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eLearning & Instructional Technology

Frequently Asked Questions from Instructors

Click on a question to reveal the answer.


My course is not listed in Blackboard.

Please contact your division secretary.

How do I post my course syllabus?
How do I make my course available or unavailable?
Can I delete previous courses from my Blackboard account?

No, faculty cannot delete previous courses from their Blackboard account. Only the VCCS ITS has access to delete courses. However, faculty can hide the previous courses from their Blackboard account.

  1. Login to Blackboard.
  2. Go to Teach Tab > My Blackboard Courses.
  3. Click on this icon Manage My Blackboard Course Module Settings in the upper right corner.
  4. Uncheck all of the checkboxes next to a course name and click Submit. The course should disappear from the list of courses under My Blackboard Courses. You can click on this icon Manage My Blackboard Course Module Settings again and recheck these checkboxes to make the course reappear on the course list.

How do I create folders or add files to My Files (a.k.a. Content Collection)?
How to enroll, remove, and block a user from your course.
How to use SafeAssign.


I cannot enter my grades in the Grade Center.

In order to make the Grade Center accessible to as many people as possible, the Grade Center has two different modes, Interactive and Non-interactive. The Interactive view is the default setting.

Non-interactive view displays the Grade Center data in a simplified grid. There is no inline editing and no ability to freeze columns, making it easier to navigate by keystroke and to accommodate screen readers. When the Grade Center is first accessed by users with screen readers, users are immediately given a choice whether to enter Non-interactive view before progressing any further.

Both Non-interactive and Interactive views can move the cursor from Column to Column using the Tab key. Cells within the Grade Center can be navigated by using the up, down, left, and right arrows on a standard keyboard in both views.

Interactive view allows columns to be frozen, and has inline editing capabilities.

To manually change the Interactive view of the Grade Center to Non-interactive view, follow these steps:

  1. From the Grade Center page, mouse over the icon located to the far right of the yellow bar that displays Current View and Sort Columns By functions.
  2. Select Non-interactive view.

Note: This setting is not is not saved across sessions (persistent). It will last only as long as the current session. Once the browser is closed, the view will default back to Interactive.

How do I include an Extra Credit column in the Grade Center?
Using Smart Views to manually enter grades for a single item


How do I clear an attempt for an individual student?
  1. Go to Control Panel > Control Tools > Evaluation and click Grade Center.
  2. Once the Grade Center screen appears, locate the row and grade column for the individual student whose attempt is to be viewed or clear. An “in-progress” icon (a paper and pencil) may appear in that student’s cell if s/he has been locked out of an attempt.
  3. Click the double-down arrows within the cell containing the Attempt that needs to be cleared and select View Grade Details.
  4. On the Grade Details screen, click the Clear Attempt button next to the specific attempt to be cleared.
How do I move an individual test from a previous course to a new course?
All of the questions within a test disappeared after I copied my course.

This is a known problem with Blackboard. When faculty copy a course from the previous semester into a current semester, some but not all tests may lose the content. The symptom is that questions within a test do not copy into the new course except the instructions of the test. The solution for this problem is as follow:

  1. Delete the test in the current course
  2. Go to the previous course where the original test is located
  3. Create a question pool using the questions from that test in the previous course
  4. Export the questions pool
  5. Import the question pool into the current course
  6. Recreate the test using the questions from the newly imported question pool.

Better Practices for Blackboard Test Deployment
Test Generators for Blackboard 9

Technical Issues

Blackboard won't display.
  • Are you using the correct browser? (Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 3.5 or higher, or Safari 3.2 or higher.)
  • Are you using AOL or MSN? (If so, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox should be opened in a separate window.)
  • Are you using your home computer or a computer at work? (If using an employer's computer, the company's computer security system may prevent access to the Blackboard software. Contact your computer department to determine if your company has a firewall.)
  • Have you emptied your cache lately? Follow these directions to empty the cache (PDF).
Deleting Internet files and updating Java

If you were working on your course content within Blackboard, such as clicking on Reply button to post a response within discussion board and suddenly the discussion board page disappeared and you were pushed back to the Blackboard login page or the Internet page just shut down, this symptom indicates that you need to delete the Internet files from your browser. The instructions to delete Internet files are available on this link: Click here (PDF).

Click here for instructions for verifying your version of Java and upgrading if necessary (PDF).

My text box display is missing.
  1. Log into Blackboard.
  2. Click on Learn.
  3. Under Tools (far top right of screen) click Personal Information.
  4. Click on Set Text Box Editor Options.
  5. Select Unavailable.
  6. Click on Submit.
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Phone: 540-857-6202

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