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Known Issues


Here’s a list of issues which are currently affecting Blackboard.  We have split this list into Current and Resolved issues.  We have moved issues that were resolved before 21 January 2015 into the Resolved Issues Archive.

Current Issues

Resolved Issues

Current Issues


Turnitin Direct Assignments Liable to be Excluded from Grade Centre Calculations

If when adding a Turnitin Assignment to a Blackboard paper ‘Reveal grades immediately’ is set to ‘Yes’, then the corresponding Grade Centre column will have ‘Include this Column in Grade Centre Calculations’ set to ‘No’.

This means that the Turnitin assignment’s column won’t be counted in – or be available to be counted in – Totals/Weighted Totals columns within the Grade Centre.

If desired, this can be easily rectified:

  1. Locate the Grade Centre column of the Assignment and click the down-arrow to the right of its title;
  2. Select ‘Edit Column Information’ from the menu;
  3. In the final ‘OPTIONS’ section, click the ‘Yes’ radio button for the ‘Include this Column in Grade Centre Calculations’ control;
  4. Click the blue ‘Submit’ button;
  5. Confirm the change by selecting ‘Quick Column Information’ from the column’s menu.

Further notes:

  • This issue does not manifest if ‘Reveal Grades Immediately’ is set to ‘No’ when a Turnitin Assignment is first created.
  • Altering the ‘Reveal Grades Immediately’ setting after an assignment has been created will not change whether the column is included in Grade Centre Calculations: only the original setting matters.
  • Turnitin have been notified but have not as yet promised resolution.

Students Receive Error Viewing Self and Peer Submissions with Attachment

When the student tries to view the Self and Peer submission they get the following error message:

Property ‘submissionFileUrl’ not readable on type Assessment.StudentResultsBean
For reference, the Error ID is: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx.


There is currently no workaround.  This will be fixed with the next Blackboard upgrade in November 2019.

Feedback attachments not working with Delegated Grading

When using delegated grading, any files attached as feedback on individual submissions may not work correctly (the student will receive an error upon clicking on the file).  This arises when grades have been reconciled before the feedback files are uploaded.


Upload the feedback files before reconciling the grades.

Garbled content in Grade Centre exports of feedback

When attempting to use the ‘Work Offline’ tool to export a Grade Centre column with feedback included, the feedback cells in the resulting spreadsheet may contain extraneous characters that look like nonsense (or HTML code).


Despite being surrounded by extraneous code, the text of the feedback will still be present in the correct cells. So, if desired, the extraneous code can be manually deleted, leaving only the relevant feedback text.


Left-hand menu disappears

Resizing the browser window quickly may cause the left-hand menu to disappear.


Hover over the left edge of the browser where the menu should be. An arrow will appear. Click this and the menu should reappear.


Percentage Display in Grade Column and Student My Grades

Very rarely when a grade display is set to percentage a rounding error is shown. If you suspect this is the case, please get in touch with us. This is a known issue. If you have another column for the Total grade and it displays a percentage, this rounding error does not affect the Total percentage. The Total percentage will be displayed correctly.


Do not set primary or secondary display to percentage in the Grade Centre columns.


Resource not Found Error Occurs when Attempting to Edit a Group

A Resource not Found error occurs when attempting to edit a group if the User has opened the group first.

Workaround: Click on the chevron next to the group name in the list of groups and choose “edit group” instead.


eReserve description with line breaks causes error for students

If the eReserve content item has a description that contains a line break in Blackboard then some students will get an error message when they attempt to access eReserve.

Workaround: remove the line breaks.


View Statistics Report generates all users of a course.

When running a “view statistics report”, there is an option to ctrl+ select specific students and staff to see a report for. The downloaded report shows all users for a course, but does not include statistics for those users not selected. These users statistics are displayed as rows of 0’s.

A work around is to not select any users from the list, download the whole report, and only use the data from those users you need. Alternatively, select those users whose data you wish to view, download the report, and filter out all other users.

This is a known Blackboard issue and will be fixed in a later update.


Downloading the Grade Center as an xls

If an instructor downloads the Grade Centre as a tab delimited document (.xls) it will download a file that excel thinks is corrupt and will not allow it to be altered. Furthermore, Blackboard will not allow the document to be uploaded if a user manages to alter it.

Suggested workaround: download the grade centre as a Comma separated (CSV) file.


Edit mode unexpectedly turns off after a user’s role is changed within a course

When a user’s role is changed within a Blackboard course (eg. from Teaching Assistant to Instructor) this may result in ‘edit mode’ being turned off for all courses in which that user is enrolled.  With edit mode turned off, the view of the course will be quite different, and certain options and content areas may be hidden from view.

Suggested workaround: edit mode can be turned back on using the toggle switch near the top right corner of the Blackboard course.


Rubrics don’t work with Assignments using SafeAssign, when accessing the assignment from SafeAssign

An assignment that is using SafeAssign and Rubrics will only display the rubric as a static image and will not allow the grader to input a grade using the inline grading tool if the assignment is accessed from Control Panel -> Course Tools -> SafeAssign

To get around go to Control Panel -> Grade Centre-> Needs Grade  and choose Grade All Attempts from there.


Using a Matrix in a Calculated Answer Question
When creating an answer formula for a Calculated Answer question in a Blackboard Test the Matrix calculation doesn’t give the expected result. Blackboard are working on this.


Viewing SCORM packages when in Student Preview mode

When using the Student Preview mode to view SCORM packages the module partially loads but then quits and displays the following error:

A fatal error has occurred, communication with the server has been lost.
Press ‘OK’ to display debug information to send to technical support, or press ‘Cancel’ to exit

It’s anticipated that this issue will be resolved in a future release of the software.


Edit in Blackboard a HTML file results in error

If you have a Content Item in your blackboard Paper that is an HTML file, you will not be able to edit this file via the drop down box option “Edit in Blackboard”. This will result in an error. However there is a work around by finding the file in the “Course Files” and using the option “Edit in Blackboard” from there.


No option to insert an image when creating a ‘calculated formula’ test question

Whereas other question types allow the instructor to upload an image from her computer when constructing the question, this functionality is absent for the calculated formula type of question.

The workaround is as follows:

1. upload the image file into Course Files in the course
2. use the context menu on the file in Course Files to view the 360 view
3. copy the link shown as the ‘Permanent URL’
4. when creating the calculated Formula question, right-click in the Content Editor box
6. click the option ‘Image’
7. in the ‘Image URL’ paste in the URL you got in step 3 (also give it a name – in HTML this is the ‘alt’ text in case the link does not display)


Resolved Issues

Copying from Apple Mail to Blackboard Announcement or email on Google Chrome.

When you copy from Apple Mail into Blackboard Announcement when using Google Chrome you may find the text includes some style information.  This may not show up in the announcement but will be included when Blackboard emails out that announcement to students.  The result of this can make the email seems oddly formatted.

To get around this please use another browser.


Bulk edit of notification settings creates an error

When a staff member or student attempts to bulk edit her notification settings, an ongoing error can be created.  The settings are changed by visiting the Global Navigation Menu (the button in the top right corner which displays one’s name) > Settings > Edit Notification Settings> Bulk Edit Notification Settings.  Once you edit the settings in bulk for all the courses you are teaching or taking, exclamation points appear next to each individual course, and the settings can no longer be changed for individual courses.

Workaround: edit the settings for each course individually rather than in bulk.


Hotspot questions malfunctioning in Blackboard Tests

When students are sitting a test that involves hotspot questions, the location selected may not match where the user clicked.  This is currently affecting all browsers.

Suggested workaround: Do not use the Hotspot question type.


Banner image not displaying for everyone

In some courses the banner image will not display for anyone other than a course co-ordinator.  To fix this, delete the banner image from the Teaching Style area and re-upload the image you wish to use.


Menu text colour is unreadable

The course menu for some papers has a green background and blue text which is very hard to read.

To change this just change the theme for the paper by following the instruction at Choose Your Template


SafeAssign Reports not available if an Assignment is made unavailable and available again
If an Assignment that uses SafeAssign is made unavailable to student and then available again the SafeAssign reports will be removed from Blackboard. At this stage we are recommending that Instructors DO NOT make Assignments that use SafeAssign unavailable. This issue is only to do with Availability dates and not Due Dates of Assignments.

As a workaround you can make Assignments invisible to students by placing the Assignment in a Folder and applying availability criteria to the folder instead of individual Assignment Content Items.


Course Menu appears black

We have had some reports of papers which have a black course menu with no text visible to users. This can be fixed by changing the Course Theme and then reverting it back to its original setting. To change the Course Theme click the colour swatch icon next to the Edit Mode button. Scroll through the list until you find the Course Theme with a tick next to it. This is your current theme. Change the theme to a new theme. Revert the Course theme to the original setting to return your course to its former appearance. The Course Menu should now be visible


Students can’t view some images in Tests

If images are added to test questions using the “Image” button in the text editor toolbar, students aren’t given the right permissions to view the image.  This is the image button:


This results in students not being able to view the images.  For instructors and other staff, the images look fine.

There are two workarounds:

Fix permissions for all files in this paper:

  • Go to Control Panel – Files – [click on paper code].
  • Beside the title “Files: [your paper code]” there’s a small grey icon – click that and choose Permissions.
  • Click “Add Course User List”
  • Click beside “Student”
  • Leave “Read” ticked (and nothing else)
  • Click “Submit”.

Don’t use the “Image” icon to insert images, but attach files using this alternate method:

  • Go to the Test Canvas for this test
  • Click Question Settings (top right)
  • Check Add images, files and web links to questions and/or Add images, files and web links to answers.
  • Click Submit.
  • Now, when you add or edit a question, you will see a File Browse button underneath the Question text box.  Use this to attach your image and choose “Display image within the page”.


Limit of 999 students in Blackboard Course Reports

There is an upper limit of 999 students that can be reported upon when running Course Reports (these can be found under the Evaluation section of the Course Control Panel). Blackboard have not yet outlined a software release to fix this problem. If you wish to report on more than 999 students in Course Reports you will need to split the job up into several batches.


Accessing ‘Needs Marking’ generates an error

Certain instructors in certain papers may encounter an error when clicking on Grade Centre> Needs Marking.  When this happens, the Needs Marking tool cannot be accessed.  The problem occurs erratically, so an individual user may be affected in one course but not others.

Workaround: access assignment submissions through the columns in the Full Grade Centre rather than through Needs Marking


Last Access Date reported incorrectly for some users

When you check last access dates in the Grade Centre or Performance Dashboards the values are incorrect for some users.

Blackboard are aware of the issue and are working with us to resolve it as soon as possible.  If you require accurate last access data in the meantime, ITS eLearning may be able to retrieve it.  Please contact AskOtago for more information.


Course Reports not completing

When you run a course report it will display the ‘Please wait…processing your request’ page – this processing never finishes.

Blackboard are aware of the issue and are working with us to resolve it as soon as possible.


First access of Safe Assign – Access Denied – resolved 21 November 2016

Following the December 2014 upgrade the first time you access Safe Assign in a paper you will get a Access Denied – Unable to connect to the SafeAssign Central Service error message. Click OK at the bottom of the message and try again, SafeAssign will load the second time.


Reordering course menu items with drag and drop fails in Firefox and Chrome – resolved 21 November 2016

Sometimes when reordering course menu items with drag and drop the links appear to jump out of order or stay where they were without updating.

A work around for this is to use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering: Menu items button. You’ll find the button at the top of your course menu. This is the button with one arrow pointing up and one pointing down to the right of the + button you use to add course menu items.

Blackboard are aware of the issue and will have the issue fixed in an upcoming version.


Changing marks on assignments using to Delegated Marking, where a student has not submitted an assignment – resolved 21 November 2016

Normally the instructor of a course can enter the Full Grade Centre and override grades for an assignment manually.  However, there is an exception to this.  When Delegated Marking has been set for an assignment, then grades can only be overwritten for those students who submitted an assignment.  If a student is not registered as having submitted through Blackboard, her grade can not be altered.

To get around this, use the Work Offline tool in the Full Grade Centre.  Download the Full Grade Centre (or the column you need to change).  Make the required alteration to the student’s grade in Excel or another spreadsheet application, and re-upload.  The Grade Centre should now reflect those changes.


Adding a YouTube Content Item

Currently the Youtube Content Item using Building Content -> Mashups _> Youtube Video is not working as it should and will not allow you to search Youtube from within Blackboard or add any videos to Blackboard.

A work around for this is to get the Embed code from the YouTube Video (under the Share tab), and add this code to a normal Content Item using the “HTML” button of the text editor.


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