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Blackboard FAQ for Instructors

Q. How do I login to Blackboard?

  1. Go to
  2. Click the Login Button.
  3. Use your email username & original password to login to Blackboard. (i.e. username for "" is "jdoe").
  4. Click the Login Button.

Q. I'm teaching a course this semester, but it's not listed under "My Courses" in Blackboard. Why is it not showing up?

A. Most likely you have not been officially assigned as the instructor for the course in Banner (student information system). To make this happen you will need to contact the appropriate office to make sure that the necessary paperwork has been completed.


  • Full or part-time faculty call Academic Affairs at (978) 665-3185
  • Graduate & Continuing Education (GCE) faculty call (978) 665-3182
  • Extended Campus (i.e. MEC, ERR, HEC and JENMARC) faculty call (978) 665-3794
  • Professional Development Center (PDC), ALFA or Teaching American History Grant faculty call (978) 665-3636

Once you have been officially assigned as the instructor of a course Blackboard will reflect the change in Banner within 24 hours or less.

Q. Students are reporting that my Blackboard course site is described as being "Unavailable" how do I fix this?

A. Make sure Course Availability has been turned on.

Q. I'm teaching multiple sections of a course. Is it possible to have my course sections combined into one site?

A. Yes, just complete the "Merge Multiple Course Sections Request" online form.

Q. I have many courses listed under the "My Courses" module displayed immediately after I login. How can I reduce the number of courses displayed?

A. Click the Edit My Courses Module icon Edit My Courses Module icon in the right hand corner of the "My Courses" module. Uncheck the boxes under the "Display Course" column next to each course that you would like to not display and click the Submit button.

Q. When trying to view INDIVIDUAL attempts in the Grade Center an error message is generated.

A. Instructors are unable to view individual attempts in the Grade Center when the column has no category. When the attempt is viewed, the following error message is displayed in the GUI:
"An error occurred. Contact the System Administrator."

Unfortunately this is an unresolved bug. The workaround is to assign a category to the Grade Center column. This can be done by doing the following:

  • Click Grade Center
  • Click the chevron next to the column that is causing the error.
  • From the drop-down select "Edit Column Information."
  • Under Section 1 choose a category for the column and click Submit.

Q. I've downloaded a group of student assignments, but the student submission is difficult to read. Why is this and what can be done about it?

A. "Gibberish" code can appear when students copy text directly into the assignment submission field from programs such as Microsoft Office. Blackboard is aware of the issue and working on a solution. In the meantime, the following are a few suggested workarounds:

  • View the student submission directly through the Grade Center (as opposed to downloading).
  • Have the students submit the assignment in a text file or MS Word document instead of pasting directly into the submission text box.
  • Have students turn off the Visual Text Box Editor in their user settings before submitting the assignment if they must use the text box itself to submit the assignment

Q. The text of some of my quiz questions is "Normal 0 false false false." Why is this and what can be done about it?

A. This problem occurs when content is copied from Microsoft Word and pasted into the Blackboard text box editor. Fortunately the question should display normally for students, however it can be a nuisance for the instructor when working in the Control Panel. To fix the problem you need to retype the question (with the Text Editor off) or copy and paste the question text into Notepad and then paste the content into the Text Editor (with the Text Editor off). This will remove the extra code. If text is typed in the box directly in the first place or copy/pasted from Notepad you can have the Text Editor set to on. It only needs to be off when you are doing cleanup.

Q. Grades entered into Turnitin are not showing up in the Blackboard Grade Center.

A. If the Grades shown in the Turnitin Blackboard Direct integration assignment inbox view do not match the grades that are shown in the Blackboard Grade Center view, the "Force Refresh Submissions" tool can be used to refresh the grades in the Grade Center. The Force Refresh Submissions tool can be accessed from:

Course Tools > Turnitin Direct Tools > Support Tool: Force Refresh Submissions (grey link)

Q. Why can't I scroll to see all the columns in the Grade Center on my Mac?

A. Starting with OS X Lion, there is a conflict with the way Macs handle scroll bars. Fortunately, there's an easy fix. The workaround for Lion (10.7+) and Mountain Lion (10.8+) users is as follows:

  • Launch System Preferences, either from the dock or from the Apple menu.
  • Once the System Preferences window opens, select the General preference pane.
  • The middle section of the General preference pane controls when scroll bars appear and a few additional scroll bar options.
  • To return the scroll bars to their pre-Lion functionality, select "Always" from the Show Scroll Bars options. The scroll bars will now always be visible, even when you're not scrolling.

Q. When I export from the Grade Center the text "" is appended to column titles.

A. When downloading from the Grade Center for offline grading, the column titles will display the additional text "" appended to the column titles. Uploading the file back to the Grade Center changes the column title to have the extra wording. Unfortunately this is a bug in the SP14 version of Blackboard that has yet to be resolved. The workaround is to remove the added text strings from the file before uploading to avoid the column names being altered. Students do not see this extraneous information in the "My Grades" area.

Q. Why don't feedback comments import into the Grade Center?

A. Feedback comments will not populate into the Grade Center after modifying and then importing an offline grade file. Unfortunately this is a bug and there is no workaround or patch at this time. Comments need to be entered directly into the Blackboard Grade Center.

Q. Why won't QuickTime videos play in Safari?

A. There is a bug that prevents QuickTime videos that are embedded in Blackboard from automatically playing when using Safari. At this time the workaround is to use a different web browser.


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