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Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find what you are looking for here, please email your question to the Service Desk.

New My Classes Channel in the Portal
Technical Requirements
Trust Java Applet Certificate
I cannot upload an attachment to a Blackboard Assignment
Quiz Timer blocks Submit button on Quiz
IE 7 - Can't view files
Permission to Add a Course and Blackboard Access Timelines
Blackboard Course will not Display
Page will not load / timeout error
Save a file from a Blackboard Course
Print a page in a Blackboard Course
Open a file from a Blackboard Course
Uploading files into a Blackboard Course - file naming

Forgot my Password

Where is my email going?

Taking a quiz/test/survey in Blackboard
How do I see a grade in the GradeBook?
I cannot get the Virtual Classroom (Chat) tool to work
Forbidden 403 or a security warning error
Blackboard's performance is slow
When I click on the Portal Blackboard link a white web page appears

New My Classes Channel

The My Classes channel replaced the Blackboard Access Channel Tuesday 5/4.

Click on the Bb link on the left to access your Blackboard courses. To access the Additional Blackboard courses, click on the (>) arrow button on the right of the "other Blackboard Access" text.

Blackboard will not load in my browser.

Firefox 3.5 and IE 8 on the PC are having issues with Blackboard's Assignment uploads and viewing the Grade Center. Make sure your FireFox 3.5 and IE 8 is ran through the browser checker.

Test your browser with one of the TWO Browser Checkers.

Go to the new Browser Checer within the Support Site.

Or

From the My Blackboard home page...

  1. Click on the My Blackboard Home Page link on the bottom of the My Classes channel.
  2. Click on the Test Browser button in the Browser Checker channel.
    Screen image of the Browser Checker

  3. If the browser was not compatible, click on the (?) More Information button (on the top) left for instructions.
I use Netscape/Internet Explorer and I cannot access Blackboard.

Browser Requirements

Please review the Technical Requirements page on how to modifiy your browser settings.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or 7(PC).
Mozilla Firefox 2.0 & 3.0
Apple Safari 2.0 & 3

NOTE: FireFox 3.5 and IE 8 are not supported browsers, yet.

JavaScript must be enabled
Cookies must be enabled
Allow pop-up windows

When the web page in IE is not loading completely you may need to update your Java Run Time. Please review the Technical Requirements page on how to update your Java(Sun).

The Browser Window asks that I trust the Certificate. OR The browser page will not load.

If your pop-up blockers are on within your browser, this window will not appear and the page will not load.

I cannot upload an attachment to a Blackboard Assignment.

If your trying to access the HTML editor (text box), your browser may ask you to Trust the Java Applet Certificate. The HTML editor uses the Java Applet to work. Click on the Trust button to approve the certificate. If the page doesn't load, the pop-up blocker on the browser may prevent this window from appearing. Turn off the pop-up blocker and try the HTML editor again to Trust the Certificate.

If you are unable to upload an attachment to an Assignment in Blackboard either because selecting "Browse" creates an error or the page fails to completely load, try waiting 1 to 2 minutes for the Java Applet Certificate pop-up window to appear. The Java Applet Certificate window appears to pop-up slower on some machines. Do not close the browser if the Java Applet Certificate window has not popped-up. Until it has appeared and you have selected "Trust," the page will not load completely. The Applet must be "Trusted" in order for you to upload attachments.

If you have not seen or "Trusted" the Java Applet, verify that your pop-up blocker is turned off and that the Java Applet pop-up window hasn't fallen behind other programs/ windows you have open.

Screen image of Turst pop-up window

screen shot of the Java Applet Certificate pop-up window in the Snow Leopard OS.

The Elapsed Time Box Covers Test/Survey Submit Button

The Elapsed Time box covers the height of the Blackboard quiz window in Internet Explorer 8, as a result students cannot click on the Save button or Submit their quiz answers. "Compatibility View" must be turned on in IE 8 to view the quiz correctly.

Internet Explorer 8 needs to be in "Compatibility View" in order for students to have access to the Save and Submit buttons on a Blackboard quiz. If "Compatibility View" is turned off on a students browser, the Elapsed Time box in the upper right corner of the window covers the length of the quiz window, completely blocking the Save and Submit buttons. If you are using IE 8, verify that "Compatibility View" is turned on before taking a Blackboard quiz, changing it midway through a Blackboard quiz may lock you out of the quiz entirely.

To turn "Compatibility View" on in Internet Explorer 8 BEFORE taking a Blackboard quiz:

  1. Open IE 8, and enter a Blackboard course (calpoly.edu must be in the URL search bar).
  2. Go to the top toolbar and click on Tools.
  3. Scroll down to "Compatibility View" and click on it. Calpoly.edu is now added as a "Compatibility View" website and will remain compatible unless turned off by the user.
IE 7 will not allow me to access Blackboard files.
I am unable to open an PDF file within IE 7.

Not only do you need to make sure that all the browser settings have been modified for your new IE 7 browser, you will also need to reinstall the Acrobat Reader plug-in.

Add Blackboard to your IE 7 Trusted Sites.

My instructor gave me permission (after wait list) to enroll into the course, but I still can't get into Blackboard.

Once you have received Permission to add a course, it can take up to 2 days before you can access the Blackboard course.

  • Day 1: Type the Permission Number into CPReg.
  • Day 1: Add the course with CPReg.
  • Day 2: Blackboard access enabled.

Even though you see the new course in the My Classes channel on Day 2, the Blackboard enrollment doesn't happen until the next morning. Please wait 3 days after entering your Permission number. After 3 days if you are unable to access the Blackboard course (with a green arrow), then please call the Service Desk 756-7000.

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I cannot see my course link in the Cal Poly Portal within the My Classes channel.

Each instructor has the choice to use his or her Blackboard course or not. Courses which are unavailable have a unavaiable icon next to the Blackboard link. Please ask your instructor if they are using Blackboard and to please make their course Available.

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The browser window will not load the Blackboard page.

Browser error:

  • Can't find the page
  • Time out, server not found.

Blackboard is currently (as of 8/1/06) running on two servers. If you get these errors, just reload or refresh your browser window. For more informaiton.

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When I try to view a file by clicking on it in Blackboard, it opens a web page with gibberish.

If the file opens in the browser as gibberish, depending on the browser (Netscape, IE, Safari, or Firefox) computer (Mac or PC), and mouse you can download the file to your computer by:

  1. To Save/Download the file to your desktop.
    • Right-Click on the link: Download to Disk.
    • Right-Click on the link: Save Link Target As.
    • Right-Click on the link: Save Link As.
    • Option/ Alt, Left-Click : Save Link As.
    • Control, Left-Click: Download Link to Disk.
    • Control, Left-Click: Save Link As.
  2. Remove the ".html" from the end of the file name.
  3. Click on the Save button to save the file to the Desktop.
  4. Start the program that will open the file (ex: MathType).
  5. File > Open the file from the program.

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I cannot print a page in Blackboard.

Depending on the browser (Netscape, IE, Safari, or Firefox) computer (Mac or PC), and mouse you can print a frame by:

  • Right-Click in the frame and choose: This Frame > Open this frame in new window.
  • Option/ Alt, Left-Click : This Frame > Open this frame in new window.
  • Right-Click in the frame and choose: Open frame in new window.
  • Control, Left-Click: Open frame in new window.
  • Right-Click in the frame and choose: Print.

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I cannot access a file in Blackboard. (download or view)

If you are unable to open a file (link) by clicking on it...Depending on the browser (Netscape, IE, Safari, or Firefox) computer (Mac or PC), and mouse you can download it by:

  • Right-Click on the link: Download to Disk.
  • Right-Click on the link: Save Link Target As.
  • Right-Click on the link: Save Link As.
  • Option/ Alt, Left-Click : Save Link As.
  • Control/ Left-Click: Download Link to Disk.
  • Control/ Left-Click: Save Link As.

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After clicking on an uploaded file I get a HTTP Status 404 error...

I am having problems attaching files.

When placing files into Blackboard as a Discussion Board attachment, Email attachment, Course Materials attachment, Assignment attachment or as an attachment in the Digital Dropbox, it is important to name the files properly before attaching them. Below are a few file-naming conventions that should be followed. File names should not be longer than 32 characters including the file extension (.doc)

CORRECT

  • Dog.doc
  • theDogRan.doc
  • thedogran.doc
  • Dog1.doc
  • Dog_1.doc

INCORRECT

  • dog ran.doc
  • dog-ran.doc
  • dog&ran.doc
  • Dog#1.doc
  • dog/ran.doc
  • dog.ran.doc
  • the dog ran over the fence across the field.doc

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I forgot my password.

If you don't yet have a password or can't remember your password, you can still activate or reset your UNIX and Openmail accounts by using the guest-accessible instance of the Password Manager. To do so, go to: the Cal Poly Password Manager and Follow the on-screen instructions to continue.

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Where is my email going?

There is a web tool that lets Cal Poly instructors update email addresses. Log-in to the Cal Poly portal at http://my.calpoly.edu/ and use the Personal Info tab.

Click here for more information.

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Things to know when taking a quiz/test/survey in Blackboard.

While taking an assessment (i.e., test, quiz) using Netscape do not resize the browser window or click on other links. If the browser is resized or links are clicked, your assessment will be submitted without any answers resulting in a grade of zero! Ouch!

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How do I see a grade in the GradeBook?

Once the instructor has graded the test or quiz, the student will be able to see the graded test by going to Tools > My Grades on the My Blackboard page or accessing Tool > My Grades from within the Blackboard course.

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I cannot get the Virtual Classroom (Chat) tool to work on my home computer.

We have found that some users at home (off campus) cannot access the Blackboard Virtual Classroom (Chat) tool. Besides Cookies and Java enabled (more info top of page) in your browser, some users may have the wrong TCP/IP properties. more information on Technical Requirements, DSL, and Virtual Classroom connection problems.

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I am unable to access my files. When I click I see a Forbidden 403 or a security warning. What can I do to get my files?

After installing SSL (secure socket language) on Sunday 2/27 some Internet Explorer users may see a Forbidden 403 or a security warning and not be able to access their files. Try adding the URL to the Security tab or use another browser (Netscape or Firefox).

In Internet Explorer (PC)

  1. Click on the Tools menu.
  2. Click on Internet Options.
  3. Within the Security Tab...
    • Click on the Trusted Sites icon.
    • Click on the Sites button.
    • Type the URL (https://blackboard.calpoly.edu) into the text field.
    • Click on the Add button.
    • Click on the OK button.

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Blackboard's performance is slow, what can I do?

On Monday at 1:45 the Blackboard performance was enhanced with some modifications to the internal settings. If you are still experiencing slowness, please clear your cache, cookies, and files.

In Internet Explorer 6 (PC)

  1. Click on the Tools menu.
  2. Click on Internet Options.
  3. Within the General Tab...
    • Click on the Delete Cookie button.
    • Click on the Delete Files button.

In Firefox 1(PC / Mac)

  1. Click on the Firefox menu.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Within the Privacy Tab...
    • Click on the Clear Cookie button.
    • Click on the Clear Cache button.

In Netscape 7 (Mac)

  1. Click on the Netscape menu.
  2. Click on Preferences.
  3. Under Category, click on the Advanced arrow to show options.
  4. Click on the Cache option.
    • Click on the Clear Cache button.

In Safari 1.2.4 (Mac)

  1. Click on the Safari menu.
  2. Click on Empty Cache.

  1. Click on the Safari menu.
  2. Click on Reset Safari.
    "Resetting Safari erases your browsing history, empties the cache, clears the Downloads window, and removes cookies. It also removes any saved names and passwords or other AutoFill text and clears Google search entries."
  3. Click Reset, if you are OK with the message.

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When I click on the Portal Blackboard link a white web page appears. How can I access my Blackboard courses?

Some users may have the old Bb 5.5 cookie or cached files in their browser which will show a white/blank page. By clearing cookies, cache and files the Blackboard course will display.

In Internet Explorer (PC)

  1. Click on the Tools menu.
  2. Click on Internet Options.
  3. Within the General Tab...
    • Click on the Delete Cookies button.
    • Click on the Delete Files button.
  4. Within the Privacy Tab...
    • Drag the slider to the Medium Level.
  5. Within the Security Tab...
    • Click on the Default Level button.

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