Summer & Fall Course Availability for Instructors in Blackboard

Summer 2014 courses will be available to instructors in the new Blackboard system on 3/10.  Fall 2014 courses will be available to instructors in the new Blackboard system on 3/31.  To access the new Blackboard system, please visit:


For additional information on when courses appear and disappear in Blackboard, please see:

Internet Explorer 11 and Blackboard

On February 11th, 2014, Microsoft released Cumulative Security Update, MS14-010.  This security update causes Internet Explorer 11 to crash when an instructor accesses any Blackboard Learn course that has Edit Mode turned on.  This security update was pushed (by Microsoft) to all Windows users with IE11.  More information about the security update can be found here:

Blackboard technical support has identified a workaround for this issue, and we will be implementing it into UTC’s Blackboard environment on 14 March 2014.  However, please remember that Internet Explorer 11 is NOT a supported browser for our version of Blackboard.  The Walker Center for Teaching & Learning continues to recommend that all Blackboard users utilize the most current versions of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Blackboard Supported Browsers

Mozilla Firefox

Google Chrome

Trouble Accessing SafeAssign in Blackboard

If you experience trouble accessing SafeAssign on Blackboard, the error you receive may be due to your browser’s cookie settings. If when you try to access SafeAssign you see the following error, please follow the directions provided below. If your SafeAssign issue does not match the conditions listed below, please contact the Blackboard Administrator.

Specific Error:

Sorry, we do not think you are logged in to SafeAssign.  Your session may have timed out.  If you have received this message in error, please contact your system administrator.

The cause of this error is the blocking of 3rd-party cookies by your browser. Follow the steps below for the internet browser you typically use to access Blackboard.

Mac OS X – Chrome:

  1. Go to Chrome Preferences [ ⌘ , ]
  2. Scroll down to the Privacy section
  3. Press “Content Settings”
  4. UNCHECK “Block third-party cookies and site data”.
  5. Press Done.
  6. Close the Settings tab.

Mac OS XFirefox

  1. Go to Firefox Preferences [ ⌘ , ]
  2. Go to the Privacy panel.
  3. Select Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history
  4. Check the box for Accept cookies from sites
  5. And Always for Accept third-party cookies.
  6. Close the Preferences window.

Mac OS X  – Safari

  1. Go to Safari Preferences [ ⌘ , ]
  2. Go to the Privacy panel.
  3. In “Block cookies and other website data”, select Never.
  4. Close the Preferences window.

Windows – Chrome

  1. Go to Chrome Settings in the Customize and control Google Chrome menu.
  2. Click “Show advanced settings…”
  3. Scroll down to the Privacy section
  4. Press “Content Settings”
  5. UNCHECK “Block third-party cookies and site data”.
  6. Press Done.
  7. Close the Settings tab.

Windows – Firefox

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select Options.
  2. Go to the Privacy panel.
  3. Select Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history
  4. Check the box for Accept cookies from sites
  5. And Always for Accept third-party cookies.
  6. Press OK to close the Options window.

Windows – Internet Explorer

  1. Go to Internet Options, either through Internet Explorer or the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Go to the Privacy panel.
  3. Press the Advanced button.
  4. Check the box for “Override automatic cookie handling”.
  5. Select “Accept” for Third-party cookies.
  6. Press OK.
  7. Press OK to close the Internet Options window.

Blackboard Upgrade May ’14

On May 5, 2014 we will be upgrading to Blackboard 9.1 Service Pack 13.  Checkout the video below to see just a few of Blackboard’s exciting new features.

Are you ready for the Upgrade? Here are some simple steps to help prepare.

  1. Log-in to the new Blackboard NOW and check it out.  Instructors bookmark the new Blackboard log-in page so you can easily find it when it comes time to work on your summer courses later in the spring semester.
  2. Instructors, sign-up for an upcoming seminar on the new Blackboard system.  Students, join one of our open sessions.
  3. Check out our instructor tutorials and Blackboard’s new feature tutorials on YouTube.

Java Advisory for Blackboard Users

Certain features in Blackboard Learn rely on Java to work. Oracle is expected to release a client-side Java update (Java Update 7u51) on Tuesday, January 14, that will negatively impact three Blackboard tools: (1) Lightweight Chat, (2) Virtual Classroom, and (3) the ability to upload multiple files in Content Collection within Blackboard Learn. This update contains security requirements that require changes to Blackboard Learn. Blackboard is currently making the necessary fixes and plans to release the fixes to institutions on January 21.
What should you do in the meantime?

  • If you do not install this latest client-side update of Java (Java Update 7u51), you will not encounter issues.
  • If you have already installed Java Update 7u51, you can roll back to a previous version of the client-side Java to restore use of those impacted items. Visit the Java website to access earlier versions of Java.
  • If you do not use the three Blackboard Learn tools listed, installing the client-side Java Update 7u51 should not have any negative impact on your user experience in Blackboard Learn.

Please contact the Walker Center for Teaching & Learning with any questions or concerns.


This is the first of three video tutorials on e-Portfolios. E-Portfolios as show in this video are personal websites generated from Google Sites. Here you may upload/attach a multitude of items including your resume, prior education, research experience, skills, projects, and contact information. In preparation for the workforce or further academic pursuits e-Portfolios are a great resource for organizing a  cross-section of both your work and academic experiences while lending support for your resume with examples of your work. If you have further questions about ePortfolios feel free to contact the Center for Online and Distance Learning.

Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Updates

Grey ShieldFirefox is UTC’s preferred browser for use with Blackboard. However, the most recent release of Firefox (23) may impact your viewing of YouTube videos and other media from within Blackboard.

Both Google Chrome and Firefox have implemented more secure browser settings, which will block certain media while browsing within a secure environment, such as Blackboard. However, this feature works similar to your browser’s pop-up blocker and is easy to “turn off” and unblock desired media in a course.

If you notice a missing YouTube video in your Blackboard course, look for a small shield icon to the left of the navigation bar (the website address) in Firefox or to the right in Chrome. Click on the shield and follow the prompts to unblock the missing material.

View videos for detailed instructions for allowing blocked content in Firefox or Chrome.

Course Copy vs Export and Import:

The Walker Center for Teaching & Learning has identified a handful of fall 2013 courses with errors resulting from a course copy of material from a previous semester. The identified error causes broken links to uploaded course materials for student users; links will not appear as broken for the instructor who completed the course copy operation.

Instructors with errors in their copied classes have been notified of the problem. This issue is intermittent and does not affect every copied course. However, to avoid the possibility of copy errors within your course, please refrain from using Course Copy to move course materials from one course to another. Instead use Export Course and Import Package to copy materials from one course into another for reuse.  Additionally, uncheck the option to “Limit package to only files linked into the selected content areas.”

Image of box to uncheck in Blackboard when creating export

Learn more about these operations in Blackboard.

Respondus has improved its LockDown Browser Experience

Respondus Lockdown Browser LogoStudents and faculty using the LockDown browser should be prompted to update to the latest version of the browser the next time they use Lockdown Browser. However, if you are not prompted to update please follow the instructions below to update manually.

  1. Start the Respondus LockDown Browser application
  2. Select “i” from the toolbar (Windows) or “About” (Mac)
  3. Select “Check for Newer Version”
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and run the patch

If the “Check for New Version” doesn’t recognize the latest version, it’s because you are running a relatively old copy of LockDown Browser. The solution is to do a full reinstallation:

  1. Go to UTC’s LockDown Browser installation page
  2. Download and install a new copy of the browser

After patching or reinstalling the application, the “i” or “About” button on the toolbar should show the latest version number.

  • Windows: Version , August 14, 2013
  • Mac: Version , August 15, 2013

The New UTC Online Website

Screen Shote of UTC Online Homepage

UTC Online’s New Website

When students return this fall, they will be welcomed to the campus by a new and updated website.  With this website reboot, UTC Online also taken the opportunity to reorganize and update its website to better optimize access for prospective students and support for current students and faculty.  The new UTC Online can be found at

The reorganization has been focused around the role of the user viewing the website and divided among current students, prospective students and instructors.  The Current Students tab contains a welcome page with familiar links to other departments and resources that current students may need or find useful.  There is also a section of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which may help students solve common problems.  All of UTC Online’ s Blackboard tutorials for students are available on the new student Blackboard support pages and are organized into categories that students are familiar with from the last UTC Online website.  If students are still having problems, they can visit the Get Help section for more information and a link to Information Technology’s website.

The Prospective Students tab is geared a little more towards students who may be looking to attend UTC and take classes online.  This section includes links for admissions, online fees, records, calendars and many more.  There is also a list of technical needs and system requirements for students interested in taking online classes.  Prospective students may want to take the short Are You Ready to Learn Online? quiz. There is also a list of FAQ’s and a list of Distance and Online programs currently offered at UTC.

The Instructor tab is to provide resources for instructors including, much like the Current Students tab, common and familiar links to other resources like Online and Distance policies, FERPA, and best practices.  There are also FAQ’s, a Get Help section and a large collection of Blackboard tutorials familiar to faculty who were accustomed to the old site.  Here, instructors will find the tutorials grouped in an easy to navigate way and should not have any problems finding what they need.

Finally, underneath the Blackboard tab, there is a list of UTC polices, a Get Help Guide, a list of Known Issues, the Blackboard maintenance schedule, Troubleshooting help and a Browser Check to make sure your system and software is ready to go.We hope that this new UTC Online will be an important resource for all parties looking for information from UTC Online or about Online and Distance Programs at UTC.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.