As usual, we’ll be making some improvements to Blackboard (EAT) this summer.

We are going to be working on a number of things:

  • Software Improvements
    • A large number of software improvements & fixes for various issues. Some of these may be visible to users (for example, allowing students to upload assignments using a “drag n’ drop” interface, rather than the older popup file selection box); some not (for example, upgrading Blackboard to use Java 8 or the latest version of the Microsoft database server).
  • Annual Maintenance
    • In order to keep Blackboard working efficiently, there are a number of software and data management tasks we need to carry out every year. The downtime gives us the opportunity to do this.

The user interface had a major re-style a few years ago and new icons last summer, so there will be no substantial changes to colour or layout this year.

In order to implement these improvements, there will need to be some unavoidable Blackboard downtime over the summer.

We fully appreciate that whatever time we choose, it won’t be ideal for everyone. After considering all the factors we know about (such as exam boards, re-sits and staff availability), we’ve tried to pick the least inconvenient times possible. So,

Blackboard will be unavailable between these times:

  • Friday 28th July at 6pm until Tuesday 1st August at 10pm

The Blackboard website will be available as normal from Tuesday night onwards.

In addition, we will not be updating Blackboard with new information from SITS (e.g. new student module enrolments) between these times:

  • Friday 28th July at 6pm until Thursday 3rd August at 10pm

To clarify, from 10pm on Tuesday 1st August onwards, the Blackboard website will be available as normal (i.e. you will be able to login and use it).

Creation of Modules for Next Academic Year

Our list of which modules to create for next academic year comes direct from SITS, and we hope to start creating these around the end of July. This is slightly later than in previous years, for which we apologise and is the result of an issue with staff availability.

Questions?

If you have any questions – please contact elearning@tees.ac.uk

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