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Known Issues: Blackboard Learn

Add/Modify Enrollments Tool | Assignments | Bb AnnotateBrowsersCalendar | Content Editor | Files | Grade Center | Passwords | Turnitin | VoiceThread


Add/Modify Enrollments Tool

Blank or Unresponsive Manage Enrollments Page

In some organizations and courses, the Manage Enrollments page within the Add/Modify Enrollments tool loads a blank screen when accessed with Chrome.  When accessing the same organizations and courses with Firefox, the Manage Enrollments page will load, but the "Change Role" and "Unenroll" buttons are unresponsive.  This is a known issue without a self-serve workaround.  The functional workaround is to submit enrollments changes via support request to the OIT Service Desk.  The request must originate with an Instructor/Leader in the course/organization and should include the course/organization ID, the OHIO ID's of the users whose enrollments will be modified, and a description of the required changes (i.e. remove users or change role from x to y).

Users Do Not Appear on Manage Enrollments Page

The "Modify Enrollments" feature is only applicable to users who were added to the course/organization by the "Enroll Users" feature.  There are also some circumstances in which users become inaccessible even though they were originally added by the tool.  In these cases, please submit a request for enrollments changes to the OIT Service Desk.  The request should originate from an Instructor/Leader in the course/organization and include the course/organization ID, the OHIO ID's of the users to be modified, and a description of the required modifications for each listed user (i.e. role change or removal from course/organization).


Group Submissions

File attachment submissions to group assignments receive a red banner error message, "Failed to submit Assignment. Please try again."  Despite the error, the submission does appear in the Grade Center with the "Needs Grading" flag, but will fail to be processed through the SafeAssign plagiarism detection service, if the SafeAssign option is enabled for the assignment.  This issue can be worked around by using the "Write Submission" option instead of attaching a file, or by using the individual submission format instead of group submissions.


The SafeAssign plagiarism detection service does not function when the assignment is configured for group submissions and the submission includes a file attachment.  The workaround for this issue is to use the "Write Submission" option instead of attaching a file.  Blackboard assignments offer a full Rich Text Editor for the submission area, which can be used to format the text, or content can be composed in a separate application and then copied and pasted into the Rich Text Editor.  Alternatively, the individual submission format can be used in conjunction with SafeAssign for file attachment submissions.

Bb Annotate

Instructor/Grader View

  • In the Blackboard app, the features for printing and downloading annotated documents aren't working properly. Users can print or download through a web browser (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox) instead.
  • Annotations are not available on submissions within courses that have been restored from archive.

Student and Instructor/Grader View

  • Common fonts such as Times New Roman are substituted with other, visually and metrically incompatible ones in Bb Annotate.  This can cause page layout changes because the fonts are 'wider' than those selected by the user.  Students can save DOCX files with embedded fonts (Windows only instructions) or convert to PDF (Mac instructions and Windows instructions) to preserve formatting.  The inline assignment grader now displays a banner message on submissions that may be affected by this issue.
  • Files could lose any non-ASCII characters in the file name when the annotated PDF is downloaded.
  • In non-English language packs, some garbled characters may appear when using Bb Annotate.
  • Some browsers' built-in PDF viewer may not display all of the annotations. Please view annotated PDFs in a native PDF viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat.

Browser Issues

Internet Explorer (IE) Unsupported

Blackboard no longer supports the Internet Explorer browser.  Microsoft ended active development for IE in January 2016.  Some newer features in Learn may not work, such as Attendance and Create Recording.  Reported issues isolated to Internet Explorer will not be resolved by the vendor.  We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers for Blackboard.

Do not use the Safari browser

Safari is known to exhibit various known issues ranging in effect from minor to serious and affecting users with all role types. Students may experience an error while submitting assignments, discussion boards, etc., preventing successful submission and resulting in missing course work.  Instructors and TAs may experience an issue when attempting to upload/attach files as course content.  Both instructors and students may experience difficulty accessing course sites due to Safari loading a blank or unresponsive Courses page.  To avoid these and other, as yet undocumented, issues with Safari, we recommend using the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers for Blackboard.

Do not use the Microsoft Edge browser

A few, quite serious known issues have manifested while users are working in Blackboard with Edge.  For students, it may cause a blank document to be submitted to an assignment.  For users of all roles (instructors, TAs, course builders, students, etc.), pasting from Microsoft Word to the Bb text editor while using Edge adds unintended visible characters to the text and mangles formatting.  Once the object containing the text is submitted, the contents can interfere with the rendering and functionality of the Blackboard page.  To avoid these and other as yet undocumented issues, we recommend using the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers for Blackboard.


Bb Dynamic Events Do not Display in External Calendars

When importing a Blackboard calendar to an external calendar application (e.g. Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, etc.) via the iCal external calendar link, events manually created by the user display as expected, but the external calendar will not display dynamic events generated by the system in response to Due Dates (i.e. dates for assignments, tests, etc., which update in the calendar automatically based on the item due date settings configured by the instructor).

Content Editor

MathType Editor Content Unreadable

Users report intermittent display issues with content created by the MathType equation editor in Original Courses.  Sometimes equations, formulas, and text composed with the math editor is overlapping and jumbled upon save, leaving the content unreadable.  While Blackboard is investigating a fix, the following workarounds are reported to be effective in some instances:

  • Create a new formula using a font size of 16px or lower and save.
  • Open a currently corrupted formula, adjust the font size to 16px or lower and re-save.


Accessing Content as a Web Folder

The feature that allows you to access the content of your course files area in Blackboard as a web folder is not compatible with OHIO's single sign on authentication. You can still access your course files area, but you will need to do so within Blackboard.

Grade Center

Time Out in Needs Grading Workflow

Graders using the Needs Grading feature may notice a disruption in the workflow related to length of time spent grading/annotating an attempt.  Upon submitting the graded attempt, a grader may land on the Full Grade Center view instead of the expected screen (e.g. next attempt in 'Needs Grading' status, Needs Grading tool, or particular Smart View), resulting in the need to find/navigate to the next attempt before proceeding with the grading workflow.  This behavior may or may not be accompanied by an error message.  The vendor is aware of the hardship caused by the issue and the importance of a fix, which is in development.

Grade Center Missing Horizontal Scroll Bar on a Mac (All Browsers)

  1. Click Apple icon in upper left of display to open system menu
  2. Select "System Preferences"
  3. Choose the "General" section
  4. For the "Show scroll bars" setting (about halfway down), activate radio corresponding to "Always"
  5. Close System Preferences window
  6. Reload browser window containing Grade Center

Upon reloading, the Grade Center's horizontal scroll bar will be visible, allowing full access to existing grade columns.

Unable to Navigate Grade Center on a Mobile Device (iPad / Safari)

  1. In the Safari mobile browser iPad app, log into Blackboard
  2. Open a course and navigate to the full Grade Center view
  3. Find the page title, "Grade Center: Full Grade Center," at the top of the screen and click the menu icon (gray circle with "v") at right
  4. Select "Turn Screen Reader Mode on"
  5. When the page reloads, the title should include "Screen Reader Mode Active" and a menu icon (gray circle with "v") should appear next to each column name, as well as within each grade cell

Once Screen Reader Mode is active, you can navigate left, right and up, down by swiping your finger across the screen while inside the box with the columns (swiping does not function outside of the grade display area).  The column and grade cell menus are also accessible while in Screen Reader Mode.


Passwords Containing "&" and "#"

There is a known issue with authentication not allowing users into the system if the & and # symbols are contained in the user's password. The vendor informed us that using "&#" in that order can be treated like HTML code and should be avoided. If your password contains &# or the & and # symbol with a few characters between them, our recommendation would be to change your password to something else that contains different symbols.


See Turnitin's Known Issues Page:


Viewing Multiple Peer Reviews for PeerMark Assignments

Regardless of which peer review is selected to view, the first peer review submitted/returned is always displayed.  In order to work around this issue, select any peer review to view, then use the forward/backward (>/<) links in the upper right of the viewer to cycle through the multiple reviews. 


See VoiceThread's Blackboard Integration Known Issues:

Go to https://voicethread.com/howto/blackboard and scroll to the bottom.