Embedded Videos Break When Imported From Export/Archive File

Problem: When importing course content from an archive or export file, embedded videos (such as YouTube, UVM Streaming) and similar content is broken/removed. Specifically, the embedded code has had “<iframe” replaced with “<xxxx“, which causes the embedded video to not display correctly.

Solution: Copied course content is not affected by this bug – so where possible, use the Course Copy tool to bring content from one course into another. If you’ve imported content from an archive, you may need to edit the content items in that destination course and re-embed the videos if they are not showing.

Alternatively, you can edit the item and enter “Source” view as you would to embed an item, and replace the occurrances of “<xxxx” and “/xxxx>” with “<iframe” and “/iframe>“, as this will fix the embedded video without needing to re-copy the embed code from the source:

Click on the Source Code button ( < > ) to edit the embed.
Replace “xxxx” with “iframe”
Once you have the working “iframe” tag in place, save and submit.

Note that adding a direct link in the content item to the video/media will ensure students can access the video directly if the embedded content is not playing for them.

Group Assignment Rubric Score can not be changed

Problem: After grades are entered into a group assignment rubric, the rubric scores for that attempt cannot be changed.

Solution: This has been identified by Bb as a known bug. While there is currently no fix available, the workaround for this is to override the score for the assignment, and explain the rubric/grading changes in the feedback for the assignment.

Images fail to load in test questions once the test availability window is passed

Problem: Students taking a test in which the availability window has been reached may encounter broken images in questions.

Solution: This is a known bug in Bb, for which we do not have a resolution/fix. Workarounds include removing the availability end date, or instructing students to start the test with enough time to finish before the availability window ends.

Test Options form displays improperly when setting test to show one question at a time

Problem: On some browsers/resolutions, when setting a test to display questions “One at a Time”, the form is jumbled in a way that looks like you are also prohibiting backtracking.

Solution: Use the circle-question-mark icon at the top of the page to toggle help messages to “On” for the page:

This will allow the checkbox to be displayed in the proper position.

Problems adding embedded content via iFrame for some URLs

Problem: Due to security concerns, instructors may encounter difficulty adding embedded content from some sites via iframe. Pasting iframe embed code into the HTML box in the content editor may not save as expected for some sites.

Solution: If you are attempting to embed material from an external site and encountering trouble doing so, please contact blackboard@uvm.edu and include the steps you are taking to embed, as well as the embed code and url you are using.

Embedding files from the content collection: As a side effect of the security changes, the process for embedding files has changed. To embed one of these files, the iframe src must use a relative “permanent” link for the file:

  1. Find the file in the content collection, click on the grey chevron to the right of the file name, then select “360˚ View”. Image showing selection of 360 view.
  2. Copy only the relative path of the Permanent URL (i.e. /bbcswebdav/xid-43414430_1 ). Don’t include https://bb.uvm.edu. Image showing how to embed the permanent URL fragment
  3. When embedding the iFrame (i.e. using the HTML button on an item in a course), use that relative path as the src for the iframe, i.e. <iframe src="/bbcswebdav/xid-43414430_1"

Items not able to be re-ordered

Problem: Items in a course will appear to be re-ordered/re-arranged, but then revert to the original order when re-visiting the page. This has been reported to affect assignments, test questions, content items, and other course materials.

Solution: While we are waiting on a proper fix for this, the workaround below has been reported as successfully fixing the problem:

  1. Move one item in the list to another folder, content area, etc.
  2. Move that item back to the folder with the ordering problem.

Students unable to access My Grades, see ‘displayComment’ error

Problem: Students are unable to view the My Grades area when at least one of their grades meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Grade/attempt has been marked as “Exempt”.
  2. There is no score entered for the grade.
  3. A comment/feedback entry has been attached to the grade.

Solution: The simplest workaround for this issue is for the instructor to set a non-null value for all exempt cells (i.e. “0.00”, not “–“). Removing the exemption and/or the comments will also prevent the error from appearing.

Assignment Inline Grading Issues (RESOLVED)

Update: The vendor has rolled back the changes, and the Assignment tool should be functioning as expected.

Problem: The vendor that provides the inline grading, commenting, and annotation service to Bb has pushed out changes that affect how inline grading displays and functions. This update has included some bugs, which Bb is working with the vendor to address.

Solution: This document outlines workarounds for this issue. We are waiting on further word from Bb regarding a fix for these problems.

Error when creating matching questions with re-usable

Problem: When creating a matching question where one or more answers are re-using other answers in the matching set, an error regarding “Index” and “Size” is presented.

There is unfortunately no fix for this issue, and Blackboard has provided no timeline for a resolution. We are currently looking for workarounds to address this issue in the meantime.

Course Menu set to White Text On White Background

Problem:  Occasionally, a course’s menu colors may be set to show white text on a white background. This may happen after a course is imported from a previous term.

Solution: Course menu colors can be changed by going to Control Panel -> Customization -> Teaching Style, and setting the background color and text color, then clicking the Submit button.

Notifications and other information are accessible to students when inside unavailable folder

Problem:  Items that are available, but which are added to a parent folder which is unavailable, generate notifications.

Solution: This appears to be a known bug, with a targeted resolution in a future release.  In the meantime, items that should not be visible to students should be set to be unavailable.  Setting a date restriction on an item will allow it to be managed in bulk using the Date Management Tool.

Missing File Extension When Downloading Test/Survey Results

Problem:  Download Results in Grade Center incorrectly saves the file in different ways depending on if Chrome or IE is used. The data is correct and is comma or tab separated appropriately as selected but the file either has no extension, when it should have .csv (comma separated) or .xls (tab separated) and/or the filename is not in the correct format.

Workaround: This is a known issue that is fixed in a future release.  In the meantime, renaming the file after download to add the proper extension will let you open it in your spreadsheet program.

Grey background appears behind some content in FireFox

Problem:  When viewing materials in FireFox, the white background sometimes does not extend far enough down.  This causes text to be presented on a grey background and thus be less readable.

Solution:  As a workaround, using Chrome or another supported browser when viewing a course appears to address this issue.  In the meantime, we are attempting to document replication steps which can be provided to the vendor for a resolution.

Create Random Block shows a grey box over questions

Problem: When attempting to add a random block to a test, a grey box covers the interface, preventing questions from being selected.

Solution: Resizing the window to be wider removes the grey box and allows the form to be used as expected.  We are working to find a permanent solution to this issue.

Problems uploading files in Safari 11.1

Problem: We are seeing reports of failed uploads and errors when uploading files using Safari 11.1.  Blackboard has identified this as a bug and we are waiting for a resolution.

Solution: Other browsers such as Chrome and Firefox appear to be functioning as expected.  Please use these browsers if you encounter issues uploading files in Safari.

Unable to download submitted assignment files

Problem: When grading an assignment, some assignment files present an error after clicking the download file button.

Solution: We are working to find out the cause of this issue.  In the meantime if you experience this problem, the workaround is to download all assignment files at once.  This can be done by going into the grade center, clicking on the button to the right of the column name, and selecting Assignment file Download.

Dropped/withdrawn enrollments not being removed from Blackboard roster

Problem: Students who drop a course in Banner/myUVM are not being removed from the corresponding Bb course space.  This is an issue with the Blackboard process that handles the data import/update feed. Please note that all enrollments in Banner/myUVM are accurate – this is a Bb only issue.

Solution: ETS is working to implement a solution to this, and we hope to have a fix soon.  In the meantime, students can hide courses in their course list by managing their course list in Bb; they can also edit their notifications for their Bb courses by clicking on their name in the upper right of the screen, then settings, then Edit Notification Settings.  Instructors can use the following workarounds to help alleviate the symptoms of this issue:

Update: While we continue to work with Bb to address this problem, we’ve made a temporary change to allow instructors to exclude students from courses. This can be done by:

  1. Go to Control Panel -> Users and Groups -> Users
  2. Searching for individual users to deny access to, or selecting “not blank” to list all users .
  3. Click on the grey button next to a user’s id, and select “Change User’s Availability” for that user.
  4. Setting availability to “No” will deny them access to the course.

Hide rows in the grade center, by clicking on Manage -> Row Visibility.

Mark current users in the grade center as actively enrolled (not dropped) in the course.

  1. Create an excel sheet with two columns, one labeled “Username”, and one labeled “Enrolled” (or some other designation that communicates an active enrollment)
  2. Download the roster from myUVM, and open that in excel
  3. Copy the Netid’s from the myUVM/Banner roster, and paste them beneath the “Username” column that you created in step 1.
  4. In the first row of that second column, type a “Y” (or something similarly appropriate), to denote an active enrollment
  5. Fill down in the second column. You should now have the list of usernames from myuvm, with a Y indicator next to each of them.
  6. Save as .csv and upload to the Grade center
  7. At this point you can create a smart view based on that column. Setting that column to default will give you a default list of active enrollments when you enter the grade center.

To limit group membership to only enrolled students, instructors can do the following:

  1. Create groups as they normally would, however without adding students.
  2. Export the groups into an excel file, by going to Groups -> Export -> Groups only (include header row)
  3. Open this file in excel and delete all other columns besides the Croup Code.
  4. Create a new column next to the Group Code column, and label it User Name
  5. Download the roster from myUVM, open it in excel, copy the NetID column, and paste it under the User Name column you just
  6. created in your groups file.
  7. Manage group membership here by putting the appropriate group codes next to each user name (i.e. selecting some empty columns
  8. and doing Fill Down)
  9. Save this file as .csv with an appropriate name, then go to Groups -> Import and import using the button under the “import group members section”.

Assignments do not display in-line within the browser in Safari on OSX

Problem: Assignments do not display in-line within the browser in Safari on OSX.

Solution: Use another browser, or modify Safari’s privacy settings to allow the assignments to display in the browser.  Depending on your operating system version (to check this, click on the Apple in the upper left corner of your screen, then About this Mac), the steps for this are:

  • If you are running Sierra, go into Safari > Preferences > Privacy > Cookies and Website Data > set to “Always Allow”
  • If you are running High Sierra, go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy > unselect Prevent cross-site tracking

Multiple choice questions with blank/empty answers won’t submit

Problem: Creating a multiple choice question in the test/survey tool, leaving at least one answer empty, then clicking on the submit button will not save or submit the form.  The submit button fails silently and the form is not submitted.

Solution: Clicking the “remove” button next to any blank/unused answers will allow the form to submit normally.  There is no targeted release for this issue at this time.

Downloading/Viewing attempt in Grade Center produces an error

Problem: When going into the grade center and viewing or downloading an assignment attempt, users see an error message similar to “No default constructor found.”  We’ve seen this occurring when attempting to access group attempts as well as individual submissions.  Blackboard has identified this as a bug, and we are currently working to clarify patch availability.

Solution: Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu as soon as possible if you see this error.  In the meantime, the workaround for this issue is to click the chevron next to the Column Title and download all assignment attempts.

Resolved: Guests seeing error when attempting to access announcements

This issue is resolved.  If you continue to experience trouble, please contact us at blackboard@uvm.edu.

Problem: Users entering a course with guest access see an error when they attempt to view a course announcements page.

There is currently no workaround for this issue.  We are working with Bb to find a solution to this as soon as possible.

Resolved: Grade Center columns using a running total may display blank or incorrect values

This issue is resolved.  If you continue to experience trouble, please contact us at blackboard@uvm.edu.

As part of a recent security update, the below bug was  introduced in the grade center.

Problem:  Weighted Total columns using a running total may display blank or incorrect values.  This is reported to only happen when the calculation results in an infinitely repeating decimal.  For example: if the total points for your weighted column was 3 and the only value being included in the running total was a 1,  then the resulting “0.33333333…” value would not display correctly in the Weighted Total column.

Solution: The workaround for this is as follows.

  1. Make sure the weighting adds up to 100.
  2. Set Running Total to “No”.
  3. If you must use running totals, be sure to turn it off after all grades are in, as this will ensure the correct grades are displayed to you and the students.

This bug would only have been introduced as of 11/21/17.  A future update – to be installed 12/20/17 – will resolve this issue.

Typed availability times do not save when editing items in FF/Safari

Problem:  Typing a time into the availability box on an item will result in that time from not being saved.  This is occurring in FF and Safari.

Solution:  This bug has been identified by Bb as a defect; a fix is included in the release which will be installed in December.  In the meantime, use Chrome if you need to edit times by typing in specific times.

Resolved: Grade center only lists one assignment attempt

Problem: There is only one attempt listed in the grade center for an assignment with multiple submissions.

Solution:  To view all attempts in the Grade Center,

  1. Go to Control Panel > Full Grade Center
  2. In the upper right corner select filters.
  3. On the filters menu check the box next to “Show attempts that don’t contribute to user’s grade”

Dropped/Withdrawn students listed as “Managers” in the Discussion Board

Problem: Instructors visiting the “Manage” area of their discussion board may see students who are listed as “Managers,” yet are not in the course.  This can happen when a student enrolls in a course (however briefly), and subsequently drops or withdraws.  Despite their being listed as a manager in the discussion board, they do not have any access to the course, and they are not listed as a manager if they re-add the course.  There is currently no workaround or fix available for this issue.

Logging in with another browser tab/window during a test breaks save answer

Problem: While taking an exam, opening a new window/tab in the same browser and creating a new session will break the “Save Answer” button.   For example, if a student begins a test, then opens a new tab and goes to myUVM and clicks on the “Blackboard” link, the save answer button will show an error.

Solution: Blackboard has a bug fix which we are currently testing and are working towards deploying.  In the meantime, the following workaround will improve the testing experience.   During an exam, if multiple tabs/windows in Bb are needed (i.e. for an “open book” exam), open a different browser (i.e. FireFox to navigate your course while the test remains open in the original browser (i.e. Chrome).  If a new session has been created in the same browser, and save answer is not working, deleting the cookies and cache then logging back in will allow for resuming the exam.

Course copy strips attributes from links in content items

Problem:  After copying a course, links entered into content items have had some attributes removed.  This includes the “target” attribute, which is often used to make a link open in a new window/tab.

We have opened a case with Blackboard in the hopes there is a fix for this issue.  In the meantime, there is no solution to this problem other than editing the links after the course copy.  For longer passages, manually copying and pasting the text/HTML from the old course item into the editor in the new course may help make this process slightly less time intensive.

Partial Credit Box does not Display in all Answers in some Questions Types

Problem:  When setting a question to allow partial credit, some answers do not display a box to specify credit values.

There are currently no patches available for this bug.  While we wait for a fix from Blackboard, the only workaround in this case is to offer fewer answers (i.e. remove any questions without a partial credit box).

Resolved: Respondus Update Failure

Problem:  When updating Respondus on Windows 10, an error appears and the update fails to proceed: “This app has been blocked for your protection. RPUPDATE. EXE. An administator has blocked you from running this app.”

Solution: Downloading the most recent version of Respondus from the UVM Software Archive will allow future in-app updates to proceed.

Resolved: Exit, Save and Exit, Back and Next buttons not working when grading tests

This issue has been resolved. Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu if you experience further trouble.

Problem:  When entering an assessment attempt, only the “Save and Next” button is working. All other buttons, including Exit, Save & Exit, previous student and Next student are not functional. This is happening in all browsers, and in multiple courses.

Solution:  A fix has been identified, and we are working to test, evaluate, and deploy it.  In the meantime, there are some workarounds available, such as using the browser’s back/forward buttons, and clicking on the course navigation links to get back to the grade center.

Resolved: Cursor and screen jumps to the last question on test

This issue has been resolved. Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu if you experience further trouble.

Problem:  When composing and answering items on a test that is presented with questions all at once, the cursor and screen jump to the last question, on the bottom of the screen, while the user is only partially complete with the test.

Solution:  This is an identified bug in Bb.  While a patch is being evaluated, instructors can prevent this from happening to students by delivering a test one question at a time.  Students can alleviate some of the frustration by composing essay questions offline in a word or text processor and pasting into the text boxes of essay questions.

Resolved: Last Access, Retention Center, Performance Dashboard inaccuracies

This issue has been resolved, following a patch from Bb. Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu if you continue to have trouble with this feature.

Problem:  The “Last Access” column entries for some students are appearing blank or inaccurate in the Grade Center, Performance Dashboard, and Retention Center however those students have recorded activity in the course.

Solution:    We are working with Bb to find a solution to this problem as soon as possible, and have been told a patch is in development.  In the meantime, instructors can check student activity by using the course reports feature. This can be done by going to Control Panel -> Evaluation -> Course Reports, clicking on “Overall Summary of User Activity”, and selecting all students and a date range. There is a section of that which that shows a student’s access per day.

Group member lists not sorting on group set editing page

Problem:  When editing a group set, the list of students will not sort by last name (or other criteria) as expected.

Solution:  This is a defect, but Blackboard has not indicated a future release in which it may be fixed.  In the meantime, a workaround is to open the Grade Center in a separate tab or window, select the students in the Group Set using a smart view, and sort them as needed. In the other browser window, the group set can be managed normally.

Discussion forums display “Access Denied” when date restriction is set

Problem: Instructors attempting to access a discussion forum are prevented from entering, and an “Access Denied” error appears.  This happens when a date restriction is set on the forum, with the goal of making it unavailable to students.

Solution: Blackboard has identified this as a bug, and we are waiting on a solution.  There is no workaround for this, other than making the forum available temporarily while working on it.

Resolved: Publisher tools unavailable, displaying error

This issue has been resolved. Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu if you experience further trouble.

Problem: Publisher tools, such as Macmillan and WileyPlus, are currently experiencing issues which are causing them to be inaccessible.  We are working with Blackboard to find a solution to this issue, and hope to have this resolved shortly.

Distorted equation images

Problem: Mathematical equation images generated in the text editor are occasionally appearing corrupted or distorted.  These images can be generated using the built-in equation editor, or by using “MathJax” notation and surrounding LaTex text with double dollar signs.  This may occur during equation placement in tests, discussions, or elsewhere in a course.

Solution:  While a fix is being investigated, equation images can be generated using external tools, then uploaded and embedded into the text editor.

Replying to course/instructor sent emails puts “no-reply” address in “To” field

Problem:  Students attempting to reply to an instructor email (sent from within a course) will be presented with “no-reply” in the “To” field of the email.

Solution:  This is a bug, which we are waiting on a fix from Blackboard for.  In the meantime, students will need to enter in the instructor’s email address manually when replying to emails.

Students encounter problems saving answers on tests with large numbers of questions

Problem: On tests with large numbers of questions (i.e. more than 50), students may encounter problems saving or submitting the assessment.

Solution: Instructors delivering assessments with over 50 questions should consider delivering the questions one at a time, which can be done by editing the test options and choosing “One at a time” in the Test Presentation section.

Resolved: Error appears when attempting to add a question to an assessment.

Problem:  When attempting to add a question to an assessment, an error is presented saying “Unable to parse provided PkId string.”

Solution:  This has been resolved.  Users experiencing this issue are encouraged to contact blackboard@uvm.edu.  A workaround to this issue can be found by editing the test, then clicking on “Question Settings” to the upper right, then unchecking the “Question Metadata” box on section 3 of that page will prevent the error.

YouTube Mashups and Video Everywhere not embedding/displaying properly.

Problem:  Attempting to embed YouTube videos using the Mashups tool and/or the Video Everywhere tool does not work.

Solution:  This is an identified bug that Blackboard has identified as fixed in the next release, which is expected to be applied in December.  The current workarounds are to embed the video by clicking the html button in the text editor and pasting the embed code; post a link to the video along with the description; or to use UVM Streaming Media tool.

Resolved: Delay in enrollments/data updates to Bb

[This has been resolved.] There is currently a delay in the data feed that updates Blackboard with enrollment information from the Registrar’s system.  Currently the feed is running once daily Monday through Friday, rather than every two hours.  ETS is working on a resolution to this issue.  In the meantime, updates to Blackboard enrollments and TA additions can be expected on the morning of business days.

Links to courses with guest access enabled bring visitors to the login page

Problem: Links to courses that are open to unauthenticated guests bring visitors to the login page, rather than directly to the course.

Solution: While there is no fix for this yet, Bb has provided a workaround while we are researching a solution. This workaround is as follows, however users can also simply browse to the “Guest Access” link on the login page, and search for the course by name or ID.

  1. When building the URL, start with the guest access link. This logs them in as “guest” automatically: https://bb.uvm.edu/webapps/login?action=guest_login&new_loc=
  2. The “new_loc=” variable allows you to add any in-system link, starting with “/Webapps” etc. For example, the relative path to the course with the ID 12345 looks something like this: /webapps/blackboard/execute/modulepage/view?course_id=_12345_1&cmp_tab_id=_4741_1&mode=view
  3. However the link after the new_loc= variable MUST BE ENCODED! Use a service like http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/ to encode the link like so: %2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Fmodulepage%2Fview%3Fcourse_id%3D_12345_1%26cmp_tab_id%3D_4741_1%26mode%3Dview
  4. So the full link would be: https://bb.uvm.edu/webapps/login?action=guest_login&new_loc=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Fmodulepage%2Fview%3Fcourse_id%3D_12345_1%26cmp_tab_id%3D_4741_1%26mode%3Dview

You can change the PK1 number of the course (above indicated as 12345) to whatever course you want. You can also start with a different relative path, i.e. to link to the announcements area you’d start with this in steps 2 & 3:


Students unable to view annotations on assignments

Problem:  Some students have reported missing annotations on assignments in the Crocodoc Inline Assignment viewer.

Solution: Switching browsers has resolved the issue in some cases.  Students should follow these steps to view annotations to ensure they are clicking on the correct buttons to view assignment annotations. Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu with browser and operating system versions if you have students reporting missing annotations.

Resolved: Guest Access not working in some browsers

This issue has been resolved.  Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu if you continue to have problems accessing Bb as a guest.

Problem:  When entering a course as a guest (non-authenticated user), users are redirected to the login page or see an error message.

Solution: Some browsers have been reported to work better than others when accessing a course using guest access.  While we await a solution from Blackboard, it is recommended that users attempt to enter the course using Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Youtube posts display “Device Support” error video

Problem: When posting a video to a Bb course using the Video Everywhere or YouTube mashup tools, an error video is presented after posting, indicating that YouTube is not supported on this “device.

Solution:  Bb has indicated that this is a known issue and has provided the following workaround:

  1. After recording the video, click continue, this will save it in youtube.com
  2. Log into youtube.com, click on the video you have just recorded.
  3. Copy the url
  4. Go back to the editor on Bb environment
  5. Click on Insert/Edit Embedded media
  6. Paste the url into the File/URL
  7. Change Type to Embedded Audio
  8. Insert
  9. Submit

Alternatively, anyone wishing to post media to their course should consider using UVM Streaming Media.

Respondus not connecting/authenticating to Bb

Problem:  An issue with Respondus not connecting to Bb has been identified.  This is preventing the upload and download of assessments to Bb courses.

Solution:  The following workaround will allow publication of assessments.  Assessments can be manually published by going to Respondus->Preview & Publish->Publish to Blackboard->Publish Wizard->”Save pool to local file for manual upload”->”Test with points”.  After saving the local file, it can be manually uploaded into a course with a web browser, by going into the course’s test, surveys and pools area, and clicking on the Import test button.

Alternatively,  the following steps will allow Respondus to sync normally with your Bb course:

That said, Respondus has provided the following steps that should allow the application to properly sync with Bb:

  1. Update Respondus to version  If you’ve installed it recently, you may be able to update it by going to Help->Check for updates. Otherwise, go to https://www.uvm.edu/software/distribution/windows/respondus/Respondus4.0.5.14.exe – then installing, and registering the software (you can access the registration data, if needed, here: https://www.uvm.edu/software/distribution/licensing/respondus/respondus.html).
  2. Open Internet Explorer and log into Bb by going to bb.uvm.edu.
  3. Leaving IE open in the background, open Respondus.
  4. If editing an existing assessment, Click on Preview & Publish -> Publish to Blackboard.  If retrieving an assessment, click retrieval and reports.
  5. Click Publish Wizard
  6. From the Blackboard Server dropdown, select “Add New Server”.
  7. Choose “Yes, check for preconfigured server setting.”
  8. Enter an appropriate name for the connection, such as “UVM Bb (New)”
  9. Click the “Next” button to run the connection test.
  10. Click on the “Login w/ UVM NetID” link.  IMPORTANT:  do not log in on this screen, be sure to click the link and log in on the following screen.
  11. Enter your login information on this (the webauth) screen.
  12. Once you are logged in, click on the “Close after Login” button on the upper right.

Problems logging back in, after logging out

Problem:  When logged into Bb via myUVM, and then logging out of Bb, users may have trouble logging back in to Bb.

Solution: Deleting cookies, restarting the browser, or switching browsers will allow users to log back in again.  Here are instructions for clearing browser cookies in 3 different browsers:

Assignments not submitted via the Assignment tool cannot be graded by rubric

Problem:  When an instructor is using the assignment tool and associated grade center column, but students submit an assignment outside of the assignment tool, the instructor cannot use the Rubric Tool to create a grade. For example, if students send their assignments via email or provide a paper version instead of using the online dropbox, there is no submission recorded in the grade center column for that assignment.  This means that the instructor cannot use the Rubric Tool to calculate and provide feedback on the grade.

Solution:  This is a known issue, however Blackboard has not indicated a fix as being planned in a future release.  Workarounds aren’t ideal, and include asking students to submit an empty document digitally in addition to the alternative (paper, email, etc) submission.

Resolved: Discussion board subscriptions not sending out emails for some users

Problem:  Some users have reported that when subscribed to a discussion board forum, they are not receiving emails as expected when someone posts a message in that forum.

Solution:  Blackboard has confirmed this as a bug, in which some users in a course have their subscriptions erroneously disabled when another user is removed (i.e. drops and/or withdraws) from a course. This is fixed in the next version of Bb, however there are no workarounds available.

Cannot upload assignment feedback via Grade Center’s “Work Offline” mode

Problem: Downloading an assignment in the grade center, then entering feedback into the feedback column in Excel, then uploading the file to the Grade Center, does not result in the feedback being saved.

Solution: This is a known bug, and a fix is expected (though not garaunteed) sometime in mid-December. In the meantime, feedback can be entered via the web interface on a supported browser.

Can’t open assignment files in Bb Grader app

Problem: When viewing an assignment in the Bb Grader mobile application, assignments are not displayed, and attempting to open them in a different application results in no action.

Solution: UVM does not yet support inline grading of assignments. This means that assignments will need to be downloaded and graded within the web interface on a laptop or desktop computer, in a supported browser.

Resolved: Bb Grader mobile app won’t connect

Problem: Blackboard has released a new mobile application that allows instructors to enter grades via an iPad or tablet. However, connecting to UVM via this application does not currently work.

Solution: UVM does not yet support mobile grading using this application. This is expected to change sometime in mid-December, however there is no guarantee that this timeline is accurate. In the meantime, instructors can grade assignments and other student work via the standard web interface in a supported browser. Please note that Blackboard is not the official place for final grade submission – final grades must be entered into the Registrar’s system.

Resolved: Blackboard login/performance issues (resolved)

This issue has been resolved. If you continue to experience performance issues, please contact blackboard@uvm.edu.

Blackboard is experiencing performance issues – these are actively being investigated and we hope to have a solution soon. In the meantime, one quick troubleshooting step is to try deleting your browser’s cookies, and then logging in again directly to https://bb.uvm.edu.

Missing/hidden blog and journal entries

Problem:  The new layout of the blog and journal interface that is presented by default to instructors makes it look like there are no entries.

Solution:  Clicking on the arrows on either side of the instructor’s name in he grey column on the right will show other user’s entries.  Also clicking on your name in the grey column will show a list of other user’s posts.  These screenshots illustrate the buttons needed to click to see student blog posts:


Copy and Paste issues in Bb text editor

Problem: Copying from within the text editor, then attempting to paste back into the editor, results in text not being pasted (nothing happens).

While we are waiting on a patch for this from Bb, we have been provided with the following workaround in Firefox:

  1. Type “about:config” into the address bar. You’ll see a warning about violating warranty, please ignore that and continue.

  2. Type in “clipboardevents”.

  3. Double click the search result item to toggle value from “true” to “false”

You may need to restart your browser in order for this to take effect.

Resolved: Assessments causing NullPointerException errors

This has been resolved.  If you continue to see this problem, please contact blackboard@uvm.edu as soon as possible.

Problem: Deploying an assessment in a content area displays a “NullPointerException”. The test can be seen and previewed when edit mode is off, but no other content in the content area is visible. Further, attempting to access the “Tests” or “Surveys” area of the “Tests, Surveys and Pools” section of a course displays a similar error.

We are working directly with Blackboard to find a resolution to this issue as soon as possible. In the meantime, please note the following work-arounds:

  • Students can still access and submit deployed exams. Results of these exams can be graded and feedback provided via the Grade Center and My Grades, respectively.
  • Tests can still be deployed, just not in areas where another test is currently deployed.
  • Deployed tests/quizzes can be edited by going into the grade center, clicking on the grey icon next to the column name for the test, and choosing “Edit Test”. From there instructors can add/edit the questions, or edit the options by selecting from the grey button to the right of the test name in the edit test screen.
  • Content that shares a content area with a deployed assessment will be inaccessible to the instructor, however students may in some cases be able to access that content.
  • Instructors can access sub-folders that exist in the same area as a deployed test by clicking the folder icon at the top of the course menu and navigating from there.

To deploy a new tests, deploying each test in its own folder will allow tests to be delivered to students without interfering with instructor access to the rest of the content areas. For example, one might create a new content area on the left hand menu entitled “Quizzes 2”, and structure it like so:

  • Quiz 1 Folder
  • …..> Quiz 1 (inside Quiz 1 folder)
  • Quiz 2 Folder
  • …..> Quiz 2 (inside Quiz 2 folder)


YouTube embedded videos (and other embedded content) not appearing

Problem: Embedded YouTube videos and similar content are not displaying in some browsers.  This is due to a change in how browsers display non-encrypted content (http) inside of an encrypted environment (https).

Solution: Here is a description for students (and instructors) for how to temporarily view embedded files that appear blank in Firefox:

  1. If upon entering a course or content area that appears to have a blank video, look in the browser’s address bar for a grey “shield” icon.
  2. Click that icon, bringing up a dialog box.
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the “Keep Blocking” button, and select “Disable Protection on This Page”.

This is a short term solution.  Here are some steps on how to make sure that students have access to the videos, both in the short term and the long term.

  1. Edit the embed code so that all links in the code start with “https://”, and not “http://”.
  2. Post the URL as a link to the video’s YouTube page in addition to the embedded video.  By always providing a link to the original video in addition to embedding it, there’s a better chance that any students having connection or browser issues (i.e. attempting to load the videos in various unsupported mobile browsers) will be able to access the video directly. This also provides some context, so instead of just seeing the blank area where the video will be, the students will see that a) it’s a video link, and b) where to go to try to launch it in a different environment.
  3. If the videos are owned by you (i.e. the instructor) or UVM, consider using the UVM supported Streaming Media tool. This will make things a bit easier to support, and will be more likely to retain some stability and support over time.
  4. Newer browsers may not support older embed code. Try re-embedding the video by going to the YouTube page for the video and copying the code under the embed option, then pasting it back into your course item.


Reordering course list, grade center items in Firefox – overlapping items, items fly off screen

Problem: Attempting to reorder items while managing the course list and grade center results in overlapping items, and/or the items do not appear to go where placed.

Solution:  This is a known bug in Bb, which we are waiting on a fix for.  In the meantime, you can use the reorder button (a grey box with an up/down arrow set, above the list) to manage list order.


re-order items in grade center


reorder button

Resolved: Emails sent from announcement tool may contain HTML tags in message body

Problem:  When creating announcements and checking the “send email” box, the resulting email message body may contain HTML tags.  This has been confirmed to occur when using “Smart Text” with the text editor off, but may happen with the visual editor as well.

Solution: There is no solution available at this time, however Bb has indicated that this is resolved in a future release.  The workaround is currently to avoid using HTML formatting where possible when creating announcements that need to be sent as emails.

Resolved: Emails sent from grade center arrive without message body

Problem:  When sending an email to selected students from the grade center, and including a BCC or CC address, the message body arrives empty.

Solution:  There is no resolution for this issue at this time. Blackboard has indicated that this is fixed in the next version of blackboard.  The workaround when sending email from the Grade Center is to turn the Text Editor OFF, and not use BCC option or Include list of recipients option.

Resolved: “Alignment” settings appearing in various areas of course

Problem: Settings appear in tool creation and other areas (such as when creating a Discussion Board forum) that pertain to an “Alignments” function.  However, these alignments settings don’t do anything.

Solution: Fields referencing “Alignments” can be ignored – they are remnants of a Blackboard feature that is not currently being deployed (but which is being evaluated).  Their presence has been identified as a bug, which is fixed in the next release of Blackboard.

Resolved: Linked text created in text areas is not underlined

This has been resolved.  Please report any further problems to blackboard@uvm.edu.

Links created in the visual text box editor in Blackboard display with no underline and in some themes are not differentiated by color.  A patch is forthcoming from Blackboard, however a temporary fix is being pursued to address this in the short term.

Resolved: Intermittent delays in page loads, application performance

This issue has been resolved.  If you continue to experience these symptoms, please contact blackboard@uvm.edu to report them.

Problem:  Users have reported sporadic delays in page loads.

Solution:  ETS has identified a possible cause for these performance issues and is working to apply a solution. Users who experience these problems should attempt to log out and then log back in again. There is no other workaround identified at this time.

Red error message on login

Problem: Some users have reported problems when logging in, noting that a large red error message is displayed. This has been documented as happening after logging into Bb from myUVM, then logging out of Bb from Bb. Attempting to log in via Bb directly produces the error.

Solution: Clearing the browser’s cookies has been identified as a possible solution, as has logging in with another browser. Alternatively, going back to myUVM and logging in to Bb from within myUVM may also work.  If you continue to have problems logging in, please contact blackboard@uvm.edu.

Resolved: Students unable to see menu links to course tools

This issue has been resolved.  Please contact blackboard@uvm.edu if the problem persists.

Problem:  Menu items for certain course tools do not appear for students, even when they are shown as available and visible to the instructor while edit mode is “Off”.

Solution:  We are waiting on a bug fix for this from Blackboard.  In the meantime, instructors can make sure these tools are available to students by following these steps:

  1. Click the green “+” button at the top of the course Menu, and select “Add tool link”
  2. Enter “Tools Area” in the name box, and select “Tools Area” from the list.  Click Submit.
  3. Click on the new Tools Area link on the course menu.
  4. If a tool is hidden, it will have “Show Link” next to it.  Click the “Show Sink” button next to it to ensure it’s available to students.


Student name not appearing in Grade Center

Problem:  Increasing the font size in some versions of Firefox causes the last name in the Grade Center to disappear from view (the student is still in the course, just not visible in the Grade Center).

Solution:  This is resolved in a future version of Blackboard.  In the meantime reducing the font size or clicking on the “Screen reader” link above the Grade Center will reveal the hidden student.

Opening a PDF shows a “missing plugin” error

Update:  This will still show an error, however users will now see a link at the top of the page that allows them to download the PDF:

Opening an embedded PDF in Firefox - click on the link at the top.

Problem: Students clicking on a PDF that has been added to a course using the File command (see image) are presented with a grey screen and an error message that refers to a “missing plugin”. This has been reported on various browsers on Apple computers, including Firefox and Safari.


Faculty: Here’s how to make sure your PDF’s are accessible to your students.

  1. Click the grey chevron drop-down menu button next to the file name and choose Edit (you must be in “edit mode” to do this).
  2. Scroll to the option to “Open in New Window” and click Yes.
  3. Submit.

Students: If you are experiencing this problem, click on the link at the top of the page to download the PDF and open it on your computer.

Resolved: Guests cannot access uploaded files (401 error)

Problem: Guests cannot access files in a course, and are prompted with a login box followed by 401 “forbidden” error after trying to access the files. This occurs for files that have been uploaded to a course after May 22nd 2011.

Solution: To make a file available to guests,

  1. Click on the grey chevron button next to the file name, and choose “Edit”.
  2. Click on “Select a Different File”. (see image)
  3. Click on “Browse Course”. (see image)
  4. Check the “Also assign Public permission to this file” box. (see image)
  5. Select the file from the list, and click on “Submit”.
  6. Click on “Submit” to complete the process.

To prevent this from happening with newly uploaded files,

  1. Upload a file to the “Files” area before putting it in a content area
  2. Then add the file to the content area by choosing Build -> File, not Build -> Item
  3. Be sure to select Browse Course, and check the “Also assign Public permission to this file” box when selecting the file.

This is an identified bug that is fixed in the next version of Blackboard. There is no patch available for the current version.

Domain administrators cannot enroll NetID accounts outside of their domain

Domain administrators can no longer enroll users into a course in a domain that doesn’t include those users in it’s collection. hen entering the NetID to enroll, an error is displayed:


This is being escalated to Blackboard, and we are waiting on a solution.  In the meantime, please contact blackboard@uvm.edu if you need to enroll users in a domain-based course or organization.

Resolved: “My Calendar” module has been turned off

This has been resolved, and the Calendar tool has once again been made available.

Due to a critical bug in the Calendar module, this tool has been turned off.  A fix for the bug is expected in the next release of Blackboard, but a timeline is not available for when this will be patched.

The normal course calendar tools should work as expected.

Resolved: Pronto contacts not listed

Some users have reported that when signing into the Pronto chat application on their computer, they don’t see contacts listed for classes that are using Pronto.

Below are some steps that have been identified as a possible workaround to this issue.

  • Sign into Blackboard
  • Go to the course
  • Click on the Pronto Chat Tool menu item (if this is not there, contact your instructor)
  • Then click on the Go to Pronto link (it may open up a new browser window)
  • Choose I already have pronto account (or, if this is your first time, create a Pronto account)
  • Sign in with your pronto ID
  • Unfold the list of courses you are taking so you can see the course listed there.
  • Start up Pronto on your computer


Resolved: Problems downloading attachments from blog/journal entries

Problem: There is an identified bug that prevents downloading attached files from a blog/journal post.  This only happens if the file has a title with special (non-alphanumeric) characters in it.

Solution:  The author of the post can rename the file so it only contains letters and numbers, and then re-attach (re-upload) the file.

Resolved: Occasional disappearing menu items

This has been resolved.  If you continue to encounter this problem, please contact blackboard@uvm.edu.

We have received reports of inconsistent course menu behavior where links on the menu will simply disappear and reappear. We (and other institutions) have submitted this problem to Blackboard. They are aware of the problem, and are researching the cause and a solution. In the meantime, a work-around that has been effective is switching to “Folder View” for the course menu. See a screenshot and directions.

This is a most troublesome (and elusive) issue and we are trying to provide Blackboard with additional information regarding this problem. If you are experiencing this issue with your course menu, please fill out this brief form.

Please include the following information:

  • The 5-Digit CRN of the course you are seeing the issue happening in
  • Date and time of the occurrence.

Resolved: Discussion board text overlaps when viewing threads in “maximized view”

When viewing a discussion board thread with a significant number of entries, the text overlaps with the entry listing, causing the entry to be difficult or impossible to read.

This is an identified bug. A resolution has not been identified yet for a future release. To prevent this from happening in the meantime, switch out of “maximize” view when viewing threaded discussions. This can be achieved by clicking the “minimize” button to the upper right of the discussion thread:

Resolved: Problems downloading assignments from the Grade Center

Instructors have reported problems downloading assignment files from the grade center. This problem will occurr if the assignment has a title with special (non-alphanumeric) characters in it.

Solution: To resolve this error, rename the assignment so that it has no characters other than letters and numbers (i.e. no #’s, &’s, etc). As always when making changes to your course, please remember to save a backup first.