Saturday, September 21, 2013

Known Issue: Error Message When Submitting Assignments

Did you know that Blackboard has a limit to the number of characters that can be in a file name? If you see an error message of "java.lang.NullPointerException" when submitting an assignment, that means there are too many characters in the file name (must be less than 126 characters, including spaces).

The fix is to simply rename (or re-save) the file with fewer characters and re-submit. Students, that might mean asking the instructor for another attempt at submitting your homework assignment.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blackboard Training Sign Up

This one is for all of our instructors! Would you like to know more about using Blackboard and related resources and technologies? We’re putting together the Fall2 training calendar and currently have training sessions on the calendar for:
  • Myers Library Online Resources (an overview of what's available online to both instructors and students, including new and updated resources).
  • Overview of Blackboard for Beginners (learn the standard components available in Blackboard that complement a face-to-face course).
  •  Blackboard Announcements and Discussions (learn how to post effective announcements and utilize the discussion feature).
  • Blackboard Grade Book Fundamentals (think of this as grade book “boot camp”).
  • Inline Assignment Grading (for instructors already familiar with grading within Blackboard, and just need to know more about the new features).
  • Blackboard Tools and Resources (learn how to use many of the new Blackboard tools and some of the old favorites).
All dates, times, and registration are available via our training calendar. All sessions are conducted via webinar so you can participate from anywhere you have access to a computer, the internet, and phone.

Please be sure to check back often as we’re continually adding to the schedule.

Monday, September 16, 2013

We'd Like to Hear From You!

Instructors: Are you uniting technology and teaching in an innovative way? If so, we'd like to hear from you! Our feedback so far is telling us that instructors would love fresh ideas for the classroom (whether face-to-face or online).

If you have a suggestion, please send us an email and be sure to include:
  1. What technology adds value for you and your students? 
  2. How are you using it?
  3. What results have you noticed?
Email us at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

**NOTICE** - IT Planned Maintenance Window - 9/14 & 9/15

As part of a pre-planned maintenance window, the following systems and services will be intermittently available this weekend from 12:00 AM Saturday, 9/14 to 8:00 PM Sunday, 9/15:
  •  Feith Document Management System (including electronic forms)
  • CX student information system
  •  Cognos Report Studio 
  • MyOttawa
  • PEP/PGS Online Registration
  • Limited Blackboard Resources:
    • Syllabi
    • Myers Library Resources
    • Learning Tutorials
  • Online Donations

The majority of these systems will be available for the bulk of the maintenance period, but systems will be rebooted at times or access disabled in order to prevent interference with software patches and updates. No one should expect uninterrupted activity this weekend, it is a designated maintenance window necessary to ensure the business continuity of the University’s systems and services.

If you have any questions or concerns about this pre-planned maintenance window, please contact OU Help for further assistance.

Direct | Ext. 12500 or 855.268.4357 |

Monday, September 9, 2013

Reminder: Myers Library Training Tomorrow!

Would you like to know more about the many resources our library has to offer? In this session you'll receive an overview of what’s available online, where to find it, and how these resources can benefit both instructors and students. Includes a demonstration of navigating the Myers Library portal page, finding and searching databases, and much more! Space is limited to 25 participants so be sure to register now!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Reminder - Upcoming Training on How to Use NetTutor!

Would you like to know more about using NetTutor? In this session students, staff, and instructors will learn about this online tutoring service made available free to our students. On Friday, September 6th we have a representative of NetTutor available to give us an Ottawa University specific product tour. It takes place at Noon (Central time) and is conducted via webinar so you can join the session from anywhere you have an internet connection and a phone! Here is the link to sign up: