Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bb 6 Internal Server Error Explanation

Explanation for the following frequently encounter Bb6 error message :

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Apache/1.3.33 Server at Port 800

Posted by David Carter-Tod on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 8:50 pm:

By way of explanation as to why some people might get the error andothers will not.

When you log on to Blackboard 6, one of the cookies that is set is "BB6ProdBigIP". This identifies which backend application server your session goes against. It has an 8-hour expiration, so once it is set, you will typically continue to go against that application server.

Others (even the person at the next computer) may be going against another server and keep going against that server. If one server is having a problem, it will only show up if your session is tied to that problem server via the cookie.

If you delete the cookie, you might be reassigned back to the same server, but with luck you might be assigned to a working server.

We are working on addressing this issue so that our load balancer ismore intelligent about detecting internal server errors and will re-assign people automatically when they occur.



Thursday, June 16, 2005

Server (URL) clairfication from Sue Ann

Posted by Sue Ann Curran on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 9:30 am:

Blackboard 5 (
This is our current production environment until August 15. All courses that begin prior to August 15, will be in Blackboard 5. Students with spring and summer 2005 incompletes may continue to have access to this server.

Administrators have the option of moving the courses to Blackboard 6 after August 15 or allowing the course to continue on Blackboard 5. (You must let me if this appys to your situation.)

This server will be retired on December 31, 2005. Any course work that needs to be completed after the end of December must be moved to Blackboard 6.

Blackboard 6 Production (
This site is where courses for fall 2005 and later are to bedeveloped. It is also used for training on current functionality. All instructors are loaded on this server and it is updated twice daily.
(If you can not log in to this server contact me )

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Blackboard 6 and Pop-up blockers don’t MIX!!!!

A "Pop-up Blocker" is computer software that, once installed on your computer will prevent unwanted windows from appearing on your screen. This means, as you browse the internet, the pop-up blocker prevents new browser windows from opening.

Blackboard 6 works with pop-up windows in many locations. It may be necessary to disable your pop-up blocker or set it to allow the Blackboard 6 site to use pop-up windows.

What to do:

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Blackboard 6 and Fall 05 courses


Contact me if any of the following fail. Detail, as much as possible, for a quick resolution.

  1. Check to see if you can login to Blackboard 6.
  2. Check to see what email Bb6 has for you. Directions:
  3. Check to see if your Fall request made it to the new server. (Only 45 courses seem to have made it over-- typically we run 250+ classes)
  4. Request a FALL 05 (or RE-REQUEST) container if you don't see a class in your Bb6 space.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

DDLC Meeting Minutes

Distance and Distributed Learning Committee Meeting
June 3, 2005
AT Blue Ridge Community College
I. Welcome and Introductions

Dr. John Downey, Committee Chairperson, welcomed the group to the meeting and Dr. Sullivan to the VCCS. John explained to Dr. Sullivan the role of the DDLC in advising him on academic matters as they relate to technology, distance and distributed learning. John indicated that the DDLC was working closely with the Technology Council and the IT side of the VCCS to foster excellent communication and informed decision making.
II. Position Paper

John briefly reviewed the history of the development of a position paper on the status and future of distance and distributed learning relative to the goals of Dateline 2009. Committee members carefully reviewed the second draft of the paper, and made several suggested edits. Leslie Smith made the motion to endorse the revised draft of the DDLC position paper with the changes made during the meeting. Scott Langhorst seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The revised position paper is attached to these minutes.
John indicated that the final draft would be presented to ASAC as an information item on June 6th and 7th, toward the goal of gaining ASAC endorsement at the fall meeting of VPs and Provosts.
II. Process needed to evaluate “Plug-ins” and other software requests from colleges.

The next agenda item concerned the point that there has been no process, nor single group, that addresses requests from colleges for the purchase of state-wide software product procurement. John cited the example of plagiarism detection software that several campuses have purchased on their own. As the demand for such software has grown, individuals have petitioned the VCCS to buy the blackboard plug-in for that software. Other examples cited include plug-ins and software for voice recording that can tie into blackboard, web conferencing software like Breeze, Centra and Elluminate, and any of the 150 plus plug ins that are likely available for use in Blackboard 6.0.

John suggested a process whereby colleges would fill out a brief form documenting the purpose or need the college sought to address with a particular software product. The college would be asked to name any known competitors to the product, the academic reasons for desiring certain features etc. Once the need was documented, a small group of DDLC members, VCCS IT and academic staff and faculty could be charged with evaluating each request and making a recommendation to the DDLC. The DDLC would then make a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Services who would work with the Vice Chancellor for ITS to obtain approval in consultation with the technology council. John acknowledged such a process could be lengthy and burdensome and sought other ideas for the evaluation of enterprise software or negotiated priced software with a college “opt-in/opt-out” option. The discussion continued with no clear consensus on developing such a process. Some members pointed out that the role of DDLC members agreed that John would work with David Carter-Tod on the VCCS staff to draft such a written proposal for a process and discuss it next meeting. John and David agreed.
IV. Update on Blackboard 6.0

David Carter Tod and Sue Ann Curran updated the DDLC on the Blackboard upgrade. 9470 courses were migrated successfully. About 1000 courses did not have a faculty member associated with them and the VCCS was working with blackboard administrators to identify those faculty and link them with the courses. The IT staff is also working on continued issues associated with multiple EMPLIDs.
Next steps include deployment of functionality beyond what was available in BB 5.5. Staff is working on creating a small consulting workgroup to address questions associated with features available in 6.0. The major features include a community system, a content system, and integration of BB with other VCCS enterprise products like student e-mail and SIS. Policy issues identified by the small group will be brought back through DDLC for advise, and to ASAC and Tech council for action.
V. Update on VCCS Portal

Scott Langhorst made a comprehensive presentation on the progress TCC was making on the creation of a portal, its benefits, and its challenges. He sought help from the DDLC and specifically requested that any members who served on the DDLC portal committee and anyone else interested join in the discussion and planning for a VCCS portal. Scott asked that any DDLC members who could assist with the VCCS portal project please e-mail him at
VI. Proposed meeting dates

John distributed a list of proposed meeting dates for the DDLC (Also attached to these minutes). He indicated that the dates take into account ACOP and Technology Council dates but not the ASAC meeting dates which were not yet determined. DDLC members agreed to the dates and will adjust them if they interfere with ASAC dates. DDLC members also agreed on a two-day meeting in September focused on goal setting for the year to be held in Charlottesville. John will work with Mary Clare to get that meeting arranged.

VII. Governance and bylaws.

John indicated that the DDLC is operating as an advisory body to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Services and Research, but has no bylaws or operating governance structure. John suggested that we may want to address this in some future meeting. In the meantime John suggested that an election be held for chair and asked for nominations. John was nominated and elected to serve another year as chair.
VII. Virginia Education Wizard.

Neil Matkin presented on the Chancellor’s interest in pursuing another federal earmark. This earmark would be dedicated to the creation of the “Virginia Education Wizard”. The Wizard is a concept for a search engine type technology dedicated to helping Virginia’s citizens gain easy access to information about careers and educational opportunities available to them. Rather than searching for “a needle in a haystack” the project would create a system where the user could set specific search parameters and the wizard would “reply” with specific information that responds to the users questions. Neil’s PowerPoint presentation on the Wizard, along with the federal earmark proposal, will be sent to DDLC members via e-mail. (If you are interested in getting a copy of this contact Ruth Smith and I will forward you a copy,)

There being no other business, the meeting adjourned.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Hands-On Workshop: Super Users Bb 6

To register: email: (indicate in email the time you wish to attend)
Workshops with 0 advanced registrations will not be held.

Workshop: Checking and Cleaning Up Migrated Courses

Description: This workshop is for faculty who have had courses migrated from Bb5 server to Bb6 server. NOT new users. We will cover how to fix broken links, how to reset left navigation menus, how to reset course cartridges (if necessary), a quick overview of new features.

Note: This workshop is scheduled for 2 hours - the first 45 minutes is guided instruction, the rest of the time is for you to work on course clean up, with assistance as needed, and/or question and answers about new features in Bb 6. You should try logging into Bb6 to be sure you can prior to the workshop. Contact me ASAP if you have trouble with login and password. Your password should be the same as your current SIS (Peoplesoft PW).

Location: Diggs Hall- Room 120


  • Monday-- June 13, 2005 -- 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday-- June 14, 2005 -- 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Thursday-- June 16, 2005 -- 9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Tuesday-- June 21, 2005 -- 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday-- June 22, 2005 -- 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Thursday-- June 23, 2005 -- 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Migration Errors

The VCCS migrated 9,470 courses to the Blackboard 6 system. The following courses could not be associated with valid instructor accounts from Directory Services. If this is your course please let me know (via email so I can attach your Bb 6 login to it.

Directions: Copy and paste the course ID into the email message. You must also include your Bb login.

TNAST2360000FA04 TNBUS100001HSP05 TNBUS2350D01HSU05 TNENG001003HSP05 TNENG102001HSP05 TNENG111019HSP05 TNENG111042HSP05 TNENG112044HSP05 TNHUM201040HSP05 TNIST112091HFA04 TNIST117014HSP05 TNIST123091HSU04n TNIST176040HFA04 TNISTDSY0001SP05 TNITE1150000SP05 TNMTH152040HSP05