Not all Web browsers are compatible with Blackboard. To find out if your favorite browser works well with Blackboard:
In order to avoid errors when downloading or grading files in Blackboard, please follow (and encourage your students to follow) these guidelines:
For more information on the errors caused by improperly named files, see More Info on Naming.
Do NOT copy and paste text from Microsoft Word, email, or web browsers directly into Blackboard.
This includes adding items and folders, setting up Discussion Board forums and postings, and creating test, survey, and pool questions.
Copying text directly from these web-enabled software applications often places hidden HTML and Java code in your Blackboard course materials. This code makes it difficult for some students, especially those using slow computers or internet connections, to view the content.
Instead, paste the text into Notepad (PC) or Text Edit (Mac) first. Then copy and paste it into Blackboard. This simple step removes any hidden codes that could disrupt access to your course materials.
For exams, another alternative is to use Respondus. Respondus helps you create and manage exams and pools, and then allows you to publish the exam or pool directly to Blackboard. UIS faculty and staff members may download Respondus for free from the UIS Software WebStore.
When copying and pasting information into Blackboard, formatting often does not copy accurately. Updates to the Visual Textbox Editor (available in only in Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers) let you clear the formatting of text.
If you wish to clear the formatting of text in Blackboard, modify the item, highlight the text, and click on the clear formatting button.
You can leave private comments for any Gradebook item by:
Blackboard automatically creates Gradebook items for several types of assignments, including: Discussion Forum Grades, Tests, Surveys, Assignment Tool assignments, and Turnitin.com assignments.
Renaming or deleting automatically generated Gradebook items causes errors when grading, viewing or downloading content. This is especially problematic with Discussion Forum Grades.
When you turn on the Discussion Grader, Blackboard automatically creates a Gradebook item for the graded forum. The Gradebook item name matches the name of the Discussion Forum.
Do not delete or rename Discussion Forum grades, as you will lose access to your student's grades; there is currently no way to fix this error.
Instructors may have problems loading the Collaboration tools, either Chat or Virtual Classroom, through the Control Panel.
If you have trouble loading the tools, go to the front of your course (where you see the navigation buttons and announcements).
Click on Tools > Collaboration > Join. This action should eliminate the error. You should now be able to access the Collaboration tools from the Control Panel or the front of the course.
Course Health Check is a new tool in Control Panel. The External Link Check makes sure all your links to content outside Blackboard are live. The Invalid Character Check searches your course for characters that may prevent you from successfully exporting or archiving your course materials.
To run a Course Health Check, go to Control Panel. Click on "Course Health Check" under Tools. Click on the name of the test you wish to run.
If you encounter an error while working in Blackboard, please report it to ITS Tech Support (217-206-6000 or email@example.com). Three pieces of information are important:
File Attachment Names
If you use a special character to name a file attachment, you will get an error when you try to open the file. This is NOT the name of Blackboard item or folder, but the name of the actual file uploaded (assignment#1.doc, for example).
When you try to open the improperly named item, you will receive an "HTTP, Error 404, Files not found" error. The problem applies to files uploaded or attached by both instructors and students.
Instructors, there are two ways to address this problem. The student could rename the file without the special character(s) or space(s) and resubmit it. Another option is to contact OTEL, who will contact Blackboard administrators to have them rename the item in the database. Once the item is renamed in the database, instructors will be able to access the file originally submitted by the student.
Assignment Tool Assignments
If you use special characters to name your assignment created with Assignment Tool (Assignment #1, for example), you won't be able to download all the student files at once.
The error will prevent you from downloading student assignments in a .zip file, though you'll still be able to grade the assignments one at a time. Modifying the name of the assignment does not fix the issue.
Using special characters and spaces in Turnitin.com assignment names and files submitted to Turnitin.com causes errors in Blackboard database logs. The only way to avoid this error is to not use special characters or spaces in file names.