Across the UK many universities use a student file submissions solution called “Blackboard”, as well as similar review and task alignment tools for staff and teachers. A key challenge that has been raised by multiple students, teachers, and stakeholders in one particular UK university using this tool was that Blackboard has a maximum file size.

This limit was stopping students uploading their work to their teachers, making them miss deadlines and ultimately halting the progression of their learning.

It was clear that the UK university needed to make a change and risual was on hand to support them in this. The need was to allow students to upload bigger file sizes without being stuck at Blackboard’s limit, whilst still providing the usual tools to teachers to review and make the relevant comments.

Our solution was simple but effective.

risual’s Application Development team, worked with the UK university to understand the challenges and designed a solution architecture document to reflect our approach. In the end, the solution was a single web app in Azure, with a SQL database and webpages for the different features, to allow students to upload large files without delays or any issues.

The UK university now have a system and processes which allow them to seamlessly upload and manage large file submissions through Blackboard. Providing the teachers, students, and stakeholders with:

  • Reassurance that work will be submitted on time
  • Increased productivity as teachers are spending more time on things that matter and less time on firefighting Blackboard
  • Increased success rates for students who now no longer had to worry about file size and could perform to the best of their abilities without hindrance

Moving forward, risual and the UK university are going to engage on future work to increase functionality of the solution and also work on the UX design to ensure the system looks in-line with other university-associated systems.

We also plan to take this solution/ project into other Universities and Education bodies that endure the same challenge.

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