Information on the current status of Blackboard and Collaborate

Plan ahead

Be ready to communicate with your students in alternative ways

You may want to update your students on the situation or send them a link to an alternative webinar platform.

    • Familiarise yourself with the MAP communications system.
      This will enable you to email all the students enrolled on your module in one action.
    • Set up a Yammer group for your module.
      If you are looking for a messaging app try Yammer as an alternative to WhatsApp. It is part of the Office package and all Aston students have access.
    • Make an emergency plan with your students.
      Ask them to check your agreed alternative communication method for information on an alternative webinar platform.

Familiarise yourself with alternative webinar options


Teams is a quick and easy alternative to Collaborate. If a student’s device is set up for Collaborate it will probably work straight away with Teams.
Students will not have to have Teams installed on their machine to be able to join a meeting.

Panopto webcast and Veevox message board 

You can use Panopto to broadcast a live session – so your students can watch and listen to your presentation.
The downside of this is that there is no two-way communication, you can combine the webcast with a Veevox message board so they can send you questions.

Familiarise yourself with the Solve Portal

During a period of unplanned disruption, you will find the latest updates on Solve.

Back up your teaching materials

Keep a copy of your teaching materials such as your slides or worksheets in case Blackboard is unavailable. Make sure you are able to access these storage areas on all your devices.

During the disruption 

When to decide what to do

It is very difficult to know when to stop waiting for a system to recover and when to take action. Mostly, Digital Services or TEL will not be able to say when a system will recover. If you have 50 minutes a week with your students, Collaborate is down for five minutes, how long do you wait – it is easy to waste another ten minutes.

Get the latest information on the disruption 

Take action

Example: in the

    • Make a decision to switch to another platform and go ahead with the move
    • Send out the link to your students and press ahead the move. Don’t look back to Collaborate once you have sent our your new link, you will only waste more time.

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  • Published: 2 months ago
  • Updated: 1 month ago