Bb Tips for Students

This section provides information to help minimize problems with technology and get the most out of your online learning experience.

Security - Logging out of Blackboard
If you are on a public computer, it's important to log out of Blackboard and off the Garrett College network - otherwise, the next user who comes along will be able to log into Blackboard as you!
To log out:

  • Click the Logout Button at the top of your Blackboard homepage
  • On the next screen, click the blue log off link

Naming Files for Blackboard
Tip: You can reduce the number of error messages you and instructors receive when opening or sending files by appropriately naming files uploaded to Blackboard.

How to do it:
There are several file name characters that may lead to error messages when instructors or students upload or download files. To reduce the occurrence of those errors, follow these naming conventions:

  • Use only letters, numbers, underscores, and hyphens in file names
  • Use hyphens or underscores in place of spaces in file names
  • Do not use periods in a file name, except before the file extension (e.g. "Name_test1.doc")
  • Do not use spaces, commas, pound signs (#), question marks, equal signs, ampersands (&), asterisks (*), or any other special characters in file names
  • Keep file names under 30 characters in length

Be sure to ask your instructor how he or she would like you to identify your files. For instance, starting your file with your last name, adding the date to the name, naming the file to reflect the assignment, etc.

Known issues
ATTACHMENTS NOT OPENING WITH IE8 - There is a known issue between Blackboard 9, Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft Office files (.doc, .docx, etc.) that results in users not being able to click to open attachments in Blackboard. This impacts file attachments to content areas, files attached to the grade center, files attached to the discussion board, etc for both students and instructors. The problem is described below along with three resolutions. This only affects Internet Explorer.

Instructors and students may attempt to open a file by clicking on the link.

When clicking on an attached file in Blackboard 9 when using Internet Explorer, you should see the Information Bar appear at the top of the page:
Solution 1
To access the attached file, the user will need to click on "Allow" and then "Download File..." or simply "Download File" depending on the browser settings on the Information Bar. This will result in the File Download window appearing at which point the user can proceed to Open or Save.
Solution 2
If you have administrator rights to your computer you can adjust the browser settings on the computer from which Blackboard is being accessed, the problem can be resolved through changing the following browser settings.

Follow the steps below.

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Click on 'Tools'.
  • Click on 'Internet Options'.
  • Click on the 'Security tab'.
  • Click on 'Custom Level...'.
  • Scroll down and locate 'Downloads' and select Enable for 'Automatic prompting for file downloads'.
  • Click 'Ok'.
  • Select 'Yes' on the Warning window that appears.
  • Click 'Apply' and then 'Ok'.

Solution 3
If the first two solutions do not work for you, or if you are not able to change your browser settings, use Firefox!

Test Taking Tips

Student Tips for Successful Test Taking in Blackboard.

Before the Test

  • Wireless: If using wireless, make sure you have a good wireless connection
    • Move the mouse over the Wireless Network Connection icon on the Taskbar to see how good the connection is. The icon is four vertical bars. If no connection is established either reboot or click Start > Connect To > Wireless Connection. This will generally start the enabling process. If it does not click on Enable.
  • Log out and log back into Blackboard just before taking the test if you were already in Blackboard and have been in any other courses since it was opened.
  • If taking the test later in the day reboot your computer if you have not done so within the last couple of hours. This will free memory resources from applications they have opened that may be running in the background
  • Close ALL applications except Blackboard. This includes IM tools, email, and pop-up blockers. Simply closing an IM browser window does not stop the software. Right click on its icon in the Taskbar and Exit or Sign Out.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to take the quiz. If something goes wrong there won't be enough time to resolve the issue.
  • If at any time you get a pop-up Security Warning about the hidden_webeq_applet, you should select the "Always trust content from this publisher" checkbox and click Run. If you cancel this, you run the risk of the test locking up or kicking you out.

Launching the Test

  • Be sure to have a tested browser version. Check it here.
  • Maximize the browser window before starting the test. Minimizing during the test can prevent submission of the test.
  • Do NOT double click the link to the test. This will lock the test and students will receive a message that says they have completed the test or submission is in process. If this occurs the instructor may need to reset your attempt.

During the Test
These tips may reduce the chance of a student receiving a message saying "submission in progress" or "test already submitted" with no results displayed.

  • Do not resize (minimize) the browser window during the test.
  • Never click the Back button on the browser. This will take you out of the test and prevent Blackboard the ability to track selected answers.
  • Avoid using scroll button on a mouse or keyboard
  • Do not Alt+Tab out of the test
  • Click the "Submit" button. Do not press "Enter" on the keyboard in place of clicking "Submit" .
  • Do not click on the Submit button until you are either done or have run out of time.
  • Click Submit only once; it may take a few moments to receive confirmation of successful submission.
  • Save the test periodically. The Save Answer button at the bottom of the test should be used - not the save button next to each question. Saving every question may result in an error saying some questions may not be answered.