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Section links (on this page)

 

 

TEACHING RESOURCES

 

BLACKBOARD  RESOURCE CENTER FOR FACULTY

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Click the questions below to find the answers, and, if you wish, click the questions again to close the text boxes. Some answers include links to videos that will show you what to do.

Note: Check back for Bb9 updates.

Note: We will update this list periodically. If you do not see the answer to your question go to http://itsupport.howard.edu

TECHNICAL ISSUES

Do I have to request a blackboard site for my course?

A. No. Blackboard takes a "snapshot" of Banner every day, so as long as you are

assigned a course in Banner, you already have a course site in Blackboard.

 

What kind of computer do I need?

A. Blackboard is designed to work cross-platform, so it's  okay to use a Mac computer.

Web Browsers: Windows

Browser

XP

 

Vista

Notes

IE 8

Compatible

Compatible 

 

IE 7

Compatible

Certified 

 

Firefox 3.0.x

Certified

 

Certified

Must run version 3.0.3 to use the Learning Environment Connector.

Web Browsers: Mac

Browser

10.4

10.5

Firefox 3.0.x

Certified

Certified

Safari 3

Certified

Certified

Safari 2

Compatible

Compatible

Firefox 1.5 and 2.0 are not supported for Blackboard Learn. It is recommended that Firefox 1.5 and 2.0 users upgrade to Firefox 3.0 to access the latest security patches and Mozilla support. Mac OS 10.3 is not supported for use with Blackboard Learn. Java Virtual Machine
Java Standard Edition 5, 32-bit (1.5.x) and later is the supported version for all operating systems.

Key to Support Levels

Certified

Certified configurations are fully tested and supported.

Compatible

Compatible configurations are partially tested but should function properly.

Not Supported

The configuration is not tested or supported by Blackboard.

Note that the faster your system is, the better it will perform, especially when the use of multimedia is involved.

 

 

What kind of browser should I use?

A. We recommend using the latest version of Mozilla's Firefox. However, Blackboard will run in Internet Explorer (version 4.0 or higher). For AOL users, there are two main caveats to be considered:

  •     AOL may not display all course management system features correctly. Thus instead of viewing your course pages via AOL directly, connect to the Internet using AOL, and then open a new browser window such as  Internet Explorer.

  •     When the user’s idle time exceeds the allotted minutes, AOL will automatically disconnect from the server. This could lead to loss of all unsaved work, including answers to your online test  in progress. To avoid this catastrophe, users are advised to access their course management system (Blackboard, WebBoard, etc.) via Internet Explorer. Or open another AOL browser window to another site and click on a link in that window often to maintain the ISP server connection.

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What do I do if Javascript is not enabled on my computer?

For Internet Explorer, do the following:

  • Open your browser.

  • From the toolbar at the top of the screen, select TOOLS.

  • Click on INTERNET OPTIONS.

  • Select the SECURITY tab.

  • Click on the CUSTOM LEVEL button.

  • Scroll down till you find "Scripting" and ENABLE active scripting.

  • Click OK and YES to confirm the changes.

  • Click OK in the second window and refresh your current web page.

 

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How do I disable pop-up blockers?


Click here to view.

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LOG-IN PAGE

How do I log into blackboard?


Click here or click BLACKBOARD on the HU homepage.

Username: 8-digit Banner/BisonWeb ID without '@' sign

Password: Bison Web pin or 6-digit DOB in mmddyy format

NOTE: To access Blackboard, you must

  • be VALIDATED
  • have no HOLDs on your account.

If you changed and/or forgot your password, please request it by using the 'Forgot password?' link above before contacting administrators.

If you are having trouble logging in or a Blackboard feature is not working go to http://itsupport.howard.edu.

You MUST include your Howard ID to inquire about your Blackboard account.

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How will my students know how to log-in?


A. Many students have already used Blackboard in their other courses. However, for those who have not, write the preceding directions on the board or create a handout by printing and annotating the Blackboard Entry Page, Log-in Page, My Institution Page, and Course Homepage. Also, direct students to the TOOLS menu so that they can easily find the student manual and update their e-mail address under PERSONAL INFORMATION.


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What should I do if my students and I can't log-in?


A. Like your students, go to http://itsupport.howard.edu. However, if you've simply forgotten your password, just click the FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD? link on the login page.


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  MY INSTITUTION PAGE

"On the My Institution Page, my course is listed as unavailable. When can I access it?"


A. Now! Your course is unavailable to students only. Just click the title of the course and begin
     adding content. When you are ready to make your course available, see the FAQs below.


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"In the Course box on the My Institution Page, I see many courses with the same title. How do I know which one to select?"

How do I know which one to select?

A. Click the COURSES tab near the top of the screen. Then look at the Course ID Number beside
     each title. For instance, if you see ENGL00231200301, the number indicates that this is English
     002, Section 31,scheduled to begin in January 2003.


Note: You may see Blackboard course sites that you have never used because each semester the system administrator automatically creates Blackboard sites for all of the courses listed in the Banner database.



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"What should I do if I don’t see my current courses on the My Institution Page?"

A. Check Banner/Bison Web to verify your teaching assignment (s). If your course is not listed there or you are not listed as the instructor, ask your department to send the necessary changes to Ms. LaTrice Covington in Enrollment Management (806-2729 or lacovington@howard.edu). Because of the snapshot process, the changes should show up in Blackboard within 24 hours (i.e., the next time Blackboard takes a snapshot of Banner).



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"What should I do about my old courses?"

A. Make them unavailable to students.
   
    1. Click the course title.
    2. Click CUSTOMIZATION on the the Control Panel.
    3. Click COURSE SETTINGS.
    4. Click COURSE AVAILABILITY.
    5. Click NO to make the course unavailable.


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"When I'm ready, how can I make my current courses available to students?"

A. 1. Click CUSTOMIZATION on the the Control Panel.
     2. Click PROPERTIES.
     3. Scroll down to COURSE AVAILABILITY.
     4. Click YES to make the course available.
 
Note: Do not make a course available until you have posted a syllabus under COURSE INFORMATION.


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"What if the undergraduate and graduate sections of a course are listed separately?" Do I have to build different course sites?"

A. Because of the new Blackboard snapshot process (i.e., Blackboard takes a snapshot of Banner every day), you can no longer add students from one site to another. However, you can copy content so that maintaining separate sites for both sections will be easier:

  1. At the beginning of the term, use the COURSE COPY tool on the Control Panel to copy as much content as possible from one site to the other.
  2. Then, as you add content during the semester, use the COPY/MOVE button within the content areas (e.g., Course Documents) to copy additional files from one site to the other.

Note: It may be possible to merge sections of the same course. Go to http://itsupport.howard.edu to find out if they can merge them.


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"How do I manage multiple sections of the same class?"

A. Because of the new Blackboard snapshot process (i.e., Blackboard takes a snapshot of Banner every day), you can no longer add students from one site to another. However, you can copy content so that maintaining separate sites for both sections will be easier:

  1. At the beginning of the term, use the COURSE COPY tool on the Control Panel to copy as much content as possible from one site to the other.
  2. Then, as you add content during the semester, use the COPY/MOVE button within the content areas (e.g., Course Documents) to copy additional files from one site to the other.

Note: It may be possible to merge sections of the same course. Go to http://itsupport.howard.edu to find out if they can merge them.


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"Can I modify the list of courses?"

A. You can modify the course list on your My Institution page (the "Welcome" page that you see as soon as you log in):

  1. Go to the My Institution Page.
  2. Find the My Courses box.
  3. Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the box.
  4. In the "Display Course" column, UNcheck the courses that you don't want to see.
  5. Click SUBMIT.

 

COURSE HOMEPAGE

Why should I check my email address as soon as I log into Blackboard?

A. First, go to MY PLACES (at the top of the screen) to check your e-mail address:
    
       1. Click PERSONAL INFORMATION.
       2. Click EDIT PERSONAL INFORMATION.
       3. Check your e-mail address.

     If the address is incorrect, type the new one and click SUBMIT. On the other hand, if the address is correct, just click CANCEL.
 
     Next, go to the Control Panel to access the Instructor’s Manual.

       1. Go to HELP.
       2. Click ONLINE MANUAL.

 

What should I tell students to do the first time they access our course homepage?

A. Ask students to go to the TOOLS menu to find the student manual and to MY PLACES to update their e-mail address under PERSONAL INFORMATION. You can even award students homework credit for updating their e-mail addresses before your deadline.

     See the next FAQ to find out how to check their e-mail addresses.
 
Note: Blackboard sometimes generates invalid e-mail addresses for students and faculty (e.g., youremail@howard.edu). Tell students that they must store valid e-mail addresses in Blackboard in order to communicate with one another and the teacher.

 

How can I tell who is enrolled in my Blackboard course site?

A. You can identify enrollees via the Control Panel.

        1. Go to USERS AND GROUPS.
        2. Click USERS.
        3. Then SEARCH for USERS.

TIP: To bring up a class roster with email addresses, select EMAIL on the first drop-down menu, select CONTAINS on the second, type @ in the third search field, and then click GO. If you see only one student record at a time, click the SHOW ALL button at the bottom of the screen. 

 

What should I do if a student is missing?

A. Because of the new snapshot process, Blackboard automatically adds validated students who have registered for your class and removes those who have dropped the class. Blackboard takes a snapshot at least once a day.

       

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Where can I download manuals and find other help resources?

A. In addition to CETLA's Blackboard Resource Center, there are three places where you can get assistance on any aspect of Blackboard.

  1. The first and easiest is the online manual found in the CONTROL PANEL of every Blackboard course. On the control panel, choose HELP and then MANUAL.

  2. Incidentally, if your students have any questions or problems, there is an online student manual located in the TOOLS section that can be reached by clicking on the TOOLS button on the left of the screen. Also, refer students to CETLA's Blackboard FAQ's for Student

 

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