We've ALL been there!
What to do? What to do?
Technology isn't perfect but there are more factors in human control that could be the culprit.
Here are some steps to take if you or your students are having technology issues.
1. Use the Firefox Internet Browser: Before shooting off an urgent e-mail to your instructional designer or submitting a ticket remind the student (or yourself) that you should be using Firefox as your internet browser. Internet Explorer does not play well with Blackboard. This can solve most problems.
2. Update Your Computer: Make sure the computer being used has been updated (with the latest java, flash etc). Many items will not work properly if your computer isn't updated. This also usually means you must restart your computer for the updates to be fully installed.
When you log into Blackboard there is also a "Test Your Browser" button that can help you and your students determine if the computer is configured correctly. If it is not, make the necessary updates and if you have trouble submit a ticket.
3. Be Careful With Public Computers: If you use a public computer (at work or library) note that the system administrator has likely blocked many privileges you need to make Blackboard work correctly. If you are authorized to do course work at your job then please speak to the system administrator and let them know your technology needs. Your instructional designer or the ticket system can not help with this.
4. Reliable Internet Connection: Make sure you have a fast and stable internet connection. Some items that need to be completed in Blackboard can require a lot of bandwidth like videos and certain assessments. Also, when you have many windows open it can slow down your computer. You may also want to think about who else is using your internet connection when you are...are others on computers, cell phones, tablets? All these things can slow down your connection and make Blackboard timeout.
So before submitting a ticket or contacting your instructional designer go through all these steps first. Chances are one of these things is causing the issue.
When in doubt - RESTART YOUR COMPUTER :) That really does fix most things.