REMINDER: Blackboard unavailable on 6th August 2019 for planned update

Blackboard Logo
Source: Blackboard, Inc.

An update to the Blackboard system is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 6 August 2019.  The update will commence at approximately 6am and the service will be unavailable for that day.  During this time there will be no access to Blackboard courses or to Turnitin. Pebblepad, Padlet and Box of Broadcasts are unaffected by this work.  There will be direct links to these tools available on the day of maintenance via a holding page, which will be displayed instead of the normal Blackboard service.

Turnitin Scheduled Maintenance – Saturday 5 November, 1pm-6pm (UK Time)

Turnitin Logo
Source: Turnitin

As part of ongoing improvements by TurnitinUK, Turnitin is having some scheduled maintenance on Saturday 5 November 1:00pm – 6:00pm (UK Time).

We would like to make users aware that the Turnitin service will be unavailable between 1pm-6pm on Saturday 5th November. This is to allow for scheduled maintenance by TurnitinUK. No submissions, grading, or access will be possible through the service during this time.

Programmes are advised to amend any deadlines set during the maintenance period.

Markers are reminded that submitted papers can be downloaded (both individually and in bulk) from Turnitin should they wish to read/annotate during the maintenance period and then copy & paste these into the Document Viewer manually once the service is available again.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

For queries or further advice, please contact your Faculty Learning Technologist via the IT Service Desk on 01227 782626.

Turnitin – Paper Submission – Issue with new Windows 10 and Microsoft Office Fonts

Turnitin Logo
Source: Turnitin

Users using Windows 10 and/or Microsoft Office 2016 may experience issues submitting work to Turnitin, if using one of the new fonts such as Arial Nova.

Statement from Turnitin:

The new fonts found in Windows 10 and the latest version of Microsoft Word are not currently being displayed properly within Turnitin. If a newer font type such as Arial Nova is used in a document, it will be converted to a different font for display within Turnitin, and may appear as a cursive-based font.


We are working to make changes to better display these new fonts in future versions of Turnitin. In the meantime, a work-around to this would be to change the font to a type commonly used in previous versions of Word (such as Arial) before submission to Turnitin.

Turnitin – GradeMark – Opening GradeMark Shows ‘This is a draft submission’ Warning

Turnitin Logo
Source: Turnitin

There is a current known issue with GradeMark when clicking on the pencil icon to grade a submission, which results in the following warning message being presented to instructor users:

“This is a draft submission. Any and all marks will be deleted when or if the paper is resubmitted. Would you like to continue?”

This warning message should only appear if the Due Date has not yet been reached.

As a workaround, instructors can bypass this message either by clicking on the OK button on this warning message or by clicking on the assignment title instead.


Kaltura – Support for Internet Explorer 10 and below ended

Kaltura Logo
Source: Kaltura

Kaltura has ended support for Internet Explorer 10 and below

Statement from Kaltura:

On Jan. 12th 2016 Microsoft stopped providing technical support and security updates for Internet Explorer versions 10 and below.

Kaltura will align our support for these browsers with Microsoft’s policy, and therefore we will no longer proactively test the Kaltura video applications on these browsers as well.

We will continue to support Microsoft IE11 and Edge browsers.

The University recommended browser when accessing Kaltura is Chrome.

Blackboard Update 9th and 10th August – a date for your diary!

Service Update
Service Update
Source: Shutterstock

What is happening?

An update to the Blackboard system is scheduled to take place from 6am on Tuesday 9th August 2016 and will involve a maximum of 48 hours downtime. During this time there will be no access to Blackboard courses or to its integrated tools (i.e. Turnitin).

Why is this happening?

Primarily the update is to ensure the system remains current and can continue to be supported, however any new features will be posted in the coming months.

When is this happening?

The update process is scheduled to take place from 6am on Tuesday 9th August to 6am on Thursday 11 August 2016.

What do I need to do?

At this point in time please make a note of this date in your diary and for those colleagues who have assessment deadlines or feedback due on these dates, please adjust these accordingly.

Further information will be posted in the coming months.

If you have any questions in the meantime please contact your Faculty Learning Technologist.

Turnitin – Paper Submission – ”Would you like to open or save t_submit.json from” message in Internet Explorer 9

Turnitin Logo
Source: Turnitin

Turnitin has ended support for Internet Explorer 9 (see related article Technical – Support for Internet Explorer 9 Ended March 1, 2015 – All).

The error message “Would you like to open or save t_submit.json from” may be displayed when submissions are attempted from the IE9 web browser.

To resolve the error, update to a newer version of Internet Explorer, or use an alternative web browser like Chrome or Firefox. The University recommended browser when accessing Turnitin is Chrome.

CCCU Blackboard Festival 2015 – Coming to a campus near you!

Blackboard Festival Banner

Thursday 28th May – Wednesday 3rd June

A series of events will be organised during the festival week to assist staff and collaborative partners in their use of the Blackboard VLE and in its related tools. It is the intention of this week to learn and share good practice and to address key issues which have arisen through student surveys in relation to the use of Blackboard. Delegates will have the opportunity to attend sessions which are of interest as this festival has a pick ‘n’ mix approach.

The timetable for the festival can be viewed here.

The festival will include sessions on:

  • Screencasts
  • Better Blackboard Design
  • Flipped Classroom
  • And much more (details of which can be viewed here)

Sign up to sessions is based on a first-come-first-served basis, so book your place now!

Turnitin – Support for Internet Explorer 9 and 10 Ended

Turnitin Logo
Source: Turnitin

Turnitin has ended support for Internet Explorer 9 and 10

Statement from Turnitin:

At Turnitin, we are continually improving the experience of providing rich feedback on student work. As the internet, web browsers, devices, and Turnitin all evolve, Turnitin has followed the industry by ending support for Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and 10 (IE10).

Going forward, we will no longer test or fix features and bugs found only in Internet Explorer 9 or 10. This does not mean that Turnitin will suddenly stop working in IE9 and IE10, only that we can no longer guarantee full functionality long term. We encourage Internet Explorer 9 and 10 users to move to a current version of one of these supported industry standard browsers:

Internet Explorer (11) | Firefox | Chrome | Safari

The University recommended browser when accessing Blackboard and Turnitin is Chrome.

Welcome to the TEL @ CCCU blog

"Welcome Sign Mosaic in Warm Tones"
Welcome Sign Mosaic in Warm Tones” by Margaret Almon. Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND

Welcome to the blog of the Learning Technology Team based at Canterbury Christ Church University. You can find out more information about the individual team members in the “About Us” section of the blog. Our various research and scholarly activities can be located in the “Publications” section if you wish to know more about what we get up to. We have recently launched an accompanying Twitter feed (@CCCUTEL) to support our social media engagement. Whilst individual team members have engaged in various social media platforms over the years either personally or professionally, it is the first time that the team have engaged with it collectively. So yes, we are a bit late coming to the party, but better late than never we say.

There were a number of reasons why we “arrived late to the party” and we were conscious that at some point we would need to engage with social media to support our students and staff, as well as raising the team’s profile in the wider Higher Education (HE) technology-enhanced learning (TEL) sector.

There is a tendency for people to jump into using social media because there is a perceived expectation that a) they should be using it,  and b) they do not want to feel “left out” in some way. There are some big, and important, questions that need to be asked when considering using social media: What?, Where?, When?, How? and Who? It is these questions that were our points of reference as we began to adopt a more considered approach in our engagement with social media as a team. Suffice to say, we will be using this blog and the associated Twitter feed in the following ways:

  • Case studies, both internal and external, on how learning technology is being used;
  • Evaluation of software and/or mobile apps that support learning, teaching, assessment or productivity;
  • Promotion of learning, teaching, assessment and technology events (both internal and external);
  • Reviews of events attended, books or articles read, etc. relating to learning technology;
  • Signposting to resources relating to our tools (both internal and external);
  • Promotion of any research, publications and presentations that we have undertaken;
  • Service updates of our learning technology systems;
  • Communication and feedback (both internal and external);
  • Profiles and/or contact details of the LTT.

We hope to bring something a little different to the party. See you there!