F.A.Q. for the ‘Other’ 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

Where’s my Blackboard site? I know I have one for this course (I saw it recently) but now it is gone?

Your site may be hidden from your My Courses table in your Blackboard view. Blackboard allows you to hide sites from yourself -a useful trick if you have many sites, a headache if your don’t know how to make them visible again.

See the steps below to show your sites again.

Manage My Course Module Settings (Show/Hide your course from My KU Page)
1) Click Manage My Course Module Settings (the gear icon located upper right corner of My Courses)
2) Click the checkbox in the column of Course Name to see the course under My Courses.
3) Click Submit

click to see gear icon

Click to see checkbox next to course

click the image to see the checkbox

Are you a student? If so, make sure the course hasn’t ended.

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.

I get a 404 file not found message when clicking on a link in Blackboard. What is going on?

It is possible that the link to the item is broken, the item’s location on the web has moved, or the web-page no longer exists.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 and cannot access a page in Blackboard, please clear the cache (see instructions below), restart your computer and when accessing Blackboard again, please click the ‘No’ button when you receive this message. Alternatively, try using the Firefox browser to access Blackboard.

Clearing cache in IE8.

In the Internet Explorer 8 browser.
1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
2. Under Browsing history, click Delete.
2. Select the check box next to Preserve Favorites website data.
3. Select the check box next to Temporary Internet Files.
4. Select the check box next to Cookies.
5. Select the check box next to History.
6. Select the check box next to Form data.
7. Select the check box next to InPrivate Filtering data.
8. At the bottom of window, click Delete.
9. Internet Explorer, start Internet Explorer again, and then try to access the Web page.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 and if you see this message (see image above), please click the ‘NO’ button.

Where do I go to get detailed instructions and instructional strategies for all of Blackboard’s tools?

Every instructor that attends our Blackboard Tools and Strategies workshop is enrolled in the Blackboard site titled “Blackboard Tools and Strategies.” This site contains step-by-step instructions for all of Blackboard’s tools and is maintained by Instructional Development and Support staff.

Look in your Blackboard list of courses for this site. If you don’t see it and want to be added to this site. Contact IDS at ids@ku.edu or 864-2600 and ask to be added. Please include your Blackboard users name ending with an @ku.edu address.

Are there any instructions for Blackboard that I can give my students?

All new Blackboard sites will have a Using Blackboard link in them. This link contains instructions for the common Blackboard features that students will use. Using Blackboard also contains tips for submitting assignments and taking tests.

Add a Using Blackboard link to your Blackboard site:
1) Enter your Blackboard site
2) Click on the + icon above your navigation buttons
3) Select “Create External Link”
4) Type “Using Blackboard” for the Name
5) Copy this URL ->  https://courseware.ku.edu/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_7802_1&content_id=_465741_1&mode=reset&courseTocLabel=Student%20Demos

and paste it in the URL field

6) Check the Available to Users box

7) Click submit

Where can I submit my suggestions for improving Blackboard?

Blackboard Inc. has an enhancement suggestion form located here http://suggestions.blackboard.com/ Click on the Blackboard Learn link on this site.

I received an error in Blackboard. How do I fix it?

Occasionally, you may receive an error while working in Blackboard. Click here to see solutions to some of the more common issues experienced by Blackboard instructors.

I didn’t find an answer to my question on this page; how do I get it answered?

You may submit a question to Instructional Development and Support via the “FAQ Add Question Form” located here We will answer your question as soon as possible.

Can I get someone to give me feedback on my course after it is completed?

Instructional Development and Support offers free, one-on-one consulting on a variety of instructional design topics including a comprehensive course make-over.  We also offer quick course check-ups for implementing new features of Blackboard into your site. Please contact IDS (ids@ku.edu or 864-2600) for details.

Is my course material protected if I use Blackboard?

Only students (enrolled users) can access your course materials. Guests cannot see your course unless you enroll them into your site.

All course materials should follow copyright and fair use guidelines. Please contact your subject librarian for more information on KU’s copyright and intellectual property policies.

I’m a Mac User. Is there anything I should know?

Blackboard works on either Mac or PC computers. Mac users should use the Firefox browser instead of the Safari browser. Blackboard does not officially support Safari.

When uploading a file from the Mac platform be sure the file has a correct file extension including a “ . “ For example, a MS Word file will end with a .doc extension. Make sure there are no spaces before or after the file name.

What is SafeAssign and how do I use it?

SafeAssign™ is a plagiarism prevention service that runs inside Blackboard. This service helps educators detect plagiarism by flagging unoriginal content in student papers. In addition to acting as a plagiarism deterrent, it also has features designed to aid in educating students about plagiarism and importance of proper attribution of content.

If you have a Blackboard site for your course, you may set up SafeAssign by following these instructions.

If you are not a Blackboard user (or don’t have a Blackboard site for your course) we can create a SafeAssign only Blackboard site for you. If interested, please contact IDS at ids@ku.edu or call 4-2600 and ask that we establish for you a “SafeAssign Only” Blackboard site.

After papers are submitted to SafeAssign, you will receive a SA report which will include detailed information on matching text and source locations. For more information on how to interpret SA reports, please read this document on viewing SafeAssign reports.