Phishing emails

We have received a number of reports this week of staff and students receiving emails which appear to have been sent from Blackboard, or University admin services, asking them to provide their log-in details. IT Services have been made aware of this and are looking into the matter. If you receive reports of this from students, please ask them not to provide any information – we never ask for log-in details – and to delete the emails. If you are unsure about the origin of a message, please let us know and we can advise you whether it is genuine or not. If you have any questions, please email

Places still available for “TEL essentials” workshops in November and December

Places are still available for the “TEL essentials” workshops in November and December.  This course is for teaching staff and aims to provide you with an overview of technology enhanced learning (TEL) and assessment. It provides some principles and strategies underpinning successful use of TEL, focussing particularly on a blended context where students have a mixture of online and face-to-face learning experiences. During the course activities you will also be able to try out a range of technologies.

For further information and booking please see the Staff Development website.

Capitals in “http” cause red error message

Some staff have been reporting intermittent red errors when adding content to Blackboard.  We have tracked this down to a bug around “http” web links.

On the internet all “http” should be in lower case, however sometimes staff are entering HTTP or Http at the start of their links.  Most systems pick this error up and change the link to “http” all lower case.  If fact Blackboard has always done this in the past.  However there is currently a bug in the code and Blackboard is no longer setting these to lower case.

You can avoid this problem by making sure that if you add a link it starts with “http” in lower case.

Blackboard issue resolved

Blackboard was unavailable for a short period this morning and is now back up and running properly.  We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this interruption in provision and are working with the supplier to identify the cause in order to prevent any further outages.

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 on them, often to avoid adding duplicate content.

The original SITS 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 SITS courses, including:

  • eReserves
  • Mediasite recordings
  • Library reading lists
  • Online submission of essays (particularly when this is part of a school-wide process)

These tools are generally NOT available in the hub courses. If you use these features, you will need to make the SITS courses available.

As an Instructor, you would add your resources to the hub course, and the related SITS courses should only be used to make the above tools available.

Please click on the image for a further explanation: