Moving to European hosting – dates and details

From the start of the 2021-22 academic year, Aston’s Blackboard Collaborate sessions will move from hosting in Canada, to hosting in Europe.

As early adopters of what is now Blackboard Collaborate, Canadian hosting was the most appropriate option at the time. The move will remedy issues experience by some users last academic year, where maintenance was undertaken between 0700 and 1100.

Switchover date

The switchover date will be at 0700 on 1 September 2021.  Note that there may be a delay while the change propagates. Collaborate should be considered at risk between 0700-0900. See details for other time zones.

Changes, and actions required

On switchover day, the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Course Tool, named Collaborate Webinars in Aston’s Blackboard Template, will point to the new hosting location. This means that sessions and recordings hosted in Canada will no longer be available via this tool. Sessions will need to be created after switchover, and you will be able to add a link to a course’s Blackboard recordings that are hosted in Canada.

Scheduled sessions

Any sessions created prior to switchover will not be available. You will need to create them after switchover day.

Before switchover day, do not schedule sessions to happen after switchover, they will not be available after we switch.

Guest links

Any guest links to sessions created prior to switchover will no longer work. They will need to be recreated, and the links distributed to those who need to attend.

Sessions scheduled for switchover day

Switchover will be complete by 0900. If you need to be in a session for that time, you can quickly create a session just before the top of the hour. Alternatively, you may wish to direct your students to join the course room instead.

See our guidance on handling problems with Collaborate sessions, and advice on how to use Microsoft Teams as a fall back.

Recordings of previous sessions

Existing recordings of previous sessions will no longer be available via the Blackboard Collaborate tool in your Blackboard courses.

A new Course Tool has been added to Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (Legacy). This points to the recordings page for the course on the Canadian hosting. You can read more on how to add it to your courses:

Moving to European hosting – add a link to recordings made before the switchover

The recordings will be available for twelve months after switchover.

If you need to keep access to these recordings for longer, you will need to download them from Collaborate and upload them into Panopto.

Course Rooms

These will be newly created, as such any settings will revert to default. If you have previously locked a course room, it will be created unlocked.

Out of hours update & maintenance windows

After switchover day, the monthly maintenance windows will take place outside of UK office hours, usually between 0000-0400.

Telephone dial in

Participants will be able to dial into sessions using a UK telephone number. Currently this is switched off, as only a North American number is available for sessions hosted in Canada.

Any questions?

Contact the Technology-Enhanced Learning Team.

This post was edited on 26 August 2021 to add a link to the instructions on adding the legacy recordings course tool.