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Advance notice: Blackboard unavailable 27 – 30 July 2017

(8 June 2017)

The annual upgrade to the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE), Blackboard, will be taking place in July. The upgrade will improve current functionality, incorporate security enhancements, provide performance improvements, and fix ‘bugs’.

In order for this work to be undertaken, Blackboard (including Turnitin and Grademark) will be unavailable to staff and students from 5pm on Thursday 27 July until 9am on Sunday 30 July. It should also be considered to be ‘at risk’ until 9am on Monday 31 July. Blackboard will be available for teaching from Monday 31 July 2017.

After the downtime, updated information will be provided on the Knowledge Base.

Why is it happening now?
The functionality and reliability of the University’s VLE is a high priority. In response to feedback from staff and students about the scheduled downtime for Blackboard upgrades, the Online Learning Strategy Group (OLSG) agreed last year to change the timing for this year and future years to maximise the availability of the system to students. The downtime period is also shorter than in previous years and your co-operation and efforts to accommodate this work are appreciated.

What do staff need to do?
Please remind your students of the downtime and ensure that any online activities take into account this downtime. Please advise them to download any materials they will need before Blackboard becomes unavailable.


The eLearning team will provide updates about the status of the upgrade, and any new support documents outlining the new features, via eUpdate and StaffNet. These will also be shared on HumNet and published in Humanities eNews.

Updates to existing documentation, including information on new features, will be available as soon as possible after the upgrade.

  • For further information please contact your eLearning team via the Support Centre