Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Blackboard Orientation for Students

Each Blackboard course is unique in some way based on which course view, content, activities and tools your instructor chooses to use.

Two Course Views

Blackboard's Ultra Experience allows faculty to select from two course views. Most of your courses will be presented in the Original Course View. Some faculty will be piloting the new Ultra Course View over the next year.



    Original Course View


    Courses vary in design based on the instructor and the institution, but some common elements exist. Your institution and instructor control which tools you can use.

    The course menu appears on the left side of your window—your access point for all course content. Select an item to open it. Content appears in the main window to the right of the course menu.


    OriginalCourseView.png


    Types of Course Content


    Your instructors can add different types of content to their courses, such as files, assignments, images, multimedia, and links. They may also link to a textbook's website or use another third-party tool that is outside of Blackboard.


    Date and Adaptive Release


    Instructors can limit which content items you see based on date, time, individual users, course groups, and your performance on graded items. For example, you may need to complete other coursework or earn a certain grade on a test before you can access an item.


  • Discussion Board (Original Course View)

    In discussions, you can share thoughts and ideas about class materials. Your instructor may post a question about a reading or ask you to share your own research.

    When you view a thread, all posts and the thread description appear on one page. Each author's profile picture accompanies their post to help you easily identify your classmates.

    How to Access a Discussion activity (Forum)

    The Instructor may add the Discussions tool link to the Course Menu or have the Discussion activity linked in a Module or Folder.

    If your instructor provides a link to the Discussion tool on the Course Menu, the link will usually direct you to the full Discussion Board

    More about the full Discussion Board

    If your instructor provides a link to the Discussion in a Module or a Folder, the link will usually direct you to an individual Discussion's Forums page.

    More about the Forums page

    How to Create a Discussion Post (Thread)

    After you have accessed the Discussion activity, you can create Discussion posts or threads.

    1. On the Forum page, click the Create Thread button.
    2. Type a title and your entry.
    3. Click Submit to post your entry.

    More about how to navigate the Thread page

    How to add a Kaltura Video to a Discussion Board Thread

    How to read and reply to another user's Discussion Post (Thread)

    Many Instructors require students to reply to other user's posts.

    1. On the Forum page, select the title of another user's post to open it.
    2. Click the Reply button. You also have the option to Quote the post.
    3. Type your reply.
    4. Click Submit to post your reply.

    More about replying to a thread

    Common Questions about Discussions

    Q. I saved a Discussion post as a draft. How do I view the draft?

    1. To access your drafts, return to the Forum's page. Click on the Display option on the right-hand side and select Drafts Only to view the saved post. More about draft posts.

    Q. Can I edit or delete a Discussion Post?

    1. Your instructor determines if you're allowed to edit or delete your Discussion post. On the Forum page, click on your post. On the  and open the menu and select Edit or Delete. The delete action is final and irreversible.

    Q. How can I view my Journal Grade?

    1. After your instructor grades your journal entries, you can view your grade in two places. The grading information appears in the Grade section on the journal's topic page and in My Grades.

    Further Troubleshooting topics

    • Blogs (Original Course View)

      Instructors using the Original Course View could assign a Blog activity in their course. A Blog is a personal online journal. Each Blog entry you make can include any combination of text, images, links, multimedia, and attachments.

      How to access a Blog activity

      The Instructor may add the Blogs tool link to the Course Menu or have the Blog activity linked in a Module or Folder.

      How to create a Blog entry

      After you have accessed the Blog activity, you can create blog entries.

      1. Click the Create Blog Entry button.
      2. Type a title and your entry.
      3. Click Post Entry to submit.

      How to read or comment on another user's Blog entry

      You can read other students Blog entries. You can also comment on one another user's blog entries, whether they belong to an individual, the course, or a group.

      1. On the blog's topic page, click your name on the side bar to open the list of users.
      2. Select a user’s name in the list to view their blog. The user’s blog entries will open in the content frame.
      3. Click Comment to add your thoughts.

      Common Questions about Blogs

      Q. I saved a Blog entry as a draft. How do I view the draft?

      1. If you saved a Blog entry to edit later, select View Drafts on the Blog topic page. Select the title of the entry to edit and post.

      Q. Can I edit or delete a Blog entry?

      1. Your instructor determines if you're allowed to edit or delete your Blog entries. On the Blog topic page, open the entry's menu and select Edit or Delete. The delete action is final and irreversible.

      Q. How can I view my Blog Grade?

      1. After your instructor grades your Blog entries, you can view your grade in two places. The grading information appears in the Grade section on the Blog's topic page and in My Grades.

      Further Troubleshooting topics

      • Journals (Original Course View)

        Instructors can use the Journals tool in the Original Course View. The Journals tool provides a personal space for you to communicate with your instructor. Your instructor can choose to make journal entries either private or public. You can also use a journal as a self-reflective tool to post your opinions, ideas, and concerns about your course, or discuss and analyze course-related materials. A public Journal allows all course members to view all entries. You can read what other students wrote and build on those ideas.

        How to Access a Journal activity

        The Instructor may add the Journals tool link to the Course Menu or have the Journal activity linked in a Module or Folder.

        How to Create a Journal Entry

        After you have accessed the Journal activity, you can create journal entries.

        1. Click the Create Journal Entry button.
        2. Type a title and your entry.
        3. Click Post Entry to submit.

          Common Questions about Journals

          Q. I saved a Journal entry as a draft. How do I view the draft?

          1. If you saved a journal entry to edit later, select View Drafts on the journal topic page. Select the title of the entry to edit and post.

          Q. Can I edit or delete a Journal entry?

          1. Your instructor determines if you're allowed to edit or delete your journal entries. On the journal's topic page, open the entry's menu and select Edit or Delete. The delete action is final and irreversible.

            Q. How can I view my Journal Grade?

            1. After your instructor grades your journal entries, you can view your grade in two places. The grading information appears in the Grade section on the journal's topic page and in My Grades.

            Further Troubleshooting topics

          • Assignments (Original Course View)

            Your instructor can add assignments to different areas of your course.

            How to access Assignments

            You might access assignments from a link on the course menu called "Assignments." Or, your instructor might incorporate assignments into each week's content. Ask your instructor if you have questions about how your course is organized. Click the title of the Assignment to open it.

            How to submit an Assignment

            1. Click the title of the Assignment to open it.
            2. On the Upload Assignment page, you have two options.
              1. Select Write Submission to expand the area where you can type your submission. You can use the options in the editor to format the text.
              2. Select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer.
            3. Click Submit.

            The Review Submission History page appears with information about your submitted assignment and a success message with a confirmation number.

            Video Submissions

            Kaltura is a third party tool available in your Blackboard course. Students can use Kaltura to record and submit presentations and video assignments.

            How to Submit a Kaltura Assignment.

            About the Confirmation Email

            When you submit an Assignment you will also receive an email with a confirmation number. Your instructor will have access to the confirmation number in their Grade Center.

            Save an Assignment as a Draft

            When working on an Assignment you can select Save Draft to save your work and continue later. Your text and files are saved on the page.

            When you return, you can resume working:

            1. Return to your Assignment and click the assignment title.
            2. On the Review Submission History page, click Continue.
            3. On the Upload Assignment page, make your changes.
            4. Select Submit.

            The Review Submission History page appears with information about your submitted assignment.

            NOTE: Instructors do not have access to Draft Assignments. When you finish your assignment, you must select Submit. If you don't, your instructor won't receive your submitted work.

            SafeAssign

            SafeAssign is a free plagiarism checker provided by Blackboard. Instructors can add the SafeAssign plagiarism checker to any Assignment. Students submit their Assignment as they normally would. SafeAssign will check the submission and provide a report afterwards. (Note that the report may take longer than usual to be created during certain peak times in a semester (midterm and end).

            More about SafeAssign

            Common Questions about Assignments

            Q. Why can't I find my Assignment?

            1. Be sure you are looking in the area of the course the Assignment should be located. Your instructor may have the Assignment set to only be available for a certain time frame. You might also have to meet other criteria to access the Assignment. For example, you might have to complete a BioSig verification before the Activities folder is available.

            Q. How do I check my Assignment Grade?

            1. After you have submitted the Assignment, it will show is Needs Grading in the My Grades area until your instructor has graded the Assignment. When the Instructor has graded the Assignment, you will be able to view the grade and rubric (if one was used for grading) in the My Grades area.

            Q. Can I submit an Assignment more than once?

            1. Your instructor may allow you to submit an assignment more than once for a variety of reasons. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the assignment link in your course. Click Start New on the Review Submission History page.

            Q. What should I do if I made an error after I've submitted my assignment?

            1. Contact your instructor to ask for the opportunity to resubmit the assignment. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the assignment link in your course. You will either need to click the Start New appears on the Review Submission History page.

            Troubleshooting an Assignment Submission

            • Keep your file names short. For best results do not use & # - _ . ! or other special characters in the title of your file.
            • Attached files should be kept to under 20MB for best results.
            • Video recordings should not be attached to Assignments as these files are sometimes too large to submit. Video recordings should be uploaded to Kaltura and embedded in the Write Submission ares. How to Submit a Kaltura Assignment.
            • If you are having issues submitting your Assignment using Chrome or Edge browsers, switch to Firefox.
          • Tests (Original Course View)

            Your instructor can add Tests (Assessments) to different areas of your course.

            How to access Tests

            You might access Tests from a link on the course menu. Or, your instructor might incorporate Tests into each week's content. Ask your instructor if you have questions about how your course is organized. Click the title of the Test to open it.

            How to submit a Test

            1. Click the title of the Test to open it.
            2. Read the description, instructions, and specific exam settings provided by the Instructor. Click Begin.
            3. While you are taking the exam, click Save Answer often.
            4. Click Save and Submit when finished.

            Note: Don't use the browser's back button during a test or survey as this may cause loss of data. If you have problems during a test, contact your instructor immediately.

            Test Grades and Feedback

            After you complete a test, the performance results you receive depend on the options selected by your instructor. You may see your score immediately after you complete the test if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information. Your instructor may choose a date in the future to release test scores while your classmates take the test.

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

            Essay, File Response, and Short Answer questions aren't 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.

            Timed Tests

            When you take a timed test or survey, the remaining time appears on a status bar. Use the arrows next to the timer to collapse or expand it.

            More about the Test Timer

            Test Presentation Settings

            In the test information section, you're informed about which presentation options your instructor chose.

            Your instructor can choose to present questions all-at-once or one-at-a-time. If the questions are presented one-at-a-time, the instructor can choose to not allow backtracking.

            Your instructor can choose to use Force Complete to not allow student to exit a test.

            More about Test presentation settings

            Secure Tests and Proctoring

            Your instructor can deliver Tests securely using Respondus LockDown Browser or another proctoring service. Secure assessments help promote academic integrity and honesty in student submissions.

            You will need Respondus LockDown Browser installed on your device to open, submit, and view submitted attempts for secure assessments.

            See Authentication and Proctoring for more information.

            Common Questions about Tests

            Q. Why can't I find my Test?

            1. Be sure you are looking in the area of the course the Test should be located. Your instructor may have the Test set to only be available for a certain time frame. You might also have to meet other criteria to access the Test. For example, you might have to complete a BioSig verification before the Activities folder is available.

            Q. Can I submit a Test more than once?

            1. Your instructor may allow you to submit a Test more than once for a variety of reasons. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the Test link in your course and click Start New Submission.

            Q. What should I do if I had a technical issue or was "kicked out" of a Test?

            1. Contact your instructor to ask for the opportunity to retake the Test. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the assignment link in your course.

            Q. Why am I being asked for a password for a Respondus Test?

            1. If the title of the Test says "Requires Respondus Lockdown Browser," you must use that browser (program) to access Blackboard to take your test. You may not use another browser, such as Firefox, Chrome, etc. You will be asked for a password and not allowed to continue on any browser other than Respond Lockdown Browser.

            Troubleshooting a Test

            When taking a Test in Blackboard Learn, it is strongly recommended that students:

            • Use a computer that is "plugged into" both a high speed Internet connection and a power source. Do not use a wireless connection when taking a quiz, test or exam.
            • Make sure that your Java is up to date.
            • Do not allow the exam to sit open for 5 minutes without marking an answer. The screen will time out and your exam will be auto submitted for grading. This is a security feature in Blackboard.
            • Use Firefox, unless a proctor or a lock-down browser is required by your instructor.

            Troubleshooting a Test requiring Respondus Lockdown Browser

            How to check for an update

            Spinning wheel during webcam check

            Mac: Webcam not detected

            AWS Error Message, Unable to Connect

            Error Message: "There is a problem with the settings for this exam"


          • Ultra Course View


            On the Course Content page, your instructor's name and picture appear. At the top of the page, you can open frequently used tools. Select the icons to check the course calendar, drop in on class discussions, access your grades, and send a message if allowed.


            As you open pages, they open as layers. Close the layers to return to a previous page or the list.


            Studentcourseview_FIXED[26] copy.png


            Types of Course Content


            Your instructors can add different types of content to their courses, such as files, assignments, images, multimedia, and links. They may also link to a textbook's website or use another third-party tool that is outside of Blackboard.


            Date and Adaptive Release


            Instructors can limit which content items you see based on date, time, individual users, course groups, and your performance on graded items. For example, you may need to complete other coursework or earn a certain grade on a test before you can access an item.


          • Discussion Board (Ultra Course View)

            In discussions, you can share thoughts and ideas about class materials. Your instructor may post a question about a reading or ask you to share your own research.

            For more information, click the following links.

            Common Questions about Discussions

          • Assignments (Ultra Course View)

            Your instructor can add Assignments to the Course Content area of your course.

            How to access Assignments

            You can access the Assignments from a link in the Course Content area. Your instructor may have it in a folder called "Assignments," or your instructor might incorporate the Assignment in a Module. Ask your instructor if you have questions about how your course is organized.

            How to submit an Assignment

            1. Click the title of the Assignment to open it. The Details & Information panel appears.
            2. When you are ready to begin, click the View Assessment button.
            3. Click Add Content to open the editor. You can use the options in the editor to format the text and embed images and attach files
            4. Click Submit.

            When you submit, a panel appears with the date and time you made the submission. Select the View submission link at the bottom of the panel to review your submission.

            Timed Assignments

            If your instructor added a time limit, it appears alongside other assignment details on the Course Content page. You'll also see the time limit on the assignment's Details & Information panel and within the assignment, as you work. You'll see Start attempt instead of View assessment. When you select Start attempt, you'll receive a pop-up window to start the timer before you can access the assignment. If you're not ready to start, select Cancel. After you start, the assignment auto-submits when time is up.

            More about Timed assignments

            Secure Assignments

            Your instructor can deliver assignments and tests securely using Respondus LockDown Browser. Secure assessments help promote academic integrity and honesty in student submissions.

            You will need Respondus LockDown Browser installed on your device to open, submit, and view submitted attempts for secure assessments.

            More about Secure Assignments

            Download Respondus LockDown Browser

            Video Submissions

            Kaltura is a third party tool available in your Blackboard course. Students can use Kaltura to record and submit presentations and video assignments.

            About the Confirmation Email

            When you submit an Assignment you will also receive an email with a confirmation number. Your instructor will have access to the confirmation number in their Grade Center.

            Save an Assignment as a Draft

            When working on an Assignment you can Select Save and Close to save your work and continue later. Your text, comments, and files are saved on the page. When you return, you can resume working.

            NOTE: Instructors do not have access to Draft Assignments. When you finish your assignment, you must select Submit. If you don't, your instructor won't receive your submitted work.

            SafeAssign

            SafeAssign is a free plagiarism checker provided by Blackboard. Instructors can add the SafeAssign plagiarism checker to any Assignment. Students submit their Assignment as they normally would. SafeAssign will check the submission and provide a report afterwards. (Note that the report may take longer than usual to be created during certain peak times in a semester (midterm and end).

            More about SafeAssign

            Common Questions about Assignments

            Q. Why can't I find my Assignment?

            1. Be sure you are looking in the area of the course the Assignment should be located. Your instructor may have the Assignment set to only be available for a certain time frame. You might also have to meet other criteria to access the Assignment. For example, you might have to complete a BioSig verification before the Activities folder is available.

            Q. How do I check my Assignment Grade?

            1. After you have submitted the Assignment, it will show as Needs Grading in the Grades area until your instructor has graded the Assignment. When the Instructor has graded the Assignment, you will be able to view the grade and rubric (if one was used for grading) in the Grades area.

            Q. Can I submit an Assignment more than once?

            1. Your instructor may allow you to submit an assignment more than once for a variety of reasons. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the assignment link in your course.

            Q. What should I do if I made an error after I've submitted my assignment?

            1. Contact your instructor to ask for the opportunity to resubmit the assignment. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the assignment link in your course.

            Troubleshooting an Assignment Submission

            • Keep your file names short. For best results do not use & # - _ . ! or other special characters in the title of your file.
            • Attached files should be kept to under 20MB for best results.
            • Video recordings should not be attached to Assignments as these files are sometimes too large to submit. Video recordings should be uploaded to Kaltura and embedded in the Write Submission ares.
            • If you are having issues submitting your Assignment using Chrome or Edge browsers, switch to Firefox.
          • Tests (Ultra Course View

            Your instructor can add Tests to the Course Content area of your course.

            How to access Tests

            You can access the Test from a link in the Course Content area. Your instructor may have it in a folder called "Tests," or your instructor might incorporate the Test in a Module. Ask your instructor if you have questions about how your course is organized.

            How to submit a Test

            1. Click the title of the Test to open it. The Details & Information panel appears.
            2. When you are ready to begin, click the View Assessment button.
            3. When finished, click Submit.

            When you submit, a panel appears with the date and time you made the submission. Select the View submission link at the bottom of the panel to review your submission.

            More about Tests

            Timed Test

            If your instructor added a time limit, it appears alongside other assessment details on the Course Content page. You'll also see the time limit on the assignment's Details & Information panel and within the assignment, as you work. You'll see Start attempt instead of View assessment. When you select Start attempt, you'll receive a pop-up window to start the timer before you can access the assignment. If you're not ready to start, select Cancel. After you start, the assignment auto-submits when time is up.

            More about Timed Tests

            Secure Tests

            Your instructor can deliver assignments and tests securely using Respondus LockDown Browser. Secure assessments help promote academic integrity and honesty in student submissions.

            You will need Respondus LockDown Browser installed on your device to open, submit, and view submitted attempts for secure assessments.

            More about Secure Assignments

            Download Respondus LockDown Browser

            SafeAssign

            SafeAssign is a free plagiarism checker provided by Blackboard. Instructors can add the SafeAssign plagiarism checker to any Test in the Ultra Course View. Students submit their Test as they normally would. SafeAssign will check the submission and provide a report to the instructor afterwards. (Note that the report may take longer than usual to be created during certain peak times in a semester (midterm and end).)

            More about SafeAssign

            Grades and Feedback

            After you complete a test, the performance results you receive depend on the options selected by your instructor. You may see your score immediately after you complete the test if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information. Your instructor may choose a date in the future to release test scores while your classmates take the test.

            Essay, File Response, and Short Answer questions aren't 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.

            To access feedback and grade information, select the Test in the content area. Your grade will be on the Details and Information panel. You can also access your grade in the course's Grades area or on the global Grades page. 

            Common Questions about Tests

            Q. Why can't I find my Test?

            1. Be sure you are looking in the area of the course the Test should be located. Your instructor may have the Test set to only be available for a certain time frame. You might also have to meet other criteria to access the Test. For example, you might have to complete a BioSig verification before the Activities folder is available.

            Q. Can I submit a Test more than once?

            1. Your instructor may allow you to submit a Test more than once for a variety of reasons. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the Test link in your course.

            Q. What should I do if I had a technical issue or was "kicked out" of a Test?

            1. Contact your instructor to ask for the opportunity to retake the Test. If you are allowed to make another attempt, select the Test link in your course.

            Q. Why am I being asked for a password for a Respondus Test?

            1. If the title of the Test says "Requires Respondus Lockdown Browser," you must use that browser (program) to access Blackboard to take your test. You may not use another browser, such as Firefox, Chrome, etc. You will be asked for a password and not allowed to continue on any browser other than Respond Lockdown Browser.

            Troubleshooting a Test

            When taking a Test in Blackboard Learn, it is strongly recommended that students:

            • Use a computer that is "plugged into" both a high speed Internet connection and a power source. Do not use a wireless connection when taking a quiz, test or exam.
            • Make sure that your Java is up to date.
            • Do not allow the exam to sit open for 5 minutes without marking an answer. The screen will time out and your exam will be auto submitted for grading. This is a security feature in Blackboard.
            • Use Firefox, unless a proctor or a lock-down browser is required by your instructor.

            Troubleshooting a Test requiring Respondus Lockdown Browser

            How to check for an update

            Spinning wheel during webcam check

            Mac: Webcam not detected

            AWS Error Message, Unable to Connect

            Error Message: "There is a problem with the settings for this exam"