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Frequently Asked Questions

What classes should move over to Bb9?

Courses being taught in the Spring 2012 semester should be transitioned to Blackboard 9.  Other courses can be exported or archived from Blackboard 8 and saved to your computer in order to preserve the materials for future use.  Please be sure to export  and save to your computer any courses with materials you wish to preserve during the Spring 2012 semester. The Blackboard 8 server will be removed after the Spring 2012 semester.

What should I do with my other classes?

Course materials from classes not being taught in the Spring 2012 semester should be exported or archived to your computer during the Spring 2012 semester.  These materials can be uploaded to Blackboard 9 in the future as needed, or to a Course Development SIte as is appropriate.  Please note that the export/archive files created by Blackboard 8 are in a format only readable by Blackboard.  If you would like a copy of files stored in Blackboard 8 on your computer so that you can open and edit them, please download the files by right-clicking (control-click on a Mac) and saving the files individually to your computer.

How do I work on classes that I will teach in the future?

Please see the Obtaining a Course Development Site section of this wiki.

Where can I learn to use the new features of Bb 9?

Please see the Training Opportunities section of this wiki.

What if I want to start a Bb9 course from scratch?

Starting a course site from scratch is always an option, and allows instructors the ability to give a fresh look to course sites, as well as take advanatage of new features to enhance student engagement and increase instructor efficiency. If you would like assistance in learning to do this, please see the Training Opportunities section of this wiki for more information.

How can I get help if something goes wrong?

Your Friendly Neighborhood Learning Technologist (Jennifer Wright) is happy to help you resolve problems (and learn new features) in Blackboard 9.  Please contact her at jcwright@smcm.edu or by phone at x4192.

Why is Bb just sitting there?

If you are in particular steps of the Export process in Blackboard 8, or the Import process in Blackboard 9, the servers may seem to be "stuck" or "frozen."  Very likely, the server is actually working to package your files (in the Export process) or open and distribute files (in the Import process).  Courses with large media files in particular can cause this behavior.  Please simply leave the browser window open and wait for the process to complete.

If several hours have passed and you do not receive email notification that your Export or Import process has completed, please log out of Blackboard and log back in to check progress.  If you still experience problems, please email your Friendly Neighborhood Learning Technologist Jennifer Wright (jcwright@smcm.edu) and include as much detail as possible about the circumstances of the problem to aid in troubleshooting.

Why can't I read the files in the export or archive file I downloaded?

The Export and Archive files created in Blackboard 8 are written in a format that only Blackboard reads.  To save individual files, download them (right click on a PC or control-click on a Mac) and save them to your computer.

Why are there all these extra pages in the menu in Bb9 after I import my exported/archived file?

The Import process adds Content Areas to your course with the imported materials.  You can remove any unneeded Content Areas from the Course Menu by clicking the arrows next to the name of the Content Area, and selecting Delete from the pop-up menu.

Why isn't my course showing up in Blackboard?

The course site is created in Blackboard when the first student enrolls in the course during the Registration period.  If your course is not visible in Blackboard, please check the Portal to see if anyone is enrolled in the course.  If you have one or more students enrolled, and still cannot see your course in Blackboard, please contact your Friendly Neighborhood Learning Technologist (Jennifer Wright) at jcwright@smcm.edu for assistance.

How do I add students or colleagues to my course?

The process for adding students, colleagues, or others to your Blackboard course site has changed.  Students and instructors officially enrolled in the course will be added (and dropped as needed) automatically.  If you need to add students who are not receiving credit for a particular course to your Blackboard Course Site, please use the new Portlet called Extra Roles in Blackboard, which is found on the Faculty page in the Portal.

Colleagues and students added using this Portlet can be added in several different capacities which reflect their roles in the course.  For example, Colleague Instructors have the same privileges as enrolled instructors, but Librarians do not have access to the Grade Center.  Please see the Extra Roles in Blackboard section of this wiki for more information.

How do I add or drop students from my course?

Students who are taking the course for credit must be added or dropped through the Registrar's office.  Encourage students to take their Add/Drop forms to the Registrar's office as soon as possible so that they will gain (or lose) access to course materials as soon as possible.  Once the Add form is processed by the Registrar's office, the student will typically have access to the course within three hours.

Why won't it let me upload my large media file?

Management of the server space for course materials requires a limit on the size of files that can be uploaded to a course site.  The current limit for an individual file is 20 Mb.  If you require more space, please contact your Friendly Neighborhood Learning Technologist (Jennifer Wright) at jcwright@smcm.edu for assistance.

I don’t teach until next summer or Fall (2012). Do I need to worry about transitioning my Blackboard 8 content now?

The Blackboard 8 server will only be available until the end of the Spring 2012 semester.  Any courses with materials that you wish to preserve should be exported or archived and saved on your computer.  These materials can be uploaded to a course within Blackboard as needed in the future.  For more information on course sites, please see the Obtaining a Course Development Site section of the wiki for more information.