Go straight to the list of known issues:

On this page you’ll find a list of known issues and ongoing problems with Blackboard Learn and related services and tools.

Check system status

Planned downtime:

See details of scheduled Blackboard and Turnitin maintenance

UoR IT Services’ Status page:

Please visit the link https://itsstatus.reading.ac.uk/ to check live status.

Blackboard Learn Status (including Collaborate and Ally):

Please visit the link https://status.blackboard.com/ to check live status.

Turnitin Status:
Please visit  the link https://turnitin.statuspage.io/ to check live status.

EMA Integration:

For issues relating to EMA Integration, follow this link: EMA Integration: Known issues

Known issues

Please click on the title of an issue to see further information about it.

Known Issues & Ongoing Problems: Blackboard Status

Blackboard Announcements: Announcement Subject is changed when emailed to users

If you tick the box to email out an announcement from a course or organisation, the email should retain the Subject line that you enter in Blackboard (prefixed by the course name) e.g.
Diploma in Esoteric Studies: Important updates about the weekly seminars

Currently (September 2020) the subject is changed to e.g.
Diploma in Esoteric Studies: Jane Doe sent you a new announcement in Diploma in Esoteric Studies

Blackboard will be reversing this change in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the workaround is to send out an email to users via Control Panel > Course Tools > Email


Blackboard: Previewing an Image before uploading results in errors

In a course Content area if you choose:
Build Content -> Image -> Preview

Do not click Submit on the Preview screen.

If you do, an error will be displayed.

To attach the image successfully, from the Preview screen choose Back and Submit from the Image properties screen, or alternatively do not go into the Preview mode and simply Submit.


Blackboard assessments: Audio / Video feedback 

After setting up your microphone or camera, you MUST close the Recording window, then reopen it again to make your recording. If you try to record immediately after setting up your microphone, without closing and reopening the window, your recording will be silent.

Further details


Blackboard Rubrics: Percentage range rubrics do not display selected grade to students

If you mark work using a Blackboard scoring rubric which is set up as a Percentage Range rubric, students will see their overall mark, and will see which cells of the rubric have been highlighted. However they will not see the actual score you have assigned for each cell.

Blackboard Rubric - staff view

Blackboard Percentage Range Rubric – staff view when marking


Blackboard Rubric - student view

Blackboard Percentage Range Rubric – when viewed by the student


Blackboard Rubrics: Changing a Qualitative Blackboard Assignment rubric resets grade to 0.00

If you’ve used a qualitative rubric with your Blackboard Assignment, once you give the attempt you’re making a grade, making any further changes to the rubric will automatically reset the grade to 0. If you need to edit your rubric after the fact, please make a note of the grade you’ve previously assigned as you will have to re-enter it. If you’re using a scoring rubric, the issue does not exist as the new grade will automatically be assigned by the rubric itself.
Tool now unavailable

Blackboard Tests: Auto-Submit on Tests can cause problems for students

We recommend that you do NOT tick the Auto-Submit box when deploying a Test as there is a known issue where, if students have an unreliable internet connection, this setting could lead to their attempts being submitted prematurely.
Blackboard also recommend turning off the “force completion” option, so that if a student experiences technical issues and is logged out of the test, they can resume and complete the test.For further advice on settings to use with timed tests, see Blackboard Tests: Timer, Autosubmit and Force Completion settings


Known Issues & Ongoing Problems: Blackboard Collaborate Status

Blackboard Collaborate: some features temporarily disabled

For platform stability during this time of unprecedented demand, the following Collaborate features have been temporarily disabled by Blackboard:

  • Timer
  • Chat typing indicator
  • Netstats bandwidth indicator (tells you how strong someone’s internet connection is)

Blackboard Collaborate: Unable to join sessions using Chromebook devices

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will not support versions of Google Chrome below version 79 – see Collaborate Ultra supported browsers.

Chromebook devices running Chrome version 78 or earlier will be presented with an error when attempting to join a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session. Please update your browser to the latest Chrome version.

If you are unable to update Chrome, you may be able to install an alternate browser from the Google Play Store:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Mozilla Firefox (requires a touch-screen device)
Old browsers no longer supported

Blackboard Collaborate: Mac OS 10.15 Catalina

Users running Mac OS 10.15 Catalina may experience issues starting appshare while using Ultra. Visit this Blackboard support article for more information: Ultra Experience – Mac OS 10.15 Catalina users are unable to appshare.

1. Select the Apple in the upper left hand corner of the screen
2. Select System Preference
3. Select Security & Privacy
4. Note: You will need to unlock this window to make changes by clicking on the lock in the bottom left corner of this windo
5. Select the Privacy tab at the top of the dialog box
6. Scroll down on the left hand side of the screen to Screen Recording
7. Check the box next to Google Chrome or whichever browser you are running
8. You will then be prompted to restart your browser
9. Launch your Ultra session again and start appshare


Blackboard Collaborate: Collaborate not Loading

If you are trying to join a session but the purple wheel keeps spinning for longer than usual, please ensure “Third Party Cookies” are not being blocked by your browser. To fix the issue, please go to browser settings and change the setting to allow “Third Party cookies”. To open the cookies settings page in Chrome, copy and paste “chrome://settings/content/cookies” into your Chrome address bar and press enter.


Blackboard Collaborate: Microsoft Edge users

If you are using Microsoft Edge browser and can’t hear the moderator or presenter. Please try to leave the session and join again. If that doesn’t work, please use Chrome browser instead.
Please note that as of 01 July 2020 Collaborate no longer supports Native Microsoft Edge. If you have admin privileges on your computer you can Download Microsoft Edge (Chromium) which is supported.


Blackboard Collaborate: Users are sometimes unable to join a Collaborate session via the telephone

“Some users are experiencing a busy or unavailable signal when trying to join a session via telephone. We are aware of this issue and are working to increase our dial-in capacity for sessions as we know this is an important feature. In the short-term, users who wish to join their session via a mobile device should use their mobile browser.

Collaborate is optimized for the Safari browser on iOS devices and the Chrome browser on Android devices.

For additional best practices on how to use Collaborate, please see these best practices for Moderators and these best practices for Participants.”



Known Issues & Ongoing Problems: Turnitin Status

Turnitin: Downloading some/multiple files can result in errors

When trying to download multiple Grading papers (papers with markup and similarity layers visible) from the Turnitin Assignment inbox or Feedback Studio, you may encounter issues with some files not downloading. This happens when a file has a very large number of small similarity report matches, making the file large in size, taking a long time to render and become ready to download.

Image showing the Turnitin assignment inbox with papers selected and the "Download grading paper" option highlighted.

If you download multiple files, you may have some of them missing from the zip file generated.

Turnitin are aware of the issue and are working on resolving this.

If you have any questions please contact us at it@reading.ac.uk.


Is the issue you’re experiencing not listed? Please email CQSD TEL at it@reading.ac.uk and we will follow up with you.