Ohio University

Troubleshooting Blackboard: Instructors

Troubleshooting Blackboard

  • Use a Certified Web Browser: Most technical problems inside a Blackboard course are due to issues with the browser. For the smoothest experience, we recommend using the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
    • If you encounter an issue while using one of these two browsers, switch to the other and attempt the problematic task again.  In most cases, you'll find that you are able to proceed without further issue.
  • Clear your browser's cache, cookies, and history: Clearing your web browser's cache is a simple and effective fix for problems of all sorts. For the best chance of success, include cached images and files, cookies, and browsing history, and select the "All Time" or "Everything" time range

  • Check your internet speed: You need a download speed of at least 1.5 Mbps. If you are using a satellite internet provider, you may experience timeouts, IP address issues, session problems, or course mail issues caused by latency. 

  • Enable Cookies from third parties: Depending on which browser you are using, find the option for “cookies” under Tools/Options or Preferences. This will be especially important for third-party content, like SafeAssign and YouTube.

  • Disable (turn off) Pop-up Blockers: Blackboard needs pop-up windows to run properly; threaded discussions, download links, and other tools rely on pop-ups to function.

  • Make sure you have the required Plug-ins: Third-party plug-ins may be required to view certain content within your course. If these applications are needed, a notification and link should pop-up with a prompt to install a new plug-in. 

  • Microsoft Office 365: Microsoft Word is required to compose documents for assignments in Blackboard Learn. Office 365 is available at no cost to currently-enrolled students and current-term instructors of record.  Visit OIT's Office 365 service page for full eligibility and access details. Blackboard Learn does not support Google Docs or OpenOffice.

  • Use Blackboard’s online support features:

    • Blackboard Help: provides video and text tutorials about the features you will encounter in Blackboard Learn.

    • Accessibility at Blackboard: explains accessibility options and features available in Blackboard.

  • Contact OIT: If the steps above don't solve your issue, contact the IT Service Desk.

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Blackboard FAQs for Instructors

How do I login and find my classes on Blackboard?

Using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, go to blackboard.ohio.edu and login with your OHIO email and password. Select the Courses link in the menu along the left. 

Blackboard course sites become accessible to the Instructor of Record eight (8) weeks before the course start date. For more information, please see the Find Your Courses Bb Help page.

Why can't my students login and/or see my courses?

Students cannot log into Blackboard until:

  • It is no more than two (2) weeks before classes start, and
  • At least one (1) of the Blackboard courses in which they are enrolled is available to students.

All Blackboard courses are "private," and thus inaccessible to students, by default, which allows instructors to build content privately until they are ready to share the course with students. Courses will be labeled in the course list as "Private," further indicated by a closed padlock icon, until they are opened to students.

For more information, please see the Make a Course Available to Students Bb Help page.

How do I find a Blackboard Course ID?

Open the course in Blackboard and look at the top of the course navigation menu along the left of the course entry page. Following the Course Name, you will find the Course ID enclosed in parentheses. A Blackboard Course ID looks something like this: MATH_1234_101_LEC_SPRG_2019-20

When can I start adding content?

Blackboard course sites become accessible to the Instructor of Record eight (8) weeks before the course start date. The Blackboard learning management system allows you to add a wide variety of content, including, but not limited to, online lectures, multimedia, tests, assignments, and links to external websites. 

For information on creating new content, reusing content from a prior semester, and customizing when content is made available to your students, please see the Course Content Bb Help page.

Need more than eight (8) weeks to develop your course? You can create a test course in which you can build content that you can then copy over once your semester course has been loaded. For more information, please see the Create a Test Course in Blackboard: Instructors page.

What do I need to know about creating assignments?

Blackboard offers flexibility with regard to setting up assignments within your course. You can create assignments in content areas, learning modules, and folders. Assignments may be configured to accept individual submissions from students, as well as group submissions where one group member submits an attempt on behalf of the entire group.  Additionally, you can control when the assignment is available to students, set a due date, allow single or multiple attempts, and even add a rubric for the assignment.

For more information on creating, editing, and grading assignments, please see the Instructor Questions About Assignments in Learn Bb Help page.

How do I provide feedback and grades?

Blackboard provides a customizable Grade Center where you can easily access and begin grading student work in order to provide timely feedback in multiple formats. Instructors can generate reports and access individual, class, and assignment/test statistics. The Grade Center can be configured to automatically calculate course grades as a running total, not only simplifying your end-of-term grade submissions, but also keeping students apprised of their status throughout the term.  These are just a few of the features offered by the Grade Center.

For more information, please see the Instructor Questions About Grading in Learn Bb Help page.

How do I manually add a teaching assistant, co-instructor, or other users?

Officially registered students are automatically loaded to Blackboard courses two (2) weeks before the course start date.  Instructors can also enroll additional users, such as TAs or facilitators, choosing appropriate course roles to grant varying degrees of access to a course, and later remove those users. Please note the manual enrollment procedure is unique to the OHIO Bb environment and does not align with the vendor's published documentation.  You can find step-by-step instructions on the Manually Add Users in Blackboard: Instructors Help page

Why do I get a blank screen when I try to Add/Modify Enrollments?

Users may encounter a blank screen within the Add/Modify Enrollments tool of the destination course following a course copy operation.

Upon the completion of a course copy, a blue notification banner appears across the top of the destination course.  Some of the tools in Blackboard (including the “Add/Modify Enrollments” tool) WILL NOT function until the notification banner is cleared. 

Screenshot of the banner stating that the course copy was successful with "Click here" and the "x" highlighted.

To clear the notification banner:

  1. Wait until the notification banner states that the process is complete. This can take up to an hour.
  2. Either one of the following will clear the banner:
    • Select click here to review the copy log, OR
    • Select the X in the upper right corner of the notification banner.

Once the banner is dismissed, the affected tools will function normally.

How do I combine multiple course sections into a single Blackboard course?

In Blackboard, there is a course shell for every section of each course. At times, it may be more manageable for an instructor to combine the enrollments of all the sections into one course which contains the course materials. The merging prevents duplication of effort for the instructor when updating multiple course sections. For details on merging the enrollments of multiple sections into a single course, please see the Combine Course Sections in Blackboard: Instructors Help page.

How do I copy course materials from one Blackboard course to another?

The Course Copy feature can be used to copy course materials from one course shell to another, such as from a template course to a term course or across multiple live sections. For example, if an instructor has four sections of the same course one term, they can save time by developing content in only one section and then using the Course Copy feature to duplicate the content in the other three sections instead of recreating the content four times. For details on how to complete a course copy, please see the Complete a Course Copy in Blackboard: Instructors Help page.

Where do I download the mobile version of Blackboard for Instructors?

Use the Blackboard Instructor mobile app to view content, grade assignments, and communicate with students.