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Issues and Quirks

Known Issues and Unexpected Behaviors

Blackboard Display Issues in Internet Explorer (March 6, 2014)

Issue:  The tabs in the top frame of Blackboard do not display properly or the edit view of my course does not look right using the Internet Explorer browser.

Solution: Click Tools in the browser menu, then Compatibility View settings. In the window that opens, uncheck the box for Display Intranet sites in Compatibility View and click Close.  The browser will refresh and all should display properly. 

Here is a very brief video demonstration.

This issue is a result of a recent Microsoft security patch.


Contacts (formerly Staff Information)

Issue:  If you upload a photo and input a lot of text in the Office Location, Office Hours, or Notes areas, the photo may overlap the text, especially on smaller screens.

Work Around: Keep text to a minimum, or create a new content area to replace the Contacts area.


Course Menu

Issue:  When you add new items to your course menu, they may not appear to "stick" at first.

Solution:  Click the refresh button at above the menu title. View image.

Issue:  The course menu has disappeared. This can be caused by three different actions.

1. The menu heading has been clicked, causing the menu to collapse.

Solution:  Click the menu heading again to expand it.  View image.

2. The menu frame has been hidden, either by clicking the "hide" icon, or opening a section of the course that demands the entire content frame.

Solution:  Click the "unhide" icon to restore frame. View image.

3. A document has been opened.

Solution:  To return to the full course view, click the course name in the breadcrumb trail at top.  View image.


Document Downloads

Issue:   In Firefox, PDFs don't open correctlty.

Solution:  See Mozilla Support.


Email Missing

Issue:   Not receiving email from Blackboard courses.

Solution:  It is most likely being filtered to your SPAM folder in Gmail.  If you delete an email without reading it, Gmail automatically classifies similar emails (from the same address or with a similar subject line) as SPAM. To remedy the situation, in your Gmail SPAM folder, click the box beside the email(s) from Blackboard courses and click the "Not Spam" button to tell Gmail that emails like this should not be put into the Spam folder.

To make sure Gmail never filters mail from Princeton.EDU to your SPAM folder:

  1. Click the downward-pointing triangle in your Gmail's main search field (it is just to the left of the magnifying glass):Gmail searhc field
  2. Type @princeton.edu in the From field.
  3. Click the Create filter with this search >> link at the bottom of the search sheet: Create filter with this search >>
  4. Check Never send it to Spam then click the Create filter button:Never Send to Spam

Grade Center

A number of on-going areas of confusion with the Grade Center can be found here.


Groups

Issue:  Students are able to change the name of the group as it displays in the header of the group page, and not just for themselves, but for others in the group.  It will not, however, change the name of the group in the menu panel where one's groups are listed.

Solution:  When creating groups, uncheck the box Allow Personalization  under section 3, Module Personalization Settings. Groups create by the Sectioning Tool have this solution built in.


Scrolling

Issue:  The horizontal scrollbar is missing from the Grade Center when using Mac OS X and Google Chrome or Safari.

Work Around:  This issue is due to OS X's different settings for scrollbars starting with Lion. The workaround for Lion and Mountain Lion users is as follows:

  1. Launch System Preferences, either from the Dock or from the Apple menu.
  2. Once the System Preferences window opens, select the General preference pane.
  3. The middle section of the General preference pane controls when scroll bars appear and a few additional scroll bar options.
  4. To return the scroll bars to their pre-Lion functionality, select "Always" from the Show Scroll Bars options. The scroll bars will now always be visible, even when you're not scrolling.

Still, if you find scrolling in the Grade Center is tedious you can always download your Grade Center into Excel and work with it there. This adds more steps, but if you are more comfortable in Excel it might be a good solution. To do this, hover over the Upload/Download button on the top-right area of the Grade Center and choose Download from the resulting menu. Then hit the Submit button without changing any of the settings. Click the Download button that you are then presented with and choose whether you want to open the file in Excel right away or if you want to save it to your computer. Either way, you can make your changes and save the spreadsheet (in the same format, please do not change the format of the file or Blackboard will not accept it) and upload the changes back into Blackboard by going back to the Upload/Download menu and selecting Upload this time.


Site Editing

Issue:  The Control Panel menu items are not visible.

Solution:  The Control Panel menu has been collapsed. Click on Control Panel to expand it. View image

Issue:  You cannot edit course content through the Control Panel.

Solution:  Turn Edit Mode ON. View image.


Wimba Voice Boards

Issue:  User gets error message that the Wimba Voice server is down.

Solution:  As Wimba is currently so problematic for many users, we are recommending that a voice recorder such as the free Audacity, be used to create a voice file that can then be uploaded to a forum within the Discussion Board.

If you do want to try using Wimba anyway, first, make sure you have the latest version of Java (http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp) installed on your computer.

At the moment we recommend the use of Safari for Wimba, as it is the easiest browser to make work with it. To make Wimba work in Safari please follow the instructions found here: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8336&am p;task=knowledge&questionID=3136

Where the instructions show a URL like http://myschool.wimba.com/ you should look for blackboard.princeton.edu instead.

If Firefox is giving you problems,make sure your Java is up to date (http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp) and Enabled - type about:addons in your address bar and then click on Plugins and you should see a list of plugins. Check to make sure Java is enabled. For Firefox on Windows computers you need to allow java on the specific Voice Board page now: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-allow-java-trusted-sites

Do not use the Internet Explorer or Chrome browser - Wimba does not get along well with IE, and Chrome is not a supported browser for Wimba (though it is for Blackboard).

If all else fails, try a different computer.

User Manual  Select 9.1 SP10 and SP11 from the Table of Contents, then select your role (Instructor or Student)

blackboard@princeton.edu

Blackboard Help Line (609) 258-0737