Faculty: Top Questions about Blackboard

Beginning of the Semester

  • Where is my course?
  • How do I request a copy of a course?
  • How do I enroll my students?
  • How do I add a TA or Co-Instructor or Guest?
  • How do I add content?
  • I want to use publisher or building block in Blackboard– how do I do that?
  • How do I know students are getting my emails through BbLearn?

During Semester

  • Why can’t my students see images in tests/quizzes?
  • Why can’t my students answer a question in a test, quiz, or assignment?
  • How can I regrade a test question?
  • How do I set-up a SafeAssign or Turnitin Assignment?
  • How can student’s view comments I made on their assignments? (Turnitin, Inline Grading, etc.)
  • How can I upload my grades to Blackboard?
  • Why am I receiving an uploading error?
  • Why do I keep getting an error when using Blackboard?
  • How do I submit midterm grades?
  • How can I delete columns in the Grade Center?
  • How do I organize my Grade Center?

End of Semester

  • How do I submit final grades?
  • How do I request a copy of a course for next semester?

 

Beginning of the Semester

Where is my course, and how do I access it?

ANSWER:

You will need to request your course each semester and it will be available 24-48 hours on Blackboard.

You may access your course from the Blackboard link located on the upper left hand corner of Iowa State University’s homepage. Your login information is your Net-ID and password.

 

How do I request a copy of my course for the upcoming semester?

ANSWER:

You will need to request your a copy of your course and it will be available 24-48 hours on Blackboard.

 

How do I enroll my students?

ANSWER:

If you are the Instructor of Record for the course you will be able to use the ISU Admin Tool to enroll your students into the course.

If you do not see your course/section(s) listed in ISU Admin Tools . . .

  • Registrar course/section enrollment data are not available until 2-3 weeks before the start of the semester.
    • Instructors will be notified of the exact date through a Blackboard Announcement.
  • You must be listed as Instructor of Record according to the Registrar to enroll students and submit grades.
    • To change your status, contact your departmental secretary (Blackboard support staff cannot update Registrar records).

 

How do I add a TA or Co-Instructor or Guest?

ANSWER:

Within your course, in the Control Panel (at left), click Users and Groups and click Users. On the Users page, click the Find Users to Enroll button.

NOTE: Do not do a Search. The Search function on this page only searches for users already in your course.

On the Add Enrollments page, type in the Username (ISU NetID – the first part of an ISU email address).

NOTE: If you know the ISU NetID, do not click Browse. If you do not know the ISU NetID, click Browse and then search the Blackboard user index by First Name or Last Name, for the individual you wish to enroll. Once the individual has been located in the index, check the check box and click Submit.

Select the Role. Select Enrollment Availability: Yes. Click Submit.

 

How do I add content to my course?

ANSWER:

We encourage you to walk through the Blackboard basics and effective ways to incorporate content to your course.

 

I want to use a publisher or building block tool – how do I do that?

ANSWER:

If you are wanting to “activate” a new tool for use with Blackboard you will want to learn more about the integration process. The following publishers are currently approved for Blackboard at Iowa State University:

  • Pearson
  • Wiley
  • McGraw-Hill
  • Cengage

How do I know students are getting my emails through BbLearn?

ANSWER:

Blackboard keeps no record of sent or received email. When you receive or send an email, the email appears in the inbox of your iastate.edu email program. Keep a copy of important messages in case you need them at a later date. How to send email through Blackboard.

 


During Semester

Why can’t my students see images in tests/quizzes?

ANSWER:

You will want to ensure that images are visible in your test by doing the following:

 

Why can’t my students answer a question in a test, quiz, or assignment?

ANSWER:

While many aspects of Blackboard’s online testing are intuitive, the importance of test grades in most classes and the variety of situations students may encounter make it important to understand the available options and their implications. Before you create and deploy your test we encourage you to go through our Best Practices for Online Testing in Blackboard.

Share with your students Quiz and Test-Taking Best Practices

In addition before you make the test available, Take the Test Yourself as a Student: After you create an online test and have selected deployment options, take the test yourself as a student. information icon This serves three important purposes:

  • Scrutinize the questions you missed to ensure that the correct answers are indicated.
  • Confirm that all your questions display properly in browsers. This is especially important if you copy and paste text into your test questions and/or answers, embed images or special characters in the test editor, or use an equation editor in composing the test. If possible, take your entire test using more than one of the supported browsers.
  • Preview what and how the system will show results and feedback to students after completing their test.

How can I regrade a test question?

ANSWER:

To edit the answer and regrade the test:

  1. Go to the full grade center and find your test column
  2. Use the chevron dropdown and select ‘Edit Test’ and you will then see all the questions of the test
  3. To change a questions answer – click on the specific questions chevron dropdown and chose ‘Edit’
  4. Update the answer and click “Submit and Update Attempts”

The result will be an updated grade center for the students and a correctly updated question for future tests.

Additional information:

How do I set-up a SafeAssign or Turnitin Assignment?

ANSWER:

About SafeAssign

Things to Consider:

How-to:

About Turnitin®, a third-party tool, improves the student writing cycle by preventing plagiarism and providing rich feedback to students.

  • Getting Started with Turnitin

How can student’s view comments I made on their assignments? (Turnitin, Inline Grading, etc.)

ANSWER:

Turnitin
The GradeMark® digital mark-up tool from Turnitin allows instructors to mark and grade papers online in a paperless environment. Instructors are able to create custom sets of comments and marks for grading as well as use rubric scorecards that feature quick scoring of student papers against a list of scaled criteria created by the instructor or educational institution. Learn More About GradeMark®

Inline Grading
Students can click directly on the assignment title, and comments should appear along with the paper.

 

How can I upload my grades to Blackboard?

ANSWER:

To upload grades into Blackboard you will want to:

  1. Create a column first (Columns have unique identifiers in Blackboard)
  2. Download the Grade Center to work offline
  3. After the file is downloaded and opened in the appropriate editing software, you can make changes. If you download the full Grade Center, you can change and add grades, and save the file for uploading. If you downloaded a single column, you can add or change grades and comments, and save the file for uploading.
  4. Upload the updated Grade Center

Why am I receiving an uploading error?

ANSWER:

If you are receiving errors:

  1. Check for browser and/or java issues.
  2. Use the “Browser Check” tool.
  3. Try a different browser – sometimes one browser may work better than an another.
  4. Check your internet connection, restart your computer or try a different computer.
  5. Finally, If none of these steps have helped contact: Blackboard Technical Support Help Desk Call (515) 294-4000 to speak directly with a Solution Center technical support agent. For assistance outside Solution Center hours, complete this online help request form and a Solution Center agent will respond to your request.

Why do I keep getting an error when using Blackboard?

ANSWER:

  1. Check for browser and/or java issues.
  2. Use the “Browser Check” tool.
  3. Try a different browser – sometimes one browser may work better than an another.
  4. Check your internet connection, restart your computer or try a different computer.
  5. Finally, If none of these steps have helped contact:Blackboard Technical Support Help DeskCall (515) 294-4000 to speak directly with a Solution Center technical support agent. For assistance outside Solution Center hours, complete this online help request form and a Solution Center agent will respond to your request.

How do I submit midterm grades?

ANSWER:

We use our integrated ISU Admin Tool which is connected directly to the Office of the Registrar for midterm and final grade submission. Here is the guide on how to submit midterm grades with ISU Admin Tools in Blackboard.

How can I delete columns in the Grade Center?

ANSWER:

The only way to delete these auto-created grade columns is to first delete the gradable items in your course. For some, if no student submissions exist when you delete the item, the Grade Center column is deleted automatically or you are allowed to decide whether to delete the column. However, when you delete a SafeAssignment in your course, you must also delete the corresponding column in the Grade Center.

IMPORTANT: Before deleting gradable content in your course, you must carefully consider what the ramifications may be. Student work, such as test and assignment submissions, is deleted along with the deletion of the content item in your course. The action is final. In some cases, you can choose to save the grades assigned in the Grade Center. Even if you retain grade columns in the Grade Center, you cannot access the student submissions because they were deleted with the item in your course. Alternatively, make the gradable item unavailable in your course to preserve the submissions and the scores in the Grade Center.

You are not allowed to delete the default user columns and the external grade column. If you set a grade or calculated column as the external grade column, you must select another column as the external grade column before you can delete the first one.

Learn how to edit a column

How do I organize my Grade Center?

ANSWER:

Instructors can complete the following steps to organize their grade columns 

  1. Go to Full Grade Center
  2. Click “Manage” tab on the top
  3. Select “Column Organization”
  4. Once you’re connected to the column organization page, instructors will see the vertical view of the grade center.
  5. Instructors can use the four-sided arrow to move grade columns and create the preferred order
  6. Hit “Submit” to update the change

I keep getting an error when I try to upload a file, what can I do?

ANSWER:

  1. Check for browser and/or java issues.
  2. Use the “Browser Check” tool.
  3. Try a different browser – sometimes one browser may work better than an another.
  4. Check your internet connection, restart your computer or try a different computer.
  5. Finally, If none of these steps have helped contact:Blackboard Technical Support Help DeskCall (515) 294-4000 to speak directly with a Solution Center technical support agent. For assistance outside Solution Center hours, complete this online help request form and a Solution Center agent will respond to your request.

 

Why is Blackboard slow?

ANSWER:

  1. Check for browser and/or java issues.
  2. Use the “Browser Check” tool.
  3. Try a different browser – sometimes one browser may work better than an another.
  4. Check your internet connection, restart your computer or try a different computer.
  5. Finally, If none of these steps have helped contact:Blackboard Technical Support Help Desk Call (515) 294-4000 to speak directly with a Solution Center technical support agent. For assistance outside Solution Center hours, complete this online help request form and a Solution Center agent will respond to your request.

I am getting an error with a browser – HELP!

ANSWER:

  1. Check for browser and/or java issues.
  2. Use the “Browser Check” tool.
  3. Try a different browser – sometimes one browser may work better than an another.
  4. Check your internet connection, restart your computer or try a different computer.
  5. Finally, If none of these steps have helped contact:Blackboard Technical Support Help DeskCall (515) 294-4000 to speak directly with a Solution Center technical support agent. For assistance outside Solution Center hours, complete this online help request form and a Solution Center agent will respond to your request.

End of the Semester

How do I submit final grades?

We use our integrated ISU Admin Tool which is connected directly to the Office of the Registrar for midterm and final grade submission. Here is the guide on how to submit final grades with ISU Admin Tools in Blackboard.

 

How do I request a copy of a course for next semester?

ANSWER:

You will need to request your a copy of your course and it will be available 24-48 hours on Blackboard.