Record from Webcam feature no longer available

If you look very closely at the editing toolbar inside Blackboard, you may notice that one of the icons on the bottom row has disappeared.

Record from webcam icon

This was the Record from Webcam icon, and we have removed it for the simple reason that – for reasons outside of our or Blackboard’s control – it no longer works.

Blackboard posted the following on their support site just before Christmas:

YouTube Ending Support for Record from Webcam

Issue Description: Google is discontinuing support for the ability to use your webcam to record video after January 16, 2016. This affects our Video Everywhere feature, which is built into Learn and will cease to function when Google disables it.

Please note that this change affects only the Record from Webcam tool in the Content Editor, which was probably not very widely used in any case.

The YouTube Mashup tool is not affected, and you can of course continue to use the embed code to bring YouTube content into your Blackboard course – see our guides in the support section of this blog.

For advice on recording screencasts and other video content, please check out the GRASS project blog.

Turnitin changes

This post contains news of two recent changes in Turnitin functionality.

Deleting Turnitin assignments

We have updated the connector which links our Blackboard system to Turnitin.

As well as minor improvements and bug fixes, this introduces one new piece of functionality: the ability to delete Turnitin assignments from the Control Panel.

This will be particularly useful on courses where – probably as a result of course copying in the past – you can see redundant Turnitin assignments listed in the staff view which are not visible to students, or in the Blackboard Grade Centre.

To delete a Turnitin assignment

Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments

You will see a list of all the Turnitin assignments on the course.

On the right-hand side, for each assignment you will see a Delete Assignment button.

Delete Turnitin assignment

When you click on Delete Assignment you will see a warning message – press OK to confirm the assignment deletion.

Delete Turnitin assignment - warning message

A success message will be displayed .

Assignment successfully deleted

Image updated 26/02/2016 following minor Turnitin updates



If you are in any doubt at all – do not delete a Turnitin assignment!

On some courses, you may have what appear to be duplicate assignments.

Before deleting an assignment

  • go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments
  • click on the link to go into the assignment
  • if there are student submissions – do not delete the assignment
  • if you are sure this is a redundant assignment, click on the Edit assignment tab
    Edit Turnitin assignment
  • then edit the assignment name – append OLD or DELETE to the name.
  • now, when you go back to the (possibly very long) list of assignments on your course, you will easily be able to identify which assignment(s) to delete.


Downloading papers

As part of Turnitin maintenance just before Christmas, changes were made to the way staff can download papers from the Turnitin inbox.

  1. You can now download papers from the Turnitin inbox, even if Anonymous Marking is switched on.
  2. When you download a papers in this way, students’ names are no longer appended to the filename of the downloaded papers.
    This is the case even on assignments where Anonymous Marking has not been enabled – the result is that it is very difficult to match downloaded papers with the students who submitted them.

Please note, Turnitin have received a great deal of criticism about the way this change was implemented, and our understanding is that the changes may well be reversed in the near future- we will post any updates here.

Update 26/02/2016: improvements have now been made – see Downloading student papers from Turnitin