16-07-21 – Disruption to service for My Studies (Blackboard) and Turnitin

At approximately 17:30 on Friday, 16th of July, a data-centre in Amsterdam lost connectivity. This brought down Blackboard across most of the European region.

Blackboard were able to re-enable their data-centre, and services were restored by 19:30 on the 16th, for a total of 2 hours of downtime for the service.

Blackboard has apologised for the issue.

Note that My Studies, and thus Turnitin, were therefore unavailable for two hours on Friday the 16th, and student’s may have encountered problems submitting re-sits or other assessments during that outage.

Panopto New Features and Important Summer Dates

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Panopto Downtime:

On Saturday, June 26th Panopto will be down for maintenance and for the installation of new features for the service. They believe the downtime will only run for about 4 hours, and will start at 10pm BST on the 26th.

During the downtime, you will not be able to access videos on your Panopto site and any attempts to upload from recording clients will result in a “Server unable to connect” message

Although it’s unfortunate that the service will be down, the features that will be arriving upon the upgrade are quite nice, and many have been things that staff have been requesting/hoping for for a while.

New Features:

Multi-stream mobile and embed viewer — Exciting changes are coming to mobile devices and the Panopto embed viewer. Users will get a fully interactive multi-stream experience that allows them to dynamically control which streams are displayed and to cycle through visual layouts. Linked Youtube videos are also now supported in this viewer, along with the full suite of features available in Panopto’s interactive desktop viewer.

Discussion Moderation — Content creators can moderate discussions for both live webcasts and on-demand videos, controlling which discussion comments are visible to the full audience of viewers.

Multi-stream preview in Capture — After recording a video with Capture, users will now see all of their recorded streams in the preview viewer to increase confidence that all of their content has been captured correctly.

Improved Sharing Experience — In response to usability feedback from users, we have revamped the sharing experience to be more intuitive and to use a modernized look and feel.

Multi-Language Search — Users can specify the content language for each folder, enabling Panopto’s Smart Search and speech-to-text processing in multiple languages within the same site.

Join or resume a session using Capture — Users can now use Capture to create distributed recordings, joining an in-progress recording or resuming a previous recording, right from the video library.

Improved clips ordering — Users can now drag and drop clips to the desired location from the timeline UI in the editor.

Mobile apps: Background/Reliable Upload & Share — Panopto’s mobile app now allows users to create recordings of unlimited duration and will upload videos while the app is in the background. Users can also easily share videos from within the app.

Some of these features will take a bit of time to wrap our heads around them, but Panopto believes that their service will be even easier and better to use.

Mandatory Client Upgrade

On Friday, July 16, we will require Panopto for Windows & Remote Recorders to be upgraded to version 9.0.2 or above and Panopto for Mac to version 10.1.0 or above.
The upgrade will be applied to your Panopto site at 12 midnight GMT/1:00 am BST.

To update your Panopto Recorder, go into a module with Panopto Video enabled. Click on Panopto Video to go to the Panopto Content area of the module (1) and then click on the Go to Panopto button in the upper right (2).

Screencapture of a module area with Panopto Video link and the expand button being highlighted

Once you’re in the Panopto Area, click on the “Download” button under your name in the top-right.

Screencapture of the download panopto video button under the users' name

Click the green Download button.

Screencapture of the green coloured download button

Double-click to launch the installer application

Screencapture of the downloaded exe file installer

Follow the onscreen-prompts to install the software.

Note: If you are prompted to enter a password to install this update, you MAY have to contact the Service Desk if the computer doesn’t allow you to run the installer.

08/06/21: Disruption to services nationwide incl. TurnitinUK and My Studies (Blackboard)

Update – TurnitinUK and My Studies (Blackboard) services restored

Incident resolved: June 8th 10:55 – June 8th 13:41
Turnitin have stated that the issue is now resolved and was occuring during the times noted above. We are also aware that My Studies (Blackboard) has issues during this time period and these issues also now seem to be resolved.

Update at 12.17pm
The access issues were initially reported at 10.54am and persisted until 12.15pm. Turnitin have advised that they are currently monitoring their services after putting steps in place to mitigate the issue.

From 11.02am on 08/06/21:

We have been made aware that there are nationwide issues affecting websites, web services, and web applications related to a Content Delivery Network provider (cloud-based service). This is affecting both Turnitin and My Studies and may also impact other services and websites which you access as a matter of course for work or study.

We are following updates from service providers and will send an update once services return to normal levels.

Services impacted:

  • TurnitinUK – submission and marking tools currently unavailable.
  • My Studies (Blackboard) – areas of the application are loading slowly or are not available.
  • Other national websites and web applications are also impacted.

Turnitin: issues downloading individual/bulk original file format

9 April – ongoing

There is currently an issue when users attempt to request individual or bulk download of the ‘original file’ format from an anonymous submission point. When the download is triggered, the following message is shown onscreen, “there was an error processing your request”.

This means that there is not a solution for downloading original paper formats (e.g., Word, PDF, PPTX format) at this time. A ticket has been logged with Turnitin.

Workaround

A workaround is to place a piece of annotation on the paper and then download the Grademark papers individually or in bulk, if you require PDF format for marking purposes.

Screenshot of a simulated Turnitin Submission Point with an error message show at the top of the screen when attempting to download the 'original file' papers

Screenshot of the error message shown in a Turnitin inbox as indicated by the purple arrow

UPDATE: Issue with PowerPoint content not being recorded in Microsoft Teams meetings

Microsoft have resolved the issue. Recordings with shared powerpoints in Teams is now working again.

Scope of impact: This issue may have affected any meeting recorded during the time of this event.

Start time: Monday, March 22, 2021, at 7:00 PM UTC

End time: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 12:00 PM UTC

User Impact: Users may have found that PowerPoint content being shared within Microsoft Teams meetings was not being recorded.

Final status: MS have identified that impact was caused by an authentication issue, introduced in a regularly scheduled update to their content sharing service. They have reverted the update, and confirmed using their internal reproduction of the issue that impact has been mitigated.

Scope of impact: This issue may have affected any meeting recorded during the time of this event.

Start time: Monday, March 22, 2021, at 7:00 PM UTC

End time: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 12:00 PM UTC

Blank Video problem with MS Teams recordings

We’ve received reports of “Blank Video” recordings in Teams, when sharing a Powerpoint in the session… When using a Windows 10 machine. (This issue does not seem to effect a Mac)

If you are running sessions in Teams, and wish to have successful recordings of the session, instead of sharing a Powerpoint, rather either “Share Window” or “Share Desktop” in the team-call when recording is needed, until this issue is resolved.

microsoft teams sharing image, showing to not use the powerpoint option

Download of Grademark papers (‘Current View’) & Digital Receipts

Resolved:
March 5th 12.30-17.30

Turnitin service disruption 05/03/21

Turnitin Support have informed us that there is currently an issue with the download of the grademark paper (also known as ‘current view’) and digital receipts. This issue is being investigated by Turnitin’s engineers and you can review updates at the Turnitin Status page.

Please note, that the view of the similarity report, marks and feedback and the submission information that are available via the Turnitin Feedback Studio (paper view) are unaffected. Student submissions and electronic return of feedback are unaffected. Staff review of student work and marking activities is also unaffected.

Turnitin Bulk Download errors reported 03-03-21

Some schools rely on the bulk download of the GradeMark papers (as in the PDF format capturing the marks, feedback, and annotation applied in Turnitin).

As of last week we have found that they can no longer produce bulk downloads which are made available via the ‘Messages’ section above the tabs in any Turnitin Submission Point Inbox. Each time you trigger a bulk download it does one of three things:

  • The bulk download never generates and you do not receive a message, even after waiting for several hours.
  • The download generates but with errors, so only a tiny fraction of the papers (2 out of x) are included in the resulting zip file and the manifest (txt) in the zip file indicates a few of the errors but not all of them. The message received indicates that there were errors, as shown in the screenshot below.

Screenshot of bulk download errors

  • You receive a message stating that the files failed to compress, as shown in the screenshot below.

Screenshot of a turnitin page error showing a failure of the bulk download zip file

A ticket has been raised with Turnitin.

The only work around for this issue, is to download the papers needed, one at a time…

Post date and marks release back to students

Turnitin Service Announcement:
Important information about the post date and marks release back to students

Background

Turnitin anonymous submission points are set to automatically release marks and feedback at the point of the post date; 21 working days after the published deadline. The post date is also the date/time when the work is de-anonymised.

Issue

We are now aware that although the marks and de-anonymisation are automated, the synchronisation between the marks/feedback in Turnitin and the corresponding column in the Grade Centre is not automated. Turnitin have confirmed that when using anonymous submission points the marks and feedback need to be synchronised manually. This applies to all anonymous submission points.

Solution

To manually synchronise at the point of the post date, a person must click the ‘Sync Grades’ link on each submission point (as shown in the screenshot below). This option is found in the Course Management menu in each module, under Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments.

Screenshot showing the Turnitin Assignments area in a module, a mouse cursor is pointing to 'sync grades'

What happens if grades/feedback are not synchronised?

If manual synchronisation has not taken place, the mark shown in the Grade Centre, which is then shown to some students via ‘My Marks’ may differ from what is shown in the Turnitin Feedback Studio (paper view). Also in some cases students will be unable to access their marks and feedback as the work is shown as ‘needs marking’ in the Grade Centre.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact your school’s listed Learning Technologist.

RESOLVED: Panopto Recorder version 9 for Windows – Known Issue

Panopto have released an update to the Recorder for Windows that fixes the issues.

Last week we discussed the bug affecting Panopto for Windows and PPT. I wanted to let you know in case you missed the updated in the forums, this was fixed in Friday’s release:

We have had reports from academic staff about issues with Panopto Recorder when recording Powerpoint lectures, where the slides are NOT recorded and the resulting video is simply a blank screen with the lecturer’s voice only as a ‘voice over’.

In diagnosing this issue, we have discovered that it is a known-bug (problem) that is being worked on by Panopto Engineers.

Our advice:

  1. Do not update to Panopto Recorder for Windows 9. No matter how often you are prompted to do so. Just ignore the prompt.
  2. If you’ve already updated, Choose to record BOTH from Main Screen and Powerpoint
    Screencapture showing both the Main Screen and Powerpoint tickboxes ticked in the Secondary Source area of the window
  3. Or, to download the Powerpoint from your OneDrive onto the desktop of your local computer and run the presentation from your computer. The issue only effects Powerpoint files that are located in a networked drive, like OneDrive or DropBox.

Here’s the link to the Panopto Community site discussing the issue:

Community Panopto