing. From 2022/23, Blackboard integrations will move to a new, more robust approach (LTI/API replacing ‘building blocks’). All major changes will be implemented during the summer, in time for the next academic year, ahead of the older integration methods being deprecated by the suppliers and turned off. Making these changes during the summer will allow us to maintain access to all the tools currently integrated with Blackboard. In some cases, there will be improvements to the user experience; in others, the change will not be noticeable to you. For a few tools, the new integration will mean some changes to the way the tool works, or where you find it in Blackboard. Support and information for affected tools will be made available on the DEO Service Improvements page.