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Blackboard 9 maintenance

20 Mar 2013

Blackboard 9 will be unavailable to staff and students from Thursday, 4 April to Sunday, 7 April 2013.

Who is affected?

All staff and students.

What is happening?

Blackboard 9 maintenance will be undertaken to fix issues and introduce a number of enhancements.

Issues which will be fixed include:

  • a problem where matching questions in a deployed test do not allow an update of partial credit after an attempt has been made;
  • self and peer assessments submitted after a selected due date sometimes not being flagged as late;
  • some group discussion boards that had expired dates still being visible to students; and occasionally grades not being recorded correctly in the grade centre.

Enhancements (requested by the University) include:

  • a new html content editor;
  • enhanced rubrics which now include a percentage range along with a points range;
  • more tracking information on assessments; and
  • students being able to access grades from all courses in one place (rather than having to navigate individually to each course).

In order for this work to be undertaken, Blackboard will be unavailable to staff and students for approximately three days from Thursday, 4 April (4pm) until Sunday, 7 April (11:59pm).

More information will be provided about these new features and articles will be available on:

Why is it happening now?

It is difficult to identify a time for such significant upgrades, with the consequent downtime, that is convenient for the whole institution. The Easter vacation period is one of the dedicated maintenance windows identified for work on the University's eLearning applications. Your co-operation and efforts to accommodate this work are appreciated.

What does this mean for you?

You will not have access to Blackboard from 4pm on Thursday, 4 April 2013 until midnight on Sunday, 7 April 2013.

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 and deadlines as appropriate.

We have given 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.

Follow-up

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.

We are also organising an event, with speakers from Blackboard, to showcase some of these new features.

Contact for further information

Please contact your eLearning team at: