About Browser History and Caching

A cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be retained for rapid loading. A web browser cache holds copies of pages that pass through it - all items you have accessed or downloaded from the Internet, including images, sounds, Web pages, and cookies. These items are stored on your computer, usually in the Temporary Internet Files folder.

Why clear your cache?
You may occasionally encounter an error message, a "Page Not Found" display, a "Momentarily Unavailable Message" etc. This could be due to a problem with the system, maintenance, or a number of other reasons. If you decide to go back to this url later, you may see this same message even though the problem is corrected because your browser has pulled the page from your cache.

How to clear your cache:

  1. In Internet Explorer:
    1. Click on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. The Internet Options box should open to the General tab.
    2. On the General tab, in the Browsing the Internet section, click the Delete button. This will delete all the files that are currently stored in your cache.
  2. In Firefox:
    1. Click on Tools, Options, then select the Advanced panel. In the Offline Storage section, click Clear Now.
  3. In Safari (Mac OS X):
    1. Click on the Safari menu, select Reset Safari. Select the items that you want to reset, then click Reset.

You can set your browser to automatically clear cache, and you can re-size your cache storage to maintain more cached files to speed up performance; this, however, increases the likelihood that you will access stale content.

How to set your browser to automatically clear cache:

Internet Explorer

  1. Click on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. The Internet Options box should open to the General tab.

Checking Your Browser

Browsers change, web content changes, and frequently pages don’t render exactly the way a developer wants them to in different browsers or browser versions.
Blackboard maintains a list of browsers that are supported, compatible and certified.
Here’s how to check your browser version:

1. Open your browser:
2. Click on the following:

  • Explorer:
    • Click Help, then About Internet Explorer, the version number that you are using (e.g. Internet Explorer8) appears in the dialog box
  • Firefox:
    • Click Help, then About Mozilla Firefox, the version number that you are using (e.g. Firefox version 3.6.13) appears in the dialog box.
  • Safari:
    • Click on Safari in the Safari menu
    • Select About Safari from the drop-down menu, the version number (e.g. Safari 5.0.3) appears in the dialog box.

Best Practices for Courses Using Bb Learn

This section offers some simple things you can do to help ensure students can access your content in your courses, and to allow you to use Blackboard Tools (links to the left). It also offers some ideas on extending Blackboard's value as a learning environment.

Just as in the classroom, there are many paths to exchanging ideas that teachers and learners can explore in the online environment. The links below offer some tips from faculty at other institutions on getting the most out of Bb Learn.

We would like to build on this content in ways that are specific and meaningful to UAB faculty, and for that we need your help. If you have a practice or tip to share with your colleagues, please pass it along to us and together we can develop an artifact of assistance. Ultimately our goal is to create a library of content that helps all system users at UAB, from novice to expert.

A Beginning-of-Semester Checklist (PDF)

An End-of-Semester Checklist (Video)

Balancing Asynchronous and synchronous Learning (PDF)

Delivering Documents to Students (DOC)

Assessing Learners (Video)

Using Blackboard for Problem-Based Learning (PDF)

Using Grading Forms (PDF)

Help Students Prepare Using a Sample Quiz (PDF)

Grading Assignments Offline (Video)

Audio and video standards for online content (PDF)

Reviewing a Course Moved from Vista (PDF)

Getting Started with the Course Environment (PDF)

Exploring Tabs (PDF)

Modify Your Course Menu (PDF)

Customize Your Course Environment (PDF)

Tracking Student Activity

This material will show you how to generate reports on activity in your course.
Click on a topic below to learn more:

Generating Course Reports
Run a Report on all User Activity Report Activity by Forum
Save a Course Report Report Activity by Content Area
Report Activity by Group
July 03, 2013



This section provides information on how to navigate the grade center, create and manage assignments, and tests, and monitor student performance.

The links below and in the right side menu provide general information on assessment functions in Bb Learn. The left side menu provides links to specific information on the grade center, assignments, and tests.

The Performance Dashboard (Video)
Grade Rules and Student Notifications (Video)
Compare Assessment Reporting in Vista 8 and Learn (PDF)
Create an Early Warning System (PDF)
Create a Grading Rubric (PDF)
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