ELC staff are assisting faculty with permissions issues and other content related problems such as broken images and broken links in Bb Learn. These problems sometimes arise with courses that were migrated to Bb Learn from Vista via the Content Collection. If you wish, you can try to troubleshoot these problems using our tutorial, but please feel free to contact us for assistance.
- Preliminary Analysis of a Problem Course
- Find the "Permanent Location" of an Image in Bb Learn
- Repair Permissions on a Folder or File
- Browsing of the Content Collection by Students
- Repair bad HTML from Word and other sources
- Repair broken Hyperlinks
- Repair Links to Content Outside the Current Course Section
- Repair Broken Images in Tests
- Remove HTML links between Content Pages
- Repair broken HTML anchors
Upon report of a problem, ELC will first look at a course to determine what's wrong. In the case that links point to a previous semester's version of the course, we will apply a quick permissions fix to the old course so that students can access the content in the "live" course. Courses will be assigned to triage workers using our HAL ticket system. If a course needs major work, we will copy the course to a development shell and perform the fixes there. Exception: There may be cases where we need to work on a live course, such as when the instructor is making major changes to the course while teaching it.
- Using Firefox, Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) on any image in the class and select View Image Info from the menu (note: you might need to turn Edit Mode OFF to see the correct menu options)
- After choosing View Image Info, you will be shown a highlighted URL. It may come in handy to note that even the Alt-tag content and image dimensions are shown by this method.
- You can see the image information highlighted but you don’t yet know where it is located in the course to grant the read permission. No problem. Copy and paste the location into a new browser tab or window and your url...
will resolve to...
- Now you can go to images folder in the course’s Content Collection and add the Read permission to the Home.jpg file
- In some situations, permissions on a file or folder in the content collection are set incorrectly so the file or folder cannot be viewed by members of the class. To repair the permissions of a single file, a folder, or the whole Content Collection of a class, click on the Content Collection in the Course Management Control Panel, and then click on the first item in the list, which includes the course name; this is the part of the content collection that we can make readable to the students.
- Let’s say you want to provide read access for all students to a folder called images. Locate that folder and click the action link. Select Permissions from the pull down menu.
- Next find the user group (students, for example) to whom you want to grant permissions, and click on the action link to Edit the permissions.
- If you need to add a user group for which to set permissions, we recommend the Select Specific Users By Place option, selecting Course and adding All Course Users with Read access.
- Check the box by the name of the Course to which you want to add a group of users.
- Next, check All Course Users
- Make sure that only Read is checked, and that the Overwrite box below is checked to push the permissions down through all enclosed folders. Then hit the Submit button. Note that if files are added later to this folder or one below it, the permissions will need to be done again.
- If you don’t care that the entire content collection is browsable by the students (and generally this should be ok), you can just make it readable to students at the top (root) level of the content collection as shown.
- Set permissions for Read and check the Overwrite box to push the permissions down through all enclosed folders.
- However, if you do care, the root or top level of the content collection can be made not readable and only the files or folders below should be set as readable. This will make those particular things visible from the course but the content collection will not be browsable by students. This is much more of a headache. Discourage this approach if possible.
The icon in Bb Learn tells you what type of file you're dealing with. The upper icon on the right is a Bb Learn "Blank Page" while the lower one is an HTML page from the Content Collection.
If your course has “blank pages” that were created by copy/pasting text directly from Word, or by copy/pasting rendered text from Vista or other sources, the Paste from Word mashup tool does a nice job of cleaning up the bad code.
To view the code, click on the <> button on the toolbar of the blank page. If it looks bad (and this is a bit subjective, but if you know HTML, you’ll know it when you see it) you should consider cleaning it up. If you try this a few times, you’ll begin to see when it helps and when it doesn’t make much difference.
For pages with text and no graphics, start by selecting all the text on the “blank page” and copying it. Then delete the entire contents of the page. Then paste the contents back in via the Mashup icon, select Paste From Word, and Submit. The resulting HTML is often much cleaner.
Another thing you can try if the fonts are a mess is to select all and then click on the "Clear Formatting" button (the <> with a slash through it) in the editor toolbar. Unfortunately, this can sometimes do the job too well and remove all of the paragraph breaks.
If a page has graphics on it, you could first pull those down to your computer for temporary safe keeping and later paste them back in with the Insert Image button or, even better, first figure out where the images are located and then re-point to them. You should make note of any alt-text and be sure to put that back too.
Check all links to PDFs and external websites and make sure they are set to open in new window for best results. Also check to be sure they use a ToolTip.
Double-click on a hyperlink to select the entire link, then click the Hyperlink tool, and check the Open Link in New Window option. Enter a Title (tooltip) if necessary.
Due to absolute rather than relative links in HTML pages, links in a current course may point to images, media, etc. in an old section of the course (the source of the copy), even though those files exist in the current section of the course too! Even the "test student" account won’t always catch this problem, because the test student is enrolled in the old section too, whereas the current students are not.
Short term fix (use this to quickly fix "live" courses):
Identify the section where the source file(s) live.
Grant permissions in the old version of the course for all course users.
Need to pull the “missing” content down to your computer and then reload into content collection of current course or, even better, locate it in the current class’s content collection.
Next you need to re-link to it, creating an XID link rather than an absolute link containing a course number.
This is very serious because of our two year course life cycle...at some point, the source files will be deleted along with the old course.
The current course is NUR 427 (1121-6005) and students report they can’t access the video.
We need to check the link to this video...right-click the link and select Copy Link Location
Paste the Link into a new tab or window...the URL is:
We've got a problem. The URL tells us that this video is in Semester 1117 Section 6556, not the current Semester 1121 Section 6005 indicated in the course title. Now what?
Now here’s the interesting part. Since this course got copied from the earlier version, the video you’re looking for already resides somewhere in the current course’s Content Collection; it’s just that the page is not pointing to it. So you need to either find it (see method above) and link to the correct one so it gets a proper X-ID or, if for some reason you can’t find it in the current course, download the file from the old course and add it* to the content collection of the current course and then link to it.
* If you add a file to the content collection by browsing your computer, it will get put at the top level or root of the content collection. That's not very tidy but that’s how it works.
Embedding an image into a test question using HTML <img src=”http://www.website.com/images/image.jpg”> was the approach we used to use in Bb Vista, but pointers to files in the Content Collection often get messed up in Bb Learn. Note that there isn’t even an “attach image” tool in the toolbar of the test editor as there is in other areas of Bb Learn such as “blank page.” The third row of tools seems to have been intentionally removed for your protection ;)
- Before you fix the broken images in your individual test questions, you will need to make a change to the global Question Settings options for each test. Click on the yellow Question Settings button in the upper right.
- Check the following selection boxes:
- Add images, files, and external links to questions.
- Add images, files, and external links to answers.
- Underneath the question or answer box, change the Action pull-down menu setting from "Create a link to this media file" to "Display image within the page."
- Then, Browse... to find the desired image file. Be sure to delete the broken image displayed in the built-in HTML editor.
- Click Submit to save your changes.
- After browsing, the file should be visible...
- Option B: Skip everything above and USE THE SOURCE, Luke! You can go to the Content Collection, locate the image, use the 360º View to identify the Permanent URL, copy that (note that it will contain an X-ID somewhere in the name) address, then edit the test question, click on tiny triangle to show the hidden second row of tools, click on the <> (Show HTML Source) tool, and then paste the following code: <img src="https://bblearn.nau.edu/bbcswebdav/xid-226591_1"/> (replacing your URL with the one in this example). That's it! You now have a permanently embedded image on the test question.
HTML links from one content page to another within a DreamWeaver-built course are now broken.
Solution: Remove them. Blackboard doesn’t support this, and it’s too much work to maintain it. Consider using Add Course Link from the Course Menu if you need to point to content.
An HTML anchor is a link that moves you to a different location on the same page, and is often used on long pages. Make sure the anchor contains only the relative path. If it contains the full http://... delete the part of the url all the way to the filename. An anchor link should look like #anchor_name where "anchor_name" is the name of the anchor.