Useful links for preparing online teaching

Making your Blackboard courses and organisations available to students

As an Instructor, if under “My Courses”or ‘My Organisations’ on your Blackboard home page  you see “not currently available” or “unavailable” after the course name, this means the course is unavailable to students. Instructors can still access and edit the course.

There are two ways to make these available to students

  • You can use the Quick Tools on your Blackboard Home page. Click Change Course Availability for Students and turn the On/Off button next to the course or organisation to the required state.


  • Click on the course/organisation
  • Under Control Panel, click on Customisation
  • Click on Properties
  • In section 3, Set availability, select Yes
  • Click Submit

If you have any problems or queries please contact

Questionmark scheduled maintenance: Saturday 19th September

Questionmark have advised us that there will be scheduled maintenance taking place on Saturday 19th September from 08:00 – 20:00 BST. 

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.

Reminder re: Reassessments video tutorials and a new FAQ

School / faculty administrators or Student Administration Managers (SAMs) are busy setting up reassessments. This is a reminder that videos covering the process are available from BEAM:

User Guides and Reference Guides:

We have a new FAQ:

How do I make my reassessment available on a specific date?

Go to the submission point, select Edit and then add the dates and times in the in the ‘Availability’ section under ‘Display After’ and ‘Display Until’ .

Please ensure you have also watched Video 6 on how to allocate reassessment groups and make your assessment visible to students.

Change to Turnitin for anonymous marking

Please read this information if you use or administer Turnitin for anonymous marking.

With the recent Blackboard upgrade, essential to ensure our Blackboard service remains supported, we were also required to update the Turnitin integration. Unfortunately, in the newer version Turnitin have changed the Sync Grades functionality so it cannot be used to send submission information (marks or submission status) from Turnitin to the Blackboard Grade Centre while anonymity is on.

Does this affect me?

The change affects you if you have previously used Sync Grades to:

  • Check to see which students have or have not submitted while an assignment is anonymous
  • Run anonymous moderation

If you are affected please read the information about alternatives to sync grades before setting up any new Turnitin assignments. If in doubt contact the Digital Education Office for further advice.

Blackboard course rollover 2020 complete

The annual “rollover” of Blackboard courses into their 2020 versions is now complete, and staff can access the courses. As always, staff are not automatically added to courses for units that are new this year – please contact your school office to be added to a new course.

This year, many schools have adopted a new Blackboard course template, in preparation for blended teaching and learning in 2020-21. Guidance on how to make use of these templates can be found in the Blackboard courses themselves – there is a “Help for staff” area in each course created from a template. If you have any questions about the adoption of these templates, please consult your school in the first instance.