Having issues getting Collaborate to load? Anti-virus software may be the culprit.

There have been a few folks reporting issues with Collaborate not loading the join.jnlp Java file. This might be the anti-virus software installed on the computer that’s stopping Collaborate from loading. Programs such as Kaspersky, AVG, Norton, McAfee etc. to name a few can help protect your computer, but may be protecting a little too much by blocking sites that you want to visit. Unfortunately, they all have different menu items/options making it difficult to instruct how to navigate their software. A few options you may try experimenting with are:

  • Adding an exception to your anti-virus software to allow http://knowledge.udmercy.edu.
  • You may also try to temporarily turn off your anti-virus software long enough to access and load the join.jnlp file from Collaborate.

In every case we’ve encountered so far, adding an exception to your anti-virus, or temporarily disabling your anti-virus software has allowed access.

How to clear my Java cache?

Your Java cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access.

Sometimes it’s necessary to remove this content so that we can confirm that what you have in storage is complete and current.

Since the steps from version to version change, you will have to select the version of Java currently installed. By clicking on the following link, you will be sent to Java’s site to verify what version of Java you have.

After you know which version of Java you have, click on the appropriate version below to learn how to clear the cache. You will be sent to the Blackboard Collaborate support portal:

How to clear the cache for Java 7

How to clear the cache for Java 6

Note: These instructions are largely taken from a Blackboard support page: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com

Saving your Wimba archives / Uploading videos into a course

Saving your Wimba archives

Wimba & associated archives will not be available come Term 1 of the 2013-2014 fiscal year. If there are any archives you wish to save, you will need to download & save the MP4 file to your computer.

To start, go into the course where the archives are, then go to the “List of Rooms and Archives” page. This can vary depending on how you set up your course, but you should be able to find a Wimba Classroom link in the “Tools” navigation menu.

Once you are on the “List of Rooms and Archives” page, find your archive you wish to save
and look for the MP3/MP4 icons that should be located in the same row as the archived file.
When you click on the MP4 icon, you will get a message like the following:
You may click the “OK” button. Wait a few minutes, reload the page and click on the “MP4″ button again to see if the file is finished.
You may have to repeat this process until the file is ready to be downloaded. Once it’s ready, you will be prompted to download the MP4 file with the “Save As” window. Pick a place you wish to save the file to. It’s usually a good idea to select the desktop so you know where your saving to, then move it later.
then click “Save”.
You should have the MP4 file saved to your computer.


Uploading videos into a course

First select a “Content Area” you wish to post your newly downloaded video to. I Created a new “Content Area” button in my Navigation menu called “Videos”. You can name content areas whatever you’d like.

Mouse over “Build Content” and select “Video”

Then type the title you wish to name your video file.
Next, find the file you wish to upload into your Blackboard course by clicking on “Browse My Computer”.
Browse your computer to find the file. Find your file, select it, then click “Open”.

Next, you will select your “Video Options”. It’s a good idea to click the “Custom” radio button which will expand the width & height attributes. A good size to choose is 640 for the width & 480 for the height. Then select any additional options for your video.
When you are finished selecting your options, click “Submit” to save the change.

Copying from MS Word & Pasting into Blackboard

Applicable to both students and faculty .
Although we highly encourage you to write in a word processor such as Microsoft Word and save a local copy of what you post in Blackboard, copying / pasting from Word into any Blackboard text field can cause problems. This issue may arise when pasting into announcements, items, test questions, discussion boards, blogs, journals, Grade Center feedback — anywhere you find a text editor box (with options like bold, italic, etc), this issue may arise.

You may not even notice right away when you’re having the problem. MS Word documents contain invisible code that determines how the document is formatted. When you highlight a section of a Word document you capture that invisible code as well. The problem occurs when you capture some but not all of that invisible code, then paste the partial code into Blackboard. When you submit a page with partial code, the resulting Blackboard page may display information incorrectly — either visibly (with page elements nesting improperly) or invisibly (with form fields like test question selectors not functioning properly).

You can do one of three things to help prevent this from happening, giving everyone in the course a better browsing experience.

1. Instead of using MS Word, try using a basic text editing program such as Notepad (for PC), or Textedit (for Mac).


2. Make sure you capture ALL of the invisible code! The best way to do this is to open up your Word file, then press (CTRL + A) on your keyboard to SELECT ALL, then (CTRL + C) to COPY the document. This makes sure all the invisible formatting code is copied. Then you can move to Blackboard, click into the area you wish to paste, then press (CTRL + V) to paste. This method will ensure that at least you have all of the invisible background code, versus partial code which has the potential to make things not work right.


3. Highlight the text you want to copy in your Word file, then copy it (CTRL + C). Go to Blackboard, then to the place you wish to paste your text, place your cursor in the box and paste (CTRL + V). Once your document is in the text editor space, highlight everything by pressing (CTRL + A) to select all, then use the “Remove Formatting” option in the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) tools. You can find it on the right side of the top row of icons.

The nice thing about option #3 is it keeps the original formatting, but cleans up all of the bad background code.

When you get done, click “Submit” to save/post your work to Blackboard.

Rubrics in Blackboard

Rubrics are an excellent tool for both standardizing how you grade an assessment AND to communicating your expectations to your students. You are likely already using one or more rubrics in your courses – perhaps you’re providing students with a Word or Excel rubric file. Blackboard has a built-in rubric tool which is both pretty powerful and easy to use.

In this first 10 minute video, we look at the basics of creating a rubric.

In this second 10 minute video, we look at how to apply a rubric to a new or existing Grade Center column, how to generate a Rubric Evaluation Report, how to grade using a rubric, and how to efficiently navigate between Grade Details pages.


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