The WYSIWYG editor in Blackboard SP8 (our new version) has a been giving faculty & staff a number of headaches with the formatting of text in description field boxes. The issue has been reported to the Systems office and is being addressed with Blackboard, but there are no fixes available yet.
In order to format text correctly, please try one of these recommendations:
If typing directly into the editor:
Turn the WYSIWYG editor off and use the plain text option - this doesn't allow for fancy fonts or colors, but it will allow you to format the text correctly. To have a space between paragraphs, you will want to do the following:
"at the end of the paragraph do a carriage return, followed by a single space (this will hold the space in-between paragraphs), followed by another carriage return where you can type your next paragraph"
If copying & pasting from Word or Pages:
Do NOT copy and paste directly from Word or Pages as this will not work properly at the moment. Paste the copied material in to a plain text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit, re-copy the text from the plain text editor, turn the editor off and choose plain text (follow same steps as above) and then paste your materials.
This won't allow for fancy fonts or colors, but you will at least be able to maintain the formatting of the text.
If you have the need for special formatting:
Consider converting your document to a .pdf file and attaching to the Blackboard course. This will allow students to view/download the file as originally intended.