Service announcements and essential information from the Technology Enhanced Learning team

Site menu:





Blackboard ‘at risk’ period 7- 8 am 9th June 2017

It services are planning some maintenance work on Friday 9th June from 7 – 8 am which may affect the provision of Blackboard.  Whilst we anticipate the service will still be available there is a chance that it will become inaccessible during this time.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will update this blog with any further information.


Blackboard: move to external hosting, software upgrade, Blackboard Collaborate

External Hosting

We are delighted to announce that Blackboard will be moved to an externally-hosted service this summer.  Benefits of external hosting of technical support include:

  • A reliable and resilient infrastructure with less unplanned service unavailability
  • Less planned downtime (eg some essential maintenance will be possible without downtime, upgrades take less time and can be completed overnight or at weekends)
  • A highly scalable technical infrastructure with capacity to respond quickly to new requirements
  • Quicker resolution of technical issues, due to 24x7x365 support, monitoring and problem resolution
  • More rapid deployment of new software versions to resolve issues and respond to new requirements
  • Improved performance, giving a better user experience.

The move to external hosting will take place between 4:30 pm on Friday 21 July and 4:00 pm on Tuesday 25 July. A read-only Blackboard service will be available over that period. All existing data and courses will be migrated to the externally-hosted service.

Software upgrade, course rollover

  • The Blackboard software upgrade will take place between 7:00 pm on Sunday 6 August and 2:00 pm on Monday 7 August.  The upgrade will introduce some new features (including a quicker way to add content to courses). The upgrade will also introduce improvements to the design and layout of Blackboard.
  • Course rollover will take place in early August, after the 2017-18 unit and programme information is available.

New online teaching tool – Blackboard Collaborate

  • From Monday 7 August, all staff will have access a completely new online learning and teaching tool – Blackboard Collaborate. Collaborate is an online classroom environment which can be used for activities such as online classes, office hours and guest lectures (using video, audio, text chat, a shared whiteboard and application sharing). For more information see the Blackboard Collaborate web pages:  

Please refer to our  external hosting project web page for updated information, where we will add answers to frequently asked questions.

For Blackboard support, training and advice, please contact us: (; 0117 33 17605).


Peermark assignment creation problems

There are currently problems with the Peermark service meaning assignments cannot be created.  The service provider are aware of this error and are working towards a solution, hopefully within the next couple of days.

We will keep the blog updated with any news.

Apologies for any inconvenience



Turnitin is working normally again

The Turnitin service has now been restored, apologies for any inconvenience caused.


Turnitin and TurnitinUK are currently experiencing a service disruption

Turnitin and TurnitinUK are currently experiencing a service disruption which means that the service is unavailable for use.  We will update this blog with any further information about the downtime and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.



Blackboard service now available again

Blackboard was unavailable between approximately 15:30 and 16:40 on the 19 April.  It Services have now restored the service and will monitor performance. Apologies once again for the inconvenience.

Blackboard service currently unreliable

Access to Blackboard is currently unreliable, with users receiving the “Blackboard is unavailable” message. IT Services are investigating the cause of this, and we will post updates here as we have them.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Blackboard is now available again following planned work (24th February)

IT Services have successfully completed the necessary work to the system infrastructure which required Blackboard (and other systems) to be unavailable this morning. Many apologies again for the inconvenience. We have tested the service and believe it to be running well, but please do email if you experience any problems.

Blackboard unavailable 24th Feb 7am to 2 pm.

Please note that Blackboard will be unavailable today (Friday 24 February) for essential maintenance work. It should be available again by 2 pm.  Further announcements will appear here.

Following the recent incidents affecting the availability of Blackboard and other University services, IT Services have identified essential work which will improve the resilience of these services, reducing both the likelihood and the impact of any incidents in the future.

We are, of course, aware that any significant period of Blackboard downtime will be disruptive, and are doing our best to minimise the impact. If you have any concerns or questions about this work, please get in touch with us at, and please accept our apologies for the inevitable inconvenience it will cause.

Turnitin service has returned to normal – Thursday 2nd Feb 2017 1.30 pm

We have been notified that the TurnitIn service has now returned to normal.  We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that the temporary degradation in service may have caused.

TEL and Ed Dev