What is the situation regarding the performance issues that are sometimes / often experienced by Blackboard users?
Since September 2012 the Blackboard system has been delivered via an externally hosted managed service provided by Blackboard in Amsterdam. Following reports of a number of performance issues impacting on student learning and University staff, Information Services have been working with Blackboard as upmost priority to resolve these problems.
As part of the investigations, discussions have taken place with other institutions that use Blackboard (Keele, Liverpool, Manchester, and Leicester); sharing experiences and best practice and facilitating comparative tests from other campuses to our Blackboard environment in Amsterdam.
As a result of investigations, a number of performance issues have been resolved which related to the configuration of the hosted server environment in Amsterdam.
However, more recently on-going testing has established that there was also an issue relating to a network device within the University. This has recently been resolved and the latest tests undertaken this week indicate a very significant decrease in the time taken to download files from the Blackboard server. Further monitoring and investigation will take place to ensure that performance is at the optimum level possible.
Information Services appreciate the support given by colleagues across the institution during the investigation which has proven very difficult to resolve.