This message was emailed to all Instructors 27/03/2020
27 March 2020
CTIL Update 27/03/2020
Centre for Technology & Innovation in Learning
The reliability of services is more important than ever, so I want to give everyone an update on two of our key services that are currently under strain right now.
Collaborate Downtime (yesterday)
Collaborate Ultra is seeing unprecedented usage levels across the globe and we’ve been in constant contact with Blackboard to ensure our service is as robust as possible. Yesterday AM there was an outage that affected all EU usage. This problem occurred as a result of emergency overnight work being carried to increase server capacity. This problem occurred as a result of emergency overnight work to increase server capacity. Blackboard has apologised for this and stresses that they are doing everything they can to ensure the service remains functional.
We have had a number of users reporting problems installing the YuJa client on Staff Build machines (no issues with regular computers). The client is the tool that allows you to record directly on your computer before uploading to the main YuJa service. It seems that when a new install of the client is attempted, some users have permissions errors and are unable to install.
- This issue is only affecting Staff Build machines.
- The main YuJa service is working as expected – it is only the computer side client that cannot be installed.
- UoD IT, CTIL and YuJa are working together to resolve this as soon as possible and we’ll let you know directly of any change.
Since the YuJa service is working and is already connected to all of your modules in My Dundee, we advise users to record through PowerPoint itself and upload the resulting file directly into your YuJa channel. I’ve created a very rough video guide to help those affected use this workaround:
Direct video link
Putting service difficulties in context
A significant challenge we’ve been facing in CTIL is repeated calls from academics asking to use us to support one new tool or another. These requests invariably come with anecdotal reasons why the existing tool isn’t working for them and how tool X is clearly a better choice. I completely understand and empathise with anyone who has had a frustrating experience with existing tools, but I appeal to you all to reflect on the fact that all web based services are struggling at the moment, especially video/communication tools like Collaborate or Teams. No tool out there has a magic fix for this situation and for every anecdote about how Zoom is working better than the other existing tool, you can find an opposite reaction from someone else.
If there are evidenced, repeatable, widespread and unresolvable problems with our core tools, we will consider alternatives. Factors such as consistent user experience, data security and others like these are equally important in the current situation, but we don’t want to get stuck in a ‘grass is always greener’ situation.
Sorry for the slight rant but I would like to appeal to the community to stick to the core tools and contact Help4u/join the CTIL drop-ins if you have any issues. Some of you will be using alternative solutions for specific use-cases and CTIL is here to support you – but we can only support so much and if students contact us or our colleagues inUoD IT about an unsupported service, there is only so much we can do.
As always, let me wish you and your loved ones all the best. CTIL’s fun activity of the day is to name our favorite children’s books and you’re all welcome to let me know yours.
Digital Education Services Manager, Centre for Technology and Innovation in Education (CTIL)
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Centre for Technology & Innovation in Learning (CTIL), Library and Learning Centre
University of Dundee
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