Blackboard

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started...

The following are commonly asked questions about setting up and using a Blackboard account.

How do I get a Blackboard Account? 

How do I access Blackboard?blackboard

Login Issues:

What browsers can I use to access Blackboard?

Why should I add Blackboard as a Trusted Site in Internet Explorer, and how do I do that?

What Java version should I use to access Blackboard?

How can I tell what browser and Java versions I'm using to connect to Blackboard? 

Q:How do I get a Blackboard Account?
A:

If you have an active UM Directory Account, you should also have a Blackboard account already created for you.

Employees and Affiliates

For new employees and affiliates, it may take some time between when you arrive on campus and when your UM Directory Account is fully activated.  

Students

For students, once you register for classes, the system will create your Blackboard account. 

  • Click here for questions regarding accessing your courses
  • Click here for instructions on how to check on the status of your UM Directory Account.     
Q:How do I access Blackboard?
A:

If you are logging into the Campus Blackboard system to access for-credit courses, the URL and web address for Blackboard is https://blackboard.umaryland.edu/ 

Q:I get a ‘Shibboleth’ or IdP error message when I try to log in.
A:

You may be using an invalid or expired link to get to the Blackboard website. 

Close the web browser window you have open, open a new web browser window and try typing in the URL https://blackboard.umaryland.edu/ in the address bar of your browser window.  
 

Q:

What browsers can I use to access Blackboard?

A:

Below is UMB’s summary on recommended browsers for Blackboard.  Please visit Blackboard’s browser support pages for detailed guidelines.

Blackboad supports four major browsers:

  • Internet Explorer
    • Some functions including assessments may not work with IE6 and IE7 and their use is strongly discouraged
    • Combatibility view which makes Internet Explorer act like IE7, may result in functions not working and is also discouraged
    • In all IE versions, add Blackboard as a Trusted Site
  • Safari
    • Some functions may not work with Safari 5 on Windows
  • Firefox (stable release channel)
  • Chrome (stable release channel)

As new browser versions are released, Blackboard is committed to verifying existing functionality, however some incompatibilities may arise; a patch or workaround may be available.

In all browsers, ensure the following are configured:

  • allow third party cookies
  • allow session cookies
  • allow javascript
Q:

Why should I add Blackboard as a Trusted Site in Internet Explorer, and how do I do that?

A:

It is a best practice to add Blackboard as a Trusted Site in Internet Explorer to avoid getting pop-up prompts asking for your username and password when opening or printing files. 

To add Blackboard as a Trusted Site, follow these steps:

1. Log on to Blackboard.
2. Open the browser’s Tool menu or the gear (IE9, only) and select “Internet Options”.  This brings up an Internet Options window.
3. Click the Security tab.
4. Click the "Trusted Sites" green checkmark icon.
5. Click the Sites button.  This brings up a Trusted Sites window.
6. The Blackboard URL will automatically be filled in.  Click the Add button to add the URL to the Websites box.
7. Click Close and OK to exit out of the Options windows.

Q:

What Java version should I use to access Blackboard?

A:

Blackboard recommends Java (JRE) 7.  However, on Apple Mac OS X, Google's Chrome browser does not support Java 7 because of incompatibilities between 64-bit Java and 32-bit Chrome. Firefox and Safari browsers do not have this limitation on Mac OS X.

Q:

How can I tell what browser and Java versions I'm using to connect to Blackboard?

A:

Click here to determine the browser, operating system and java version numbers of your workstation. 

 

Last Updated: 05/29/2014 at 09:41:03 AM

Instructor & Course Builder's FAQ

course  Editing /Creating a course                                                       

Course Management

grade center Grade Center                                                                              

Troubleshooting

Other Resources


Editing or Creating a Course

Q:How do I request a Blackboard Course? 
A:

To request a Blackboard course, submit a “Blackboard Request Form”. 

Some schools or departments require authorization before the IT Help Desk can create a Blackboard Course.  

Contact the IT Help Desk for more information.  

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Q:What is ‘Edit mode’? 
A:

One of the new features of Blackboard 9.1 is “Edit Mode”  When Edit Mode is on, instructors and course builders can build and modify the course or the  content on the screen. 

If you want to view the course as a student would see it, turn Edit Mode off.  

The Edit Mode button is located in the upper-right corner of the screen.  

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Q:Adding a Content Area
A:

A: Some Content Areas are available in a course by default.  You can add new Content Areas to your course. 
Here are instructions on how to add a Content Area:

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMID and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area , click on the link for your course.
  3. Set Edit Mode to ON.
  4. Hover over the Add button on the Course Menu.
  5. Select Create Content Area.
  6. Enter a Name for the new Content Area.
     
    NOTE: If this area should be available to the users (students) in the course, click the Available to Users check box.
    An icon of a square with a line through it will appear next to this Content Area if it is not available to users. 
     
  7. Click Submit. 

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Q:Renaming  or Deleting a Content  Area
A:

Here are instructions on how to Rename or delete a Content Area:

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMID and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area on the right, click on the link for your course.
  3. Set Edit Mode to ON.
  4. Click on the ‘double chevron’ button to the right of the Content Area you want to modify.
  5. Select the desired option from the menu that appears

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Q:Adding items, files, or Learning Modules to a Content Area
A:

Here are instructions on how to add items to a Content Area:

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMB and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area, click on the link for your course.
  3. Set Edit Mode to ON.
  4. Click on the name of the Content Area in the Course Menu on the left.
  5. Use the menus in the middle of the page to add items to the Content Area

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Course Management

Q:How do I see the users in my course?
A:

Here are instructions on how to find a list of the users in your course. 

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMID and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area, click on the link for your course.
  3. Scroll down to the “Course Management” area on the left side of the screen.
  4. Open the “Control Panel” menu.
  5. Click on the “Users and Groups” option.
  6. Click on the “Users” option.

A list of the users in your course should be displayed.  

If no users appear, check the ‘Search’ area and ensure that the search query is set to “Username” and “Not blank”.  Leave the query field blank and click on the “Go” button to perform the search. 

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Q:How do I find and add a user to my course?
A:

In ‘for credit’ courses, most student should be added automatically to your Blackboard Course after they have registered for the course. 
If your course is not set up for automatic enrollment or you need to manually add a user to your course, here are instructions on how to add a user to your course.

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMID and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area, click on the link for your course.
  3. Scroll down to the “Course Management” area on the left side of the screen.
  4. Open the “Control Panel” menu.
  5. Click on the “Users and Groups” option.
  6. Click on the “Users” option.
  7. Click on the “Find Users to Enroll” button.
  8. Enter the user’s Blackboard ID or use the following instructions to find a user’s Blackboard account.
    1. Under the “Enroll Users” area, click on the ‘Browse” button to open a search screen to find Blackboard accounts. 
      NOTE: In the search screen, leave the ‘Options’ selection as “User Information”.
       
    2. Click on the check box next to the account you want to enroll in your course
      If you find more than 1 account for a user, click here for more information on which account to enroll.  
       
    3. Click on the “Submit” button to add that user to the list of users to enroll. 
       
      Repeat steps a-c to find and select the users you want to enroll.
       
  9. Once you have entered all the users you want to enroll, use the drop down menu to select the user’s role in the course.
  10. Leave the Enrollment Availability as “yes”. 
  11. Click on the “Submit” button to enroll the users.

NOTE: If you cannot enroll a user, or you cannot find a user’s account, that user may already be enrolled in your course.  

Also, if your course is set up for automatic enrollment and you enroll a student who is not enrolled for the course, the Blackboard system may disable that student’s access the next time the automatic enrollment process runs.

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Q:I see multiple accounts, which one should I select?
A:

When you search for users to add to your course, you may see multiple Blackboard accounts for the same individual.  

When enrolling users, do not select an account that is comprised of all numbers.   

In order to access course files, the Blackboard user account should include both letters and numbers.  

If you need to verify a user’s Blackboard account, contact the IT Help Desk.  

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Q:How do I make my course available to students?
A:

An instructor can make a course unavailable or available to students at any time.  If a course is set as “Unavailable”, only users with the following course roles can see and access the course. 

  • Instructors
  • Course Builders
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Graders 

Here are instructions on how to make a course available to students. 

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMID and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area, click on the link for your course.
  3. Turn Edit Mode ON.
  4. Scroll down to the “Course Management” area on the left side of the screen.
  5. Open the “Control Panel” menu.
  6. Open the "Customization" menu.
  7. Select Properties.
  8. Scroll down to Section 3 “Set Availability” and select the option “Yes”
  9. In Section 4 “Set Course Duration” select the option “Continuous” or ensure that the “Start Date” and “End Date” are valid. 
  10. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Submit” button.  

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Grade Center

Q:Creating a grade item or column 
A:

Here are instructions on how to add an item or column to the Grade Center manually.

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMID and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area on the right, click on the link for your course.
  3. Open the Control Panel and click on the “Grade Center” option
  4. Select the “Full Grade Center” option.
  5. Click on the “Create Column” button.
  6. The following fields are required. 
    Column NameThis field is required.  It is the name for the column.
    Points PossibleTotal Points possible for the grade item.
     
    Other options are available.  For more information, click on the "More Help" link on the top-right side of the page. 
  7. Click Submit.

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Q:How do I enter a grade manually?
A:

There are multiple ways to enter a grade manually in Blackboard 9.1.  Here are instructions on how to manually enter a grade from the Grade Center Page. 

  1. Log into Blackboard with your UMID and UMB Password. 
  2. In the “My Courses” area on the right, click on the link for your course.
  3. Open the Control Panel and click on the “Grade Center” option
  4. Select the “Full Grade Center” option.
  5. Ensure that the “Screen Reader” mode is off by clicking on the button to the right of the ‘Full Grade Center’ title.
  6. Click on the cell where you want to enter a grade.
  7. Enter the grade value. 
  8. Press Enter. 
     
    NOTE: Once you start entering grades, you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate through the grade book. 
     
    Be sure to press 'Enter' before moving to another cell.  If Enter is not pressed, and you try to exit the entry cell or Grade Center, a dialog box will appear to ask if you want to save the grade entry. Select OK to save the grade.

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Troubleshooting

Q:My students cannot access my course
A:

Check to see if the course is available to students.  If the course is not available, students will not be able to view or access your course.  

Click here for instructions on how to make your course available to students.  

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Q:

How do I change to a ‘Student View’ of my course?

A:

If you want to see what your course looks to a user with a student role, turn “Edit Mode” off.  

Click here for more information about “Edit Mode”.  

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Q:The Course Menu is missing on the left side of the page
A:

While in “Edit Mode” you can hide the Course Menu by clicking on the “Hide Course Menu“button.

The “Hide Course Menu” button is located to the right of the Course Menu.  

If you hide the Course Menu while in the Instructor view, the Course Menu is also hidden from students.  

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Student FAQ's

Grade Center


Q:I cannot see the courses I am registered for.  How do I get access to those courses?
A:

Please note that most Blackboard courses are not accessible by students until after the first day of the semester or term.  If you are looking for the course before the first day of class, it may not be available to students yet.

If it is after the first day of classes, check to see if your instructor is using Blackboard.  Not all courses have a Blackboard component.  If your instructor is using Blackboard and other individuals in the class can see the course, check with the instructor to see if you have been added as a student to the Blackboard Course.

Q:I just posted an entry in the Discussion Board, but it is not showing up.
A:

You may need to change how frequently your web browser checks for new page content. 

Here are instructions on how to configure Internet Explorer 7 and 8

  1. Select the “Tools” drop down menu and select “Internet Options”. 
  2. In the “Internet Options” window select the “General” tab.
  3. In the "Browsing History" section, (around the middle of the window) click the “Settings” button. 
  4. In the “Temporary Internet Files and History Settings” window go to the section "Check for newer versions of stored pages:"and select "Every time I visit the webpage".
  5. Click “OK” to save and exit the “Temporary Internet Files and History Settings” window.
  6. Click “OK” to exit the “Internet Options” window.
Q:I had a problem submitting my assignment.
A:

Unless otherwise directed in your course instructions or syllabus, if you encounter a problem submitting your assignment contact the IT Help Desk with the following information. 

  • Your UMID
  • The name of the Blackboard course you are encountering the problem in
  • The name of the assignment
  • When the assignment was submitted
  • A description of the problem (i.e. when the problem happens, has it happened before…)
  • If you receive an error message, the exact message
Q:I cannot access online library resources after clicking on a link in Blackboard.  How do I access online resources such as E-Reserves or Journal Articles?
A:

Occasionally students may encounter authentication problems when trying to access online library resources through links in Blackboard.  After clicking on the link in Blackboard students are asked to log in, but the system will not accept their Barcode Number and Last Name. 

To access online library resources, open a new web page and go directly to the Health Sciences and Human Services website http://www.hshsl.umaryland.edu.  Links for E-Reserve, Journals, or Databases are listed under the “Resources” section on the left side of the page.  Click on the link for the resource you are trying to access.  When you try to access a protected resource you will be asked to authenticate with your Barcode and Last Name. 

For more information about accessing library resources, please go to http://www.hshsl.umaryland.edu/resources/index.html.

Q:The Course Menu is missing from my course.
A:

The Instructor may have hidden the course menu.  Contact your instructor to see if the course menu should be available in the course.  

Q:When I try to open a file in Blackboard, I get "Error 401: Forbidden".
A:

 If you get an "Error 401: Forbidden" message when opening a file, please log out of Blackboard before you try to access the file again, do the following steps to clear your cache and cookies from your browser, then log back in:

Internet Explorer 7:

1. Close all of your browser windows
2. Open a new browser window and clear the cache (temporary files) and cookies:

Go to Tools -> Delete Browsing History... 
Click "Delete files..." (click "Yes" you're sure) and "Delete cookies..." ("Yes" you're sure again)

3. If you are running Windows 7 or Vista, also add "https://blackboard.umaryland.edu" (or "https://law.blackboard.umaryland.edu" if that's applicable) as a trusted site in Internet Explorer:

Go to Tools -> Internet Options
Click the Security tab -> Click "Trusted Sites", then "Sites" -> enter the Blackboard URL and click "Add"

* New * To automate this every time you close your browser:

Go to Tools -> Internet Options
Click the Advanced tab
Scroll to the Security section and check "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed" 
Click "OK" as necessary to save these settings and exit

These steps will only clear your cache.  There's no browser setting to always clear the cookies in IE7.

Firefox:

1. Close all of your browser windows
2. Open a new browser window and clear the cache (temporary files) and cookies:

Go to Tools -> Clear Recent History... ->
Set "Time range to clear" to "Everything"
Click the down arrow next to "Details" and make sure "Cookies", "Cache", and "Active Logins" are checked and click "Clear Now"

* New * To automate this every time you close your browser:

Go to Tools -> Options ->
Click the Privacy tab and check "Clear history when Firefox closes"
Click the "Settings" button to the right and make sure "Cookies", "Cache" and "Active Logins" are checked
Click "OK" as necessary to save these settings and exit


Internet Explorer 8:

1. Close all of your browser windows
2. Open a new browser window and clear the cache (temporary files) and cookies:

Go to Safety -> Delete Browsing History...
Make sure these are checked: "Temporary Internet Files" and "Cookies"
Make sure this is unchecked: "Preserve Favorites website data"
Click "Delete"

3. If you are running Windows 7 or Vista and Internet Explorer, also add "https://blackboard.umaryland.edu" (or "https://law.blackboard.umaryland.edu" if that's applicable) as a trusted site in Internet Explorer:

Go to Tools -> Internet Options
Click the Security tab -> Click "Trusted Sites", then "Sites" -> enter the Blackboard URL and click "Add"

* New * To automate this every time you close your browser:

Go to Tools -> Internet Options ->
Click the General tab and check "Deleted Browsing History on Exit"
Click the "Delete..." button and confirm "Temporary Internet Files" and "Cookies" are checked and "Preserve Favorites website data" is unchecked.
Click "OK" as necessary to save these settings and exit

Please contact the IT Helpdesk at 410-706-HELP or help@umaryland.edu for further assistance.

Q:

When I try to print Office documents, open files with Office 2010 or print a browser page via IE by way of File -> Print I get prompted for a username and password.

A:

If you are being prompted for your username and password when trying to print an MS Office document or a browser page via IE by way of File -> Print, follow one of the steps below to get the document printed.

1. A work around, which you would have to do every time, would be to hit the cancel button.  You would have to continue to hit cancel if multiple prompts appear; there’s a good chance with printing that this prompt might appear half a dozen times.  The document should print/open after hitting cancel on the last prompt.

2. A long term fix would be to add https://blackboard.umaryland.edu or whatever URL you’re using for Blackboard to your IE browser trusted sites list.  The easiest way to add it is to log into Blackboard first and then go to Tools ->Internet Options ->Security tab -> Trusted Sites -> click "Sites" and the URL will auto-fill to be added (then click Add to add it).  It's necessary to add the "https" Blackboard URL.  This should make the authentication prompt go away.

Q:

When I try to open a file in Blackboard, I get the error "Not Found: The specified resource was not found, or you do not have permission to access it."

A:

If you see an error with a red bar at the top with the text "Not Found" and "The specified resource was not found, or you do not have permission to access it", there is an issue with the permissions on the file in your course. 

Please contact the IT Helpdesk or your school's IT department with your name, the name of the Blackboard course, and the name of the file you attempted to open to help get the issue corrected.

Grade Center

Q:

How do I view my Grades in Blackboard?
A:

Once you log into Blackboard with your UMID and Password, there are two ways to access the My Grades area. 

From the Main (My Institutions) Blackboard page

  1. Select View Grades from the Tool Panel on the left side of the page.
  2. Select the course you want to see grades for.

From within a Specific Course

Here are instructions on how to access the My Grades area if you have already accessed a course.

  1. Click Tools on the Course Menu or Organization Menu.
  2. Select My Grades.

Q:

Who do I contact if I have a question about a grade posted in Blackboard?
A:

Please contact your Blackboard instructor if you have a question about a grade posted in Blackboard. 
 

Q:

Who do I contact if a grade is missing or not posted in Blackboard?
A:

The first individual to contact is your Blackboard instructor.  The grade in question may not be entered yet, or the instructor may not be ready to make the grades viewable by students.

If the instructor has entered the grade and made it viewable to students, but you still cannot see it in Blackboard, please contact your School Blackboard group or the UMB IT Help Desk. 

  • When I try to print Office documents, open files with Office 2010 or print a browser page via IE by way of File -> Print I get prompted for a username and password. 
  • When I try to open a file in Blackboard, I get a pop-up window asking for my username and password.
  • When I try to open a file in Blackboard, I get the error "Not Found: The specified resource was not found, or you do not