For Students

Blackboard updates

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Quiz and Test-taking Best Practices

Taking a quiz or test in a Blackboard course can be a big deal and you want to do everything in your power to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Follow these steps and tips to help ensure a successful testing experience.
Learn more about quiz and test-taking.

Weekly Reboots

The Blackboard servers will be offline for maintenance every Saturday, from 6:00 a.m. to approximately 6:30 a.m. U.S. Central time.


Official Blackboard Help Site

(for everything not listed under ISU’s Custom Features) Version: October 2015


Getting Started

  1. Be sure you have an ISU NetID. If you do not, please visit Passwords and Accounts.
  2. Login to Blackboard with your ISU NetID and password and look for your course. Not all courses at Iowa State use Blackboard. If you think your course is supposed to have a Blackboard presence, and you don’t see it in your list of courses (after you login to Blackboard), contact your instructor.

Basic Troubleshooting (if Blackboard is not working)

  1. Username / Password not working?
    1. Your Username (ISU NetID) and Password for Blackboard are the same as those for your ISU email account.
    2. For help with Username and Password, please visit Passwords and Accounts or contact the Solution Center at 515-294-4000 or
    3. If your username begins with a “w.” contact your course instructor.
  2. If you get an error message, check for Browser and Java Issues on your computer.
  3. If you are unable to access course content or activities (e.g. Tests, Discussions, Assignments, etc.), contact your Instructor.
  4. Contact the Solution Center at 515-294-4000 or

General Help with Blackboard

Top 10 Questions about Blackboard

Blackboard Inc. Help for Students includes FAQs and searchable comprehensive Step-by-step Instructions.

Blackboard YouTube Videos can provide you with step-by-step instructions.

Video Tutorials at provides several dozen brief video clips to help students and instructors get up-to-speed in all of the most frequently used tools, features, and functions of Blackboard.

To access the tutorials and files, simply login to with your Iowa State University NetID and password. Once you are on the site, look under the Software menu and select Blackboard.


Top Hat is a new cloud-based learning platform your instructor may be using as part of your course. Visit our support page to learn more.