Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
In the middle of the screen is information about usernames and passwords. Information about student usernames and passwords can be found here. Faculty usernames are the same as the email username. Faculty passwords are generally the entire last name in lowercase letters. Instructions on changing passwords can be found in a later section of this tutorial.
Click on the button to Login. You will go to a new screen where you will enter your username and password. Click on Login. You are now logged on to Blackboard!
You will notice your name at the top of the screen. All of your Blackboard items and links can be found here. Any courses that you are teaching or otherwise involved in will be shown here, as well as links to changing your password, announcements, and information from Blackboard.
To the left of the screen you will notice a green box labeled Tools. Personal Information is the last link in the list. Please click on this and then click on Change Password. The first time you login to Blackboard you should change your password. Please change it to something that you will remember (such as a password you already use for another application, such as e-mail). You will need to type your password twice and then click on the Submit button at the bottom of the page. You will receive confirmation that your password has been updated and click on OK. You are now at the list of items for Personal Information. Click on OK again and you?ll be back to the Welcome page.
If you forget your password, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and it can be reset.
On the right side of the Welcome page is an alphabetical list of the courses that you are teaching and/or enrolled in. Courses in which you may be enrolled in can include: Faculty Council, Faculty Sub-Council, a department page, and Tips for Instructors.
Courses are listed alphabetically, which can get confusing if you teach multiple sections of a course and/or teach a course several different semesters. Once a semester is complete, Blackboard administrators list courses as ‘unavailable’. Students no longer have the course on their list in Blackboard and instructors, while still able to access the course, can easily see that it is not current. This option does not work for multiple sections of the same course in the same semester, though.
Above the word ‘Welcome’ there are two tabs: My Institution and Courses. Click on My Institution and the current page refreshes itself. You can click on My Institution from anywhere in Blackboard and you will come back here. Now click on Courses. This brings you to a new page with your Course List (see sample on the next page). It is still alphabetical, but here there is some additional information about the course, including the course ID. The course ID consists of the year, department, course number, and section number. An example would be 05.FA.PP.480.01.
Click on the My Institution tab to return to the Welcome page.
Announcements can be found both in the center section of the screen titled ‘My Announcements’ and as part of the list of courses under My Courses. Blackboard users have immediate access to announcements when they login and do not have to open a course page to see new announcements. System-wide announcements (i.e. school closings, server downtime, etc) are found under My Announcements and are also listed first in the list of announcements on the course page.
Click on the name of the course (either from the list of My Courses from the Welcome page or from the list under the Courses tab) to open the course page. This is what the student (and you) will see:
The course page will open and default to the Announcements page. The instructor can change the default, but it is not advised.
Announcements default to ‘View Last 7 Days’ and there are tabs to ‘View Today’, ‘View Last 30 Days’ and ‘View All’. System-wide announcements will show up first on this list.
The Course Menu is listed on the left side of the screen. The functions of the menu components are listed below:
The order of items in the course menu can be rearranged and components can be deleted, added, and/or renamed. If you do not intend to use a particular component it would be best to delete it.
All this is well and good, but you want to actually manipulate the content and add/delete items.
At the bottom of the Course Menu is a link for ‘Control Panel’. Students do NOT have this link available to them, only the instructor(s) for the particular course.
Click on the Control Panel link. A new page will appear with six boxes: Content Areas, Course Tools, Course Options, User Management, Assessment, and Help.
Content Areas include: Course Information, Course Documents, Assignments, and External Links.
Some instructors choose not to use to the Assignments component but to place that information either in the syllabus or as part of Course Documents. It is important to be consistent so that your students know where to find the information they are looking for. If partway through the course you decide to use the Assignments section, make sure to let your students know. Creating an announcement, with a link, would be a great use of the Announcement tool. More on this later.
Click on Course Information. Your screen should look like the following:
Note the grey bar across the top:
Blackboard is very consistent and you will find a similar grey bar in almost all areas of the Control Panel.
Under Course Information, Course Documents, Assignments, and External Links the grey bar looks the same. It is the type of content in these areas that will be different.
Course Information is typically a syllabus and perhaps a few other pieces of general information (see sample below).
Your first item has now been attached!
You’ve attached your first item (or perhaps several items) and realize that there’s a typo. To the right of the item there are three buttons: Modify, Copy, and Remove. Clicking on Modify will open the item and you can make your changes. Remember to click on Submit at the bottom of the page.
The item that you have created may need to go in another section. For example, you have accidentally added a homework assignment, which you want to place in Assignments, in the Course Information section. Clicking on Copy allows you to move the item.
There are times when you have added an item that you’ve decided does not need to be on the course page at all. Clicking on Remove will delete the item.
Click on OK to return to the Control Panel.
Before adding your course documents, you need to think about how you want to arrange your information. Do you want a list of items? Do you want to set up weekly folders and put the appropriate class documents in them? Do you prefer to have subject folders? See the examples below: Let’s now add a folder in Course Documents. From the Control Panel, click on [Course Documents]. To add a folder, Click on [Folder].
You now have a folder that should look similar to this:
To add items to your folder, first click on the name of your folder. Your screen will look similar to adding a folder.
Please note that Blackboard is very consistent. You are always going to be adding something – listed on a grey bar – and then you will submit it.
Click on Item. The screen will look similar to that for adding a folder, but there is a content section and additional options.
Add another item to your folder. This time, under Options, make the item unavailable. After submitting the item, note the difference between the available and unavailable items in your folder.
Within your folder, click on External Link. The Add Item screen looks a bit different from the screens to add a folder or item. External Links require both a name and the URL for the web page. The entire URL is needed (ex. http://www.yahoo.com).
External Link Information:
Click on Announcements under Course Tools and your screen will look similar to those you’ve seen before, except the grey bar is much shorter. The only option is to [Add Announcement]. Click on this.
Click on Browse and the Course Map will open
The + symbol indicates that there is additional items inside, click on the + to open further.
Once you find the item you want to link to (you can use an item under course documents, as you probably don’t have anything in Assignments right now), click in the round circle beside it.
You have the ability to hand-enroll the students in your class. While this is fine for a class of 20 students, it is very impractical for a class of 300. IT is scheduled to load the students into the courses on Blackboard the Friday before classes begin and then twice a week through the end of drop/add. You should still know who to add students, as adding other instructors and TA’s works essentially the same way.
Under User Management, click on Enroll User. You should see a screen like this:
You can search by a person’s last name, username, or email. Type a last name in the search box and click on Search. Click in the box next to the person’s name and click on Submit. The person has been added as a STUDENT in your course. You may be adding an additional instructor, so now you will need to Modify the person’s role. From the Control Panel, click on List/Modify User. Search for the person’s name and the screen will look similar to the following (see next page):
Click on Properties and scroll down to number 4 – Role and Availability.
Click in the circle to the left of Instructor and then click on Submit. The role has been updated.
This ends the Basic Blackboard training. There is much more to Blackboard than this. We encourage you to play around and try out new things. And as time allows you may what to view the Intermediate, Advanced, and function specific tutorials.