Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Update: Work Around for YouTube Videos & Emedded Video Issues

Bb 9.1 Information for Faculty

As indicated in a previous blog post, if you attempt to edit an existing embedded video in Bb, the video will no longer display correctly on your page, and all content below the video will disappear when viewed by a student. While researching this issue, Blackboard found another problem with other embedded videos in Blackboard.

The following are workarounds and updates issued by Blackboard regarding both of these issues:

If you use YouTube videos in your Bb course sites, part 1 applies to you. If you use ANY other videos in your Bb course site, part 2 applies to you.

Part 1 - YouTube videos

The Solutions for the 3 methods of posting YouTube videos in Bb:

Method 1: Copy and paste the URL directly from YouTube and create within a content area.

Edit the content item that contains the YouTube video.

  • Click the radio button for "open in a new window" = YES.
  • By opening a new window, YouTube will now display. This is true for ALL links in ALL content types.
  • Submit.

Method 2: Copy and Paste the embed code from YouTube.

  • Find the video that you want on YouTube.
  • Click the Embed button.
  • Click the "use old embed code" check box that appears below the video
  • Re-embed the code in your Bb course content area.

Part 2: Any video embedded in Blackboard

You may embed video code from almost any site, or video streaming server in your Bb content areas. While researching the YouTube problem described above, we found the following.

The Problem: if you attempt to edit an existing embedded video in Bb, the video will no longer display correctly on your page, and all content below the video will disappear when viewed by a student.

The Solution:
place any text or other information that goes along with an embedded video in the content item the first time. Do not return to edit the content item that contains the video.
If you must return to edit and existing embedded video... delete the item and create it new.

Resolution:this issue is targeted to be fixed in Release 9.1 Service Pack 5 as bug number AS-155459. This maintenance release is scheduled for around April 2011. Given the breadth of clients impacted by this issue, we are investigation the option of a patch or an updated building block. If one is feasible we will publish it as a Support Bulletin on Behind the Blackboard and update this article accordingly.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bb 9.1 Current Known Issues

Bb 9.1 for Faculty

Over the winter break, Blackboard Service Pack 2 was installed to correct some of the issues we encountered last semester in the new version of Blackboard. After the service pack was installed, several new issues have arisen:

1. Instructors are unable to add YouTube videos via "mashups" to their course content. Videos that had been previously attached should still work. This was caused by a change made by Google on January 24th. Blackboard is working on a patch to address this issue.

2. Permanent announcements do not stay at the top of the list. A workaround for this is to move priority announcments to the top.

3. Content that was copied from one course to another and contained linked documents, had broken links. A workaround for this is to relink the document. A patch was installed that fixed this for any future copy.

4. Cannot delete a Grade Center column after partial course copy. For example, an instructor establishes a graded blog in a course, then chooses to copy to an existing course by selecting to copy "Grade Center Columns and Settings" but not "Blogs." A column for the graded blog appears in the destination course but cannot be deleted even though there is no object in the course that is is attached to. This fix is planned for Service Pack 6.

eLearning Services will notify Blackboard users when these issues are resolved.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Problems with YouTube in Blackboard

Bb 9.1 for Faculty

Part of one of the popular new "mashups" features in Blackboard 9.1, is currently not working. While it is still possible to use mashups to include a flickr photo or slideshare presentation in your course, the YouTube feature displays an error message upon trying to upload a new or edit an existing video through this feature.

Blackboard released the following statement about this issue:

On Monday January 24, 2011 Google made code changes to their application that prevents linked and embedded videos within Blackboard from working properly. Instructors are unable to edit existing embedded videos within a course. Users receive the following error message:

Error: An error was returned by YouTube: [Line 1, Column 6041, element media:thumbnail] Unknown attribute: 'name'

Affected Versions: All versions of 9.1 are affected.

Next Steps: We are currently working to create updated building blocks for all Release 9.1 Service Packs that will release later this month. The issue will be resolved in 9.1 Service Pack 5 as bug number AS-155459.

We will let faculty know as soon as this issue is resolved.