Blackboard is an online software tool that your instructor will use to teach all or part of your course online. Depending on how your instructor set up the course, you may use Blackboard to:

  • View important announcements
  • Participate in online discussions and small group activities
  • Access course materials and resources on the Web
  • Submit your assignments, take on-line tests and quizzes, and check your grades

Blackboard Essentials for Students

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Getting Started
Guides for Commonly-Used Blackboard Tools
Technical Assistance

Getting Started

Software requirements. You will need to use a web browser to access Blackboard. Generally, recent versions of all the major browsers will work.

  • TIP: Have more than one browser installed because if something isn’t working in one, it may work in another.

Test Your Browser here.

For more information check out  the BlackBoard Help, Tips, & Updates page.

Computer access. If you don’t have a computer at home, Web access is available at sites, University College Centers, UMS campuses, and many public libraries. For information about University College locations, check out

Your UMS Account

A University (“”) Email account is automatically set up for you when you register for a course. The format is usually firstname.lastname (eliminate any hyphens, apostrophes, and periods in your last name).

Your Blackboard Username is the same as your University Email name (the part of your Email address before the “@”). For example:

Email address

Blackboard Username


Activate Your Account

Before you can log into Blackboard you must activate your UMS account and set up a password. You will need the eight-character activation code you received from the Registrar. Activate your UMS account at this Web site:

Set Up Forwarding of Email Sent from Blackboard

Many faculty and students send Email directly from Blackboard, but Blackboard does not have a place where you can go to read your Email. You will have to read your Email in your ‘’ account.

Some students prefer using Email accounts other than the one provided by the University—for example, yahoo, roadrunner, etc. Go to (requres password and login) to forward email sent from Blackboard to your preferred account.

Getting to and Logging in to Blackboard

To get to Blackboard, use this URL:
You can log into Blackboard within a day after you activate your UMS account – sometimes sooner.

Enter your username, and then enter your password (the password you set up when activating your account). Click Login.
Click the name of your course in the My Courses area to enter the course site.

If you do not see your course listed, it may be because your instructor has not yet made the site available. If you are sure that you registered for the course, check back later. Contact your instructor if the course is not available when the semester begins.

Accessing Course Materials

You will see course materials as individual documents or in folders in content areas such as Course information, Course Documents, or Assignments or whatever name the instructor uses. If a document is not immediately displayed on the screen, click on the link to the file to either view it in the browser or save it on your own computer to open with the appropriate program.

If your instructor has posted video and/or audio files or PDF documents, you will need to download and install the necessary plug-ins.) Three of the most commonly-needed plug-ins:

Guides for Commonly-Used Blackboard Tools – including Video Tutorials

Send Email
Tests and Quizzes
Submitting Assignments
Submitting SafeAssignments
Checking Your Grades (My Grades)

Full Student Help

Blackboard Student Help

Technical Assistance

Call Technical Support at 1-800-696-4357 (HELP) or E-mail