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eLearning News
Updates, announcements, and other items of interest from eLearning, Teaching and Learning Facilities (ITS).

Blackboard Paper Administration Upgrade

We would like to announce an upgrade of Blackboard Paper Administration. We have scheduled the upgrade to happen between 5 pm and 7 pm Wednesday, 21 June. This will mean that there will be no access to Blackboard Paper Administration during this time frame. Blackboard itself will still be available as normal.

This upgrade includes:

  • Email notifications to coordinators
    • When students will lose access to the Blackboard paper.
    • When other staff will lose access to the Blackboard paper.
  • Some bug fixes.

You can keep up-to-date with news about this update by following the ITS Service Desk notices ( and here on the eLearning blog (

Flash in the pan

Recently we have been seeing sporadic instances of Otago Capture users encountering an problem while trying to access lecture recordings.

The way the error presents itself is that from the EchoCentre for a section, a user attempts to play a recording, but instead is directed to a message saying that Adobe Flash must be updated in order to play the recording.  Please click on the picture below to view the error message.

The confusing thing about this is that the error message is not resolved (in all instances) by updating Flash as instructed.  This message can arise for some users who have fully updated both their browser and Adobe Flash to the latest versions.  Where this happens, it likely means that Flash has been disabled in that user’s browser of choice.

If you fall into this category, we recommend examining your browser’s Flash settings.  Included below are instructions for enabling Flash in the four most common browsers used on Campus:

In Google Chrome, visit Settings> Advanced Settings> Content Settings, and then scroll down to the ‘Flash’ section.  From here, you can either allow all sites to run Flash, or else (if you prefer to have Flash disabled by default) add to the list of exceptions.

In Microsoft Edge, click on the “…” symbol to the right of the URL bar, and select Settings> View Advanced Settings.  Then find the option that says “Use Adobe Flash Player”, and change to “On”.

In Internet Explorer, select the ‘x’ symbol in the top right corner of the window to immediately discontinue using Internet Explorer and switch to a modern browser.

 In Firefox, click on the ‘three line’ symbol to the right of the URL bar, and select Add-ons> Plugins, and find the entry for Shockwave Flash.  Select “Always Activate”.

In Safari, select Preferences> Security> Plugin settings.  Then, on the list that appears, check the box next to Adobe Flash Player.  From here, you can either make Flash available for all websites, or merely turn it on for (if isn’t one of the options that appears, try opening a new tab and visiting, and then repeat the process of changing the plugin settings).

If it is desired that Flash should usually be disabled by default, we recommend simply following these instructions in reverse to revert the Flash settings, once you have finished watching the recordings you required.

If you have any troubles following these instructions (or if the problem still isn’t resolved after updating and enabling Flash) please feel free to contact the ITS Service Desk for additional assistance.


Blackboard has been upgraded

The upgrade to Blackboard has finished earlier than we expected, which means it’s now available again to everyone.  There are a few new features that we’d like to highlight.

New Icon Set

The look and feel of Blackboard has not changed much in last few years which is why we’re excited about this small change.  The new icons will show up in your content areas and the Tools section.

New Icon Set

New Icon Set

Drag and Drop submissions

This simple tool allows students to drag and drop their assignments onto the submission page.  A black dashed line will show them the hot spot where they can drop it. This will also work when attaching files to content areas for instructors as well.

Hot spot for drag and drop

Hot spot for drag and drop

Submission Receipt ID numbers.

Much like when you buy something online you will get a receipt ID number. Now this option is available to students when they submit an assignment.  At the moment this ID number will only appear when they submit an assignment, students won’t be emailed it.

This is particularly helpful for a student who has submitted an assignment but that hasn’t shown up in the grade centre.

What the students will see when they submit an assignment.

What the students will see when they submit an assignment.

These ID numbers can be found by the instructor in the Grade Centre.  Under the Reports tab, there will be an option of Submission Receipts. Here you can search by username and find the receipt number the student has given you to confirm their submission of an assignment.

Bug Fixes

We’ve also added an array of bug fixes  including:

  • Course Reports should now run as usual
  • Last Access in the Grade Centre is now accurate
  • The course theme and menu’s colours can be changed to be more readable.