Over the last month, we have been experiencing a number of connection issues with Blackboard Collaborate Classic. These issues tend to be very short lived, only lasting for a few minutes at a time, but taken as a whole can be very frustrating. We have been working with Blackboard to address this problem, and they have recently confirmed that it is being caused by a series of distributed denial-of-service attempts, or DDoS. A DDoS can be like trying to get to the grocery store during rush-hour traffic. Even though all the people on the road are trying to go somewhere different than you are, it still causes your access to be hindered. The indirect nature of the problem is also what makes it very difficult to address.
Blackboard hosting has assured us that they will continue to monitor the issue and is actively working to minimize, and hopefully even eliminate, the connection problems. There is very little that PA Virtual can actively do to address the issue, so in the meantime, all we can do is be patient and plan accordingly. If your teacher has given you some directive about what to do when you are kicked out of Collaborate, we ask that you follow those directions. If your teacher has not provided any specific direction, we ask that you:
- Try to reconnect immediately, but ONLY ONCE. Your loss of connection may not be a system-wide issue and may have just been a simple ‘hiccup’.
- If you are still unable to connect, then wait about 10 minutes. If you continue to try over and over, you are simply adding to the ‘amount of traffic on the road’. Allow things to clear up a little before you try again.
- If you are trying to connect to the SAME session, (ie. reconnecting to your History Class) you really should clear your cache first.
- If you are still unable to connect, give it another 10 minutes before trying again.