STUDENTS' BLACKBOARD FAQs - DOC by liwenting

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									STUDENTS' BLACKBOARD FAQs

Table of Contents
What is Blackboard? ………………………………………………………………2

Where can I get Blackboard Help? ………………………………………………2

There's the ITS Help Desk and Rae Peralta - who handles what? …..….... 2

How do I get to the Blackboard home page? …………………………………. 3

How do I login to Blackboard? …………………………………………………... 4

How do I access my courses? …………………………………………………… 4

Will ALL the courses I am taking be listed in Blackboard? ……………….…4

How do I change my password? ………………………………………………… 5

What if I forget my Blackboard password? ……………………………………. 5

My professor sends e-mail via Blackboard - what e-mail address do the
messages go to? ……………………………………………………………………. 5

I use a private e-mail address, not my Saint Mary's e-mail address. What
can I do to ensure that I receive all e-mail that my professor sends via
Blackboard? …………………………………………………………………………. 5

Can I send an e-mail message to my professor and/or classmates via
Blackboard? …………………………………………………………………………. 6

How do I participate in a discussion? …………………………………………… 7




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What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is a Web course management system that Saint Mary's College has purchased
for the Instructors and their students. Blackboard offers a robust set of tools, functions,
and features for teaching.

There are many advantages to having a Web site for a course. Students could access
items, such as class announcements, the syllabus, lectures, and notes as long as they have
access to the Internet. Students also enjoy using the online gradebook to check on their
grades, missed assignments, etc. An advantage for Instructors is there is less "prep"and/or
"catch-up" work to do in the long run. For example, assignments that an Instructor has in
his course's Web site for Fall semester can easily be copied over to the next semester.
Another example is if students miss class, they can always check the Blackboard site to
for an overview of the lecture(s) they missed.



Where can I get Blackboard Help?

By e-mail

Students and professors can write aperalta@stmarys-ca.edu or itshelpdesk@stmarys-
ca.edu

By phone

Students and professors can call the following numbers for Blackboard Help:

      Rae Peralta: 925-631-8554 OR 925-631-4198
      ITS Help Desk: 925-631-4266



There's the ITS Help Desk and Rae Peralta - who handles what?

ITS Help Desk will be able to help both students with the following:

      Access and login help to certain Saint Mary's Web pages. (i.e. SMCnet,
       GaelXpress, Blackboard, etc.)
      Problems with your Saint Mary's e-mail account
      Problems within the ITS lab
      Other computer problems

Rae Peralta can help students with the following:

      Blackboard login problems, even with correct username and password


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      Problems with access to Blackboard classes, even after successful login

NOTE: If students have specific questions about a Web course site's structure they will
be turned to the instructor of that site to answer the question. (For example, if a student
does not know what he is supposed to click in order to access an assignment, he must ask
the instructor of that site where he posted the assignment.



How do I get to the Blackboard home page?

To get to the Blackboard home page:

   1. The URL address for St. Mary's portion of Blackboard is the following:

       http://blackboard.stmarys-ca.edu

       IMPORTANT: Do NOT just type "www.blackboard.com" at the Address field
       of your browser. You will be led to the wrong place!




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  2. Once you type in this URL, you should see the page illustrated below.




     *** If the URL above does not work, get to Saint Mary's College home page.
     (The URL address for the Saint Mary's home page is http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/
     ) Then, left-click the Academics link, left-click the Instructional Media link, left-
     click the Saint Mary's Course Websites (Blackboard) link.

     *** You should bookmark the Blackboard Web site for easier access.



How do I login to Blackboard?

  1. Once you are in the St. Mary's Blackboard home page, left-click the Login button.
  2. At the next screen, you will see the following fields:

     USERNAME: Type your username (Your username should be the same
     username you use to login to St. Mary's network. This is usually set up as your



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       first initial and first seven characters of your last name. For example, John Doe's
       username would be "jdoe". Another example, John Peterson's username would be
       "jpeterso".)

       PASSWORD: Type your SMC ID#. (Your SMC ID# is the initial password. You
       can find your SMC ID# on your SMC ID card. You can change your password
       later, if you wish.) IMPORTANT – If you are a NEW Blackboard user and your
       SMC ID# does not work as your password, try typing in your username as your
       password.

   3. Then, left-click the Login button.
   4. The next screen you should see is the My Institution tab area, which says
      "Welcome, [your first name]".



How do I access my courses?

The first screen after successful login is the My Institution tab area. From this screen you
can access a course by clicking the desired underlined course within the My Courses box,
which is located at the right-hand side of the screen.


Will ALL the courses I am taking be listed in Blackboard?

Not necessarily. The only courses you will see and have access to are the courses that are
taught by professors who are actively using Blackboard. When the professor is ready to
show the course to the students, he/she will make the course "Available", and at that
point the students will see the course in the list of courses in which they are participating.
If a professor does not use Blackboard, you will not see his/her class in your list. If you
are not sure whether or not your professor uses Blackboard, ask him/her.



How do I change my password?

The default password that both instructors and students use when they initially login to
Blackboard is their SMC ID number. This seven-digit number is on your SMC ID card.
(IMPORTANT - If you are a NEW Blackboard user and your SMC ID# does not work as
the password, try typing your username as the password!)

However, you can change the default password once you login. To do this, follow the
next steps:

   1. Login to Blackboard with the proper username and password.



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   2. Once you have logged in, you will be at the My Institution tab area. Click the
      Personal Information link.
   3. At the next screen, click the Change Password link.
   4. At the next screen, type your new password in the Password field, then tab to the
      Verify Password field and type your new password again.
   5. The next screen will indicate that your password has been successfully updated.



What if I forget my Blackboard password?

Your password cannot be retrieved if you forget it. If you forget your password, please
contact the Rae Peralta at aperalta@stmarys-ca.edu or call 925-631-4198. Rae Peralta
will reset your password back to your SMC ID number.



My professor sends e-mail via Blackboard - what e-mail address do
the messages go to?

When your Blackboard account was set up, the e-mail account entered was your Saint
Mary's e-mail address. Therefore, ALL messages sent via Blackboard are sent to your
Saint Mary's e-mail address.


I use a private e-mail address, not my Saint Mary's e-mail address.
What can I do to ensure that I receive all e-mail that my professor
sends via Blackboard?

You have TWO options:

Option #1: You can contact the ITS Help Desk at itshelpdesk@stmarys-ca.edu or call
925-631-4266 and have them “Create Forward File”, so that all e-mail sent to your Saint
Mary's e-mail address will forward to your private e-mail address

Option #2: You can change the address that Blackboard uses. To do this, follow the next
steps:

   1. Login to Blackboard with the proper username and password.
   2. Once you have logged in, you will be at the My Institution tab area. Click the
      Personal Information link.
   3. At the next screen, click the Edit Personal Information link.
   4. At the next screen, type your e-mail address in the E-mail field, then scroll down
      and click the Submit button.
   5. The next screen will verify the updates to your personal information.



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Can I send an e-mail message to my professor and/or classmates
via Blackboard?

To send an e-mail to your professor(s) via Blackboard, follow the next steps:

   1. Login to Blackboard
   2. At the next screen, click the desired course shell (there should be a link for it in
      the My Courses box to the right of the screen.
   3. Once you have entered the course shell, click the Communication button.
   4. At the next screen, click the Send E-mail link.
   5. At the next screen, click the All Instructors link.
   6. At the next screen, you will see the e-mail message addressed to only the
      instructors of that particular course shell.
   7. Within this same screen, type the subject of the e-mail in the Subject field, and the
      message in the Message field. If you'd like a copy of the message sent to yourself,
      click the check box for Send Copy of Message to self. If you'd like to add an
      attachment, click the Add button. At the next screen, click the Browse button, and
      browse the the area of your computer that the document is saved in. After you
      have selected the document you want to attach and returned back to the original
      screen, click the Submit button.)
   8. Back at the screen where you were composing your e-mail message, click the
      Submit button.

To send an e-mail to your classmate(s) via Blackboard, follow the next steps:

   1. Login to Blackboard
   2. At the next screen, click the desired course shell (there should be a link for it in
      the My Courses box to the right of the screen.
   3. Once you have entered the course shell, click the Communication button.
   4. At the next screen, click the Send E-mail link.
   5. At the next screen, you can click either the All Users link or the Select Users link.
      (The difference between the two is on the next screen. If you clicked the All Users
      link, the next screen will show the e-mail message addressed to every student that
      is enrolled in the course shell, including the instructor(s). If you clicked the the
      Select Users link, the next screen will give you an option to select certain students
      and/or instructor(s) in the course shell.)
   6. At the next screen, type the subject of the e-mail in the Subject field, and the
      message in the Message field. If you'd like a copy of the message sent to yourself,
      click the check box for Send Copy of Message to self. If you'd like to add an
      attachment, click the Add button. At the next screen, click the Browse button, and
      browse the the area of your computer that the document is saved in. After you
      have selected the document you want to attach and returned back to the original
      screen, click the Submit button.)



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   7. Back at the screen where you were composing your e-mail message, click the
      Submit button.



How do I participate in a discussion?

First of all, the discussion must be initiated by the instructor of the course shell. Once that
is done, you can participate in the discussion. To do this, follow the next steps:

   1. Login to Blackboard
   2. At the next screen, click the desired course shell (there should be a link for it in
      the My Courses box to the right of the screen.
   3. Once you have entered the course shell, click the Discussion Board button.
   4. At the next screen, click the title of the discussion that you want to participate in.
   5. The next screen you'll see in the screen with all the threads submitted by the
      participants. At this screen, you have TWO options: Option #1 - Add a New
      Thread to the discussion

Option #1 - Add a New Thread to the discussion

   1. Make sure that you are at the screen with all the threads submitted by the
      participants. Click the Add New Thread button.
   2. At the next screen, type the subject of your thread in the Subject field, and the
      message in the Message field. (You can also add an attachment. To do this, click
      the Browse button, and browse the the area of your computer that the document is
      saved in. Make sure to select the document you want to attach and return back to
      the original screen.)
   3. Click the Submit button.
   4. The next screen you'll see is the screen with all the threads submitted by the
      participants. You should see the thread you've submitted at the bottom of the list
      of threads.

Option #2 - Post a reply to another participant's thread

   1. Make sure that you are at the screen with all the threads submitted by the
      participants. Click the subject (NOT the participant's name) of the thread that you
      want to reply to.
   2. At the next screen, you will the participant's thread in more detail. Click the Reply
      button.
   3. At the next screen, type the subject of your thread in the Subject field, and the
      message in the Message field. (You can also add an attachment. To do this, click
      the Browse button, and browse the the area of your computer that the document is
      saved in. Make sure to select the document you want to attach and return back to
      the original screen.)
   4. Click the Submit button.


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5. The next screen you'll see is the screen with all the threads submitted by the
   participants. You should see your reply under the thread that you replied to. (It
   will be in bold font.)




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