Ohio University

Known Issues: Blackboard Learn

Browsers | Changes | Course Copy | Files | Grade Center | McGraw-Hill | Passwords | Turnitin | VoiceThread

Browser Issues

Do not use the Safari browser

Since the May 2018 Learn upgrade, Safari has manifested a serious known issue for students in which they are unable to submit to assignments.  Attempting to submit an assignment in Safari throws an error, "Failed to submit assignment. Please try again."   We recommend the use of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers for Blackboard.

Do not use the Microsoft Edge browser

Edge has manifested some serious known issues.  For students, it may cause a blank document to be submitted to an assignment.  For students and especially instructors/course designers, pasting from Microsoft Word to the Bb text editor while using Edge adds visible characters to the text, messes up formatting, and once submitted, can interfere with the rendering and functionality of the Blackboard page. 

Quicktime not working on Mac computers in any browser

A small number of older webpages still rely on the legacy QuickTime 7 web plug-in to play media. This plug-in is no longer enabled in recent versions of OS X and some web browsers. Learn how to solve QuickTime related problems.

Fix common audio and video issues in Firefox

Sometimes, the video or audio content in a web page cannot be properly downloaded and displayed in Firefox. A required plugin may be missing, outdated, blocked, in conflict with another plugin or extension, or the content may be blocked for some reason. Learn more about Firefox audio and video issues.

Unable to re-order items with drag-n-drop

Usually in recent versions of Chrome or Firefox.  Try fully clearing cached files and cookies ("for all time" or "everything" time frame).  Alternatively, the keyboard accessible re-order feature should still function.  These are located in the upper right of any content page, discussion board, announcements tool, etc. and are denoted by an icon of two arrows, one pointing up and the other down.

Blank White Screen

Users should try clearing their browser's cache if they experience a blank white screen when trying to access a test or quiz in Blackboard. How-to guides on clearing the cache in a browser can be found on our Blackboard Support webpage under the "Browser Issues" section. 

Changes, Updates, Upgrades and Releases

May 9-10, 2018 upgraded to Q4 2017 version

New & Different Features:

  • Efficiency and ease of use
    • Course availability status indicated by a padlock icon at top right of course site; "unlocked" indicates course is available to students, while "locked" indicates course is unavailable to students. Click the padlock icon to switch between statuses.
    • Discussion board "replies to me" filter.
    • Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) deep linking.
  • User Experience (Mobility & Accessibility)
    • System- and course-level navigation, blogs, and journals are latest improvements to mobile experience.
    • Chemistry notation support added to the math editor feature in the native content editor.
    • Accessibility enhancements include  ARIA landmarks incorporated into course menu and content areas to better define the page structure and aide navigation for users with screen readers.
  • Assessment & Grading
    • Delete multiple grade center columns
    • Send email reminders from the grade center to users with missing course work
    • Added filter to show or hide attempts that do not calculate for multi-attempt assignments improves grading workflows in Needs Grading or in grade center.
  • New System Theme
    • Updated colors, fonts and spacing give Learn a more modern look and feel
    • Consistency across devices allows seamless switch between computer or laptop and mobile phone or tablet.
    • Follows WCAG 2.0 principles and accessibility guidelines for structure, color contrast, and navigation. Fully visible keyboard focus and follows best practices for the definition of buttons and menus used for navigation.
    • Course themes no longer supported in order to enhance accessibility and allow for the consistency of experience across devices.

Blackboard Learn May 2018 Upgrade Details

Course Copy

Course Copy Problem

If you have used the course copy feature within Blackboard and received the following message:

The following Course Copy process has completed:
The results of the process are shown below.
Error: An error occurred while persisting the course. Please contact the Blackboard Administrator at your institution for assistance.

And then received 404 errors when accessing attached content in your destination (copy to) course;

Here are the steps to rectify this issue:

Please note: If you have any grades entered into the Grade Center, do not use this process. Contact Blackboard Support for further assistance.

1. Bulk delete the contents of your destination course (copy to). This will erase all of the data from the destination course and prevent duplication of content. You can find instructions for bulk deletion of a course here.
2. In your source course (copy from), move all of your files to the course file repository. You will find instructions on how to do so here.
3. After you have confirmed that your course files for your source course (copy from) are in the course files repository, run the course copy process again. You will find instructions on using the course copy feature here.

Course Copy Best Practices

You can find Course Copy Best Practices here, which may help you to avoid the above course copy issue.


Course Files Drag and Drop

Currently the drag and drop feature of the Course Files Repository does not work ("Unable to load applet"). You may still upload individual files by using the Single File link (upper right, below the Edit Mode switch). It is also possible to upload multiple files to the course files repository by packaging them into a ZIP file and using the "Upload Zip Package" option. The system will unpackage the files automatically.

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 the new single sign on authentication. You can still access your course files area, but you will need to do so within Blackboard.

Grade Center

Cannot see the scroll bars on a mobile device (iPad / Safari)

1. Go to Safari Browser on your iPad and navigate to the grade center of the course you desire to work in.
2. Next to where it says "Grade Center: Full Grade Center" select the drop down button.
3. Select "Turn Screen Reader Mode on"
4. The grade center will now reload and you should see the title of the grade center change to include ?Screen Reader Mode Active? and drop down buttons next to the column entries. You can now navigate left, right and up, down by swiping your finger across the screen while inside the box with the columns. If you swipe outside of the grade box area you cannot navigate. The options next to each grade in the drop down menus can be accessed also.

Quick Comment throws error

Using the full Visual Text Box Editor to create a Quick Comment will throw an error: "Only POST methods are accepted for grade changes..." Workaround is to use the plain text fields that immediately appear on the main grade center page. For feedback which requires the full text editor (such as to insert links or files), open the full attempt.

McGraw Hill

McGraw Hill Campus Menu Button

We have been contacted by some faculty that were concerned about the addition of the McGraw Hill Campus link in the Blackboard navigation menu. The link automatically appeared as the result of an upgrade to the McGraw Hill building block.

The McGraw Hill Campus button is a link to educational resources, lecture capture, test banks, multimedia and other academic resources for Ohio University faculty, regardless of whether or not they use McGraw Hill textbooks.

Faculty who do not wish to take advantage of these resources may delete the McGraw Hill Campus button from the Blackboard navigation menu by clicking on the chevron (double down arrows) and selecting Delete.


Passwords Containing "&" and "#"

There is a known issue with Blackboard SP13 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.


Special Characters in Turnitin File Names

Using special characters, such as hashtag, in the file name of a Turnitin file can result in the inability for the students or instructors to open the file containing instructor feedback to the students. This issue has been reported to the vendor and has been added to their list for repair in a future release.

Viewing Reviews for PeerMark Assignments with Multiple Peer Reviews

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. 


LTI link error

Hard returns and line spaces in the VoiceThread item description cause an error (general connection) when clicking on the VoiceThead content link in Blackboard.