Blackboard has a bug that causes the external links to the NROC Course Manager to become permanently unusable (broken) if they are
- hidden from student view ("unavailable")
Some of our members have been able to re-create these links and have them work properly. Some of our members have successfully recreated the link on a page or in a separate module, then set that entire page or module to hidden. However, these methods have not worked for everyone, so we do not recommend them as an alternative, but rather as a first step to resolution before contacting Blackboard support.
We at NROC are unable to fix this bug, or the resultant issues in your course. You must contact Blackboard Support if you encounter this problem. Blackboards technical support team may be able to access your database and make changes that will allow the links to function properly.
Information on this bug is highlighted in the Installation Instructions for this course. Therefore, your Blackboard administrator should be aware of the problem, and has the ability to contact Blackboard support for assistance. The administrator should inform all instructors that if they rename any Unit Map links, or toggle the "Course Management and Reporting" link or any of the Unit Map links to unavailable the link will be permanently broken.
This problem has been reported to Blackboard by some of our members, and we encourage others to do the same.
Please note that while some institutions prefer to hide the "Course Management and Reporting" link from student view, this is not strictly necessary. The link is protected by both role and login access. The NROC Course Manager will detect the user's role (student or teacher) and will only offer a login option to a teacher. Students will see an error message.
If I hide topics within a unit, will it break links?
This issue only applies to the LTI (pre-assessment) version of DevMath, and only to links to the NROC Course Manager (Unit Maps and Course Management/Reporting).
So if you are changing topic-level links in Blackboard, in a non-pre-assessment version of DevMath, we don't know of any issues there. Those are not LTI tools, they are just direct URLs.
If you are using the pre-assessment version, and you're referring to the topic-level hiding capabilities found within the Course Manager, then making changes there should not be connected with the Blackboard bug. That hide feature does not alter links, it just determines which topics students will be shown after they are in the Unit Map.