A bug when synchronising Blackboard Calendar and Outlook Calendar

Mr Dick Chan
Educational Development Centre

Update on 12 Oct 2021


ITS reported this issue to Blackboard support team. Blackboard replied that the ics file generated should be error-free and works well with Google Calendar. ITS also contacted Microsoft and they said it is a by-design setting choice for Outlook. ITS link can be found here: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/TEAL/en/news/outstanding-issues/#when-sharing-learn-polyu-blackboard-calendar-to-outlook-outlook-calendar-time-will-show-1-hour-earlier

Do you trust your calendar? Calendar synchronisation brings a lot of convenience to us nowadays. After creating an event in one application, you will see the event appearing in your calendar even though the calendar and the application are not developed by the same company. In Blackboard you can synchronise the Calendar with your Microsoft Outlook Calendar so that you can easily check your schedule from you Outlook Calendar. However, recently, it was found that the synchronisation between the Blackboard Calendar and the Outlook Calendar may contain a bug.

A teacher reported that he encountered a bug on 31 August. When he looked at an event, which he had previously created in Blackboard, the event was shown in his Outlook Calendar to be starting and ending one hour too early. Thus, if you are a teacher and set up an online test in Blackboard with a deadline at 2 pm, Outlook will display the deadline of the online test as 1 pm.

Below are some screens showing what happens. You will see the bug appearing at the end.

An event is created in Blackboard from 11 am to 12 pm

The event is then shown in the Blackboard Calendar starting from 11 am to 12 pm

Inside a course, an event is created from 2 pm to 3 pm

The event is then shown in the Blackboard Calendar starting at 2 pm

In Outlook Calendar, two events shown as starting 1 hour early. i.e. 10 am and 1 pm 

ITS have submitted a ticket to Blackboard support. We will update this blog when there is any news.