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Blackboard Overview

Blackboard is the learning management system used by Baldwin Wallace University. Faculty and students use Bb to share course documents, upload assignments, post/view grades, and conduct online discussions. Access Bb at: bb.bw.edu or via the “MyBW” portal. NOTE: Bb training and support is available to faculty from the Ed Tech instructional designers at Ritter Library. You can watch many videos to learn about how to use Blackboard. This page summarizes the video resources that support Blackboard Learn. Note: These videos are available in English only.

Faculty

Blackboard Grade Submission


All grade submission activity takes place in the Blackboard Learning System. Grades are transferred from Blackboard to Registration & Records, then students view the "official" grades in WebExpress.

  • Go to Blackboard, bb.bw.edu, log in and find your course(s).
  • Click the course where you would like to submit Warnings or Final Grades.
    NOTE: You will see a new module listing all of your courses and a shortcut to the grade submission tool.

  • View the new course Control Panel layout, or use the new module on the homepage to go directly to the tool.
  • Go to the Control Panel of your course and note the location of the tool, under Evaluation. You will see the Gradebook link, as well as the Midterm Gradebook Submission and Final Gradebook Submission links.

  • Click Gradebook Submission – Enter Grades from the dropdown. You can also Save and return later to Submit. You can Save and return as many times as you want, but only Submit ONCE.

  • For Midterm Grades, there are specific REQUIRED codes for students that need Midterm warnings (below passing grade). You can choose to give them to every student.


    IMPORTANT: You must submit a final grade for EVERY student. Leaving the final grade blank will give Registration and Records an error. Report any enrollment discrepancies to the Registrar immediately.

  • Print your submitted grades for your records


Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are Comments required
    • No, but you can add comments as you see appropriate.
  • Do I have to print my grades and sign them?
    • No, you will not be asked to sign a grade sheet. However, you can print them for your records. Go to your Course > Control Panel > Evaluation > Final or Midterm > View > Print
  • Can I resubmit a grade in Blackboard if I made a mistake?
    • No, once the grade is submitted, the student record is “greyed out” and made unavailable. You will need to contact Registration and Records.
  • Will I see students that have dropped my class?
    • No, you should not, they will still appear in your Gradebook.
  • How do students see the grades and warnings, through Blackboard?
    • Datatel (Colleague) is the final and official grade repository. Students will go to WebExpress to view their warnings/final grades.

Watch a short tutorial
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On the Grade Assignment page, you can annotate directly within the browser on files uploaded and converted for display in the inline viewer. You can assign a grade, provide feedback, and make notes for yourself.


On the action bar, find the following functions:

  • Navigate to other attempts using the arrows next to a user's name.
  • Hide user names so that you can grade anonymously.
  • To learn how to enable anonymous grading during the creation of assignments, see Anonymous Grading. Enable anonymous grading during the creation stage to eliminate grading bias for high-stake assignments.
  • Jump to another attempt to view or grade.

The Grade Assignment Page

  • Annotation sessions expire after one hour. You will receive a warning message. After the time limit, annotations may not be saved.
  • A. View instructions: Expand the assignment instructions.
  • B. Add comments and annotations: From the inline viewer toolbar, click the Comment function and the annotation tools expand. You can comment, highlight, draw, strikeout, and zoom in and out. Right-click an annotation to remove it. To remove a comment, point to the yellow comment and select Delete. Use the arrow keys to view other pages in a student's file. You can also download ( icon of arrow pointing down ) a copy of the file after you annotate it.
  • C. View submission inline: Submitted files open within the grading screen. Supported document types that are viewable in the grading screen are Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF. Original formatting and embedded images are preserved. If a student has uploaded an unsupported file, you are prompted to download it.

  • Assignment submissions created with the content editor are not compatible with inline grading. Submissions of this type show in the window, but annotation is not available.

  • D. Add, remove, or reply to comments: Add your comments wherever needed. Point to a yellow comment and the Reply and Delete options appear. The Reply function allows you to expand on your previous comment.
  • E. View grading details: In the grading sidebar, grade the submission. You can also view the assignment details, the grading rubric, and each attempt. After assigning a grade, return to this screen to review the grade and comments. Click the pencil icon to override the grade.
  • F. Provide feedback: Give suggestions, encouragement, and overall comments about the submission.
  • G. Edit your content: Open the content editor to format your comments, attach a file, and check your spelling.
  • H. Add private notes: Add notes and files that only you can see. For example, keep track of students' progress during the revision process and refer to your notes when assigning the final grade.
  • I. Download the student's file: Save the original file to your computer.

Watch a tutorial

You can use content items to present a variety of course material.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON and access a content area or folder.
  2. On the action bar, point to Build Content and click Item.
  3. On the Create Item page, type a Name.
  4. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Text box.
  5. Alternatively, in the Attachments section, click Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. The file is saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. You can also upload a file from the course's storage repository: ◦If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.

    • Select the Options:
    • Click Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    • Click Yes to Track Number of Views.
    • Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect item availability, only when it appears.
  6. Click Submit.

You can email a link to a file you are including in a content item. In the Content Collection or Course Files, access the file's contextual menu and click 360° View. Copy the permanent URL address and paste it in an email.

You can use the file content type to create a simple link to a file in a course area. No description appears with the link. You can choose whether users view it as a page within the course or in a separate browser window.


You can upload a single file or a single zipped package. For example, uploading a zipped package would be an effective way to provide students a group of images needed for a lab project.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON and access a content area or folder.
  2. On the action bar, point to Build Content and click File.
  3. On the Create File page, click Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. You can also upload a file from the course's storage repository: ◦If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
  4. Click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked and replace it with another.
  5. Type a Name for the file. This name appears in the course area as a link.
  6. Click Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window.


  7. Select the options.
  8. Click Submit.

Create a website link in a course area to provide quick access to a resource on the internet.

  • Change Edit Mode to ON and access a content area or folder.
  • On the action bar, point to Build Content and click Web Link.
  • On the Create Web Link page, type a Name for the link that will display in the course area.
  • Type a URL. Use the http:// protocol, such as http://www.bw.edu/.

  • Set the Options:

    • Click Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
    • Click Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window.
    • Click Yes to Track Number of Views.
    • Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect item availability, only when it appears.


  • Click Submit.
  • From any website that has embeddable video, find the embed code for the video you want to embed and copy it. The code is usually available by clicking a link to Share or Embed the content.
  • In your Blackboard Learn course, make sure the Edit Mode is On.
  • Choose which Content Area into which you'd like to embed your video (such as Course Materials).
  • Hover your mouse over the Build Content button; under "Create", choose Item.
  • On the Create Item page, type a Name.
  • In the Content Editor, click the HTML icon.
  • In the HTML Code View window, paste the embed code and click Update.
  • Click Submit. Check the embedded tool to be sure it works correctly for students.

The video content will now stream and play directly into your Blackboard Learn course site, as if you uploaded the video yourself, but you didn't. The video is primed for streaming and viewing rather than a raw video file that would otherwise be uploaded into Blackboard Learn. Students can more easily play video this way and instructors can more easily add and manage their videos in Blackboard Learn.


NOTE: If you need assistance adding videos to your Blacboard Course, please contact your Instructional Designer.

How to Add a VoiceThread Presentation in Blackboard (Faculty)

So your VoiceThread is completed and sounds great? Excellent! Now to add it to Blackboard!

  • While within your presentation, choose Share from the upper left menu.
  • From the Who has access tab, change Private to Anyone can view.
  • Now go to the Basic tab
  • Uncheck the Comment box (unless you want students to create audio comments), then click Copy Link.
  • Open a new tab and log in to Blackboard
  • Create a Web Link in Blackboard where you want the VoiceThread to appear.
  • Give the Web Link a name and then paste the address in the URL box.
  • Optional but strongly recommended: Return to VoiceThread. Go to the Embed tab on the left. Change the first size box to 650 or 700; then click Copy Embed Code.
  • Click the HTML button in the third row of buttons on the text editor. Paste the code in the HTML box. (If you do not see three lines in your editor, click the last button on the right).
  • Paste the code in the pop up box, then click Update at the bottom-right
  • Click Submit, and the presentation has been embedded in your course.
  • Under Course Management in the lower left of your course site, select Grade Center, then select Full Grade Center.
  • Find the column for the quiz in the Grade Center spreadsheet and match it to the row with the student who needs to retake the assessment.
  • Where the column and row meet, click the down arrow button.
  • From the drop-down menu, select View Grade Details.
  • Select the Clear Attempt button.
  • When prompted, click OK to clear the attempt.

NOTE: If you enabled multiple attempts on a test or quiz, there are several options under Clear Attempts. You can select from: Last Attempt, First Attempt, Highest Scored Attempt, Lowest Scored Attempt, Specify Date, or All Attempts.

SafeAssign is now integrated into regular Blackboard Learn assignments. With the integration between SafeAssign and regular assignments, almost all of the regular assignment features are available with the SafeAssign service.


Use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for plagiarism potential and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.


SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.
SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching between a paper and source material. Submissions are compared against several databases:

  • Internet: Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the internet.
  • ProQuest ABI/Inform database: More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from 1990 to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access).
  • Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions.
  • Global Reference Database: Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institution plagiarism.

  • Watch a tutorial
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How to Use SafeAssign in Your Assignments

You can now use SafeAssign plagiarism checking for any of your assignments.

  • On the Create Assignment page, expand Submission Details.
  • Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign.
  • Optionally, select one or both options:
    • Allow students to view the SafeAssign originality reports on their submissions.
    • Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the institutional or global reference databases.
    • Complete the Create Assignment page.
  • Click Submit.


Supported Files

SafeAssign only supports file types that are convertible to plain text. This includes the following file types: DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM. Spreadsheet files are not supported. SafeAssign also accepts ZIP files and processes files that match any of these file types.


SafeAssign counts and displays the total number of attachments in a submission, as well as the number of attachments processed by SafeAssign. SafeAssign only processes and creates originality reports for attachments that match the supported file types. For unsupported file types, the SafeAssign originality report omits a matching score.


SafeAssign Originality Reports

After a paper is processed, a report is generated detailing the percentage of text in the submitted paper that matches existing sources. The report shows the suspected sources for each section of the submitted paper that returns a match. You can delete matching sources from the report and process it again. This is useful if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student. Read the report carefully and investigate whether each block of text is properly attributed.

You can use blog writing assignments as another medium for reflective learning. With this type of assignment, students are expected to display their research, analytical, and communication skills through a series of commentaries meant for public consumption and comment.


In the course environment, only enrolled users can view blogs. Similar to journals, you can use blogs for a graded assignment or gather opinions and information without assigning a grade. To learn more, see Journals.


You can create one or more blogs for use by students. You must create blog topics before students can add their entries.

  • On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and click Blogs.
  • On the Blogs listing page, click Create Blog on the action bar.
  • On the Create Blog page, type a name and optional instructions. Make the blog available.
  • Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect the blog availability, only when it appears.
  • In the Blog Participation section, decide if the blog is for individuals or the course. You may also allow some anonymous posting.
  • In the Blog Settings section, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries. Optionally, select check boxes to allow users to edit and delete entries, or delete comments.
  • In the Grade Settings section, select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible will apply to one or more entries made by a user to the blog topic. After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable, and you cannot change the setting to No grading.

  • Optionally, select the check box for Show participants in "needs grading" status and from the drop-down list, select the number of entries required. Applying this setting will show the needs grading icon in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of entries are made.


  • Optionally, add a rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
  • Click Submit.

The blog topics appear in alphabetical order on the Blogs listing page. You can sort columns by clicking the column title. To learn more, see The Blog Topic Page.


You can also provide links to blogs in course areas, such as content areas and folders. To learn more, see Link to Tools in a Course Area.


How to Create Blog Entries

You and your students create blog entries and other course members can make comments on the entries. As the instructor, you can use blog entries to provide structure for discussions on class topics and other issues.


Watch a tutorial
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On the Blogs listing page, following each blog title, students can see if the blog belongs to a group, the course, or to individual students. All course members can read group blogs, but to make an entry, a user must be a group member.

  • On the Blogs listing page, click a blog title.
  • On the blog's topic page, click Create Blog Entry on the action bar.
  • On the Create Blog Entry page, type a title and entry.
  • If enabled and appropriate, select the check box for Post Entry as Anonymous.
  • Optionally, browse for a file to attach.
  • Click Post Entry to submit the blog entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.

How to Comment on a Blog Entry

Because blogs are meant to be read by others, students can comment on one another’s blog entries in individual, course, and group blogs.


You decide if users may make anonymous comments and delete them. As the instructor, you can delete any user’s comment by clicking the X. After they are posted, users cannot edit their comments.

  • On the Blogs listing page, click a blog title.
  • On the blog’s topic page, select a blog to view by clicking the user’s name in the sidebar in the All Course Members drop-down list. The user’s blog entries open in the content frame.
  • Click Comment following the user’s entry and type a comment.
  • If enabled and appropriate, select the check box for Comment on Entry as Anonymous.
  • Click Add. Click the numbered Comments link to view all comments.

The journals tool offers students the opportunity to reflect on course content and communicate privately with you. You can use the tool to gauge understanding and guide students in their knowledge acquisition. Your comments can help students refine their writing and ideas.


You can create one or more journals for use by students in your course. You must create journal topics before students can add their entries.


How to Create a Journal

  • On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and click Journals.
  • On the Journals listing page, click Create Journal on the action bar.
  • On the Create Journal page, type a name and optional instructions. Make the journal available.
  • Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
  • Display restrictions do not affect the journal availability, only when it appears.
  • In the Journal Settings section, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries. Optionally, select check boxes to allow users to edit and delete entries, or delete comments.​
  • Optionally, select the check box to Permit Course Users to View Journal. If selected, the journal becomes public. All users can view all journal entries made to the journal topic.
  • In the Grade Settings section, select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible will apply to one or more entries made by a user to the journal topic. After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable, and you cannot change the setting to No grading.
  • Optionally, select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and select the number of entries required. Applying this setting will show the needs grading icon in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of entries are made.
  • Click Submit.

The journal topics appear in alphabetical order on the Journals listing page. You can sort columns by clicking the column title.


How to Create Journal Entries

You and your students can create journal entries. You are the only one who can comment on students' private entries. You and group members can comment on group entries.


Watch a Tutorial

  • On the Journals listing page, information is provided about each journal. Students can see if their entries are private—between the student and you—or public.
  • On the Journals listing page, click a journal title.
  • On the journal's topic page, click Create Journal Entry on the action bar.
  • On the Create Journal Entry page, type a title and entry.
  • Optionally, browse for a file to attach.
  • Click Post Entry to submit the journal entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.

View Drafts

To view or add to saved drafts, click View Drafts on the action bar on the Journals listing page.


How to Comment on a Journal Entry

Journaling can be essential for interaction between you and your students, especially in a web-based course. Student entries and your comments can help build rapport and create a healthy intellectual exchange.
A student can make a comment after you comment on an entry to continue the conversation. Students cannot make comments on another student’s journal entry, even if you made the journal public. Students can only comment on another student’s entry when they are members of a group. For group journals, you and all group members are allowed to make comments on individual entries.

  • On the Journals listing page, click a journal title.
  • On the journal's topic page, select the journal entry to view by clicking the user’s name in the sidebar in the name drop-down list. The user's journal entry opens in the content frame.
  • Click Comment following the user’s entry and type a comment.
  • Click Add. Click the numbered Comments link to view all comments.

Course Copy Options

  • Copy Course Materials into a New Course: Copying course materials into a new course creates a course in the system and populates it with content from a course already in the system. The course menu specified in the source course will replace the default menu in the new course.
  • Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course: Copying course materials into an existing course will add content to a course, but it will not remove existing content. You can only copy materials into a course if you have the role of instructor, teaching assistant (TA), or course builder. To learn more, see Course Roles.
  • Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy): This is the only copy option that copies user records, such as grades and discussion board posts, to the new course. This option copies everything in the course to the new course exactly as it appears in the existing course. This is useful if a course is split into multiple sections. You can perform an exact copy, and then unenroll specific students to create two sections of the same course.


How to Copy a Course

  • Access the course you want to copy.
  • On the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and click Course Copy.
  • Select the appropriate option:
    • Copy Course Materials into a New Course
    • Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course
    • Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy)
  • In the Destination Course ID box, type a course ID for the new course that will be created and populated with content from the current course. Make sure that the new course ID matches the naming convention used at your institution. Also, the course ID cannot include spaces or characters other than numbers and letters (A-Z), dash (-), underscore (_), and period (.). The course ID must be unique and remain static. After you create the copied course, you cannot edit the course ID.
  • If you chose Copy Course Materials into a New Course or Copy Materials into an Existing Course, select the course materials that you want to copy over to the new or existing course.
  • A course copy operation cannot be completed if you do not select at least one of the following areas: Content, Contacts, or Settings. If you do not select one of these options, a warning appears and Blackboard Learn cannot create a new course.
  • In the File Attachments section, select the option to copy links to:
    • Copy Links to Course Files: No copies of linked files are included in the copy. The copied course will have the same set of links and those links will point back to the original location of the link defined in the origin course.
    • Copy links and copies of the content: This will make copies of linked files, but ONLY those files that are linked. Files within the course’s home folder that are not linked to any content within the course are not included in the copy.
    • Copy links and copies of the content (include entire course home folder): This will make copies of ALL files in the course’s home folder regardless of whether those files are linked to course content.
  • You need manage permission on an item to include copies of those files. If you do not have this permission, you may be missing some files after the copy.
  • Select the Folder for Content Collection Files, if applicable.
  • Select Enrollments to copy the list of users in the course. User records, such as discussion board posts, grades, and assessment attempts will not be copied. User records are only copied if you select the Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option.
  • Click Submit.

Behavior of Copied Materials

While copying, the course availability of the source course is applied to the destination course. If the destination course's availability is set to unavailable, but the original course is available, the destination course's availability is changed.


When copying course materials, certain things occur:
  • Content: Course materials, including uploaded files, learning modules, and links are copied. Course information, course documents, assignments and URLs are optional.
    Assignments created inside lesson plans will not copy properly. Be sure to copy your assignments separately to ensure that everything is correct.
  • Announcements: All announcements are copied.
  • Tests, Surveys, and Pools: All tests and surveys, including questions and options for deploying them are copied. All pools are copied.
  • Calendar: All calendar items are copied to the new course.
  • Dates: Course item and tool dates do not change. To learn how to quickly adjust dates, see Date Management.
  • Discussion Board: Decide whether to include starter posts for each thread in each forum (anonymously) or include only forums with no started posts in the course copy.
  • Grade Center Items and Settings: Items in the Grade Center and their settings such as type, categories, and display options are copied.
  • Group Settings: Settings include the names of the groups, the settings for tool availability, and the discussion board forum names.
  • Contacts: All contacts are copied.
  • Course Settings: If selected, the following settings are copied:
    • Course Name
    • Course Description
    • Course Entry Point
    • Course Design
    • Course Banner
    • Blackboard Tools
    • Building Block Tools
    • Content Tools
    • Course ID
    • Course Availability
    • Guest Access
    • Observer Access
    • Course Duration
    • Enrollment Options
  • Links: Links to parts of a course that are not included in the copy will break when the links appear in the destination course. For example, if a link to a test appears in a course area and you choose not to copy tests, the link to the test will break.
  • Course Cartridge Materials: The course cartridge materials option is only successful if the source course includes copy-protected cartridge content and the destination course does not have a cartridge ID.
  • Content Areas: Content from content areas appearing on the course menu that have the same name in each course will be added in the same content area. Nothing is removed from the destination course and replaced with content from the source course.
  • Enrollments: If selected, the list of users in the course is copied. User records, such as discussion board posts, grades, and assessment attempts are not copied.
  • User records are only copied if you select the Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option.
  • Delegated grading: Graders and settings are carried over to the new course when you use the following content exchange functions:
    • Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy).
    • Copy Course Materials into a New Course and select the check box for Include Enrollments in the Copy.
    • Archive/restore, as users and their settings are part of an archived course.
    • Delegated Grading Setting Without Enrollments
  • When you copy a course without enrollments into a new course, the delegated setting is brought over as enabled for all existing delegated grading assignments. The instructor copying the course is set to grade all submissions and reconcile grades.
  • When you copy or import a course without enrollments into an existing course, the delegated setting is brought over as enabled for all existing delegated grading assignments. All current users who can reconcile are also set to grade all submissions.

Once your exam has been created in Blackboard, you can use the drop-down arrow to the right of it.
Choose Edit Test Options. The timer options, and many others, can be found here.

A course must be made available before students enrolled in the course will be able to view or access the course and its content. However, you may want to make a course unavailable during the building process or after a scheduled course has finished.


If your course is unavailable, access is determined by course role. Blackboard administrators, instructors, course builders, teaching assistants, and graders can see and access unavailable courses from the My Courses tab and the course list, but they are marked as unavailable. Students cannot access unavailable courses regardless of the course duration. Unavailable courses do not appear in the course catalog.


Watch a Tutorial


How to Control Course Availability

  • On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and click Properties.
  • In the Set Availability section, click Yes or No.
  • Optionally, when making a course available, you can choose one of the following options in the Set Course Duration section:
    • Continuous (default) to leave the course available without a specified start or end date.
    • Select Dates to choose a start and/or end date. The start and end times are set automatically.
    • The start time is midnight and the end time is 11:59:59.
    • Days from the Date of Enrollment to specify a specific length of time users have to access the course after enrolling. This is the best option for self-paced courses.
  • Click Submit.

To merge two or more Blackboard courses follow these steps:



  • 1. Determine the Parent Course. This is the course where all your content must currently reside.
  • 2. Open the Parent Course in Blackboard.
  • 3. In the Control Panel (lower left), click on Course Tools and then Course Merge.


  • 4. The first Course Merge screen will show you the Parent Course (the course you are currently logged into). Click Select Child Courses to select the course(s) that you want to merge into the parent course.


  • 5. On the Select Child Courses page you will see all current semester courses that you are an instructor in. Select the checkbox next to the course, or courses, that will become the Child Courses.


  • 6. Click on the Confirm Merge Choices button.


  • 7. On the confirmation page, when ready, click the Perform Merge. Your courses will be merged immediately.




You should now see the Course Merge success page.

Student

The My Grades page shows the status of gradable items, such as tests, assignments, journal and blog entries, and discussion posts.
The My Grades page may include item names, details, due dates, student and instructor dates of activity, posted grades, points possible, links to rubrics used for grading, and your instructor's comments about the items.
Your instructor controls which tools are available.


Access My Grades

  • On the course menu, click Tools or a customized My Grades link.


  • Click My Grades

  • If your instructor included feedback during grading, click the View Feedback icon ( chat bubble ) to view it in a pop-up box.
  • If your gradable item has not been graded, the Grade column contains a symbol indicating its status. After an item is graded, the grade appears in the Grade column. To view more detail, click a graded item's title.

Assignments list the name, description, and attachments for class work. Your instructor provides you all the information you need to complete the assignment. You can include comments for your instructor before you submit your work. You may upload files to complete the assignment from your computer. If your school licenses content management, you can attach files from the Content Collection.


Watch a Tutorial

How to Submit an Assignment

  • When you finish your assignment, you must click Submit. If you do not, your instructor will not receive your completed assignment.
  • If your instructor has not allowed multiple attempts, you can submit your assignment only once. Before you click Submit, be sure that you have attached any required files to your assignment.

  • On the course menu, select the content area that holds the assignment. For example, your instructor might create an Assignments content area.
  • Click the name of the assignment.
  • On the Upload Assignment page, review the instructions, due date, points possible, and download any files provided by your instructor. Complete the assignment using one or both of the following:
    • Click Write Submission to expand the Text Submission box where you can type your response. You can use the content editor to format text, add files, images, links, multimedia, and mashups.
    • If your response to the assignment is in a separate file, click Browse My Computer, Browse Course, or Browse Content Collection and select a file to attach. Follow the instructions that your instructor provided for naming your file.
    • If you select the wrong file, you can remove it by clicking Do not attach. If the same file is attached to your assignment more than once, the new file is saved with a number appended to the name, such as history_assignment(1).doc.
    • If your instructor is using a rubric and has made it available, click View Rubric to view the grading criteria.

  • Click Submit.


A success message appears, confirming the assignment submission.


How to Save an Assignment as a Draft and Submit Later

  • Click Save Draft if you need to return to your assignment at a later time. This function saves your comments and files on the page. When you return, you can resume working.
  • On the Upload Assignment page, click Save Draft to save your changes and continue working later.
  • Return to your assignment and click the assignment title.
  • On the Review Submission History page, click Continue.
  • On the Upload Assignment page, make your changes.
  • Click Submit.

The Review Submission History page appears showing the information about your submitted assignment. When you finish your assignment, you must click Submit. If you do not, your instructor will not receive your completed assignment.


How to Edit or Resubmit an Assignment

Your instructor may allow you to submit an assignment more than once for a variety of reasons. For example, your instructor can provide comments on your first draft so that you can try to improve your work. Your instructor can choose to use either the highest graded attempt or the last graded attempt for your grade.


If your instructor allows you to submit an assignment more than once, you will see Start New on the Review Submission History page. You access this page by clicking the assignment link in your course.


  • On the Review Submission History page, view the details of your first submission. Click Start New.
  • On the Upload Assignment page, make your changes to the new submission.
  • Click Submit. You are returned to the Review Submission History page where your submission appears.
  • View your past submission attempts by expanding the Attempt section.

Tests are used to assess your mastery over course content and objectives. Your instructor assigns point values to questions in the test. Your answers are submitted for grading, and the results are recorded in the Grade Center. You can view your grades in My Grades when your instructor makes them available to you.
You can find tests in any content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.


Watch a Tutorial

Taking a Test

Your instructor lets you know when a test is available and where to find it in your course.


Tips for Taking a Test
  • Start your test as soon as you can. If your instructor schedules three days for your test, plan to take the exam early on the first day. That way, if you have an issue, you will have time to contact technical support and your instructor.
  • Be prepared. Have any materials that you need at hand.
  • Read all of the instructions. If you have any trouble taking your test or understanding test questions, contact your instructor immediately.
  • Check your Internet connection. You need to make sure that you have a strong internet connection.
  • A wired connection is usually more reliable than a wireless connection.
  • Check with your instructor and institution before taking a test using a cellular data connection. Most institutions will advise you to avoid using a cellular data connection unless your institution is a Blackboard Mobile Learn-enabled site with a Mobile Learn app available AND your instructor has created a Mobile-compatible test.
  • Do not refresh the page, close the window, or click the browser's back button while taking a test. If you experience problems during a test, contact your instructor immediately.

How to Take a Test
  • Navigate to the test and click the title.
  • Click Begin to take the test.


  • Your instructor may choose to have you type a password to begin taking a test. If necessary, type the valid password and click Submit to begin the test. The test continues to prompt for a valid password until the correct one is provided.



  • As you work, answers are saved automatically. You can also click Save next to each question or Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page as you work. If your instructor associated a rubric with an Essay, File Response, or Short Answer question, click View Rubric to display grading criteria.


  • When you complete the test, click Save and Submit.
  • IMPORTANT: Do not use the browser's back button during a test. This may cause loss of data. If you have difficulties while taking a test, contact your instructor.


Timed Tests

If your instructor chose a timed test, the scheduled time is included in the instructions before you begin. You are notified of the instructor's choice of Timer Setting:

  • Auto-submit: Test saves and submits automatically when time expires.
  • Continue beyond the time limit: You receive no automatic penalty for continuing beyond the time limit, however, final scoring decisions are made by your instructor. Talk to your instructor if you have questions about this setting. The total time you spend on the test is recorded and available to your instructor when the test is submitted.

If you save and exit the test, the timer continues running. If you start your test on Tuesday, save and exit it, then complete it on Thursday the timer will show that it took you 48 hours to complete the test.


When the timer runs out with the auto-submit feature, the test saves and submits, and the Test Submitted page appears. Without auto-submit, a pop-up window appears with the choice to submit or continue.


Timer Status Bar

While taking a test, the remaining time appears on a status bar. Click the arrows next to the timer to collapse or expand it.



Timer warnings appear when half the time, five minutes, one minute, and thirty seconds remain. When the remaining time reads 1 minute, 30 seconds, the status bar turns yellow. At 1 minute, the warning is red, and at 30 seconds, both the status bar and the warning are red. If the timer is collapsed, the color changes are not visible.



Feedback and Grades

The majority of questions in tests are auto-graded. When creating a test, your instructor defines the correct answers and assigns a certain number of points to each question. The system validates your answers against the key and assigns the score. You may see your score immediately after completing the test if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information. Your instructor may choose a date in the future before releasing specific test information to allow for your classmates to take the test.


Essay, File Response, and Short Answer questions are not auto-graded. Your instructor must manually grade these question types. Grades for tests with these question types are released after your instructor finishes grading and allows it.


If your instructor associated a rubric with an Essay, File Response, or Short Answer question and made it available, View Rubric appears next to the Save Answer function. Click View Rubric to review the criteria your instructor has chosen.


After completing a test, the performance results you receive depend on the options selected by your instructor. For example, your instructor may only show the final score for one test, while for another test the final score and correct answers are displayed. Feedback includes one or more of the following:

  • Final score for the test
  • Answers submitted
  • Correct answers
  • Feedback for the questions


To access feedback and grade information, select the test in the content area or use My Grades. On the View Attempts page, click the grade link in the Calculated Grade column to access the test, your answers, and any instructor feedback.



If your instructor used a rubric for grading an Essay, File Response, or Short Answer question and made it available, click View Rubric while viewing the graded test to see detailed information.


Retaking a Test

If you are allowed to take a test multiple times, this appears at the top of the test. If your instructor placed a limit on the number of attempts, the number is stated. A link to take the test again appears when the test is reopened. Your instructor determines whether one or more of the test attempt scores are recorded in the Grade Center.

Surveys are used for polling purposes and evaluations. Surveys are not graded. You can find surveys in any content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. Your responses to survey questions are anonymous.
Your instructor lets you know when a survey is available and where to find it in your course. Before you begin, make sure you have a strong internet connection. A wired connection is more reliable than a wireless connection in some instances. Have any materials you need at hand before you begin. Click the link to launch the survey. Read all of the instructions. If you have any trouble taking your survey or understanding the questions, contact your instructor.
Although your instructor will be notified that you have completed the survey and a check mark will appear in My Grades, your instructor will not be able to see your individual answers.


WARNING: Do not refresh the page, close the window, or click the browser's back button while taking a survey. If you experience problems during a survey, contact your instructor.


How to Take a Survey
  • Navigate to the survey and click the title.
  • Click Begin to take the survey.


  • Your instructor may choose to have you type a password to begin taking a survey. If necessary, type the valid password and click Submit to begin the survey. The survey continues to prompt for a valid password until the correct one is provided.


  • As you work, answers are saved automatically. You can also click Save next to each question or Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page as you work.



  • Click Save and Submit when you complete the survey.
  • IMPORTANT: Do not use the browser's back button during a survey. This may cause loss of data. If you have difficulties while taking an assessment, contact your instructor.

Timed Surveys

If your instructor chose a timed survey, the scheduled time is included in the instructions before you begin.
You are notified of the instructor's choice of Timer Setting, which determines whether the survery saves and submits automatically when time expires -OR- if you have the option to continue beyond the time limit.
If you save and exit the survey, the timer continues running. If you start your survey on Tuesday, save and exit it, then complete it on Thursday the timer will show that it took you 48 hours to complete the survey.
When the timer runs out with the auto-submit feature, a pop-up window appears with the choice to submit or continue.


Retaking a Survey

If you are allowed to take a survey multiple times, this appears at the top of the survey. If your instructor placed a limit on the number of attempts, the number is stated. A link to take the survey again appears when the survey is reopened.

The discussion board is a tool for sharing thoughts and ideas about class materials. Course members can replicate the robust discussions that take place in the traditional classroom. An advantage of using the discussion board is its asynchronous nature. Participants do not need to be in the same location or time zone, and can take time to consider their responses carefully.


You can use the discussion board for the following tasks:

  • Meet with your peers for collaboration and social interaction.
  • Pose questions about homework assignments, readings, and course content.
  • Demonstrate your understanding or application of course material.

Watch a Tutorial

How to Access the Discussion Board
  • On the course menu, click Discussions. -OR- On the course menu, click Tools and click Discussion Board.

  • The main Discussion Board page appears with a list of available discussion forums. A forum is an area where users discuss a topic or a group of related topics.



  • Click a forum title to view the messages. Forum titles in bold contain unread posts.
  • View data on the number of posts and participants.
  • Click the number in the Unread Posts column for one-click access to a forum’s unread messages.

  • Course groups can have their own discussion boards. Group discussion boards are available only to users who are members of the group. If a group discussion board is available, access it from the groups link on the course menu or in the My Groups area.


Why Can't I See My Discussion Post?

If you composed a post and don't see it, perform the following actions:

  • Check if you accidentally saved it as a draft. Return to the forum page, point to Display and click Drafts.
  • Click Search at the top of the main discussion board, forum, or thread pages and search for a term you used in your lost message.
  • When composing long messages, write them offline in a word processing or notepad program that you can save locally. Then, paste the message into discussions. This can provide you with peace of mind, as well as a way to recover your work in case of technical difficulties.


What Does Subscribe Mean?

If allowed by your instructor, you can be alerted by email when new posts are made. Your instructor chooses whether the alerts are for posts made at the forum or thread level.
When the forum email subscription feature is enabled, click Subscribe on the action bar. You will receive emails when new posts are made to the forum.



When the thread email subscription feature is enabled, select one or more thread check boxes and click Subscribe in the Thread Actions drop-down list. You will receive emails when new posts are made to the selected threads.



How to Reply to Discussion Posts

You can reply to published threads, but you cannot reply to locked or hidden threads.

  • On the thread page, you can view the text of the post and information, such as the author and posted date. All replies appear on the same page with the parent post.
  • For the first post, click Reply. Point to the post to see Quote and Email Author. The Quote function includes the post's text as part of your reply.
  • For other posts on the page, point to the message and Reply and the other functions appear.


  • The page expands below the post you are responding to, allowing you to view the post and access the content editor.
  • If needed, edit the Subject. Provide your reply in the Message box. Optionally, use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups.


  • Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to publish your reply.

  • On the thread page, your reply appears at the end of the list. If you attached a file, a paper clip icon appears next to the post's title. If you used the Insert/Edit Image function, the image appears with the text you provided.

Within each forum, users can create multiple threads. A thread includes the initial post and any replies to it. When creating a forum, your instructor has the option of allowing or not allowing you to start threads.



NOTE: When possible, use the orientation bar to navigate to a previous page. Do not use the browser navigation controls because page load errors may occur.


Use the action bar functions to perform various actions, such as creating threads, accessing grading information, collecting threads, and searching content.

  • Select multiple threads' check boxes or select the check box in the header row to select all threads for an action, such as marking as read.
  • Click a thread title to read the posts. Titles in bold type contain unread posts.
  • Determine your view. View a forum with threads appearing in a list -OR- in a tree view with all posts listed below each thread title.


Email Alerts

If allowed by your instructor, you can be alerted by email when new posts are made. Your instructor chooses whether the alerts are for posts made at the forum or thread level.
When the forum email subscription feature is enabled, click Subscribe on the action bar. You will receive emails when new posts are made to the forum.



When the thread email subscription feature is enabled, select one or more thread check boxes and click Subscribe in the Thread Actions drop-down list. You will receive emails when new posts are made to the selected threads.


VoiceThread is an application that runs inside your web browser, so there is no software to download, install, or update. VoiceThread allows you to place collections of media like images, videos, documents, and presentations at the center of a conversation. These conversations are not live; they take place whenever and wherever it's convenient for people to participate. A VoiceThread allows people to have conversations and to make comments using any mix of text, a microphone, a webcam, a telephone, or uploading an audio file.


What is VoiceThread?


VoiceThrad can be access by visiting bw.voicethread.com


Provide your BW login credentials.


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