Academic Technology @ Palomar College

About Blackboard

Current Blackboard Version

Learn 9.1 SP13 CP8 (9.1.130093.0)

Last Updated: January 2014

Known Issues

There are no serious known issues at this time.

Reporting Problems with Blackboard

If you have any problems with Blackboard please contact us.

Next Upgrade

The upgrade windows to future versions of Blackboard will be:

  • June 2—5.
  • August 1—3, with a “flex” day on August 4th in case the update cannot be completed on time.

Note that the August 2014 upgrade falls over the weekend before the final week of 8-week summer session classes.  Be sure to take account of this when preparing syllabi for 8-week classes, especially fully online classes.

Service Packs are delivered from Blackboard regularly, and we apply them during an upgrade window between semesters, except in the case of the summer semester, when there is inadequate time between semesters and the upgrade must be preformed after the end of 6-week summer classes but before the end of the 8-week classes.  We apologize for the inconvenience, but the calendar does not allow for any other option.  We will upgrade the system and return it to service as quickly as possible.

Teaching with Blackboard Screen Videos

We have produced a number of brief how-to videos, supplementing them with many more produced by Blackboard, Inc., to assist you in learning how to use Blackboard.  Click here to access them.

Getting Help

Use our online Help system.  Submit a ticket for direct assistance, or read the knowledge base to find answers.

Matrix of supported operating systems and browsers

Click here for our current Knowledge base article on Blackboard supported OS and browsers.


The Top Faculty Blackboard Question

How do I make my course available?

Login to Blackboard

On that first “My Palomar” screen, at the left in a box labeled Tools, you should see a link labeled “Instructor Quick Tools”. Click that, then click “Course Availability”.


You should see a list of all your courses, and toggling the availability On or Off is as simple as a click on each switch.

What is the Blackboard Course Life Cycle (i.e., how long will my courses remain on the server)?

We keep the current semester, the previous 3 semesters, and the future semester (as soon as future courses are created in Peoplesoft, approximately 90 days before the start of a semester) in our Blackboard database.  Courses are pruned from the system on a rolling year schedule.  For example, at the conclusion of the Fall 2012 semester, the Fall 2011 courses were pruned from the system.  Immediately on the conclusion of the spring 2014 semester the spring 2013 courses will be pruned, and so on. Click here for a full explanation.

For this reason, we strongly recommend that professors make both archive and export copies of their courses once they are complete so that if they only teach a course every 2 years, say, they will be able to restore the content from the archive file.  Course archives contain all course content AND all student work.  Course exports contain only course content, without student enrollments and work.

Student access to courses is different.  Students can only access the course, during its life cycle, from the time the instructor first makes the course available until two weeks after the semester in which the course was taught.  We disable student access to courses at this time.  Student work and grades are available to the instructor at all times, but not to the student.  If a student later needs access to the course to complete an incomplete, contact us for assistance.

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