The following problems are known to exist within Blackboard. We are actively engaged with Blackboard to resolve these issues. Where possible, we have included “workaround” steps which can be taken while we await final resolution of these issues from Blackboard:
- Connection to Blackboard timing out when taking exams: Some Internet connections can ‘time out" to the Internet if there is no activity coming from your machine. For example, when you are composing an answer to an essay question or taking a test with many questions, after pressing "Submit", "Save", or the arrow button to navigate to the next question Blackboard may freeze, redirect you to the log in page, give you a blank screen or give you a screen with errors. Your test and answers may not be recorded when this occurs.
There are a few things you can do to alleviate the problems with connections to Blackboard during exams:
- Use the newest version of Java. It can be downloaded from www.java.com.
- Use the latest version of Firefox when interacting with Blackboard. There are known compatibility issues with Internet Explorer. It can be downloaded at www.firefox.com.
- Use a wired Internet connection. Wired connections are more reliable than wireless. Wireless can intermittently lose connection to the Internet, and when this happens your connection to Blackboard is terminated. You may not notice that there was a problem because your connection may be back up before you try navigating in Blackboard.
- Never use the browser navigation buttons to move between questions in an exam or refresh the page. Professors have the option to prevent backtracking. If you use the browser button to back track then you will get an error page and may not be allowed back in the exam. It is safe to use the button within Blackboard to navigate between questions.
- Periodically (every two to three minutes) click the “Save” button at the top or bottom of the page. This will prevent your connection to the server from timing-out.
- Reset the browser. A browser reset can clear configuration settings that may be interfering with a connection to the server. How to reset a browser is dependant on the browser and version you are running. If you need assistance with this please contact the Helpdesk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Using Internet Explorer (IE) Web Browser: IE is the default web browser within Windows and used by many students, faculty and staff. However, there are known compatibility issues with IE and Blackboard so UTS recommends everyone use Firefox 38 or later when accessing Blackboard until these issues are resolved. For those clients who must use IE, some workarounds are included at the end of this article which will make IE 8 more compatible with Blackboard.
- Security Warning in IE8: Internet Explorer 8 has security settings that will prompt the user to either accept or deny non-secure items in the browser. In order for all content to display properly in Blackboard you will need to click “No” when prompted with the Security Warning. This message can appear several times when interacting with Blackboard. Internet Explorer 9 resolves this issue. The solution to the problem is to enable browser to display mixed content.
- Unable to download Grade Center content in IE8: Grades cannot be downloaded from the Grade Center to Excel using Internet Explorer 8 (even in compatibility mode). Internet Explorer 9 resolves this problem. However, we recommend using the latest version of Firefox when interacting with Blackboard.
- Special Characters: When uploading items, tests, assignments, and other Blackboard components, please do not use any special characters in the file name (such as /, ( ), #, etc.). Using special characters produces browser errors. This applies to both students and faculty when uploading content to Blackboard.
- Unable to upload multiple files: There was a client-side Java update (version 7 update 51) that was released on Tuesday, January 14th, which negatively impacted functionality within Blackboard Learn, specifically, the uploading of multiple files. If you have Java set to upgrade automatically on your computer, you will experience difficulty uploading multiple files. The workaround, until the issue is patched, is to load one file at a time. Another option would be the zip the files and upload it into your Blackboard Content Collection.
- To place these files in your Content Collection, Go to the Control Panel and then Content Collection. Select your course and upload the zip package. From here, click Browse and select that zip folder. Click Submit.
- Video Everywhere does not work: Due to a Youtube API upgrade made by Google, the Video Everywhere tool does not function properly. Users may see a Google error page about “AuthSub for Google Accounts is going away.” This is a known issue and will be fixed in a future release of the Blackboard Content Editor Building Block.
- Workaround: Right click on the link and copy the link location. Paste the copied URL into a new web browser window or tab.
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