.Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Using Blackboard
-
.FAQ Printable Version (pdf file)

The FAQ's are divided into three sections:

What are the minimum equipment requirements (hardware and software) I need to access Bb?
You will need: a PC 
Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, or ME;
OR a Macintosh
MacOS 9 or MacOS X 
Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 G of free disk space 
Software: Check with your instructor if any special software is needed to take the class.
Browser: Internet Explorer 5.5 or Netscape 4.78 - JavaScript & Cookies must be enabled. 
Modem: 56 K

What is a web browser and how do I get one?
For instructions on downloading and installing a web browser: http://grossmont.gcccd.cc.ca.us/musgrave/Browsers/whatis.html

What are my browser settings?
Click here to open up a window which gives information on your current browser settings for Java and JavaScript, your operating system, and wheter or not your browser version is 4.0 or above.

How do I adjust my browser settings to work with Blackboard?
For instructions on adjusting your browser settings: http://www.stlcc.edu/mc/services/cstl/student/browser.htm

What web browser would you recommend I use to connect to Blackboard?
Minimally, you should use Internet Explorer 4.x (or later) or Netscape Navigator 4.x (or later), with Java, Javascript, and cookies enabled. Only IE and Navigator are supported for use with Blackboard.

If you are an AOL subscriber and use the AOL client software, we strongly encourage you to use IE or Navigator instead of the AOL web browser, which has been known to cause difficulties in communicating with Bb.  For more information on how to use AOL with Blackboard, visit: http://www.stlcc.edu/distance/blackboard/text/aol_browser.html.

How do I enter into a Bb course that IŪm enrolled in?
Once you are logged in, you can enter any Bb course in which you are enrolled by clicking on the name of the course.  You will find the course names under both the žMy InstitutionÓ tab and the žMy CoursesÓ tab.

How does e-mail work in Bb?
Bb provides the means to create and send e-mail to your instructor(s) and other students in the course(s).  However, Bb itself is not an e-mail system like  AOL, where messages are stored and managed.  It merely forwards the messages that are created in it to recipients you specify.  To read and reply to messages sent from Bb, you must to go into your e-mail account.  In other words, creating e-mail can be done inside of Bb, but reading e-mail must be done outside of it.  Your instructor must have a valid email address from you to be able to send emails to you.

How do I send files to my instructor?

Bb has a feature called the Digital Dropbox, which your instructor may request you to use to submit homework and other files:

1) Click on the žToolsÓ button on the left hand side of the course page.
2)
 Click on žDigital DropboxÓ.
3)
 Click on the Add File button.
4) Fill in the title.
5) Click the žbrowseÓ the Browse button.
6) Locate the file on your computer and select it.
7) Click the žOpenÓ button.
8) Click the žSubmitÓ button. This will put the address of the file in the browse field.
9) Click the žSend FileÓ button in the Digital Dropbox.
10) In the Select File menu, pull down the menu and choose the name of the file.
11) Click the žSubmitÓ button.
A copy of your file has been sent to your instructor.

How do I create a homepage in Bb?
Blackboard allows you to create your own homepage for each course you are enrolled in.  To create a homepage, go into the course in which you want to create it, then do the following:

1) Click on the žToolsÓ button on the left hand side of your screen.
2) Click on žEdit Your HomepageÓ
3) Enter information in the text fields.
4) Enter up to three of your favorite Web sites by filling in the appropriate fields.
5) Click "Update Homepage" to enter your changes.
You can then view your homepage by doing the following:
1) Click the "Communication" button on the left side of the page.
2) Click "Roster" on the right side of the page.
3) Type your last name in the "Search" field, and click the "Search" button.
4) When your name appears, click on it.

My instructor sent me a file (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and I'm unable to open it.  What do I do?
To open any of the above files, you either need the program installed on your computer or you may download a free viewer.  The viewer will only allow you to read the file.

Where can I learn more about the features in Bb?
You can find full documentation on Bb in the online Blackboard Student Manual.

Questions/Comments to Blackboard Coordinators

Ô Florissant Valley (Jim Bone) afoster@stlcc.edu)

Ô Forest Park (Lauren Elliott) lelliott@stlcc.edu)

Ô Meramec (Jyoti Pande) jpande@stlcc.edu)

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Revised 3 June, 2002