Some behaviors in Blackboard are browser-related and may be fixed by changing your settings. Please also check here for useful tips and tricks.
It's possible that your student prepared the file on a Macintosh computer without the Office file extensions turned on (which produced a file name such as "essay" instead of "essay.doc"). You should be able to open the file if you change the file name to include the .doc file type extension (you may need to use .docx if the .doc doesn't work).
When a user of Internet Explorer clicks on a link for a document in Internet Explorer, they see a pop-up blocker (or a yellow message bar). If they agree to enable the download, they're returned to the course home page, and so can't download the file unless they return to the content area page and try again. This results from a security setting in IE and can be changed on a per-user/per-system basis.
This problem affects only Internet Explorer 8; therefore, one of the solutions is to use a different browser (Firefox or Chrome). Other solutions are:
This issue affects Blackboard as well as the Web mail server. First, click OK. Then, check the following settings on your browser (these instructions apply only to Internet Explorer):
This type of message will appear differently for Macintosh and for Windows users, but the meaning is the same. You may click the "Trust", "Accept" or "Run" button; the applet referred to in the message is actually a third-party product used by Blackboard. Note: If you click the "Show Details/Certificate" button and then check the "Always trust these certificates" option, this message should never re-appear.
Additionally, if you try to use the Virtual Classroom or Chat collaboration tools and receieve a warning message asking whether you want to accept a certificate from the website "blackboard.hamilton.edu," you may also click the "Trust" button (or click the "Show certificate" button and check the "Always" option).
A number of Blackboard problems for users of Vista can be fixed by making Blackboard a trusted site in Internet Explorer:
Internet Service Providers such as AOL or MSN use a proprietary system to connect to the Internet. Blackboard does not work well with these systems; using AOL could result in problems with downloading files, taking exams, or other aspects of Blackboard. If AOL or MSN provides your Internet connection, then follow these steps:
First, please be aware that the Collaboration tools (Virtual Classroom and Chat) currently work only with the following configurations: Windows systems, Internet Explorer or Firefox; Macintosh systems, Safari or Firefox. You must remember to unblock popups (this can be done for only the Blackboard site if you wish to block popups for other sites). Second, check all of the settings in the topic above (clicking a link to take a quiz). Also, please check that some other tool (e.g., the Google toolbar) is not blocking popups.
This is actually a browser setting, not a Blackboard problem. Depending on what platform (Windows, Macintosh) and browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox) you are using, look at the top menu bar -- the one that starts File-Edit-View. Under View, look for an option that says Text Size or Text Zoom. Under that option, you should be able to select a different text size for the browser window.
E-mail sent from Blackboard is routed through the mail server, but does not result in a copy left in your Sent folder or Out box. You should automatically receive a copy of the e-mail you sent (note the comment below the Message area that states "A copy of this email will be sent to the sender."). If you also check the box for "Return Receipt," then this copy will also have the list of recipients (this option is available only from the Send Email tools in the Control Panel).
Note: if you receive an error message stating "unable to send mail" but you do receive your copy of the e-mail which you just sent through Blackboard, then it is probable that most of your students received the e-mail also, but one of the students in your course is over-quota or is having some other problem with his/her e-mail account. The students must keep track of their quota usage themselves.
The WYSIWYG text box editor is a "smart text" editor; that is, it assumes that text entered is in HTML format and treats it accordingly. If you are entering text and hit the Return key to enter a blank line into the text, the editor actually enters the HTML "paragraph" command. This tends to space out the text more than you probably want. The workaround is to hold down the Shift key and then hit Enter; this is read as the HTML "break" command, and will probably be closer to the spacing that you want. If you know something about HTML, you can click the HTML link in the WYSIWYG editor's second toolbar row; this will open a window containing the text with all the HTML formatting and you can edit it directly there.
Note: We do not recommend copying and pasting text from Word into the WYSIWYG editor window. Word puts a lot of formatting commands into the text and this is not handled well by the "smart text" editor (no pun intended). For longer documents (e.g., a syllabus), you can just attach the entire Word document. You can also use the "Paste from Word" tool (in the "Add Mashups" list, third row of text editor buttons) which will remove the uninterpretable formatting from Word documents.
Final note: if you find the new WYSIWYG editor annoying and would prefer to continue using the old plain-text editor, you can set that option for yourself.