Thursday, August 31, 2017

Plagiarism Evasion Tactics

art via EssayShark
As we embark on a new semester, you should be aware that students are finding new and creative ways to circumvent plagiarism-detection software such as SafeAssign and Turnitin. These so-called paraphrasing tools are free websites which allow students to copy and paste text, which is then rewritten for them. 

Following is a list of the tools we know of. If you are aware of any others, please share in the comments section.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blackboard Maitenance

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On Saturday, August 19th, Blackboard will be down for 12 - 24 hours due to scheduled maintenance. Maintenance will begin at 12:01 am. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday, October 24, 2016

Empty Files Submitted to Assignments and Content Collection – Users of Microsoft Windows 10 and Edge Browser

Microsoft Edge File Upload Issue

A bug in the Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10 can cause file attachments to become blank in Blackboard. So far, this issue only appears to affect Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PPT, etc.).

The issue occurs when following these steps when trying to add attachments (for instance on content items or assignments):


  1. Click on the "Browse My Computer" button, and navigate to the Microsoft Office file you want to attach. Click Open, but do not Submit the main page you're trying to attach the file to.
  2. Outside of Blackboard, use Windows Explorer to open the file you selected in step 1; then close the file.
  3. Now, back in Blackboard, click the Submit button for the page you're trying to attach the file to. 
When you follow these steps, you’ll see that a file with the correct filename will be attached to the item. However, when you open the attachment, it will be blank.  

Workaround #1:
Do not open the source file after selecting it for upload into Blackboard Learn.  Users should be advised to open files for inspection before accessing the area to which they wish to upload the file.

Workaround #2:
Use a different browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

SoftChalk Content Known Issue


Issue: SoftChalk content requires JavaScript enabled

Impacts: All Faculty

Description: My activities were working fine in Chrome but recently I get a message "This content requires JavaScript enabled" where my activities should appear. What should I do?

Reason: The latest update to Chrome v49.0 made changes in how it accepted JavaScript. These changes have impacted how Chrome handles our activities, which use JavaScript.

On Thursday, March 17, 2016 SoftChalk released two fixes to address this issue - a Cloud update and an update to SoftChalk Create 9.02.09.

Solution: If you have a Cloud Subscription and are using hyperlinks or LTI links to your content, then the issue should be fixed for you. You do not need to take any action as lessons linking back to the Cloud should work fine in Chrome as well as other browsers.

If you used the File/Save to LMS feature to Blackboard or if you used the File/Package Lesson feature to package, then you would need to re-save and re-package your lessons with the latest Create update 9.02.09 if you want your students to view activities in the Chrome browser. (For the Firefox browser and other browsers, activities will still appear okay without saving in the latest Create update.)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Problem Submitting Final Grades in Blackboard

We are currently experiencing issues with submitting final grades through Blackboard. If you have submitted your final grades using Blackboard, please resubmit them using Owl Link. If you have not yet submitted your final grades, please use Owl Link when doing so.

Faculty will be notified as soon as this issue is resolved.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

7 Tips To Beat Short Attention Spans In eLearning

Check out this useful article on tactics to compete with short attention spans:

7 tips to help you beat short attention spans in eLearning, so that you can design eLearning courses that stick and cater to every member of your audience.   read more