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 ServiceDesk@niu.edu.
Have an idea for a great Blackboard feature?
[Update] Comment Box from the Inline Grading Box View Cannot be Viewed
Posted 2/26/19 DC
The issue concerning Assignment Inline Grading, with a box to post annotated feedback in the form of comments, not appearing as expected, has been resolved. The box to post comments can now be viewed and accessed on mobile devices as well as desktop and laptop devices.
Comment Box from the Inline Grading Box View Cannot be Viewed
Posted 2/21/19 DC
In Assignment Inline Grading, the box to post annotated feedback in the form of comments, does not appear when selecting the Point Annotation mode. If the browser window is very small, or if a user is on a tablet, one can observe the blue annotation icon but no comment box. However, by scrolling to the bottom of the page, one should be able to observe a comment box. A work-around would be to maximize the browser window, or, alternatively, collapse the course navigation menu on the left hand side and the grading panel on the right side of the screen, to provide more space for the Box. The comment box should now be viewable and available to post feedback comments. Horizontal space matters more than vertical, because it is essentially changing the layout to be mobile-responsive. A trouble ticket has been submitted to Blackboard for review and this issue will be updated when it has been resolved.
Can’t install the Application Share extension from within a Blackboard Collaborate session
Posted 1/29/18 SR
A recent update to Chrome is now preventing users from installing the Application Share extension from within a Blackboard Collaborate session. As a workaround, you can install the extension directly from the Chrome web store following these steps.
Annotated Feedback from the Inline Grading "Box" View Cannot be Downloaded
Posted 12/4/18 DC
In Assignment inline grading, annotated feedback in the form of comments, highlighted text, and drawings posted by the instructor in the “Box” view cannot be downloaded as a PDF.
A trouble ticket has been submitted to Blackboard for review and this issue will be updated when it has been resolved.
Error when using Microsoft Surface Stylus to Annotate Assignment Submissions
Posted 11/30/18 SR
When using the Microsoft Surface stylus to add annotations to Assignment Submissions, you may receive an error that says "We are sorry, the annotation cannot be created." This occurs after clicking the pen icon in the Blackboard interface, when you begin to draw. Blackboard has acknowledged this as a bug and is working on a fix, but there is no timeline at this time.
As a workaround, you can use text comments instead of drawing, or draw annotations using a mouse.
The Word "Undefined" Appears in the Grade Center
Posted 11/28/18 JR, DC
When using the Chrome or Firefox browser, scores in the Grade Center may include the word "Undefined" intertwined in each grade cell, such as "20undefined00". The actual grades are not affected; this is an issue with the display of the grade only. The solution to this issue is to clear the browser cache and then restart the browser. The issue is likely due to an update to the browser.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FILL IN THE BLANK – CODE OF CONDUCT
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.
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:
- First login to Blackboard, then enter the course to which you would like to add the Adobe Presenter file
- Navigate to the 'Control Panel'
- Click on the Content Collection link
- Click on the link to the Personal Content Collection (rather than the Course Content Collection)
- Click on the Courses folder
- Click on the Create Folder tab, and type in the course number (i.e., PHHE 435) for the 'Folder Name'. Click Submit.
- To enter the new folder, click on the newly-created folder's name (a link)
- 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
- From within the new folder, cursor over the 'Upload' tab and click on Upload Zip Package.
- Click on the Browse button, locate and click the desired zip file, and then click Open
- 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
Last updated: 1/29/2019
- Tips for Starting the Semester with Blackboard
- Tips for Ending the Semester with Blackboard
- Timesaving Tips Using the Blackboard Grade Center
- Tips for Assessing Student Learning Using Blackboard
- Tips for Communicating Effectively Using Blackboard
- Tips for Preventing Online Cheating
- Copyright Basics for the Academic Classroom
- HTML Tags