Minerva upgrade: What you need to know

Minerva has been successfully upgraded to the latest version of Blackboard.

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

Minerva upgrade. August 2021

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

  • No more downtime – 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.

What to do first

For the best experience, make sure you clear your web browser’s cache and cookies, then restart it before using Minerva.

Improved security

Protecting your Minerva account

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

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.

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.

Details and booking information about further training sessions for Turnitin will be added to the Digital Education Systems website within the next few weeks. Courses will introduce participants to changes in both the administration of assignment areas and the student submission experience.

Keep up to date

Please visit Minerva News for further information and to subscribe to the blog.

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