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.

[Open] Turnitin ZIP file submission currently unavailable

Turnitin ZIP file submissions are currently unavailable. During this time, staff may find they are unable to upload ZIP files to Turnitin and instead receive an error message. Turnitin have been informed and are working on a resolution. In the meantime, our testing has shown the Multiple File Upload and Single File Upload options appear to be working correctly, so files which need to be uploaded urgently can be done so through those methods.

If you have any questions, please contact the Digital Education Office.

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 .

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 

Xerte upgrade 11th August

IT Services will be upgrading Xerte to version 3.11 between 8am and 1pm on Thursday 11th August. During this time, Xerte resources will be unavailable to staff and students. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

This upgrade brings security updates and improved functionality, including:

  • Accessibility enhancements and responsiveness.
  • Improvements to Bootstrap Template.
  • Access codes (password protect sections to add elements of gamification, e.g. Escape Room style content).
  • Improved WYSIWYG editor for text areas.
  • Spellchecker improvements.

We will update the blog when Xerte is available again. If you have any questions, please contact

Questionmark scheduled maintenance Saturday 20 August 2022 09:00- 21:00

Dear colleagues,

Questionmark Scheduled Maintenance: Saturday 20 August 2022 –  09:00-21:00

The purpose of the maintenance is to deploy system updates to ensure the ongoing reliability, security and up time of the platform.

During this time all users may experience service disruptions. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

If you have any questions, please email

Questionmark essential maintenance – Wednesday 27th July 7.15 – 7.45 am

IT Services and the supplier need to perform essential maintenance relating to University user authentication to enable sign in to Questionmark. The maintenance work will be carried out on Wednesday 27th July from 7.15 to 7.45 and may result in a short interruption of service. There may be further service disruption until 10am.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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.