Blackboard Known Issues

To Do Module on the Home Page in Original Course View Contains Due Dates for All Group Discussion Boards Regardless of Group Membership

Posted 9/10/20 SR

On the Home Page in Original Course View, the To Do module is displaying past and upcoming and due for all group discussion boards, regardless of whether the student is a member of the group or not. This may result in the same discussion being listed multiple times, if you created or copied a discussion board to additional groups. 

Blackboard is aware of this issue but there is no timeline for a fix.

In the meantime, students can click the round drop down arrow next to any unneeded notifications in the To Do module and click Dismiss to remove those notifications. 

Recurring Issue: The Word "Undefined" Appears in the Grade Center

Posted 11/28/18 JR, DC

When using the Chrome or Firefox browser, scores in the Grade Center may include the word "Undefined" intertwined in each grade cell, such as "20undefined00". The actual grades are not affected; this is an issue with the display of the grade only. 

UPDATE: This occasionally occurs when Blackboard is updated. Once DoIT is notified of the issue, they can request that Blackboard perform a rolling restart of our SaaS application nodes, which resolves the issue.

[Resolved] Blackboard Collaborate: Scheduled Sessions not Appearing in the Blackboard Calendar, Recurring Sessions not Appearing in Details and Actions

Posted 5/21/20 DC; Updated 9/10/20 SR

It has been reported that both individual and recurring Blackboard Collaborate sessions created do not appear in the Blackboard calendar. It is not known when this issue will be addressed. A workaround is to have students use the default Blackboard Collaborate course room, or to copy and send the link of a created session to students.

Additionally, for a series of recurring sessions, only the first session appears in Details and Actions. Subsequent recurring sessions do not appear, even when the session is live.  It is recommended to create separate sessions for each meeting of a recurring session. 

UPDATE: This was resolved with an update in July 2020.

Blackboard Collaborate: Visibility of Cursor While Using the Share Application Feature is Inconsistent, Appears to be a Browser Issue

Posted 4/27/20 DC

It has been reported that there is inconsistency in one aspect of the Share Application feature of Bb Collaborate. If a moderator is attempting to share an application, the cursor may not be visible to participants. This appears to happen if the moderator has opened their Bb Collaborate session in FireFox, version 75.0. Blackboard Collaborate Support reports that this is a limitation of the browser.

It is recommend that moderators login to their Bb Collaborate session using the Google Chrome browser (version 81.0.4044) if they intend to use the Share Application feature, and need to display the cursor.

[Resolved] Formatting and Highlighting Issues with Inline Grading (Box View) When Using a Mac

Posted 9/13/19 MS; Updated 9/10/20 SR

While using Box View for inline grading of student submissions on a Mac, the text is reformatted to display over additional pages in the Chrome and Safari web browsers. Additionally, highlighting of submissions is not functioning normally, with highlights appearing in a different spot from where they were initially placed. Using Firefox on Mac eliminates the formatting problem, but highlighting continues to be an issue.

The issue has been reported to Blackboard. As a workaround, you can download submissions, make comments and highlight the text, then return the annotated file to the student as an attachment in the Feedback panel. Alternatively, you can use a Windows computer for inline grading. 

UPDATE: The new Blackboard Annotate inline grading tool was introduced in 2020 and there have been no reported issues with formatting and highlighting.

Matching Questions Displaying Submitted Answers Inaccurately in Ultra Course View

Posted 9/12/19 MS

In Ultra Course View, when students view their results from an assessment with Matching questions, their answers appear to be changed from what was originally submitted. The score per question and overall for the test is accurate. From the instructor perspective answers are displayed, scored, and recorded in the Gradebook accurately.

Blackboard has acknowledged this as a bug that will be fixed in an upcoming release with no timeline at this time. If you are using Ultra Course View it is recommended that you rebuild Matching questions to Multiple Choice questions to avoid student confusion, until the issue is resolved.

[RESOLVED] Instructor Profile Image Not Displaying in Ultra Course View

Posted 8/26/19 SR; Updated 9/6/19 SR

In the Ultra Course View, the instructor's profile photo should appear at the top of the course. Currently, this is displaying a blank silhouette. Blackboard is aware of the issue and a fix is expected in the September release.

Update: This was resolved with the September release on 9/6/19. The instructor's profile photo now appears at top of the course in Ultra Course View.

Issue with the MS Edge Browser and VoiceThread

Posted 6/27/19 DC

It has been reported that VoiceThread is not compatible with the current Microsoft Edge browser.  This browser does not have full support for HTML5, which is the protocol VoiceThread uses. However, according to VoiceThread support, the next version of Edge will be using a completely new architecture that should support VoiceThread and other HTML5 apps as well. At that point, VoiceThread will be usable in Edge. For now, Chrome and Firefox are the best two browsers to use to experience the full VoiceThread toolset.

Calculated Formula Questions Truncating at 5 Decimal Places and not Rounding Up

Posted 5/9/19 JMR

Currently, Blackboard is working on a solution for a bug in the code for calculated formula questions, as instead of rounding up it is truncating answers.  A resolution could take up to 30 days.  Blackboard is addressing the issue and should have a resolution in the next release.

[Resolved] Can’t install the Application Share extension from within a Blackboard Collaborate session

Posted 1/29/18 SR; Updated 9/10/20 SR

A recent update to Chrome is now preventing users from installing the Application Share extension from within a Blackboard Collaborate session. As a workaround, you can install the extension directly from the Chrome web store following these steps.

UPDATE: This issue has been resolved.

[Resolved] Annotated Feedback from the Inline Grading "Box" View Cannot be Downloaded  

Posted 12/4/18 DC; Updated 9/10/20 SR

In Assignment inline grading, annotated feedback in the form of comments, highlighted text, and drawings posted by the instructor in the “Box” view cannot be downloaded as a PDF.

A ticket has been submitted to Blackboard for review and this issue will be updated when it has been resolved.

UPDATE: The new Blackboard Annotate inline grading tool was introduced in 2020 and annotations are included in the downloaded PDF.

[Resolved] Error when using Microsoft Surface Stylus to Annotate Assignment Submissions 

Posted 11/30/18 SR; Updated 9/10/20 SR

When using the Microsoft Surface stylus to add annotations to Assignment Submissions, you may receive an error that says "We are sorry, the annotation cannot be created." This occurs after clicking the pen icon in the Blackboard interface, when you begin to draw. Blackboard has acknowledged this as a bug and is working on a fix, but there is no timeline at this time.

As a workaround, you can use text comments instead of drawing, or draw annotations using a mouse.

UPDATE: The new Blackboard Annotate inline grading tool was introduced in 2020 and is now compatible with a Microsoft Surface stylus.


List of Active Courses Does Not Appear when Using the Blackboard Instructor App

Posted 9/6/18 DC

It has been reported that active courses do not appear when using the Blackboard Instructor app on a mobile device. A fix has been implemented, but requires an uninstall and re-install of the app.

Test Options Render Incorrectly With Help Icon Disabled

Posted 8/28/18 CW

The Test Presentation section under Test Options will display incorrectly with the Help icon disabled due to an issue with the page HTML. Enable the Help icon ("?") in the top right-hand corner of the page to fix the display.

[RESOLVED] Collaborate Ultra Session Attendees using Firefox Version 61 and Above Cannot be Heard

Posted 8/27/18 DC; Updated 9/10/20 SR

Due to a Mozilla bug introduced in Firefox version 61, Collaborate Ultra session attendees using Firefox version 61 and above cannot be heard by other session attendees. The recommended fix at this time is to avoid upgrading the Firefox browser to version 61 or greater, or use an alternate browser, such as Google Chrome.

UPDATE: This issue has been resolved. Moderators and participants can use any of the currently supported browser versions to participate in Collaborate sessions.

SafeAssign Doesn't Generate a Report when Filename Has Special Characters

Posted 7/18/18 CW

Assignment submissions with special characters (i.e., #,:,*,space, etc.) are not evaluated by SafeAssign and will not generate a report.

It is recommended that users only include numbers, letters, hyphens, and underscores in their filenames. In cases where student users have already made a submission, change the assignment setting to allow multiple submissions and then ask them to resubmit the document after making the appropriate filename change.

Errors Accessing a Blackboard Collaborate Session with Special Characters in the Title

Posted 7/9/18 DC

When creating a new session/room in Blackboard Collaborate, it is important to pay heed to titling.  It was recently discovered that the presence of special characters, such as a pound sign (#) in the title of a newly created session/room will result in an error being reported. The work around is to rename the session, excluding the pound sign or other special character. Blackboard is working to get a fix in to an upcoming release.

Announcement Notifications Links Broken Through Email

Posted 7/2/18 CW

When sending an announcement from Blackboard a student will receive a notification, but not the full announcement, unless "Send a copy of this announcement immediately" is checked. When students click on the notification link it will go to a blank page or their browser's homepage. This does not seem to happen with Gmail or the Blackboard mobile app. There is currently no timeline on when this will be fixed.

The current workaround is to use the "Send a copy of this announcement immediately." However, it is not available when using date restrictions. In this case, instructors may want to inform the student to go directly to Blackboard and check for announcements. 

File Uploads Fail in Safari 11.1 on macOS El Capitan

Posted 4/6/18 SR

Faculty and students who are using Safari 11.1 (released 3/29/18) on a Mac that has the El Capitan operating system (10.11) are not able to upload files to Blackboard. You will be able to select the file to upload, but the upload times out before completing. This only affects Safari 11.1 on El Capitan - if you are using a different version of macOS (such as the latest release, which is High Sierra), file uploads should complete as usual. 

Because this issue only occurs in Safari, the workaround is to use another browser, such as Chrome or Firefox.

Audio Files Autoplay in Chrome

Posted 3/21/18 SR

When audio files are posted using the Audio content type, the auto-play in Chrome regardless of whether the Autostart setting is set to No. This is a known issue that occurs because the audio player is based on an NPAPI plug in, which is no longer supported in the Chrome browser in versions 42 and newer. Because the browser does not know how to handle the plugin, it autoplays the file. 

There are several possible workarounds. First, if the Audio tool is preferred, recommend students to use Mozilla Firefox or another browser when accessing the course. You could also upload the audio files using the Item or File content type, which would require students to download the files and play them locally. 

As another workaround, you can upload the audio files using MEDIAL and embed them in Blackboard. The MEDIAL player does not rely on NPAPI, so the files will not autoplay. 

Cannot Access Previous Attempts on Group Assignments

Posted 3/21/18 SR

When the Group Submission setting is enabled on an Assignment, and Multiple Attempts are enabled, it is only possible to open the most recent attempt for grading. You will receive an error message when trying to open an earlier attempt. Blackboard acknowledges this as a known issue and it is fixed in the Q2 2017 Release (NIU is currently on Q4 2016). 

As a workaround, you can download the student-submitted files by clicking round drop down arrow in the grade column header for the group assignment and choosing Assignment File Download from the menu. Select all of the groups and to download all of the attempts, then download the packaged zip file. Once opened or extracted, you will be able to view all of the files submitted by the groups. 

This does not include any of the grade information, however, if a previous attempt was graded. You can view some of this information by viewing the Grade Details or Grade History for an individual student attempt. 

Blackboard Student App Breaks Test Presentation Settings

Posted 3/6/18 CW

The Blackboard Student app (iOS, Android) will automatically convert tests and surveys with compatible question types (Multiple Choice, True/False, Either/Or, Short Answer, and Essay.) to a mobile-friendly version which displays in the app instead of a browser. The app conversion breaks the test presentation settings for display questions one at a time and prohibit backtracking - allowing students to see all the questions at once and to backtrack on question responses when taken through the app.

To prevent this conversion for Blackboard Student app users, add at least one non-compatible answer (e.g., fill-in-the-blank, matching) to the test or survey. This will ensure that when students access the test or survey though app that it launches in their browser instead of launching the app version with broken settings. A simple non-compatible answer to add to a test or survey could be an integrity statement, a trivia question, or an extra credit question.



By taking this quiz I _ to adhere to NIU’s Student Code of Conduct.

Please type AGREE

NOTE: assign 0 possible points for the question if you do not want the original point total to be affected.

This issue is only for tests or surveys taken through the app with these settings enabled and does not affect the browser versions. 

Partial Credit boxes do not show for all answers, on Multiple Choice and Opinion Scale/Likert questions

Posted: 8/10/17, PG.

When enabling Partial Credit on Multiple Choice or Opinion Scale/Likert questions on Blackboard tests, a partial credit entry box should display under each incorrect answer. However, partial credit boxes are only displaying under some incorrect answers, allowing partial credit for fewer answers than may be desired.

Blackboard is aware of this as a known issue and is working on a fix, although there is currently no timeline. As a workaround, you can review the results for each student and adjust the scores manually as needed. It may help to download the results in Excel to more quickly identify which students have selected a given answer on a particular question.

Course Copy does not work with Blackboard Collaborate recordings

Posted: 6/29/16, PG.

Blackboard Collaborate sessions/recordings do not get copied over during a Course Copy. Clicking on copied links to Blackboard Collaborate recordings results in an error message. To fix this, the instructor must navigate to the old Blackboard course where the original recordings are located, share the recordings to the new course, and recreate links to the recordings they want to use. Step-by-step instructions for recreating Blackboard Collaborate recording links can be found on the list of frequently asked questions for the Course Copy tool.

Adobe Presenter Upload Issue

Posted: 2/24/16, PG.

When uploading an Adobe Presenter zip file directly to the Content Collection in Blackboard, the index.html file becomes corrupted. Instead, users are encouraged to upload the zip file from within a Blackboard Course:

  1. First login to Blackboard, then enter the course to which you would like to add the Adobe Presenter file
  2. Navigate to the 'Control Panel'
  3. Click on the Content Collection link
  4. Click on the link to the Personal Content Collection (rather than the Course Content Collection)
  5. Click on the Courses folder
  6. Click on the Create Folder tab, and type in the course number (i.e., PHHE 435) for the 'Folder Name'. Click Submit.
  7. To enter the new folder, click on the newly-created folder's name (a link)
  8. From within the new course folder, create another new folder, but this time, type in the name of the Adobe Presenter zip file. Then, click on that folder's name to enter the new folder
  9. From within the new folder, cursor over the 'Upload' tab and click on Upload Zip Package.
  10. Click on the Browse button, locate and click the desired zip file, and then click Open
  11. Finally, click the Submit button

Test Exception Does Not Allow Student to Take Exam After Due Date

Posted: 10/2/14, SR

The new Test Exception feature allows faculty to establish separate availability dates for individual students or groups of students. This is useful for students who may be traveling or ill during a regular exam window. Setting the availability dates should allow only the student or students included in the exception to access the test after the availability window closes. However, if a Due Date is specified and the setting for "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" is selected, students with availability windows after the Due Date will be prevented from starting the test.

To avoid this, simply uncheck the option for "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" and use the global availability dates for the Test to restrict students from accessing the Test. Then, the availability exception will allow the student or students to access the Test as normal and begin the Test. These submissions will be marked as Late by Blackboard, but that warning can be ignored by the faculty.

This has been submitted to Blackboard as a bug, but there is no timeline for a fix.

Browsers Not Certified for Blackboard

Posted: 5/21/2012, SR. Revised: 8/26/2019, PG

At present, the following browsers are NOT certified or recommended for use with Blackboard and should be avoided by faculty and students when accessing Blackboard:

  • Internet Explorer, which Microsoft no longer supports; Internet Explorer on mobile devices
  • Edge versions 41 and lower on desktop; 37 and lower on mobile devices
  • Firefox versions 56 and lower on desktop; 37 and lower Firefox versions on mobile devices
  • Chrome versions 62 and lower; version 62 and lower on mobile devices
  • Safari versions 12 and lower, iOS10 or lower on mobile devices

A complete listing of supported browsers and operating systems is available here.


Last updated: 9/10/2020