Blackboard adds servers for issues

February 21, 2017

 At the beginning of the semester students and faculty noticed some issues with the Blackboard platform.



Several students encounter difficulties accessing their classes on Blackboard.



The problem that people encountered was that the system went down and students and faculty were unable to login, this happened on Jan. 16.

“I think every semester there’s issues with it, sometimes I have to turn stuff in late and then get points deducted just because Blackboard wouldn’t work,” Rubi Ramirez, student at EPCC, said.


Instructors are using this system more every day, which makes it more important for them and students to rely on. 

“A year ago we enabled Blackboard for every student and faculty at EPCC, so we do have a lot higher usage than we had previously so that might have contributed,” Distance Learning Support Services Director, Robert Jones, said. 

According to Jones, the problems that occurred at the start of the semester were caused because of an error in the Blackboard user file that was causing the users to become disabled in the class.


“It was a technical issue that has been resolved,” Jones said. 

Jones also mentioned that this was the first time that an issue like this has happened.


Other times there were particular incidents that they have dealt with. 

“I saw that [Blackboard going down] but it never really affected me I guess. I do use it every day for like updates and it’s important. It wasn’t until this last two semesters that I started using it more. I’ve never had any issues that had affected me,” said Rebecca Hernandez, student at EPCC.  

“Some of them [instructors] do complain, I guess it does affect the whole class if they can’t put content up and they can’t teach.”


The number of students and faculty using the system has increased over the years.


Even with face-to-face classes instructors use Blackboard, either for tests, assignments, or just announcements.


The system might be difficult to understand, if students or faculty are having any trouble they can contact the help desk.


People can learn more about Blackboard through the On Demand Learning Center, which includes short, interactive video lessons and short documents, to learn how to properly use the platform.


“The best thing to do is if you’re having a problem, as a student or faculty is to call the EPCC Blackboard help desk at 888-296-0863.


They have the authority to do whatever needs to be done to help the student or faculty,” Jones said.


“We were actually pretty surprised the early afternoon on Feb. 18, we saw almost 7,000 logins within a 50 minute period after the server came online,” Jones said.


This particular time the system was out for about one hour and then they brought it back on.


The number of people that regularly login into Blackboard is around 4,500.


“To prevent anything like that in the future additional servers have been added, the entire structure has been increased,” Jones said.


“We work 24/7 around the clock, whenever those issues do occur we resolve them very quickly.”


Blackboard is going to be out for maintenance purposes during the Spring Break week.


According to an email sent to faculty, instructors teaching minimester one courses are encouraged to complete grading early.


Instructors can enter grades from March 9 through March 21.


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