Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a query which is not answered by the FAQs below, please contact the Blackboard Support Team.

Security and Logging in to Blackboard

What computer will I need to access Blackboard at home?

Information on technical requirements for accessing Blackboard is available from our System Requirements guidance.

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 myUWE 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.

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 consult the Password Manager guidance on the ITS webpages or contact the IT Support centre.

Course Access

Why is one of my modules not in listed in my Blackboard Courses tab in myUWE or my Welcome tab in Blackboard?

Check which modules you are attached to in the myUWE Marks tab, Academic Record subtab. If the module you are missing is not listed, you will need to make the appropriate faculty Student Administration Team (SAT) aware so that they can attach your student record to the module:

If the module is listed in the Academic Record subtab, select the 'View Details' button next to the module in question. If it has a status of 'EE' this means that your enrolment has not been completed. Access to a module in Blackboard will be disabled if your enrolment to it has not been completed 35 working days after the start of term. Please contact the appropriate faculty Student Administration Team (SAT) so that they can advise you what is outstanding and update your student record:

Why have I lost access to my course?

Start of year
Access to a module in Blackboard will be disabled if your enrolment to it has not been completed 35 working days after the start of term. To check this go to the myUWE Marks tab, Academic Record subtab, select the 'View Details' button next to the module in question. If it has a status of 'EE' this means that your enrolment has not been completed.

Please contact the appropriate faculty Student Administration Team (SAT) so that they can advise you what is outstanding and can update your student record:

End of year
Blackboard courses become unavailable to students at the Field Board date. Your instructor may, however, make the course available for a further 100 days to provide generic examination feedback. Your enrolment to a course is disabled 100 days after the Field Board date.

Why are some of my courses 'Unavailable' in Blackboard?

Students will only have access to Blackboard courses that have been made available by instructors. You can see all courses that you are attached to, in the 'Blackboard Courses' tab in myUWE. Any courses which have not been made available by the instructors will be listed under the section 'Blackboard Courses not currently in use by the tutor'. For advice about whether or not your instructor will be using Blackboard for a course, please contact them directly.

For information on the Blackboard Courses tab in myUWE, please see the myUWE Blackboard Courses guidance.

Online Assessment

How do I access my coursework assignment?

When an assignment is available for you to submit, it will become a clickable link on the Coursework tab in Blackboard. Alternatively, you may access it directly through your course in a content area named 'Assignments' available on the left hand course menu. Your instructor should advise you where to access your assignment if held in a different location in your course.

How do I submit my assignment?

Click on the Assignment title to enter into it. Instructions from your instructor on what file formats they want you submit will be detailed in the 'Instructions' area at the top - you must ensure that you read all the instructions carefully.

Attach your file(s) by using the 'Browse My Computer' button. When you have added all your files, select the 'Submit' button.

Full guidance on Submitting Assignments is available on the Blackboard Support website.

Where do I find my receipt?

Receipts for Blackboard online assignment submissions will be shown on the Blackboard Coursework tab.

Please note: it is your responsibility to check that your submission was successful by viewing your receipt and checking that you can open and view any files you attached to your submission.

Why are my submission receipts not showing on the Coursework tab?

If after making a submission to a Blackboard assignment, your submission date and time is not displaying under the 'Submission Receipts' column on the Coursework tab, please try clearing your browser's cache.

For help with how to do this, please see our Clearing Cache and Cookies guidance.

Why do I recieve a 'Null pointer exception' error message when trying to resubmit?

This error is caused when you submit an assignment with an attachment that has a file name over 125 characters (or 42 Multi-byte characters). You are only likely to see the error if you attempt to make a subsequent submission.

If you want to make another submission attempt, please contact the Blackboard Support team so that the attempt causing the error may be cleared (removed).

Where do I get support for DEWIS assessments?

Students should contact their Module Leader with questions or issues with DEWIS assessments. The Module Leader's email address is displayed in the assessment's initial window under 'Contact Details'.

Why are my submissions blank when I open them from my receipt?

There is a known issue for users of the Microsoft Windows 10 Edge browser where files selected for upload to an assignment submission are replaced with empty files, if you open the file in between attaching it and clicking submit.

If you are using Microsoft Edge to make your assignment submission, make sure that the document you are attaching is closed before you browse to it. Alternatively, use a different web browser.

Error Messages

Java Application Blocked - Application Blocked by Deployment Rule Set

Users of Voice Boards may see this message if they have installed the JRE 8 update 20 version of Java released in August 2014 (or later versions). Please see our Voice Boards and Java guidance for further information.

Null pointer exception

This error is caused when you submit an assignment with an attachment that has a file name over 125 characters (or 42 Multi-byte characters). You are only likely to see the error if you attempt to make a subsequent submission.

If you want to make another submission attempt, please contact the Blackboard Support team so that the attempt causing the error may be cleared (removed).

An error occurred attempting to launch this test. A likely cause is that a grade has been assigned to this test

If you receive this message when attempting to begin a test, please contact Blackboard support , including the course title and name of the test, and they will correct the problem.

Access Denied

If you receive a message saying 'Access Denied', please try clearing your Blackboard cookies. We have Instructions for Clearing Cookies available on our support website.

After clearing your cookies, close your browser down and then try again. If the problem persists, please contact Blackboard Support.

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 browser's security settings preventing you from launching the link.

example screenshort of the Navigation cancelled error

To adjust your security settings, please follow the instructions in the Opening and Downloading documents guidance above.

To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has blocked this site from downloading files to your computer

If you see the following message when attempting to open a document in your course, it will be your browser's security settings preventing you from opening the file.

To adjust your security settings, please follow the instructions on our Opening links to websites guidance above.

Resource Not Found

When accessing your course, if you are presented with a 'Resource not found' error message, please make the Blackboard Support team aware as soon as possible.

example screenshot of the Resource not found error

The error can be caused by an incorrect option being selected when an instructor makes the course available to students.

Not Found: The specified resource was not found or you do not have permission to access it

If you see the 'Not Found: The specified resource was not found or you do not have permission to access it' error message when attempting to open a link in your course, please make the Blackboard Support team aware.

example screenshot of the Error 404 message

This error can occur when permissions to the content item have not been set correctly.

Sorry, we do not think you are logged in to SafeAssign. Your session may have timed out.

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:

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Open the Tools menu and go to Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Click on Trusted Sites (the green tick).
  5. Click on the Sites button.
  6. In the Add this website to the zone box, paste or type the following http://safeassign.blackboard.com
  7. Un-tick Require server verification (https) for all sites in this zone
  8. Click Add.
  9. Close all browser windows, then re-open and try to access SafeAssign again.

example screenshot showing the Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer

Safari

  1. Open Safari
  2. Click on Safari in the top right corner of the screen
  3. Click on Preferences:

    Example image of the Safari menu, Preferences option
  4. If using Safari 5 or lower, click Security and change the Accept cookies setting to Always
  5. If using Safari 5.1 or higher, select the Privacy Tab and then change Block cookies and other website data to Never:

    Example image of the Safari Privacy tab

Using Blackboard

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 video/audio files play on my Mac?

If your Mac is unable to play media files held on the UWE streaming media server, you can install the Windows MP3 plugin for Quick Time. This should allow you to stream MP3s in file format .wma or wmv.

Alternatively, you can try the VLC media player.

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.

Why does the layout and menus in Blackboard look odd on my home PC?

It is likely that you are using an older browser that Blackboard 9 is not compatible with.

For information about which operating systems and web browsers are compatible, please see our System Requirements page.

Where has my Course Menu gone?

The left hand Course Menu can be collapsed to allow a wider content area. To expand the course menu, select the right pointing arrow approximately half way down the left side of your screen.

Please see our Getting Around Blackboard guidance for further help.

When I try to open a document or link in my Course, nothings happens

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.

I cannot open a document in my course as I don't have Office 2010 on my home PC

UWE PCs have Office 2010 installed. Consequently there may be documents created and placed in Blackboard which require an Office 2010 application to open them.

Below is a table of the different file extensions so that you can identify which version of Office a document was created in:

Application Office 97-2003 Office 2007 / 2010
Word *.doc *.docx
Excel *.xls *.xlsx
PowerPoint *.ppt *.pptx

If you need to open an Office 2010 document but do not have Office 2010 on your PC, there are the following free Microsoft downloads which you can use:

How do I print a file from Blackboard?

To print a file from a Blackboard course in Internet Explorer, right click on the file name (this is shown in underlined blue text) and select 'Print Target'. If you are using Firefox, right click on the file name, select 'Save Link As' and save the file on your PC. Open the file and then use the file menu to print.

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.

example screenshot showing the Hide Course Menu button

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.

Can I expand the content frame in my course?

The left hand Course Menu can be collapsed or expanded to adjust the width of the main content frame.

Please see our Getting Around Blackboard guidance for information on how to do this.

Why does the File Exchange overwrite my files?

If a file is uploaded to the Group File Exchange facility with the same filename as an existing file, the original file will be overwritten by the new one.

We recommended that files are uniquely named, for example include your name or student number in the filename.

For further information on using this facility, please see our File Exchange guidance.

Why can't I see my course menu when I view an announcement from the Welcome tab?

If you click on an announcement from the Welcome tab in Blackboard, this only takes you into the Announcements area of the course. It does not take you into the actual Course itself and so you will not see the usual Course Menu on the left.

To enter the Course, you will need to access it either via the Welcome tab or the Courses tab.

Why does my e-mail open when I try to read a Discussion Board thread?

To read a Discussion Board thread in Blackboard, you need to click on the title of the thread. Clicking on the name of the person who submitted the thread will open your e-mail client instead.

Where is the announcement that my Instructor has posted?

There are two types of announcements in Blackboard, 'Permanent' and 'non-permanent'. Permanent announcements will always be at the top of the list. Non-permanent announcements will be listed in date order beneath the permanent ones.

So when viewing announcements in Blackboard, scroll down the page as recent announcements may appear beneath older ones.

How do I take a screenshot?

Please see our guidance on Taking Screenshots.

I cannot connect to a Blackboard Collaborate (web conferencing/online classroom) session

The Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing Application Sharing menu displays "Stop Sharing" but sharing has not been launched

Please refer to The Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing Application Sharing command "Stop Sharing" should read "Start Sharing" entry on the Known Issues page.

Opening and Downloading documents

When attempting to download documents, users will 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.

  1. Select 'Tools', then 'Internet Options'
  2. Select the 'Security' tab, then 'Trusted Sites' and then select the 'Sites' button
  3. Type 'https://blackboard.uwe.ac.uk' in the 'add this website to to the zone' field and select 'Add'
  4. Select 'Close'
  5. 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:

  1. Select the 'Custom Level' button
  2. Scroll down to 'Downloads' and select the radio button next to 'Enable' for 'Automatic prompting for file downloads'
  3. Select the 'OK' button.

Opening links to websites

When attempting to follow links to a website, 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:

  1. Select 'Tools', then 'Internet Options'
  2. Select the 'Security' tab and then 'Trusted Sites'
  3. Select the 'Custom Level' button
  4. Scroll down to 'Miscellaneous' and select the radio button next to 'Prompt' for 'Display mixed content'.
  5. Select the 'OK' button.

Once you have set the prompt option, when you follow a link you will be presented with the following prompt:

example screenshot of the IE8 prompt saying: Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely?

If you wish to view the page, you must select 'No'.

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