Blackboard Tutorial for Students
What is Blackboard?
Blackboard is a course management system that allows courses to be delivered partially or entirely on the Internet. Courses using Blackboard might be text based, but can be enhanced with audio, video, and generally include a great deal of interaction.
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Blackboard Learning Systems Student Manual
My Institution Tab
My Institution is the initial page a student views after logging into Blackboard. The My Institution common area contains tools and information specific to each user. At the "My Institution" page you will see the "Welcome" greeting, tools and contents. Click on a course to access that course site.
My Announcements - Displays announcements.
My Courses - Displays courses in which the user is enrolled, with announcements, calendar events and tasks. Click on the course in which you are enrolled to view the course content. My Calendar - Displays calendar events. My Tasks - Displays tasks Courses: Quick View - Displays courses in which the user has enrolled.
Within the "Courses" tab a student can view all of the courses in which he has enrolled.
Course Search - Search the Available Blackboard courses. Courses set as "Unavailable" in the course settings will not be seen in this Search.
Course List - Courses in which you are enrolled. Click on a course link to access the course site.
Course Catalog - Browse or Search only the Available Blackboard courses.
Use the options in the Tools box (left side of the screen) to change your password or set your privacy options. These tools can be used to view personal information, announcements, calendar, grades, send an email or search a person. Below is a complete list of items in the Tools box.
Announcements - View the announcements of the courses in which you are participating
Calendar - View Calendar
Tasks - View Tasks
View Grades - View the grades in the courses in which you are enrolled
Send E-mail - Send E-mail to users of any of the courses in which you are participating
User Directory - Search for Blackboard Users
Address Book - Create a List of Contacts
Personal Information - Edit Information about yourself
To Edit Your Personal Information
Log into blackboard
From the My Institution page, click on the "Personal Information" hyperlink in the Tools box.
Select the "Edit Personal Information" hyperlink
Edit the text boxes including your address, phone numbers, gender, education level, department, job title, etc.
Click "Submit" to finish.
Home, Help and Logout Icons
The three icons at the top of the Blackboard frame do the following:
Minimum and Suggested Requirements
Online courses require at a minimum the following hardware and software:
Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, or ME; MacOS 9 or MacOS X
Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 MB of free disk space
Modem: 56 K
Additional Plug-ins and Audio and Video Lectures
Depending upon the course you are taking, you may be required to download add-ons or plug-ins to view material for your class. Ask your instructor for specific instructions.
Course lectures can be delivered with audio and video. Viewing multimedia lectures requires special software, such as a multimedia player or Java software. Many computers have such software already installed.
Course content can also be delivered through web pages, a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, an Impatica for Power Point stream, a RealPlayer audio or video stream. The software you may require to view such content is freely available for download online at the corresponding manufacturer's websites below.
Software Used in Online Courses Include
Multimedia Players (Play audio & video files)
Windows Media Player
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1
Download the latest version of the Java Runtime Environment. If you have Java software, you will have access to a whole new world of interactivity.
Browser Plug-ins and Extensions
Shockwave (View entertaining rich-media and 3D web content)
Macromedia Flash Player (View rich content and applications)
ieSpell - A Spell Checker for Internet Explorer
Chemical Structure Visualization Plug-in
Chime 2.6 (Interactively displays 2D and 3D molecules directly in Web pages)
Readers and Viewers
Adobe Acrobat Reader (reads .PDF files)
PowerPoint Viewer (Open and view PowerPoint 95, 97, 2000, and 2002 presentations)
Excel 97/2000 viewer for Windows 95/98/NT (Open and view Excel 97 and Excel 2000 spreadsheet files)
Word 97/2000 viewer for Windows 95/98/NT (Users without Word can open and view Word documents)
Login & Password Information
Login and Password Information
Each student is assigned a username and password to access information technology resources such as email, blackboard and online library databases and journals.
First Time Users
First time users of Blackboard must have a username and password to log into Blackboard. The username and password will be issued via e-mail one week prior to the course start date. If the student is taking multiple courses through TAIFE, he or she will use the same username and password for all courses.
To change your password, please e-mail email@example.com. You will be sent a new password via e-mail within 48 hours.
Blackboard is accessible through the World Wide Web at http://coursesites.blackboard.com/
You may access Blackboard in either of the following ways:
Logging in to Blackboard
After entering the Blackboard site, click the Login button. At the login page, enter your user name and password.
Customize Your Blackboard
Student can manage the contents and choose the information they want displayed on the default "My Institution " page after logging in. The Layout option is used to change page colors and rearrange page layout.
Remove Courses from your Course List
Since the courses you have taken using the Blackboard system are not guaranteed to be removed after completion of the course, Blackboard gives the student the option of hiding the courses from view.
To Hide Courses from your Blackboard Course List
In the upper right corner of the "My Courses" module there is a button to edit the "My Courses" module. Click on the icon that looks like a pencil to edit your course list. You will be at the "Customize My Courses" page.
At the "Customize My Courses" page you will see an area titled "Modify Courses List". In the "Modify Courses List" check or uncheck the check box under "Display Course" to control the courses you want to be displayed on your page.
Note: Un-checking a course only removes the course from your view. You will still continue to have access to all of the courses in which you are enrolled or teaching.
To Add or Remove Modules that Appear on the My Institution Page
Select the modules you want to appear on the My Institution Blackboard page. You are able to add and remove modules to add information or reduce clutter.
Click the "Contents" button on the right side of the content area (next to "Welcome" greeting).
At the "My Institution Content" check or uncheck the modules you want to appear on the My Institution page. Click Submit to Finish. Note: You may also remove modules by clicking the circle icon with the red "X", located in the upper right corner of each module box.
To Personalize the Page Layout and Choosing a Color Scheme
Minimum and Suggested Requirements
Getting into your Course
You can see a list of all available courses by clicking on the "Courses" tab. To access a course in which you are enrolled, click on the link that corresponds with your course.
Navigating Course Content
Moving around your Blackboard course is done via the list of buttons on the left side of the page. The buttons indicate the different content areas of Blackboard, where instructors can place information such as the syllabus, lecture notes, assignments, readings or other course materials. Each instructor is able to customize these buttons; the names of the buttons may be different from course to course.
Announcements from your instructor can be viewed on the main page of your course and will be present for one week, after will be stored in folders. At any time, you can view the announcements from the current month or the full semester by clicking on the All, Last 30 Days or Last 7 Days tab of the appropriate folder on the Announcements page.
The instructor generally places the introduction, syllabus, schedule, course policies, etc here for students to access.
Instructor information such as name, department, email, office location, office hours and contact numbers are placed here.
Instructor generally places lecture notes, power point presentations etc., here for students to access.
Tests, quizzes and assignments are placed here for students.
Instructor places here the list of useful books for that particular course and books for the students to read.
Here a list of Website addresses and URLs are provided by the instructor for the student to access during course or semester.
Various tools and useful plug-ins for the course such as Address Book, Calendar, Digital Drop Box, Glossary, Homepage, My Grades, Personal Trainer, Science Toolkit, Tasks, Electric BB, and User Manual are provided here for the Students.
Useful communication tools such as Announcements, Collaboration, Discussion Board, Group Pages, Messages, Roster, send Email are provided for the effective communication between the Student / Instructor and for Students among themselves.
Digital Drop Box
Digital Drop Box
The digital drop box enables students and instructors to exchange files.
To Send a File to the Instructor Using the Digital Drop Box
Click on the "Tools" button in the course menu.
Next, click on the "Digital Drop Box" link.
Here you will find two buttons, "Add File" and "Send File". If you choose to only add a file and not send at this time, you may click "Add File" button.
Click on the "Browse" button to locate the file you would like to place in the Digital Drop Box.
You are then able to add a file and send it at a later date.
If you wish to send the file immediately, click on the "Send File" button and follow the same procedure.
Make sure the "Type of Files" menu is set to "All Files". Select the file you wish to send and click on the "Open" button.
Enter your last name and assignment title (i.e. Research Paper) in the Title box, type any comments you want your professor to read and then click on the "Submit" button to send your file to your instructor.
If you are not using Microsoft Word, you must save your assignments in .rtf format. You are able to change to this file format by choosing "Save As" to save your document and changing the "Save File as Type" to Rich Text Format (.rtf).
Working with Discussion Board
Discussion boards are used for content engagement in an asynchronous format. Not all participants are logged in at the same time. The instructor initiates the discussion by creating the topic or Discussion Board forum. Once created, students click the title of the forum to enter the discussion. Instructors provide the structure for each discussion topic, and it is important to note that not all instructors participate in the Discussion Board at all times.
Posting a Comment to a Forum
To post a comment to a forum, follow these steps:
Click on the Forum where you want to make a post.
Click on Add New Thread.
Enter the subject and comments in the space provided. You can also include any word documents and other content needed to support your posting.
Click Submit button to post your comment.
Reading other Students Postings and Replying to their Comment
To post a comment to a forum, follow these simple steps:
Click on the Forum Title to view all postings under the forum.
Click on the Thread title to view the posting.
Click on the Reply button to post a message so that all students are able to view your posting.
Click on the person's name to send a private email message.
NOTE: Each new comment posted to the Discussion Board is called a thread. Anyone in the class may use the Reply button to respond to a new thread.
Working with Assignments
The Blackboard Learning System (Release 6) introduces a new content type called an Assignment. Using this, the students are allowed to view the assignments posted by the instructor and respond to the assignments within the Assignment section.
Viewing posted Assignments
To View an Assignment, follow these simple steps:
Click on the course title under courses tab, of which you want to view the posted Assignment.
Click on the Assignment link in the contents area.
This allows a student to view all existing assignments posted by the instructor.
Responding to an Assignment
To respond to an Assignment, follow these simple steps:
Click on the assignment title to view the assignment.
Type in the comments (if any), along with any files in response to the assignment posted.
Click save button to stop working and continue working later. Click Submit to finish. Click Cancel to quit without saving changes.
Checking Your Grades
Checking Your Grades
Your grades in Blackboard can be viewed two ways:
From My Institution Page
From Inside a Course
Click on the "Tools" button located on the course menu.
Next, find and click on the "Check Grade" link.
A summary of points you have earned on quizzes, exams and other assignments that have been entered by your Instructor are displayed.
Keys to the symbols used in your online Grade book are listed at the bottom of the Blackboard online Grade book page. If detailed quiz results are enabled by your instructor, you can view which of your answers were correct and which ones were incorrect by clicking on your score next to the quiz you are viewing
Sending Email through Blackboard
Click on the "Communication" button located on the Navigation bar.
Next, click on the "Send Email" link.
Select to whom you would like to send a message. If you wish to send an email message only to certain users, you will be prompted to choose the recipients from the class list.
After selecting the recipients for your message, enter your subject and message. When sending an email message to your Instructor, be sure to include your course number and your last name in the subject line. For example, the subject line might be: CSC577--Assignment 1 Help.
Always send a copy of any important email messages to yourself for reference at a later date. You can create this record by clicking on the "Send Copy of Message to Self" box located in Part 3 of the email process.
After you have finished writing your email message, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Submit" button to send your email.
Quizzes and Tests
Taking a test online has advantages and disadvantages. The most common problem is getting disconnected from the quiz and not being able to log in again.
To Take a Test in Blackboard
Find the folder in which the quiz is located. Sometimes this is labeled "Quizzes" or another area specified by your Instructor.
Click on the Assessment link to the quiz or test you are going to take.
Before taking the quiz, read the instructions. Your quiz might have a time limit or might only be available during certain dates. Unless you are informed differently, your quiz will only be able to be taken once.
Questions can be multiple choice, multiple answers, true-false, matching, ordering, fill-in-the-blank, short answer or essay format.
When you have finished answering the questions on the quiz, click on the "Submit" button. The "Save" button can be clicked only when multiple attempts are allowed for that particular test.
Your responses may be graded automatically and displayed or sent to your instructor for grading (In cases of essay answers).
If you lose your Internet connection while taking a quiz or the quiz is locked, contact your professor immediately to report the problem.
The Chat allows the users to interact with each other and also the Instructor via a text-based chat region.
To Join a Chat Session
Click Communication on the course menu of the course Web site.
Select Collaboration Tools.
Click the "join" button on the right of the Lightweight Chat that you would like to join. The Lightweight Chat will open in a new window (this may take a few moments).
Important: Pop-up blockers on many machines will prevent the Lightweight Chat from opening. To override a pop-up blocker, hold the "Ctrl" key while clicking "Join". Disabling the pop-up blocker is another solution.
To become an active user, click the hand symbol. A hand appears next to the user name. The Instructor clicks on the hand to make the user active. This allows the User to post a message in the Chat.