Blackboard for Students

Chatting with your Instructor
  1. Click on the "Chat with Instructor" button located at the left hand margin of your screen.
  2. Click the "Office Hours” link.
  3. If you do not have Java Plug-in on your computer, click the link to download Java Plug-in and follow the instructions on the page that opens.
  4. A chat window should pop up.
  5. Type in a message and press enter.
  6. Close the window after you're done.
Course Page Navigation

There are lots of new ways to navigate in a coursesite. You can move out of folders using the breadcrumb trail; change the main menu; or collapse or expand parts of the Blackboard screen.


If you log into a coursesite and don't see any course main menu, click on the small arrow (>) on the left side. If you see only the title of the course and no sections in the main menu, click the double-down arrow next to the title of the course.

File Naming in Blackboard

Characters in file names can lead to problems accessing the file after upload such as:
~` # $ % ^& * ( ) = + / ? > < ;'[ ]: " { } \ | @
(Avoid these characters when naming a document.)

Finding Course Tools

– Some courses have a "Tools" or "Communications" link in the main course menu that takes you to a page listing all tools available in the course.
– Look for other ways your instructor may have provided you with links to tools in that course. For example, if the instructor uses the Discussion Board, a "Discussion Board" link will be provided on the main course menu (or within a content area such as "Course Documents" or "Assignments")

Posting Messages to a Discussion Board Forum
  1. Click the "Discussion Board" link.
  2. Click on the forum for the current week of discussion.
  3. To reply to an existing message, first view the message on the screen by clicking the subject of the message. Then click the “Reply” button shown at the bottom right of the message. Type out your message and click Submit.
  4. To start a new thread, click the button at the top of the screen that reads "Add New Thread". Enter a meaningful subject for your thread, type out your message, and click Submit.
Printing Course Content
  1. Right click on the frame you want printed, and choose “This Frame” | “Print Frame”.
Reading Messages in a Discussion Board Forum
  1. Click the "Discussion Board" link.
  2. Click on the forum for the current week of discussion.
  3. Click on the subject of the message that you wish to read.
  4. After reading the message, read any posted replies by clicking the subject of a reply listed below the current message.
  5. Click OK to return to the list of messages within the forum.
Sending an E-mail Message to Your Instructor and/or Classmates
  1. Click on the “Control Panel" the “Course Tools” link located at the bottom left of your screen.
  2. Click the "Send Email" link.
  3. Click “All Instructor Users” to prepare a message for your instructor, or click “Select Users” and check specific names to prepare a message for a select number of users.
  4. Enter a brief subject for your message.
  5. Type the body of your message.
  6. If you want to send an attached file with your message, click the “Add” button, and then click “Browse” to find your file and “Submit”.
Submitting Online Assignments

If your instructor uses Blackboard to accept papers, there's probably a link to the Assignment. To submit your assignment, click Attach file and then BROWSE TO LOCAL FILE to include your paper. After you have selected the file, then click "Attach File" (many people miss this step) and finally "Submit."

Taking an Online Test/Quiz
  1. Do not open the quiz until you are ready to take it.
  2. Click on the test/quiz link that your instructor has made available on Blackboard. The instructor will give you the location of the test/quiz.
  3. Avoid using the back button on your browser, as this may prohibit you from re-entering the exam. If you accidentally exit the exam and cannot re-enter, e-mail your instructor as soon as possible.
  4. Work quickly and efficiently. Some Internet connections may "time out" your connection if no activity is coming from your computer.
  5. Review all of your answers that you can (some quizzes may only give you one question at a time and not allow you to go back and recheck your answers).
  6. Print off a copy of your quiz in case anything goes wrong.
  7. Once you are completely done, click "Submit" at the bottom of the screen.
Using Online Group Pages that Support Your Learning Team:
  1. Click the "Groups" button on the left hand margin of your screen.
  2. Select the name of your group.
  3. Contact and share with your group by accessing the file exchange or sending e-mails or chatting as a group.
Viewing Your Grades and Instructor Feedback on Assignments
  1. Click the "My Grades" link.
  2. To view your responses and instructor feedback on an online quiz or assignment, click the specific grade.
  3. If you have any questions about grades listed, or if some grades are not visible, contact your instructor.
Why isn't my class showing up?

When you register for a class, you are automatically added into the Blackboard system for that course within 6 hours. There could be a couple of reasons why you may not be able to see all of your courses in Blackboard.

  1. Your instructor has NOT made the course available to students yet. All courses are created unavailable by default to give your professors the chance to customize and get their courses ready for you. If your instructor is not sure how to complete this step, they may Click Here for detailed instructions.
  2. Your instructor may for some courses not use Blackboard. Contact your instructor to see if the course will use Blackboard, and if the course has been made available to students.

Other reasons you may not see your Blackboard course:

  1. Maintenance Downtime:
    • Check your ETBU Tigermail or the main page of ETBU Blackboard for any scheduled or unexpected downtime.
  2. Make sure your pop up blockers are off.
  3. Try accessing the page directly, instead of going through the ETBU home page. Type the following into the address bar:

Email for further help or questions.