Blackboard Assignment submission email receipt error Friday 24th March

Blackboard was unable to send emails between approximately 2am and 2pm on Friday 24th March.

As a result of this issue, students who were submitting to a Blackboard Assignment submission during this time saw an error message after submitting their work because an email receipt could not be sent to them.

NOTE: This did NOT affect students submitting to Turnitin.

It was not clear to students if their work had been successfully submitted due to this and may have resulted in some confusion and concern. Students may also have made several attempts to submit work as a result.

Please be aware that:

  • The students’ work was successfully submitted if they saw this error message.
  • Students will not have received an email receipt for the submission.
  • A copy of the email receipt has not been stored for staff reference in the Files section of the course.

We apologise for the inconvenience and any concern this caused to students and staff. The issue was resolved as quickly as possible by Blackboard engineers.

If you have any questions or queries arising from this incident please submit them to


Digital Advent Calendar – Institute of Education

Yota Dimitradi from the University’s Institute of Education (IoE) has put together a digital festive treat in the form of an online advent calendar for colleagues in IoE and has kindly offered to share it with us. It reveals a different educational App everyday in the run up to December 25th.

You can see the advent calendar and join in by visiting the University of Reading Institute of Education Digital Advent Calendar. Enjoy dipping in to the growing list of apps for a few minutes every day. You might see something you’d like to investigate further and try out with your students.


The advent calendar is produced using Google’s blogging platform Blogger. Yota has made use of the Flipcard blog view to fit the advent calendar format.

If you’re not familiar with Apps and using mobile devices, check out the BBC WebWise site:


Turnitin requests to view student papers

What would you do if you received an email from Turnitin with a request to view a student’s work?


The University has now approved guidelines on how to handle a request, made by a member of staff on another course or from another institution, to view a University of Reading student’s work held in the Turnitin paper repository. The guidelines are intended to:

  • Provide a consistent approach to the handling of these requests,
  • Meet UK copyright and data protection law,
  • Allow module conveners to make the decision on accepting or declining these requests.

The University and many other UK institutions use Turnitin to Continue reading

e-Assessment: Assignment set-up essential advice


This post outlines some key information for setting up assignment submissions for the coming academic year, including how to’s, checklists and essential advice.





Set up new assignment submissions points and deploy Tests

Following changes to the annual course rollover process, assignment submission points and Grade Centre settings are no longer being included in the content copied from an existing course into the new instance of it for this academic year. Continue reading

e-Assessment: New features summary

Blackboard Assignment tool – Submission receipts

email-iconStudents will now receive an email receipt to their University email address when they submit work to the Blackboard Assignment tool. This ensures parity of experience for students, who already receive a receipt if they submit to Turnitin and gives re-assurance to students that they have submitted their work.

Further information for Staff: How the receipts work and where to find them

Advice for students on successful submission:

Using Blackboard Assignment (and Using Turnitin)


Turnitin – Feedback Studio

Revised online marking and similarity checking interface.

Welcome to the Feedback StudioTurnitin have updated the interface for marking work online to make it more user friendly. They have improved your ability to add feedback, see originality matches, navigate between different views, and switch tools. The new interface is called ‘Feedback Studio’ and replaces ‘GradeMark’.

Find out more details and see the help guides

Try out the Feedback Studio using this interactive demo


NEW Student Support tab in Blackboard

A new help site has been developed for students to support them in their use of Blackboard and Turnitin! The site covers everything from answers to students’ frequently asked questions to essential advice on how to submit assignments online.

Students can now access a clean and simple help site when they click on the ‘Support for Students’ tab within Blackboard.


As members of staff you also have access to this tab to see what help is available and assist students to find the help they need.

The help site contains all of the same information that was previously available but the refreshed layout should make it easier and quicker for students to locate information.

Continue reading