Turnitin Service Problems – Update

Turnitin have released a fix for the problems encountered when submitting to the service using Internet Explorer (IE).

This fix was released on Friday 24th January and we have had no reports of further problems submitting using IE.

If you have any questions please email TEL-Help@bristol.ac.uk.


Turnitin – change of submission workflow

Turnitin have slightly changed their assignment submission workflow for instructors and students. This change is specific to users submitting a single file to Turnitin directly via Submit.ac.uk and through the Blackboard integration.

More information (including screen shots) can be accessed here

If you have any questions or feedback please email Tel-Help@bristol.ac.uk.


Blackboard unavailable 17:00 – 17:30 – Friday 24th January

As part of the ongoing work updating the Secure Area Network storage our colleagues in Information Services need to make some changes to the way Blackboard saves data to the database.

To ensure that Blackboard is running at its optimum in time for the start of teaching next week this work will take place today. As a result Blackboard will be unavailable between 17:00 and 17:30.

If you or your students have any questions please email TEL-Help@bristol.ac.uk





Blackboard database backup – 17th/18th/19th January

Following the move of Blackboard to the new SAN hardware, IT Services need to make an additional backup of the underlying database. This process can take up to 10 hours, during which time the responsiveness of Blackboard is significantly reduced.

Significant work has already been undertaken, and will be restarted at 21:00 tonight (Friday 17th). If the additional backup only requires a short time to finish it will be left to complete tonight. If the process could take up to 10 hours to complete it will be rescheduled, and start on Saturday 18th at 21:00.

While the additional backup is being made Blackboard users will notice performance degradation. If the backup process is still running at 07:30 on Sunday morning, Blackboard service will be withdrawn while it completes. This will make the backup quicker and will ensure that it finishes as soon as is possible on Sunday. As soon as the backup has finished, Blackboard will be brought back online.

If you or your students need access to Blackboard on Sunday morning please let us know by emailing TEL-help@bristol.ac.uk.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this necessary maintenance causes you.

Drag and drop upload of files to content system – not working due to java version

Dear All

Recently Java released a new version for all webbrowsers, it has some security updates and one of these prevents people from uploading multiple files to blackboard content system.

Everything works fine while you open the upload and drag the files over.  However when you click the submit button nothing happens.  Blackboard corp have designed an update to resolve this problem – we will apply this update as soon as practical.

There are however ways that you can get around the problem now

  1. using single file upload (look in the top right when you are uploading and you can toggle from multiple to single file)
  2. Reduce the security level of your java (and then next week return it to its normal setting)

If you wish to reduce your java security level, click start, all programs, java, configure java.  A box should appear called “Java Control Panel”, click the security tab and set the security level down to medium.  Obviously this leaves your computer less secure and so you should return the setting to high when you have finished working with Blackboard.

Update – our Chrome browsers are set to auto update  the workaround using the lowering of security setting might not work with Chrome version that was released Friday afternoon, however if you use IE it will work fine


Joseph Gliddon – Learning Technologist

QuestionMark Perception unavailable Friday 17th January 6:00-10:00 am

The ongoing problems with the Storage Area Network (SAN) are still adversely affecting the performance QuestionMark Perception (QMP). In order to permanently resolve these issues Information Services will be undertaking urgent work requiring downtime on Friday 17th January. More information on these issues can be located on the IT Services news page.

QMP will be unavailable on  Friday morning (17th January) between 06:00 and 10:00am.

Apologies in advance for any inconvenience this will cause you or your students.

If you have any questions or concerns please email Hilary Griffiths, Deputy Director Technology Enhanced Learning.