Online Basics

How To Get Started if Your Instructor is Using Blackboard.

If your instructor is using Blackboard, you’ll find helpful information and tips in the list below.

Equipment Needs

  • Device (computer, laptop). Please note that Chromebooks, phones, and tablets will allow you to complete some online learning activities. They often will not allow you to complete assignments or take tests. You must have access to a computer.
  • High-speed Internet Connection. You will need a reliable internet connection (DSL, cable, etc.)
  • Web Browsers. You will need the most up-to-date versions of Firefox, or Chrome. If you are using a Mac, you CANNOT use Safari. For PC users, you cannot use Internet Explorer.
  • Plugins. Be sure your Java plugin is up-to-date.

Tips for online success

  • Communication. Keep in touch with your instructor. Ask questions when you don’t understand. If you’re having problems, let them know. They already know you, so, continuing to keep in touch should be easy.
  • Organization. Staying organized is a huge part of online success. Make a plan early in the week and do your best to stick to it. It’s easy to procrastinate and get behind in online classes.
    • Schedule time during the week for your class. If you always had class Monday and Wednesday at 10 AM, keep that schedule for that class. During those hours, complete all the reading and homework you need to get done.
    • Print out the course calendar and note of significant dates.
  • Here’s a link to other helpful tips.

Using Blackboard

The directions below are for students who will need to access classes in Blackboard.

  1. Log into Blackboard,  to access your courses.

2. Find the Courses link in the menu bar on the left side of the page. Navigate to your course and open it. This video will show you exactly what to do.

3. Once you are in the course, review the information listed on the announcements, start here and lesson pages. This is generally where instructors put all the content.

Blackboard Assignments, Assessments, Discussions

When you physically go to class, your instructor may have you turning in your assignments on paper. Online, is very different and you may need to submit your homework in Blackboard. There are several different assignment types that could be used. The most popular are: dropboxes, discussion boards, and quizzes and tests.

How to submit an assignment to a dropbox.

How to create and submit a discussion post.

How to take a quiz or test in Blackboard.

What to do if you need to take a proctored test

Proctored testing means that you need to prove your identity and take the test in a setting under observation. You may be accustomed to going to one of the campus Testing Centers, but, there is another option. Your instructor may also be using Respondus Lockdown Browser with Monitor for Proctored Testing. Respondus Lockdown Browser is software you download to your computer and you can use the software and a webcam to take your test from the location of your choice. Please note, this option is at your instructor’s discretion.

Follow this link for more information on proctored testing.

Follow this link for instructions on downloading and installing Respondus Lockdown Browser.

What if You Need Additional Help?!?

  1. We have a student blog that will help answer many of your Blackboard related questions.
    Click here to review frequently asked questions.
  2. If you can’t find the answer on the blog, ask your teacher.
  3. If your teacher can’t answer your question, contact the help desk.
    Click here for information on contacting the help desk.