links to mixed-content pages in Blackboard tabs?

Bradbeer, Gayle Gayle.Bradbeer at UCDENVER.EDU
Wed Jun 25 13:44:03 EDT 2014

We had this same problem with general permalinks within Blackboard courses to library content that is accessed through a proxy.   The links would not open or would eventually reach an incompatible link.  So we worked with the group that administered the Blackboard instances to set the default to be that all links will open in a new window or tab.  I believe that what is the default is still within the control of the Blackboard admin, as is whether or not the professor can choose where to display the website.

Another problem that happened frequently is that there is/was a character limit on the length of a URL that can be inserted in Blackboard.  You can paste in a monster link but the link is truncated and there is no indication that the link has been truncated unless you look at the html code.  Of course where the link was truncated determines how the browser responds.  So we also recommend that professors use one of the URL shorteners available, i.e., or

Gayle Bradbeer
Collection Development for Science & Engineering/User Support Librarian
Auraria Library (
An academic library serving University of Colorado Denver, Metro State & CCD
gayle.bradbeer at

From: Web technologies in libraries [mailto:WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU] On Behalf Of Chris R. Wieman
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:53 AM
Subject: [WEB4LIB] links to mixed-content pages in Blackboard tabs?


Following an update to Blackboard last fall, we began having a problem with the Library tab on our Blackboard site<> (I administer the library site but not Blackboard). The problem occurs when you open the library website from within the Blackboard frame; although the exact symptoms vary by browser, generally the main issues are 1) the library page doesn't load and/or 2) links which are not https won't open. This occurs because Blackboard is now a secure environment and doesn't tolerate links within it that are not https. It's also caused by safety features in browsers which will not load pages of mixed content. There are ways around this issue, but they require the user to configure their browsers we've been treating this as "educational issue" rather than a technical one, since the solution seems to be out of our hands. That said, one easy way it could be fixed is to configure the link within Blackboard so the Library site opens in a new window/tab ...however this can't be done because the links that appear in the Blackboard tabs can't be set to do this.

I suspect we are not the only ones who have run into this problem. Has it affected your institution? If so, did you find a workaround?

Thanks for your reads and replies. Best,

Chris Wieman
Information Science Instructor / Systems & Reference Librarian
J.W. England Library
University of the Sciences
600 S. 43rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-596-8962 | Ref Desk: 215-596-8967
c.wieman at<mailto:c.wieman at> | Ask a Librarian<> |<>


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