Blackboard Tutorials 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.

Though each course at UIS has a Blackboard site, not all courses use Blackboard. To find out if Blackboard will be used in your course, you should contact your instructor.


Tutorials for Students

Information Technology Student Training Video (25:16)

Introduction to Blackboard Handout for Students from ITS

Blackboard Essential Training for Students (from Lynda – log in with your UIS credentials)

Login and Navigation

Blackboard Submissions


Login & Password Information

Each UIS student is assigned a NetID and password to access information technology resourses such as email, Blackboard, and online library databases and journals.

First time Users
First time users of Blackboard should make sure that they have a UIS NetID and password to log into Blackboard. To claim or  your NetID, visit the Information Technology Services website.  You will be asked to fill in information including your name, UIN number (the 9-digit number on your I-Card), date of birth, and Social Security Number.

Changing Password
To change your password, go the the Information Technology Services website  and choose to set or reset your NetID password. You will be directed to a page titled “NetID/EnterpriseID Maintenance Login” and asked to fill in information including your name, UIN number (the blue 9-digit number on your I-Card), date of birth, and Social Security Number.

Once you have successfully logged in you will be able to create and set a new password. This password will effect your email, library services, and Blackboard.

Login to Course Video

  1. Blackboard is accessible through the World Wide Web at
  2. Once at the Blackboard site, click the “Login” button.
  3. At the login page, enter your NetID and your password associated with your NetID. (This is the same password you would use to access your email.)
  4. NetID passwords can be set or reset by visiting the UIS ITS Password/Accounts page and clicking on “Request or Locate Your Campus NetID.”

NOTE: First time staff and students must “Activate” their NetID through the same page.

Customizing Course

The “My UIS” Tab
“My UIS” is the initial page a student views after logging into Blackboard. The “My UIS” common area contains tools, modules, and information specific to each user and aggregated from each course the student is enrolled.

Tools, My Announcements, and My Courses modules are a default of Blackboard, but you can easily add other modules:

  1. Left click on “Add Module”
  2. Check the box next to the modules you want to add
  3. Click Submit

Note: You may also remove modules by clicking the circle icon with the red “X” in it, located in the upper right corner of each module box.

The Tools Box
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, view announcements, view calender, view grades, send a mail and search a person. Below is a complete list of items in the Tools box.

  • Announcements – View the Announcements of the courses you are participating in
  • Tasks – View Tasks
  • View Grades – View the grades in the courses you are enrolled
  • Send E-mail – Send E-mail to users of any of the courses you are participating in
  • User Directory – Search for Blackboard Users
  • Address Book – Create a List of Contacts
  • Personal Information – Edit Information about yourself
  • Calendar – View Calendar
  • Blackboard Sync – Receive Blackboard updates on your iPhone, Facebook, or your Internet Browser

To Edit Your Personal Information:

  1. Log into Blackboard
  2. From the “My UIS” page, click on the “Personal Information” hyperlink in the Tools box.
  3. Left click “Edit Personal Information” hyperlink
  4. Edit the text boxes including your address, phone numbers, gender, education level, department, job title, etc.
  5. Click “Submit” to finish.

The “Courses” tab
Within the “Courses” tab, a student can view all the courses he is enrolled in. The Course List module displays all the courses in which you are enrolled. Click on a course link to access the course site.

Hide courses from My Courses Module
Most courses close a few weeks after the end of each semester. To hide any additional courses you do not wish to view in the “My Courses” module:

  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. On the “My UIS” tab (the first page you see when you log in), locate the “My Courses” module.
  3. In the upper right corner of the “My Courses” module, click on the gear icon (see Fig. 1)Manage My Courses gear icon
    Figure 1. The Gear icon allows you to hide courses in the “My Courses” module.
  4. On the “Personalize: My courses” page, look for “1. Edit Courses List” section. Uncheck the the boxes for any courses you no longer wish to view.
  5. Click ” Submit.”

Navigation Video

Getting into your Course
To access a course you are enrolled in:

  1. Left c lick on a course link. OR
  2. You can also see a list of the courses that are enrolled in that are using Blackboard by clicking on the “Courses” tab.
  3. Click on a course link to enter a 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 like the syllabus, lecture notes, assignments, readings or other course materials. Each instructor can customize these buttons, so the names of the buttons may be different from course to course.

  • Announcements– Announcements from your instructor will show for one week, then be stored in folders. At any time you can view the announcements from the current month, or the full semester, by clicking on the sprocket at the top of the Annoucnement Module, to choose a time period to view.
  • Course Information– The instructor generally places the Introduction, Syllabus, Schedule, Course Policies, etc in here for the students to access.
  • Staff Information– Information about the Instructor such as Name, Department, Email, Office Location, Office Hours, and Contact Numbers are placed in here.
  • Course Documents– The Instructor generally places Lecture Notes, PowerPoint Presentations, etc. for the students to access.
  • Assignments– The Tests, Quizzes and Assignments are available in this content area.
  • External Links– Here a list of URLs for website resrouces are provided by the Instructor for the Students to access.
  • Tools– Various Tools for the course like Address Book, Calendar, Digital DropBox, Glossary, Homepage, Turnitin, MapleTA, My Grades, Personal Trainer, Science Toolkit, Tasks, Electric BB, User manual are provided here.

Check Grades Video

Not all instructors post grades in Blackboard during the semester. Official final grades are posted in the Enterprise system.

  1. Click on “Tools” button in the Course Content Menu or if provided, a “My Grades” button in the Course Content Menu.
  2. Click on “My Grades”
  3. View Assignments that are listed in the Grade Center, points, submissions, and any comments from your instructor.
  4. Click on the title of your course at the top of the page to return to the course entry point.

Which WebApp Server are you connected Video

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Left click on Course Tools
  3. Click on “Which WebApp Server”
  4. Record the number for reference

Submitting Assignments

Working with Assignments:

Using the Assignments feature in Blackboard 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:

  1. Left c lick on the “Assignment” button on your Course Content Menu NOTE: Your instructor may have labeled the button differently.
  2. Find the Assignment
  3. Click on the title of the Assignment so that you enter the Assignment.
  4. Enter in a submission in the WISYWYG editor, attach a file, and add comments.
  5. Click “Save as Draft” (instructor can NOT see your draft) or “Submit” (instructor CAN see your submission).

Discussion Boards

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 and post threads. Instructors provide the structure for each Discussion Topic, but it’s 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:

  1. Left click on the “Discussion” button on the Course Content Menu. NOTE: Your instructor may have labeled the button differently.
  2. Click on the Forum to which you need to make a post.
  3. Click on “Create Thread”.
  4. Enter the subject and comments in the space provided. Add attachments.
  5. Click “Save as Draft” (instructor can NOT see your post) or “Submit” (instructor CAN see your post).

Reading other students postings and Reply to their threads
To post a comment to a forum, follow these simple steps:

  1. Left click on the “Discussion” button on the Course Content Menu. NOTE: Your instructor may have labeled the button differently.
  2. Click on the Forum Title to view all the posting’s under the forum.
  3. Click on the “Collect” button to see whole post of each thread OR click on the Thread title to view the posting.
  4. Click on the Reply button to post a message.
  5. Click on the person’s name to send a private Email message.

Subscribing to a Thread
Subcribing to a thread is useful, in that you recieve an email stating the contents of the thread if any postings are added. This way you can view updates or information regarding the topic.

To subscribe to a Thread:

  1. Click on the Thread title
  2. Click the “Subscribe” button at teh top of the Thread Detail page
  3. Continue with viewing the Thread.

Blogs & Journals

Blogs are an open communication tool for students to share their thoughts with others in the course, including the instructor. Blogs can be used to post resources to share, post assignments, or collaborate in group discussions. Blogs are archived monthly or weekly and old posts can be viewed.

To post to a Blog:

  1. Left click on “Blogs” button on the Course Content Menu (your instructor might have labeled the button differently) or left click on the Tools area in your Course Content Menu.
  2. Click on the Blog title. NOTE: If you a member of a group you can view all of your group Blogs and all individual Blogs from this page. You can only respond to those group Blogs in which you are a member.
  3. Click on “Create Blog Entry” to post to the Blog.
  4. Type in title, entry message, attach a file, then “Save as Draft” (instructor can NOT see the post) or “Submit” (instructor CAN see the post).

A Journal is a self-reflective tool for students. Only the student and the instructor are able to Comment on Journal Entries. However, Journals can be made public by the instructor, with the approval of the student, for others in the course to read entries.

To respond to a Journal:

  1. Left click on “Journals” button on the Course Content Menu (your instructor might have labeled the button differently) or left click on the Tools area in your Course Content Menu.
  2. Click on the Journal title. NOTE: You cannot create the first entry in a journal. Your instructor has to start the journal.
  3. Click on “Create Journal Entry” button to reply to the journal.
  4. Type in title, entry messgae, attach a file, then “Save as Draft” (instructor can NOT see the post) or “Submit” (instructor CAN see the post).

Quizzes and Tests

Quizzes, Tests and Surveys
Your instructor may have you take a quiz, test or survey in your online/blended course in Blackboard. These assessments are easy to take and usually give you results immediately.

To take a test in Blackboard:

  1. Left click on the “Exams” button on your Course Content Menu (your instructor may have labeled the button differently)
  2. Before taking the quiz, read the instructions. Your quiz might have a time limit and/or might only be available during certain dates. Unless you are informed differently, your quiz will only be able to be taken once.
  3. Questions can be in multiple choices, multiple answer, true-false, matching, ordering, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, or essay format.
  4. Click on the title of your test or quiz to enter.
  5. When you have finished answering the questions on the quiz, click on the “Submit” button. “Save All Answers ” button can be clicked only when multiple attempts are allowed for that particular test.
  6. Your responses may be graded automatically and displayed or sent to your Instructor for grading (In case of essay answers).
  7. If you lose your Internet connection while taking a quiz or your quiz is locked. Contact your instructor immediately to report the problem.

Chat and Virtual Classroom

Chat / Virtual Classroom
The Chat allows the users to interact with each other and the Instructor via a text-based chat region.

To join a Chat / Virtual Classroom session:

  1. Left click on the “Tools” button on the Course Content Menu
  2. Click “Collaboration”
  3. Click the title of the Chat room or the Virtual Classroom session.
  4. Click on “Click here for an accessible version.”
  5. Chat or Virtual Classroom will pop up in another window.

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 “Click here for an accessible version “. Disabling the pop-up blocker is another solution.

  • To participate, type your message into the “compose” box at the bottom of the screen and click “send”. The message will appear in the chat area.
  • To view user information, select a user’s name in the “Participants list” and then click “User Info”.
  • To send a private message to a user, select a user’s name in the “Participants list” and then click Private Message. The “Compose Private Message” window will appear.
  • Your instructor can dismiss you from the main Chat room and open up a “Breakout” room to work in small groups. A window will appear with your new room and a notification will pop up that you have left the main Chat room

Groups in Blackboard

Groups of students can be created in the course to collaborate on group projects and assignments. You may be asked to self-enroll yourself in a group versus the instructor assigning you to a group. When you are assigned to be in a group or self-enroll in a group a Groups module will appear directly under the Course Content Menu.

To self-enroll in a group:

  1. Left click on the “Tools” button on the Course Content Menu.
  2. Click on “Groups”
  3. Click on “View Sign-up Sheet to Join a Group”
  4. Click the “Sign Up” button to sign up for that group.
  5. You will be automatically taken to the Group’s page.

To view your group’s page:

  1. Click the chevron to the left of “My Groups” to extend the menu.
  2. Click the chevron ot the left of the name of the group to extend the group tool menu.
  3. Click on the tool to view OR
  4. Click the chevron to the right of the name of the group to go to the group’s page

Send Email within Blackboard

Users in a Blackboard course can easily send email to all or selected indivudual Users, Students, Groups, Teaching Assistants, Instructors, or Observers. NOTE: You can only send an email to the users in this course ONLY.

  1. Left click on the “Tools” button on the Course Content Menu.
  2. Click on “Send Email” and select a catagory (i.e. All Users, Groups, Teaching Assistant Users, Student Users, or Instructor Users OR Select Users or Groups.
  3. 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.
  4. Enter in the subject, message and attachments (optional).
  5. A copy of the email is sent to you as a default.
  6. When you are finished writing your email message, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Submit” button to send your email