LMS Migration Project

JHU has launched a comprehensive process to select a replacement for Blackboard Learn, the University’s primary learning management system (LMS). Blackboard Learn will no longer be supported by the vendor at the end of 2023. The University needs your help to choose a replacement LMS that will satisfy the most needs for the most users and enhance all modes of learning for now and in the future. (As a note, the School of Public Health’s CoursePlus will continue to be maintained by that division, and it is not affected by this process.)

LMS Selection Process Overview

The Provost’s Office has formed the LMS Steering Committee with representation from division leadership, faculty, and students to guide the selection process. They will review replacement LMSs and make a recommendation to senior leadership based on the needs and feedback of faculty, students, and staff feedback. The committee will use a variety of data collection methods to gather stakeholder input including broad surveys, in-depth interviews, and hands-on testing. Blackboard Learn serves a large and diverse community of teachers and learners at JHU and your feedback is essential to make sure your voice is heard.

This page contains a background, a timeline, and information on how to share your input. We will update this area with information as it becomes available.

Background

Blackboard Learn 9.1 was implemented at JHU in 2010. It is currently used by 10 of 11 divisions, and hosts thousands of courses every semester. When Blackboard was implemented, fully online programs and smartphones were brand new. Our needs have grown significantly in the past 10 years, and the replacement LMS will need to be flexible enough to adapt as our needs grow. The new LMS will give faculty and students the benefit of a cleaner user interface, a stronger mobile platform, and better integration with 3rd party tools. As we seek to distinguish the potential replacements, your input will be essential to align our choice with specific needs of the faculty, students, and staff.

Timeline

LMS Select and Migration Project timeline showing phase 1 (Formation) as completed in Fall 2020 and phase 2 (Evaluation) in progress during the Spring 2021 semester. Upcoming phase 3 (Selection) expected in Summer 2021, phase 4 (Implementation) planned for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, and phase 5 (Launch) planned for Fall 2022

  • Formation of the LMS Steering Committee to guide the process (Complete)
  • Evaluations of Vendors and Platforms – Spring 2021
  • Vendor Selection – by Summer 2021
  • Pilot of the platform and Implementation – during the 2021-2022 academic school year
  • Launch – by 2022-2023 academic school year

Survey

JHU has launched a comprehensive review process to inform the selection of a replacement for Blackboard Learn, the University’s primary learning management system (LMS). Our version of Blackboard will be phased out by the end of 2023. The University is seeking your input to choose a replacement LMS to most thoroughly satisfy user needs and enhance all modes of learning for now and in the future. (Note: The School of Public Health’s CoursePlus is not affected by this process.)

The faculty and student survey period for assessing current LMS satisfaction ended on March 8, 2021.

Stage 2 LMS Evaluation

The next stage of user evaluation is open from now until 5/11/21.

Students

Stage 2 Evaluation is open to students interested in having hands-on experience with the potential replacement Learning Management Systems. Students can request access to a “sandbox” testing environment and are encouraged to test out the features most important to them in each LMS that JHU is considering. After exploring one of the LMSs, share your feedback on the Sandbox Evaluation form, which should take 10-15 minutes per system.

Contact your division for access.

Faculty and Staff

Hands-On Access

Faculty and staff can also request access to a “sandbox” testing environment from their division. This is the best way to learn about the potential replacement LMSs. Faculty and staff are encouraged to test out the features they use most frequently, and to explore new possibilities each LMS offers. After hands-on time with one of the LMSs, share your feedback on the evaluation form, which should take 10-15 minutes per system.

Contact your division for access.

Demonstration Videos

For faculty and staff who are short on time, we also offer short demonstration videos on various features that you can rate. If you prefer this path, visit the
Faculty and Staff Sandbox LMS Evaluation form and choose “by viewing brief demonstration videos comparing a feature across the LMSs.” Demonstration videos are organized by topics, and you can submit as many ratings as you like.

Start of Term Tips for Students

How to login to Blackboard:

1. Go to https://blackboard.jhu.edu/

2. Click the Login using JHU Enterprise Authentication link

3. Enter your JHED ID (JHEDID@jh.edu) and Password

You should now be in the ‘My Institution’ page. Your courses will be listed in the ‘My Courses Plus’ module.

Need help finding your JHED ID?

Go to: https://my.jh.edu to locate your JHED ID, set/reset your password, etc.

Don’t see your course on Blackboard?

Use the ‘Check Support’ link in the ‘My Courses Plus’ module. You can check for typical issues that affect course access for the current term. If you have just enrolled in the course in SIS, it can take up to 24 hours before you will see the course in Blackboard.

Note that some courses require that you first complete an orientation in Blackboard. After you have completed orientation, it can take up to 24 hours for your courses to show up in Blackboard.

Browsers:

If you experience problems using Blackboard, it may be because you are using an unsupported browser or you do not have the most recent version of your browser. A common fix is to clear your browser’s cache and cookies for all time. You may be aware that Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, two of the most popular browsers, are on a ‘rapid release’ schedule, releasing updated versions of their browsers as often as every six weeks. This makes it difficult for programs such as Blackboard to keep up with all of the latest updates. For a complete list of currently supported browsers in Blackboard, please see the ‘Supported Browsers and Operating Systems‘ page.

  • Internet Explorer 11 (IE11): IE11 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.

Need more help with Blackboard?

Blackboard support is provided by specific teams within each JHU school, please visit the contact info page to find your school’s support team contact information.

What’s New in Blackboard

12/28/2020 – Planned Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019

09/30/2020 – Ally Alternative Formats

07/15/2020 – Bb Annotate

Past Upgrades

12/26/2019 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2019

06/07/2019 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 CU10

05/25/2019 – Planned Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 CU9 — Deferred 

12/26/2018 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 CU4

12/26/2017 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 CU5

08/05/2017 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 CU5

12/26/2016 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016

12/26/2015 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014

12/27/2014 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 April 2014

12/26/2013 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1SP12 and SP13

05/24/2013 –  Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP10 and SP11

11/20/2012 –  Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP8 and SP9

11/28/2011 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP7

05/24/2011 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP4 and SP5

12/27/2010 – Upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP3

Troubleshooting Browser Issues

Browser General:

  1. Make sure you are using a supported browser and operating system (see Supported Browsers and Operating Systems)
  2. If it doesn’t work properly in one browser, try a different browser (e.g., if you having trouble with MS Internet Explorer, try using Firefox)
  3. Make sure to clear temporary internet items (cache, cookies) and sometimes, java caches (if the issue is related to the visual editor, virtual collaboration tools like chat)
  4. If it doesn’t work on your computer, try another computer.

Clear Browser’s Cache

Clearing the Browser’s cache forces the browser to load the latest versions of web pages and programs.


Clear Browser’s Cookies

A cookie is a piece of information stored locally on your computer, typically to remember something about your session. Clearing the Browser’s cookies forces the site to set a new cookie.


Clear Java Cache

There are a few tools in Blackboard that use Java applets.

  • WebEQ / Equation Editor
  • Blackboard’s Virtual Classroom/Chat
  • Content Collection Multiple File Upload

Clearing the Java Plug-in cache forces the browser to load the latest versions of web pages and programs.

Windows

Mac OS X 10.5/10.6

Blackboard Known Issues

This page to highlights 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).
Authentication Required dialogue
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).

Note: 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 Chrome 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.

Expected and incorrect test options layouts

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.

Page Help icon in Blackboard

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.
Issue Troubleshooting Opening, Viewing, or Printing Adobe Acrobat PDF Files
Workaround Sometimes the built-in Browser PDF viewer does not display a particular PDF properly.

1) install Adobe Acrobat Reader

Get Adobe Acrobat Reader: http://get.adobe.com/reader/

2) download the PDF first, then view it

You would want to enable Download PDF files instead of automatically opening them in Browser.

More details at Troubleshooting Opening, Viewing, or Printing Adobe Acrobat PDF Files

Issue HTTP 400 Error
Workaround Please clear your browser’s cache and cookies and set the time range to all time. Here’s how for Chrome:

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/9098093 – clear cache & cookies

Issue Safari 13.1 and Panopto causing logout

We’ve been getting recent reports of students using Safari 13.1, who are triggering a Blackboard logout when they encounter a Panopto video or tool link.
We’ve been able to replicate the issue, and it seems to be due to a Safari 13.1 security setting “Website tracking: Prevent cross-site tracking”
Workaround 1) If using Safari 13.1, Panopto recommends turning off “Prevent cross-site tracking”

https://support.panopto.com/s/article/How-to-Enable-Third-Party-Cookies-in-Supported-Browsers > 5. Enable Third Party Cookies in Safari

2) Alternatively, use a different browser, e.g., Chrome.

 

Issue Safari 14.0.1/.2 on macOS Mojave (10.14) Choose File /  Browse My Computer does not work.
Workaround Apple is aware of the issue, and plans to fix in a future release.   In the meantime, we suggest using an alternate browser (e.g., Chrome).

2/3/3021 Resolved with Safari 14.0.3 on macOS Mojave (10.14)

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).

Keyboard reorder menu

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

Content item with context menu symbol showing up erroneously

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

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.

Content item with math 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

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 Blackboard

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

Issue
Workaround

My Institution

Issue My Tasks module filtering by course does not work
Workaround The My Courses Plus tool pad allows you to access course tasks for the next seven days, and links to the tasks tool in the course.It can be used to quickly see what tasks are due soon for just the courses you are interested in, e.g., Term: SP16 courses.

My Courses Plus Help menu

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.

Issue My Institution (or in Course) > Add Module Search throws error (Q4 2019)
Workaround  An error message occurs when a user selects categories under “Add Course Module” on the course module page. Or tries to search for a module.

Workaround:

  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Show All
  2. Use the browser find feature (Control-F on Windows, cmd-F on Macintosh) to search for the desired module
Issue Term Expand/Collapse is not persisting in the My Courses Plus (Q4 2019)

After our Winter upgrade to Q4 2019, we learned that the Term Expand/Collapse is not persisting in the My Courses Plus module. This means if you expand Term SP21, and come back in another session, you will find Term SP21 collapsed once more. And any terms expanded prior to our upgrade, will stay expanded.

Workaround Re-expand the Term each time you get into Blackboard

02/18/21: JHU has updated the My Courses Plus module; this should persist the Term Expand/Collapse.

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 The 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 and Peer Assessment

Issue
Workaround

Wikis

Issue
Workaround

Supported Browsers and Operating Systems

Note: JHU plans to upgrade to Q4 2019 on December 28, 2020.

This list of supported browsers for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019 was compiled from Browser Support and Browser Support for Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2019.

Supported Desktop Browsers

Browser Supported Versions
Chrome2,3 63+
Edge1,2,5 42+
Firefox2 57+
Internet Explorer4 Unsupported
Safari1 12+ (Mac OS only)

1. WebRTC isn’t presently supported on these browsers, so the Create Recording feature will not work on these browsers. Both Microsoft and Apple have expressed they intend to support this standard in the future, in both Edge and Safari, respectively. These browsers can play back recordings created by the feature without issue.

2. Google Chrome versions 42+, Mozilla Firefox versions 52+, and Microsoft Edge don’t support NPAPI-type plug-ins, including Java plug-ins and many media browser plug-ins. Blackboard doesn’t support these browsers for using embedded media types that require third-party NPAPI plug-ins for viewing.

3. The latest update to Google Chrome (Chrome 80) includes some changes to how the browser handles third-party cookies. These changes may affect tools that integrate with Blackboard Learn using the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, Building Blocks (B2s), and REST APIs. If you have trouble accessing a Learn tool using Chrome 80, edit your browser’s settings to Allow sites to save and read cookie data. You can find instructions at Google Chrome Help.

4. Support for Internet Explorer ended with Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2018. Older releases may still work using this browser. Microsoft ended active development for Internet Explorer in January 2016. Some newer features in Learn may not work, including Attendance and Create Recording. Reported issues isolated to Internet Explorer will not be resolved by Product Support. We recommend using another browser.

5. A known Microsoft Edge issue has caused problems attaching and submitting open Microsoft Office files in Blackboard Learn courses. To help prevent file submission problems, if you use Microsoft Edge, Learn warns you that you should close files before uploading them. The message only displays the first time you encounter a file upload workflow in a Learn session.

Supported Mobile Browsers

Browser Mobile Browser Versions Learn 2016 Theme
Chrome 63+ Compatible*
Edge 38+ Compatible*
Firefox 57+ Compatible*
Safari With iOS 11+ Compatible*

* Modern mobile browsers are generally considered compatible when using the Learn 2016 theme and user-added materials are mobile-compatible. Not all tools and workflows have been optimized for mobile use. Issues reported for tools that aren’t yet optimized for mobile devices may be considered an enhancement request.

Blackboard App and Blackboard Instructor are supported native apps for mobile and tablet devices that interact with Blackboard Learn 9.1 servers. These apps may have their own device requirements.

Accessibility in Blackboard

Blackboard strives to make all its products as accessible as possible. JAWS 18 and 17 are used during accessibility testing of each Blackboard Learn release.

When using a screen reader, use ChromeTMand JAWS® on Windows® and use Safari® and VoiceOver on a Mac® . Visit Accessibility at Blackboard to learn more about Blackboard’s approach to accessible software.

Start of Term Tips for Instructors

  • Course Site: There is typically no need to request a Blackboard course site – all full-time AS/EN, Carey, Nursing, SAIS, Peabody, and Education courses should have a course site by default in Blackboard.
  • Course Enrollments: Student enrollments for your course are populated from SIS to Blackboard. It can take up to 24 hours for a SIS add or drop to populate or be removed in your Blackboard site.
  • Adding a TA to your course site: Even if you have added your TAs to your course in SIS, they must be manually added to the Blackboard course site. Follow this documentation to add the TA to your course.
  • Course Availability to Students: For a course to be seen by students, it must be made available by the instructor: Making a Blackboard Course Available (video demo)
  • Course Copy: A reminder that course material is not automatically copied over from semester to semester. If you want to reuse material from a Blackboard course taught in a previous semester, you’ll need to use the Course Copy feature. Course Copy allows you to select which parts of a course you would like copied and then copies those parts over to the new course site. For the Course Copy feature to work properly, 1) you must be an instructor in both courses, and 2) the course to be copied into must be an existing course. Please see the Course Copy tutorial for more details.
    • Important Note: The Course Copy information does not apply to AAP instructors. Due to course transfer errors, AAP instructors are not permitted to use the course copy or other transfer functions. Fully online sections will be transferred automatically by the IRC, while face to face sections need to be requested in advance of the term. Please review the AAP transfer documentation, if you have any questions.
  • Course Merge Request: By default, a Blackboard course site is created for every section. Instructors who have multiple sections, but desire to only use/maintain one Blackboard course site must request that their sections be merged each semester by emailing blackboard@jhu.edu. This will enable instructors to manage content and enrollments from one section.
    • Note: Please do not simply reply to a previous email you might have received from blackboard@jhu.edu as that could cause your new request to be missed.
    • Instructors can use this documentation to create smart views for their courses after the merge is complete.
  • Course Quota: By default, a Blackboard course site has a quota of 2GB. Please contact blackboard@jhu.edu if you know you may need more space.
  • Browsers: If you experience problems using Blackboard, it may be because you are using an unsupported browser. You may be aware that Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, two of the most popular browsers, are on a ‘rapid release’ schedule, releasing updated versions of their browsers as often as every six weeks. This makes it difficult for programs such as Blackboard to keep up with all of the latest updates. For a complete list of currently supported browsers in Blackboard, please see the Supported Browsers and Operating Systems page.
    • Internet Explorer 11 (IE11): IE11 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.
  • Regular Maintenance Hours: Please be aware that IT@JH reserves Thursday mornings from 4 AM – 7 AM (Eastern) for maintenance. Blackboard (blackboard.jhu.edu) may not be available during those hours on those days.
  • Blackboard “how to” resources: Please review the JHU Blackboard knowledge base for articles, FAQs and step-by-step instructions that may be useful to answering many of your initial questions.
  • Blackboard support is provided by specific teams within each JHU school, please visit the contact info page to find your school’s support team contact information.

Blackboard Help for Instructors

What’s New in Blackboard

LMS Migration Project

Start of Term Tips for Instructors

Start of Term Tips for Students

Please note: Blackboard is continuously upgraded and we do our best to update the documentation. Some of the tutorials may reflect the previous version – please bear with us as we do our best to update the materials as quickly as possible.

The following tutorials contain detailed step-by-step instructions with screenshots. Most links are PDF documents.