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Common Blackboard Problems and Their Solutions


I can’t see the horizontal scroll bar in the Grade Center anymore.

This problem occurs on Macintosh (Apple) computers . The scroll bar is supposed to appear when needed, but seems to not always appear.

  1. Launch System Preferences, either from the Dock or from the Apple menu.
  2. Once the System Preferences window opens, select the General preference pane.
  3. The middle section of the General preference pane controls when scroll bars appear and a few additional scroll bar options.
  4. Select “Always” from the Show Scroll Bars options. The scroll bars will now always be visible, even when you’re not scrolling.

I can’t see the last student in my Grade Center.

You can’t seen the last student in your class, and if you re-order the Grade Center in reverse alphabetical order, you can't see the first student (who should now be at the bottom). This problem may be happening if the text size is too large. Go to the View menu of your browser, find the Zoom or Text Size option, and make the text smaller. You may need to reload the Grade Center for this change to go into effect.

My student submitted a file and I can’t open it.

If your student is using Pages on a Macintosh computer, the document will not render in the inline grading system (Bb Annotate). You will not be able to open this document in Word. You will need to ask your student to save the file as a Word document format and re-submit it.

My student is having trouble submitting (uploading) an assignment.

You student attempts to submit an assignment and receives an error message that the file cannot be uploaded. If your student is using Safari on a Mac, then the temporary workaround is to use a different browser. Otherwise, this error might be caused by the name of the file containing some character other than letters, numbers, underscores or hyphens. Ask the student to rename the file with a shorter name with no special characters (no commas, extra periods, pound signs (#) or other non-letter, non-numeric characters). If this does not work, then empty the browser cache (Chrome: Menu, More Tools, Clear Browsing Data, Clear Data; or Firefox: Menu, History, Clear Recent History, make sure Cache is checked) and submit the file again. In addition, there is a size limit of 200 MB per file for upload.

I’m having trouble submitting a paper via SafeAssign's Direct Submit tab.

You are attempting to submit a paper to be checked and receive an error message stating that you are not logged on. This seems to affect Macintosh users and the solution here is to “enable third-party cookies.” How to do this depends on your system and which browser you use:
Firefox: Preferences, click the Privacy tab, check Accept Cookies from Sites and keep until they expire.
Chrome:  Settings, scroll down and click the Advanced tab; in Privacy and Security, click the Content Settings link, click Cookies, then make sure Block Third-Party cookies in unselected.
Safari:  Preferences, click the Security tab, and check Accept Cookies — Always.

I sent an e-mail to several students, but now I can’t remember which ones (or what exactly I said).

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.”).  This will be your only copy.

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 likely that most of your students received the e-mail also, but one or more of the students in your course is having some problem with their e-mail account. The students can contact the Help Desk (859-4181) for assistance with their Hamilton email accounts.

Assignments will not render in the ONLINE Grading page.

You are attempting to grade an online assignment with the inline grading system, but the paper won’t render (turn into a small replica of itself). This seems to affect Macintosh users and the solution here is to “enable third-party cookies.” How to do this depends on your system and which browser you use:
Firefox: Preferences, click the Privacy tab, check Accept Cookies from Sites and keep until they expire.
Chrome:  Settings, scroll down and click the Advanced tab; in Privacy and Security, click the Content Settings link, click Cookies, then make sure Block Third-Party cookies in unselected.
Safari:  Preferences, click the Security tab, and check Accept Cookies — Always.

The text in Blackboard is really small. Can I make it bigger?

This is actually a browser setting, not a Blackboard problem. Depending on what platform (Windows, Macintosh) and browser (Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) 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.  You can also try <CRTL> or <CMD> plus or minus.

Last updated: July 21, 2021

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