F.A.Q. for the ‘Course Management’ Category

My students say that they cannot see my Blackboard files, but I can see them fine from my view of Blackboard. What is going on?

Be sure that you check that the item (Word document, PowerPoint, and PDF files) is available in the course

To check this:

  1. Go to the item in Blackboard, and click Edit in the drop down arrow to the right of the Item’s title.
  2. Look in Step 3 of edit item, and be sure that ‘Yes’ is selected next to Permit Users to View this Content.
  3. Be sure your Date and Time Restrictions, if used, are also correct.

If the permission settings appear to be okay:

It could be that the Link Title names for some of your Blackboard items do not match the File name of the file. You can in Blackboard change the Link Titles but this feature is not working properly.

To check this (see image #1) below

  1. Go to the item in Blackboard, and click Edit in the drop down arrow to the right of the Item’s title.
  2. Look in Step 2, and be sure that for all the files the File Names and Link Titles Match

If the File Names and Link Titles are different, students may not be able to see the file.

To fix this issue, re-post the files but not change the file Link Title names:

  1. Go to Blackboard and to the section/location to where the broken files are. Click the arrow to the right of the item’s title, choose Edit
  2. Go to step 2 on the edit item screen and right click on the attached files link and choose “Save link as” or “Save target as” and download the file to your computer (where you can easily find it). Your are downloading the original file so that you have a copy to re-post to Blackboard.
  3. Click the Mark for removal to the right of link (the broken one) you just downloaded
  4. Click the “Browse my course” button to reattach the file you just downloaded. After the file is attached, Do not change the Link Title! This is what “breaks” the item.
  5. Repeat for each file attached in the item, and click Submit at the bottom of the screen.

For a visual representation of Steps 2-4, see image #2 below.

Image #1

Image #1

Image #2

Image #2

I don’t see the scroll bar in my Blackboard grade book, how do I fix this?

This is a setting in your computer’s operating system. To resolve it, you will need to adjust your scroll bar settings.

Windows XP
1. Go to the Start button on your computer’s desktop, and then to the Control Panel
2. Click on Display
3. Click on the Appearance tab
4. Select the Advanced button
5. Select the Scroll Bar from the item drop down list
6. Change the setting to 19
7. Submit

Windows Vista
1. Go to the Start button on your computer’s desktop, and then to the Control Panel.
2. Click on Personalization.
3. Select the Window Color and Appearance option.
4. Click on the Advanced button.
5. Select the Scroll Bar from the item drop down list.
6. Change the setting to 19.
7. Submit.

Windows 7
1.  Go to the Start button on your computer’s desktop, the go to Control Panel
2.  Select Appearance and Personalization
3.  In top right-hand search box, type “windows color”
4.  It will bring up Personalization and a list.  Select “Change window colors and metrics”.
5.  Click on the Item Dropdown (default says Desktop) and select “Scrollbar” and change to 19.

Why are my old announcements still visible to students after I reset the dates for the new semester?

This is a glitch in Blackboard 9.1. To resolve this issue in your Blackboard site…;

1) Be sure the date and time settings for the announcements are set properly according to the new semester’s dates and times (found in the Edit link, in the drop down arrow to the right of each announcement’s title).

2) Delete the link/s to the Announcements page on your Blackboard site  (click the drop down arrow on the right side of the navigation button/link and select delete).

3) Add a new link to your announcements page (click the + button above the navigation buttons in your Bb site, choose Create Tool link, Name it Announcements, and choose Announcements as the tool, click submit). You should have a new link to the Announcements that will function properly.

To the announcements work as it should, clear the cache in your browser, close your browser down completely and renter your Blackboard site.

How can I add a guest to my course?

Guests are anyone not enrolled in the course for which there is a Blackboard site.

If you would like to give a KU User guest access to your course, add them in as a student. The “Guest” option listed in Blackboard does not interact properly with PeopleSoft. Please avoid this option.

If you would like to give a non-KU User access to your course, please contact IDS (864-2600 or ids@ku.edu) . IDS evaluates each request individually and creates temporary accounts on a limited, short-term basis.

My course is cross-listed in the Timetable. May I have multiple Blackboard courses or just one combined course?

If your course has multiple class numbers, e.g., sections, such as a main lecture section and several labs; or, one for undergraduate students and the other for graduate students, etc., you have two options available.

1. IDS can create a single Blackboard site for students in all sections.
In this case, you can build the course relatively quickly and maintain it efficiently. For example, you only have to upload material once for all of your students to have immediate access. However, with a single site, it is difficult to customize the gradebook. Blackboard intermixes students from all sections together alphabetically in the gradebook.

2. IDS can create a separate Blackboard site for each class section.
In this case, you have independent control and separate gradebooks for each section. However, material will need to be uploaded separately for each Blackboard site.

Please submit all course requests through our course request site at http://ids.ku.edu/req_portal
For additional information, please contact IDS (ids@ku.edu or 864-2600).

Why can’t my students see their grades?

There are two possibilities as to why your students cannot see their grades. First, make sure the grade column is visible in the Gradebook

1. Enter your Blackboard site
2. Click on Grade Center in the Control Panel
3. Click Full Grade Center
4. Click on drop-down arrow in the column header for the grade item in question
5. Click Edit Column Information
6. Show this Column to Students – change to Yes

If the grade item is visible, check to make sure the Tools or Student tools link is displayed in the students’ view of the navigation.
1. Enter your Blackboard site
2. Look in the Navigation buttons link in your course for a Tools or Student Tools link
3. If one of these links is not there, add one in by:

  • Clicking the + icon above the navigation buttons
  • Click Create a Tool link
  • Change the Name field to Student Tools
  • Choose Tools Areas for Type
  • Click Submit

For further assistance, contact IDS at ids@ku.edu or call 864-2600.

How can I copy a quiz or test to another Blackboard site?

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Enter the Course Tools
  3. Click Tests, Surveys, and Pools
  4. Click Tests
  5. Next to the test or quiz you want to copy, click drop down arrow, then click Export
  6. Save the exported test file to your computer.
  7. Go to the course into which you want to copy the test
  8. Go to the Control Panel
  9. Go to Course Tools, and then Test, Surveys, and Pools
  10. Click Tests
  11. Click the Import button
  12. Find the .zip file containing your test/quiz, and upload it.
  13. Click submit
  14. You should now find your test in the Test Manager
  15. Deploy as you would any assessment in your Blackboard site

For further assistance, contact IDS at ids@ku.edu or call 864-2600.

How do I make a quiz available to my students?

Make a quiz available by deploying it in any Content Area of your course.

  1. Determine where the test should appear in your course and click the Content Area (e.g. Assigments, Course Document) area of your
  2. Click Create Assessment
  3. Click Test
  4. Select your Test from the list displayed
  5. Click Submit, then OK
  6. Click Modify the test options
  7. Click Yes to ‘Make link Available’ in Test Availability
  8. You may choose to utilize the other options (multiple attempts, force completion, time limit, password, etc.), if desired
  9. Select Test Feedback Mode
  10. Select Test Presentation options (We recommend ‘Question’ instead of ‘All at Once’ with both ‘Prohibit Backtracking’ and ‘Randomize Questions’ selected)
  11. Click Submit, then OK

What are the best file formats to use in Blackboard?

Any file type may be uploaded into Blackboard. Common document files that most students will be able to open on their computer are .doc, .rtf and .pdf. All IT supported computer labs have MS Office. Students can go to these labs if they have trouble opening a document.

Image files including .jpg, .gif, .bmp and .png are all viewable in Blackboard.

Video file formats  (e.g. .flv, .wmv, and .mov) require students to have a plug-in installed on their computer to view these files.

Always include within your Blackboard site a link to download any plug-ins or software that students will need to open a file in your course.

What happens to my course at the end of the semester?

All course sites are permanent unless otherwise specified by the instructor(s) of the course. In the past, they were deleted at the end of every semester - this no longer applies starting May 2009.

How do I request a brand-new course on Blackboard?

Please go to the IDS web site http://ids.ku.edu and click on Course Request Site (bottom right). Courses are created within 24hrs of the next business in which you make your request.

*All instructors must participate in the introductory Blackboard Tools and Strategies workshop before they can request a Blackboard site*