Get Ready for the Blackboard Upgrade 2019

Blackboard Summer upgrade – what you need to know

The Blackboard VLE service will be upgraded on the weekend of 22/23 June with 24 June reserved as a contingency day.  Work will start on Saturday 22 June 2019 at 09:00 BST. 

There are four points you need to be aware of as we get closer to the upgrade:

  1. Following the upgrade, Blackboard will look more modern and have a ‘responsive’ interface which will provide a better experience on a wider range of devices.
  2. To enable the new interface, all course menu colours schemes will be reset to a default scheme, but you can change them to something you prefer afterwards.
  3. Internet Explorer will not be supported after the upgrade.  Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari continue to be supported.
  4. The upgrade takes place on the weekend of 22/23 June, with 24 June reserved as a contingency day.

Scroll down to find out more and watch the videos demonstrating this below .

The new look Blackboard – more modern and responsive

When we upgrade Blackboard, it will have a modern and clean interface which has been updated to use colours from the University brand.  The interface will be responsive, meaning that there will be better performance on tablets and mobile phones, as well as laptops and desktops.  Watch the 1 minute 30 second video above to find out more.

Course menu colour schemes will be reset when we upgrade, you can customise your course menu colours after the upgrade if you wish.

As part of the upgrade, Course themes and the button style for course menus will be disabled because they are not compatible with the updated interface.  These interface elements sometimes have inherent accessibility issues which can make it difficult for students to read.  During the upgrade, all existing course colour schemes will be reset to the University default settings.  Existing course content is unaffected, as are course banners.  Instructors will be able to change their course menu colour schemes if they wish to after the upgrade, and will continue to be able to upload course banners.  Watch the above 2 minute 15 second video to find out more.

Internet Explorer will no longer be supported

Internet Explorer will no longer be supported for use with Blackboard.

When we upgrade Blackboard this summer, Internet Explorer (IE) will no longer be supported for use with Blackboard.  Microsoft ceased development of Internet Explorer in January 2016.  Use of Internet Explorer with our Blackboard service only accounts for 4% of sessions.  While Internet Explorer may work, some aspects of the interface will not render as intended and if you report any issues we will advise you to try a supported browser in the first instance.

Edge, Chrome, and Firefox will be supported for use with Blackboard on Windows platforms, while Chrome, Firefox, and Safari will be supported for use with Blackboard on Macintosh platforms.

In Public Workstations, Common Learning Spaces, and Lecture Theatres; Edge is the default browser.  Staff PCs, including those on Windows 10, still have Internet Explorer as their default browser but staff can change this setting.  Staff are able to install Chrome and Firefox from the Additional Software link.

A Service-Now Knowledge Base article will be published that explains how to use a different browser.

A Reminder of the dates…

The Blackboard VLE service will be upgraded on the weekend of 22/23 June with 24 June reserved as a contingency day.  Work will start on 22 June 2019 at 09:00 BST.