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Course copy problem in Blackboard

September 17, 2010

Problems with new Semester 1 courses in Blackboard

Staff: Do not make any changes to Semester 1 modules with a start date of 27th September – we need to delete these courses and recreate them

On Tuesday morning around 1500 new course instances for Semester 1 modules were created in Blackboard. We quickly identified a problem with these new courses and alerted staff. The problem is that users are unable to open files (Word documents, PDFs, Powerpoint files etc.) attached to the course. This may well have been occurring with any courses created since our Blackboard upgrade in July. It is the result of a bug which Blackboard have only recently identified, but for which they do have a fix.

We are applying this fix on Saturday morning. On Monday morning (21st Sep) we plan to delete all of the courses created the previous Tuesday – i.e. all course instances for Semester 1 modules with a start date of 27th September. We will then recreate those courses, by copying the relevant course Template.

If you have already made changes to the new Semester 1 instance, I suggest you copy those changes back to the Template asap (see Copying Course Materials)

N.B. Since discovering the problem, no new courses have been created, and the import of new student details and enrolments has also been suspended. These import routines will be switched back on once the steps above have been taken.

We are aware that with courses created earlier this month, staff may well already have made significant changes, so we do not propose to delete these courses. If this applies to you, please email quoting the precise course ID of the courses concerned.

We apologise for the inconvenience this problem has caused. But I gather that we are by no means alone – other institutions both here in the UK and in the USA have been similarly affected.

Edit Mon 20/09/10

  • Fixes suggested by Blackboard were applied over the weekend
  • Modules created 13th – 14th Sep have now been deleted
  • Automatic creation of new courses will be turned on tonight, so that new copies of these Modules (hopefully with all links working) will be created by the morning
  • Routines for creation of new student accounts and student enrolments will also be turned back on tonight.

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