Blackboard 9.1 Known Issues and Work Arounds

If you are having an issue in blackboard, check this list to see if there is a way to resolve your problem.


Linking to External Websites

Problem: When a user clicks on a link to a webpage to be displayed in Blackboard, the user sees a frame with a message above it stating 'The content below is outside the Blackboard Learn environment'. The red color of the formatting of this message may be alarming to some users.


To avoid this message: it is recommended that you set external links to 'Open in a New Window' in the 'Options' area when creating or editing the links.


The Return Receipt Feature will not display within the email

When creating a menu link for students to get to Email, use the Add Tool link option directly to Email rather than to Tool Area - it is a known issue that the return receipt feature will not display within the email unless the email is sent through a direct menu link or the Course Management/Control Panel/Course Tools path.


Tool Link



Issue: E-mails do not send properly when posting an Announcement and choosing to send an e-mail copy of the announcement to students.


Solution: Make sure there are no special characters in the file name of your course. You may change the file name by accessing that course's control panel.



Issue: Announcements will not delete


Solution: This is caused by bad HTML in Announcements, which is a result of copying and pasting from Microsoft Word or other Office products. To avoid this problem, avoid copying from Microsoft Word and pasting into Announcements. If it is necessary to type out Announcements prior to posting in Blackboard, do so from Notepad to avoid HTML issues.


If this problem is occurring in your course and you are unable to delete Announcements, you may complete a "Bulk Delete" to remove all Announcements. This process is irreversible, so please retain a copy of your announcements before completing the "Bulk Delete". Please call the ITC for assistance.




Issue: Students receive the error, "Blog Content Item not available", even though the blog content has been made available by the instructor.


Solution: This is a known bug. To avoid this error, make sure that "blogs" are not "hidden" under the "tools" area.


Grade Center

Issue: Full Grade Center returns the following error when opened: errorParsingDataMsg TypeError: a.gpid is undefined


Solution: This is a known issue and occurs when the database entry for the grade center get's an incorrect "position value" for a grade center column as a result of a column position not being saved properly when it is moved, or the position is not set correctly when the course is created. To correct this, please do the following:

Using Firefox:

  1. Access course's control panel
  2. Grade Center -> Full Grade Center
  3. Manage > Column Organization
  4. Change any one column position
  5. Submit


Issue: Bb 9 Grade Center not scrolling and preventing you from seeing all student names and rows


Solution: If you have experienced issues with the Blackboard Grade Center not scrolling and preventing you from seeing all student names and rows, the following steps should resolve the issue. The problem is related to the scroll bar setting in Windows or the zoom level in Firefox. This can be resolved by changing the Windows scroll bar size back to 20 or smaller or by increasing the zoom level in Firefox.


To change the zoom level in Firefox, open the Firefox browser and click View in the menu bar. Then, select Zoom > Zoom In.


To change the scroll bar setting in Windows:


Windows XP:

Right click on an empty area on the Desktop and choose Properties. Next, click on the Appearance tab, and then click the Advanced button. Select Scrollbar from the drop-down menu and change the size to a value less than 20 (the default is 17). Click OK, then Apply.


Windows Vista or Windows 7:

Click the Windows symbol on the bottom left side of the screen. Go to Control Panel > Personalization > Window Color > Advanced Appearance Settings. If you do not see Advanced Appearance Settings, select an Aero theme like "Windows 7″ and then repeat the previous steps. Select Scrollbar from the drop-down menu and change the size to a value less than 20 (the default is 17). Click OK, then Apply.


Following these steps should allow you to see all rows using the vertical scroll bar in the Grade Center.



Issue: Bb 9 Grade Center won't load (spinning wheel)


Solution: This is listed as a known issue with Bb 9. As with the previous version of Bb, it seems to be a cache issue with the browser. To correct this problem choose your browser below and follow the instructions.



Tools > Settings > check the box that says 'clear history when Firefox closes + click the 'Settings' button beside that check box and make sure every item is checked to clear. > Apply Settings > close and restart browser



Tools > Internet Options > check the box that says 'delete history on exit' + click the 'Settings' button beside that check box and make sure that 'Check for newer versions every time I visit the webpage' is selected > Apply Settings > close and restart browser


Before trying either of these, it's probably a good idea to make sure that their Java is up to date (



Issue: Extra Credit column problems

When Extra Credit columns are added in the Grade Center and given total points possible of zero, those extra points entered in that column are not included in the Total column of Grade Center. This seems to be the case for any column with zero possible points.



To make the Total column include the zero points possible columns:

  • Go to the Modify Column screen for the Total column.
  • Scroll down to section 3 of the screen, and change the radio button from "All Grade
  • Columns" to "Selected Grade Columns, Calculated Columns and Categories".
  • The screen will change, and then in the newly appearing "Columns to Select:" box you can choose each of the columns from your Grade Center and click the little "arrow in a circle" button to shift them into the "Selected Columns:" box at the right of the screen. (Please note that you can click the first column, hold the Shift key, then click the last to select all the columns in that box on the left.)
  • Submit Your Total column should now include the zero point columns, both manually entered gradesnand those from tests, assignments, and discussion boards.


Issue: Bb 9.1 Grade Center offers error message when grading attempts.


Solution: Blackboard has applied a patch to solve the issues regarding the grading and downloading of grades in the Grade Center. Internet Explorer users may still experience problems, but we are told that the next IE, version 9, will work. So we suggest using a browser other than Internet Explorer when working in Blackboard, and referring to the Workaround information.


Sharing YouTube Videos

We have experienced problems with users copying and pasting YouTube embed codes into Blackboard content items. To add any YouTube videos to any piece of Blackboard content, please use the YouTube Mashup item to do so.


Safe Assignment

Issue: When using Safe Assignment, feedback files to students are not displaying for the correct students. (i.e. students are receiving other student's graded papers).


Problem: This is a known issue with the interaction between Safe Assign and Blackboard.


Workaround: Make sure the course is synched. Upload the feedback file (graded paper) through the visual text box editor (VTBE). If you need to edit the uploaded file, go to "edit grade" instead of "view attempt" (where you would normally go to upload a new feedback file). This issue should be resolved in future versions of Blackboard.


Mac not able to view PDFs

Macs are unable to view PDFs under certain circumstances. This is due to a limitation of the Adobe reader itself. Adobe does not provide plugin support for browsers on Macs. As a work around for the instructors, they can set the pdf to open as a new window (allowing use of the native pdf support, outside of the browser). For end users, Chrome has built in support for pdfs and has been confirmed to be working. If the pdf's are in a learning module, then student's may need to download The Schubert plug-in:


How to allow an individual student more time to take an exam in Blackboard

  1. Edit the “Test Options”
  2. Scroll down the page until you see “Test Availability Exceptions”. Click “Add User or Group”.
  3. Choose the specific student from the list by checking the radio button by their name & click “Submit”.
  4. Select desired options then click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.


Upcoming Training Dates

Jul. 28

Office 365: Overview for Faculty & Staff
10:00 AM

Jul. 31

Getting Started with Canvas
9:00 AM

Jul. 31

Creating Assignments and Managing Grades in Canvas
10:00 AM

Jul. 31

Tests and Quizzes in Canvas
11:00 AM

Aug. 01

Echo360: Managing Content
9:00 AM

View ITC Calendar >