Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Part One: Introduction to the

Blackboard Learning System

Overview

Part One Contents

This part of the

Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

includes the following chapters:

 Chapter 1 - Welcome to the

Blackboard Learning System

 Chapter 2 - Blackboard Platform Gateway

The

Blackboard Learning System

delivers a complete course management system.

Within the

Blackboard Learning System

environment navigation is simple with a header frame that includes images and buttons customized by the institution and tabs that navigate to the different common areas.

The Blackboard Gateway page welcomes users and provides an access point to the

Blackboard Academic Suite

. It should be noted that some institutions may choose to skip the Gateway page entirely and allow users to login through a function on the header frame.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Chapter 1

Welcome to the

Blackboard Learning System

Introduction

The

Blackboard Learning System

is a comprehensive and flexible e-Learning software platform that delivers a complete course management system. While the

Blackboard

Learning System,

and the

Blackboard Learning System

- Basic Edition are all course management systems, the

Blackboard Learning System

includes advanced integration tools and APIs to seamlessly assimilate the

Blackboard Learning System

with existing institution systems. Furthermore, the

Blackboard Learning System

includes additional customization features and the ability to build out the platform with Blackboard

System Extensions. Finally, the

Blackboard Portal System

includes a customizable institution-wide portal with online communities.

Blackboard Building Blocks allows institutions to integrate external applications, tools, content, and services into the

Blackboard Learning System

.

The following are some things to keep in mind when using the

Blackboard Learning

System

:

 Due to the fact that the

Blackboard Portal System

and the

Blackboard Learning

System

are highly flexible and customizable platforms, which can integrate third party applications, there may be certain tools that are not documented.

 System Administrators have the ability to disable certain tools within the application. If you encounter tools that you are unable to access contact your

System Administrator.

 The openness of the platform allows Instructors and Administrators to be very creative; therefore, the names for items users see in the application may differ from those in the documentation.

The

Blackboard Learning System

environment

The

Blackboard Learning System

environment includes a header frame with images and buttons customized by the institution and tabs that navigate to different areas within the

Blackboard Learning System

. Clicking on a tab will open that area in the content frame. Web pages containing specific content, features, functions, and tools are accessed from the common areas.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Header frame

The header frame contains a customizable institution image and navigation buttons that allow the user to access the institution home page, access the Blackboard help, and logoff of the

Blackboard Learning System

.

The table below details the buttons that appear in the header frame and their functions.

Button Description

Click

Home

to return to an institution home page. This URL is set by the system administrator.

Click

Help

to access an institution defined help site. This URL is set by the System Administrator.

Click

Logout

to end a session.

Common Areas

Blackboard Learning System

and

Blackboard Learning System

– Basic Edition include two common areas for users:

My Institution:

The My Institution common area contains tools and information specific to each user ’ s preferences. Tools and information are contained in modules, which users can add and remove from their My

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Institution common area. While users can choose which modules appear, the

Administrator may restrict access to or require specific modules.

Courses

: Courses are listed by role: courses that a user teaches as an

Instructor and courses that a user takes as a Student. Users click on a course from the Courses common area to access the course Web site.

Users also have access to the following common areas with the

Blackboard Portal

System

:

Community:

The Community common area lists organizations specific to each user, the Organization Catalog for the institution, and institution-wide

Discussion Boards. User organizations are listed by role: organizations that a user administrates as a manager and organizations that a user participates in as a member. Users simply click on an organization from the Community common area to access the organization Web site.

Services:

The Services common area contains links to other institutional offerings outside of the

Blackboard Learning System

. The links are set by the

System Administrator and cannot be modified by an individual user.

In addition, the

Blackboard Portal System

enables the institution to create custom tabs and present a different environment, or Portal, to users based on the User ’ s role at the institution.

Tabs

The tabs are navigation tools that access the common areas of the

Blackboard

Learning System

. Tabs also appear in search boxes as a means of changing the search parameters.

Click on a tab to access that common area.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Content frame

The content frame always contains one of the following pages:

Common area

: The area that appears in the content frame when a tab is clicked. Common areas hold broad information and allow the user to access

Web pages containing specific content and features.

Web page

: A Web page appears in the content frame when accessed through one of the navigational tools described below. Web pages contain specific content or features and originate from common areas.

Navigating within the

Blackboard Learning System

The

Blackboard Learning System

contains several ways to move from one area or page to the next. Only the material in the content frame changes when moving to a new area or page. The tabs and header frame are always available for quick access to those navigation features.

The table below describes each navigation tool available in the

Blackboard Learning

System

.

Tab

Navigation Tool Description

Click a tab to navigate to a common area. Top-level navigation is always available no matter what page or area appears in the content frame.

Button

Link

Image

Click a button to navigate to a page within the

Blackboard Learning

System

. Some buttons also lead to areas outside of the

Blackboard

Learning System

. In addition, buttons execute functions.

Click a hypertext link to access another Web page within the

Blackboard Learning System

. The page will appear in the content frame.

Links can also open Web sites outside of the

Blackboard Learning System

.

Click an image to navigate to another page. The customized images that appear in the platform can be linked by the Administrator to another URL.

Click one of the hypertext links that appear in the navigation path to access that page. The navigation path appears at the top of pages to allow users to quickly return to the previous page that led to the current page.

Path

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Course Web Sites

Overview

Each course offered by an institution is hosted on a Web site. A course Web site consists of a navigation path, a Course menu, and a content frame. The navigation path allows users to return to any page accessed between the main course page and the current page. The Course menu links users to the available content areas and tools. The content frame displays Web pages accessed through the buttons or navigation path.

Organization Web Sites

Organization Web sites function in the same way as course Web sites. The organization Manager uses the flexible learning tools of a course Web site to provide an online environment for the organization. Organizations are only available with the

Blackboard Portal System

.

Linking to a course Web site

To create a link to a course Web site, simply copy the URL from the address bar in the

Web. Links to course Web sites can be posted inside the

Blackboard Learning System

or externally. In either case, the user will be prompted for authorization before accessing the course Web site.

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Functions

User Manual

The table below includes information on the components of a course Web site. The names of the areas are customizable by the Instructor or the System Administrator.

Area

Announcements

Staff Information

Content Areas

Assignments

Communication

External Links

Tools

Description

Announcements post timely information critical to course success. Announcements occupy the Main

Frame upon entry to a course Web site and can also appear on the My Institution and Courses area depending on system configuration.

Click

Announcements

from the course Web site tool bar to view course Announcements.

Staff Information provides background and contact information on course Instructors and Teaching

Assistants.

Content areas can contain a wide-range of content items including:

Course Information – Course Information displays descriptive materials about the course. Materials usually posted here include the syllabus and course objectives.

Course Documents – Course Documents may include learning materials and lesson aids, such as lecture notes.

Assignments lists the due date and description for class work. The Instructor posts assignments and can modify the instructions and due date. Students may view files the Instructor has attached to an Assignment. They may also attach files to an Assignment to submit to the

Instructor.

Course users communicate through the Communication

Center. The Communication Center allow users to:

 send and receive email

 read and post messages to Discussion Boards

 enter the Virtual Classroom

 view Student roster

 view Group pages

External Links connects course users to outside learning materials. Instructors may select outside materials and post a hyperlink and brief description for each external source.

Tools that can be used in the course Web site. These include: Digital Drop Box, Edit Home Page, Personal

Information, Calendar, View Grades, Student Manual,

Tasks, The Electric Blackboard®, and Address Book.

Accesses the Blackboard Resource Center.

Allows course Web site navigation through a collapsible tree directory. Instructors can go directly to various course areas.

Resources

Course Map

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Chapter 2 -

Blackboard Academic Suite

Gateway

Overview

To utilize the exciting features of the

Blackboard Academic Suite

users must have a valid username and password. The Gateway page welcomes users and provides a login button to access the Blackboard platform. Before logging in, a user must have a valid user name and password.

Note:

The

Blackboard Learning System

requires that cookies are enabled within the

Web browser.

Note:

The Institution may select to bypass the Gateway page. If this is the case, a

User accessing the URL will be directed to the My Institution tab and authenticated as a guest. Users may login to through a button on the header frame or a special portal module.

Functions

The following buttons appear on the Gateway page.

Note:

The

Course Catalog

and

Create Account

buttons may not appear depending on institutional preferences.

Function

Login

Description

Users can log into their account from the Blackboard

Gateway page.

Course Catalog

Browse the Course Catalog .

Create Account

Users can create an account to the Blackboard Gateway page.

In this chapter

This chapter includes the following topics.

Topic

Creating an

Account

Entry Page

Lost Password

Page

Course Catalog

Browsing the

Course Catalog

Description

Details how to create a Blackboard account with a user name, password and personal information. Depending on institutional preferences, this option may not be available to users.

Describes the page used to logon to Blackboard.

Details how to obtain a new password in the case that yours is lost.

Describes the Course Catalog for your institution

Details how to browse and search the Course Catalog for specific courses.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Creating an Account

Overview

Users may create their own account from the Gateway page. In this area they can choose a user name and password, and fill out any personal information they choose.

Note:

The Administrator may make this option unavailable.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Create New Account page.

Step 1

Step 2

Enter the URL for the

Blackboard Learning System

into your Web browser.

Click

Create Account

from the Gateway page.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Create New Account page.

Field

Personal Information

First Name:

[r]

Middle Name:

Last Name:

Email:

[r]

Student ID:

[r]

Description

Enter the user ’ s first name.

Enter the user ’ s middle name.

Enter the user ’ s last name.

Enter the user ’ s email address.

Enter the user ’ s Student ID as defined by the institution.

Account Information

User Name:

[r]

Password:

[r]

Verify Password:

[r]

Other Information

Gender:

Birthdate:

© 2004 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential

Enter a user name.

Enter a password.

Enter the password a second time to verify.

From the drop-down list select the user ’ s gender.

Enter the user ’ s birth date.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Education Level:

Company:

Job Title:

Department:

Street 1:

Street 2:

City:

Country:

Web Site:

From the drop-down list select the user ’ s education level.

Enter the user

Enter the user

Enter the user

Enter the user

’ s company. s job title. s department.

Enter the first line of the user s city.

’ s address.

Enter the second line of the user ’ s address.

State/Province:

Enter the user ’ s state.

Zip Code/Postal Code:

Enter the contact ’ s ZIP code or postal code.

Home Phone:

Work Phone:

Work Fax:

Mobile Phone:

Enter the contact ’ s country.

Enter the URL of the user ’ s personal Web site. When adding a URL, do so as http://www.blackboard.com, not www.blackboard.com or blackboard.com.

Enter the user ’ s home phone number.

Enter the user ’ s work phone number.

Enter the user ’ s fax number.

Enter the user ’ s mobile phone number.

Secure your Password

Passwords enable users to access all of their personal information. To maintain security users should not use not share their password with others.

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Entry Page

Overview

User Manual

By logging into the

Blackboard Academic Suite

, users can access a secure environment to view courses, obtain course documents, view organization information and much more.

Note:

If the Administrator has enabled Portal Direct Entry, users will view the My

Institution page upon opening the

Blackboard Academic Suite

. Users may login to the system through this page.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Entry page.

Step 1

Step 2

Enter the URL for the

Blackboard Academic Suite

into your Web browser.

Click

Login

.

Fields

The table below details the entry fields on the Entry page.

Field

Account Login

Username:

Password:

Enter the User Name.

Enter password. The password and User Name must be entered exactly to login. The maximum number of characters in a password is 32. Passwords are case sensitive.

Description

Functions

The table below presents the functions available to users on the Entry page.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

To . . .

preview the

Blackboard Academic Suite

environment create an account obtain a new password login

Preview.

Create.

click . . .

Forget your password?

Lost Password page.

Login

after entering User Name and password in the fields.

to access the

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Lost Password

Overview

If users forget or lose their password, they must complete the Lost Password page to obtain a new password. Users will need to create a new password based on instructions received in an email from Blackboard. To receive password information, users must enter their first and last names. Additionally, users have the option of entering a user name or an email address to verify password information. Users must enter information in all the fields in the

Find User With User Name

section or all of the fields in the

Find User With Email

section.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Lost Password page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Enter the URL for the Blackboard platform into your Web browser.

Click

Login

.

Click

Forgot Your Password?

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Lost Password page.

Field

Find User With User Name

First Name:

Last Name:

Description

Enter first name.

Enter last name.

Enter user name. This field is case sensitive.

User Name:

Find User With Email

First Name:

Last Name:

Email:

Enter first name.

Enter last name.

Enter email address.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Course Catalog

Overview

The Course Catalog lists all courses offered at the institution in defined categories such as semester and subject matter. The Course Catalog page allows users to search for courses via keyword or a specific category. The Administrator sets the categories. The links in the Course Catalog allow users to view Instructor information and a course description. From that point, users are also able to enroll, preview, or log into a course depending on how the institution customizes the

Blackboard Learning System

.

Note:

The institution may choose to use a different Course Catalog other than the one provided with the

Blackboard Learning System

or no catalog at all.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Browse Course Catalog page.

Step 1

Step 2

Enter the URL for the

Blackboard Learning System

into your Web browser.

Click

Browse Course Catalog

.

Functions

The table below details the available functions on the Course Catalog page.

To . . .

search for a course perform advanced searching browse the Course Catalog

click . . .

Go

after entering a keyword in the search box.

Advanced Search

hyperlink and provide the search criteria in the space provided, click

Search

. the hyperlink of the category or courses to view.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Browsing the Course Catalog

Preview a course

From the Login page Students are able to browse the course catalog and preview courses as a guest. To browse the course catalog follow the steps below.

Step 1

Step 2

From the Welcome page, click

Preview

.

In the Courses common area, select a Course Catalog link.

Step 3

From the Course Catalog page, click the hyperlink of the course you wish to preview.

Note:

The Instructor determines whether Students are allowed to preview a course prior to enrollment. Thus, this option may not be available for all courses.

Search the Course Catalog

Follow the steps below to search for a course from the Course Catalog main page.

Step 1

Click the text box and enter the keyword or course

Step 2

Click

Search

.

Advanced Search: Users can search by course title or course ID by clicking

Advanced Search

View all courses in the Course Catalog

Follow the steps below to view all courses in the Course Catalog:

Click

Advanced Search

.

Select

List All

to view all courses.

Step 1

Step 2

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