Minerva changes – What you need to know

Minerva is being upgraded to the latest version of Blackboard at the beginning of August.

The upgraded version of Minerva contains new features for a better user experience

Minerva changes – What you need to know. July 2021

As a result, Minerva will be unavailable from 5pm on Friday 6 August until Wednesday 11 August. Access to other University systems, such as Outlook, OneDrive and student/faculty services, will be unaffected.

The upgrade will provide a cleaner and more intuitive interface alongside additional improvements, including:

  • No more downtime – following the upgrade in August, Minerva will receive monthly bug fixes and feature enhancements without the need for annual maintenance downtime. This will allow you to continue using Minerva while it’s being updated. The new version of Blackboard is delivered using ‘Software as a Service’ technology, which also reduces the risk of unplanned downtime.
  • Mobile-friendly platform – the new version of Blackboard provides a significantly better experience to users accessing Minerva on mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.
  • Accessibility improvements – Minerva will provide a better experience for users of screen-reader technology. Blackboard is committed to continuous development in this area, with further improvements being made each month.
  • User engagement – new features, such as Activity Stream, provide students with alerts regarding upcoming assessment deadlines and an at-a-glance view of recent changes made to their modules.

Teaching areas, such as modules and organisations, will retain the classic Blackboard look and feel during the 2021/22 academic year. Further changes will be delivered to Minerva during summer 2022, providing a powerful, community-first engaging teaching and learning experience.

Improved security

Protecting your Minerva account

Duo two-factor authentication has already improved security for your Office 365 account, and this increased protection will be rolled out to Minerva during the August upgrade.

What do I need to do?

Whenever you log in to Minerva after the upgrade, you’ll be prompted to complete Duo two-factor authentication in the same way as when you log in to Office 365. You’ll only need to complete this process when you’re prompted for your username and password.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up to Duo now – don’t leave it until the last minute.

Support and training

Navigating Minerva online guide

The ‘Navigating Minerva ‘online guide is now available to colleagues, highlighting changes following the upgrade, alongside a summary of key changes for staff. A student version of the guide is also available. Colleagues can book Minerva training sessions, covering information in the online guide.

Changes to Turnitin

The Turnitin integration, used for assessment, will also be upgraded to the latest version at the same time. A summary of key changes for Turnitin is now available. Turnitin training sessions will introduce participants to changes in the administration of assignment areas and highlight changes to the student submission experience.

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