Turnitin unavailable in some Blackboard courses

We are experiencing some problems accessing Turnitin in some of our Blackboard courses following our upgrade yesterday.  If you find that you have lost access to the Turnitin tool in your course please follow these steps:

From the Course Management menu click Customisation > Tool Availability and then put a tick next to the Turnitin options in the page of tools that appears > click submit.  (please leave Turnitin basic tools unticked)

Blackboard has been upgraded and is now available

We have now upgraded Blackboard and changed the visual theme.  Find out more about the new theme through our previous blog post. You can find further information, including guides to creating banners to differentiate between courses on our web pages.

Unfortunately we are experiencing a problem with Turnitin at the moment.  We are working with our suppliers to remedy this as soon as possible and will update this blog with any further information.

One or two courses with customised themes may need to be changed.  Please see the information on this page

 

Blackboard – improvements to design and mobile experience (note: changes to course menus and themes will be restricted)

As part of the move to external hosting project, we will be upgrading Blackboard to version Q4 2016. This brings many improvements and increased functionality as well as a new visual theme. Accessibility and mobile improvements will remove course themes and course menu colour customisation options.

The Learn 2016 Theme is cleaner and has ‘responsive design’ elements, allowing it to resize and reorder content to take best advantage of the screen size. It will give users a more consistent experience across devices and is optimised for delivery over mobile. Many functions that previously did not work well on mobile devices, such as discussion boards and tests, are much improved.

This theme has been created to follow accessibility standards (WCAG 2.0 principles [link: https://www.w3.org/2004/10/wcag2-nav/wcag20princ.html]) which results in a clearer design that works for all users. Good practice such as keyboard navigation and suitable colour contrast are built into the theme with no need for users to enable them prior to use. To further improve accessibility, legacy ‘course themes’ and colour customisation features have been removed. Course differentiation can be achieved using banners and images, we will provide guidance on how to create and upload graphical content using free online tools. Contact us at tel-help@bristol.ac.uk to arrange support/training. We can run bespoke sessions for a school or teaching team on request.

The screenshots below show a course with the old theme (top) and new theme (bottom):

Blackboard will be:

  • Unavailable between 1:00 am until 12:00 pm on Friday 21 July
  • Read-only between 12.00 pm on Friday 21 July and 7:30 am on Tuesday 25 July (any changes/uploads made will be lost)
  • Unavailable for an hour between 7:30 am and 8:30 am on Tuesday 25 July. Blackboard will return as a full service at 8:30 am
  • Unavailable between 7:00 pm on Sunday 6 August and 2:00 pm on Monday 7 August for upgrade.

 

 

Blackboard summer improvements information

This summer, in response to user feedback, we are improving the resilience, reliability and scalability of Blackboard, as well as introducing new tools and features.  This means that there will be changes to the availability of blackboard between Friday 21 July and Tuesday 25 July, full details of the move can be found here.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will keep our blog updated with any further information.

 

 

Blackboard downtime, 7 am – 2 pm, Friday 24 February 2017

Following the recent incidents affecting the availability of Blackboard and other University services, IT Services have identified some essential maintenance work which will improve the resilience of these services, reducing both the likelihood and the impact of any incidents in the future. In order to undertake this essential and urgent work, we are planning to make Blackboard unavailable from 7 am on Friday 24 February; it should be available again by 2 pm that afternoon.

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 tel-help@bristol.ac.uk, and please accept our apologies for the inevitable inconvenience it will cause.

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

Mediasite Maintenance Saturday 23rd April

Our service provider will be performing scheduled maintenance on their Mediasite cloud environment on Saturday 23rd April – this is not expected to cause any disruption to service.

The message from Mediasite :

We will be performing planned infrastructure maintenance on Saturday, April
23, 2016 for the Mediasite Cloud environment. This maintenance is expected
to be non-impactful and access to your Mediasite server should not be
affected. The maintenance will be performed between 12:01am and 4:00am CDT.

If any problems are experienced with any IT systems please refer to the IT Services status page for updates.