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.

Stream is changing

Microsoft is updating Stream on 10 July, moving from Stream Classic to Stream (on SharePoint). This will affect anyone using Microsoft Unit Teams to record teaching sessions.

The main changes are:

  • Recordings will now be stored directly in OneDrive or SharePoint
  • There will no longer be the ability to edit your video directly in OneDrive/SharePoint, but you can download it for editing in other tools, such as Camtasia
  • It is no longer possible to create an embed link to your recording, but you can get a link to the recording to share with people within the University.

Added features

There are some additional features to this update that may be useful to you in your teaching, including:

  • Support for chapters, to make it easier to move through a video
  • The ability to add and reply to comments alongside the video
  • Improved analytics – weekly viewership (unique & total) and viewership retention
  • Improved video thumbnails, with any point of the video able to be used as a thumbnail.

The Microsoft roadmap for Stream has more detailed information on the additional features.

Please note:

  • One-to-one or group calls and scheduled meeting recordings will be saved in the OneDrive account of the University attendee who started the recording. In order to make sure that this is not one of your students, you can set access and presenter options.
  • Unit Teams meeting recordings and files will be automatically stored in the SharePoint folder for the Unit Team.

Folder permissions:

  • All Unit Teams have been configured so that only owners can share files or recordings both externally and internally. Any attempt to share files by members of the team will send a request to the owners for approval.
  • Non-Unit Teams have been configured so that sharing files or recordings externally can only be done by an owner, but members can share files within the organisation.
  • Please also see the IT Services instructions on how to manage permissions.

Further information on the Stream changes can be found on the IT services web pages.

2022-23 Blackboard course creation

After August 1, new Blackboard courses will be created for the 2022-23 taught units. These will be a copy of the previous year’s course, where that exists, including any template.

New units, or units that have had a change of unit code or teaching block, will be generated as a copy of the school’s template, or as blank Blackboard course if your school does not have a template. Please contact the DEO 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 course; 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.

Details of the summer work being carried out by the DEO can be found on our Service Improvements page.

Qwickly Attendance updated

Qwickly Attendance has now received an essential system update. This has improved accessibility and replaced the main navigation menu with a new left-hand menu. The settings have also been updated to make the system easier to use. All documentation has now been updated to reflect the changes.

The update we previously announced for Qwickly Course Tools has now been postponed by the supplier and further details will be announced once they are received.

No Blackboard downtime this year

Unlike in previous years, there will be no summer downtime for Blackboard this year. This is because, last summer, we moved our Blackboard system onto a ‘cloud’ infrastructure. This means our system can automatically scale to meet demand, and can also receive bug fixes and upgrades more quickly, without any downtime.

Details of the summer work being carried out by the DEO can be found on our Service Improvements page.

System update for Qwickly Attendance and Course Tools, 29 June

We will be receiving an essential system update for the Qwickly Attendance and Qwickly Course Tools in Blackboard on Wednesday 29 June. 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.

Campus Pack no longer available

The Campus Pack features in Blackboard have now been switched off, as the product is no longer supported by the supplier. This means it is no longer possible to add new Campus Pack items into courses.

If you already used Campus Pack within an existing course, you will still be able to view the content. Students will also be able to view and export existing items.

For further details on this change and instructions on exporting content, see our Service Improvements page.