How to set Firefox on a PC to not open a zip file after downloading

On a Windows PC complete the following tasks within the Firefox web browser

  1. Click Open Menu button Open Menu button on Firefox
    This button is located in the top right hand corner of the Firefox window.
  2. Click Options
  3. Click Applications
  4. Scroll down to Compressed (zipped) folder content type and click the down arrow to select the corresponding action.
  5. Choose Save File as the default file behavior
  6. Return to Blackboard and download the .zip file

Firefox will now download the file as a .zip file to your computer without opening it.


Current State of Blackboard. Please Read

MiraCosta College Faculty,

As you hopefully are aware, at the beginning of June we completed a Blackboard upgrade. This email gives a quick overview of various changes and current concerns with Blackboard, with links to learn more.

Overview of New and Updated Features in Blackboard


Read carefully how to bring content from old courses to summer and fall courses

Some YouTube features are broken now

Update: As of Aug. 13, 2015, the YouTube features are now working.

This is not due to the system upgrade, but to a YouTube change on June 3. Video Everywhere – which makes it easy to find and add YouTube videos and/or record a video directly within Blackboard – and the YouTube mashup tool are currently not working. Also, playback of videos previously added to Blackboard through the YouTube mashup tool is not working properly. Until this is fixed, the best procedure to add a YouTube video is to find it on YouTube and insert the embed code into Bb. Directions:

Email from Blackboard may look a bit different

But it shouldn’t be filtered out by some email providers anymore.  

Voice Authoring is no longer working and has been removed

Copying previously-created Voice Authoring recordings into a new course will not work. You must extract the voice records from the Blackboard archive, import them to a streaming media service, and then link or embed those in your course. We suggest 3C Media Solutions:

Voice Board issues

Copying previous Voice Boards into a new course requires separately extracting and re-adding voice recordings to the voice board. Accessing Voice Boards in the latest version of Chrome requires some extra configuration steps; details here:

Blackboard Mobile Learn app must be refreshed

On iOS, delete the Bb Mobile Learn app and re-download it from the app store; on Android, clear your app cache then relaunch the Bb Mobile Learn app. Then search for MiraCosta College.

Text Message Notifications not working

At present, Blackboard opt-in notifications via text message are not functioning. We are actively working to fix this.

Happy summer,

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

Blackboard-generated email: What to expect

Blackboard offers many ways that faculty and students can communicate via email to others enrolled in a Blackboard course. Blackboard can also automatically send emails out to notify users about activity taking place in Blackboard, depending on user preferences.

During 2014, changes made by some email providers to reduce spam meant that some users may not have received these emails from Blackboard. Included in MiraCosta’s June 2015 Blackboard update were changes inside Blackboard to fix this problem.

However, Blackboard-generated emails are not consistent in their formatting, and the sender name is different when Bb email is received on a MiraCosta email system vs. an external system like Gmail or Yahoo. The table below provides details about what you can expect.

Bb feature that generates external emailEmail sender displayed outside miracosta.eduEmail sender displayed in emailWhat happens if recipient replies
Send EmailSender name - sender emailBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the sender’s email.
Group email (from groups feature)Sender name - sender emailBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the sender’s email.
GradeCenter (via the email button and selecting desired recipients)Sender name - sender emailBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the instructor's email.
Announcements (if instructor selects to send via email) or just blackboardBlackboard at MiraCostaEmail reply will go to the instructor's email.
Discussion board (if user has subscribed)Blackboard Administrator - blackboard@miracosta.eduBlackboard at MiraCostaEmails from discussion board include a link for recipients to use to reply within the discussion board. If someone replies via email, a message will go to, which will auto respond.
Notifications (if user has opted in to email notifications) or just blackboardBlackboard at MiraCostaNotification emails include a note at bottom: “Please do not reply.” If someone replies via email, a message will go to, which will auto respond.
Email generated via course archive/ export/importBlackboard Administrator - blackboard@miracosta.eduBlackboard at MiraCostaIf instructor replies via email, a message will go to, which will auto respond.

If you suspect that your email system is treating Blackboard emails as spam, you may need to whitelist messages coming from in your email system.

Chrome browser with Blackboard Collaborate Voice Board

Chrome browser logoFaculty and students that are trying to access the Blackboard Collaborate Voice Board through the Chrome Browser will need to complete the following.

As of Chrome Version 42, an additional configuration step is required to continue using NPAPI plugins.

Within the Chrome Browser complete the following steps.

  1.  In your URL bar, enter:      chrome://flags/#enable-npapi

    Chrome Browser Fix for Voice Board

  2. Click the Enable link for the Enable NPAPI configuration option.
  3. Click the Relaunch button that now appears at the bottom of the configuration page.

    Relaunch Button

  4. Open the Chrome browser and navigate to and access the Blackboard Collaborate Voice Board content within a course.


Blackboard’s New Release for Summer and Fall 2015

MiraCosta College upgraded to the newest release of Blackboard for Summer and Fall 2015. Looking for your Spring 15 or older classes to export content from?  Go to: and follow the export/import procedures.

Below are some notable changes for faculty.

New Faster Hardware

AIS has a new server and a clean installation of the new Blackboard Learn. With the new hardware and software, Blackboard will run smoother and faster and be ready to keep up with future releases and enhancements.

Single Sign-On

Blackboard now utilizes MiraCosta’s single sign-on system. Once logged into one MiraCosta single sign-on system, faculty and students can access other single sign-on systems without having to log in again, until the session has expired. Blackboard joins current single sign-on systems 25Live, Clockwork, Moodle, WordPress, Library Prox, Regroup, Maxient, and CCCApply. Additional campus systems will be converted to single sign-on soon.

Single Sign-On

Course Content – Export /Import

Faculty will need to export existing course content from the old Blackboard server and import into the new Blackboard server.

Student Preview

Viewing your course as a student is an important way to ensure that it is working for your students as you intended, and now it’s much easier. With this upgrade, instructors can view their course exactly as a student does from within their instructor account, rather than having to log in with a separate Blackboard username and password. This is a significant simplification for MiraCosta faculty!

Student Preview

Email Improvements

During 2014, changes made by some email providers to reduce spam meant that some users may not have received emails generated within Blackboard. This update includes changes inside Blackboard to fix this issue. You can read more about email from Blackboard – emails sent from different Blackboard tools are not formatted consistently.

Calculated Formula Assessments

Calculated Formula questions in Tests are used by faculty to create quantitative questions using a formula & variables that can be dynamically generated, calculated, and scored. The automated grading of these questions, the correct answer to be calculated using the defined formula and variables, and the student’s response validated to award credit, has been improved to include calculation to significant figures. In addition, support for scientific/exponential notation is improved. The Test Canvas and the Item Analysis report have also been updated to include Significant Figures information.

Calculated Formula screenshot

My Grades

The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. Students now view feedback by clicking View Feedback.

View Feedback

Anonymous and Delegated Grading

Anonymous & Delegated Grading provides a more useful, robust option than the “Hide User Names” function to enable anonymous grading, and provides a mechanism for lead faculty to delegate grading. When creating or editing an assignment, faculty can enable Anonymous Grading and Delegated Grading within the Grading Options section.

These tools can enhance assessment by avoiding bias (with Anonymous Grading) and/or by promoting reliability by obtaining two or more grades from separate individuals (with Delegated Grading). However, faculty in any courses in which grading is a shared responsibility may benefit from the capabilities.

For Anonymously Graded Attempts, student identifying information will be obfuscated. The student’s name is replaced with a unique identifier that can be used by graders and instructors to identify a particular attempt for evaluation without discovering the identity of the student.


Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.  Also, there is now a course list filter in the calendar.

Additional Information

Much of the text above is adapted from Blackboard’s What’s New in Blackboard Learn 9.1, April 2014 Release. More details are available there.

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