Learn.UQ (Blackboard) Upgrade - July 2019

January 2019July 2019

The 2019 Blackboard upgrade took place from 9:00am on 6 July until 12:00 midday on 7 July. Monday had been reserved as well but was not requried. The University is required to maintain a sufficiently ‘current’ version of Blackboard to meet the terms of our support contract with the vendor, and as a requirement of the University CIO’s security regime.  Upgrades also provide important updates to functionality.

What's new in the upgrade?

The upgrade is to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018 CU6.

New functionality and improvements were introduced including:

  • The ability for students to download annotated PDF assessment
  • Improvements to User Privacy in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) including reports
  • Various enhancements to improve performance, security and stability
  • Video and audio feedback for Blackboard assignments
  • Additional attempts in Anonymous Grading
  • Updated look and feel for all course sites

For more information, please view Blackboard's release notes online.

When was end user testing available?

Throughout May and early June, end-users were invited to test within the staging environment from 17 to 21 June, 2019.

What were people invited to test?

It was recommended that Course Instructors using textbook publishing tools try these out in the staging environment.  

Staff who had unusual workflows, or used a range of additional tools in their coursework were invited to test these in the staging environment, to prepare for any workflow changes.

Staff were invited to have a copy of their current course added to the staging environment.


This page was updated as information became available. All communications linked back to this page:

  • 10 January 2019: ITaLI communications team was consulted on the upgrade date selection and consultation process.
  • Notifications in Blackboard Spotlight:
    • 11 January 2019: Staff and students alerted to the proposed dates and feedback requested.
    • 5 March 2019: Staff and students alerted to the revised dates proposed and feedback requested.
    • 19 March 2019: Staff and students alerted to the finalised dates.
    • 7 July 2019: Staff and students were alerted to the successful outcome of the upgrade.
  • Regular articles in the eLearning newsletter to request feedback initially on the proposed dates and subsequently as a reminder for all coordinators and associated professional staff:
  • eLearning Operational Forum (ELOF) members notified in April and May through ELOF reports.
  • 14 May 2019: All staff enrolled in a Blackboard course site notified by email 
  • 22 May 2019: Heads of Schools, Teaching and Learning Committee members and Associate Deans (Academic) notified by email.
  • 17 June 2019: All staff enrolled in a Blackboard course site notified by email that end-user testing is available.
  • 2 July 2019: Article in the UQ Teaching Community Update.
  • 7 July: Notice on the ITS Service Status page that the upgrade was successful.


If you require assistance, please contact the ITS Service Desk:
Phone: +61 7 336 56000 or 1300 738 082 (Australia-wide)
Email: help@its.uq.edu.au
Availability: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 8am to 12 midday