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In this course, Patrick Crispen teaches the ins and outs of Blackboard 9 so that educators and trainers can get up to speed in the system quickly—even if they've never used Blackboard before. The course explores customizing a course site, managing users, and adding and organizing content, including multimedia. It also shows how to perform student assessments in the Grade Center, as well as how to communicate with students and encourage participation and collaboration.
In this movie, we're going to take a quick look at three things in Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 8 and 9 that could trip you up; things that still remain in Blackboard's needs to be fixed list at the time of this recording. The first obstacle you may run into is that older versions of Internet Explorer do not play well with the new Blackboard user interface. For example, in Internet Explorer 7, you can't actually see Blackboard's top frame or tabs. You can tell what version of Internet Explorer you have by going to About Internet Explorer.
In this case, I am running Internet Explorer 9 which is perfectly fine. Even worse, if you've got an older version of Internet Explorer when you try to download a package of assignments for grading, for example, I've got my Week 2 Assignment, I'm going to Assignment File Download. I'm just going to create a zip file. That zip file won't open on your computer. From what I've seen, these problems really only impact you if you're using Windows Vista or Windows 7 in combination with Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8.
The solution is actually really simple; don't use Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8. Update your browser or use Firefox, Chrome or Safari, and you shouldn't run into this issue. The second obstacle you may run into and I've got to be honest, this is rare. Is that you may receive a 404 error when viewing files with special characters that students upload to group assignments. I've got one here with a pound sign and ampersand and exclamation point. I don't think there's a fix for this yet but if are going to do group assignments, just let your students know ahead of time that their file name should only include letters, numbers, and underscores. That should take care of it.
The final obstacle is that in Blackboard 9.1 Service Packs 7, 8 and 9, when you go to Tools from the Course menu, and you hide a particular tool, for example, Announcements, that tool is no longer available to the students throughout the entire course. You're not just hiding the tool, you're turning the tool off course-wide. I click on Hide Link, it's hidden here, I can still see it. I can get into this, but let me logout, and I'll log into this class as a student.
Notice on the homepage I've got announcements, I log out, log in as Jayden Brown, go into the course. There are no announcements. When you turn off a tool on the Tools area, you're turning the tool off course-wide. These are just three things to keep it mind, and I'm sure that Blackboard will be fixing all of these soon.
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