Author Archives: longm

Making Past Bb sites unavailable / Hiding Current Sites


Making Your Past Courses Unavailable 

Hello ECU Faculty

The ECU helpdesk and Bb support staff are getting lots of calls about past semesters’ sites still being available from the student perspective.   Please make your past sites unavailable today or over the weekend.  Having past sites open is never a good idea because….

  • You generally don’t want your past students to still have access to course content and assessments.
  • It confuses students who think they have completed the course but still see it listed in the My Courses module.

Here is how to turn student access to your past course sites off.

Control Panel / Customization / Properties / Set Availability / Toggle to NO.

Making Course Unavailable


Hiding Your Past Courses

Many of you have called and emailed about how to hide past courses.  Hiding is a nice way of removing past sites from your view without deleting them.  A best practice is to only show the courses for which you need access, e.g., only the Fall 2014 sites. (You may want to make sure the course is unavailable to students first; see instructions above.)

Here is how to remove past sites from your MY COURSES view.

Click the WHEEL ICON in the MY COURSES Module / uncheck the courses you don’t want to see / Drag and drop to re-order if you want / Click SUBMIT.


Downtime: Blackboard

Downtime: Blackboard

When: Sunday, August 17 / 9:00am-11:00am

Blackboard will be unavailable between 9:00am and 11:00am on Sunday morning during our normal maintenance window.


Downtime: Citrix

When: Sunday, August 17 / 6:00am-12:00pm

Citrix will experience a brief interruption in service between 6:00am and 12:00 noon Sunday during our normal maintenance window.

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.

Illegally downloading music, movies, and other copyrighted material via file-sharing programs can cost you your network access. You may even be subject to civil and criminal penalties. Anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

University employees who violate university computer-use policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Student violations are misconduct under the applicable student disciplinary code. Sanctions may include revocation of access privileges in addition to other sanctions available under the regular disciplinary procedures. Visit for more information.

Follow ECU’s Student Code of Conduct, computing-use policies, copyright policies, and federal copyright laws. University Attorney Statement on Copyright:

Respondus Pre Configured Server option

In order to make your use of Respondus as simple as possible we are now offering a pre configured server setting option.  If you already user Respondus click the EDIT SETTINGS option and remove the ECU server you already have in place.  Then, follow the directions as shown in the 3 screenshots below.

If you have any questions please email Matt Long or Allen Dennis

Respondus has a simple video explaining the faculty POV on this new option. Here is the URL (skip to the 1:55 mark).

1 – Choose Add New Server

2 – Choose Yes, check for preconfigured server settings

3 – Enter in a server name (your choice on the server name) , your ECU username and password information and select the Save my Username and password option. Lastly, choose the “Run connection test”.
Once this is done you are set. Remember that you will need to update your password here whenever you update your ECU password.


Section Merge Tool Instructions

Step #1.  Click the “Section Merge” tab at the top of your page once logged into Blackboard.


 Step #2: Click “Setup New Merged Course.”


Step #3: Select the courses you wish to merge into a single course by checking the box that appears on the left hand side of the row for a given course. You can select more than one course in this step. After you have made your selections, click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page to move to the next step in this workflow. The “Cancel” button will abort the process and return you to the previous page without saving any changes.


Step #4: Select an existing course to act as the “Parent Course” for your previously selected Source Course(s). Only one course that is not already defined as a Source Course can be chosen in this step. Once you have identified a course that will act as the “Parent Course,” click the radio button that appears on the left-hand side of the row for the appropriate course, and click the “Submit” button that appears at the bottom of the page. This step will complete the process of creating a Merged Course.


Step #5: Go to your newly merged course and be sure to update the course title.  Go to Control Panel / Customization / Properties / Course Title. Example: revise title from 001 to 001/002.

NOTE: If you want to UNMERGE the sections, do the following.

  1. Click the Section Merge tab.
  2. Find the course in question and click MODIFY. (Do NOT click Remove!! You will permanently delete your course.)
  3. Choose the Disassociate button for each section.









Summer 2014 Blackboard Upgrade starting on 5/12 redirect page

5/12/2014 7:31am


  • 5/12 – 3:36pm – on schedule.

Hello ECU Faculty, Staff and Students – 

You have been redirected to this page because ECU’s Blackboard system is currently down for a minor feature refresh upgrade.  The planned downtime window is from 5/12 – 5/16.  During this downtime anyone who attempts to access will be re directed to this blog post. That is why you are here.  :-)

During this planned downtime, we will be upgrading the Bb platform and then testing all Bb tools and building blocks to ensure that they are working as expected.

To learn about the new features that you will see after the upgrade is complete  please visit this blog post.

If you have any questions at all regarding the downtime feel free to email .  If you have any general Bb questions or other questions I would encourage you to enter a helpdesk ticket at

Summary Information

  • We understand that upgrades are stressful.  We will do our absolute best to have Bb running as quickly as possible once the upgrade is complete.
  • If you would like to discuss the upgrade or ask questions you can do by enrolling in the Yammer Blackboard 9 public group space.  You can ask questions and add comments regarding the upgrade there.
  • Blackboard downtime for this upgrade will start on 5/12 around 8am.  Bb could be down thru 5/16.
  • New Service Pack 9 features are HERE.
  • Questions or concerns about the upgrade?  Email

Bb Support Team

New Lockdown Browser Feature – How Students are Locked out of Exams

A change has been made to how LockDown Browser locks students into an exam. Students were previously locked into an exam until they submitted it for grading. This will now be an optional exam setting for LockDown Browser, with the default set to “off.” The new default setting will require students to submit a reason for exiting the exam early, which can then be viewed by the instructor. Here is how it works.

Go to the LockDown Browser Dashboard (Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser) and select “Modify Settings” for the exam.  Take a look at the link listed below for more details and screenshots.  This is a nice little feature addition.

>>>>>> <<<<<<


Blackboard Refresh – New Features in May 2014

March 4, 2014
Hello Everyone –
We are hard at work getting ready for the May 12th 2014 upgrade to Bb SP15. The core features are still going to be in the same place and work the same way so no need to stress. :-) The new features that will be in place are meant to enhance how you use Bb.  We are excited about this upgrade and plan to make this as painless as possible.  Take a look at some of the new features you will see after the May upgrade.

Upgrade downtime: 5/12 – 5/16

New Features

New Features for May 2014
SP 12 & 13 Help Page


(Our upgrade to Service Pack 15 includes feature updates/patches/bug fixes from service packs 10-15; do not let the SP numbers confuse you.)

SP 10 & 11 Help Page
SP 12 & 13 Help Page

What’s New in Blackboard Learn? – Short Video and Slides
Blackboard On Demand Learning 

Training Information

We are going to be offering training sessions on the new features. The sessions on the training calendar (“Blackboard New Features”) are March 18th, April 2nd, and April 30th. To sign up for one of these session please to go .  Then, do the following

  1. Sign into CORNERSTONE
  2. Click on the Learning tab at the top and choose Events Calendar
  3. Find the Bb New Features training by date (dates listed above)
  4. Click on the Request button (Cornerstone lingo for “enroll”)

***Another option is to simply type Blackboard in the search button (top right) and find the appropriate session.***


  1. What should I do to prep for the May 2014 upgrade ?  Nothing unique.  Set your course up as you normally would. All course content will migrate over during the upgrade process. Once the upgrade is complete, the new features will be available for you to use.
  2. Should I build/develop my site before the upgrade or wait? DON’T WAIT.  Again, build your site in Blackboard like you normally would.
  3. What is the exact date of the May 2014 upgrade/downtime?  May 12th. (Spring semester grades will be submitted by that date.) Bb will be down 2-3 days.
  4. What do I need to do to prepare for the upgrade?  We suggest that you attend a group training, or at the very least review some of our web resources. (See information above about the training dates in Cornerstone.
  5. Will you be offering  a demo or training within my unit on the new SP15 features? Yes. Please coordinate this training through your unit ITC.
  6. Who do I contact if I have any questions about the upgrade? Send a note to either Matt, Cindy, or Allen:, or

Bb Course Purge – Spring 2012 sites

Blackboard Course Purge – Spring 2012 Course Sites

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 the following courses (all of them) unless you submit a request to have your courses saved.

>>>>> The purge date is  March 14th, 2014  <<<<<

  • 2012 Spring Course Sites

You have 2 choices for saving your course site.

1 – Request us to save your Bb sites in Blackboard. If you choose this option you will need to list all FULL COURSE ID’s in your request submission. Here is the link to submission site

2 – Export or Archive your Bb courses offline.  This is a suggested best practices for all used Blackboard courses at the end of every semester. Make sure you save all exported or archived sites on your ECU Piratedrive.

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

** As a general best practice we  always suggest that you export and archive all courses at the end of each semester as your personal backup. **

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 Chat workaround

Chat Problems in Blackboard

Java was recently updated to version 1.7.51.  This update is causing the chat program in Blackboard to break.  The fix is the remove that version of Java and do one of the following things.

1 – Remove the 1.7.51 version of Java and use an older version of Java that is ALREADY installed on your computer.  For some of you this will not be an option.  If this is an option make sure you uninstall the 1.7.51 version and disregard all Java update attempts this semester.   (directions below on how to remove programs on both PC’s and Mac’s)

2 – Remove the 1.7.51 version of Java and install an older version.
(links below for both PC and Mac)

How to unistall a program on a PC –
How to unistall a program on a MAC

 Java Version 6 – download and install this version after removing the 1.7.51 version of Java from your PC or Mac. You will need to create an Oracle account before the download will be available.