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HU Instructional Software



Blackboard is the official learning management system (LMS) for the University.  To log in, use your 8-digit Bison Web ID number (without the @) and your 6-digit birthdate.  Although you are free to use the LMS of your choice, Blackboard is the LMS for which the University provides training, funding, and tech support.  (Note: The School of Law uses Westlaw's TWEN instead of Blackboard.) Go to our Blackboard workshop catalogue to see some of the many tools Blackboard offers.  Among them are the following:

  1. Tools for posting text, images, files, and weblinks
  2. Discussion board for asynchronous discussions
  3. Virtual Classroom for synchronous "live" discussions ("Blackboard Collaborate")
  4. Tool for submitting and collecting assignments that are integrated into the gradebook
  5. Group pages for teamwork
  6. Self-scoring tests and surveys that allow you to set up "mastery quizzes" that compel students to repeat a quiz until they have mastered the material and "feedback quizzes" that explain why an answer is right or wrong
  7. Gradebook that includes weighting, "Smart Views," item analysis for tests, automatic regrading, statistical analysis for surveys, interactive rubrics, and more
  8. E-portfolios to review faculty's applications for promotion and tenure and students' reflections and performance
  9. SafeAssign to detect plagiarism
  10. Retention Center to identify and communicate with students who are at risk
  11. Mobile apps for smartphones and tablets ("Blackboard Mobile")
  12. Reports that show how well a course, a student, and a whole class covered accreditors' standards or school/college competencies ("Blackboard Goals Alignment")
  13. Adaptive release of posted materials to ensure that individuals have mastered a concept before they move on to the next
  14. A tracking option that lets you see which students have accessed a particular file, video, or link on Blackboard
  15. A tool for providing video feedback on assignments  ("VideoEverywhere")
  16. A tool for embedding YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations, and Flickr photos
  17. A calendar that automatically populates with assignment due dates as you post assignments and enables students to export those dates to their Google or Outlook calendars
Blackboard Collaborate

HU has a campus-wide license for this popular web-conferencing tool that is designed especially for virtual classrooms.  Moreover, ETS has installed a building block that integrates Collaborate with the Blackboard course management system to facilitate access and authentication.  With Collaborate, you can teach “live” classes, record them if desired, email links to invite participants or to share recordings, or convert recordings to MP3/MP4 formats for streaming and downloading.   You can conduct interactive classes with Voice over IP, multi-point video, shared whiteboards, application sharing, file transfer, breakout rooms, threaded voice discussion boards, voice-enabled email, instant messaging, voice-embedded course content, assessments, or feedback, and more.  Meanwhile, your students can participate in “live” class sessions “on the go” via their laptops, tablets, or phones.  Interested?    See http://www.cetla.howard.edu/teaching_resources/collaborate/index.html  and then sign up for CETLA'S workshop BB03 Getting Started.

Bison Connect
Click the title above to get HU campus police alerts and to alert the police when you are traveling alone to or from class after dark. 


BisonWeb is the user-friendly interface for Banner, Howard's student information system.  When you log in with your 8-digit Bison Web ID (preceded by @), you can access your class schedule, student rosters, student contact information, and more.  Bison Web is also where you will enter grades, post your syllabus in the Syllabus Database, and adopt textbooks.  To find out how to adopt textbooks via Bison Web, click here.


Clinical Skills & Simulation Center

The Simulation Center enables Health Sciences students to "learn from doing" with state-of-the-art technology. 



The University provides faculty and staff with @howard.edu email.  To log in, you will be given a username that is similar to your name (e.g.,john.doe@howard.edu) and a password.  You can log in via Outlook or, when you're on the go, via HU Web Mail (click the title above).  Email is, of course, indispensable for communication with your students, colleagues, and administrators.  However, to keep your email account from "maxing out," consider setting up an ASK QUESTIONS forum on the Blackboard discussion board.  Not only will it reduce your email load, but it can also prevent students from asking the same question again and again since they can see your answer on the discussion board.

Epson 1410wi Projector

If you are lucky, in your classroom, you may encounter the Epson 1410wi "smart" projector. CETLA offers training that will empower you to annotate and display documents or images on a whiteboard without using a computer, to surf and annotate webpages, to play videos and slideshows, and to save your whiteboard pages as a PDF that you can post or email to your students.  If you discover that you’ll be teaching in an Epson smart room, go to SR05 Getting Started with the "smart" Epson 1410wi  to take the asynchronous online tutorial SR05 Getting Started with the Epson 1410wi.  When you pass the SR05 online quiz, you will see a link to a form for setting up a 30-minute appointment for hands-on practice and certification at CETLA (SR06). Faculty who earn certification will receive Epson interactive pens and a cable.


The preferred online testing tool in the HU Health Sciences is ExamSoft.  Click the title above to learn all about it. If you teach with Blackboard, you can import ExamSoft grades into Blackboard. For more information regarding ExamSoft, please contact Dr. Andre Farquharson at afarquharson@Howard.edu.

Google Apps for Education

Howard University provides all students with Google Apps for Education.  In addition to a GMail account, students can access the Google calendar, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Google Drive (for storage), and Google Sites (for collaborative workspace).  Of course, students can also access Goggle Blogger, Google Scholar, Google Books, the social media networking tools in Google+, and much more.

Howard Mobile

Click the title above to learn more about Howard Mobile and how to download the appropriate app for your smartphone.  With Howard Mobile, you can more easily access other HU technologies such as Blackboard Mobile, iTunesU, the campus map, the course schedule, and the library catalogue.

iTunes U

Click the title above to go to Howard University's iTunesU site.  (If you don't have the iTunesU software on your device, you will be prompted to download it first.)  Howard's site disseminates videos and other materials worldwide.  If your department would like students all over the world to see videos of your lectures or your department wants to post recruiting materials or guest speakers' speeches, you may want to explore the global opportunities that iTunesU offers HU faculty.

  • Millions of engineers and scientists worldwide use MATLABŪ to analyze and design the systems and products transforming our world. MATLAB is in automobile active safety systems, interplanetary spacecraft, health monitoring devices, smart power grids, and LTE cellular networks. It is used for machine learning, signal processing, image processing, computer vision, communications, computational finance, control design, robotics, and much more.
  • This license is for MATLAB, Simulink, and 48 companion toolboxes (includes all applicable toolboxes on your license). The TAH license covers on-campus and home software use for all instructors, staff, and researchers, as well as classroom and lab installations. Students are also covered by the TAH license and will be able to install software on their home or laptop computers. For any questions and information about how to access the new TAH license, please contact Dr. Talitha Washington at talitha.washington@howard.edu.

MATLAB is free for Howard faculty and students. Here is how to get it!

  1. Open up an account at www.MathWorks.com with your Howard email.
  2. Call the IT Help Desk at 202-806-2020, give them your Howard email, and ask them for MATLAB.
  3. The license will appear in your MathWorks account for you to download.
Howard University MATLAB Portal


Almost any workflow involves computing results, and that's what Mathematica does–from building a hedge fund trading website or publishing interactive engineering textbooks to developing embedded image recognition algorithms or teaching calculus (from product website). To download please visit http://secure.howard.edu

Microsoft Office

From traditional statistical analysis of variance and predictive modeling to exact methods and statistical visualization techniques, SAS/STAT software is designed for both specialized and enterprisewide analytical needs (from product website).


The Office of Research offers all Howard University faculty access to Qualtrics, a powerful online survey tool that you can use for research, assessment, or alumni outreach.  For more information, contact Pamela A.G. Clarke at pamela.a.clarke@howard.edu and huogm@howard.edu, 202-806-6000.

Redesigned Blackboard e-Portfolio

CETLA offers a workshop (BB21 Creating and Managing e-Portfolios), on using the redesigned Blackboard portfolio as a “course portfolio” or “capstone portfolio.”   The new e-portfolio is so much easier to use than the old one!  (see http://www.cetla.howard.edu/teaching_resources/Eportfolio.html#Blackboard).   If you teach via Blackboard, the new Blackboard e-portfolio is ideal for evaluating your students’ learning in your course:

· You can easily create an e-portfolio assignment where students can submit “snapshots” of their e-portfolios—copies of their e-portfolios that will not change if students make changes later.

·Students can easily import into their e-portfolios course assignments (i.e., “artifacts”), including your assignment description, grade, rubric scores, and feedback.

·Students can easily share a snapshot of their e-portfolios with their classmates (via the Course Portfolios page) for peer review and comments.

·Students can easily email a link to a snapshot of their e-portfolio so that they can share it with prospective employers, graduate admissions officers, friends, family, and others.

·Students can upload artifacts to their “My Portfolios” page from multiple Blackboard courses and from their flash drive to build “capstone portfolios.”

Students can learn how to create the new e-portfolio by watching Blackboard’s guided tour when they first access the “My Portfolios” page.  However, to orient students and faculty, CETLA has posted step-by-step video tutorials on its Blackboard FAQs for Students page and in its Blackboard Resource Center for Faculty. In addition, CETLA has trained ETS’s System Administrator to respond to students’ queries about the e-portfolio.



Another WRLC tool is RefWorks. With RefWorks, you and your students can automatically generate citations and assemble bibliographies in your preferred documentation style (e.g., APA).



From traditional statistical analysis of variance and predictive modeling to exact methods and statistical visualization techniques, SAS/STAT software is designed for both specialized and enterprisewide analytical needs (from product website).

Smart Classroom Technology

Smart Classroom Technology

Howard has a variety of smart classrooms.  Some of the rooms have the old Crestron control panel, projector, and smartboard.   Others have the 485 Epson interactive projector, which turns any board or flat white surface into a smartboard.  Still others have the newer Epson 1410wi projector, which also turns walls into smartboards, but can be operated without a remote control or a computer.   Once you have determined which type of smart room you have been assigned, you can access CETLA's online tutorials at http://www.cetla.howard.edu/tlt/smart_room/training.html (or click the title above).  After successfully completing a tutorial, you can make an appointment for hands-on practice and certification at CETLA.

Note:  Faculty will receive interactive pens and cables for the Epson 1410wi upon certification.



A comprehensive, easy-to-use set of data and predictive analytics tools for business users, analysts and statistical program. To download please visit http://secure.howard.edu


Taskstream is a data management platform used by Howard University for a variety of purposes. Tutorials have been created (and are posted below) to support faculty and staff using the system for the Prioritization self-studies and faculty credentialing. Fo rmore information click here: http://www.provost.howard.edu/Taskstream.asp


Tegrity is the University's lecture capture tool.  It allows you to videotape a lecture in your classroom, office, home, or the field and upload that video to the Tegrity "cloud."  There Tegrity synchronizes the audio, video, and whatever you presented on the screen (e.g., slides, webpages, Tegrity whiteboard) and indexes it so that students can pinpoint the particular part of the lecture they want to review. Although you can download the video, Tegrity will stream it to students' desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones (both Mac and PC).  To learn how to use Tegrity, go to CETLA's Tegrity Resource Center or sign up for CETLA's VT01 workshop, Videotaping Your Lectures.

Think-Cell @ Howard

think-cell presentation software consists of two components: think-cell chart and think-cell round. think-cell chart is a PowerPoint add-in for creating professional business charts more efficiently directly from Excel data. think-cell round is an Excel add-in for consistently rounding numbers, even across complex calculations. More detailed information can be found on the think-cell website. To download think-cell, go to the ETS site.

Turnitin and SafeAssign


The University provides Turnitin.com accounts for graduate advisors so that they can check  their advisees' theses and dissertations for plagiarism.  If you are a graduate advisor, to learn how to use Turnitin and to set up a Turnitin account, email cetla@howard.edu so that CETLA can enroll you in its online tutorial WC12 Discouraging Plagiarism.  However, if you are not a graduate advisor, you can still use Blackboard's SafeAssign to deter or detect plagiarism in students' courses assignments. 

TWEN (for Law faculty only)

According to the School of Law's website, "TWEN is Westlaw's web-based course software specifically designed for law schools.  Professors use it to post syllabi, class materials and announcements.  It can also be used for group e-mailing, forum discussions, and posting/submitting assignments."  Click the title above to learn more about TWEN. 



Through the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), Howard faculty and students can access and borrow materials from other libraries in the DC Consortium: The American University, The Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University, Marymount University, and the University of the District of Columbia.  Click the title above to access the WRLC catalog.

Other HU Software Resources

HU - Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) provides software for Howard faculty, staff, and students through the online portal at http://secure.howard.edu.

Read More

Download Free Viewers, Readers, and Other Applications

The following is a list of sites where you can download free software for reading documents, playing videos, viewing slides, etc.


Acrobat Reader     

Microsoft Office Updates 

PowerPoint Viewer    

QuickTime Player    

Real Player

Windows Media Player    

Macromedia Flash Player

Macromedia Shockwave Player


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