Blackboard (MOLE)  - Known issues     

The following issues are deemed current and are reviewed at appropriate intervals throughout the year.
Last reviewed September 2019

For known issues related to Turnitin, please click here.

For known issues related to New Box view (Blackboard assignment tool), please click here.

If you would like to report an issue, or if the workarounds are not working for you then please let us know at digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk

Recent issues

Issue Workaround
Embed codes broken when adding alt tags using Ally There is a known issue being investigated that adding image alt tags via Ally may lead to embed codes (e.g. Kaltura, YouTube) in the same content item breaking. In the meantime, if your image is in an item that also includes an embed code, you are advised to add an alt tag by editing the image settings in the text editor rather than using Ally to do so.
Staff unable to see Child Courses Child courses are currently unable to be seen by Staff and are not displayed in Course listings. There is no such problem for Students. They continue to see the title of Child courses and on opening them are presented with the contents of the Parent course - as usual.

Students recieving overdue notifications for assignments they have already submitted to

This issue we believe to be due to changes in the way that Blackboard (MOLE) notifications are displayed, and changes to the Turnitin building block triggering notifications which it couldn't previously. More details on this issue can be found here.

Ongoing issues

Issue Workaround
Documents selected for assignment submission are replaced with blank/empty documents if using 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 sent normally.

Using Windows 10 with any other browser i.e. Firefox, Chrome or using Microsoft Edge with an Operating system other than Windows 10 results in the document being sent normally.

Manage users tool not allowing change of staff role

There is a issue with the manage users tool.

When staff need to change the role of a colleague e.g. changing from from “instructor” to “Module lead instructor” it does not work correctly.

When you try to do this, it appears to accept the change but when you return to the tool, they remain on the old role.

The workaround for this is to either:

Delete the instructor from the course and re-add with the correct role (Note: only do this if the staff member has had no interactions with any of the social tools on the course i.e. Discussion boards, blogs, wikis, journals)
Contact the Digital Learning Team (digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk) who will be able to assist in changing the role over.

The scroll bar in Grade Centre is missing when using a Mac. The horizontal scroll bar doesn’t appear in the MOLE Grade Centre when using a Mac.

To solve this, you should go to System Preferences > General, and change ‘Show Scroll Bars’ to ‘Always’

This works for Safari, Firefox and Chrome.

Group codes are not generated when creating group sets. When groups are created using the group sets tool in Blackboard, there is no group code generated. This means you are unable to use the bulk enrolments of group members method.

To make the codes appear you can export the groups (use the groups only option). This will prompt Blackboard to make the group codes appear.

uReports not able to run Blackboard queries. We are aware of a problem affecting the ability of uReports to run Blackboard queries currently.

This is being investigated by CiCS.

Cannot change the dashboard notification preferences of Blackboard Organisations A current bug will not allow you to change how many notifications you receive from a Blackboard Organisation and by default you will receive notifications resulting from any changes made in any Organisation you are associated with.

Blackboard are aware of this situation and hope to include a fix with a future software update.

Blank pages not available to Guests If you use blank pages in Blackboard and want to make them available to to Guests, you will need to email digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk and request a fix to be applied. This has been raised with Blackboard and they are working on a fix for this, but in the short term they have highlighted a workaround fix for this.
3rd Party Cookie Error appears when trying to view Kaltura Media

Occasionally, Safari users on Mac OSX or iOS receive an error message when accessing Kaltura media. 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."

Workaround: Use the Chrome or Firefox browsers. 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 Present Cross-Site Tracking off

Show items that don't contribute to user's mark' doesn't show information in the Grade Centre.

There is a new setting in the Grade Centre (after the April 2019 upgrade) that shows items that don't contrubute to a user's mark.

A bug means this search is not applied automatically when this is selected. Instead you need to click the checkbox labelled 'Show attempts that don't contribute to user's mark' manually, and click 'Go' to complete the search.

This bug is being investigated by Blackboard.

Syllabus always moves to the bottom of the page after re-ordering items, upon refreshing the page Use Content Area 'Move' tool to move the Syllabus to another Content Area.
Then move it back.
Now Drag and Drop and keyboard access can change the position of the Syllabus and it appears to 'stick' as expected.
Images not displaying for students when added into Blank Page Add the image into the content collection first, and then add the image to a blank page
File attachments not displaying/downloading when added to a blank page. Add the file into the content collection first, and then add the file to a blank page.
Quick comments in Grade Centre giving a Popup Error:

The following error: "Only POST methods are accepted for grade changes, Course User id" occurs when you:

  1. Go to Grade Center
  2. Select the context menu of a grade column/ line where a grade has been entered
  3. Select Quick comment
  4. Select Text Editor
  5. Select Submit

The workaround is to either add feedback via the quick comment window and not open the text editor (i.e. add the feedback at step 3) or access the attempt (in the same dropdown as quick comment) and add feedback in the screen that follows.

2 Dividers added when you add one on the course menu Known error. Delete one of the lines. There is no known fix at present.
Web browsers not displaying some content e.g. web links, video. Security features in web browsers may prevent you from seeing the content you expect. The most obvious examples in Blackboard are web links and embedded video. It is possible to make this blocked content appear:

Internet Explorer

If you expect to see web links, video or audio content but it does not appear, check the bottom of the screen. If you see a warning message under a yellow bar it means the browser is blocking some content.
Click the button labelled 'Show all content' and your content should appear.

Firefox

If you expect to see web links, video or audio content but it does not appear, check the address bar of your browser. If you see a grey shield to the left of the address bar it means the browser is blocking some content.
If you click on the grey shield you will see a pop-up menu warning you that this page has insecure content.
Click the drop-down arrow
Select 'Disable protection' on this page and your content should appear.

Chrome

If you expect to see web links, video or audio content but it does not appear, check the address bar of your browser. If you see a grey shield to the right of the address bar it means the browser is blocking some content.
If you click on the grey shield you will see a pop-up menu warning you that this page has insecure content.
Click the button labelled 'Load Anyway' and your content should appear.
You may notice that the contents of the address bar changes to indicate you are viewing insecure content.

These settings will apply to all Blackboard pages for the duration of your browser session. If you log out, and close the browser, you will need to repeat the process when you next log in to Blackboard.

Further Details:

All the major browsers have increased levels of security to help protect users from malicious ‘phishing’ attacks, hidden on web pages. This has created an unfortunate side effect in Blackboard, and it occurs when a page is in ‘mixed mode’, i.e. the page has both secure and insecure content.


Blackboard is running in a secure environment, which is defined by the 'https' at the beginning of the URL. This is good because user data is protected. However, Blackboard offers the ability to display content from outside of Blackboard within the course pages, typically as a web link. The ‘mixed mode’ problem arises when this external content is sitting on a non-secure server, which is defined by the URL beginning with http, so you end up having this less secure content being displayed within the secure Blackboard pages.

This is how ‘phishing’ attacks can happen, so the browser developers have now all introduced an automatic block on this ‘mixed mode’ which increases the protection a user has. This does mean however that genuine, safe, content also gets blocked. A couple of examples in Blackboard would be embedded video content or external web pages like the BBC. Using Kaltura to insert media in the course avoids the mixed mode error.