Instructors: are your student photos not showing up?

Multiple faculty have called in to the CTLT reporting that student photos are not working.  First off, it should only be available for those who are an “instructor” in an academic course (Course ID begins with 201510_).

So far we have found that all issues were the result of a copied course from a past semester into a new one.  This is completely okay, but the instructor must acknowledge the notification message in the new course that the copy had completed.  An example of this is shown below.  Please click the “X” button in the upper, right-hand corner of the orange notification bar and then you should be able to get student photos in the future.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.09.13 PM


Posted in Information | Leave a comment

Course Copy

Sometimes it is desirable to copy a course from a previous semester and then make changes to the new course. This is done through the course copy feature in Blackboard. First, go into the OLD course and then select “Packages and Utilities” from the control panel. Continue reading

Posted in Information, Tips | Comments Off on Course Copy

Group By Terms

Ever wanted your courses displayed by the term it was in? (like Fall 2014, Spring 2015, etc.) Well now you can! Follow the steps below to group your courses. Continue reading

Posted in Information, New Features | Comments Off on Group By Terms

Embed YouTube Videos into Blackboard

Did you know that you can embed YouTube videos directly into your Blackboard course? To seamlessly include these videos in your Blackboard course, please follow these easy steps:

1.) Log into and enter your course site.

2.) Enter the existing content area where you would like to share the YouTube videos. (Alternatively, you can create a new content area by clicking the “+” in the top left of your course navigation area, and select “Content Area” to create a new course content area.

3.) Once you have entered the content area of your choice, you should select the option to “Build Content.”

4.) Under the “Build Content” menu select “YouTube Video.”

5.) Enter a search term to locate your video and click “Go.”

6.) “Select” the video you’d like to include in your course and on the next screen click “Submit.”

7.) Your YouTube video is now seamlessly embedded into your Blackboard course site!

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Embed YouTube Videos into Blackboard

UPDATE: UR Blackboard Maintenance Friday July 17th

The maintenance is complete several hours ahead of schedule. You may resume normal use of Blackboard at this time. If you have any questions or problems with the system, please contact for assistance.

Blackboard will be unavailable for an outage Friday, July 17th beginning at 10 PM.  This outage is part of our Monthly Maintenance. Please know the system will not be available between 10PM and 6:00 AM and no changes will be made to course content. If you have any questions or problems, please contact

Posted in Information | Comments Off on UPDATE: UR Blackboard Maintenance Friday July 17th

Blackboard Availability Issue and Restart at 3pm Today (Monday, July 6)!

Due to recent changes in web browsers’ security settings for software updates, people cannot access UR Blackboard if they are using the most recent versions of Firefox (Mac and Windows, versions 31.8.0 ESR and 39.0). For more information on the details, you can search the Web for “Diffie-Hellman” or logjam in world technology news.

Currently, the best workaround is to use a different web browser (such as Google Chrome, Safari, or MS IE). If you are on campus, you can use a campus public computer lab or the Boatwright Library computers as they are unaffected.

Please note that we will need a short outage of Blackboard at 3pm today to fix the problem. Please plan your UR Blackboard use accordingly so you will not be affected by the outage.  For example, please do not take an online test that will run over the 3pm window today!

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Blackboard Availability Issue and Restart at 3pm Today (Monday, July 6)!

Student Enrollment Removed from Spring 2014 Blackboard Courses July 3

On July 3rd, instructors’ students will be disappearing from last semester’s Blackboard courses. These courses have IDs that begin with 201420_.  So if you are an instructor using Blackboard and haven’t gotten around to archiving your courses and you want to keep a record of your students’ grades and discussion board interactions, now is the time to archive your course, download your Grade Center as an Excel file, and/or collect your discussion board discussions.Other than student interactions and grades, all materials will remain in your course until you request its removal or three years has passed (whichever comes first). To download your grades, in Grade Center go to Workoffline > Download and save the full Grade Center. On the next screen, be sure to hit Download instead of OK.

If you would like to keep an archive of the course, follow these instructions:

1. Go to your course’s Control Panel and select “Packages and Utilities” and then “Export/Archive Course”

2. Click the “Archive” button, select options, and hit “Submit.”

3. After you’ve received your confirmation e-mail that the course has been archived (usually within 10-20 minutes), go back to “Export/Archive Course” in your Control Panel.

4. Left-click the archived .zip file and save it to your desktop.

An archive .zip file contains the course content in a format that is not directly readable.

If you would like to archive discussion board postings, go to your course’s Discussion Board and select all posts you would like to keep. Select “Collect” and then “Print Preview”. To save them digitally, print to PDF; you can also print hard copies.

If you have questions about UR Blackboard policy, archiving your course, bFree or anything not fully clear to you, please do not hesitate to contact your technology liaison, respond to this e-mail or view the Blackboard policy for faculty on the IS web site:

If you have any questions, please send an email to .

Thank you.


Posted in Information | Comments Off on Student Enrollment Removed from Spring 2014 Blackboard Courses July 3

YouTube Changes

Due to changes made by YouTube/Google, the YouTube mashup feature is not currently working in Blackboard. The current workaround from Blackboard is as follows: Continue reading

Posted in Information, Warnings | Comments Off on YouTube Changes

UPDATE: Blackboard Maintenance Complete

We are happy to announce that our work migrating to the new Blackboard servers is completed 7 hours ahead of schedule! You will notice a few new features in the new system BUT all content and courses have remained as per the project schedule.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact for support. This account is monitored seven days a week and someone from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology will get back with you in a timely manner.

Posted in Information | Comments Off on UPDATE: Blackboard Maintenance Complete

Upcoming Blackboard Changes

On Friday, May 8th, we are moving Blackboard to new servers and upgrading the application. In anticipation of that move, we are now in the process of preparing the system. We will announce these changes through SpiderBytes and emails to all faculty and staff. We are aware that undergraduate grades are due by 9 AM on Monday, May 11, and that four summer terms also start on Monday, but this is the best time for this upgrade to take place.

On Wednesday, May 6th we will copy all prior academic courses (2011 to Fall 2014) to the new servers. Faculty will still have access to these courses on the current servers, however any changes made to the older courses will not be reflected on the new servers after May 6th. We will communicate this to faculty and staff in advance. Students do not have access to courses from prior semesters, so they will not notice any changes.

On the morning of Friday, May 8th we will copy all nonacademic courses (courses where enrollment is not through the Registrar) to the new servers during the day. These courses have been set up over the years for committees, student groups, and other administrative functions. Again, faculty, staff, and students will still have access to these courses; but any changes made to the courses will not be reflected on the new servers after the morning of May 8th. We will communicate this in advance.

On the evening of Friday, May 8th at 7 PM, we will shut down Blackboard and move all current semester and any future semester courses to the new servers. We anticipate this outage will last until 1 PM on Saturday, May 9th (typically our maintenance window for Blackboard is from 6 PM Friday nights to 6 AM Saturday mornings). Faculty, students, and staff will not have access to Blackboard during this time. Since the system downtime takes place just at the beginning of graduation weekend, we do not expect there will be a negative impact for system users.

On the afternoon Saturday, May 9th, everyone will be able to access Blackboard as usual along with ALL content. There are some new features available which we will communicate, however the overall interface for Blackboard will not change. Faculty should have no problems navigating and using the upgraded system.

Removing unwanted nonacademic courses off the system will help keep the system running smoothly and reduce the time it will take to perform the upgrade. We also are asking faculty to request removal of unwanted academic courses through the course request system. We will only remove courses at the request of the faculty or staff who created those courses; it is no problem to keep older courses on the system if that is their preference.

Posted in Information, Warnings | Comments Off on Upcoming Blackboard Changes