New academic year Blackboard activity

The new academic year has begun, and many students are eagerly trying to access their courses on Blackboard. When we rolled the SITS-linked courses over from last year, we made them unavailable to students, so that staff could make any changes they wanted to before releasing them to a new cohort. Once a course is ready for students to use, you should ensure that it is made available to them, as follows:

  • Click on the course
  • Under Control Panel, click on Customisation
  • Click on Properties
  • In section 3, Set availability, select Yes
  • Click Submit.

Your course is now available to the enrolled students.

You can also do this faster, for multiple courses at once, by using the new “Qwickly” module on the Home tab:

  • Click “Course Availability”
  • Click the On/Off button next to the correct course.

Note that SITS-linked 2014-15 courses are still available to both staff and students – this is a change from previous years where they have been made unavailable.  If you wish to stop your students having access to previous years courses for any reason, simply make them unavailable using the method above.

One other thing you will want to do is organise your courses by year (so you don’t accidentally edit the old courses) fortunately this can be done in a couple of clicks –

Move your mouse to the top right of the My Courses box on your Blackboard home page and click on the small cog wheel icon. On the page that opens, under “1. Terms”, tick “Group by Term”, then click on “Submit”. Note that you can also choose which courses and terms you want displayed, and whether you want to see course names, course IDs, or both. (Here is a 45-second video on how to use group courses using terms.)

Blackboard Mobile Log in Problems – Update

Users may still be experiencing problems logging in to the Blackboard Learn Mobile App. Please note that this appears to be affecting a small percentage of users.

A solution if you are experiencing problems is to ensure you are using the latest version of the App and to delete and re install the App on your device.

We have also now raised this problem with the Blackboard Mobile team and we have a support call open with them to try and resolve any ongoing problems.

Apologies for any problems this may be causing. If you have any questions please email



“Archiving” of 2012-13 courses

Now that the resits period is over, we are preparing to undertake the final stage of the Blackboard course roll-over process. This will involve making all SITS-linked 2012-13 courses unavailable to both staff and students – though the courses will remain on our servers, and can be accessed if necessary. To request access to previous years’ courses, please fill out this form and send it to (if you have already made such a request, you do not need to resubmit it). We will be making the 2012-13 courses unavailable on the morning of Thursday 19th of September, and then re-enabling any courses for which access has been requested after that.

Critical Dates for 2013_14

We are currently collecting information on critical dates for Blackboard availability for this academic year.  Critical dates are those dates on which it is essential that Blackboard is available, for activities such as assignment submission, online assessments, collaborative student report writing or access to materials in preparation for an assessment.

Critical date information is very important to us. We use these dates to schedule downtime for essential maintenance to Blackboard and other systems on which Blackboard depends with the least disruption to you and your students.  The information also helps us and the IT Servicedesk to more effectively support students and staff in the event of an unexpected disruption to Blackboard or related services (such as MyBristol).

Please could you send the following information about any critical dates to
* date and time of activity (e.g. online submission deadline)
* summary of activity (e.g. assignment submission, peer assessment activity,  online quiz or exam, departmental Blackboard demonstration, etc)
* approximate number of students involved
* course names or IDs
* staff contact details

Many thanks
TEL team