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Blackboard Known Issues

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The following is a list of current known issues regarding Blackboard Learn (Release 9.1) at NIU. The Division of IT is aware of these issues and is working with Blackboard to provide fixes in future service packs to the system. If you encounter any additional issues, please report them by contacting the IT Service Desk at 815-753-8100 or email ServiceDesk@niu.edu.

Course Copy does not work with Blackboard Collaborate recordings

Posted: 6/29/16, PG.

Blackboard Collaborate sessions/recordings do not get copied over during a Course Copy. Clicking on copied links to Blackboard Collaborate recordings results in an error message. To fix this, the instructor must navigate to the old Blackboard course where the original recordings are located, share the recordings to the new course, and recreate links to the recordings they want to use. Step-by-step instructions for recreating Blackboard Collaborate recording links can be found on the list of frequently asked questions for the Course Copy tool.

Microsoft Edge File Upload Issue

Posted: 4/14/16, PG.

A bug in the Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10 can cause file attachments to become blank in Blackboard. So far, this issue only appears to affect Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PPT, etc.).

The issue occurs when following these steps when trying to add attachments (for instance on content items or assignments):

  1. Click on the "Browse My Computer" button, and navigate to the Microsoft Office file you want to attach. Click Open, but do not Submit the main page you're trying to attach the file to.
  2. Outside of Blackboard, use Windows Explorer to open the file you selected in step 1; then close the file.
  3. Now, back in Blackboard, click the Submit button for the page you're trying to attach the file to.

When you follow these steps, you’ll see that a file with the correct filename will be attached to the item. However, when you open the attachment, it will be blank.

Adobe Presenter Upload Issue

Posted: 2/24/16, PG.

When uploading an Adobe Presenter zip file directly to the Content Collection in Blackboard, the index.html file becomes corrupted. Instead, users are encouraged to upload the zip file from within a Blackboard Course:

  1. First login to Blackboard, then enter the course to which you would like to add the Adobe Presenter file
  2. Navigate to the 'Control Panel'
  3. Click on the Content Collection link
  4. Click on the link to the Personal Content Collection (rather than the Course Content Collection)
  5. Click on the Courses folder
  6. Click on the Create Folder tab, and type in the course number (i.e., PHHE 435) for the 'Folder Name'. Click Submit.
  7. To enter the new folder, click on the newly-created folder's name (a link)
  8. From within the new course folder, create another new folder, but this time, type in the name of the Adobe Presenter zip file. Then, click on that folder's name to enter the new folder
  9. From within the new folder, cursor over the 'Upload' tab and click on Upload Zip Package.
  10. Click on the Browse button, locate and click the desired zip file, and then click Open
  11. Finally, click the Submit button

Grading Group Discussion Issue

Posted: 1/29/16, TM.

When grading a Group Discussion forum, students from other groups may appear on the screen. The message (Not a Member of the Group) will appear next to the student’s name. This is caused when copying a graded group forum from one group to another. However, there is an easy solution.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Users and Groups > Groups
  2. Next, hover over the group that needs to be fixed
  3. Select the action button and select Edit from the drop down menu
  4. You don’t make any changes, but click Submit (this seems to reconfirm the groups and it corrects itself)

Preview for a Group Assignment Can Become Locked for Instructors

Posted: 10/31/14, SR

When an Assignment is set to be completed by groups instead of individual students, there is a bug that could lock the instructor's view of what the Assignment looks to students (the preview). Normally, when an instructor clicks the title of an Assignment (group or individual), they are given a preview of what students see when they submit an Assignment. Occasionally, though, for group Assignments, this view is broken and the instructor instead sees a view similar to the Inline Grading view, with no preview of how to submit an assignment. 

This is caused when an instructor clicks the title of the Group Assignment to preview it and then does not click the Cancel button. If the instructor previews the Group Assignment and then closes Blackboard or clicks on another menu area to leave the Assignment, Blackboard breaks the preview. The only workaround to fix the preview is to edit the Group Assignment, remove all of the groups, Submit the change, and then edit it again to add the groups back to the Assignment. This is not recommended, because it will permanently delete any attempts or submissions that students have already made.

This does not affect the student view of the Assignment. Students are still able to preview and submit the Assignment as normal. To verify this, faculty can use the Student Preview feature, to interact with the course as a student.

To avoid this, always use the Cancel button to leave the preview of a Group Assignment. This is a good habit for students, as well, since previewing Group Assignments can lead to confusion for them because Blackboard treats the assignment as though there is an attempt in progress. 

Blackboard acknowledges that this is a known issue, and is resolved in the next release.

Test Exception Does Not Allow Student to Take Exam After Due Date

Posted: 10/2/14, SR

The new Test Exception feature allows faculty to establish separate availability dates for individual students or groups of students. This is useful for students who may be traveling or ill during a regular exam window. Setting the availability dates should allow only the student or students included in the exception to access the test after the availability window closes. However, if a Due Date is specified and the setting for "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" is selected, students with availability windows after the Due Date will be prevented from starting the test.

To avoid this, simply uncheck the option for "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" and use the global availability dates for the Test to restrict students from accessing the Test. Then, the availability exception will allow the student or students to access the Test as normal and begin the Test. These submissions will be marked as Late by Blackboard, but that warning can be ignored by the faculty.

This has been submitted to Blackboard as a bug, but there is no timeline for a fix.

Blackboard Rubrics Fail to Export

Posted: 9/9/14, SR

Currently, Rubrics created in Blackboard fail to Export. If exported to the Local Computer, Blackboard will report a fatal error and not export the rubric. If exported to the Content Collection, Blackboard appears to export the rubric but in fact only exports a log that states that the export failed. Upon trying to import the rubric from the Content Collection, Blackboard reports a fatal error. 

Usually, the Export feature is used to move a rubric from one course to another. For example, once built in section 1 the Rubric is exported and then imported into section 2 that will use the same Rubric. In this scenario, the workaround is to perform a Course Copy, from the first course to the second, that only includes Rubrics (i.e. only Rubrics is checked when performing the Course Copy).

Blackboard acknowledges that this is a known issue, but there is no timeline for a fix.

Internet Explorer Inaccurately Records Student Responses to Hot Spot Questions on Tests

Posted: 2/26/14, SR Revised: 4/2/14

When students respond to Hot Spot questions on tests, the browser uses built-in tools to determine the coordinates of the point where students clicked on the image. Internet Explorer does not record these coordinates accurately. Depending on the version of Internet Explorer, either the student's response will not be recorded (nothing will happen when the student clicks the image), the marker that indicates the location of the student's response will appear somewhere other than where he or she clicked, or the coordinates will be recorded with decimals. In all cases, the answer is marked incorrect. If the student experiences the error with the marker appearing in the wrong location and clicks outside of the correct response area in order to compensate for the error so that the marker does land in the correct area, faculty receive an error message when trying to view the submission in the Grade Center. 

These issues affect Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11. To avoid it, students should use Firefox, Chrome, or Safari to access Blackboard when taking tests that include Hot Spot question types.

Blackboard is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. There is currently no timeline for when it will be resolved.  

Email Messages Sent From the Grade Center May Be Blank

Posted: 4/16/13, 1:45 PM, SR

In some cases, email messages sent to students through the Grade Center are sent with the correct subject but with a blank message. This is a known issue related to the text box editor.

To avoid the issue, use the Send Email tool, which can be found in the Control Panel under Course Tools.

This issue is resolved in Service Pack 11, which we anticipate upgrading to in June 2013.

Browsers Not Certified for Blackboard

Posted: 5/21/2012, 2:20 PM, SR Revised: 4/29/2016, 12:00 PM, PG

At present, the following browsers are NOT certified or recommended for use with Blackboard and should be avoided by faculty and students when accessing Blackboard:

  • Internet Explorer 7 - Tabs do not display in IE 7, users should upgrade to IE 11 (on Windows 7, 8.1, RT, or 10) or IE 8 (on Windows XP)
  • Safari 4.0 or 5.0 on Mac OSX

A complete listing of supported browsers and operating systems is available here.

Last updated: 6/29/2016