Blackboard upgrade complete

Last night’s upgrade completed successfully, and the system was made available to users again at around 10.30 this morning.

What’s new in Blackboard?

Links to Talis

This update fixes the issue with broken links to Talis Aspire Reading Lists from Blackboard course menus.

Reading lists for Spring term modules – information for Module Convenors

The Blackboard upgrade at the beginning of August 2017 introduced a bug which broke links from Blackboard course menus to Talis Aspire reading lists.

To deal with this issue, these broken links were automatically hidden in course menus to prevent confusion for students.

Following the most recent upgrade, if you want to use a Reading List link on your Blackboard course menu you will need to:

  • Configure the Reading List link in the Blackboard course to point to your 2017-18 list.
    See how to do this at
  • Un-hide the Reading List link on the course menu:
    • Hover over the link, click the ‘Reading List menu item options’ button that appears.
    • Click ‘Show Link’ from the menu. (See screenshot below)

      Make a course menu link visible to students

        Make a course menu link visible to students


Please continue to update reading lists for the 2017/18 session, and remember to publish all lists that are still in draft. Until published, a list can’t be seen by your students. For further information please contact your Liaison Librarian.

Please note that the problem described affects Blackboard courses where there is a single module reading list, with a link from the Blackboard course menu.
 If a Blackboard course has multiple reading lists, or module convenors have created links from Blackboard to specific sections of a Talis list, these links will be inside a Blackboard content area, and were not affected by the Blackboard bug.


The upgrade fixes a number of bugs which affected Blackboard Portfolios. In particular, when students include web links in their portfolio, this no longer causes an error for those trying to view the portfolio.

For more on Portfolios, see

Blackboard Assignments and Inline Grading

The upgrade was essential for us to make the move to the new inline grading platform for Blackboard assignments which comes online in January. You will notice no difference now – our transition is scheduled for the morning of Wednesday 10th January. Please see our post Changes to Inline Grading in Blackboard for more details – and, if you are currently marking work submitted to a Blackboard assignment, please note that all comments added using the current interface will be “burnt in” on 10th January (i.e. you will not be able to edit or delete them once we have made the change).

Student view of Grades

One slight niggle with the new Blackboard version: when students go to My Grades, all grades are shown to five decimal places – so a mark of 55 will display as 55.00000

That’s not incorrect but, equally, it’s not particularly helpful. Hopefully this feature will be addressed when we next upgrade in the summer.

My Grades showing 5 decimal places


If you have any queries, please log them via the IT Self-Service portal.