Announcements

This page contains announcements related to Blackboard at Biola.

Blackboard has a regularly-scheduled maintenance window every Thursday night, from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. the next morning. Usually, Blackboard will be available during that time, but sometimes not.

Blackboard Down Saturday night, March 30th, 2013

posted Mar 21, 2013, 9:14 AM by Matthew Weathers

Blackboard needs to apply a security patch that will cause Biola's Blackboard to be unavailable for about an hour sometime between 9:01 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Saturday night / Sunday morning.

Here's the note from Blackboard:

Managed Hosting Engineers will perform a system maintenance on your hosted site between the hours of 12:01 am to 06:00 am US Eastern on Sunday, March 31st, 2013.


Please take note that this is a service impacting maintenance occurring on a Saturday when we deploy the a Security Patch for Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 Service Pack 8. It comprises of critical product patches which enhance the performance and stability of your hosted environment.

The Support Bulletin detailing the Cumulative Patch can be found at:
titled: Security Advisory - LRN-63088 - Authorization Vulnerability in Assignment Grading of Blackboard Learn Could Allow Tampering
https://blackboard.secure.force.com/btbb_articleview?id=kAA70000000CaX6

We anticipate approximately one hour of service interruption during the maintenance window.

Blackboard Down 3am-4am March 11

posted Mar 8, 2013, 11:47 AM by Matthew Weathers

Biola's Blackboard server will be unavailable for one hour starting at 3:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday, March 11, 2013. The server needs to restart so that an update can take effect.

One-hour outage Feb 23 & 24

posted Feb 3, 2013, 1:19 PM by Matthew Weathers   [ updated Feb 7, 2013, 11:09 AM ]

Upcoming System Maintenance (Service Interruption)

Date: Sunday, Feb 10th, 2013
Time Range: 9:01 pm Feb 23 to 03:00 am Feb 24, Pacific Time - less than one hour.
Work Type: Deployment of Security Patch
Services: Learn Production Systems in VA2 Datacenter on Versions 9.1SP5, 9.1SP7 Hotfix 1 or 9.1SP8

Managed Hosting Engineers will perform system maintenance on your hosted site between the hours of 12:01 am to 06:00 am US Eastern on Sunday, Feb 24th, 2013.

Please take note that this is a service impacting maintenance occurring on a Sunday when we deploy a Security Patch. It comprises of critical product patches which enhance the security and stability of your hosted environment.

Support Bulletin you received recently detailing the Patch Set can be found at:
titled: Security Advisory - LRN-63088 - Authorization Vulnerability in Assignment Grading of Blackboard Learn Could Allow Tampering
https://blackboard.secure.force.com/btbb_articleview?id=kAA70000000CaX6

We anticipate less than one hour of service interruption during the window.

Friday night restart

posted Jul 2, 2012, 1:05 PM by Matthew Weathers

Blackboard needs to restart our servers. Blackboard will be unavailable for "less than one hour" (probably more like 10 minutes) sometime between 11:00 p.m. Friday, July 6, 2012 and 3:00 a.m. Saturday, July 7, 2012. Here's the official notice:

Date: Saturday, July 7th, 2012
Time: 02:00 am to 06:00 am US Eastern
Work Type: Building Block Upgrade and Server Reboot of Learn Production Environment
Services: Clients at Northern Virginia Data Center VA2 which are on Blackboard Learn Versions 8.x and 9.x Only

On Saturday, July 7th, 2012 between the hours of 02:00 am to 06:00 am US Eastern, Managed Hosting Engineers will be doing a service restart of your hosted Learn Blackboard site.

Building Block upgrade for Safe Assign has a mandatory after action which requires the restart of Blackboard systems running Learn Versions 8.x and 9.x. The Support Bulletin detailing that work can be found at

We anticipate less than one hour of service interruption during the window.

Emailing Announcements - Bb Bug

posted Feb 10, 2012, 11:21 AM by Matthew Weathers   [ updated Feb 10, 2012, 11:57 AM ]

When an instructor creates a new announcement on a Blackboard course (by going to Announcements then clicking "Create Announcement"), students will see that announcement next time they log in to Blackboard. When you create an announcement you have the option to check a box that says: "Send a copy of this announcement immediately."

However, there is currently a bug in the Blackboard system which prevents that from happening. If read carefully, when you submit the announcement, you'll see this notification:


Notice that although it says "Success," it also informs you that the email was not sent.

The work-around for this problem: is just to create the announcement then also copy & paste it into an email. After you create the announcement, send an email by going to Control Panel / Course Tools / Send Email.

More details: this bug in Blackboard is caused by the colon character (":") appearing in the Course Name (probably because a colon is used in the subject line of the email). So this bug only happens to those courses. Unfortunately, every class at Biola has a colon in the name (like "Spring 2012: Intro to Psychology"). This is Blackboard Known Issue LRN-33329, AS-163487 and LRN-43623, and will be fixed in the next Service Pack (hopefully to be installed at Biola in the next few weeks.

Spring 2012 Blackboard Rosters

posted Feb 7, 2012, 9:41 AM by Matthew Weathers

For the Spring 2012 semester, we are trying to keep your Blackboard rosters closely matched with the official Registrar's roster, which you can find on my.Biola. The list on my.Biola is the only official roster.

When a student adds a class, typically that student will appear on Blackboard the next business morning.

When a student drops a class, it may take a few days before that is reflected on Blackboard. During the first week of the semester, we completely deleted the student from the roster on Blackboard. At this point, however, we will now just mark that dropped student as "unavailable" on Blackboard. This means the student cannot access that class and they will not get emails sent to the class, but it preserves any work or grades for that student may have completed on Blackboard.

Instructors can edit their Blackboard roster by following these instructions: Managing Users. Typically, instructors don't need to edit the rosters. Here are some reasons an instructor may want to:
  • Give a TA or department secretary access to the class
  • Give a student immediate access (rather than waiting for the automatic process)
  • Delete a student who dropped (if there are no grades or past work you need to preserve)

Ready for Hurricane Irene

posted Aug 26, 2011, 3:28 PM by Matthew Weathers

Blackboard sent us the following notice, describing their preparations for Hurricane Irene. The servers that run Biola's Blackboard system are in Virginia.

Subject: Emergency Preparedness for Hurricane Irene

Dear Managed Hosting Customers,

Please be advised that the Managed Hosting Northern Virginia datacenter team, in working closely with our datacenter vendors, have taken additional precautionary measures to safe guard against any impact Hurricane Irene may bring to this region. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) earlier in the week advised that Hurricane Irene is projected to impact much of the East Coast of the United States this weekend.

In preparation of the anticipated severe weather, the following actions have been taken,

1. Datacenter generators have been tested, fuel levels verified, and fuel supplier is on notice in the event of extended power interruption.

2. Roof drains and scuppers have been cleared of debris.

3. All equipment on the roof and equipment yards has been secured to prevent potential damage by wind.

4. Dumpsters and open top containers will be emptied prior to anticipated severe weather.

5. Emergency supplies for potential roof leaks have been placed in strategic locations in each building.

6. All vendors are on notice and have confirmed for emergency deliveries/service. These include from the following groups at a minimum; Generators, UPS System, Chillers, Fuel System Delivery and Switchgear.

Special arrangements have been made to make sure DC / Virginia staff are available on site as necessary to maintain operability standards plus our teams in The Netherlands, Australia and India are on standby.

We will continue to monitor all of our sites and client systems, and take any emergency actions as weather conditions require.

Thank you,
Blackboard MH Management

Fall 2011 Classes Added

posted Aug 12, 2011, 11:53 AM by Matthew Weathers

We have added some classes to Blackboard for the Fall 2011 semester. However, we only add the classes specifically requested by each individual professor. So the "My Courses" list here on Blackboard does not contain official enrollment data, only my.Biola does.

Students: This is not your official schedule. Not all professors use Blackboard, so you may be missing some classes in your "My Courses" list. You may also have extra classes in this list: if you drop a class, it may take a while before it disappears from your list of "My Courses." When you add a class, it takes one business day before it will appear on Blackboard (or your professor can add you immediately). Do not contact the Registrar's Office about your class list on "My Biola." Use my.Biola to see your official class schedule.

Instructors: If you don't see your Fall 2011 class(es) here, you need to request them. See these instructions.

Blackboard Down Sunday evening, 8/7/2011

posted Jul 24, 2011, 4:51 PM by Matthew Weathers

Blackboard will be down for sixteen hours starting Sunday afternoon, 4:00 p.m. on August 7, 2011. It should be up and running again by Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.

During this downtime, Blackboard will update our server to version 9.1, Service Pack 6 and will also update our Oracle servers to the newest version.

Blackboard Down Saturday Night - 7/16/2011

posted Jul 15, 2011, 5:57 PM by Matthew Weathers

Blackboard will be down for less than an hour sometime between 11:00 p.m. Saturday night and 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning on July 16-17th, 2011.

Here's the announcement from Blackboard:

Subject: Emergency Maintenance (Service Interruption)

Date: Sunday, July 17th , 2011
Time: 02:00 am to 06:00 am US Eastern
Work Type: Server Reboot of Production Environment

On Sunday, July 17th, 2011 between the hours of 02:00 am to 06:00 am US Eastern, Managed Hosting Engineers will be doing a service restart of your hosted BBLS Blackboard site.

A Saturday, July 16th, system upgrade being done by Blackboard Collaborate (Wimba Pronto) has a mandatory after action which requires the restart of Blackboard BBLS and CE/Vista systems. Additional details about that work can be found at http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8336&task=knowledge&questionID=1418&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRow5/mYJoDpwmWGd5mht7VzDtPj1OY6hBktIruJK1TtuMFUGpsqOOySDRcdGp5g1AkK

We anticipate less than one hour of service interruption during the window. We apologize that we are unable to give enough heads up to this emergency maintenance.

1-10 of 26