[Closed] Some people cannot access Blackboard

We are aware that a small number of people are getting an error message when they try to access Blackboard, such as “This site can’t be reached”. We are investigating the issue with the assistance of IT Services and Blackboard, and will update this blog when we have further information. In the meantime, anyone who is affected by this may be able to restore access by using the University’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) or the Windows Virtual Desktop.

The issue appears to originate in BT’s nameservers, so only people using BT as their Internet Service Provider should be affected.

Turnitin Assignments for Administrators – places available on training webinars

Places are available on a new DEO webinar ‘Turnitin Assignments for Administrators’. This will cover how Instructors set up and manage assignment submissions using the new Turnitin LTI assignment. The session will include a demonstration and Q and A. Upcoming dates: 27th October, 1st November and 8th November.    Further information and booking (via Develop).

Clear your cache to prevent possible equation display issues

****** The advice below has been updated. Please refer to the updated advice ******

The issue of equations not displaying properly in some browsers was resolved by Blackboard on 6 October. We have recently received reports that a small number of users have continued to experience issues with equations they have previously viewed in their browsers. As mentioned in our previous blog post, if an equation is not displaying properly for you, please clear your browser cache and cookies (using, for example, these instructions), then reload the page. This only needs to be done once on the device and browser being used, and can be done at any time (for example, in advance of taking a test which includes equations), after which the issue should not persist or recur 

Hiding marks and feedback until ready for release

Before exams, coursework or timed assessments are marked, schools should please ensure that Blackboard Grade Centre columns are hidden from students until marks and feedback are ready to be released. To prevent students from seeing marks too early, you should also ensure Total and Weighted Total columns are hidden. Check a column header for a circle with a red line through it which indicates the column is hidden from students.

Demonstration column

If it is not hidden, and you need to hide it, click the down arrow next to the column header and select Hide from students (on/off).

The menu to hide columns from students

If this option isn’t available, or if the column has a green tick next to it, you will need to hide it in a different way:

Total column

  1. Click the dropdown arrow next to the column name.
  2. Click Edit Column Information.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and set Show this column to students to No.
  4. Click Submit.

For more information on administering Electronic Management of Assessment workflows, please see our EMA guidance page.

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

Places available on training courses run by the Digital Education Office

Upcoming courses include: Manage and record teaching attendance with Qwickly, Blackboard Basics, Blackboard tests: uses, ideas and hands on practice, and Mentimeter and Padlet Experi-labs.  Academic and professional services staff and PGRs who teach can search for and enrol onto courses by logging into Develop. In the Catalogue, filter by Digital Education Office under Topics or the DEO under department, or search for DEO.  If you have other training requests or suggestions or would like to arrange a session for your School or team please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

Re/Play guidance for the 2022/23 academic year

During the summer of 2022, there have been significant improvements made to the Re/Play service as part of the DEO summer work and service improvements.

Move to a new LTI connection with Blackboard is complete

As with many of our tools, Re/Play has moved to a new, more modern, method of connecting to Blackboard (called an LTI) which will improve the stability and reliability of the system. This work has been completed successfully. For the main use of the Re/Play system, this connection will not be noticeable to users – lecture capture will work in the same way as before, and the recommended Re/Play course menu links will provide students with all of a unit’s collection of videos in the same way.

However, there are some minor changes to the way that content is manually added into Blackboard using tools like ‘Build Content’. If you add Re/Play videos to Blackboard, please refer to the information below on how to add Re/Play videos to your Blackboard course.

New guidance for using Re/Play

We have revamped and updated our Re/Play guidance to make it easier to find the help you need, when you need it. Please refer to the new Re/Play pages.

Additionally, the Central Teaching Spaces pages now lists whether rooms are Re/Play equipped (ie are set up to record lectures via the Re/Play recording boxes), or are hybrid equipped (ie have the AV equipment required to enable two-way communication for students both online and in person).

How to add Re/Play videos to your Blackboard course

Automatically recorded lectures are made available to students via the course collection, which is usually accessed from the ‘Re/Play’ link in the Blackboard left-hand menu. However, if you want to add Re/Play recordings (either lecture capture or uploaded) to specific sections of a course, there are several ways to do so. Some of these methods look a little different to last year, due to the LTI connection.

Our updated guidance ‘Re/Play videos: upload, enhance, share’ walks you through the recommended methods.

Note that these methods are recommended as they get the most from the connection between Blackboard and Re/Play, and should ensure the best student experience. This includes making sure students have the right permissions to access the videos. If you would like to use an alternative method, please contact the Digital Education Office for advice, to ensure that your students will be able to access the videos in the way that you would like them to.