Yearly Archives: 2012

Bb Planned Downtime – 12/19 – 12/20

Blackboard downtime on December 19-20, 2012
When: Wed, Dec 19, 8:00am-Thurs, Dec 20th, 5:00pm

**Those enrolled in CPE courses that must be completed by December 31st, will be able to log back into Blackboard no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 20th

Blackboard will be unavailable on Dec. 19th and 20th  while we perform upgrades to the system.  If you have any questions please call 252-328-9866 (ECU Helpdesk).

Bb planned downtime. 11/18 7am-11am

Blackboard downtime on Sunday morning
Posted 11-14-2012

System/Service:  Blackboard

When:  Sunday, Nov 18 / 7:00am-11:00am

Description:  Blackboard will be unavailable from 7:00am-11:00am on Sunday morning while we update the system during our normal maintenance window.

Please call 252-328-9866 if you have any questions.

Subject: Internet outage on Sunday morning 11/4/2012 7-11am

Subject: Internet outage on Sunday morning
  Sunday, November 4th, 7:00am-11:00am

There will be a short internet outage for ECU on Sunday morning, November 4th, while we upgrade the network firewalls during our normal maintenance window.  The outage will last about 30 minutes, and will occur sometime between 7:00am and 11:00am.

During the outage ECU users will be affected in the following ways:

– On-campus users will not be able to access the internet (but will be able to access ECU’s network and ECU resources like Onestop, Blackboard and the ECU website) during the outage.

– Off-campus users will not be able to access ECU’s resources such as Onestop, Blackboard or ECU’s website during the outage.  VPN access will allow users to connect to ECU resources (but not connect back out to the internet).

To check the authenticity of this e-mail:
Visit, and click on the “Help Desk” link under the “MyLinks” section on the right-hand side. This will take you to the ECU IT Help Desk page where you can review our “Announcements” section.

Need Help?

If you experience any difficulties in relation to this announcement or have any questions, please contact the ECU IT Help Desk by phone at 252-328-9866 or via the Web at

ITCS Notifications:

Computing Systems Maintenance Schedule

Please keep in mind that regular maintenance on all computing systems is performed on Sundays between the hours of 5:00 am – 12:00 pm. If there are other times that systems will be down, notification will be sent through ITCS Notifications.

Student emails bouncing back


ECU Faculty –
We have had  reports from a few faculty  that emails sent from within Blackboard are bouncing back to the sender (faculty member) as undelivered. This does not appear to be a widespread issue. We have determined that this is not a Bb related issue but something related to our email system.  We are currently working  with out vendor (Microsoft) to fix this error.   Once we have solved this issue  this blog post will be updated.  Here is an example of how the error is presenting itself.

1- In blackboard you attempt to send an email to ” All Users” in the Bb email client.  –> tools/email/
2 – Moments after sending out the email it bounces with an error similiar to what you see below.  If this happens to you please report this to or asap.

Error Example

On 9/19/12 2:08 PM, “Mail Delivery Subsystem”

<> wrote:

 >The original message was received at Wed, 19 Sep 2012 14:08:24 -0400

>(EDT) from [

>   —– The following addresses had permanent fatal errors —–


 Current Workarounds

1 – In Blackboard.  Control panel / Tools / Email / Select User. Select the user in question and send the email to this person individually.

2 -If you get an email bounced back to you please simply send that course update to the student in question using  OUTLOOK.  Another option is to add all email information into individual Announcements. That way, all students will be able to see your updates in the Announcement area versus though the normal email channel.

Bb Respondus Lockdown Browser – Resources/Instructional Info

We are excited to offer you a tool that integrates with Blackboard, designed to reduce test-taking issues. Your email messages from students who are reportedly kicked out of tests will be greatly reduced. Respondus LockDown Browser is a secure, custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. Instructors will find the tool in their Bb course, under Control Panel > Course Tools > LockDown Browser (no installation necessary for instructors). When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading! All ITCS computers labs will have LockDown Browser installed on the machines. Or, instructors can send a link to students to install the browser on their home computers. The browser will only be used for test-taking within the Blackboard environment. We have instructions for installation for students below.

New! Troubleshooting Tips for Instructors below:

    • Usually, if something occurs (screen goes blank or connection is lost) after the student has started a quiz, there is likely a network issue or local system issue (their own computer). Two examples: Windows started an automatic update and initiated a restart. A family member is watching streaming HD movies on the same wi-fi network connection. If “Force Completion” is NOT checked, students may be able to log back in and continue. If not, a “clear attempt” will be necessary if the instructor allows another attempt.
    • If a few students are having problems on their own computers, it is likely a configuration/setup issue on their personal computer. If ALL students succesfully installed LDB and have problems logging into the test, it is likely a LockDown Browser configuration setting. You should double check under Edit Test Options that you did NOT delete the default password or UNcheck the Password Required box. That is an LDB-generated password that needs to be in place (you do not need to provide that to students). A Blackboard Admin will be happy to help you check your settings. Contact,, or
    • If all students in a managed computer lab have a problem logging into a test, it is likely a  network issue or configuration of the managed computers. Contact,, or in that case, and let us know which computer lab has the problem.
    • Please click HERE to review a LDB troubleshooting information PDF.

Cheating on tests, online or face-to-face, is a universal problem that will never go away; however, LockDown Browser will definitely cut down on some of those instances. See the article on online cheating:

Here’s why we like LockDown Browser:

    • Integrates with Blackboard; instructor has the choice whether to utilize LockDown browser for one test or all tests.
    • Compatible with PC and Mac
    • Built-in calculator can be enabled by instructor.
    • Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
    • Assessments cannot be exited until submitted by users for grading
    • Task switching or access to other applications is prevented
    • Printing functions are disabled
    • Print Screen and capturing functions are disabled
    • Copying and pasting anything to and from an assessment is prohibited
    • Right-click menu options are disabled
    • Function keys are disabled
    • Screen capture, messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machine, and network monitoring applications are blocked from running
    • The browser automatically starts at the login page for the institution’s course management system
    • URLs cannot be typed by the user
    • External links don’t compromise the “locked” testing environment
    • Assessments that are set up for use with Respondus LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers.

Following is a list of the labs where LockDown Browser is installed:

  • Allied Health and Nursing 2160
  • Allied Health and Nursing 2520 (Laupus Library computer lab)
  • Austin 104
  • Belk 3102
  • Brody School of Medicine Lab (BR2L37)
  • Kim Lab (Brewster 213 and 214)
  • Mendenhall Basement
  • Minges 82
  • PCMH 3 MA327
  • Rawl 135
  • Rawl 208
  • Rawl 304
  • Rivers 139
  • Scales 132
  • Ward 374

Some extra  hints & tips for using LockDown Browser:

For Windows systems and Macintosh systems with additional security software, we suggest relaxing any security settings to “medium”, add “lockdown.exe” (Windows) or “LockDown” (Macintosh) as a “trusted application” and ECU’s Blackboard server address ( as a “trusted site” in any security software.

For students, we recommend closing down all applications including background applications except for security and network connectivity prior to starting LockDown Browser. Any background downloading of files, streaming music or automated backups should be suspended until after the test has been completed with LockDown Browser.

If using a wireless network connection, students should check check connectivity strength, 4-5 bars in Windows or 3-4 arcs in Macintosh, prior to starting a test with LockDown Browser. If connectivity strength is low or there is difficulty navigating through web pages on a standard browser, students should seek a wired network connection prior to writing a test with LockDown Browser.

Please click HERE to review a LDB troubleshooting information PDF.

Bb Collaborate not working properly

The Bb chat tool is now working normally.  Some of you may need to clear your cache within your Java Tool.  Here is how.

Control panel  /  Java / Find the “Temporary Internet Files” area and click the VIEW button.  Remove those files.  Your chat tool should then work normally.

Please share this information with any student/faculty that has issues with the Bb chat tool.

Notice: Purging Old Courses | How to Archive Your Course(s)

Every year we purge old Blackboard courses. We do so to stay within our storage goals and business policy of keeping only two years of Blackboard sites in our production system.  In a few short weeks, we will be purging Summer 2009 and Spring 2010. The purge date is October 5th, 2012.

To save any courses from Summer 2009 or Spring 2010, please fill out the following survey – please do this before 10/05/12:

If you’d like to export or archive your own courses, it is easy.

Export: Only course content
Archive: All course content, student interactions and gradebook data

In both an export or an archive you will be saving a .zip offline for your records. Please save these files in a secure location like Piratedrive.

  1. Go to the Control Panel in your Blackboard course, click Properties and Utilities.
  2. Click Archive course.
  3. Include Grade Center History if you want to save student work.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Wait for an email confirming the archive process.
  6. Once you receive the email, go back to Export/Archive Course under the Control Panel. Click to download to a secure location (e.g., Pirate Drive).

Please download the one-page PDF, How to Archive Your Course for further details, including FERPA and HIPAA regulations regarding privacy. Note: The .zip file is only useful once uploaded to the Blackboard environment.

Questions? Contact Matt, Cindy, or Allen or or

Blackboard Support Email: