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Blackboard Chat - Virtual Classroom Troubleshooting

  1. As of March 2017, the native Blackboard tools for Chat and Virtual Classroom do not work in the most current versions of Firefox or Google Chrome (because those browsers do not support "Java"). If you must continue using Bb's Chat, all users should follow the directions at to install a compatible (older) version of Firefox. The chat feature also works with Internet Explorer 11 but we do not recommend that browser for other Blackboard activities.

  2. Blackboard Chat / Virtual Classroom Troubleshooting

    Both the Text Chat and the Virtual Classroom depend on "Java" software existing on your computer.

  3. You must have the current version of Java. To check your version, open the Java Control Panel and click the Java tab. On Windows systems: Control Panel > Java. On Macintosh systems: System Preferences > Java. If you do not have Java, get it from

  4. The behavior of Blackboard with Java depends on several settings on YOUR COMPUTER. If you have trouble with Java, use these suggestions:
    a. Clear the Java cache. This is done by opening the Java control panel, clicking Settings (on the "General" pane, under the heading "Temporary Internet Files"), then clicking Delete Files. Check the boxes for all three options and click OK. It may take a short time for the process to finish.
    b. Check the Java "Exception Site" list, on the "Security" pane. Your computer's list needs to include two entries for Blackboard, as shown here. The entries are and (note -- pay special attention to typing a COLON, rather than a slash, before the digits 8012).

    c. Clear your browser's cache. For Firefox, this is done by clicking the History menu, and selecting Clear Recent History.
    d. After clearing these items, close and restart your browser.
    e. If you are connecting from inside a firewall, e.g. from a public school, your local network staff may need to "open port 8012" for you to use Bb's collaboration tools.

  5. As you proceed the first time through the connection process you may get a number of "questions" and/or dialog boxes, requiring your agreement to continue. Click the responses, as appropriate, to "Trust" or "Run" or "Allow."

  6. When using Firefox, the connection link may seem to do nothing the first time you try it. Look at the browser's address bar, to see a "brick" icon, and click it.
    The brick icon is displayed just to the left of the security "lock":

    Clicking the brick gives you a dialog box about "allowing" the Java applet to run. Be sure to "allow" this to work.

(Checked and updated 9 March 2015)

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