Blackboard Deep Link Generator update

When you would need to create a Deep Link

Staff and students must be logged into Blackboard to open direct links to Blackboard courses or organisations. Our Deep Link Generator adapts these direct links to prompt users to log in prior to accessing a page.

Deep links are intended primarily for short-term use; for example, emailing links to specific areas of Blackboard to students and staff. If you are planning to use them more extensively, please contact the Digital Education Office for advice.

It is not necessary to use deep links within Blackboard (eg linking from a course to an organisation), as the user will already be logged into Blackboard. You can use direct links within Blackboard, or use Course Links. (Please note: direct links will need to be updated each year, as they do not automatically update when the courses are rolled over.)

Changes for 2023/24

Prior to the 23/24 academic year, each page of a Blackboard course or organisation had a unique URL, so it was possible to link directly to a specific page. However, the navigation within Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation will only display the URL for the ‘entry page’ of a course or organisation (usually the Announcements or Welcome section).

If you need to direct users to a specific section of a course or organisation, we recommend creating a deep link to the entry page and then providing guidance on where to find the section within the site.

Any deep links created prior to the upgrade to Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation will still direct the user to the correct page in Blackboard; however, the navigation away from the page will not be visible, and the user will have to go to to access other areas of Blackboard.

How to use the generator

To create a deep link, copy the URL from the address bar of the page that you want to link to:

Go to the Deep Link Generator page, paste the URL into the box, then click on the ‘Encode’ button:

The updated URL can now be copied and shared as needed.

New DEO Assessment Development Case Study

The DEO has a new case study to share, available here on our case studies page.

Creative Assessment Submission – Video, Audio and Zines

Dr Rosie Nelson from SPAIS shares their work with Martin Nutbeem and the rest of the DEO to develop a digitally supported, decolonized approach to teaching and assessment on their Queering Sexuality and Gender unit in the School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies (SPAIS). The assessment involved students creating and submitting media in the form of video, audio or a ‘Zine.  

Thanks to Dr Nelson for writing this case study. If you are looking for inspiration for developing your own assessments, this case study or one of the others on our site provides a great starting point. If you’d like support in developing digitally supported assessments, please contact the Digital Education Office. 

Blackboard Mobile App Access Issue

We have been informed there is an issue with Android users accessing Blackboard via the mobile app. User’s trying to access the Blackboard Learn App on an android device will receive the following error message “You cannot access this right now.”

Blackboard have acknowledged this issue and have informed us it will be fixed in the next update of the Blackboard App v8.7 This should be released in early August.

You can still access Blackboard on a mobile device by using a web browser.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Access to PGR theses and new PGR organisations

This information is relevant if your school uses Turnitin to run similarity checks on PGR theses (practice, submission and re-submission).   

PGR students who submitted work to a Turnitin submission point in Blackboard before September 2023 will not be able to access their theses in Blackboard after August 2023. This is due to the supplier ending support for the older Turnitin integration with Blackboard. 

As we have communicated to schools directly, the DEO has been working with AQPO and representatives of administrative and academic staff to update the Blackboard Organisations for PGR Turnitin Submissions. 

Please take the following actions by 31 August 2023: 

  • Encourage students who may be affected to download their submissions before 31 August 2023.  
  • If you are one of the School Administrators who have received a form to complete for setting up new organisations, please complete the form by July 28. 
  • PGR student administrators should start using the newly created Turnitin Upload organisations which has been set up with the Turnitin LTI and the Academic Progress Monitoring form page. 

Please also note that, from 1 September 2023, staff who need access to the older theses will need to contact the DEO. 

Xerte upgrade 18th July

IT Services will be upgrading Xerte to version 3.12 between 8am and 1pm on Tuesday 18th July. 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:

  • XOT enhancements and new functionality.
  • Bootstrap template bug fixes and enhancements.
  • Editor enhancements including links to wiki guidance.
  • Accessibility enhancements.

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

Blackboard upgrade completed

The Blackboard upgrade to the new Ultra Base Navigation has been successfully completed. You will see the new-look Blackboard the next time you log in. Your courses haven’t changed, but the way you navigate around Blackboard should now be easier and more intuitive, whatever device you’re using.

“I really like the ease of navigation of the updated Blackboard.”
– University of Bristol student

You can find more information and guidance in our Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation guide.

If you have any questions, please contact

Questionmark OnDemand Scheduled Maintenance Saturday 15 July 2023 09.00-1500

Questionmark will be carrying out scheduled maintenance on Saturday 15 July between 09:00 and 15:00.

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 users may experience service disruption. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

If you have any questions, please email