Office of Educational Technology & Support
Current Blackboard Issues
Below is a summary of high-impact issues we have identified in Blackboard Learn:
- Respondus LockDown Browser Update Required - Please see the detailed article for information.
- Grade Center - A few instructors have reported that when using Firefox to display the Full Grade Center view, the scroll bars are missing (both horizontal and vertical depending on the number of columns and rows in your Grade Center). The work around for this seems to be in ensuring that your scroll bar size setting in your Windows Control Panel settings is set to 17 or less. The path to this setting varies from one Windows OS to another, but generally you can find it under your Personalize/Color/Advanced settings under the item list. The item in that list is labeled "Scrollbar" and there will be a numeric setting associated with it which should be set to 17 or less. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance updating this settings on your Windows computer.
- Tests, Surveys, and Pools - Do not use the ampersand ('&') symbol in names of Tests, Surveys, and Pools (or any other type of item). Use of this character can create errors and the preservation of related content may not be possible. This issue is planned for resolution in a future upgrade.
- Grade Center - For best results, when hiding and showing columns in the Grade Center, use Internet Explorer 8 or 9. If using Firefox, use the "Column Organization" page to hide and show columns. This issue is planned for resolution in a future upgrade.
- Grade Center - When modifying an existing calculated column or adding a new one in the Grade Center, the first results you get may be inaccurate. To resolve, leave the course and then go back in to see if the results have refreshed for accuracy. This issue is planned for resolution in a future upgrade.
- Tests (faculty and students) - Though most students do not experience technical issues when taking tests in Blackboard, some students may experience issues such as slowness, submission errors, etc. Most of these can be prevented by correct test creation practices by the instructor, along with student verification that their computer, browser, OS, Java, etc. meet the proper Blackboard System Requirements. Below are general guidelines for test creation and test completion, along with some practices some users may have to employ when issues arise.
- For all users: Verify that your computer, browser, OS and Java meet the proper Blackboard System Requirements.
- For instructors: When creating tests, instructors should never paste content into questions and answer choices from web pages, Word or other text editors of this nature. Pasting from Notepad is acceptable if you prefer not to type directly into the text editor within Blackboard. If you must use content from other applications, always paste it into Notepad first to remove code, then copy it again from Notepad before pasting it into Blackboard. (Update: The newest text box editor should allow for pasting form Word, but please be observant when doing this to address any issues immediately.)
- For students: Students should type answers directly into the text editor provided in the test within Blackboard. Never paste content into answers from web pages, Word or other text editors of this nature. Pasting from Notepad is acceptable, but only if your instructor has allowed the practice of pasting from other applications. If you must use content from other applications, always paste it into Notepad first to remove code, then copy it again from Notepad before pasting it into Blackboard. (Update: The newest text box editor should allow for pasting form Word, but please be observant when doing this to address any issues immediately.)
- For students: When saving individual answers during a test where all questions are presented on one page, note that the "Save Answer" button for an individual question is located just above the dividing line above the question, not below it. It is directly across from the question number designation.
- For students: Avoid having other applications or browser sessions open while taking tests.
- For all users: A practice test should be offered by instructors and completed by students prior to each test. The practice test should be similar in nature (settings, question types, etc.) as the real test. Those using the LockDown Browser (LDB) may also benefit from both a practice test that does not require the LDB, and one that does.
- For instructors: When giving lengthy exams, especially those having essay or short answer questions, and those pulling from numerous random blocks, use the "One at a Time" "Test Presentation" option.
- For students: Most users find that using the Firefox (latest build) browser eliminates potential issues when taking tests in Blackboard. However, this is not an option when the instructor has required the use of the LockDown Browser (LDB) on a test, so employing the other practices in this list becomes even more important.
- Announcements (all users) - If you have a course Home Page (a new module page) added to your course, the Announcements module on that page only displays announcements with a start date set to a day within the last seven days. Announcements with a start date beyond those seven days will still be available on the Announcements page, accessible in by clicking "More" in the "Announcements" module or from "Tools" (as long as the expiration date has not been reached).
- Faculty - If you wish for an announcement that is older than seven days to show up in the announcements module for students on the first day of class, please select and complete one of the following options:
- Add a new announcement that explains that students should review all announcements by accessing the Announcements page via the Tools menu option.
- Edit the existing announcements so that the display after date is within 7 days or right at the first day of classes.
- Add the announcements page directly to your course menu. To add this to the course menu, click the plus in the red box at the top of the course menu. Select the Create Tool Link option. Name the link Announcements and verify that the tool type is Announcements. Click the box for the Available to Users option and click Submit. Drag and drop the Announcements menu option to the desired location in the course menu.