Blackboard Broken Links
As you may know, some students have reported that links to some content in Blackboard courses are broken. The UMaine System office has been able to identify several Blackboard courses that have these broken course links, largely due to a bug associated with the course copy function in Blackboard. Incorrect file permissions were assigned to the document being copied, which pointed students to the incorrect course section, resulting in errors for students who were not enrolled in the original course.
The bug has been patched, and current course copy processes are running properly. Courses that were broken before the patch remain broken, because there is no automatic script that can be run to fix these permissions. Until the links are re-pointed or (in some cases where the issue is wide spread) courses are rebuilt, these bad links will continue to pop up. Like the old saying, "bad in, bad out!" Unfortunately, the bad links are only repairable through manual correction.
1. Create a new course - it is recommended that you do not import/copy any content into next semsters course, but create new content (downloaded from the old course). This is the safest route and one that guarantees the course is rebuilt to a fully functional state, but also the most time consuming.
To create a new course using your existing content, you will want to access the course file manager in your former class found under the control panel.
Click on Files and then on your course ID.
You are then in your file manager where you should see all the files and folders the course utilizes. Check the box for each file you wish to download from the course. When done click on the Download Package button.
All the files will download as a .zip file in your default download location. After completion, go to the new course shell (the one you will be building) and go back into the File Manager (of this course). Place your cursor over the Upload button and choose Upload Package.
Select the .zip file and upload. This will upload all the files into the new course. From this point forward, you will want to copy and paste the content items from the old course into the new course. Create item by item linking to the document you've uploaded by using the Browse Course option when necessary. Repeat as necessary until the course is rebuilt and functional.
2. Re-upload each file to the corrupt course and re-link all content items - by re-uploading each file and then finding all of the references within the course, some links may be overlooked leading to continued frustration. The only way to verify that each link is correct is to use a student account (one that is NOT enrolled in the previous course) and to click on every link within the course. Few instructors have student accounts for testing links. This option is less time consuming, but very detailed in nature.
To re-upload a file, remove the original file that is NOT working. This is done by clicking on the 'Mark for Removal' link within the item settings. Then, using the Browse My Computer icon, find the file on your hard drive (if you do not have it, you will need to download from the original course section - see #1 for steps) and upload the file to the course. The link should now work.