Collaborate: Staff online drop-in sessions

Do you have a question about how to use Blackboard Collaborate to deliver your online events?

Feel free to ‘drop-in’ any time on any of the dates below where facilitators from the VLE Service and SDDU will be online to answer any questions you have on the use of Collaborate.

The sessions are more suitable for colleagues who have already attended the First Steps with Blackboard Collaborate Training or for colleagues who have some experience of delivering online events and may be migrating from another platform (such as Adobe Connect).

When: Tuesday 24th May, 12:00 – 13:00

Session link:

Further sessions will be run from May to July (12:00 – 13:00) on the following dates:

  • Thursday 16th June
  • Wednesday 21st June
  • Wednesday 6th July
  • Tuesday 19th July

Joining the Session 

  • All staff managed Windows desktops already have the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher already installed.
  • If you are using your own PC or Mac see this guide.
  • Access the test room to configure your audio before the session.
  • Please ensure you have an appropriate headset available as you will be expected to ask your question using audio.
  • Type in your name when requested. It might take a few minutes to join the room so please be patient.
  • For technical issues please email or phone 0113-3433333.

We look forward to meeting you online.

VLE issues.

The VLE is now available again.

The availability issue was caused by a configuration problem on a separate service supporting the VLE servers.

UPDATE: 13:30
You may still have issues with the time it takes to load VLE pages and this is being investigated.

UPDATE: 16:20
The service has been continuously stable since approx 14:00

The VLE Service.


VLE Availability Issue

We are currently experiencing a temporary availability issue with the VLE.

Users may experience problems logging in and might see a “Too many redirects” error message.

We are investigating the issue and will update you on this blog when we know more.

VLE Service

Staff Drop in Clinics


Any VLE functionality you’ve been avoiding? Want to ask an expert? Great ideas but don’t know where to start? Interested in using Blackboard Collaborate?

We are offering staff drop in clinics on the following days:

Faculty of Biological Sciences Staff Only
When: Monday 11th April, 14:00-15:30
Location: Irene Manton North Cluster

All staff
When: Wednesday 13th April, 10:00 – 11:30 and 14:00 – 15:30
Location: Teaching Room 2, Level 1 Laidlaw Library

All staff – Virtual drop in
We are also offering an additional virtual session using Blackboard Collaborate.

When: Thursday 14th April, 10:00 – 16:00
Location: Online using Blackboard Collaborate
Session link: (this link will only work when the session is underway)
Note: You will need download and open the .collab file to access the session. The file will be saved to your downloads folder. Detailed information on this is available in the guide.

Prepare for the session:

  • Ensure your PC has the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher installed. All staff managed Windows desktops already have Collaborate installed, if you are using your own PC or Mac see the guide.
  • You will need a microphone.
  • Access the test room to configure your audio before the session.

Want a drop in clinic in your School or Faculty? Dial 33333 and ask for a callback.

Turnitin – scheduled maintenance Saturday March 5th

Turnitin have informed us that the service may be intermittently unavailable during a maintenance period on Saturday March 5th, 3pm-7pm.

They encourage Instructors to modify assignment due dates for either before or at least several hours after the scheduled maintenance window.

Turnitin have scheduled maintenance periods on the first and third Saturdays of every month, usually 3pm-7pm. Please bear this in mind when setting due dates.

Comments are welcome, however if you need help or advice please contact the IT Service Desk on tel (0113) 343 3333, or by email at

Turnitin grader app issue

We are experiencing an issue with the Turnitin app for iPad.

Users attempting to connect an assignment to the App via a Class Access Code may experience an error, preventing the connection.

Users attempting to sync back grades to the servers from the App will likely experience errors.

Turnitin have informed us that offline grading is safe at this point, and you will be able to sync back your grading work to the server when the issue causing this problem is resolved.

However, as a temporary workaround, we advise you use the Turnitin Grademark functionality linked to the VLE on your desktop computer until we can advise you otherwise.

VLE Service.