Service announcements and essential information from the Technology Enhanced Learning team

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Archive for January, 2016

Please inform TEL help about critical dates

We are currently collecting information on critical activities for Blackboard and QuestionMark Perception for this coming academic year. Critical activities are those for which it is essential that TEL systems such as Blackboard or QMP are available, such as assignment submissions or online exams.

Critical activity information is very important as it is used to schedule downtime for essential maintenance to Blackboard, QMP and other systems with the least disruption to you and your students. The information also helps us and IT Services to more effectively support students and staff in the event of an unexpected disruption to Blackboard, QMP, Turnitin or related services (such as MyBristol). 

Please click this link http://tinyurl.com/zjb8szf and follow the instructions outlined in the form to send us the required information.

Thank you very much

TEL team

Brief QMP outage, 27 January, 3.15 pm

IT Services will be moving the server on which Questionmark Perception is located, in the afternoon of Wednesday 27 January. During the move, QMP will be available on a virtual server. Users should not notice any change, except for possibly a brief outage as the service is switched between the physical and virtual server at 3.15 pm, and a similar outage when it is switched back, which should occur at around 3.45 pm. There should be no significant effect on any activity taking place on Questionmark Perception, but the period between 3.15 and 4 pm should be considered an “at risk” period.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Brief Turnitin outage 26 January 2016, 8 am

Tunitin have released an update for their integration with Blackboard that addresses a potentially problematic issue. This update adds a confirmation message when a member of staff clicks on one of the “Delete Assignment” links that can be found on the Turnitin Assignments page. As deleting a Turnitin Assignment without asking for confirmation could cause significant problems, we have decided to apply this update promptly.

There will therefore be a brief outage of access to Turnitin via Blackboard at 8 am on Tuesday 26 January. 8 am to 9 am will be an “at risk” period, during which users may experience a slight degradation in speed of access to Turnitin as the update is rolled out across the Blackboard servers.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Turnitin Status

Due to a denial of services attack on Turnitins servers, users may have experienced problems with Turnitin between 1:43 PM and 4:35PM on Friday 22nd Jan 2015. The system is now normal.

Turnitin is temporarily unavailable 22/01/2015

Turnitin and TurnitinUK are currently experiencing an intermittent service disruption.  We will update the blog with any further developments.

Please see here for their twitter feed on the subject:  https://twitter.com/TurnitinStatus?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

TEL Media Event – 20th January

20 January 2016, 12.00 PM – 14.00 PM, Multimedia Centre, School of Modern Languages, 19 Woodland Road

Are you interested in media in teaching? What can students learn by producing teaching content for themselves? Would you like to know how others in the University are using these tools and techniques?

The TELED Team and the School of Modern Languages invite you to join them for a lunchtime event on the 20th January. The event will take place in the Modern Languages Multi Media Centre (which can be accessed from the rear of 19 Woodland Road).

For more details and booking form please use the link below

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/tel/noticeboard/2016/media-in-teaching-20-january.html

Brief QMP service interruption, Thursday 14 January

IT Services are preparing to relocate the Questionmark Perception server. As part of this process, there will be a 30-second interruption to the Questionmark Perception service shortly after 8 am tomorrow, Thursday 14 January. There is very little chance of data loss during this brief outage, but we recommend that work should not be done using Questionmark Perception between 8 am and 8.30 am tomorrow.

Mediasite unavailability 9th – 11th Jan 2016

Mediasite became unavailable to all users over the weekend due to problems at our supplier site.  IT services and the mediasite team worked with our suppliers and service was resumed on Monday 11th.  We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

QMP downtime

It has come to our attention that there were problems accessing QMP over the Christmas break.  Access became unavailable to all users from the 30th December 2015 at about 1am when the database began to experience problems.

IT Services addressed the issue immediately on our return from the Christmas break and it was resolved by 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday the 5th Jan 2016.
We apologise for any inconvenience to you or your students.

Hub Courses in Blackboard

Your school may have requested one or more “hub courses”. These are Blackboard courses that have students from more than one SITS unit enrolled in them, often to avoid adding duplicate content. As an Instructor, you should add your resources to the hub course, and make this course available to students (but not the related unit courses).

Hub-courses

The original unit courses still exist, although they are unavailable to students by default. However, there are a number of University tools that only work (or work best) in the unit courses, including:

  • e-reserves
  • library reading lists
  • Mediasite recordings
  • online submission of essays (particularly when this is part of a school-wide process).

These tools are generally not available in a hub course. If you use these features, you will need to make the unit courses available (in addition to the hub course). The unit courses should only be used to make the above tools available.