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Category Archives: blackboard

Urgent Blackboard Update – Friday 28 June, 5:00pm to Sunday 30 June, 9:30pm

UPDATED Urgent Scheduled Outage: Blackboard; Friday 28 June, 5:00pm to Sunday 30 June, 9:30pm

Timeframe: 28-30 June 2019 from 5:00pm – 9:30pm

Services Affected: Blackboard

Audience: University Staff and Students

Description: Due to an urgent security update Blackboard will be unavailable to students and staff from 5:00pm on Friday 28 June to Sunday 30 June, 9:30pm

This update needs to be applied urgently and we have scheduled this in the break between Semester 1 and 2 to minimise the impact to users as much as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Blackboard will be back online by 9:30pm, Sunday on the 30th June at the latest and in all probability sooner. If you need to access Blackboard for verifying grades for final results, please download the Grade Centre before this time, instructions can be found at

We thank users for their understanding and patience.

Please contact AskOtago IT if you have any questions (, ext 7000 or 0800 80 80 98)

Ask IT: R215044

TurnItIn Now Available

The University of Otago now subscribes to the anti-plagiarism service TurnItIn. TurnItIn are global leaders in helping students and teaching staff improve their writing and detecting dishonest academic practice.

TurnItIn is fully integrated into Blackboard and Instructors can now create TurnItIn assignments that will allow students to submit documents to create an Similarity Report on their work. This report can also be made available to students to help them craft their writing and learn how best to cite resources and quote sources.

TurnItIn is intended to be a replacement for SafeAssign which has, in recent months, shown to no longer be a tool of sufficient quality to fulfill the needs of the University.

TurnItIn is easy to use and full-featured. To help staff become familiar with the service IT Training will be providing courses that cover the key parts of the software and how to use it. eLearning has also developed a series of self-help pages that can be accessed here:

Integration of TurnItin with Moodle is expected soon once the service has been fully tested by the departments providing the service.

TurnItIn does not currently have the same Direct Submit feature like SafeAssign does. ITS are working on a solution to allow similar functionality but a timeframe for availability is unknown.

Blackboard Update 2018

In late November 2018, Blackboard will be updated to a new version. This will result in an outage of Blackboard for approximately 3 days.  This update is still being worked on but some of the new features included are:

  • Assignment Submission Receipt email: Student will receive an email with a receipt of their assignment submission.
  • Security improvements and Bug fixes.

We’ll have more information about the Blackboard update later in the year.