Blackboard Summer upgrade
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.
We have once again negotiated within iSolutions for the upgrade work to take place over a weekend in order to minimise disruption to the University. The following Monday is reserved as a contingency day.
Important materials on Blackboard can be downloaded before the system becomes unavailable during the upgrade window.
Read below to find out how to download any materials you will need to use whilst Blackboard is unavailable.
As we get closer to the upgrade we have some news for you about changes to Blackboard after we upgrade.
We have prepared a page containing videos and explanations at https://elearn.southampton.ac.uk/blackboard/get-ready-bb-2019/
Reducing the impact
If you were planning on using Blackboard during the upgrade weekend there are a number of steps you can take to mitigate the impact.
If you will need to refer to online materials in your Blackboard course during the upgrade weekend, you can download those materials to your computer, laptop, or mobile device in advance by following these guides.
If your course utilises recorded lectures and sessions and the course instructor has allowed it, you can download those recordings in advance of the weekend upgrade. You can then watch them on your computer, TV, or mobile device.
If you anticipate the need to view data from your course’s Blackboard Grade Centre during the upgrade weekend, you can download it to an excel file. This allows you to view the data whilst Blackboard is unavailable.
If, during the upgrade weekend, you will need to refer to Turnitin Feedback Studio summaries, you may download the files in advance for offline viewing.
If, during the upgrade weekend, you will need to refer to student assignments submitted to Turnitin, you may download the files in advance for offline viewing.
If you believe you will need to refer to submissions using the Blackboard Assignment Feature you may download them in advance for offline viewing on your computer or mobile device.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is necessary to upgrade Blackboard for several reasons:
- To maintain support from the application provider.
- To provide security fixes and enhancements.
- To resolve known issues and bugs.
- To provide updates to back end technology.
- To benefit from new features and enhancements.
The upgrade involves changes to the Blackboard application code and database tables. These changes cannot be made whilst the application is available to users.
We have a core upgrade team of
- two Blackboard application administrators
- a Linux system administrator
- an Oracle database administrator
- a web applications expert
The three systems roles above each have a back up. In the event of illness we have someone who will be able to step in to ensure the upgrade proceeds without delay.
During the upgrade weekend how will I find out that the upgrade is complete and I can use Blackboard again?
During the upgrade weekend we will be posting updates to our twitter feed @uos_mle
When service is restored the first place where this will be publicised is the above twitter account.