Blackboard Collaborate scheduled maintenance, Thursday, January 14, midnight – 4 am

Blackboard Collaborate has advised us that there will be scheduled maintenance taking place on Thursday, January 14, between midnight and 4 am. During this time, users will experience intermittent availability. The purpose of the maintenance is to update Collaborate to the latest version.

During the maintenance, you can check Blackboard’s service status page.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions, please email

Please check the IT service status page to see how the University’s systems and services are working and for planned maintenance information.

Questionmark Scheduled Maintenance: 16 January 0900-1500

Dear colleagues,

Questionmark Scheduled Maintenance: 16 Jan 0900-1500

Questionmark have advised us that there will be scheduled maintenance taking place on 16 Jan 0900-1500. 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

9 Dec 11am: Turnitin – slow similarity report generation

Turnitin have informed us that the service is currently experiencing an unexpected degradation. During this time, you may find that Similarity Reports are slow to generate.  Students can submit as normal, although we have seen that previews of submissions can take longer than usual to appear.  The root cause has been identified and a fix has been implemented. Turnitin are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide an update as soon as the Similarity Report generation times have returned to normal.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

More information can be found on the Turnitin Status page

Media files in Blackboard and Re/Play

As a consequence of the move to blended learning, a vastly increased number of media (video/audio) files are being made available to students (recordings of seminars and tutorials, demonstrations, etc). These files should all be made available in Re/Play, rather than Blackboard, following the steps laid out in our web guide (which includes instructions for embedding the Re/Play video in Blackboard). This is for a number of reasons, including:

Media files in Re/Play can now be made available for students to download, as well as watch directly, giving students two ways to access recordings in Re/Play.

The DEO will be working with course leads to move media content into Re/Play over the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please email

Re/Play now enables student download

Staff can now opt to make individual recordings downloadable from Re/Play – see the instructions in our Re/Play FAQs. No content will be downloadable unless the owner of a recording gives permission for their students to download it.

We have set the file size of these downloads to be as small as possible, to support students who have limited bandwidth. This will not impact audio quality, but images may lack some of the very fine detail. For recordings with finely-detailed images, you may need to make associated presentation files or images available to students in addition to the recording.

The Recording Educational Activities Policy sets limits on how long students are allowed to keep such recordings. Students are breaking the policy if they share the recordings with others.

If you have any questions, please email

Digital Insights Surveys launched today

Digitally Ready course: an update

After the course ran successfully during the digital induction week, the DEO is updating ‘Digitally Ready’ with new content in November and January.  In this update, we tell you a bit more about what students thought of the course so far and what’s coming up.

‘Digitally Ready’ is available under your list of ‘My Organisations’ on Blackboard. If you can’t access the course, follow this link where you can self-enrol onto Digitally Ready.

Guidance on recording teaching and hybrid teaching

The DEO have drafted two new guides to support staff planning teaching and timetables in TB2. The first guide is a summary of options for recording online and face-to-face teaching. This guide also includes options which could be used instead of recording (which might be useful for all students on a unit). The second guide summarises some questions and considerations which might be useful for any staff considering hybrid teaching (teaching online and face-to-face students at the same time) to enable self-isolating students to join on-campus sessions. Hybrid teaching can be complex and difficult to do well, and teaching rooms are not currently designed to support it. This guidance considers some of the areas you may need to address before you choose to adopt it.

Turnitin service update – 6th Nov 9am

Turnitin have advised us that due to an unexpected service degradation users may have experienced slowness when submitting using the service on Thursday 5th November between 17:17  and 19:13.

Submission is now back to normal.

However users may still continue to experience slow similarity report generation.

More information can be found on the Turnitin Status page.

We apologise for any inconvenience.  If you have any questions please contact