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Blackboard: Essential Info

Below you will find updated information on our current version of Blackboard, as well as a series of tips on how to avoid hassles in setting up your courses this year.

Version update:

As of December 28, 2013, we are on Blackboard 9.1, Service Pack 13. Please see What's new in 9.1 SP13 for an update on the new features, and Supported Browsers for SP13 to be sure you're using a compatible browser.

Essential tips:

  1. Avoid using "special characters" in assignment or group names.  "Safe" characters are: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, . (dot), - (dash) and _ (underscore).  See more.
  2. All links to outside websites now need to open in a new window. You may want to edit existing links to choose the Open in New Window option.
  3. For instructions on copying materials to a current course from a previous semester, see Copy or Import Course Content.
    1. Please note: export confirmation emails may report "Export Failed," when in fact it probably succeeded with minor errors. Go ahead and import the file.
  4. When copying assignments or tests for a new term, be sure to include "Grade Center Columns and Settings" in the itemized copy list. 
  5. System emails about copy/import processes being complete are usually premature.  After the email, wait ~30 minutes to check the destination course.
  6. Re Library reserves: Book lists and linked syllabi cannot be moved forward in a copy or import process. You will need to contact rrlreserves@library.rochester.edu in order to reactivate physical reserves or update a linked syllabus.
  7. Want to upload several files at once?  See Upload (and download) Multiple Files
  8. Blackboard systems are backed up daily, but individual courses are archived weekly (once they've been made available to students), and do not include copies of uploaded files.  To create your own complete archive, see How to create and download your own course archive.
  9. There are sometimes problems copying from MS Word to the Bb text editor. To avoid formatting issues, either type directly into Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) then copy and paste from there to Bb. Or, copy your MS Word text into one of those editors before copying and pasting to Blackboard.
  10. Need more in-depth documentation or video demonstrations? See Documentation for Instructors or the Help tab in Blackboard.
Still need help?  Contact your Blackboard Support Team.