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Blackboard Updates and Troubleshooting
Latest Updates:
  • NEW! Blackboard does not yet support the use of Internet Explorer 9. Some functions in Blackboard might not work properly in Internet Explorer 9. If you have already downloaded IE 9, you should turn on the Compatibility View when using Blackboard.
  • Need Java? Go to www.Java.com to download. (Java 1.6.0_26 is compatible with Blackboard Learn.)
  • Faculty: Gradebook screen not loading? Clear Java cache, clear IE cache, and restart computer.
  • Blackboard Test Taking Tips for Students.
  • Problems with Internet Explorer? Try downloading another browser.
  • Want to use the Wimba Pronto instant messaging and voice chat tool in Blackboard? See the Pronto user guide to get started.

What is the Problem?

Sending Email or Discussion messages
Accessing Quizzes or Discussions

Accessing Content Files NEW info!
Uploading or attaching files
Missing a course from your Blackboard Course List
Logging in to Blackboard or being disconnected from Blackboard

Browser and other Blackboard problems
Accessing SafeAssign or Submitting a paper through SafeAssign
NEW info!

To Hide courses in your Blackboard Course List

1. Login to Blackboard.
2. Click the small pencil icon in the upper right corner of your Course List.
3. Click the Hide Item button for each course you want to hide.
4. Click the MyBlackboard link to get back to the Course List.

Sending Email or Discussion messages

You may need to download a more compatible version of Java. This software can be downloaded for free from www.Java.com.

Accessing Quizzes or Discussions

Is the Begin Assessment button greyed out?
The Begin Assessment button might be unavailable if you are using a Mac. Mac users need to click the Instructions and Troubleshooting button beside the Begin Assessment button. Read the instruction page, and then click the Begin Assessment button at the bottom of the instruction page in order to begin the test.

The Begin Assessment button might be unavailable if your instructor has set up the test to be taken through the LockDown Browser. If the test does require LockDown Browser, you will see a message in red and a link to the download site for the LockDown Browser software. If you are using a Coastal computer intended for student use, it may already have the LockDown browser software installed. More information

Is the quiz available?
Check the dates/times listed for quiz availability. If the end date/time has passed, you will not be able to access the quiz. Please call your instructor if you have questions about availability. Blackboard Help Desk staff cannot change quiz availability.

Do you have pop-up elimination software such as Pop-Up Stopper, Pop-Up Zapper, Ad-Aware, etc.?
If you are using software to control or eliminate pop-up windows, you may need to disable this software while you are taking a quiz in Blackboard. In some cases, this software can prevent Blackboard materials and quizzes from opening properly. Pop-up killing or ad-blocking functions are built into some anti-virus, internet security, personal firewall, and browser programs.

For some browsers, holding down the Ctrl key on the keyboard while you click a link may bypass the pop-up blocker and allow the file or window to appear.

Is your browser compatible with Blackboard?
Go through Blackboard's Browser Tune-up to make sure your browser is optimized for Blackboard.

Accessing Content Files

Is your browser software blocking file downloads?
You may need to set your browser to allow file downloads from the Blackboard website.

To prevent  Internet Explorer 7 or 8 from blocking file downloads:
1. In Internet Explorer 7, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
2. Click the Security tab, and then click the Custom level button.
3. Scroll to the Downloads section of the list, and under Automatic prompting for file downloads, click Enable.
4. Click OK, then click Yes to confirm the change, and then click OK.

In earlier versions of Internet Explorer you might need to set Blackboard as a Trusted Site:
1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
2. Click the Security tab, and then click Trusted sites.
3. Click the Sites button.

4. In the Add this Web site to the zone text box, type the Internet address for the Blackboard site (https://bb.coastal.edu), and then click Add.
5. Click OK in both open windows to complete the process.


Do you have pop-up elimination software such as Pop-Up Stopper, Pop-Up Zapper, Ad-Aware, etc.?
If you are using software to control or eliminate pop-up windows, you may need to disable this software while you use Blackboard. In some cases, this software can prevent Blackboard materials and quizzes from opening properly. Pop-up killing or ad-blocking functions are built into some anti-virus, internet security, personal firewall, and browser programs.

For some browsers, holding down the Ctrl key on the keyboard while you click a link may bypass the pop-up blocker and allow the file or window to appear.

Do you have the software needed to open the file you are trying to access?
Some documents provided in your course may require specific software to open them. If you do not have the appropriate software to open a particular document (such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint), you will need to contact your instructor. If you are using Microsoft Office 2010, and you are ask to login to view a Blackboard file, try clicking Cancel once or twice to get past the login screen.

  • If you are trying to access a pdf document, you may need to download a pdf reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • If you are having difficulty opening PowerPoint documents, but you have PowerPoint software, you may need to update Microsoft Office with a patch or service pack. To get more information on available updates, visit the following website: Microsoft Office Downloads.
  • If you are using Microsoft Office 2003 or earlier, you might need to download the Microsoft Office Compatability pack.

Problems accessing content files might be caused by not having the documents (especially Microsoft documents) closed before trying to upload them. Make sure you're saving and closing the file before trying to attach in Blackboard.

It has also been reported that having your browser's security setting for "cookies" too high has caused the problem. Follow the instructions at the browser tuneup page for cookie settings.

If you are not getting the attachments window at all, you may have a popup blocker turned on. Pop-up killing or ad-blocking functions are built into some anti-virus, internet security, personal firewall, and browser programs. Although the Browser Checker in Blackboard can check for pop-up Blockers in your browser, it cannot check for pop-up blockers in other programs.


Missing a Course from your Blackboard Course List

Did you register late for the course?
If you registered late, the course may not show up in the list on your MyBlackboard screen. Please allow 24 hours for the course after registration for the course to appear in Blackboard. If the course does not appear after 24 hours, email blackboard@coastal.edu and request to be added to the course.

Does the course use Blackboard?
Not all courses at Coastal use Blackboard. To find out if a distance learning course you're taking uses Blackboard, visit WebAdvisor. To find out if an on-campus course uses Blackboard as a supplement, contact your instructor.


Logging in to Blackboard

Have you visited the Login Assistance screen?
The Login Assistance page has detailed information on browser options, computer settings, etc.

Unable to Attach Files to an Assignment or Mail Message

The most likely cause of this issue is a problem with your Java software. You might need to update Java (see the section below).

Another cause of file upload problems might be not having the documents (especially Microsoft documents) closed before trying to upload them. Make sure you're saving and closing the file before trying to attach in Blackboard.

It has also been reported that having your browser's security setting for "cookies" too high has caused the problem. Follow the instructions at the browser tuneup page for cookie settings.

If you are not getting the attachments window at all, you may have a popup blocker turned on. Pop-up killing or ad-blocking functions are built into some anti-virus, internet security, personal firewall, and browser programs. Although the Browser Checker in Blackboard can check for pop-up Blockers in your browser, it cannot check for pop-up blockers in other programs.

Update Your Java Software

Is the My Computer icon missing from your Browse window? Are you having problems uploading files or attaching files in Blackboard?

Clear Java Cache
You may need to clear the Java cache. Instructions for clearing Java cache. Once the Java cache has been cleared, you will need to restart your computer. You may see a Java security certificate message pop-up when you login to Blackboard the next time. If a Java Security certificate message (related to Blackboard) comes up when you log back in, click "Run".

Did you clear the Java cache and you still can't upload files to Blackboard?

Java security certificate
Once the Java cache has been cleared, you will need to restart your computer. You may see a Java security certificate message pop-up when you login to Blackboard the next time. If a Java Security certificate message (related to Blackboard) comes up when you log back in, click "Run".

Have you updated your Java software lately?

Update your Java software

To install Java:
1. Go to www.Java.com
2. Click the “Download now” button.
3. Follow the Installation Instructions onscreen to install the software on your computer.

If Java is still not working, you may need to remove old versions of the Java software.

To remove Java:
1. From the Start menu on your computer, go to the Control Panel.
2. Open Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.
3. Click Change or Remove Programs, and then click J2SE Runtime Environment.
4. To remove the program, click Remove.
(You may need to remove more than one older version.)

***If you are using Mozilla Firefox, your upload problem may be related to the latest Firefox update. Try switching to Internet Explorer to upload or attach files in Blackboard, or try switching back to an earlier version of Firefox.

Workaround for Java problems
If you are unable to see the MyComputer icon after updating your Java, do the following:
1. Place your mouse pointer in the center of the box where the MyComputer icon should appear.
2. Slide the mouse pointer just past the left or right edge of the box until the pointer changes to a hand and click. The individual file upload screen should appear. You can browse for up to 10 individual files.
3. Click OK at the bottom of the screen to upload the files.

More info on Java and Blackboard

SafeAssign Submissions

If you get an error message saying
"Sorry, we do not think you are logged in to SafeAssign. Your session may have timed out," you may need to enable cookies on your computer.

For the most current instructions on Enabling Cookies, type enable cookies in the Help search in your Browser.

For Internet Explorer, select Internet Options from the Tools menu. Click on the Privacy tab. Slide the Settings bar to Medium. Click OK.

For Mozilla Firefox, select Options from the Tools menu. Select Privacy on the top panel. In the top dropdown box, select Use custom settings for history. Check Accept cookies from sites. Click OK.

If you get an error message when you try to upload a file, check the following:

File characteristics

  • The name of the file should not contain any spaces or special characters.
  • Files created using Office 2007 may have some file extensions that are not recognized by SafeAssign. Acceptable file extensions for uploading files through SafeAssign are: .doc .docx .txt .rtf .html .odt .zip and .pdf
  • Papers uploaded to SafeAssign cannot be larger than 10MB or contain more than 5000 sentences.

Browser options
Supported browsers for use with SafeAssign include Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox. Other browsers may not function properly. Mac users should download Mozilla Firefox.

Java installation
A Java installation issue may be causing the problem. To download Java go to www.java.com

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