Category Archives: Announcements

LockDown Browser Issue

9.24.2014 | Updates on Respondus LockDown Browser Issues

Very recently we updated some settings for one of our building blocks, Respondus LockDown Browser. We reported issues with test taking to the vendor and they provided us with the necessary updates to their product. With those updates in place, students will no longer get the “session error” message. Because of those updates, it is important that you look at your settings in your own courses, if you require that quizzes be taken with LDB. It just takes seconds, plus it’s a good reminder to look at the actual tool now and then.

As the screenshot (below) displays, there are some quizzes listed with “Not Required” or “Required.” One quiz, in the example, has a red error message with “Fix It.”  Once the Fix It button is clicked, just choose Modify Settings and then require that the quiz be taken in LDB. Normally that Fix It error messages results from a change to the quiz name or a settings change in the Test Options. In this case, it is because we updated the building block.

screenshot

 

We thank you for your patience while we worked to solve the “session error” message in LockDown Browser.

____________________

Student sees one question at a time. Issue has been fixed.

Student sees message, “Session error.” Very sporadic, does not affect submission. Continue to click through. We are still working on this; not everyone gets the error; again, does not affect answering questions or submitting exam.

Instructor should double check for the “Fix It” error message in the tool before releasing the exam. Remember, the scrambled password in test options should not be removed; think of it as an “invisible” password, invisible to you and students. If exam settings were changed, you may see a “Fix It” error. To check, go to Control Panel, Course Tools, Respondus LockDown Browser, and if you see “Fix It” next to any exams, click Fix It and that’s it.

9.4.2014| Respondus LockDown Browser Issues on personal computers (please note – these solutions are for PC users only)

Issue: Student reports, “I can only see one question.”  Issue has been fixed, noted above.

Solution:  Compatibility settings in IE can be problematic with students who only see one question on a quiz. We do not recommend Internet Explorer for Blackboard, but LockDown Browser has many of the same settings as Internet Explorer. So, in this case, we tell students to do this if they can only see one question or do not see a submit button – they will have to save any questions, and back out of LDB, even if means a force shutdown.

Then, in this order:

1. Open up Internet Explorer. Go to Tools > Internet Options > General tab > Browsing History: Delete.

2. Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab > Reset.

3. Tools > Compatibility View Settings > disable/UNCHECK all settings enabled during reset. Screenshot below.

Note: If the student has an old version of IE, i.e. IE7, they should update IE to 9, or preferably 10 or 11 and then recheck those compatibility view settings.)

We’ll do further troubleshooting if necessary! If this happened in a computer lab on campus, let us know and provide the name of the lab. Submit a Help Ticket @ https://ithelp.ecu.edu/ or  email us: ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Reminder: the link to provide students to install or re-install LDB: Download here

IE screenshot

compatibility view settings in IE

 

 

Issue: “Link is Blocked” Error Message

This occurs when there is a second level link (as in a PDF attachment) being accessed from a primary level link. However, link blocking usually does not occur until the student enters a quiz and starts accessing links within a quiz. Usually, this comes from configuration issues with the underlying Internet Explorer browser components.

Solution: To resolve this issue, please try the following after leaving the LDB environment:

  • Start Internet Explorer and first go to Tools.
  • From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  • Inside the Internet Options dialog box under the General select Browsing History.
  • Hit Delete to clear the browser cache and related areas.
  • Finally, if you are running any third-party toolbars or add-ons, remove them from Internet Explorer.

 

 

 

Fall ’14 Welcome Back

It’s that time again, ECU faculty — Fall Semester! Here are some Blackboard things that are good/helpful to know as those eager students return to campus and come to your classroom, whether face to face – or online.

  • Scenario: You have not logged into Blackboard since the May 2014 upgrade. When you log in, you get a dark gray screen. It’s okay, it’s the profile set-up screen. Solution: Follow the instructions, which do not take long. Your students will do the same thing. Once logged in, you will see a Global Navigation Menu. This short video summarizes the Global Navigation Menu – please watch. We have info on the new features/tools (after May ’14 upgrade) on this blog post – please read. We have some favorite new tools: Video list.
screenshot

View of Profile Setup

    • Scenario: You are ready to make your course available. Solution: Go to your Fall course(s):
screenshot

Course Availability

Go to the Control Panel. Next, click Customization > Properties > Set Availability. ALSO, please make your Spring ’14 sites unavailable (same instructions). Under Duration, please leave Continuous checked; do not choose the date selection option. Courses are not made available automatically – each instructor decides when to turn the course on for the semester.

screenshot

Course Copy

  • Scenario: You want your Fall ’13 course content copied into your Fall ’14 course. Solution: Course Copy tool. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this Course Copy PDF. Caution: Only do the course copy ONCE. Do not assume “it didn’t take” and repeat the process because it will result in duplicate or triplicate content.

 

  • Scenario: You teach more than one section and use the exact content for each section and would like to avoid building duplicate courses. Solution: Section Merge. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this Section Merge PDF. Caution: Make sure you merge your sections ending in 201480 (year 2014, fall semester is 80). If you make a mistake, do NOT click Remove; choose Modify.
screenshot

Section Merge

  • Scenario: You are tired of seeing so many courses in your course list in Blackboard. Solution: Hide the courses you do not want to see. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this PDF document, How to Hide Past Courses.

Questions about anything? We’re here for you! Your Blackboard Support Team:

Email Notification Issue in Bb 5/26-28

A Blackboard email issue was identified and resolved on 5/28/13. If you sent an email(s) from your Blackboard course between 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 26, and 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, the emails were not sent. You will need to resend any email messages that were sent during this timeframe. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Course Copy Process

With the recent upgrade from Service Pack 7 to 9, one of the new features pertaining to the Course Copy process is a message to instructors, letting you know that the copy process is in the works or “waiting.” Please see the screenshot below. This is normal, and you will see this message before you get the email saying the course copy process is complete. At the beginning of the semester when many instructors are building their courses and doing course copies at the same time, expect a delay. Importantly, do not repeat the copy process or you will duplicate content and that will require cleanup to delete redundant content items. Log out/log in or refresh your course now and then to watch for the content to appear. Or, wait until you receive the email telling you the copy process is complete.

screenshot_coursecopymessage

 

The Course Copy tool is available under the Control Panel in Blackboard. Go into your source (or past) course to Packages and Utilities > Course Copy. From there, you will choose your destination (or current) course and be able to choose all of the content areas and tools to be included in the copy. (Do not include Enrollments at the bottom of the page – those are enrollments from the past course.)

Do you need instructions for doing your own course copy and /or section merge? Video or PDF instructions 

Questions? Please contact: Matt Long longm@ecu.edu, Cindy Bowers bowersc@ecu.edu, or Allen Dennis dennisa@ecu.edu

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

Subject: Internet outage on Sunday morning
When:
  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 www.ecu.edu, 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 www.help.ecu.edu.

ITCS Notifications: www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/allnotices.cfm

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.

Browser Compatibility

Compatible Browsers (as of 4/9/2012): Blackboard 9 (service pack 7) is best viewed in Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is recommended for the Mac as well. Also, Google Chrome is now a certified browser. Reported and frequent problems with the use of IE: Students may not be able to download Word documents, view images, and they may experience issues with test taking and submission of tests. Instructors may have issues with the interface or functionality of tools and features (including the Grade Center) with Internet Explorer.

Click HERE to see a list of officially supported browser. This page is maintained by Blackboard.

Known Issues

See below for some known errors and work-arounds, which may affect your Blackboard course(s):

  • Chat/Collaboration Tools in Blackboard are not working properly: We are working with advanced support/Blackboard in D.C.  This tool has been down since mid-March and we apologize for the delay and inconvenience. Please consider using another web conferencing tool as an alternative, such as Centra.
  • Error messages when grading through the Blackboard Grade Center: If you are getting error messages when grading assessments through the Grade Center, it likely a browser issue. This behavior is consistent with Internet Explorer. Please switch to Firefox as your browser (the latest version is fine). Send an email to Blackboard Support with any questions at all.
  • See the blog post about browser compatibility.
  • Grade Center Scroll Bar is Missing in Firefox:  See the PDF for simple instructions.

 

FERPA – Student Records > Blackboard Gradebook > Downloading to Spreadsheet

From the Office of East Carolina University’s IT Security, please read the following scenario and solution(s):

  • Activity: Download Gradebook from Blackboard to a spreadsheet
  • Issue: Student (Course) Gradebook is downloaded from Blackboard onto desktops, laptops, personal home computers, and other unencrypted devices. A lost or compromised device could result in unauthorized release of student records.
  • Solution: Users should change the default location when downloading the gradebook to Excel or other formats. Select Save Target As or Save As and change the location to your personal or departmental Pirate Drive. To further minimize the threat of release of student records, delete downloaded course gradebook once the information is no longer needed.

Blackboard And HIPAA Information

The upload of protected health information (PHI) into BB is prohibited and is a violation of HIPAA Privacy and Security. Penalties for HIPAA violation may be significant. This is inclusive of any patient data e.g. MRI’s, X-rays, Videos of patients , research data containing PHI or any other data containing any identifiable patient  information.

If you have any doubt, stop and contact the HIPAA Privacy Officer @ 252-744-5200. Visit the HIPAA website http://www.ecu.edu/hipaa/ for additional information.

- ITCS

New Tool – Auto Submit Helper

During our most recent maintenance upgrade, a new feature was added to assist faculty in submitting abandoned test attempts. This new feature works behind the scenes and is called the “Auto Submit Helper”. You are receiving this email because one or more test attempts by your students have been submitted by this tool, per our queries.

 So, what is the “Auto Submit Helper?”
The Auto Submit Helper finds abandoned test attempts and automatically submits them to your grade center, but ONLY if the following Test settings are in place.

  1. The test has the Timer feature engaged.
  2. The test has the Auto Submit feature engaged.

 What is an “abandoned test attempt”?
These are test attempts that are in progress but have exceeded the allotted time limit.

So, if you are giving your students 1 hr to finish an exam during the timeframe of 10-11am the only “auto submits“ would be exams that the student or the auto submit feature failed to “submit” by 11:01am .  These are considered abandoned attempts.

How will you know if Auto Submit Helper found abandoned attempts to submit?

  1. If you review your grade center history (Grade Center/Reports/View Grade History) you will see attempts/submissions with the words “ Null, Null” next to the user name.  This will be an indication that the auto submit helper indeed submitted the test attempt.
  2. You will likely get a call from your student since the grade will normally be lower than expected.

Please keep in mind that in all cases the attempts were failed attempts. Prior to this new feature, you would have had to manually submit the attempt and/or clear the attempt. You still have the choice to clear the attempt to allow the student to retake the test.

If you have any questions at all, please contact Matt Long longm@ecu.edu, Cindy Bowers bowersc@ecu.edu, or Allen Dennis dennisa@ecu.edu