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Blackboard Help  

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2014 URL: Print Guide

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Need Help?

Students should seek assistance from a librarian by visiting the reference desk, calling (630) 617-3173, or IM'ing a librarian.

  • Your Blackboard username and password are the same as your technology account name and password.
    If you change your password on Blackboard, you are NOT changing your technology account password.

Faculty should consult with their Departmental Library Liaison for Blackboard assistance.

Additional Resources:



Java Security Advisory for Blackboard Users

Blackboard Content Migration Assistance Sessions
Please bring a 2GB or higher flash drive or have access to your cloud storage solution.

For J-term and Spring term courses, don't forget to:

  • Use the the NEW blackboard system, available in the Portal ( under the "Blackboard Learn (new) link.
  • Add your course content. You may migrate your content from the old Blackboard server.
  • Unenroll "Victor Bluejay" as your co-instructor.
  • Make your course "available."
  • Update your browsers, Flash, Adobe, Java, Quicktime on your computer. See System Requirements for details.

Blackboard Conversion FAQ's

Blackboard Migration FAQ’s

Why are we doing this migration?

1) To move to a system that will allow automatic course creation and automatic student management (enrollment and unenrollment).

2) To provide an installation of Blackboard software that is current, up-to-date, and as bug-free as possible.

3) To provide Blackboard courses content that has not been degraded or compromised by multiple course copies or years of upgrading.

What does content migration mean?

The new installation of Blackboard will require that course content be exported from the old Blackboard system and imported into the new Blackboard system. Librarians will assist you in this process. Courses will no longer be copied.

How do I migrate my content?

You can migrate your content using this set of directions.


You will need to identity which course on the old system you would like to migrate and then export it into a zipped file.  Then, you will need to go into the new system and import your content into your new course.


What about classes that I infrequently teach or that I will teach after 2014?
Courses that are infrequently taught should be exported onto your desktop, flashdrive or preferred cloud storage.  Courses that are exported can be imported into the blackboard system at a later time.  Courses that are exported do not retain user-related data like enrollments, grades or discussion board comments.

As a course instructor, what do I need to do to facilitate the content migration?

From Spring 2014 on, instructors facilitate their own content migration (with some exceptions). If you need assistance, the library offers several migration assistance sessions advertised via campus email, or you can visit the library's Blackboard help pages for instructions that will walk you through the process. If you feel comfortable exporting your content from the old server and importing it into your new shell without assistance, you are welcome to do so.


Please remember that you will need to make your new classes “available” so that they show up in the Portal.  


What if I want to start with a blank shell?

Your shell has already been created.  Access your 2014 courses by logging into the portal and selecting the Blackboard Learn (new) link.  You'll need to make your course “available” through the Control Panel and unenroll your co-instructor, Victor Bluejay.



How do I get a new course?

Starting in January of 2014, all Blackboard shells will be created automatically and students will be automatically enrolled pulling information from Datatel.  If students drop courses in Datatel in the first week of the semester, they will be automatically unenrolled from your Blackboard course.  If you need a new course for any other reason, please contact your library liaison.



How do my students get enrolled?

Starting in January of 2014, all Blackboard shells will be created automatically and students will be automatically enrolled pulling information from Datatel.  If students drop courses in Datatel in the first week of the semester, they will be automatically unenrolled from your Blackboard course.



What will happen to my “old” content once we go to the new system?

Content will stay on the old Blackboard server until Dec 2014.  Faculty and staff can access their old materials there.  Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to copy “old” material or export course packages to their own computers or other storage devices as courses are migrated to the new server. After December 2014, all content will be archived and stored on an Office of Information Services server.


What if I am not teaching a course right away or after the one year migration period?

If you are not teaching a course in 2014, you can export it onto your flashdrive, desktop and/or cloud storage and them import it when you need it.  If your course isn't ready to export into a zipped file, you can continue to work on it in the old system until December 2014.


Will the students see the courses from the old system in the portal?

Course from the old system will be accessible to the students in the portal until mid-January  unless the instructor makes the course "unavailable."  In mid-January, all courses in the old system will be made unavailable except for non-course shells and courses in which a student has an Incomplete grade.


How long will my new Blackboard course stay active?

At this time, we estimate 2- 2.5 years.  The it will be removed from the server.


I have multiple sections of the same class. Can you combine them for me?

We will consider doing this under the following conditions:

  1. You have a pedagogical reason for combining your course (eg, shared discussion board, workshopping drafts).
  2. You will be responsible for managing your own course enrollment.
  3. You will send an email to Linda Selvik to notify her at

What will be different in Blackboard 9.1.14?

Major new features for instructional staff and faculty:

  • Content Editor – A new content editor allows seamless pasting of content from programs rendering modern HTML, such as Microsoft Word or Dreamweaver. In addition to established functions like entering text, resizing images and using mashup tools to incorporate rich media from the Web, the updated version supports a new math editor and can be expanded to allow for full-frame editing.

  • Assessment Item Analysis – The new item analysis feature can aid instructors in refining tests and quizzes by evaluating the quality of a question and its ability to discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. Ineffective questions can be identified and corrected with the Automatic Regrade feature.

  • My Blackboard – Through My Blackboard, users can view critical information across their Blackboard Learn courses and organizations in one place. Accessed from the new global navigation menu in the top right corner of the Learn interface, My Blackboard should make it easier for users to stay up-to-date on all course activity through the enhanced calendar and five notification categories: Profile, Posts, Updates, My Grades and People.

  • Course Delivery Enhancements – Instructors can now take advantage of using “contains” and “pattern match” logic when grading fill-in-the-blank questions, meaning an exact match is no longer needed for Blackboard Learn to automatically grade these questions.

  • File Picker – A simplified file picker pares down the on-screen clutter to the primary action, making assignment and content uploads easier.

  • Accessibility – As part of the SP11 upgrade, Blackboard improved its accessibility features, ensuring contrast ratios meet or exceed established Web standards, updating keyboard navigation within menus to follow commonly understood patterns and simplifying tasks within the screen reader view of the Grade Center.

  • Access Log - Teachers can verify student activity or lack of activity during a test using the new Access Log. The Access Log is available from the Attempts page of a test and provides detailed information on student’s test attempt interactions.

  • All questions are now retained in exported and imported tests, including questions that originate outside the exported test, such as Question Sets, Random Blocks, and Question Links. When the user exports a test and imports it back into a different course, all questions are now present irrespective of their origin.

  • Calendar – Calendar is significantly enhanced in Blackboard Learn. It allows instructors and students to view institution level, course and personal events in a single calendar view. This was first released as a standalone Building Block and has been bundled and enabled in this release.

  • Retention Center – The Retention Center is an instructor-only tool that enables instructors to give focused attention to students who need it. It replaces the Early Warning System feature with easy workflows, while retaining all existing Early Warning System data and rules. This was first released as a standalone Building Block and has been bundled and enabled in this release.

  • Inline Assignment Grading – Inline Assignment Grading is a revision to the workflow for grading Assignments in Blackboard Learn. Instead of requiring instructors to download student-submitted files to view or edit those submissions, instructors will now be able to view student-submitted files “inline,” i.e. in the web browser, without requiring any plugins, applets, or client-side applications. Additionally, annotation tools will be made available as part of the inline viewer, enabling instructors to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings/annotations directly on the inline view of the document. This was first released as a standalone Building Block and has been bundled and enabled in this release.

  • Tests and Surveys – The core capabilities of Tests and Surveys in Blackboard Learn are robust, but this release provides additional enhancements and improved workflows. The updates include group and user deployment exceptions, granular feedback control for Tests, improved handling of late submissions and more.


Java Security Advisory for Blackboard Users

Starting with Java 7 Update 51, Java has enhanced its security model to make user systems less vulnerable to external exploits. The new version of Java does not allow users to run applications that are not signed (Unsigned), Self signed (not signed by trusted authority) and the applications that are missing permission attributes.

The Java update 7u51 issued by Oracle contains security requirements which require changes to Blackboard Learn to accommodate.  The necessary fixes are currently in process and will be released as soon as they are ready to be published.


With Java Update 7u51 installed, the following functions in Blackboard Learn will not work:

Upload multiple files within Content Collection Use the single file upload function
Visual (rich-text) text box editor Plain-text editor is unaffected

This should not cause issues with any other core functionality in Blackboard.


If users experience abnormal issues regarding the two aforementioned features, then the current solution for the time being is to uninstall Java 7 Update 51 and install an older version of the Java SE Runtime Environment. It is not advisable that users install older versions of Java due to security issues unless absolutely necessary: either due to malfunction of the above features or because of a last resort fix for an otherwise obscure issue for which there is no other clear resolution. Older versions can be located at:

Even though this security update minimally impacts features that are very lightly used by faculty and staff, we are highly interested in applying the fix, but, cannot yet do so until sufficient testing has been done to verify functional integrity of the latest cumulative patch which is a prerequisite for Blackboard’s fix for this Java issue.


Another solution to this problem is to run the Java security Certificate.

In Mozilla Firefox and Chrome, it could look like this:

In Internet Explorer, it could look like this:


System Requirements

1. Browser Choice

--Browsers that are most compatible:Firefox® 21 (stable channel) from Mozilla (14 May 2013
-- Firefox 24 (ESR channel) from Mozilla (17 September 2013)
-- Chrome™ 30 (stable channel) from Google (3 October 2013)
--Safari® 6 from Apple (25 July 2012
--Safari 5 from Apple (7 June 2010). Safari 5 for Windows is an exception. Apple's continued support for this browser is unclear. Bb does not test it.
--Internet Explorer® 10 from Microsoft (26 October 2012 for Windows 8,  26 February 2013 for Windows 7
--Internet Explorer 9 from Microsoft  (14 March 2011).
   There are some configuration options for Internet Explorer that may make some features of Blackboard Learn difficult to use. Please see more    information at Internet Explorer Security Zones and Compatibility View

2.  Java Installation

  • Check to see if you have Java installed here.
  • If you have trouble updating or removing older versions of Java, visit Java’s support site.

3.  Javascript

4.  Cookies from third parties.

5.  Pop-ups

  • If you have trouble viewing discussion postings, quiz windows, and download links, you may need to disable pop-up blocking.
  • Check for FireFoxInternet Explorer, or Chrome.

6.  Third Party Plug-ins

  • You may require third party plug-ins to view certain content.
  • Check to see if you have the updated versions of Flash, Acrobat Reader, and Quick Time.

The most current information on System Requirements for Blackboard Learn 9.1.14 can be found here.


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