Blackboard Known Issues

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

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Portfolios Assignments Only Appear as ZIP File Downloads in Preview

Posted 10/9/18 CW

Portfolio assignment submissions do not display student portfolios; only a link to download a .zip archive file appears. This is a known issue affecting Blackboard as of the latest upgrade (October 2018).The current workaround is to download and extract the .zip archive then open the index.html file in the extracted folder to view the portfolio. This will allow you to continue reviewing student portfolios in a browser. It is anticipated that this issue will be addressed in an upgrade later this year (2018).

List of Active Courses Does Not Appear when Using the Blackboard Instructor App

Posted 9/6/18 DC

It has been reported that active courses do not appear when using the Blackboard Instructor app on a mobile device. A fix has been implemented, but requires an uninstall and re-install of the app.

Test Options Render Incorrectly With Help Icon Disabled

Posted 8/28/18 CW

The Test Presentation section under Test Options will display incorrectly with the Help icon disabled due to an issue with the page HTML. Enable the Help icon ("?") in the top right-hand corner of the page to fix the display.

Collaborate Ultra Session Attendees using Firefox Version 61 and Above Cannot be Heard

Posted 8/27/18 DC

Due to a Mozilla bug introduced in Firefox version 61, Collaborate Ultra session attendees using Firefox version 61 and above cannot be heard by other session attendees. The recommended fix at this time is to avoid upgrading the Firefox browser to version 61 or greater, or use an alternate browser, such as Google Chrome.

Course Request Process Does Not Submit When Using Internet Explorer

Posted 8/16/18 SR

When using Internet Explorer to request a single course section from Blackboard Faculty Tools, clicking the "Request Single Section" button does not work. The page does not refresh, and there is no confirmation that the request has been submitted. 

This is a known issue, and the Division of IT is working to determine the cause and update the Blackboard Faculty Tools. In the meantime, the workaround is to use another browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. The course request process is working as intended in these browsers.

SafeAssign Doesn't Generate a Report when Filename Has Special Characters

Posted 7/18/18 CW

Assignment submissions with special characters (i.e., #,:,*,space, etc.) are not evaluated by SafeAssign and will not generate a report.

It is recommended that users only include numbers, letters, hyphens, and underscores in their filenames. In cases where student users have already made a submission, change the assignment setting to allow multiple submissions and then ask them to resubmit the document after making the appropriate filename change.

The Blackboard Grade Submission Tool is Currently Unavailable

Posted 7/18/18 DC

A required upgrade of the Grade Submission tool is still in development and is not available for use at this time. Users are recommended to login to MyNIU and post grades directly to the grade roster as a temporary alternative. Please access the knowledge-base article for information on this process (login required).  It is expected that the Grade Submission tool should be available before the Summer term ends. More information to follow. 

Errors Accessing a Blackboard Collaborate Session with Special Characters in the Title

Posted 7/9/18 DC

When creating a new session/room in Blackboard Collaborate, it is important to pay heed to titling.  It was recently discovered that the presence of special characters, such as a pound sign (#) in the title of a newly created session/room will result in an error being reported. The work around is to rename the session, excluding the pound sign or other special character. Blackboard is working to get a fix in to an upcoming release.

Announcement Notifications Links Broken Through Email

Posted 7/2/18 CW

When sending an announcement from Blackboard a student will receive a notification, but not the full announcement, unless "Send a copy of this announcement immediately" is checked. When students click on the notification link it will go to a blank page or their browser's homepage. This does not seem to happen with Gmail or the Blackboard mobile app. There is currently no timeline on when this will be fixed.

The current workaround is to use the "Send a copy of this announcement immediately." However, it is not available when using date restrictions. In this case, instructors may want to inform the student to go directly to Blackboard and check for announcements.

Course Request Tool Doesn’t Work in Internet Explorer

Posted 6/27/19 CW

The Course Request Tool will not advance past “Request Single Section” when using the Internet Explorer web browser. The cause of this issue is currently unknown but may be related to Internet Explorer's depreciation by Microsoft.

Since Internet Explorer is no longer receiving new feature updates from Microsoft, it is recommended that users migrate to a modern browser such as Firefox, Chrome, or Edge.

File Uploads Fail in Safari 11.1 on macOS El Capitan

Posted 4/6/18 SR

Faculty and students who are using Safari 11.1 (released 3/29/18) on a Mac that has the El Capitan operating system (10.11) are not able to upload files to Blackboard. You will be able to select the file to upload, but the upload times out before completing. This only affects Safari 11.1 on El Capitan - if you are using a different version of macOS (such as the latest release, which is High Sierra), file uploads should complete as usual. 

Because this issue only occurs in Safari, the workaround is to use another browser, such as Chrome or Firefox.

Audio Files Autoplay in Chrome

Posted 3/21/18 SR

When audio files are posted using the Audio content type, the auto-play in Chrome regardless of whether the Autostart setting is set to No. This is a known issue that occurs because the audio player is based on an NPAPI plug in, which is no longer supported in the Chrome browser in versions 42 and newer. Because the browser does not know how to handle the plugin, it autoplays the file. 

There are several possible workarounds. First, if the Audio tool is preferred, recommend students to use Mozilla Firefox or another browser when accessing the course. You could also upload the audio files using the Item or File content type, which would require students to download the files and play them locally. 

As another workaround, you can upload the audio files using MEDIAL and embed them in Blackboard. The MEDIAL player does not rely on NPAPI, so the files will not autoplay. 

Cannot Access Previous Attempts on Group Assignments

Posted 3/21/18 SR

When the Group Submission setting is enabled on an Assignment, and Multiple Attempts are enabled, it is only possible to open the most recent attempt for grading. You will receive an error message when trying to open an earlier attempt. Blackboard acknowledges this as a known issue and it is fixed in the Q2 2017 Release (NIU is currently on Q4 2016). 

As a workaround, you can download the student-submitted files by clicking round drop down arrow in the grade column header for the group assignment and choosing Assignment File Download from the menu. Select all of the groups and to download all of the attempts, then download the packaged zip file. Once opened or extracted, you will be able to view all of the files submitted by the groups. 

This does not include any of the grade information, however, if a previous attempt was graded. You can view some of this information by viewing the Grade Details or Grade History for an individual student attempt. 

Blackboard Student App Breaks Test Presentation Settings

Posted 3/6/18 CW

The Blackboard Student app (iOS, Android) will automatically convert tests and surveys with compatible question types (Multiple Choice, True/False, Either/Or, Short Answer, and Essay.) to a mobile-friendly version which displays in the app instead of a browser. The app conversion breaks the test presentation settings for display questions one at a time and prohibit backtracking - allowing students to see all the questions at once and to backtrack on question responses when taken through the app.

To prevent this conversion for Blackboard Student app users, add at least one non-compatible answer (e.g., fill-in-the-blank, matching) to the test or survey. This will ensure that when students access the test or survey though app that it launches in their browser instead of launching the app version with broken settings. A simple non-compatible answer to add to a test or survey could be an integrity statement, a trivia question, or an extra credit question.



By taking this quiz I _ to adhere to NIU’s Student Code of Conduct.

Please type AGREE

NOTE: assign 0 possible points for the question if you do not want the original point total to be affected.

This issue is only for tests or surveys taken through the app with these settings enabled and does not affect the browser versions.

Blackboard mobile app for students automatically displays the message "Late Submission Accepted" when a Due Date is added to a Blackboard Assignment

Posted: 10/6/17, PG. Revised: 11/1/17, SR

This message is appearing after the latest update to the Blackboard mobile app. It can be a confusing message for students, and it can be very problematic for faculty and teaching staff, where the class policy is not to accept late work. The message is intended to indicate that Blackboard will not prevent a late submission, but the way that message is phrased certainly implies much more than that. Blackboard has acknowledged that this is a bug, and that they are working on addressing it.

In the meantime, there are two options. If you remove Due Dates from your Assignments, the message will also disappear from the app. Students won’t see as clearly when the Assignment is due, which is obviously a negative, but they won’t be confused by the Late Work message. You could also leave the Due Dates, but clearly state in your instructions (possibly at the top of the instructions, in bold or all capital letters, where it is more likely to be seen) that late work is not accepted, even though Blackboard will allow you to submit late.

UPDATE: The latest version of the Blackboard Mobile app will no longer display the "Late Submission Accepted" notice. Advice your students to update the app on their device.

Partial Credit boxes do not show for all answers, on Multiple Choice and Opinion Scale/Likert questions

Posted: 8/10/17, PG.

When enabling Partial Credit on Multiple Choice or Opinion Scale/Likert questions on Blackboard tests, a partial credit entry box should display under each incorrect answer. However, partial credit boxes are only displaying under some incorrect answers, allowing partial credit for fewer answers than may be desired.

Blackboard is aware of this as a known issue and is working on a fix, although there is currently no timeline. As a workaround, you can review the results for each student and adjust the scores manually as needed. It may help to download the results in Excel to more quickly identify which students have selected a given answer on a particular question.

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.

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

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.

Browsers Not Certified for Blackboard

Posted: 5/21/2012, SR. Revised: 8/17/2017, 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 10 or lower, which Microsoft no longer supports; Internet Explorer on mobile devices
  • Firefox versions 30 and lower on desktop; all Firefox versions on mobile devices
  • Chrome versions 35 and lower (version 34 and lower on mobile devices)
  • Safari versions 5 and lower

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


Last updated: 10/9/2018