What is Blackboard Learn?

Blackboard Learn is a Learning Management System designed to enhance student-instructor and student-student communication by providing centralized access to classes and class information. Students will be able to log on any time, day or night, and get exactly the same information as the on-campus students (except Saturday mornings from 6-6:30am). If the course provides streamed media, students may watch lectures from the Blackboard Learn course site.

What are Blackboard Learn features?

  • Centralized and dedicated site for courses, with easy access from the ISU homepage
  • Personalized Blackboard Learn account with course and news listings, calendars and email capability
  • Ability to view the syllabus, lectures notes, class schedules, homework, labs or any other materials in one location
  • Links to streaming media lectures, which may be downloaded (depending on instructor preferences)
  • Tracking and managing capabilities for students, teaching assistants, and presentation groups, with survey and student data collecting capabilities
  • Discussion forums or blogs for interaction between students and/or between students and instructors
  • To learn more about Blackboard Learn features, go to:
     http://help-archives.blackboard.com/instructor/index.htm 

How do I log into Blackboard Learn?

You can log in into Blackboard Learn by accessing it from the Iowa State University homepage at the top left corner. Instructors and teaching assistants should use their Net ID (using everything before the @iastate.edu) and password to log in.

How do I add a TA?

In the Course Management Control Panel:

  1. Click on Users and Groups to expand the menu,
  2. Click Users. At the top of the page, click Find Users to Enroll.
  3. Enter the NetID of the Teaching Assistant in the text box and then select  Teaching Assistant from the drop down menu.
  4. Click Submit.

How do I add a Course Designer or Builder?

In the Course Management Control Panel:

  1. Click on Users and Groups to expand the menu,
  2. Click Users.
  3. At the top of the page, click Find Users to Enroll.  Enter the course builder’s NetID in the text box and then select Course Builder from the drop down menu.
  4. Click Submit.

How do I upload and post a file in Blackboard Learn?

This option is for course builders and system administrators. To post something on Blackboard, in Course Management control panel:

  1. Click on Content Collection
  2. In the expanded menu, select the first link, which should contain the course name.
  3. In the next page, click on the Upload button, and then Upload Files from the drop down menu.
  4. Either click on the Browse button to locate the necessary files or drag and drop the files into the box in the middle of the page.
  5. Once you have selected your files, select the (optional) checkboxes for the file options that you would like to enable and click Submit.
  6. You will need to create a link in the Course Content page to the file(s) that you just uploaded.
    1. Click on Home in the course menu and then make sure that Edit Mode is turned on. You can do this by toggling the Edit Mode switch in the top right corner of the screen to On.
    2. Navigate to the location in the course site where you need to post the file(s). Click Build Content to expand the menu and click on File under the Create header.
    3. In the next page, click on Browse Content Collection and then select the file(s) that you need from the menu. Add a name and then select whatever options are appropriate.
    4. Click Submit.

To post videos, audio files or web links,

  1. Click on Build Content to expand the menu.
  2. Select the applicable file type.
  3. Click Submit.

How do I keep track of students?

  • In the Course Management control panel, the Grade Center tool allows you to track student progress.
  • Blackboard Learn now also features the Retention Center, which provides instructors with detailed information on their students’ progress and participation.

How do I add a student?

In the Course Management control panel:

  1. Click on Course Tools to expand the menu.
  2. Click on ISU Admin tools.
    There are multiple ways to add students.
    1. To add a whole section of students, click on the section inside the Auto-enroll students area. If you use this method, any new enrollments and drops will be automatically updated in the course list.
    2. To manually add students, type their NetID into the Manually Add Students text box.
    3. You can also import a list by using the Upload List link at the bottom of the page.

When you are finished, the students’ NetIDs should show up in the Current Students list on the right side of the page.

How do I group students?

In the Course Management control panel:

  1. Click on Users and Groups to expand the menu.
  2. Click on Groups.
    There are multiple ways to add students to the groups.
    1. You can either create a single group or multiple sets of groups.
    2. Students can be self-enrolled or manually enrolled, and in multiple sets even randomly enrolled to these groups.
    3. You can assign a group of students to an assignment, in which case the other group will not be able to see or participate in the assignment.

How do I create a new page?

  1. Make sure that Edit Mode is turned on. You can do this by toggling the Edit Mode switch in the top right corner of the screen to On.
  2. Navigate to the area of the course site that you need to add a new page.
  3. Click on Build Content to expand the menu.
    There are a multiple ways to add a page.
    1. One is by adding a link to an external website by clicking on the URL option and entering the link and title for the website.
    2. You can also create new pages in Blackboard Learn by using the Blank Page and Module Page options.

How do I move files and folders?

You can copy or move multiple files and folders from one folder to another using the Content Collection tool in the Course Management control panel.

  1. In this menu, select the content level that contains the file(s) that you need.
  2. Select the folder or file set that you need and click Copy or Move.
  3. Select the destination for your file(s)/folder(s).
  4. Click Submit.

What do I do if I have illegal characters in a file or folder name?

  • Names of files and folders must be alphanumeric and cannot contain any of the following characters: : ~ [] ! @ # $ % ^ & * () + ‘ {} | \ / ? ; ‘ ”
    Check the file path to make sure that none of these characters are present.

Can I work on material and not release it to students?

Course builders may work on constructing a page invisible to students by hiding the link.

  1. Switch to Edit Mode and then click to edit the properties of the page.
  2. In the Options, change Permit Users to View this Content to No and click Submit.

If you want to release the page at a future time or for a set time period, the Adaptive release function can be used.

  1. Switch to Edit Mode and then click to downward arrow next to the name of the page.
  2. In the expanded menu, click on Adaptive Release choose the pertinent options and click submit. This can be used for any files and folders.

How are lecture videos/materials posted?

  • Lecture videos are posted in Blackboard Learn. Depending on the instructor a streaming video format may be available. Check EchoCenter for up-to-date class recordings.
  • WebEx recording links will be available temporarily after each class meeting time, if approved by the instructor to be replaced later by Echo.
  • Classes are available to view live during class time for online students, if approved by the instructor
  • Lecture notes should be posted through your homepage. Check the Lecture Notes link or the notes links on the Class Meetings page (available to all online students). Most will be delivered in PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format), but depending on the instructor, there may be handwritten notes or digital files such as Word, PowerPoint, or PDF. It usually takes about 12 hours to post. Notes are posted only with instructor permission.

Where can I get Blackboard Learn help?

  • Instructors and TAs or course Builders and Designers can go to Blackboard Learn Help for further help.
  • CELT offers workshops for Faculty, TAs and students. Beginner and Advanced Blackboard Learn workshops are available for all through the semester.
  • Faculty members can also contact ELO at elotech@iastate.edu with any questions or concerns.

Why use the Online Testing Center?

Faculty wishing to use the quiz and exam features built into Blackboard Learn or other on-line assessment packages can utilize the Online Testing Center to provide a secure location for students to take these assessments.

  • Testing Services Provided
  • Photo ID Check-in
  • Scratch paper provided
  • Proctors
  • After the student navigates to online exam the proctor enters the password allowing them to access the exam.
  • Monitors students taking exams.
  • Over 100 specially configured terminals that prohibit access to non-authorized web sites and prevent utilization of external storage devices.
  • Security Details

Blackboard Links