Common Issues with Blackboard Tests and Assignments, and How Students Can Prevent Them

Although Blackboard is a secure and trusted learning management system, there are a few issues that students may experience while writing exams online or submitting assignments through Blackboard on rare occasions. But fortunately, these common “not-so-common” issues have simple solutions and possible preventative measures you can share with students to save you and your students a lot of unnecessary stress.

Student Can’t Save Test Answers.

When writing tests online, students may notice that their answers do not save, even when they press the “Save Answer” or “Save all Answers” buttons. The issue exists in the web browser or possible internet connection of the individual student. This results in lost time and the students hard work. 


Students can avoid this overwhelming stress, but ensuring the following BEFORE they begin the Blackboard exam:

  1. Clear the browser history and cache.

    Links for clearing browser cache are here:  Edge – Clear CacheChrome – Clear Cache , Safari – Empty Cache , Safari – Clear History

  2. Update the web browser.

    An up to date browser always works best!
    Links on how to update the browser are here:  EdgeChromeRespondus, Safari.

  3. Use Microsoft Edge as the web browser (unless it’s a Respondus LockDown Browser exam).

    Currently, we recommend using Microsoft Edge for Blackboard as these errors tend not to occur when using Edge. It is even available for MacOS users now.

  4. Do a practice test in Learning Online.

    All MHC students are enrolled in the Learning Online organization on Blackboard. This is where students can practice using the Blackboard tools such as taking exams and submitting assignments. Once they have completed the previous preventative measures, they can take a practice to test to make sure their web browser is ready!

  5. Shut down the computer and restart it.

    We always recommend to do a shut down and restart any computer before writing a test to ensure it doesn’t crash or have other issues.

Other Tips

  • Students should avoid refreshing the webpage, as this can cause serious issues with tests online.
  • Students should be connected to a secure and reliable internet connection.

What Instructors Can Do

Unfortunately, there may be no way to retrieve the students work. The issue exists in the web browser or possible internet connection of the individual student. As the instructor, you may need to extend or set up another time for the student to complete their exam.

Student uploads assignments, but submission doesn’t work.

Student attaching files to their assignment on Blackboard may notice their files did not upload with their submission. It may seem like it worked, but nothing shows up.


In general, troubleshooting with Blackboard usually means trying a different browser and clearing browser cache, but there are currently three other known issues specific to submitting assignments in Blackboard:

  1. If you are using a Mac, do not use Safari to submit assignments.

    Safari may not allow you to submit work. It may look like it worked, but nothing will be submitted. We recommend downloading Microsoft Edge for MacOS.

  2. Save and close the file before uploading it to Blackboard.

    Regardless of the computer or web browser, you should close Word or whatever application you are using before uploading the file to Blackboard. This may also ensure you have save your file before submission.

  3. Upload file from your computer not online file storage.
    If the file is stored in the cloud (OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc) you must download the file on your computer first and attach it from your computer.

What Instructors Can Do

Instructors can clear a student’s attempt and have the student resubmit their assignment. These videos from our Knowledge Base will show you how to:

Student clicks on the test link, but it won’t open.

If you are running a Respondus Lockdown Browser exam, the students will only be able to access the test using the Respondus web browse, so when they click on the link it will not open the exam.


The student may need to download and install Respondus Lockdown Browser, if they have not already. Afterwards they would log into Blackboard using the LockDown Browser. If the student is prompted for a password in a Respondus test, and you didn’t set a password, this means that the student is not in Respondus Lockdown Browser but are trying to access the exam from Chrome, Edge, etc.

What Instructors Can Do

Make sure your students are aware of the exam requirements and ensure they download Respondus LockDown Browser well before the exam. You can also recommend they do a practice test in Learning Online.