Beginning on November 18, 2017, ITS started receiving reports from faculty and students that they have received Announcements from their Blackboard course/instructor via email message that are outdated; reflecting information from earlier in the semester.
When an event occurs in Blackboard—such as an announcement is posted, an assignment is created, or a test is past due—the system automatically creates a corresponding notification. No action is required by the instructor.
After notifications are generated, they're immediately visible to users on My Blackboard's Updates and Posts pages, in course module pages, and in Notification Dashboard modules. The system can also distribute notifications by email.
We have configured the UAlbany Blackboard system to send an email notification for a new Announcement by default. This is the only Blackboard event for which we have set a default email notification. This means that, by default, when a course instructor posts an announcement, Blackboard will automatically send an email on behalf of the instructor to everyone enrolled in the course. You can establish which notifications you receive and how to receive them - for example, via email or only within the Blackboard dashboards. This means that you can change your Notification Settings at any time, including the system default for announcements.
The issue we encountered during the fall 2017 semester was caused by a faulty reset of the notification framework in our Blackboard system. This essentially reset the recipient status for previously sent notification emails, causing the system to identify those who had previously received notifications as "pending recipients" for the same announcement notifications. While we engaged with Blackboard support technicians to determine the cause of the issue, the problem proved to be time consuming to troubleshoot and we could not resolve the issue prior to the close of the semester. As time went by, the pending notification emails were sent until the erroneous queue of "pending recipients" was eventually emptied. The issue ran its natural course and finally the notification process concluded.
This issue affected both students and instructors. Everyone enrolled in a Blackboard course would have received an email for each course announcement unless they had de-selected this option in their personal notification settings. Those affected by this issue would have received a subsequent email for the same announcements. We are not able to say with certainty that this issue affected all courses or all announcement notifications so it is possible that you may not have experienced this issue at all, or that it did not affect all of your courses/announcements.
ITS is monitoring system processes and procedures to detect if this issue reoccurs and to take actions to mitigate or eliminate impacts.
If you experience this issue, please immediately contact the ITS Help Desk at 518-442-3700 or via the ITS Service Desk.
Need more help? Submit an ITS Service Desk Request.