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Blackboard Known Issues

We are using this page to highlight some of the known issues with the current version of Blackboard.

Achievements

Issue Students cannot view Achievements in My Achievements (Post-Upgrade Q2 2017).
Workaround Blackboard is aware of the issue.  Should be resolved with Q2 2018 CU4.

Announcements

Issue After posting an Announcement with a Course Link, the Announcement is not visible to anyone, including the instructor.
Workaround Make sure that the content that is linked to in the Course Link is visible to students.

Assessments

Issue Students can access an Assessment with a Due Date that is in a Learning Module via their My Blackboard updates. This could be unintended if the instructor requires sequential viewing of the Learning
Module.
Workaround Add the Assessment as a content item outside the Learning Module with adaptive release rules added for review of the Learning Module content.

Assignments

Issue Student submissions that contain special characters (e.g., colon, hash) are not downloadable/viewable.
Workaround Avoid special characters in filenames. Use letters, numbers, and underscore. Give proper file extensions (e.g., .doc or .docx for an MS Word document).
Issue Group Assignments returned with an attachment containing spaces generate a 404 error.
Workaround Avoid special characters and spaces in the file attachment you return to the student. Use letters, numbers, and underscore. Give proper file extensions (e.g., .doc or .docx for an MS Word document).
Issue New Assignments get Created with Date of None.

When you create a new Assignment, the ‘Date Created’ does not appear in Grade Center.

Workaround Blackboard is aware of the issue.
Issue Unable to Reorder Assignment Content Items (Post-Upgrade Q2 2018).

Users are Unable to reorder Assignment content items.

Workaround
  1. Add the assignment to a content folder.
  2. Move it to that ANOTHER content folder.
  3. Move it back to the ORIGINAL content folder where you really want it.

This then adds the position information that will let you re-order correctly.

Browser

Troubleshooting Browser Issues

Issue Content: You’ve just logged in, but you are asked to authenticate for a piece of content (like a banner image on the home page).


Workaround This is typically a browser cookie issue.


Clear Firefox Blackboard Cookies


Clear MSIE Blackboard Cookies

Issue Browsers (Internet Explorer 9 or later, Chrome 21 or later) will display an “insecure content” or “mixed content” security notification if you try to load non-secure (http URL) external content within Blackboard (e.g., embedded Youtube videos).

Firefox 23 or later now enables mixed content blocking by default.
Workaround Our Blackboard is running as a secure server (https URL). Modern browsers now warn if you are trying to load insecure content within a secure page – as it could possibly be malicious. If you trust the content you are trying to display, you would need to explicitly allow the content to load, otherwise you would get a blank area where you expect content to appear. 

More information:

Issue Chrome (v21 or later) browser now has a more subtle warning about “insecure content.” This may cause students to be unaware of the issue when trying to view external content within Blackboard (e.g., embedded Youtube videos).
Workaround Chrome (v21 or later) now uses a  shield icon to warn you “This page has insecure content.” You need to click on the shield icon to display the “insecure content” warning and get the option to allow the content to load. 

More information on the Google Chrome insecure content warning: http://support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1342714
Issue Mac – The scrollbars in OS X Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) or later are hidden until activated by use. http://osxdaily.com/2011/08/03/show-scroll-bars-mac-os-x-lion/
Workaround Set Scroll Bars to display all the time in Mac OS X:

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Click on General
  3. Look for ‘Show scroll bars’ and select the option next to ‘Always’
Issue Test Options layout displays incorrectly with certain browser (Firefox, IE) when the Page Help is turned off.

Workaround Blackboard won’t fix the issue. Turn on the Page Help (question mark icon) at the top of the page next to the Edit Mode.

Issue PDF Files Containing One or More Periods in the File Name (in addition to file extension) do not use the Entire Frame when Loaded in Firefox and Chrome.

A PDF file containing one or more periods in the file name (in addition to the file extension). For example, This.Is.A.Test.pdf. The PDF file is uploaded to Learn as a File content item. When the file is opened in Firefox, the PDF does not use the entire frame available. Only a small amount of the vertical space available is used to display the file.

Workaround Blackboard won’t fix the issue.

  • Set PDFs to open in a new window.
  • Or rename PDF to not have extra periods in File Name (in addition to the file extension), e.g, This_Is_A_Test.pdf
Issue Mac OS X Safari 9 (or later) Grade Center stops loading.
Workaround For now, use a non-Safari browser on OS X, e.g., Firefox, Chrome.
Issue Mac OS X Cannot submit assignment when using Safari 11.1.

If you try to submit, it seems nothing happens. If you wait long enough, Blackboard will return “Failed to submit Assignment”.

Workaround For now, use a non-Safari browser on OS X, e.g., Firefox, Chrome. Should be resolved with Q2 2018 CU1.
Issue MS Internet Explorer 11 (or earlier).
Workaround MSIE 11 will no longer be supported by JHU.  Microsoft ended active development for Internet Explorer in January 2016.  Over time, we have found more features of Learn no longer work properly with IE11 and Blackboard will not resolve issues specific to IE11. We recommend an alternate browser, e.g. Chrome, Edge, Firefox.

Blogs

Issue
Workaround

Calendar

Issue
Workaround

Content

Issue Content Area > Build Content > File > Browse Computer: You get an “Action not complete: Adding the selected content to the specified folder causes the folder to exceed its quota” when you try to upload a file.
Workaround By default, courses and organizations have a 2GB course quota.  It can be expanded upon request by contacting blackboard@jhu.edu.
Issue Build Content > File  does not auto-populate the Name field (e.g., with the uploaded filename) as in prior versions of Blackboard.
Workaround Fill in the Name field.
Issue Unable to Reorder Content Items via Drag and Drop (Post-Upgrade Q2 2016 CU5).

We’re getting reports of odd behavior when you try to drag and drop a content item when it causes the browser to scroll.

Workaround Blackboard is aware of the issue. In the meantime, use the keyboard reorder menu (in the upper right).

Issue Instructor Edit Mode Off: Content Collection context menu (Post-Upgrade Q2 2017).

Workaround This is not a functional issue but a visual issue, and only appears to Instructors when Edit Mode is Off. It does not appear to students.
Issue Unable to Reorder Assignment Content Items (Post-Upgrade Q2 2018).

Users are Unable to reorder Assignment content items.

Workaround
  1. Add the assignment to a content folder.
  2. Move it to that ANOTHER content folder.
  3. Move it back to the ORIGINAL content folder where you really want it.

This then adds the position information that will let you re-order correctly.

Discussion Board

Issue
Workaround

Documentation/Help Documentation

Issue
Workaround

Editor (Content Editor)

Issue Editor does not handle certain HTML tags, e.g., <PRE> content does not show up in mono-spaced font.
Workaround A Feature/Enhancement Request was submitted.
Issue When the Spell Checker is enabled in the Content Editor (VTBE), content that is re-edited and submitted with any additions or changes to the text in the VTBE causes adding of extra span tags in the HTML code for the text for each pre-existing misspelled word from before the edit.

Example: If you typed in “colour” – under US English this would be misspelled
If you looked at the HTML code view, it would show something like:

<span>colour</span>

While visually you wouldn’t see it, where it becomes problematic is the Wiki tool – where you have a certain max character count. All the extra <span> … </span> tags are counted in the character count.

Workaround Use the HTML code view and remove the extraneous span tags.
Issue Equation Editor – fails to add second equation when re-editting item (Post-Upgrade Q2 2017).

When editing a Discussion or Content Item that already has a Math Editor equation, if another equation is added, it appears only as text.

Workaround Blackboard is aware of the issue and plans to fix in a future version. Should be resolved with Q2 2018 CU4.

Email

Issue Send Email in large course generates an error (e.g., Server Error 404 – File or directory not found. 500 – Internal server error).
Workaround
  1. you can ignore the error as the emails will actually get sent
  2. if possible, send email to a smaller group
Issue Blackboard emails and Office 365 mail – students not seeing daily notifications.
Workaround Blackboard emails can be sent to a low-priority folder called Clutter (which is separate from Junk). Clutter is a feature that got rolled out to Office 365 in 2015.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Use-Clutter-to-sort-low-priority-messages-in-Outlook-2016-for-Windows-7b50c5db-7704-4e55-8a1b-dfc7bf1eafa0

Global Navigation/MyBlackboardMy Blackboard is a single location for access to user tools, such as grades. To learn more, see My Blackboard and Navigation.

Issue
Workaround

Grade Center

Issue Uploading grades.
Workaround Grade Center: Work Offline > Upload only allows 32 characters for any text cell.
Issue ‘Points possible’ in Weighted column may be incorrect if you are using Categories and Weight Columns Proportionally.
Workaround Use ‘Weight Columns Equally’
Issue Mac OS X Missing Grade Center (Horizontal) Scrollbars in Chrome and Safari (6.0.4/6.0.5)
Workaround We’ve found a couple of workarounds:

  1. Use Firefox (v.21 or later)
  2. If using Safari, turn Screen Reader Mode on – you will be able to then scroll
  3. Upgrade Chrome (v.27 or later)
  4. Also see the issue under Browser “Mac – The scrollbars in OS X Mountain Lion and Lion are hidden until activated by use.”
Issue Mac OS X Safari 9 Grade Center stops loading.
Workaround For now, use a non-Safari browser on OS X, e.g., Chrome, Firefox.

Groups

Issue Editing Group Properties Changes the Name of a Renamed Group Discussion Board Forum.

When clicking Submit on editing a group it will result in the discussion board forum name reverting to the group name. There is no warning message that the discussion board forum name will be changed.

Workaround To fix: Manually rename the group discussion.

To avoid: Edit/Manage Groups from the Groups page, not from within the Group.

Learning Modules

Issue Students can access an Assessment with a Due Date that is in a Learning Module via their My Blackboard updates.

This could be unintended if the instructor requires sequential viewing of the Learning Module.

Workaround Add the Assessment as a content item outside the Learning Module with adaptive release rules added for review of the Learning Module content.

My Institution Modules

Issue My Tasks module filtering by course does not work
Workaround

The My Courses Plus tool pad allows you to access courses tasks for the next seven days, and link to the tasks tool in the course.

So you can use it to quickly see what tasks are due soon for just the courses you are interested in, e.g., Term: SP16 courses.

Unfortunately, the tool pad doesn’t stay “expanded” between sessions. So you’d have to re-expand the tool pad each time you get back into Blackboard.

Notifications

Issue Daily Notifications: We are aware of the following issues with some individual’s email daily digest notifications:

  • Discussion Board: Unread message – shows incorrect count
  • Discussion Board: Unread message – sometimes see two entries

Also can see incorrect counts for Blogs/Wikis even though the tools are not used in the course.

Workaround Blackboard continues investigating.

In the meantime, the Notifications Dashboard within Blackboard should be correct.

Issue Phishing emails appearing to come from Blackboard
Workaround See phishing emails appearing to come from Blackboard for more details.

Privileges

Issue
Workaround

Reporting

Issue Last Run Date for Course Activity Overview ReportSingle Course User Participation Report, and Student Overview for Single Course Report is not Course Specific.

The Last Run date for these specific Reports shows the time it was run in another Course.

Workaround Blackboard is aware of the issue and plans to fix it in a future version.

Self & Peer Assessment

Issue
Workaround

Wikis

Issue
Workaround