As usual, we’ll be making some improvements to the Blackboard website 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. In particular, we are making changes so that Blackboard displays correctly on mobile devices (phones, iPads etc.). Called a responsive design, the main course menu (for example) will automatically rearrange itself on the page to make best use of the smaller screen area. This is in addition to the Blackboard App for mobile devices which will continue to be available for students.

    In response to student requests, Blackboard will now automatically send a confirmation email after an assignment is submitted. This is in addition to the existing facility for students to email themselves a complete summary of all their submissions over the last 12 months.

    Over the last few months, we’ve been talking to Schools about how best to support External Examiners on Blackboard. This summer we’ll be making changes to support the use of Online Module Boxes, whilst allowing Externals an appropriate level of access to the rest of the module.

  • 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.

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 27th July at 6pm until Wednesday 1st August at 10pm

The Blackboard website will be available as normal from Wednesday 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 27th July at 6pm until Friday 3rd August at 10pm

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

Our apologies for the delay in announcing this downtime. This was due to some planning issues around staff availability.

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 in early August.

Questions?

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

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