Digital Learning Tools: Known issues

This page details known issues with the University's supported digital learning tools. In some cases suggested workarounds are provided. These issues are reported to our suppliers and reviewed at appropriate intervals throughout the year.

If you would like to report an issue, or a workaround is not working you, please contact: digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk

Page updated: 7 January 2022


Blackboard known issues

Area Issue Workaround
Immediate issues

Student submission information

ID: 000076120

Date identified: 09/12/21

There is a discrepancy in the way that information around student submissions are being captured in Blackboard, meaning that the information differs depending on where you access it: via Student Activity, the Grade Centre and Downloads.

Blackboard is aware of the issue and are working to resolve it.

In the meantime we recommend retrieving this information via Grade Centre > View All Attempts and avoiding using the Student Activity feature.

MS Edge

ID: 000076046

Date identified: 16/11/21

Those using the latest versions of Microsoft Edge may receive an HTTP 404 error (File or directory not found) when opening files uploaded to their courses.

Alternatively the Word online application opens but displays the message "Sorry, there was a problem and we can't open this document. If this happens again, try opening the Document in Microsoft Word.”

Blackboard is aware of the issue and is working on a fix.

In the meantime, we recommend using another browser (e.g. Firefox) or use the following workaround:

  1. Open Edge settings
  2. Select Downloads
  3. set Open Office files in the Browser to Off
Ongoing issues

Blackboard Assignments

ID: 000061292

Date identified: 15/07/2015

Documents selected for assignment submission are replaced with blank/empty documents when using a combination of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge.

This only happens if during the submission process, after selecting the document to submit, the student then opens it to check that it is the correct document before then closing it and pressing the 'Submit' button.

Selecting the document and pressing 'Submit' without first opening the document results in the document being submitted normally.

Using Windows 10 with any other browser (e.g. Firefox, Chrome) or using Microsoft Edge with an operating system other than Windows 10 results in the document being submitted normally.

Blackboard Assignments

ID: 000075891

Date identified: 20/04/2021

When students submit a PDF where form fields and checkboxes have been used, occasionally the inline Assignment viewer does not display text in all the form fields or shows checkboxes as empty.

This issue is occurring very rarely and has only been noted for two submissions so far.

If students have submitted a PDF with form fields and checkboxes and these are displaying as empty within the Assignment viewer, staff can download the submitted file and open this within PDF viewer software (e.g. Foxit PDF Reader) to check for any missing text.

Blackboard Tests

ID: 000075887

Date identified: 20/10/2021

Equations and formulae written in LaTeX or using the equation editor are rendering incorrectly. This is an intermittent fault that Blackboard are working to fix.

Using a font size of 16px or lower (18px with LaTeX) or editing an existing corrupted formula and adjusting to 16px or lower and saving should fix the issue.

Blackboard has confirmed there is a fix for this issue that will be rolled out.

Blackboard Tests

ID: 000075370

Date identified: 29/01/2021

When you choose a date for the 'Show test results and feedback' > 'On Specific date' setting on a Blackboard Test, the results will not automatically be released to students at that date.

This is because the setting will not trigger unhiding the associated Grade Centre column, which needs to happen for students to see their results.

A workaround is to set reminders to open the Grade Centre on the result release day and manually show the column to students.

Blackboard Tests

ID: 000075301

Date identified: 27/01/2021

Using significant figures sometimes causes problems with automatic marking in Blackboard Tests. Correct answers are marked as incorrect in a few specific cases where accuracy is given to a number of significant figures.

We are asking for clarification from Blackboard about the issue but think it's due to how Blackboard handles calculated formula answers in which accuracy is given to a number of significant figures and the last significant figure is '0'.

Find out more about this issue.

In the question settings you are able to edit the answer sets and remove any answers where this would be an issue.

Blackboard Tests

ID: 000075704

Date identified: 10/08/2021

When you use the Answer Numbering option on a Multiple Choice Question in a Test, this displays the answer line oddly if superscript formatting is used for any part of an answer. It appears as if the superscript formatting has applied to the Answer Numbering part too (i.e. to the "A.").

This issue does not affect the functioning of the test.

You can set Answer Numbering to "None", and add the numbering in manually to the start of the Answer. Any superscript formatting will display as expected.

Blank Pages

ID: 000057301

Date identified: 05/02/2018

Blank pages are not available to Guests in Blackboard courses. This has been raised with Blackboard and they are working on a solution, but in the short term they have highlighted a workaround for the issue.

If you use blank pages in Blackboard and want to make them available to Guests, contact the Digital Learning Helpdesk (digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk) and request a fix to be applied.

Content Editor

ID: 000074943

Date identified: 13/11/2020

The default font size in the Content Editor is currently displaying as '14px', however when text is entered this will actually be formatted as font size 10.

Staff and students wishing to use an alternative font size should select the appropriate size from the dropdown menu - e.g. 10pt, 12pt, 14pt etc.

Content Editor

ID: 000064429

Date identified: 10/11/2020

Students using the Source Code button (<> icon) on the content editor to embed content (e.g. Google Maps) are not able to achieve this. When added, the content is replaced by a blank space.

None.

Content Editor

ID: 000075074

Date identified: 09/11/2020

When using screenreading software (JAWS for Windows) to insert a Kaltura video into a course, a bug is appearing that disrupts the workflow.

After creating a content item, clicking the Add Content menu and selecting Kaltura Media, the cursor's focus will not automatically switch to the Kaltura Media pop-up window that enables you to embed videos.

You have to click with the mouse anywhere in the web browser window before you can then use the keyboard to navigate around the Kaltura Media window.

Journals

ID: N/A

Date identified: 18/03/2021

A small number of students using Safari as a browser are encountering issues adding journal entries in Blackboard. When content is added, upon clicking Submit, none of the content is saved.

This issue is impacting older versions of Safari (version 12 and earlier).

To resolve this issue, it's recommended to update Safari or use an alternate browser such as Chrome or Firefox. Please see Blackboard’s guidance on browser support for up-to-date information on which browser versions are supported.

Kaltura Media in Blackboard

ID: N/A

Date identified: 09/09/2020

Occasionally Safari users on Mac OSX or iOS receive an error message when trying to view Kaltura Media in a Blackboard course. 

The message states: It seems your browser is blocking 3rd party session cookies which are required for the Kaltura application. To resolve this issue, please update your settings to allow 3rd party cookies.

Use Chrome or Firefox. Alternatively, follow the steps below to adjust cookie settings in Safari:

Mac OSX: Open Safari, click on Safari > Preferences > Privacy, under Cookies & Website Data select 'Always Allow'.

iOS (iOS 10 and below): Open the Settings App, go to Safari > Block Cookies, select 'Always Allow'.

iOS (iOS 11 and above): Open the Settings App, go to Safari > Prevent Cross-Site Tracking, turn off 'Present Cross-Site Tracking'.

Notifications

ID: 000074971

Date identified: 01/10/2020

Students are receiving overdue notifications for assignments they have already submitted to. We believe this issue is due to changes in the way that Blackboard notifications are displayed, and changes to the Turnitin building block triggering notifications which it couldn't previously.

Find out more about this issue.

None.

BACK TO TOP: BLACKBOARD

BACK TO TOP: PAGE


Blackboard Collaborate known issues

Area Issue Workaround

Safari 15

Safari 15 users are not able to enable their microphone in Collaborate sessions, and some are experiencing issues getting stuck joining / re-joining sessions.

We advise using Google Chrome to resolve this issue.

BACK TO TOP: BLACKBOARD COLLABORATE

BACK TO TOP: PAGE


Kaltura known issues

Area Issue Workaround

Kaltura Media in Blackboard

Occasionally Safar users on Mac OSX or iOS receive an error message when trying to view Kaltura Media in a Blackboard course. 

The message states: It seems your browser is blocking 3rd party session cookies which are required for the Kaltura application. To resolve this issue, please update your settings to allow 3rd party cookies.

Use Chrome or Firefox. Alternatively, follow the steps below to adjust cookie settings in Safari:

Mac OSX: Open Safari, click on Safari > Preferences > Privacy, under Cookies & Website Data select 'Always Allow'.

iOS (iOS 10 and below): Open the Settings App, go to Safari > Block Cookies, select 'Always Allow'.

iOS (iOS 11 and above): Open the Settings App, go to Safari > Prevent Cross-Site Tracking, turn off 'Present Cross-Site Tracking'.

BACK TO TOP: KALTURA

BACK TO TOP: PAGE


PebblePad known issues

Area Issue Workaround

Accessing PebblePad

PebblePad is usually found under 'View All Services' in MUSE. Some associate or visiting members of staff may not have a link to PebblePad in their MUSE account, but do have a PebblePad account.

If this is the case, you need to log into PebblePad directly.

Sharing Resources

If your resource is not appearing in students' Resources Store, there are a few issues that may be happening. Examples include:

  • Is the Resource added to the correct Workspace in ATLAS?
  • Have students been added to the Workspace?
  • Is the Resource set to 'Visible' in the 'Resources' section of your Workspace?
  • Is the Workspace active?
  • Are students erroneously looking in the Asset Store, rather than the Resource Store?

If these settings are as they should be, or you are unsure, please contact digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk for advice.

BACK TO TOP: PEBBLEPAD

BACK TO TOP: PAGE


TurningPoint known issues

Area Issue Workaround

TurningPoint PowerPoint plugin on YoYo Desktop

The TurningPoint plugin for PowerPoint is currently not functioning as expected on YoYo Desktop.

You can still use the online version of TurningPoint by logging into https://instructor.turningtechnologies.eu/ and your students will be able to access TurningPoint via a laptop or mobile device.

If you are already using TurningPoint Desktop downloaded from the Software Centre on your device there should be no change.

We have contacted the supplier and are awaiting a response.

BACK TO TOP: TURNINGPOINT

BACK TO TOP: PAGE


Turnitin known issues

Area Issue Workaround
Immediate issues

Grade Centre/My Marks

ID: 02429009

Date identified: 07/01/2022

When staff try to view a Turnitin submission from the Grade Centre, they see an error message (filesys.err.dir.attempt) and cannot view the attempt.

Students will see the same error message (filesys.err.dir.attempt) when trying to access their submission from My Marks.

Turnitin are aware and are investigating.

Staff should navigate to Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments and click on the assignment title to view submissions.

Students should navigate to the Turnitin Assignment link they originally submitted to and click View/Complete, then select View on the next page. Feedback Studio will launch and their grades and feedback will display.

If you cannot find the assignment link you submitted to, please contact your module tutor in the first instance.

Feedback Studio

Staff are unable to download the text-only reports from within Turnitin feedback studio.

Turnitin are aware of this issue and are planning to resolve it in a future update.

Student submissions can still be downloaded from the standard view in Feedback Studio, this issue relates only to downloading papers in the text-only view.

Ongoing issues

Feedback Studio

For users with devices that do not have a mouse wheel or trackpad, you are not able to scroll down the thumbnail bar on the left hand side of Feedback Studio. However you can still scroll down the document itself.

Turnitin are aware of this issue and are planning to resolve it in a future update.

None.

Grade Centre

Turnitin grades experience a delay in release to Blackboard's Grade Centre. If you have selected 'Reveal grades only on post date' the associated column in the Grade Centre should become visible on the post date and time selected. These are delayed for around 5 minutes. 

You can manually make the column visible in the Full Grade Centre, and students can access the grade from the original submission link.

PDF submissions

ID: 00909989

Date identified: 06/09/2019

Turnitin submissions via PDF do not always display correctly. Although Turnitin list PDF as being an acceptable file format to them, they only officially support PDF submissions that were originally created with Adobe Acrobat software. This is now available in the Software Centre on the University Managed Desktop service.

PDF's created using third party software or plug-ins may not be able to be read properly by Turnitin's scanning software and may fail to upload, or may be accepted initially but then suffer a corruption in the document's formatting which can lead to problems creating an accurate Originality Report.

Similarly, conversions into PDF from other formats such as Microsoft Word can also cause problems for Turnitin because Turnitin sometimes interprets these as scanned image files rather than an original text format and again this causes problems for the Turnitin scanners as they are predominantly checking for text, not images.

As a workaround, we recommend that students upload either .doc files or PDFs generated via Adobe Acrobat, if a PDF submission is required.

This should avoid the submissions from displaying incorrectly and allow for them to be submitted, marked and fed back as normal.

PeerMark

There is a known issue with PeerMark assignments with more than one review per student. Regardless of which peer review the student or instructor has selected to view, the first peer review received will be displayed by default instead of the one selected.

As a workaround, the user may select any review to open it up in the PeerMark viewer and then click on the '<>' links at the top-right of the screen to cycle through the other peer reviews received.

Student Preview in Blackboard

ID: N/A

Date identified: 13/11/2015

Turnitin does not support Student Preview Mode in Blackboard. If an Instructor tries to access a Turnitin assignment with Student Preview Mode engaged, then the Instructor will receive the error message 'Student Preview mode is not supported'.

If you wish to submit as a student, you can click 'View/complete' and submit as a non-enrolled student.

Turnitin

Areas of Turnitin that have a popup box appear are causing certain functions not to work, these include:

  • You are unable to create or edit assignments to have post-dates more than the default amount of 2 weeks after the due date.
  • The resubmit button is unresponsive and unable to be used.
  • Submissions are unable to be downloaded from the assignment inbox.

This looks to be impacting older Chrome and Edge browsers. Please ensure you are using the latest version of Chrome or Edge to rectify the issue. 

BACK TO TOP: TURNITIN

BACK TO TOP: PAGE