Re/Play – timeout errors (now resolved)

This issue is now resolved.

We are aware of a timeout error message when students are accessing Re/Play from a Blackboard course menu link (eg to the unit collection of all recordings). The supplier has identified the issue is related to search based functions in their systems, and is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Recordings added or shared by other methods – eg those added in course folders or other sections – are currently unaffected.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause; we are working to restore access as soon as possible.

Clear your cache to prevent possible equation display issues

Occasionally, you may find equations do not display correctly in Blackboard. If this occurs, you should clear your browser cache, then refresh/reload the Blackboard page or tab. Clearing the cache can also be done in advance as a preventative measure, once you have logged into Blackboard, eg if you are taking a test which includes equations.  

Firefox is unaffected by these occasional equation display issues.  

How to clear your cache

Chrome

  1. Click on the group of three dots in the top-right corner of the Chrome window to open the menu.
  2. Select ‘Settings’ from the menu.
  3. On the ‘Settings’ screen, scroll down until you reach the ‘Privacy and security’ section.
  4. Click on ‘Clear browsing data’.
  5. On the ‘Clear browsing data’ screen, tick the box next to ‘Cached images and files’, set the time range to ‘All time’ and click ‘Clear data’.
  6. Close down the Settings tab and refresh/reload the Blackboard page.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Click on the group of three dots in the top-right corner of the Edge browser window to open the menu.
  2. Select ‘Settings’ from the menu.
  3. On the ‘Settings’ menu, select ‘Privacy & security’ from the list on the left side of the menu.
  4. Under the ‘Clear browsing data’ heading, click ‘Choose what to clear’.
  5. Set Time range to ‘All time‘ then tick the box next to ‘Cached images and files’ and click ‘Clear now’.
  6. Close down the Settings tab and refresh/reload the Blackboard page.

Digital Skill – What is a cache and what happens when you clear it?

A ‘cache’ is used by internet browsers when loading a page, to help make the page load faster. The browser essentially remembers small bits of the webpage – like images, logos, buttons etc – so that it can load them again much faster. However, sometimes this can be a problem, if the website is updated and the saved ‘cache’ is no longer the same as what’s actually on the page. A cache won’t contain information like passwords, or your browsing history.

Knowing how to clear your cache is a really important digital skill to learn, and it’s worth spending a few minutes practicing how to do it. Clearing your cache is one way you can check whether any issues you are experiencing are actually something wrong with the website, rather than something that is caused by your browser. If you need to contact IT services about an issue, they may well ask whether you have tried clearing you cache, so doing so in advance is a good way to speed up getting the help you need.


Turnitin maintenance 14-15 January 2023

Turnitin maintenance 14-15 January 2023

Turnitin have informed us that their services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from Saturday 14th January 2023 at 17:00 until Sunday 15th January 2023 at 01:00 GMT.  During this maintenance window users will be unable to submit assignments or view marks and feedback.

Further information is available on the Turnitin status page.

Re/Play – timeout errors (now resolved)

This issue is now resolved.

We are aware of a timeout error message when students are accessing Re/Play from a Blackboard course menu link (eg to the unit collection of all recordings). The supplier has identified the issue is related to search based functions in their systems, and is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Recordings added or shared by other methods – eg those added in course folders or other sections – are currently unaffected.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause; we are working to restore access as soon as possible.

‘My Marks’ link on Blackboard homepage unavailable

If you are used to using the ‘My Marks’ tool on the Blackboard homepage, you’ll notice it’s currently unavailable. An issue has been identified with the ‘My Marks’ homepage tool, and Blackboard are currently working on fixing it.
The best way to access your marks is always to go to your courses, and look for ‘My Grades and Feedback’ in the ‘Assessment, submission and feedback’ area. This is still working as usual.
For help in accessing your marks and feedback, contact your School Admin Office.

No Blackboard downtime this year

Unlike in previous years, there will be no summer downtime (when a system is out of action or unavailable for use) for Blackboard this year. This is because, last summer, we moved our Blackboard system onto a ‘cloud’ infrastructure. This means our system can automatically scale to meet demand, and can also receive bug fixes and upgrades more quickly, without any downtime.

The Digital Education Office.

Access to Re/Play recordings – Update

This post is a further update to the issue first identified on 07 February, where students were seeing an error message when trying to use the Re/Play link in the Blackboard left-hand menu.

As reported yesterday, all students should now be able to access Re/Play materials shared via left-hand menu links in Blackboard. Automated recordings have not been affected, and no recordings have been lost. Recordings will be available after 48 hours or when published by the academic staff member, as usual.

However, we are still applying fixes to some pre-existing problems with Re/Play which might affect whether you can view some videos in Blackboard. Yesterday, there were some sporadic reports of videos being unavailable if added into Blackboard so that they appear as a thumbnail image and a link within a course page.

If this is affecting you, first try to access any unavailable videos via the Re/Play link in the left-hand menu of your course, if that is available to you. If the problem persists and you need urgent access, please contact your school, or the IT Self Service site Home / IT Services Self Service (ivanticloud.com).

We hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible and are still actively working on solutions.

Access to Re/Play recordings now restored in Blackboard

From the afternoon of the 7th February 2022 to 11.30 am today, the 8th February 2022, there was an error in the connection between Re/Play and Blackboard, meaning that you may have been unable to access your videos from the Re/Play link in Blackboard courses.

We believe this issue has been resolved, and you should now be able to view your videos as normal. We are now in the process of thoroughly testing this fix, so there is a possibility some access is yet to be restored in all instances.

We sincerely apologise for any disruption this issue has caused you. Please be assured we have been doing all we can to resolve it as soon as possible.

Captions on your Re/Play videos will now be automatically added

Suzanne Collins: Digital Education Office

From the 31st of January, we’re making a change to the way captions get added to video content in Re/Play. Instead of lecturers having to add captions manually, Re/Play will now add them automatically. This is good news for all of you who have said that having captions on video helps you to learn, and it also means that we will be working towards making your learning material as accessible as it can be.


“I use captions whenever I am watching a video. I find it really helps me to process what someone is saying. The Powerpoint slides help me to clarify any inaccurate captions.” UoB Student, Autumn 2021


The software that will add the captions does so using a computer, not a human, so there will inevitably be mistakes in the captions. Therefore, it’s really important to see captions as a way to support your learning, not as a replacement for the video content. They will not be accurate enough if you rely on captions to learn for accessibility reasons. If this is your situation, there is a separate support route in place where human written captions can be provided for you – get in touch with Disability Services who will be able to help further. For recordings of in-person lectures (lecture capture), captions will be added once the recording is published. If you don’t immediately see captions available, check back in an hour or so.


“When there are no captions, I am much more likely to need to keep rewinding to listen again.” UoB Student, Autumn 2021


If you use captions as a support to your learning, you’re adding to your set of study skills, as well as your digital skills! If anything doesn’t look right, especially terminology or names, double check against what’s on the slide, in handouts or reading materialsor listen to that section if you can. Captions should never be used as the sole source of information, especially for assessments and revision. Always check with your lecturer if you don’t understand something important. 

To turn the captions on or off on a video, look for the small ‘CC’ icon at the bottom of the video. Captions will appear at the bottom of the video.

Screenshot showing the CC icon on the Re/Play player

If you play the video full screen, you’ll also see a small magnifying glass icon. Here, you can search the captions and go straight to where a key word is mentioned by selecting the caption you want to see.

Screenshot showing the Re/Play player with captions search open

We’d love to hear feedback on how the captions help you learn. Why not get in touch with your course rep and ask them to pass your thoughts to our team of Student Digital Champions!

 

Issue opening attached documents in Blackboard

The Digital Education Office (DEO) is aware of a new, infrequent issue where some people are receiving 404 errors when attempting to open certain documents in Blackboard when using Edge. This error is currently being investigated by Blackboard and will be fixed in a future update.

To access the documents, please use an alternative browser, or right-click on the document link and select ‘Save As’ to download a copy of the document.

Our apologies for the inconvenience.

DEO

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