All student email regarding VLE downtime

The following is a copy of the email sent to all students on the 17/05/2011 notifying them of the forthcoming VLE upgrade and subsequent downtime.

VLE downtime 18-30 June

Advance warning – the University is going to upgrade the VLE this summer. The VLE will be unavailable from the 18th to the 30th June while this is done.

Students – if you know you will need anything from the VLE during this period you should prepare ahead and make your own copy of the resources where possible. Some Schools have chosen to make special arrangements for their students and you should hear from them soon if this is the case. No assignments will be scheduled for submission via the VLE during the downtime period.

Please visit for more details and a guide to downloading resources.

Put the VLE downtime dates in your diary now – 18th to 30th June.


More details

Help or Advice

Should you encounter difficulties in preparing for downtime. We will be extending ISS helpdesk hours from Saturday 18 June for two weeks, there will be 8am to 8pm support Mon-Fri (plus afternoons at weekends).


If you wish to access particular VLE materials during the downtime period you should prepare ahead, downloading or copying resources where possible. If you find you have re-sit commitments it may be particularly important for you to do this prior to 18 June. You may find the following link helpful:

Impact of downtime

For many students the downtime is out of standard teaching and assessment periods and the impact is likely to be minimal. In some areas courses do continue over this period, and Schools will be communicating with you directly about specific arrangements, as necessary (in particular in Medicine and Healthcare).

Why are we upgrading?

As part of the University’s commitment to providing high quality up-to-date support for student learning, we are undertaking an upgrade to the latest version of the Blackboard VLE system this summer. This is a significant piece of work, the first major upgrade since our original implementation. Feedback on trial roadshows indicates that the new version will bring benefits in “look and feel” and functionality for students and staff.

Further communications

We will update you as soon as the upgrade is complete, and this is the maximum expected downtime. Information on the upgrade process is available at or from the “Coming soon” tab in the VLE. We will continue to keep you updated and provide relevant information via e-mail, the Portal, and on a holding web page.

For further queries please contact the ISS Helpdesk, Tel: 0113 343 3333

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