Interruptions to key University online services, evenings Fri 19 & Sat 20 March

IT Services will be making emergency upgrades to the University network on Friday 19 March between 6 pm and 9 pm and on Saturday 20 March between 6 pm and 9 pm. This will affect access to some of the services that the Digital Education Office manages, including Blackboard and Re/Play. Further information can be found in the IT Services news item about this work.

Re/Play automated recordings.

We are still automatically recording a small number of lectures because they were set up that way when originally scheduled. Students will not be able to access these recordings as we have not made the Re/Play catalogue link visible to them in Blackboard.

If you are timetabled to teach these sessions, or are the Unit Director on a co-taught unit, you will still be receiving emails confirming that these recordings have occurred. You can just ignore these emails. We will be working to remove blank recordings.

Please remember to upload any recordings you do make to Re/Play, rather than directly to Blackboard. See uploading recordings to Re/Play for more information.

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

Please upload videos to RePlay

If you are adding videos to your Blackboard Course or Organisationit is important that you upload these files to RePlay then link to and/or embed them See: Uploading, enhancing and adding videos to your course. 

Video files should not be uploaded directly to Blackboard. This is because RePlay is optimised to host and stream videosimproving the student experience. RePlay also provides captioning and detailed information on how your materials are being used by students. 

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

Media files for teaching

With blended learning continuing in Teaching Block 2, it is important that all video files created for teaching should be uploaded into Re/Play and not directly to Blackboard.

By using Re/Play, you are storing your content on dedicated video streaming servers which have been optimised for video delivery. In addition to this, there are other benefits to using this service over Blackboard:

  1. Dedicated video delivery with worldwide coverage
  2. Full integration with Blackboard
  3. You can control whether or not students can download your videos
  4. Access to closed captions provided by an automated speech recognition service
  5. Analytics on how your recordings are being used by your students.

Our guidance on how to access and use Re/Play can be found on our website.

Please forward this information on to any of your colleagues who will be teaching in Teaching Block 2.

If you have any questions, or wish to discuss your ideas for using video, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Re/Play Service Update

During Teaching Block 1, we have seen a huge shift not only in the use of Re/Play – 1,000,000 views of content in October this year, compared to 180,000 last year, which equates to over 18 years of video watched in a 30-day period – but in the way we have created content.

Previously, 95% of our content came from equipped rooms and 5% was uploaded, but that is now switched round. This shift has meant that the DEO has been working with the supplier, Sonic Foundry, to review how our system is set up to absorb and stream content. Based on the feedback we have received, we are making some changes to the service to improve the experience of using it.

  1. We are monitoring playback and, in particular, buffering problems for students, and are looking to improve how the system delivers uploaded content to them.
  2. We have made some small adjustments to the way video is uploaded, so that this will be quicker for staff. These changes will also improve playback for students.
  3. Where students are reporting problems with playback, we are updating the video player to enable staff to give students permission to download content. We are currently testing this to ensure it will work, but are hopeful this will be in place in the next week.

If you have any questions about any element of this service, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Update to Re/Play to Blackboard connector – 3rd November, 8 am

In order to mitigate a repeat of the problems we encountered in Week 1 with Re/Play affecting Blackboard performance, IT Services and the Digital Education Office will be updating the connector at 8 am on 3rd November.

We do not expect there to be any disruption of service to users, but there may be a slower-than-normal connection to the service while the connector is installed.

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

“My Re/Play” tab restored; all services operating normally

We are pleased to announce that the “My Re/Play” tab has been restored in Blackboard. All our services (including Re/Play, Blackboard and Collaborate) are available and working normally. We are continuing to closely monitor these services, along with our suppliers. Please accept our apologies for the issues that you experienced yesterday. Further information about the nature of the issues and the steps taken to resolve them will follow shortly.

Re/Play adding and reusing content problems.

Following the changes made to the unit codes as part of the SLSP project we are currently investigating a problem where the search functions will not return results for the new unit code catalogs.

There are two ways we would recommend reusing or adding recordings in to Blackboard  –

Add Presentation tool –

  • Navigate to the content area in the Blackboard course where you would like to add the recording
  • Ensure Edit Mode is ON and then select Build Content
  •  Select Mediasite – Link to presentation(s)
  •  Enter the name of the presentation you wish to add and select Search Presentations
  •  tick the box to the left once located and then Submit
  •  Click OK
  •  The recording will now be at the bottom of the page and can be moved as required.

Embedding –

  •  Open Blackboard and select the My Re/Play Tab
  •  Scroll down and select Share Presentation
  •  Select Copy if you want to add a link or select Embed and then Copy if you wish to add a responsive video player
  • Navigate to the content area in the Blackboard course where you would like to add the recording
  • Ensure Edit Mode is ON and then select Build Content
  •  Select Item
  •  Give the Item a Name
  •  To add a link simply paste in to the editor and add descriptive text so your students know what they are looking at and select Submit
  •  To Embed Select HTML from the bottom row of icons in the editor. If you can not see this click the arrows in the top right. Paste in your Embed code and Update
  •  Add anything else you want in to the text editor and select Submit

If you do need to add a recording to the catalog for the 19/20 academic session please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk and we will be able to assist.