Re/Play: updates and improvements summer 2022

This summer, we’re moving the Re/Play service to a new kind of integration with Blackboard, called Re/Play LTI. This is because Blackboard will no longer support the old ‘building block’ method of integration.  

There are a number of benefits of this new kind of integration. Re/Play will be more stable, with fewer outages. It will also improve the way Re/Play content is authenticated, so there should be far fewer incidents of students being unable to view materials you share with them. 

Alongside the LTI integration, additional updates and improvements will be introduced. These include a new media player which incorporates accessibility improvements – including the ability to change the font, size and colour of captions. The search engine should also be much better to use when finding and adding Re/Play videos to Blackboard using the ‘Add Content’ tool in the text editor.  

None of this work will require downtime of the Re/Play system. 

We have also re-designed the Re/Play guidance on our webpages, following feedback from and consultation with staff and students. We hope you will find it easier to find the information you need, when you need it.  

For updates on the summer work for all of our key tools, see the DEO Service Improvements page.  

 

[Resolved] No access to Re/Play materials added via the “Build Content” menu option

We are pleased to announce that the issue preventing Re/Play materials being uploaded to Blackboard using “Build Content” has been resolved. This means that all Re/Play material impacted by the incident on Monday 7 February is now accessible to students.

Please accept our apologies for any difficulty this issue has caused you.

If you encounter any further issues, please contact the IT Service Desk or email the Digital Education Office.

[Update] Re/Play Service Status Update February 2022

This post summarises the current status of the Re/Play service giving details of what is working, what has been fixed and any open issues.

Open issues are listed below and provide details of any workarounds that can be used and when a fix will be applied.

Background on this week’s incident and current status

A problem with access to Re/Play recordings was identified around midday on Monday 7 February. The issue involved students losing access to Re/Play materials accessed via the left-hand menu in Blackboard. This was resolved on the morning of Tuesday 8 February and has been working without incident since that time.

Please note the following features of Re/Play are currently working normally and being used intensively:

  • lecture capture and automated recordings of teaching
  • creation and upload of new materials
  • streaming of live lectures
  • student access to video content through channels, the Re/Play course menu item and via URL links to content.

Outstanding issue: Now Resolved – see the update on 11 February

  • No access to Re/Play materials added via the “Build Content” menu option

Since 10.30 am on Tuesday 8th February materials uploaded to Blackboard using “Build Content” have not been usable. There are five common ways materials from Re/Play are added into Blackboard. ‘Build Content’ is one of the less frequently used methods.

*Update*: work to resolve this problem was completed on Friday 11 February.

Workaround: DEO has posted instructions on how to make materials available to students who need them urgently.

Other issues currently identified

  • Staff access to some TB1 2021 materials removed

From Monday 31st January staff may have been unable to access some TB1 21/22 materials housed in Re/Play. No content has been lost or deleted and student access is unaffected.

Work to resolve this problem is planned for the week commencing 14 February 2022.

Workaround: DEO can restore access to materials if they are needed urgently.

  • Links to materials copied from old courses not working

There have been a small number of reports of issues when re-using content from previous years courses.

Work to resolve this issue is substantially complete. A final review and institutional fix will be applied in week commencing 21 February 2022. We will also update guidance for staff on how to re-use materials.

Workaround: Simple instructions can been used by DEO and school staff to resolve this issue.

  • Student access to materials embedded using iframes – resolved

In the summer of 2021, there was a change to the way University systems authenticate users online. Following this change, videos embedded in Blackboard using an iframe need to be set to ‘Everyone can view’ in the Mediasite permissions in order to play.

Resolution: this was resolved in archived courses and for existing materials in 2021/22 Blackboard courses by DEO and IT Services work over the summer to replace embedded content.

For content added this year, updating permissions is a simple step which can be done by school staff. DEO have now resolved the issue for all new 21/22 content in Blackboard and will be running weekly reports to check that permission settings have not been changed.

Current situation and support

Despite the issues listed above, our use of Re/Play continues to be very strong; for example, between 20 September and 22 November 2021, almost 253,000 hours of materials were watched by our students. This data underlines the potential impact of issues and the criticality of the Re/Play service, and we sincerely apologise for any stress and disruption to colleagues and our students.

As you might expect, the DEO Helpdesk is very busy at the moment. To ensure we maintain good response times, the number of staff responding to inquiries to digital-education@bristol.ac.uk has been significantly increased while we work through the backlog of inquiries.

How to share a direct link to a video in Re/Play

With recent issues in Re/Play, we have had questions about sharing Re/Play videos using a direct link, and so thought it would be useful to run through the steps you need to take in order to do this.

  1. Log in to Blackboard and select My Re/Play
  2. Click on the title of the presentation you wish to share 
  3. Make sure the Who Can View setting is set to My Organisation. 
  4. Click the “Share Presentation” button 
  5. Copy the Quick Link URL 
  6. Share this link by pasting it in an email, announcement, Padlet, or wherever best for your students.

When students follow this link, they will need to select the ‘authenticate’ option when prompted. After authenticating, they should be able to view the video in a new browser window. This link will work for anyone authenticated via the University of Bristol’s Single Sign On. 

If you are experiencing problems accessing your recordings via My Re/Play and need to share them urgently, please contact digital-education@bristol.ac.uk so that we can assist further.

[Update] Access to RePlay from Blackboard Menu

This post is a further update to the issue first identified on 07 February, where the Re/Play link in the Blackboard left-hand menu was displaying an error message, and students could not access materials.

As reported earlier today, all students should now be able to access Re/Play materials shared via left-hand menu links in Blackboard. Automated recordings of teaching have not been affected by the technical bug and will still be available after 48 hours or when published by the academic staff member.

However, we are still applying fixes to some pre-existing problems with Re/Play which might affect the ability of some students to view some videos in Blackboard.

We have Blackboard and Sonic Foundry engineers working to resolve these issues and plan to apply another fix tomorrow. If your students are being affected and you urgently need them to be able to access a recording, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk so that we can assist.

 

[Update] Access to RePlay from Blackboard Menu

This is an update to the issue reported on 07 February, where access to Re/Play from the Blackboard menu was not working.

As of 11.00am on 08 February, we believe that access has now been restored, and students should be able to view recordings as normal via the Re/Play menu link in Blackboard courses. We are now in the process of thoroughly testing this fix, so please let us know if students are still experiencing issues viewing recordings via the Re/Play course link.

If you have questions please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

 

[Resolved] Access to RePlay from Blackboard Menu

There is an update to this issue from the 08 February.

We are currently investigating an issue with Re/Play where access to catalogues is no longer working using the left hand menu in Blackboard.  We are liaising with the supplier and we will update this post as we have more information.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

If you have questions please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk

 

Check permissions for Re/Play video embedded in Blackboard using HTML

Since August 2021, the recommended ways to embed Re/Play videos in Blackboard courses changed to reflect security updates in the University systems. Following this change, any Re/Play video which is embedded using an iframe code must have the permissions set to ‘Everyone’ for students to be able to view this content. 

The recent issue with Re/Play permissions removed the ‘Everyone’ permissions for iframe video content from the 2021/22 academic year, resulting in students being unable to play embedded video between Friday 28th January and Wednesday 2nd February 2022. Students would still have been able to access any Re/Play content associated with their units via the Re/Play menu item, which links directly to the unit catalogue. 

The Digital Education Office have restored these videos to a functional state by resetting the permissions to ‘Everyone’. If prior to this issue there had been embedded video without this universal setting, it would not have been viewable to students. However, the ‘Everyone’ setting means that the content would be viewable by anyone within or outside the University if a link was shared. If you have embedded video content which should not be set to ‘Everyone’, you will need to change the permission level via My Re/Play.  

As this content would not have previously been viewable to students, we recommend that you re-add the content using one of the methods, as outlined in this guide ‘Uploading, enhancing and adding videos to your course’ 

We apologise again for any inconvenience.