Category Archives: Blackboard

Blackboard Scheduled Maintenance

Our next scheduled maintenance window will be on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 beginning at 1:00 am and estimated completion by  7:00  am.

In an effort to increase performance, stability and security for Blackboard the normally scheduled maintenance window for will need to be extended for a few hours. Recent security concerns have driven Blackboard to release this update ahead of the normal release schedule and is strongly urged to apply this update at our earliest convenience. We acknowledge the shutdown length poses an inconvenience for many, but it is crucial to address the concerns.

Along with the important Security updates this particular update will also resolve a few of our issues that have just recently become an annoyance with faculty and OLAT. We acknowledge the fact that these workarounds are not perfect. These workarounds will not be needed after the shutdown.

In the interim, when dealing with the discussion board issue, faculty have a few options:

Issue 1: Involves an access denied error when attempting to access an unavailable discussion board.

1.)           Make the discussion board available, make your changes, then make it unavailable again (if desired).

2.)           If you don’t want the students to post yet or no longer want the forum to be available for students to post to, use the manage option from the pull down menu and make all of your students readers instead of participants. This will limit the students from making any new postings, while leaving the discussion board available for them to read, review, and learn from their peer’s posts.

3.)           If grading an unavailable discussion board, grade using the option in the pull down menu or proceed with the previous step making the students readers instead of participants. You will then be able to read all the postings in context.

In the interim, when dealing with the Grade Center issue faculty can:

Issue 2: Involves the Grade Center and navigating away from a grading attempt. The “Exit” and “Save and Exit” buttons are not functioning correctly. In addition, when moving through the student’s tests, you are presented with a leave or stay on the page message.

1.)           Completely exit one student’s quiz and get back to Grade Center by clicking a button completely out of Grade Center (such as Announcements or Lesson Button) or the Grade Center breadcrumb and then return to the Grade Center

2.)           When grading an attempt and you have the option of leaving or staying on the page instead of saving and submitting, choose leave. The grade will be recorded and one can move on to the next student’s attempt.

We appreciate your patience during this longer than normal, but very important update. A reminder abridged E-mail will follow closer to scheduled date.

**** Students will be notified via a separate E-mail ****

SafeAssign Reports Processing Time

At this time, due to the large number of requests, SafeAssign reports are lagging. This is a confirmed problem across several Blackboard institutions and unfortunately nothing that we can control. SafeAssign is a 3rd party service provider and not controlled by Tri-C. If you have been waiting more than 24 hours for a SafeAssign report, please contact us at We will provide an update as soon as we receive more information from Blackboard.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

ShareStream Server

On Tuesday, January 3rd the ShareStream server will be down for maintenance and an upgrade. This means any media (videos or audio) uploaded to ShareStream will not play and no media (videos or audio) will be able to be uploaded to the server while the upgrade is taking place on the 3rd. The maintenance and server upgrade will allow for a new user interface to be released later in the month and increased functionality, but basic operation will not change. We apologize for any inconvenience this may pose to you.

Quality Matters

Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop At Cleveland State

Ohio QM Consortium LogoThis workshop sponsored by the Center for eLearning at Cleveland State and explores the Quality Matters program and prepares you to be part of an initiative that positively impacts the design of online/blended courses and ultimately, learning and success for the learner. QM is designed to improve the quality of online/blended courses by establishing a peer-reviewed quality assurance review process. You will become familiar with QM standards and participate in a practice peer course review of an online course using the review tools.

Participants in this hands-on workshop can be:

  • Online/blended instructors
  • Faculty members
  • Instructional designers

After successfully completing this workshop, you will be eligible to move into the Online Peer Reviewer Certification and gain ideas to improve your own courses using QM Standards.

Upon completion of the QM training, you will be able to:

  • Identify the underlying principles of QM
  • Identify the critical elements of the QM quality assurance program, including QM Rubric, materials, processes, and administrative components
  • Apply the QM Rubric to review online courses
  • Make decisions on whether the SPCH1113 course meets selected QM Rubric standards
  • Apply the concept of alignment
  • Write helpful recommendations for course improvement by citing annotations from the QM Rubric and evidence from the course

Seats Available:  15 for external participants.

Who should attend? Faculty interested in becoming a Peer Reviewer or learning more about QM.

Cost: FREE for faculty members teaching at an institution that is a member of the Ohio QM Consortium, such as Tri-C. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration is required!

What Should I Bring?  Registrants from Tri-C will need to acquire the QM Workbook from the QM Coordinator at their home institution. Contact Cindy Potteiger at 216-987-3674 or via email at for a QM Workbook

Date & Time: Thursday, December 15th, 2016, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Registration will begin at 8:30 AM.

Location: Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library. Details will be provided with registration confirmation email.

RegistrationRegister today! Registration deadline is Friday, December 9, 2016.

Questions: Contact the Center for eLearning (CSU) at or 216.687.3960  or Cindy Potteiger (Tri-C) at or 216-987-3674

Updates on Blackboard for Summer 2016

Blackboard at Tri-C was upgraded to a new version and new hardware on May 19-20, 2016.  While there are not many changes to the functionality and design for faculty and students, here are a few new and newly resolved issues to note:

New Known Issues

  • Discussion List View vs. Tree View: The Tree View option in Discussions doesn’t persist when going into a thread and back out. The view will revert to List View
  •  Grade Center Columns show Extra Decimal Places: The decimal places for percentages are displaying out to 4 places in the Grade Center for weighted and calculated columns.

Newly Resolved Known Issues

  • Collaboration (Virtual Classroom & Chat) Not Available – Resolved: The Collaboration tools are again available in Blackboard.  Faculty who need collaboration functionality for their courses are still encouraged to use WebEx, a powerful online meeting and collaboration tool available at the College for both faculty and students. For more information and to get started with WebEx, visit
  • Cannot Include Received Attachment when Replying to or Forwarding Course Message – Resolved: Faculty and students replying to or forwarding a course message can now include the received attachment with their reply message.

Other Issues

  • Delayed course creation – Resolved: Course creation was delayed after the Blackboard upgrade, but is now fully functional. There may be continued slight delays due to higher than usual course request volume before the summer semester begins on May 31.

Additional updates to the status of new and resolved known issues will be available at Updated help and support documents are available on the Online Learning pages at for both Students and for Faculty.

For further assistance with Blackboard Learn, the Online Technical Support team can be reached via phone or email:

  • Call 216-987-4257
  • Email or

Blackboard Learn Upgrade on May 19-20

Blackboard Learn is being upgraded on May 19-20. Starting at 12:01am on Thursday, May 19th and continuing through May 20th, Blackboard Learn will be offline and unavailable to students, faculty and staff.   The upgraded Blackboard Learn system will be available again by Saturday, May 21st.

During the Blackboard upgrade, a message will be available at with status information and a link for students to use to check their final grades in My Tri-C Space.

When the upgrade is complete, faculty and students will not experience significant differences from the functionality and design of the current version, but the system will be operating on new hardware.

If you need assistance with Blackboard Learn before, during, or after the upgrade, the Online Technical Support team can be reached via phone or email:

Additionally, help documents will be available on the Online Learning pages at

Blackboard Learn is being upgraded on May 19th and 20th

The College is upgrading to a newer version of Blackboard.  When the upgrade is complete, faculty and students will not experience significant differences from the functionality and design of the current version, but the system will be operating on new hardware.  Please take note of the following upgrade activities as we work to implement the upgrade:

  • Starting at 12:01am on Thursday, May 19th and continuing through May 20th, Blackboard Learn will be offline and unavailable to students, faculty and staff.  The extended outage will allow the infrastructure changes to be completed. Note that faculty preparing course sites for Summer will not be able to access the system during the upgrade.
  • The upgraded Blackboard Learn will be available again on Saturday, May 21st.

If you need assistance with Blackboard Learn, the Online Technical Support team can be reached via phone or email:

  • Call 216-987-4257
  • Email or

Additionally, help documents will be available on the Online Learning pages at

March 17 Blackboard Outage

Yesterday, March 17, Tri-C’s Blackboard system was unavailable from approximately 3:00pm – midnight due to an unexpected outage. This outage was a result of system instability that manifested after maintenance was completed in the early morning.  When we realized the extent of the issues impacting faculty and student users, the Blackboard system was brought down to allow us to resolve the issues. The system came down in stages to allow connected students to complete and submit their work before the outage.

Once the system was unavailable, it took longer than expected to resolve the issues and restore functionality. We offer our apologies for the inconvenience that this caused for our faculty and students who were trying to access Blackboard to complete course work or prepare for the upcoming B term. In the future, updates will be made available in a more timely fashion on this blog, but be sure to check My Tri-C Space for the most current and official status updates from the College.  We will also continue to work with Information Technology Services to ensure that any additional faculty communication preferences are met.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Student Preview replaces Faculty as Student accounts

Starting on December 18, faculty who want to view their course sites as students will only be able to do so using Student Preview. Student Preview enables faculty to see a course as a student without having to log out or use a separate browser session. Student Preview provides an easy way to view your course, take a test, view grades, or make sure that content is appearing when and as it should.

To enter Student Preview mode, click on the icon/button to the left of Edit Mode on your Blackboard course site:

Blog Post 1

The top of your course site will show a message that Student Preview mode is ON:

You can now navigate your course as a student. When you are done, you can exit the Student Preview by clicking the Exit Preview button at the top of the page.

When exiting Student Preview you have some options (see image below). For example, if you wanted to see how a test or other feature would work as a student, but would not want the results remaining in the class (e.g., showing in the Grade Center), you have the option to delete the user data YOU as the student user created. If you wanted to keep a record of that information, you can instead keep the preview user data you created in your student preview for future viewing as an Instructor. Finally, you can have Blackboard remember your choice and not ask again.

Blog Post 3

Some faculty are currently using faculty-as-student accounts to view their course sites from the student perspective. These accounts will no longer be available for use after December 18, 2015. The Student Preview tool provides an additional benefit: the best part about the student preview mode is that faculty can use it anytime. You do not have to wait until the course starts to view your course as a student with Student Preview!

For more information, visit

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Microsoft Store

We’ve been blogging about success rates for online courses for the past few days.  And wouldn’t you know it…

So I’m at the Microsoft Store attempting to get my Surface Pro 3 updated because it is not behaving properly.  I strike up a conversation with a woman in a similar situation and – I am not making this up – it turns out she is a Tri-C student, graduating this May.  She asked me what I did at Tri-C, and when I told her I worked in the online division, hilarity ensued.

Her reasons for choosing online:

  • Saves time
  • Works with her schedule
  • As a busy mom, that’s important!

Another Tri-C success story!  Congratulations to Rebecca who will graduate in May!