Blackboard: Known Problems

Uploading files using Firefox version 3

  • Issue: When uploading files for an assignment using Firefox version 3 Browser you get a "Please enter a valid file" pop up error window.
  • Resolution/Workaround: The Firefox 3 file upload issue has been fixed with the latest Blackboard Service Pack installed 12/22/08. Firefox version 3 is not supported by Blackboard. Need to use Internet Explorer or an earlier version of Firefox (1.5 or 2.0).

 

Linux client file submission

  • Issue: When submitting files for assignments from a Linux client you get a "Please enter a valid file" pop up error window.
  • Resolution/Workaround: There are actually two known problems with submitting files from a Linux machine. The first, is that the slashes go the "wrong" way. You can get around this by escaping the slashes in the path, i.e. "\/home\/Directory\/filename.doc". The other (more annoying) problem that may be an issue is that if your machine is not identifying itself as a Mac (or Linux), the submission form assumes you have a Windows machine and expects a drive letter as part of the path. To get around this, the only solution we've found is to create a directory in your home directory with a ":" in the name, i.e. "bb:\attach". This is a known issue that has been reported to Blackboard, but I'm not sure when a fix might be available.

 

Collaboration/Virtual Classroom

  • Issue: The Blackboard Learning System Collaboration Tool requires that users have the Java Plug-In installed and enabled in their browser. Without the plug-in, users will not be able to access the Collaboration Tool. Users may use any version of the Java Plug-In, 1.5. This is already installed on most lab computers on campus. Home users, however, should download and install the Java Plug-In from following URL: http://java.sun.com/products/plugin/index.html This URL will appear to users that try to access a Collaboration Session with a browser that does not have the Java Plug-In enabled. Sun includes instructions for installing and enabling the Plug-In with the Web browser. Please use these instructions to troubleshoot any problems with installing or enabling the Plug-In.
  • Resolution/Workaround: Ensure you have the correct version of the Java Run-Time Environment (JRE).

 

Copy/Paste from MS Word

  • Issue: When I copy material from Microsoft Word and paste it into an email or a content area, it appears fine. When I receive the email or look at the content area, however, all my quotes and special characters are replace by question marks (?) and other garbage.
  • Resolution/Workaround: This stems from the smart quotes and other special characters that MS Word uses. To turn off smart quotes, follow these steps:
    • On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect, and then click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
    • Under Replace as you type, clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box and then click OK.
    • On the Edit menu, click Replace.
    • In the Find what box, type a quotation mark.
    • In the Replace with box, type a quotation mark.
    • Click Replace All.
    • Repeat steps 3-6 for single quotes. Now you can copy and paste your material into Blackboard and it will appear properly.

 

Copy/Paste Using Firefox

  • Issue: Firefox users, on all operating systems, must perform an extra step to enable the cut, copy, and paste functions. This is a function of the Firefox browser, and not Blackboard applications. The first time an attempt is made to cut, copy, or paste text in the Visual Text Box Editor, a message from Firefox will appear explaining that the action is not allowed.
  • Resolution/Workaround: A link is provided for information on how to enable the cut, copy, and paste functions by editing a Firefox configuration file. The link currently points to http://www.mozilla.org/editor/midasdemo/securityprefs.html. Please check with Firefox for the most up-todate information on using rich-text tools for cut, copy, and paste. Macintosh users may find that this does not fully resolve the problem, particularly because Firefox does not permit pasting text from Microsoft Office files on Mac. To accomplish this task, paste the text into a basic text editor, such as TextEdit or Notepad and then paste the text into the Visual Text Box Editor.

 

File Names

  • Issue: Errors may arise when special characters are used in the names of files that are attached or uploaded to the Blackboard Learning System.
  • Resolution/Workaround: File names of items that are attached or uploaded to the Blackboard Learning System should only include the following characters:
    • Letters (upper case or lowercase 'A'-'Z')
    • Numbers ('0'-'9')
    • Underscore ('_')
    • Period ('.')

 

Using the Visual Text Box Editor (VTBE) with MAC OS

  • Issue: The Visual Text Box Editor is compatible with the following browsers on Macintosh Operating Systems:
    • Safari 2.0
    • Mozilla Firefox 1.0
      When run on Safari, the Visual Text Box Editor Lite Version appears. The Lite Version does not include the button controls for several features because Safari does not yet support those rich-text editing features.
  • Resolution/Workaround:
    • Some features that are not accessible from a button in the Lite Version may still be activated using keyboard shortcuts. For example, the cut, copy, and paste functions may still be used through the keyboard shortcuts.
    • Macintosh users may also download and use the free Mozilla Firefox 1.0 (or higher) Web Browser to use all the features of the Text Box Editor.
    • Macintosh users may wish to turn off the VTBE by logging into Blackboard --> Go to the MyCSM tab --> Click on "Personal Information" in the Tools box --> Click on "Set Visual Text Box Editor Options", Select "Unavailable" and then click "Submit".

 

CCIT Outages & Notices

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