These are short summaries of the tools available in Blackboard Learn for instructors and students.

As of August 12th 2017, UIC is using the most current version of Blackboard Learn 9.1, which offers many valuable benefits. One of the several improvements from this upgrade is that Blackboard now has a mobile-friendly, responsive design that improves the user experience for anyone who wants access to their Blackboard course sites on their own schedule!

This update also removes the ability to change the Blackboard theme, colors, and element size. This limitation helps to ensure a consistent viewing experience for everyone, across all devices and course sites.

Grade Center allows you to record data, calculate grades, and monitor student progress. You can generate reports to communicate information to parents, administrators, and other stakeholders.

To change the duration of a Blackboard course site:

  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. In the course Control Panel section, click Customization, then Properties.
  3. In the Set Course Duration section, set the dates as desired and click Submit.

BbL offers an Assignment tool that presents students with instructions and attached materials required for completing an assignment.  Students can submit typed or pasted comments and attach materials in response to the assignment.

Students can view their course grades using the Global Navigation Menu in the top right corner of the page. By clicking on the icon marked below -

You can use tests and surveys to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students. You create tests and surveys and then deploy them in a course area. When you add a test or survey to a content area, it is "deployed."

To view the results of a survey:

  1. Go to control panel. Select evaluation --> grade center
  2. Click on the column heading for the survey in question
  3. Click the link labeled " Attempts Statistics"

This will show you the aggregate results for everyone that has taken the survey to date. You can tell who has or has not taken the survey in the on-line gradebook by referring to the green check marks in the cells next to user's names. Every green check mark represents a completed survey.

The total column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the cumulative points earned, related to the points allowed. You can select which columns, grading periods, and categories are used in the calculation for a total column.

When using Blackboard Grade Center on a Mac, you may notice that the horizontal scroll bars have disappeared, preventing you from viewing the rest of your grade columns. This issue tends to only exist on versions of Mac OSX 10.7 and above. To fix this follow these steps:

  1. Go to control panel, select users and groups > users
  2. In the search area, select UIC NetID and "Not Blank"
  3. Click on Go
  4. You will be able to see the list of all students and instructors enrolled in that course


Discussion Boards are a tool  in Blackboard and are one of the easiest ways to begin fostering online collaboration. Discussion Boards allow users in a course to discuss relevant course material and ask questions to fellow classmates.

To Find Blackboard IM:

  1. Log in to a Blackboard Learn site

  2. Select Tools (or Student Tools) from the Blackboard Learn course menu (on the left)

  3. Scroll down and select Blackboard IM.  

This error occurs if an application such as Wimba Voice Tools tries to use an audio device and finds that it is unable to use that resource. Note that this also applies to when you try to use a pair of headphones, but the headphones are not taken as the primary audio device. Solution:

  1. Make tests resumable.
  2. Provide a practice test with similar characteristics as the real test to give students a chance to check their computer and browser configuration, their Internet connection, etc.
  3. Avoid creating long tests; break down long tests into a series of much smaller tests. Ideally, each test should take at most ten to 20 minutes to be completed. Use Blackboard Learn's Adaptive Release to easily allow students to take the next short test in a series of tests, sequentially, as they complete each test.

The content editor allows you to add and format text, insert equations and hyperlinks, tables, and attach different types of files to content.

The instructor can view group settings using the student preview option To view a specific group as a member using Student Preview, you will need to add the “preview user” to that group. 

You can use the course calendar to provide students with dates for course-related events. Course calendar events appear to all members of the course. Common entries include the following items:

  • Meetings

  • Instructor office hours

  • Exams

Instructors have the ability to download Grade Center data as a delimited file that can be used in other applications such as Spreadsheet programs or statistical analysis programs. Instructors can select specific data to download, or download the complete Grade Center data set.


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