Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a query which is not answered by the FAQs below, please contact the Blackboard Support Team.
Logging in and Accessing Courses
- How do I access Blackboard?
You can access Blackboard once you have logged into myUWE using your UWE network user ID and password. You can access myUWE via:
- From inside UWE, either follow the link on the UWE intranet page, or type the word 'my' in the address field in your web browser.
- From outside UWE, either follow the 'Log in' link on the UWE home page and then select the 'myUWE' option, or type http://my.uwe.ac.uk into the address field in your web browser.
In exceptional circumstances, if you are experiencing problems accessing myUWE, you can access Blackboard directly.
- What hardware and software will my computer need to access Blackboard at home?
For information on the technical requirements for accessing Blackboard, please see our Blackboard System Requirements guidance.
- How do I change my password?
If you have forgotten or would like to change your password, please go to the University’s Password Manager system.
Should you experience any problems using Password Manager, please contact the IT Support centre.
- I can‘t see my modules when I login.
To be attached to a course in Blackboard, you need to be attached to the module run in ISIS. Please check with your School administration office to ensure that you are attached to the correct modules runs in ISIS.
- Why does Blackboard look different on my home PC?
If Blackboard is not displaying as expected e.g. lists and buttons appearing in odd areas of the screen, it is likely that you are using a browser that Blackboard is not compatible with.
For information about which operating systems and web browsers are compatible, please see our System Requirements page.
- How do I suggest an improvement to Blackboard?
There is a Product Enhancement form on the Blackboard website for this purpose. Please see our Blackboard Enhancement Suggestions page for further details.
- What do I do if my course is ‘over quota’?
Please contact Blackboard Support to discuss the possibility of increasing the quota for your course.
For further information, please see our Course Over Quota Procedure guidance.
- Why is there an entry for a user called ‘Guest’ in my course statistics?
If you have enabled guest access on your course, guest users will be recorded in the course statistics as ‘Guest’ to differentiate them from student users. Also any activity carried out by the Blackboard Support team will appear as ‘Guest’.
- Can I get Usage and Tracking statistics from my course?
Tracking statistics can be recorded for individual items and folders if enabled.
Course Usage Reports can also be created which provide statistics on how often areas of your course are accessed, when, and by which students. At UWE, statistics are only available for 60 days.
For further information, please see our Keeping Students on Track guidance.
- Why do I get empty results in my Usage Report?
For performance reasons, statistic data is only available for the last 60 days.
If you are searching a date range further back, you will see empty entries.
- Can I manage the display of courses listed on my Welcome and Courses tabs?
The courses listed on your Welcome and Courses tabs, are those which you are attached to in ISIS. If you can see courses which you have no involvement in, please contact your School Administrative team to ask that they remove your attachment in ISIS.
You can edit the display of courses (and the relevant information) by personalising the ‘My Courses’ module on the Welcome tab, or the ‘Course List’ module on the Courses tab.
Select the small ‘cog’ icon in the top right hand corner of the ‘My Courses’ or ‘Course List’ module and uncheck the course name plus the various other information options such as instructor name, announcements etc, that you do not wish to see.
Please note: This does not remove your attachment to the course, it only hides the course name from view within the Welcome or Courses tab.
- Why are my courses marked as ‘unavailable’?
All new Blackboard courses are created as ‘unavailable’ by default. When a course is unavailable, instructors can access it, but students cannot.
For information about how to make a course available, please see our Setting Course Availability guidance.
- Where has my course menu gone?
The left hand course menu can be minimised so that you can view an item in a larger area. This setting is individual to the user.
For information about how to change this, please see our Hide or Show the Course Menu guidance.
- Where have last year’s modules gone?
Blackboard courses are available to instructors 180 days after the Field Board Date as recorded in ISIS.
Archives of courses are taken automatically but are not kept indefinitely. For further information, please see our Archiving Advice guidance.
Should you need to obtain content from an archived course, please contact the Blackboard Support team.
- It’s hard to find a course on my Welcome or Courses tab as I have so many listed.
You can try searching for the course. Press ‘Control’ and ‘F’ on your keyboard together and you will get ‘Find’ box pop up. Type in the module code or part of the course name and select ‘Next’ to find that text on the current page.
- How do I add another instructor to my course?
All attachments to Blackboard courses, whether staff or students, are managed through ISIS.
Please contact the appropriate faculty Student Administration Team (SAT) to request that a member of staff is attached to the module run.
- ACE.SAT@uwe.ac.uk for Arts, Creative Industries and Education
- FBL.SAT@uwe.ac.uk for Faculty of Business and Law
- FET.SAT@uwe.ac.uk for Faculty of Environment and Technology
- HLS.SAT@uwe.ac.uk for Health and Life Sciences
Once attached in ISIS, this should come through to Blackboard in an overnight feed of data. The user should then have access in Blackboard the following day.
- Is there any training on using Blackboard?
The Learning and Development Centre offer a ‘Getting Started with Blackboard’ training course. For further information, please see the Learning and Development Centre webpages.
In addition, Blackboard Support provide online staff guides covering the various tools and functions in Blackboard. Please see the Staff Guides index for further details.
- How can I see a list of all the users in my course?
Within your course ‘Control Panel’, select the ‘Users and Groups’ area and then ‘Users’. Ensure that the search field is empty and select the ‘Not blank’ search option. This will return a list of all course users.
- Why are my students not able to view tools such as Announcements?
If instructors have added a link to the ‘Tools’ area in their course, within this they have the ability to make course tools such as Announcements, Discussion Boards etc, hidden from students.
If a tool such as Announcements is hidden in this way, but the direct link to Announcements is still available in the course menu, students will be unable to access the Announcements and potentially the course.
If your students are experiencing problems accessing the Announcements area or a different tool, please check that it has not been hidden. If in doubt, please contact the Blackboard Support team.
- Why do I get a message saying that I am not logged in to Safe Assign?
Please see the Error Messages section below: Sorry, we do not think you are logged in to SafeAssign. Your session may have timed out.
- Why is my course (or content collection) showing blank content areas with the screen showing only contextual menu icons?
Please see the Internet Explorer 9: content area (or content collection) is blank with contextual menu icons showing item on our Known Issues page.
- What file names can I use?
Only use characters a-z, numbers 0-9, underscore or hyphen in your file names.
- Why won’t streamed audio files play on Macs?
Mac users can install the Windows MP3 plugin for Quick Time, which should allow them to stream mp3s when following the file format .wma and wmv.
It is possible to give your students a link to the Streaming Media Server so they can download mp3s to their computer and play them locally. Use the URL convention: http://real.uwe.ac.uk/download/faculty/folder/file.mp3, replacing ‘faculty’ with your faculty code, ‘folder’ with the folder name, and ‘file’ with the file name.
Alternatively, upload your file using Kaltura in your Blackboard course. For more information please see our Kaltura guidance.
- How do I get rid of the red message bar when viewing an external website from within my course?
If an external link is not set to open in a new window, when a user clicks on the link the webpage will be displayed in the Blackboard frame with a red message above it stating ‘The content below is outside the Blackboard Learn environment’.
As the colour formatting of this message may cause some users difficulty in reading it, we recommend setting your external links to open in new windows. This is a setting when creating or editing your link called ‘Open in New Window’ under the ‘Options’ area.
- Why can’t I see my digitised files when I browse to the eReserve content collection?
Please see the Instructors unable to browse eReserve content item on our Known Issues page.
- Can I upload a collection of documents or a website into my Blackboard course?
A set of linked HTML files can be uploaded into a content area and unpackaged as a self-contained website.
For further information, please see our Packaged Files guidance.
- Can I use multimedia files?
Kaltura can be used to upload video and audio files in your Blackboard course. These files are stored on the Kaltura servers and so do not take up any of your course quota. For further information please see our Kaltura guidance.
- Can I move items within my Blackboard course?
Instructors can copy or move individual content items within a course, or between two courses.
For instructions, please see our Copying Courses guide.
- Can I place a link from my course to an electronic journal or online database?
The Library provides advice on linking to e-journals and other electronic resources.
For further information please see Library Service’s Linking to E-journals guidance.
- Why do my links to E-Reserve content not work for students?
E-Reserve digitised items are copyright-cleared per module run. If you have copied links to E-Reserve items from one course to another, the links will be pointing to the E-Reserve folder for the original run. You will have access to this but your students will not.
You will need to update the links to point to the correct E-Reserve folder for the module run.
For further information on linking to E-Reserve content, please see our E-Reserve Content guidance.
- Why are links to items in my Content Collection not working for students?
This is most likely caused by permissions to your content collection not being set for course users.
Please contact the Blackboard Support team for help in resolving the permissions.
- Why can’t my students open my Office documents?
UWE PCs have Office 2007 installed and are planned to be upgraded again to Office 2010 in the summer of 2012. Students may experience problems opening documents created in Office 2007 / 2010 if they do not have Office 2007 / 2010 installed on their own PC.
To help students with this, we have added some guidance to the student Frequently Asked Questions page which includes links to free Microsoft downloads which will enable them to open Office 2007 / 2010 documents.
- Why do some of my students get ‘blocked’ from opening my content?
The default security settings in Internet Explorer 8 may prevent some users from opening course documents and opening links to other websites. Please note you will need to close and re-open Internet Explorer for these settings to take effect.
When attempting to download documents, some users may see a message above the Blackboard frameset stating:
“To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options."
If this happens, you need to add Blackboard to your trusted sites and then set the trusted sites zone security setting to medium low, as per instructions below.
- Select ‘Tools’, then ‘Internet Options’
- Select the ‘Security’ tab, then ‘Trusted Sites’ and then select the ‘Sites’ button
- Type ‘https://blackboard.uwe.ac.uk’ in the ‘add this website to to the zone’ field and select ‘Add’
- Select ‘Close’
- Under the ‘Security level for this zone’ field, drag the bar until it shows as ‘medium - low’.
If after doing the above you are still having problems, you can try changing the ‘Custom Level’ for Trusted Sites as follows:
- Select the ‘Custom Level’ button
- Scroll down to ‘Downloads’ and select the radio button next to ‘Enable’ for ‘Automatic prompting for file downloads’
- Select the ‘OK’ button.
When attempting to follow links to a website, some users may see the message:
“Navigation to the webpage was cancelled"
If this happens, you need to add Blackboard to your trusted sites and then set the trusted sites zone security setting to medium low, as per instructions above.
If after doing this you are still having problems, you need to change the ‘Custom Level’ for Trusted Sites as follows:
- Select ‘Tools’, then ‘Internet Options’
- Select the ‘Security’ tab and then ‘Trusted Sites’
- Select the ‘Custom Level’ button
- Scroll down to ‘Miscellaneous’ and select the radio button next to ‘Prompt’ for ‘Display mixed content’.
- Select the ‘OK’ button.
Don’t forget to close and re-open Internet Explorer for these settings to take effect.
Once you have set the prompt option, when you follow a link you will be presented with the following prompt:
If you wish to view the page, you must select ‘No’.
- Why do my students receive an ‘Access Denied’ message?
If a student encounters the message ‘Access denied. Either you are not logged in or you do not have the appropriate privileges to perform this action’, it is likely that they are following a link to another course which they are not enrolled on. Instructors should only create links from one course to another if all students are enrolled on both courses.
- Why am I prompted to login whilst already in Blackboard?
If you receive a prompt to login when attempting to open a piece of content in Blackboard, you may need to delete your cookies. Please follow the instructions we have provided on our Clearing Cookies page.
- What is the best way to print Blackboard pages?
When printing a page within Blackboard, for example a Test, to ensure that the relevant content is printed we would suggest that you first maximise the content area by using the ‘Hide Course Menu’ button as shown below.
Once the Course Menu is hidden, right click in the content area and select ‘Print Preview’. Select ‘Only the selected frame’ from the drop-down options and then print.
Tests and Assignments
- Why do some of the Grade Centre options look different?
In the latest release of Blackboard installed in August 2012, there are the following new functions and changes in the Grade Centre:
- A new ‘View grade history’ function for all attempts
- A new ‘Ignore’ attempt function
- A new ‘not participating’ label where on a group assignment a student is not in a group
- Renamed buttons and tabs in ‘View Grade Details’:
- ‘View attempt’ button is now ‘Grade attempt’
- ‘Edit’ tab is now ‘Attempts’
- ‘View column details’ tab is now ‘Column details’
- Why do I get an error 500 in my SafeAssignment?
After copying a SafeAssignment from one course to another, in the course you have copied it into, you will get an error 500 if you have not synchronised. Follow the steps below to synchronise:
- Enter the course and select Course Tools from the Control Panel.
- Select SafeAssign.
- Select SafeAssignments and you should be presented with a list of all SafeAssignments in your course.
- Select Synchronise this Course.
- Can I give separate feedback for each response in a multiple choice question?
Yes. In the Test Creation settings, select the option to provide feedback for individual answers.
For further information, please see our Specifying Creation Settings guidance.
- Is it possible to re-use questions in another test?
In the latest version of Blackboard, all questions which you create can be re-used using the new ‘Find Question’ function.
For further information, please see our guidance on Assessments.
- How do I copy a test into another course?
It is not possible to copy an individual test or a survey into another course. However, you can copy all tests, surveys and pools from one course into another. For further information, please see our Copying Courses guidance.
- How do I clear a student’s attempt at a test?
Student attempts at a test can be cleared in the Grade Centre.
For further information, please see our clearing an assessment attempt guidance.
- Can I assign students into more than one group?
You can put students into as many different groups as you like, however you will need to create each group and then add students to each group individually.
- Why are my student’s file exchange documents disappearing?
Documents uploaded to the file exchange with the same filename as any existing file will overwrite the original file.
We recommend that you ask your students to uniquely name their files before uploading them, by including their student number in the filename.
- Why does my course link not show in my announcement e-mail notification?
If you include a Course Link in an announcement, it will show in the announcement within Blackboard but it will not be included in any e-mail notification.
- What do I use to create a virtual classroom experience?
We recommend using the Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing tool which replaces Wimba Classroom.
- When I view a course announcement from my Welcome tab, the course menu doesn’t load.
When an announcement is viewed from the ‘My Announcements’ or ‘My Courses’ modules on the Welcome tab, you are taken to an Announcements area where all system or course announcements can be viewed. This is not the announcements area of your course.
- Sorry, we do not think you are logged in to SafeAssign. Your session may have timed out. If you have received this message in error, please contact your system administrator
If you receive this error message when attempting to access SafeAssign, this is likely to be related to your security settings in Internet Explorer. Please add SafeAssign to your trusted sites:
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Open the Tools menu and go to Internet Options.
- Click on the Security tab.
- Click on Trusted Sites (the green tick).
- Click on the Sites button.
- In the Add this website to the zone box, paste or type the following – http://safeassign.blackboard.com
- Un-tick Require server verification (https) for all sites in this zone
- Click Add.
- Close all browser windows, then re-open and try to access SafeAssign again.
This error message may appear when using Blackboard Wikis or Groups.
Please see the Org/springframework errors in Wikis or Groups item on our Known Issues page.
- No valid permission
Please contact Blackboard Support so that we can assess your course quota.
- Navigation to the webpage was cancelled
If you see a ‘Navigation to the webpage was cancelled’ message when attempting to follow a link in your course, it will be your browsers security settings preventing you from launching the link.
To adjust your security settings, please follow the instructions on the Opening links to websites section above.
- To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has blocked this site from downloading files to your computer
If you see the above message when attempting to open a document in your course, it will be your browsers security settings preventing you from opening the file.
To adjust your security settings, please follow the instructions on the Opening and Downloading documents section above.
- Error 404
Students will get an ‘Error 404 - Not Found’ error message when attempting to open links to eReserve content which they do not have permissions to access. This normally happens when the instructor copies an eReserve link from one course into another but does not update the link to point to the correct eReserve folder for the new run of the course.
For further information please see our eReserve content guidance.
- Invalid File
Users will see a red ‘Invalid File’ error message if the file has been deleted from the Course Files area or from a Users Content Collection.
- How do I take a screenshot?
Please see our guidance on Taking Screenshots.