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Blackboard: Known Issues and Workarounds

Please review the list below for known issues in the current version of Blackboard, as well as workarounds and potential fix dates.

Known Issues

1. Item Analysis fails (added 12/18/14)

Steps to repeat: When running an Item Analysis on test questions, it fails.

Fix: This is a known issue and is caused by the inclusion of test questions with a point value of 0. Change all point values to a number greater than 0, and the Item Analysis will work. This is slated to be fixed in a future version of Blackboard.


2. Guest user access reported on course evaluation reports (added 12/18/14)

Steps to repeat: After running a Content Areas report in the Evaluation area, a Guest user with hits on random days appears.

Fix: This is a known issue and bug in Blackboard and will be resolved in a future version. Guests are disabled in our system and are not able to access any courses. Disregard any Guest access in courses.


3.Rubric grade is not saved (added 11/6/14)

Steps to repeat: When grading via a rubric in the Grade Center or in Crocodoc, after entering scores and hitting Save, the rubric scores do not save.

Fix: This is a known issue that will be fixed when Blackboard releases its next version. A workaround is as follows: Go to the Full Grade Center and click to view the attempt for the assignment submission. Click the chevron icon under Attempt to view the Rubric, then click the Rubric name link. Using the inline Rubric, select the student's scores. Click Save Rubric at the bottom of the right frame. Click Submit.


4. Instructor unable to download documents with annotations from Crocodoc (added 11/6/14)

Steps to repeat: From the Needs Grading area, click a student's name to bring up his/her assignment. Add some comments as feedback to the Assignment. Click the icon that looks like a page with a down arrow. Choose to download the student's assignment as PDF with annotations. The assignment downloads but without annotations. The Bb Grader app on the iPad gives an error when an Instructor attentps to download an Assignment with annotations.

Note: Instructors can still download their students' submitted documents, but without any annotations they made.

Fix: This is a known issue that has no workaround until Blackboard releases its next version.


5. Anonymous grading shows student photograph (added 10/27/14)

Steps to repeat: From the Needs Grading area, click the chevron next to a student's name to grade an Assignment. Choose Grade Anonymously. The student's name and ID are masked on the next page, but the student's photo (if s/he has uploaded one) shows up, making Anonymous Grading not truly anonymous.

Fix: This is a known issue that has no workaround until Blackboard is upgraded to the next version.


6. Pearson Mastering/MyLab link redirects to Blackboard course page (added 10/23/14)

Steps to repeat: In a course that has the Pearson Mastering/MyLab link configured, click on MyEconLab Course Home. It directs back to Blackboard instead of MyLab.

Fix: This is a known issue that Pearson is working on resolving. It does not impair the MyLab functionality. To access a MyLab assignment, use the other links in the course to go directly there or access through


7. Retention Center error (/zero) (added 10/22/14)

Steps to repeat: When an Instructor clicks on Retention Center either from the Notification area or from the Control Panel > Evaluation > Retention Center, the Instructor gets the message Error /zero.

Fix: This is caused when an Instructor clicks on the star under a student's name to monitor him or her. Monitoring of students does not work in the current version of Blackboard--this is a known bug that will be fixed in an upcoming release of the Building Block. In the meantime, do not monitor a student; view students individually from the Retention Center list instead.


8. "Batch Already Begun" error upon logging in (added 10/10/14)

Steps to repeat: A user logs in to Blackboard and gets a pop-up box containing the text "Batch already begun."

Fix: This is a known issue that is expected to be resolved in 2015. It is caused when a user groups courses in My Courses by term and hides some of the courses.

From the Welcome tab, hover over the My Courses module and click the gear icon in the upper right. Uncheck the box next to Group by Term and instead hide courses individually.


9. Chat error: User receives one or both of the following messages: "The application can not be run" or "Application blocked by deployment rule set" (added 9/23/14)

Steps to repeat: A user tries to launch the Chat (Collaboration) tool within a Blackboard course and receives above errors. The chat room does not launch.


Open up the Java Control Panel
Windows: Start > Control Panel (View by: Small or Large icons) > Java
Mac: Apple > System Preferences > Java

The Java Control Panel will open
Click on the Security tab
Click on: Edit Site List
Click Add
Add the URL for the bb-collab server (
Click OK


10. Blackboard Collaborate is missing content pane window (added 4/16/14)

Steps to repeat: Collaborate is launched on a Mac, and the sidebar with participant, chat, and video panes appear, but content pane is missing.

Fix: Expand the window by hovering over the right-most edge of the window and dragging; maximize the window using the green circle at the top, or delete your file. Detailed instructions are listed on this page.


11. Regrading a test while in progress causes future updates and regrades to have no effect if the same point total is used (added 12/20/13)

Steps to repeat: An Instructor updates point values on a Test while students are still taking it. Grades on some attempts are not changed, and when the Instructor attempts to regrade the tests later using the same point values, there is no effect on students' Test grades.

Fix: Update and regrade the assessment with a new point value, and then update and regrade the assessment with the correct point total. Changing the point total to a temporary value and then back to the intended value seems to allow the regrading process to execute correctly.


12. Searching for videos in Youtube mashup incorrectly provides 0 results when searching "All of the words" (added 11/19/13)

Steps to repeat: An Instructor attempts to add a YouTube mashup to a content area. When searching for a video using the "All of the words" parameter, no results show up.

Fix: To find the video you are looking for, in the drop-down menu change "All of the words" to "At least one of the words." This is a known bug and is slated to be fixed in a future version of Blackboard.


13. Students who submitted a group Assignment receive "404 Not Found" error when clicking on a feedback file from their professor (added 11/14/13)

Steps to repeat: An Instructor provides a feedback file ("Ex: "Team 1 Assignment Feedback"), whose title contains spaces, to an Assignment submitted by a group. Students in the group are unable to view the file and receive a "404 Not Found" error.

Fix: Instructor: remove the spaces from the title of the feedback file. This is a known bug in Service Pack 12 and is slated to be fixed in a future release.


14. YouTube strips URL out of HTML entry when students add video using the Content Editor (added 11/4/13)

Steps to repeat: When writing a blog, journal, wiki or discussion post, students embed a YouTube video in the post. When the student submits the item, the video disappears.

Fix: (If student edits of content are permitted) have the student or instructor edit the post and re-add the video. Click the HTML button in the Content Editor before submitting. Insert "https://" without the quotes before the URL of the YouTube video. Click submit, and the video will be published.


15. Scroll bars missing from the Grade Center using browsers on the Mac (added 11/4/13)

Steps to repeat: When using the Grade Center, Instructors or Teaching Assistants are unable to see all grade columns because scrollbars are missing.

Fix: This is a system setting. In OSX, go to System Preferences > General. Next to Show Scroll Bars, select the radio button next to Always.


16. Instructor unable to change test settings (added 11/4/13)

Steps to repeat: When configuring a Test, the issue occurs when 3. Test Availability Exceptions has
Force Completion set to enabled and an Instructor tries to turn off the Force Completion enabled at 2. Test Availability. The Instructor receives an error.

Fix: An official fix is slated for a future version of Blackboard. The workaround for this is to go to Edit the Test Options, uncheck Force Completion at step 3, then uncheck Force Completion at step 2. Click Submit.


17. Inline grading not available for blogs (added 11/4/13)

Steps to repeat: An Instructor or Teaching Assistant attempts to grade a blog but does not get the window to do inline grading or assign a grade to a blog.

Fix: This is slated to be fixed in Blackboard 9.1, Service Pack 15. The only workaround for this issue, at the present, is for the professor to make note of what grade the student has earned and to manually input this grade into the grade center.


Issues that have been resolved

1. Cut and paste into Content Editor does not work using Firefox or Chrome on the Mac (issue resolved 11/1/13)

This has been resolved. If you are still experiencing this issue, make sure you are on the versions of Firefox or Chrome that are compatible with Blackboard, listed here.

2. Unable to attach a file from Content Collection in the Content Editor using the "chain link" icon (resolved 9/25/14)

Steps to repeat: An Instructor or Teaching Assistant creates a Blog, Journal, or Assignment, and attempts to attach a file from the Content Collection by using the "chain link" icon when attaching the file. The user is able to view files in the Content Collection, but is unable to select one.

Fix: This was resolved with the upgrade to Service Pack 14.