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Introduction to Blackboard - Lamar University


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									                                   Introduction to Blackboard
Blackboard is an integrated set of web-based tools for course management and delivery.

For web-based courses, students should have a basic working knowledge of computers and Internet use and
access to a computer with a broadband(DSL, cable, satellite) Internet connection. Other requirements for
each course are listed in the university catalog.

Review how to prepare your computer for online courses at: http://www.Blackboard.com/tuneup

Support for Students
Office: John Gray Center, Building B, Room 125
Phone: (409) 880-2222; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Monday-Friday
Email: cde@lamar.edu
Website: http://dept.lamar.edu/cde/
Tutoring: SMARTHINKING connects students to E-structor® Certified tutors anytime, from any
Internet connection. http://smarthinking.com
Your Smarthinking login is your My Lamar email address. Your password is identical to your
Blackboard password.

After hours and weekend support for Blackboard

   •   Blackboard support for students is available after hours(5 P.M.-8 A.M.), on weekends, and on Holidays
       Please call toll free 1-866-321-7170 for assistance during this time
   •   For Monday-Friday, 8 A.M.-5 P.M., call 409-880-2222.
   •   An online chat support and knowledge base are also available at

Orientation for Online Courses
An introduction to taking online courses is available for students who are taking online courses for the first
time. For registration or more information call (409) 880-7849.

Logging into Blackboard
The Blackboard login page can be reached by using the following URL: http://luonline.blackboard.com
Your Blackboard ID is the same as your myLamar ID.

Your Blackboard LOGIN ID
Your Blackboard ID is the same as your myLamar ID. This will be true, even if you have used a different
Blackboard ID for other classes you have taken. Also read the “Your Blackboard password” section below.
You can find your "MyLamar" ID by:
   1. Going to my.lamar.edu
   2. Click under "How do I get a username and password?" (left side of screen)
   3. Follow the instructions presented to you Please note that Blackboard ID is case sensitive. Enter it
       exactly the way you receive your MyLamar username.
Your Blackboard password
 YY - 2 digit year of birth
MM - 2 digit month of birth
DD - 2 digit day of birth
"_" (use the _ with no quotations)
Last initial - capital letter
First initial - capital letter
Last 4 digits of your social security number


John Doe
Born January 25, 1981
Social Security Number 123567890

John Doe's Password:

***You will not be able to login to your course until it has been activated for the semester that you are
taking it. This happens on the first official day of class.
Navigating Blackboard
                                               Blackboard Layout

Becoming Familiar with the Student Interface: Click into a course from the My Blackboard screen after logging in.

The student interface has a course menu and a content area. The course menu is the primary navigation feature in a
course. You use the course menu to access all tools and content in a course. When you access a tool or content, it
appears in the content area in the center of the screen. You view and work with tools and content in this area.
The course menu can appear either vertically or horizontally. If the course menu appears vertically, it can have the
following headings:

       Course Tools

       My Tools

Course Tools include all of the content, organizational, communication, and evaluation tools that a Section Instructor
uses to teach the course. A tool is a function in the software that allows users to perform specific activities. You use
course tools to view content and perform learning activities in the course. If new content becomes available in course
tools, a New items available icon appears next to each tool.
My Tools can include the following:

          My Grades. If available, you use My Grades to view your grades for assessments and assignments. The
           Section Instructor must release the grades before you can view them here.

          My Files. If available, you use My Files to access files for the course. You can also upload files from your

          My Progress. If available, you use My Progress to track your activities in the course, including the number of
           content folders, files, discussion messages, assessments, assignments you accessed during a session.

          Notes. If available, you use Notes to make general notes or notes on a specific learning module. You can
           use these notes as a reminder or study aid.

Your current location in a course appears in the breadcrumbs at the top of the screen. Breadcrumbs also list the path
of screens that you have visited. You can click a breadcrumb to return to a previous screen. See Figure 1

Blackboard Learning Modules/Lectures
                                                   Learning Modules

Learning Modules (called Course Contents or Table of Contents in Blackboard)

Learning modules contain related course content that is organized to specify a learning path. A learning path is
meant to guide you through the content in order to help you achieve the learning module's objectives.

Example:        A learning module may contain four content items. The first item may be an introduction and overview
                of the content in the learning module. The second and third content items could be links to articles
                and web sites with information about the course. The fourth content item may be an assignment
                pertaining to the information in the articles and web sites. There could also be a link to a Chat room
                where you and other Students could post questions and comments about the learning module's

When you work with a learning module, you can navigate the content by using the table of contents or Action

          If the table of contents is set to display, it appears as either a pane to the left of the learning module, or as
           the first page of the learning module. Navigate the learning module by clicking links in the table of contents.

     If     the Action Menu is set to display, it appears above the learning module. Navigate the learning module by
           clicking the navigation buttons in the Action Menu.

The Action Menu can also provide links to content, such as a quiz or discussion topic, or tools which help you work
with the learning module. These tools are: Bookmarks, Create Printable View and Notes.
                                                                      Navigating Learning Modules
                                                                      Using the Action Menu

                                                                      After clicking on the Learning
                                                                      Modules button in the Course
                                                                      Tools area, Choose a learning
                                                                      module or Unit to click on.

                                                                      If you click on a Unit, you may find
                                                                      a PowerPoint file, or other directly
                                                                      downloadable files. If the page is
                                                                      an HTML page or webpage, you
                                                                      have some options. To go to the
                                                                      next item, click the Next Page

                                                                             To go to the previous item,
                                                                              click the Previous Page

                                                                             To retrace your path, click
                                                                              the Retrace icon.

                                                                             To access a content item
                                                                              or tool, click the
                                                                              appropriate icon. To return
                                                                              to the learning module,
                                                                              click the Retrace icon.

Blackboard Communication Tools

 Announcements are course-wide notices sent by administrators or instructors. Announcements appear in
 your My Blackboard, on the Announcements screen, or they can appear as a pop-up message when
 you log into the course.
 Announcements usually include important information pertaining to your course.
  Example:      If there is an upcoming due date for an assignment or assessment, the Section
                Instructor or Teaching Assistant may send out a course-wide announcement to Students
                as a reminder.


The email tool built into your online course is only for use within that course. Using the email within your online
course will allow you to communicate with your instructor and classmates. You will not be able to send email
outside of the course, nor will you be able to receive email from email addresses outside of the course. In fact, the
email tool in your online course does not even have an email address for you. You will simply send email to the
instructor name and other student names. You will have to login to your online course to check for new email and to
send email within the course.

Email allows you to send, receive, reply, and forward messages to others in your online course. You can store
drafts of email, view sent emails, search your mail messages, add mail folders, and delete old mail.

Email also consists of a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. You can format your mail with color,
style, tables, and you can spell check before sending.

To learn how to read, compose, send, and manage your email messages, read the tutorial below.

                                                                Where is Email?
                                                                The email (Mail) tab is located on the Menu Bar.

                                                                Figure 1

                                                                Go to the Menu Bar and select Mail.
                                                                Figure 2

Figure 2
           Your mail screen will consist of the following:

                     A Create Message button
                     A Create Folder button and default folders
                     Options to delete messages
                     A Refresh Button

Figure 3
           Figure 3

           Compose New Message
           To compose a new message click on the Create
           Message button.
           Figure 4
Figure 4

           You will find a send to field, a subject field, a message
           field, along with various options to edit your email.

           Figure 5

Figure 5

           Select the Browse for Recipients button to locate
           the instructor or student name.
           Figure 6.
Figure 6

           A list of names will appear in a new window. Using
           your computer mouse, select the name of the
           instructor or student you wish to send a message to.

           Once you have selected all the individuals you wish to
           send a message to, click Save.

           Figure 7

Figure 7
                    The Blackboard ID of the recipient you selected will
                    be placed in the To: field.
Figure 8            Figure 8

                    Type a subject into the subject field, and then type
                    your message into the message field.

                    Figure 9
                    To edit the style, font, and color of your email
                    message, selects the HTML creator button. A
                    WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor
                    will launch and you will now have the ability to edit
                    your email as if you were typing it in Microsoft Word.

                    Click Send when finished.

Figure 9

                    Attaching a File:
                    To attach a file to your email, select the Add
                    Attachments button to locate the file you wish to
                    Figure 10
Figure 10
                    The Email Inbox:
                    The email inbox will display all new messages. The
                    status column will indicate either a closed or open
                    envelope. A closed envelope signifies new mail and
                    an open envelope signified read mail. You can click
                    on the subject of the email to read the message sent
                    to you. You can also view the author and the date of
                    the email sent to you from the email inbox screen.
                    Figure 11
Figure 12
                    Tip: It is suggested that you set your email display to
                    All. This way you will be able to see all new and old
                    email in the order they are sent to you.
                    Figure 12


With the Discussions tool you can discuss course topics with Section Instructors, Teaching Assistants, and other
Students in the course.
There are three types of discussion topics:

       Threaded: A traditional online discussions where you can post and reply to messages. Replies that are
        associated with the same post are grouped together, creating message threads that can be expanded and

       Class blog: A more collaborative space, where you post a chronological series of entries on a particular
        topic. You can then add comments to any blog entry.

       Journal: A place for your own writing, the journals can be kept private between you and your Section
        Instructor or shared with the class.

Depending on settings, within the topics created for your course, you can read, post, and reply to discussion
messages, and submit peer review. You may be graded based on your participation in a topic.
When you enter a topic, the topic details are listed:

       Topic Type: Threaded, Blog, or Journal

       Graded: Yes or No

       Peer Review: Yes or No

       Posting Restrictions: Allow post and reply, Allow reply only, or Allow post only

       Access: Public or Private

         Note:    Only journal topics can be private. If private, only the Section Instructor can view your journal

       User Identification: User Name or Anonymous

                                                                                    Replying and Commenting on

                                                                                    Rather than posting a new
                                                                                    message, you can reply to
                                                                                    threaded messages or comment
                                                                                    on blog messages. If a journal
                                                                                    topic is public, you can also
                                                                                    comment on journal entries.
                                                                                    Click on the Thread you want to

                                                                                     Note     This functionality may
                                                                                              not be available to
           Once inside the thread, click on
           the message you would like to

           You can also create your own
           Message by clicking on Create

           Figure 1

Figure 1
           From the message, click Reply
           or Comment.

           Enter your reply: To reply in
           Plain Text format, enter the
           message in the text box. The
           message will appear exactly as
           you have typed it.

           To reply in HTML format, you
           can use the HTML Creator or
           you can hand code the HTML:

           Figure 2
Figure 2
           If you want to attach files to the
           message click Add
           Attachments. The Content
           Browser pop-up window

           Click Post when finished.

           Figure 3

Figure 3
                      Other Communication Tools:


                      The Chat tool allows you to
                      communicate in real time with
                      other users in the course. You
                      can use Chat to engage in real-
                      time conversations with all users
                      or selected users. You can also
                      use the Chat tool's Whiteboard
                      to draw objects, enter text, and
                      import images that can be
                      viewed in real time by other
                      Your Section Instructor has the
                      option to create Chat rooms,
                      Whiteboard rooms, or combined
                      Chat and Whiteboard rooms.

                      Calendar allows you to view and
                      create dated reminders about
                      events. Entries can be viewed
                      for a day, week, or month.
                      Course members can create
                      course-related entries that are
                      viewable to all course members.
                      Institution Administrators can
                      create institution-related entries
                      that are viewable to all institution
                      All users can create personal
                      entries that are not related to
                      any course but are for personal
                      reminders. These types of
                      entries are private.
                      You can access Calendar from
                      the My Blackboard screen or
                      from Course Tools in a course.

Assignment Tutorial
The Assignment Tool is used for exchanging files between the instructor and the student. The instructor can attach
and retrieve a file, apply a grade, comments, and then return the file to the student. Below are instructions for the
student to follow when submitting an assignment using the Assignment Tool.

The Assignment Tool is located on the Menu Bar.

Note: Assignments may also be located in the Assessment imbedded in Course modules BUT always accessible
via the Assignment Tool Tab on the Menu Bar.


                                                                             Select the Assessments icon from the
                                                                             course Menu Bar. Figure 1

Figure 1
                                                                             Upload Assignment:

                                                                             From the Assignment Tool page, locate
                                                                             the title of the assignment you need to
                                                                             complete. There are four tabs
                                                                             including: Inbox, Submitted, Graded
                                                                             and Published. To open the
                                                                             assignment, click on the assignment
                                                                             title link. Figure 2

Figure 2

                                                                             From the assignment information page,
           you will find a maximum grade, due
           date, instructions, related assignment
           files, submission directions, and
           notification information.

           Locate the Submit Assignment
           directions near the bottom of the
           screen. If you have not submitted your
           assignment you will find a status
           message of "not submitted" and your
           student files To upload your completed
           assignment, click Upload File.

gure 3

           Click Add Attachments to find your file
           in the My Computer or My Files
           (already added files) area. Then select
           the file from the pop-up window and
           click Open.

Figure 4

           You should now see the confirmation
           screen, and see the submitted
           assignment under the Submitted tab of
           the assignments area.

           Figure 5

Figure 5
                                                 Quiz Tutorial
The Assessments tool is used to deliver online tests on course content. There are three types of assessments:
Quizzes: Quizzes are online tests for which you receive grades and feedback. The grades are recorded and can
be used to evaluate your performance in a course. Depending on the settings your Section Instructor has

       You may be given one or several attempts to complete the quiz.

       You may be given a time limit to complete the quiz.

       You may receive your grade immediately or you may have to wait until after your Section Instructor
        releases the grade.

Self Tests: Self tests are online tests for which you receive grades and feedback. However, your grades are not
recorded and they do not count towards your final grade for the course. Self tests give you the opportunity to test
your knowledge and understanding of course content. Self tests are not saved after you have viewed your results.

                                                                             From the Assessments screen, locate
                                                                             the assessment and click its title.

                                                                             Note the availability, duration, and
                                                                             question delivery method, attempts
                                                                             allowed and total grade.

                                                                             Figure 1

                                                                            Click Instructions and
                                                                            Troubleshooting for a thorough
                                                                            explanation of assessment

                                                                            When you are ready to start, click
                                                                            Begin Assessment.

                                                                            Figure 2

                                                                            Continuing Assessments

                                                                            If you exited an assessment before
                                                                            submitting it, you can continue the
                                                                            assessment as long as the allotted
                                                                            time for the assessment has not
Viewing Submission Scores

You can view your score for a
submission attempt.

From the Assessments screen, click on
View All Submissions, then locate the
assessment for which you want to view
the score and click its ActionLinks

Click View Attempt.

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