Blackboard Faculty Support
Blackboard (Bb) is a Web-based learning management system designed to allow students and faculty to participate in classes delivered as Web-enhanced (to complement face-to-face teaching) or completely online.
Blackboard is an application that provides a set of educational tools to facilitate learning, communication and collaboration using the Internet and the computer. At UTSA, Blackboard is used for online course learning, email, assignments, and other administrative tools to assist the instructor in the process of management and continuous improvement of the course. Blackboard provides a secure location where faculty can place course materials, such as the class syllabus, assignments, lectures, presentations, assessments, grades, etc. In addition, Blackboard provides tools to facilitate communication between student and faculty such as discussion boards, chat rooms, email service and calendars. Blackboard is accessible to faculty and students from any location via the Internet.
In order to use Bb you will need an Internet connection, a Web browser, and a properly configured computer. In some cases you might need a headset microphone.
The Blackboard Associates are the first line of support for faculty using Blackboard in their courses. If this is your first time using Bb, begin by sending a request to our Blackboard Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a "course shell", which is an empty Blackboard course template in which you can begin building your course. The Associates are available to provide technical and design help to faculty and are assigned by college. You should hear back from an Associate within 48 hours. You may also contact us by phone at 210-458-4057.
Note that requesting a course shell does not commit you to offering instruction via Bb.
Once you have your course shell, you are ready to follow the steps below to ensure that your computer is ready to access and interact with Bb.
After your Blackboard Associate has provided you with a course shell, here are quick steps to help you start with Bb as smoothly as possible. You are strongly encouraged to participate in Blackboard training workshops offered through Educational Technology Services.
Step One: Configure your Computer for Bb
Before logging into Bb for the first time, you should perform a browser check to make sure your computer is properly configured.
Follow instructions if you need to make changes or adjustments.
Step Two: Connect to Bb at http://bb.utsa.edu.
Step Three: Enter your Blackboard ID and Password
Blackboard ID: UTSARR ID (e.g. abc123)
Password: your NETWORK (computer, email) password
Step Four: Accept the Java Security Certificate
After logging into Bb, you will be prompted to accept a Java Security Certificate. This is a standard security process on your computer. You must click "Yes" or "Always" to ensure that Blackboard tools using Java (such as file manager, chat, mail, etc.) will work properly in your browser.
You will now see a dialogue box saying The application's digital signature has been verified. Do you want to run the application? Check the box "Always trust content from this publisher" and then click "Run".
Step Five: Access your course(s)!
Once you are logged into Bb, you should see your course(s) listed in the "Course List" box. To access a Bb course click on the course title link.
Step Six: Learn more.
Once you are comfortable with how to navigate Blackboard, you should enroll in workshops related to instructional design, working with media, and working with Wimba Live Classroom (a tool for synchronous communication within the Bb course system), etc. The more you understand about how to use the system, the better your course will be!
Other Things to Know
Third party cookies are allowed by default on all supported browsers. If you experience problems staying logged in to Bb, please check your browser settings to make sure you allow third party cookies.
It is extremely important that you Log Out and close the browser completely when you finish each session with Bb. This is the only way to protect your sensitive data. Make sure you Log Out when you are finished with your session, especially if you are in a public lab, library, or any other location where a computer is shared with other people. To be extra safe, close the browser as well.
Alert your Bb Associate when you are ready for students to access your course. Let your students know that you are using Bb by placing information in the course syllabus.