Logging into Blackboard
Open your web browser and go to http://bb.gvsu.edu (note: there is no www in the address). Enter your username and password and click login. You will see the My BB tab (see far left tab at the top) which lists any Blackboard courses you have and also displays announcements, calendar entries, and tasks for all your Blackboard courses. The My Courses tab will all display a list of your Blackboard courses. Click on the hyper linked name of your course to get access to that specific course.
Username Information & Password
If you don't know your GVSU network username or password information, go to the IT web site http://www.gvsu.edu/it and click on Students > Network Login Information for Students or point your browser to http://www.student.gvsu.edu/ and click on Reset/Change Your Password. Please note that you will need your Student ID Number and your four digit PIN number. If you do not know your PIN, there is a link on the page mentioned above which will allow you to reset your PIN. If you need additional assistance, you can contact the Computing and Technology Support HelpDesk at 616-331-2101. The helpdesk can not unlock student accounts. If your account is locked, call the Records office during normal business hours at 616-331-3327.
Updating Your Email Address
Students using non-GVSU email accounts are responsible for keeping their email address current. If wish to change your email address, please log into Banner with your G number and your six digit pin number and select personal information and then select update email address.
Browser Test for Blackboard & Related Plug-ins
Go to the following URL to test your browser to make sure it has all the necessary plugins installed on your computer: http://www.bw.edu/blackboard/browser/browsercheck.html
To navigate Blackboard, use the course menu on the left of your course site. Some links, like Tools and Communication, will take you to a sublist of links. Many instructors put the syllabus and other files describing the course under Course Information. They put content files (handouts, PowerPoint files&etc) under Course Documents. However, your instructor may have a different naming scheme. The Course Map button (bottom left) can help you located buried links.
Note: Instructors can customize their Blackboard course sites to meet individual class needs. Some of these navigational links may not appear in your Blackboard site.
The View Grades tool allows you to see grades for assignments, quizzes &etc. Depending on the instructor's settings, this tool might display the grade, the points possible, the class average, and the weight (percentage of total grade) for each entry. To access the View Grades tool, click Tools and then click View Grades.
The email tool allows you to send messages to other members of your course. You can address mail to individuals, to the entire class, to your instructor, or to groups of students. Messages are sent to the recipients email address listed in SIS/Web. To send email, click Communication and then click Send Email. Next, click the recipient. Enter your message and add attachments, if any. Then click Submit.
Using the Discussion Board
The Discussion Board allows class members to leave messages (and responses to messages) for others to read. Discussions are organized into different forums (topics). Inside each forum, messages are organized into threads (a thread is an original message and all the replies to that message).
Once you click on the hyperlinked forum title, you will see threads posted on the discussion board. You will not see the replies to a thread until you click on the thread title (this is different from the previous version of Blackboard's discussion board). Be sure to look at the unread posts column to see how many unread posts are present in this thread. Use the total posts column to view the total number of posts present (the number of unread posts and total posts includes the initial thread). To add a new thread, click on Add Thread and provide a subject line, provide some text in the message area and click submit. You may also use the attachment feature if you wish to add an attachment to your thread. If you want to submit your thread later, click Save instead of Submit. To view multiple threads on one screen, use the Collect function. Place a Check in the Checkboxes of those threads you wish to view and then select the Collect option.
The upload assignment tool allows you to view and submit assignments online. To access this tool, click Assignments. You will see a listing of your assignments and a View/Complete link next to each assignment. When you have completed the assignment, enter your comments, click Browse to attach your file(s), and click Submit. If you want to submit later, click Save instead of Submit. If the View/Complete link is not visible, you cannot submit your assignment online with this tool; rather, you will have to submit the assignment the way your instructor would prefer (email attachments, digital dropbox, or in person).
Your instructor may have setup Group Pages, which allow you and other members of your group to communicate and exchange files. Group members may have access to a private Discussion Board, Collaboration tools, Email, and File Exchange. Except where noted below, you use these tools just like you would the full class versions described earlier in this document.To access Group Pages, click Communication and then click Group Pages. Select the name of your group. To exchange online messages with other group members, click on the Group Discussion Board. To send Email to individual group members or the entire group, click Send Email. To communicate with group members in real-time, click Group and then Collaboration.
Editing your Personal Course Homepage
In your personal homepage, you can post an introductory message, information about yourself, a picture, and the addresses for one or two of your favorite web sites.
To access your personal homepage click Tools and then click Edit Your Homepage. To view a classmate's homepage, click Communication. Then click Roster and the student's name.
The Assessment tool allows you to take tests or complete surveys online. Instructors can place assessment links in any content area, although most use Course Documents. To access an assessment, open the content area (or a folder inside a content area) and click the assessment name. When you have answered all the questions, click Submit and then Ok. If your instructor has made the results available immediately, click View Results to see how you did.
Using Virtual Classroom & Lightweight Chat
Note: The Collaboration tools require an updated version of java in order to use them. Please install this java plug-in prior to a scheduled chat session. http://java.sun.com/products/archive/j2se/1.4.1_01/index.html
To open the Collaboration Tools (chat), click Communication and then click Collaboration. You will see one or more discussion sessions. Next to the session you wish to enter, click Join. A new window will open. This may take a few minutes. To add a comment to the discussion, type your comment in the Compose box (bottom right) and click Send. To display a web site (available in the Virtual Classroom only) click Group Browser (top left). To display another area of the Blackboard course within the chat room, click Course Map. To draw on the whiteboard (available in the Virtual Classroom only), click on Whiteboard and then click on the desired tool (diagonal line for drawing straight lines, pen for drawing free hand; Sigma symbol for entering quotations; square or circle for drawing shapes; or T for entering text.
I can't access Blackboard through my web browser. Am I using
the right one? Blackboard fully supports a number of browsers including:
Microsoft IE 6, 7
Firefox 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0
Windows Operating Systems
Windows 2000: Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6.0. Netscape 7.1
Windows XP: Internet Explorer 6.0. Netscape 7.1
Mac Operating Systems
OSX10.3 - Apple Safari, Firefox
I use AOL as my Internet Service Provider. Can I use Blackboard in the AOL Browser?
We do not recommend using the AOL Browser to access Blackboard. You can still use Blackboard however, by connecting through the AOL ISP, minimizing the AOL Browser, and opening a recommended browser, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape 6.X. Additionally, if you are having any problems using a customized, or "branded" browser, which may have been supplied by your Internet Service Provider, please try using a "standard" browser, such as Internet Explorer to access Blackboard, once you have connected.
Need Help Using Blackboard?
Call the IT Help Desk at (616)331-2101 or go to the Information Technology web site at: http://www.gvsu.edu/it
Page last modified February 5, 2009