Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn Logo
Category: Help, Learning Tools


Blackboard Learn is a web application that allows the creation, administration, tracking, and delivery of digital content via course sites. This type of application is also referred to as a Learning Management System or LMS. At UIC, Blackboard Learn course sites are used in three main ways:

  1. for the enhancement of face-to-face instruction,
  2. as an important component of content delivery for blended courses, and
  3. as a core element delivering and assessing learning in online courses. 


With Blackboard Learn, instructors can:

  • Create or upload text, audio, video, and interactive content for students to access online. Content can be added using Blackboard Learn tools or using third party software that integrates with Blackboard. Below are the most common sources of content:
    • Text, audio, or video directly added into a content area using the Blackboard Learn Content Editor tool.
    • Screen capture and lecture capture content via Echo360
    • Multimedia content from SlideShare, YouTube, NBC Learn, and via the Blackboard Learn Mashups tool
    • Interactive content using SoftChalk
    • Recorded webinar content using Blackboard Collaborate
    • Slides, documents, quiz questions, and other resources from course cartridges that publishers make available as part of textbooks
  • Communicate, interact, and collaborate with students via course announcements, email, discussion board threads, blog posts, wiki pages, and other collaboration tools.
  • Assess concept mastery through the use of tests, assignments, and other tools that enable instructors to record and assess students’ work in a variety of ways. A Grade Center column is created automatically when an assessment is created, and grades are populated as instructors grade assignments. The Grade Center can be configured to export final grades in the format required for the XE Faculty Grade module.

Learn more about Blackboard by watching Why Blackboard (video, 2:19).

Course site creation

The Instructional Technology Lab creates course sites for most CRN-related courses, as reflected in the course catalog 60 days prior to the start of every semester. Sites are made unavailable to students by default and instructors determine when to make their courses available. Course site shells are created without course menu items so that instructors can easily copy a course into the clean shell or add to it to suit their teaching preferences and needs.

Instructors can request content to be copied from a previous course site, or they can copy the content by themselves from any course site that is listed under their teaching assignments. If an instructor does not have a course to copy, they can build a custom site by adding their own course menu items. View the video (2.59) "Working with the Clean Blackboard Course Shell" for further instructions. In addition instructors can request an exemplary course shell template to be imported into their course site. This is a a pre-designed course site supplied by the ITL based on best practices for online, blended and enhanced courses.

In special situations, instructors may need to request the merge of course sections. Additionally, any staff from UIC can request a Non-CRN related site.

Faculty assignments and student enrollments

Student enrollments and faculty assignments are handled automatically by the system. We encourage instructors to wait 48 hours for new student enrollments to be reflected in their course sites. Adding students manually in courses should be handled with caution as, after the drop period, all student enrollments added manually may only be removed manually from courses that they have dropped.


Whether you’re just beginning your first course with Blackboard Learn or have used it before and need a refresher, check out the Student Organization section located in the portal’s top menu after you have logged in. In the student organization, you will find valuable tips for working in your Blackboard course, checking your computer, frequently asked questions, and tutorials.

Note that even though any UIC instructor may use Blackboard Learn, not all instructors develop a course site to make available to students. Contact your instructor if you expect to see a course site for a course that is not listed in your My Courses or My Courses Plus in Blackboard Learn.


Visit the Staff Resources section located in the top menu after you have logged in for useful information about how to use Blackboard Learn. You will find semester checklists, tools tutorials, upcoming workshops, and important information about procedures regarding course copies, course availability, and managing your files.


To access Blackboard Learn, students, faculty and staff must use their UIC netID (do not append after the netID) and common password. Simply log in to and access your course sites.

Web browsers used with Blackboard Learn must have Java and Javascript enabled, cookies and third-party cookies enabled, and pop-up blocker disabled. Firefox is the recommended web browser.

Blackboard Weekly Scheduled Maintenance Window

There is never a good time to have a major service like Blackboard taken down for necessary maintenance. However, regular maintenance procedures require that the system be taken offline. For this reason, Blackboard Learn has a scheduled weekly maintenance window on Friday mornings from 1:00 am (CST) to 5:00 am (CST).  It is highly recommended that any online tests, quizzes, assignments, etc., take into consideration the weekly maintenance window.


There is no charge for this service.


Phone 312-996-9824
In person Instructional Technology Lab