BlackBoard

Blackboard Survival Tips

The following is a table of known issues with Blackboard 9.1 and suggested workarounds. If you have any questions about the content on this page please contact your program administration.

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Tests
IssueIf a test has the setting Force Complete turned on, students who navigate away from the page, such as by clicking the back button, receive a pop-up warning that they have not submitted the test. Once they click OK to the pop-up the test will automatically submit and they will not be able to continue.
SolutionTo avoid this issue, do not select Force Complete when creating tests. Instead, set a time within which your test must be completed. Force Complete only makes the student answer every question, it does not affect the test duration or time allowed for the test.
IssueTest text is garbled, oddly formatted or test is kicking students out on a specific question.
SolutionThis is due to copying text from Microsoft Word into a test question or test answer. The solution is to copy the text from Word, paste into Notepad, copy from Notepad and Paste into Blackboard OR type the test text directly in Blackboard.

The Blackboard text editor should be used for formatting. If you are unsure of how to turn on your text editor please see this tutorial.
IssueA student is kicked out of their test prematurely. They now have an "attempt in progress" in the Grade Center instead of a score.
Solution

There are several causes and preventative measures for these types of issues. Instructors should make students aware of proper online testing protocol and ensure that the test settings are properly set. Below are some suggestions.

  • Ensure students are aware not to hit the Refresh, Back or Forward button on the browser.
  • Ensure students are aware they need a stable Internet connection: wireless is not always reliable.
  • If a student becomes inactive in Blackboard by sitting at one question for too long, they can become logged out. This is prevented by frequently saving questions.

 

Groups
IssueThe default setting in a new course is to allow students to create their own groups.
SolutionInstructors can either hide the Group Tool from students or change the default settings to not allow students to create their own groups. See this tutorial.

 

Course Copy
IssueAfter completing a course copy the content is not visible in the course, or parts of content are missing.
SolutionThe content was copied over however either your browser has not refreshed the site or Blackboard is busy. Wait several hours, or the next day if possible, for the content to arrive.

You may also want to try closing your browser, clearing your cache, or using another browser to view the course.

 

Course Menu
IssueThe menu is not visible (no buttons or links to content areas); can only view the Announcements page.
SolutionThe menu has been collapsed to the left. There is a right-pointing arrow on the far left side of the screen. Click this arrow to expand the course menu.

 

Discussion Board
IssuePosting text is garbled with HTML and odd characters.
SolutionThis is due to copying text from Microsoft Word into a post. The solution is to copy the text from Word, paste into Notepad, copy from Notepad and Paste into Blackboard OR type the test text directly in Blackboard.

The Blackboard text editor should be used for formatting. If you are unsure of how to turn on your text editor please see this tutorial.

 

Contacts
IssueWhen creating a contact profile, if the Office Hours are filled out but the Office Location is not, the Office Hours will not be displayed to students, but is visible when editing.
SolutionType the office hours into the Notes section instead or Type N/A into Office Location for the Office Hours to be displayed.

 

Announcements
IssueWhen typing an announcement, there is no extra space between paragraphs.
SolutionHold down the SHIFT and ENTER keys when creating a break between paragraphs instead of just hitting ENTER.