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eLearning: Frequently Asked Questions

Document ID 514


This document addresses some Frequently Asked Questions regarding Elearning login and usage issues.


Login Issues

Why can't I login to elearning/Bb Vista?

To access elearning you need to use your NetID and password through the elearning site at http://elearning.tamu.edu. If you don't have a NetId you need to go to the site at http://gateway.tamu.edu and click on Activate NetId under NetID Account Management.


I can log into my TAMU Mail, but not elearning. How can I check what went wrong?

If your NetID has changed, the change will be made in elearning the following night. If you registered for a course late and the course is already set up on elearning you should be able to access the course in the following day. Vista runs the course load every night to reflect any enrollment change in a course.


What do I do if I forgot my login information?

If you need to access a course that is set up on elearning and you could not remember your NetID or password you can contact the Help Desk Central (HDC) at (979) 845-8300. Staff working there can provide assistance with your logon problem.


I registered for a course through Howdy, but I cannot see the course listed on my "TAMU Vista" page.

If you have successfully logged in and you cannot find your course, you have two options. First, check if your section has been created and loaded by going to http://elearning.tamu.edu. Click on the Student Resources Tab across the top of the page. Select Vista Resources from the drop down menu and then select the Courses Currently in Vista link. Second, you can also contact your instructor to see if they have set up the course in elearning. Once a request to elearning is submitted by the course instructor you should be able to access the course within an hour.


I registered for a course before the semester started. But I could not find my course in elearning. How can I get help to access my course in elearning?

Elearning ususally loads courses a week before a new semester starts. The instructor first has to send a request to elearning to set up a course. Therefore, even if you registered for a course, it doesn't mean the course you registered for is automatically loaded in elearning unless your instructor wants to use elearning. So you need to contact the instructor about access to elearning.


How do I Accept/Run Security Certificates?

The first time you log in to Blackboard Vista, you should receive two (2) pop-ups for validating the Java application. Make sure that you select the "Always trust content from this publisher" check box for each certificate. Click on the Run button for each certificate. You have now accepted and run the authentication certificates.


Using Elearning (Blackboard Vista) Tools

I was not able to upload an assignment from my computer to elearning. What can I do to fix the problem?

Make sure you check on your browser and disable the pop-up blocker. And you may need to check if Java has been installed on your computer. If not, you need to click on the link to the page with the link here and download the version of Java that is recommended. Once it is done, log out of elearning and open a new browser window. Before logging in to elearning click on "Check Browser" to verify that your computer is properly configured to use Texas A&M elearning System (Blackboard Vista).

If you still have a problem uploading your assignment to elearning, you need to go to "Control Panel' on your computer and click on "Add/Remove" program. Then you can see the applications that have been installed on your computer. If you find more than one version of Java on your computer you need to remove them. After that you go to the page with the download link here and re-install the version of Java that is recommended by Vista.


My instructor told us that the new grades were posted. But when I checked my gradebook in my course, I could not see any new grades. How can I get the problem fixed?

You may contact your course instructor. Sometimes the instructor forgot to make the My Grades tool visible to their students. Once the My Grades tool is added on the left-hand navigation bar under My Tools you should be able to click on it and view your grades. If you can see the My Grades tool, but still cannot find any new grades that means the instructor has not released the new grades to the students. You need to contact the instructor about the problem.


Sometimes after I log in to elearning I see the Green Asterisk green asterisk icon showing next to some tools on the left-hand navigation bar. Why does the icon show up and what does it mean?

The Green Asterisk icon on the specific tools in your course means the instructor has posted new items. For example, if an instructor has posted a new assignment under Assignment Tool you should be notified by the Green Asterisk icon on the Assignment tool and so you know you have a new assignment available.


My instructor set up a chat room in my course through elearning. But after logging in, I was unable to access the chat room. How can I fix the problem?

First, you need to make sure that your pop-up blocker on your browser is disabled. Second, you need to find out if the correct version of Java has been installed on your computer. The chat tool in elearning requires Java to function properly. To find out which version of Java has been installed on your computer, go to "Control Panel" and choose "Add/Remove Programs. If you have not installed Java, go to the page here and click on the link to install Java on your computer. Once it is done, log out of elearning and open a new browser window to log back in to elearning. If you work for a company and there is a firewall on your computer that prohibits you from accessing a chat room on elearning you need to contact your local technical support. They need to open the port 2304 on the route that allows chat to normally function.


I thought I submitted my quiz on elearning. But I could not see the grades. How can I get help with the problem?

If you successfully submitted your quiz through elearning and you were not able to see the score, you may contact the instructor. The course instructor has control of releasing the scores to the students. If there was a problem with the quiz submission and you were not aware of it, you need to discuss the situation with your instructor. The instructor can reset your quiz and allow you to take it again within a time period.


I accidentally closed the window while taking a quiz in elearning. When I logged back in the time expired. Were my answers saved? What can I do to re-submit my quiz?

If you clicked the Save Answer button after each question, then your quiz was saved and your instructor should be able to force your quiz submission. If you did not click the save answer button following each question, then, unfortunately, your quiz is probably lost. You can contact your instructor and explain the situation and see if she or he will allow you to retake the quiz. In the future, make sure you save your answer each time in the event that something like this should happen again.


I dropped a course, but I still can see the course that I dropped listed on my elearning page. How can I remove the course from elearning?

If you dropped a course that has been set up in elearning the course should disappear from your elearning main page within an hour.  If the dropped course was still listed in your elearning page you may talk to course instructor and ask the instructor to contact the Instructional Technology Services (ITS) at its@tamu.edu or at (979) 862-3977.  Staff at ITS will look into the enrollment problem for the instructor.


My instructor suggested that we do the "Check Browser' on the elearning page. When I clicked on the button, the page was not opened. What do I need to do to fix the problem?

Before you sign in, it is highly recommended you perform a browser check to verify your computer is properly configured to use the Texas A&M eLearning System (Blackboard Vista). If you click the "Check Browser" button and the page does not open, please disable the pop-up blocker on your browser. You may need to disable any pop-up blockers on any add-on toolbars such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN that have been installed.


I am a TA of a course that has been set up on elearning. My instructor told me that I should be able to access the course. But I could not find the course on my TAMU Vista page. How I can get help with the course access problem?

You need to contact the course instructor and see if the instructor has submitted a request enrolling you as a TA in the course. The instructor needs to submit a request through the Section Management Utility (SMU) at http://elearningtools.tamu.edu/smu and log in with his/her NetID and password. Once a request is received, elearning will process the request. You should be able to access the course within 20 minutes. If you cannot access the course, you may need to talk to the course instructor. The instructor needs to contact Instructional Technology Services (ITS) at (979) 862-3977 or its@tamu.edu. The staff at ITS will look into the problem.


My instructor asked us to take a test in the Open Access Lab. The test was posted in the course that was set up in elearning. First, we had to download Lock Down Browser before taking a quiz in elearning. But when I was trying to download LDB, the computer told me that I was not an administrator and I could not download LDB. Whom should I contact for help?

Any Open Access Lab on campus should have already installed Lock Down Browser (LDB) on their computers. As a student you don't need to download it again in order to take a quiz in elearning. You just go to the help desk in the open access lab and ask staff where you can find LDB. Before you open Lock Down Browser you need to close out any application that was running.


I have some questions about my course grade from last semester and I want to discuss it with my instructor. I could not find it on elearning. How can I view the grades again?

Elearning typically deletes the old semester sections before a new semester starts. If you need to access the course grades from last semester you may contact the course instructor. The instructor may have downloaded the gradebook from elearning to his/her computer. If the instructor didn't download the gradebook, he or she may send a request to the Instructional Technology Services (ITS) at its@tamu.edu or (979) 862-3977 and ask an ITS staff person to restore the course from the backups. The course restoration usually takes 1 to 2 days. Once the course is restored in elearning, the instructor will notify the student to log in to elearning and check the grades.


Why did my HTML editor freeze when I was working in Blackboard Vista?

The HTML editor is a Java-based applet that loads into the page when the option is selected. Below are the most common reasons that it may freeze during use.

Applet has not finished loading:

The applet may take a while to load depending on your computer and your internet connection speed. You should see the Java symbol spinning while the applet loads on your computer. Please be patient and let the applet finish loading before you try to perform other functions.


Working on several tasks while trying to load the HTML editor may cause it to freeze. It is recommended that you only run Blackboard Vista while working in your courses.

Multiple versions / wrong version of Java:

The recommended version of Java to have installed is Java 6 Update21. It is possible to have multiple versions of Java installed on your computer, but it can cause problems. To learn how to properly setup Java for your computer, find the document download link at the HDC page here.

If you have any further questions, please email helpdesk@tamu.edu or call us at 979-845-8300.

Document ID 514
June 30, 2013
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