Blackboard Discussion Board Issue & Fix

The Blackboard system update on 9/25/16 (required for system security) introduced a bug within the discussion board tool.

Discussion boards which are set to Unavailable are no longer accessible by the instructor. If you have such discussion boards and you try to access them, you will get a message reading:

Access Denied

Either you are not logged in or you do not have the appropriate privileges to perform this action.

The workaround is you need to edit the discussion board and change its setting to Available. Then you will be able to access it. Clearly, this is not ideal, and we hope that Blackboard will fix this soon.

Additional Workaround

Here’s an addition to the workaround that will keep students out while the discussion board is set to Available. It’s a lot of extra work, but if you absolutely do not want students to access a discussion board while it is available for you to work on, you can follow this procedure.

It relies on using the “manage” option for the discussion board, and changing all the users with role “Participant” to instead have the role “Blocked”. The blocked users will still see the forum listed in the discussions, but when selecting it they will get the access denied message. But unblocked users (i.e. the instructor) can enter it.

  1. Ensure that your Discussion Board forum is set to Available and is accessible to you.
  2. Hover your mouse over the title for the forum then click the “options menu” icon (the circle with a “v” in it) that appears.
  3. Select “Manage” to see a list of all the people who have access to the forum
  4. If you have a large class, click the option to “show all”.
  5. Click the checkbox in the column header to select everyone in the course.
  6. Deselect the checkbox for anyone that should have continued access.
  7. Select “Edit Role”
  8. Select “Blocked”

Remember if you block students using the additional workaround above, you will need to unblock them when you want them to be able to post and/or view the discussion board. Unblock by following the same procedure above, but in step 8 assign everyone the role “Participant”.

Bb Collaborate Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser, so you don’t have to install any software to join a session.

Setup within a Blackboard Learn course:

  1. Click on a Content area.
  2. Click on Tools
  3. Select Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience
  4. Type in the box “Office Hours” (or other custom link name you prefer) and click submit.
  5. Click on the link name  to enter Collaborate and set up your rooms.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn

Additional Directions:

Rearrange the my Courses Module Display

You can rearrange the my Courses module by Term to group all courses by term first and then by course  Or, you can rearrange the courses in any order you would like regardless of term.

Group by Term

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Click the Gear icon in the top right hand corner of the my Courses Module (on the right hand side of the page)
    Gear Icon
  3. Select Group by Term
  4. Drag and drop to organize the terms.
  5. Click the Submit button

GroupbyTerm

Ordering Courses

  1. Click the Gear icon in the top right hand corner of the my Courses Module (on the right hand side of the page)
    Gear Icon
  2. Click the two headed arrow to the left of a course, and drag and drop the courses to the order you would like.   If Group by Term is selected first, then courses will be ordered in the order you select here within the term they belong within.
    ordercourse
  3. Click the Submit button.

Getting Started with Blackboard

Here are a few websites to help you get started teaching with Blackboard at MiraCosta College.

How to Log On

Blackboard is located at: https://blackboard.miracosta.edu
Log on with the same log on & password you use for SURF and Email.

Activate your course

Make your class available for student view. A Blackboard course must be made available before students enrolled in the course will be able to view or access the course and its content.

Check out these resources to learn more about Blackboard

  1. Blackboard Basics for Faculty – This is a good resource to help enhance your course with Bb.  Do not watch the Part1 video as it is specific to Saddleback.  Start with Part 2.  Overall a really nice step by step video guide that is community college specific for Bb.
  2. Blackboard 4 part video playlist series from Blackboard  – I highly recommend these and to bookmark this link to return back when you are ready to continue learning more about the tools.
  3. Blackboard Learn TIC website – These are a collection of Blackboard articles and videos. Usually specific to MiraCosta College. Excellent to review and broken down by topic.

Make your Blackboard Course Available or Unavailable

A Blackboard course must be made available before students enrolled in the course will be able to view or access the course and its content.

How to Make a Course Available – Qwickly: Course Availability

  1. On the my MiraCosta College page (this is the first page you see after logging on to Blackboard).
  2. Click on Course Availability under my Qwickly Tools on the right side of the page.
  3. Click on the Off button.  The button will change to On.  Your course is now available for student access.
  4. Click the My MiraCosta College link to refresh the page.

my Qwickly Tools Course Availability

My Qwickly Tools Off to On

Refresh Blackboard Page

How to Make a Course Available – Traditional Blackboard Method

Tutorial: Making your Course Available

  1. Enter your Blackboard course.
  2. Under Control Panel click Customization
  3. Select Properties
  4. In the Set Availability section, click Yes to make the course available to use
  5. Click Submit.

How to Make a Course Unavailable – Traditional Blackboard Method

  1. Enter your Blackboard course.
  2. Under Control Panel click Customization
  3. Select Properties
  4. In the Set Availability section, click No to make the course available to use
  5. Click Submit.

If your course is unavailable, only instructors, course builders, teaching assistants, and graders can see and access unavailable course.

Students cannot access unavailable courses.

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