Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet
Search type

Annual upgrade for Blackboard takes place during July

07 Jun 2017

Blackboard will be unavailable from 5pm on Thursday, 27 July to 9am on Sunday, 30 July

Who is affected?

All staff and students.

What is happening?

As communicated throughout the last academic year on StaffNet and via local faculty routes, the annual upgrade to our VLE (Blackboard) will be taking place in July. The upgrade will improve current functionality, incorporate security enhancements, performance improvements and bug fixes.

In order for this work to be undertaken, Blackboard (including Turnitin and Grademark) will be unavailable to staff and students from Thursday 27 July (17:00 BST) until Sunday 30 July (09:00 BST). Blackboard (including Turnitin and Grademark) should also be considered to be at risk until 09:00 BST on Monday 31 July. Updated information will be provided on the Knowledge Base, after the downtime. 

Why is it happening now?

The functionality and reliability of our VLE is a high priority for the University. In response to feedback from staff and students about the scheduled downtime for Blackboard upgrades, the Online Learning Strategy Group (OLSG) agreed last year to change the timing for this year and future years in order to maximise the availability of the system to students. The downtime period is also shorter than in previous years. Your co-operation and efforts to accommodate this work are appreciated.

What does this mean for you?

You will not have access to Blackboard (including Turnitin and Grademark) from Thursday 27 July (17:00 BST) until Sunday 30 July (09:00 BST). Blackboard will be available for teaching from Monday 31 July 2017. 

What do staff need to do?

Please remind your students of the downtime and ensure that any online activities you are asking students to do take into account this downtime.  Please adjust any deadlines as appropriate.

We will be giving students the following advice:  Plan your work to take into account the downtime and ensure you download any materials you will need during the period Blackboard is unavailable.


We will let you know about the status of the upgrade, and any new support documents developed to help you get the most out of the new features, via eUpdate and StaffNet.

Updates to existing documentation and documentation about new features, which you might wish to incorporate in your teaching for next year, will be available as soon as possible after the upgrade. 

Further information

Please contact your eLearning team for more information or support: