The University of Miami Blackboard Learn system is currently on release 9.1 Q2 2016 and starting on January 2018, we will be starting the new year with the latest version. Every new Blackboard Learn Release introduces many new features and enhancements to the existing features in response to user feedback.
In addition to be on the latest release, we will be moving to the Saas Platform which will offer improvements to the current managed-hosted platform we have now.
What are the benefits of SaaS deployment for Blackboard Learn? Zero impact to the faculty and students during updates: With a cloud-computing environment, you benefit from continuous updates (new features, enhancements, fixes, etc.) with zero or minimal downtime for your educators and students.
Higher quality: A SaaS model allows Blackboard to deliver maintenance, updates, and fixes to production faster than ever before, and the cloud platform easily scales during periods of high usage.
Fast access to new features: A SaaS model allows Blackboard to deliver enhancements and new features faster than ever before, so the campus can have the latest and greatest features versus having to wait longer periods of time.
The Blackboard Learn system at the University of Miami has been upgraded and returned to service at noon on Saturday, January 6, 2018. The content and material on courses.miami.edu should not have been changed during the upgrade. The new server is, accessed via courses.miami.edu, as before.
CURRENT ISSUES IN THE BLACKBOARD LEARN SYSTEM AT UM
The semester has started and people are using Blackboard. Here are problems we have identified and are monitoring.
Grade Center Scores Show 5 Decimal Places – For example, if there are 10 possible points for an item in the Grade Center, it will be displayed as “10.00000”. This is a known problem with no workaround. It will be fixed in a future update.
Reordering Content or Grade Center Items – When using drag-and-drop to reorder items in content areas and the grade center, the items don’t move and the screen goes gray. Fix: After clearing the browser cache these problems have gone away. (You may not want to clear your browser history or cookies when doing this.) Instructions for Clearing Cache:
Blackboard Announcements: The best way for you to stay informed about events such as this upgrade is to subscribe to our Blackboard mailing list. To subscribe, go to https://listserv.miami.edu/scripts/wa.exe?SUBED1=BB&A=1 and submit the form. Then confirm your subscription in your email system.
If you have experience issues, have questions or need something special, please contact the UMIT Learning Platforms Help Desk at (305) 284-3949 or email@example.com.
The UMIT Learning Platforms Team has completed the update of the University Of Miami Blackboard to version “9.1 Q2 2016” on Monday December 26th 2016. This upgrade will enhance our current version with with several bug fixes.
Some users may still see a cached version of a page stating that Blackboard is still unavailable. If you attempt to access Blackboard after December 26th, 2016 and see this error, please feel free to contact the Blackboard Help Desk by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This issue might also be resolved by clearing the cache in your web browser.
The UMIT Learning Platforms Team will be updating the University Of Miami Blackboard to version “9.1 Q2 2016” on Sunday and Monday (December 25th – 26th) 2016. Due to this the Blackboard service will be unavailable.
We are excited to implement this upgrade and it will enhance our current version with several bug fixes. After the update has been completed, some users may still see a cached version of a page stating that Blackboard is still unavailable. If you attempt to access Blackboard after December 26th, 2016 and see this error, please feel free to contact the Blackboard Help Desk by emailing email@example.com or calling 305-284-3949 for assistance. This issue might also be resolved by clearing the cache in your web browser.
A malicious OneClass Chrome Extension is part of a current phishing scam which sends email on students’ behalf and also attempt to collect user credentials.
DO NOT INSTALL THIS CHROME EXTENSION. If you receive an email encouraging you to install this extension, please DO NOT click anything in the email. Just delete the email.
IF YOU HAVE INSTALLED IT, REMOVE IT FROM YOUR CHROME WEB BROWSER. Here are instructions on how to remove it.
1. Open up your Chrome Browser
2. Select the 3 vertical dots in the top right-hand corner
3. Select Settings
4. Select Extensions in the top left-hand corner
5. Click the Trashcan beside the “OneClass Easy Invite” extension
6. Select Remove on the Confirm Removal Popup
7. Close all Chrome windows and quit the Chrome browser.
8. Repeat steps 1-4 to verify the extension has been removed (Steps 1-4) 9. Go to https://caneid.miami.edu and change your CaneID password.
The extension adds a button inside the Blackboard Learn pages to “Invite Your Classmates to OneClass.” The button will email all the members of a Blackboard Learn class to promote the OneClass extension/product. The extension also has code that attempts to collect the users’ credentials (both username and password).
The New Respondus 4.0 Installation Password will need to be entered after 08/01/2016
End-Users that already have Respondus 4.0 installed on their computer will be prompted to enter a new Installation password when launching the program after 08/01/2016.
Every year our institution receives an “installation password” from Respondus. The installation password can be used to reactivate an existing copy of Respondus that was previously installed or to install a new copy of the software.
What does this mean?
If you installed a version of Respondus 4.0 in your computer before 07/31/2016 you will be prompted to enter a new installation password when you launch the program after 08/01/2016. This is because the installation password that was used when installing the program is set to expire on 07/31/2016. Once you enter the new installation password you will reactivate the program and will be able to use it without problems.
06/15/2016 – Lockdown Browser Lab Version 1 End of Life (Windows)
On June 30, 2016 – the “Lab Edition” of Lockdown Browser based on Internet Explorer will reach end of life. Lockdown Browser Lab Version 1 will cease functioning.
Note: This update will only affect computers with Lockdown Browser Lab Version 1installed. If you have Lockdown Browser installed in your own computer this should not affect you.
After June 30th 2016 if a computer has Lockdown Browser Lab Version 1 installed an error message will be received. The message will display the following:
Outdated version of LockDown Browser This version of LockDown Browser is no longer current and must be updated. If this is a public computer, the update must be performed by the manager of the computers.
Why the Update?
In August 2015 Respondus released a Chromium-based version of Lockdown Browser for Windows which is more stable and reliable than version 1.
If you Have Respondus Lockdown Browser Lab Version 1 Installed
We are currently inviting users to experiment with the “New Home” page in the top black navigation menu in Blackboard. It is located exactly to the right of our current homepage link which is labeled as “Blackboard”.
The home page improvements are as follows:
“New Home” link at the top of the Blackboard navigation menu.
We have kept the improved Help Desk service station at the top of the page to provide for ease of access to the Help Desk.
Banner ads have been moved from underneath the help desk module to the top right side for easier scrolling access to the “My Available Course Sites ” module.
New bottom left twitter widget provides functionality to keep Blackboard users up to date with announcements and changes in the system.
New “UM Bb Resources” has been added for known issues, how to’s, and LPT News.
The Qwickly module is closer to the top to allow professors access to course availability settings.
New grey highlight color next to the titles to give the page a different updated look.
06/03/2016 – Instructors might notice that there are times where SafeAssign does not detect plagiarized passages as well as it used to.
Blackboard has had to develop a new search engine for SafeAssign.
Blackboard was using Yahoo Boss as a search engine for SafeAssignments to provide results from the internet. However Yahoo Boss service was discontinued as of March 2016 prompting Blackboard to develop an internal search service to provide internet results for SafeAssign. As a result of this new search engine being developed Instructors have noticed that there are times where SafeAssign does not detect plagiarized passages.
Pros and Cons to the new Search Engine
Pros: This search engine is proprietary to Blackboard, so it will provide them with the ability to enhance and refine search results over time to improve the overall quality of the SafeAssign Product.
Cons: It is a new search engine so it needs to be enhanced & optimized. You might encounter passages that are plagiarized and are not marked by SafeAssign.
We’re pleased to announce that we have added the ability for instructors to access the reports for the course enrollment dates for their students in Blackboard. This new feature can be accessed easily by following the steps below in your Blackboard course site.
1) Open up your course site and proceed to “Evaluation” in the left side course menu under “Course Tools”.
2) Click on “Course Reports” under “Evaluation”.
3) Hover your cursor over the title and click on the small grey circle chevron next to the title “Course Enrollments Dates”.
4) Click on “Run” in the drop down menu.
5) Select the desired format for the report. If you would like to keep the report or edit the information then the “Excel” format would be desirable. If you would like to simply view the information on the web then select the “HTML” option. Once you have made your format selection, Click “Submit” in the top or bottom right hand corner of the screen to run the report.
6) You will receive a message that the report has successfully run. If you chose the “HTML” format then a window will open showing the information. If you chose a different format then it will download to your computer’s “Downloads” folder.