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Blackboard Best Practices

  • Hiding Courses in Blackboard

    Due to process changes with the Final Grade Submission and Blackboard course creation, cross listed and merged courses will be accompanied with unavailable “child courses.” Faculty will work in the “parent” course (content, grades, communication, etc.). Because no work will be done in the unavailable child courses, these can be hidden from your view in Blackboard.

    1. Login to Blackboard using your RamPort credentials
    2. Select the Home tab in Blackboard
    3. Hover over the My Courses module, and select the settings wheel on the top, right-hand corner (see Figure 1)
    4. Uncheck the boxes under the Course Name column (see Figure 2)
    5. Click Submit

    *Note: A green confirmation bar will appear in your Home tab if settings were successfully updated (see Figure 3)

    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Figure 3

  • TurnItIn PeerMark

    Issue Description

    Peer review screen defaults to first review received. Regardless of which peer review the student or instructor has selected to view, the first peer review received will be displayed by default instead of the one selected. 


    The user may select any review to open it up in the PeerMark viewer, and then click on the “<>” links at the top-right of the screen to cycle through the other peer reviews received.

  • YouTube Mashup Tool

    Issue Description

    The YouTube Mashup Tool does not allow new videos to be added. Error states device not supported.


    1. Log into, select the video you want to add.
    2. Copy the url
    3. Go back to the editor on Bb environment
    4. Click on Insert/Edit Embedded media
    5. Paste the url into the File/URL
    6. Change Type to Embedded Audio
    7. Insert
    8. Submit
  • Problems Reordering Items

    Issue Description

    When using Google Chrome or Internet Explorer you cannot reorder items. When reordering items through the drag and drop methods is used the page jumps to the bottom and then back to the top. The menu item, content item, or grade center item I tried to move has not been reordered.


    Using the drag and drop method for moving content in the course menu, content area, or grade center does not work properly for Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. However, you may reorder using the contextual menu in Blackboard. The image below shows where you may find that menu in the course menu (student navigation pane). This is a known issue and will be resolved with the next release of Blackboard.

    Reorder Menu

  • Bb Grader App

    Issue Description

    The instructor app for grading, Bb Grader, will not connect to out current version of Blackboard, Learn 9.1 Q4 2016. Instructors are unable to login to the Bb Grader App, and will receive an error. Sometimes the login appears to succeed, but the app displays the following:

    “Something went wrong while getting assignments.”

    At other times, a network error occurs:

    “Unable to connect to the server.”

  • Grade Center Last Access Column Not Updating

    Issue Description

    The Last Access column in the Grade Center is not updating for some students, despite having submitted assignments, thus making it inaccurate for students.


    Blackboard will notify admin when a planned fix is available. As of now, there is no work around.

  • Turnitin Supported Browsers & Technical Requirements


    Turnitin supports the latest and one previous version of the following browsers:

    • Chrome
    • Firefox
    • Safari
    • Microsoft Edge

    They support only the latest version of IE 11. Please make sure your browser is up to date when accessing Turnitin.

    Technical Requirements

    • 3GB of RAM or more
    • 1024x768 display or higher
    • Broadband internet connection
    • Internet browser set to allow all cookies from
    • Javascript enabled

    Note: You do not need to install a new plugin to use Feedback Studio while working through Blackboard.

    For more information on Turnitin system requirements, please visit the Turnitin website.

  • Submitting Graphs to Turnitin Assignments

    Issue Description

    We have seen an issue with a student submitting a line graph to a Turnitin assignment. Line graphs contain vertical text, as well as formulas that can mess with the submission.

    Solution / Workaround

    Turnitin recommends that if graphs must be submitted, to have the student convert the graph into an image. Doing so will prevent issues from occurring, such as errors preventing the paper to render through the Feedback Studio.

  • Grade Center Quick Comments

    Issue Description

    The Grade Center quick comment Text Editor feature generates an error after two edits and is unable to be used. Users will receive this error when attempting to add or edit comments:

    “Only POST methods are accepted for grade changes, course user id, item id.”


    1. Click on the chevron to the right of the grade in the column, and select “Grade Details”
    2. Click on “Edit Grade” under Attempts
    3. Enter comments in the “Feedback to Learner” section, or “Grading Notes”
    4. Click “Save”
    5. Navigate to the next student by clicking on the left and right arrows at the top of the page
  • Downloading Blackboard Assignment with Annotations

    Summary of New Box View

    Blackboard’s tool, New Box View, is used for inline grading in assignments. When a Blackboard Assignment is graded and marked up by an instructor with New Box View, students can download their paper with the annotations layered over it. Creating comments, highlighting text, and drawing can be done by the instructor in New Box View.

    Issue Description

    In Google Chrome, drawing annotations made by an instructor on a student’s assignment submission do not download on the paper.


    For best practice, use Mozilla Firefox when downloading annotations from Blackboard’s New Box View.

  • Issues with New Box View in Google Chrome

    Blackboard has identified a known issue with New Box View when using Google Chrome. When the drawing tool is toggled before the highlighting or commenting tools, the highlighting and commenting tools will not work.

    As a workaround, please use Firefox for best experience in New Box View if you will be using the tools extensively. 

  • New Box View Unable to Load Due to 3rd Party Cookies

    Issue Description

    Blackboard’s tool, New Box View, is used for inline grading in assignments. If using a browser that has blocked 3rd-party cookies, users will see a blank page. The New Box View service and the submitted document will not ever fully load because disabling 3rd-party cookies blocks the New Box View from being able to convert and display documents within the iframe in Blackboard Learn. Therefore, the New Box View service requires the use of cookies to render documents within the browser.


    Some browsers (such as Safari) disable the use of 3rd-party by default but allow users to enable the use of cookies on a per-site or all at once. Users may follow these steps to allow Box’s cookies to be stored on their device and prevent this issue from occurring:

    1. Browser Settings or Preferences > Privacy
    2. Select “Always allow” (or similar)
    3. Refresh the page with the viewer on it
    4. Return to Browser Settings or Preferences and revert to the default of “Allow from websites I visit” (or similar)

    If 3rd-party cookies must be disabled, some browsers allow for domain exceptions to be added. Please Allow [*.] (Chrome) or (Firefox). Please see browser and New Box View documentation for further instructions: 

  • New Box View: List of annotatable documents


    Although New Box view supports viewing and rendering over 100 different file types in Blackboard, it does not support annotating all these files. Please see list below of those New Box View can render, and those it can render and annotate:

    File annotations
    File types for conversion (rendering/viewing) Over 100 different file types, including video, audio, image, and programming code
    View File Types and Fonts Supported in Box Content Preview
    File types for annotation Only PDF, PPT, PPTX, DOC, and DOCX

    New Box View also supports only point-based annotations on these file formats: AI, BMP, DCM, EPS, GIF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVS, TGA, TIF, and TIFF

    *NOTE: Students should not submit documents from their Google Drive (i.e. Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, etc.). New Box View cannot open these files.

  • Quiz Bowl & True/False In Surveys

    Issue Description

    Interrogative options are not appearing when inputting a Quiz Bowl question in a Survey. Only an option to input question title and question text appears.

    The same options are unavailable for True and False questions in a survey. Only the option to input question title and text appears, and not the option to mark it true or false.


    Blackboard has determined this is a known issue, and there are no patches available at this time.

  • Grading user’s exam attempt does not show all answer choices

    When grading a user’s exam attempt in Blackboard, only the question, answer chosen, and correct answer are displayed for an instructor, even if “All Answers, Correct and Submitted” are checked under “Show Test Results and Feedback to Students.”

    This has been determined as a Blackboard Known Issue.

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