Getting Started for Students

Getting Started

Once enrolled in a course, students are given access to the Blackboard course data. Students can interact with configured course tools, manage assignment submissions, and view grades.

Access a Blackboard Course

  1. Open a browser and navigate to the Blackboard home page at
    Blackboard Login Button Screenshot
  2. Click the "Login" button below the wordmark.
  3. Authenticate using the Carnegie Mellon single sign-on system with an Andrew ID and password.
  4. When redirected to the Blackboard application, select a course to manage from the "My Courses" panel.

Note: If a course is missing from the "My Courses" panel, contact the instructor directly to resolve the problem.

Course Navigation

The "Course Menu" is configured for each Blackboard course to reflect the tools and content to which students should have access. All course tools, assignments, and assessments should be available through the course menu.

Communication Tools

Students can use the set of communication tools provided within the "Tools" area to contact each other or the instructor via email, participate in a discussion board forum, view student pages found in the class roster, and work in groups.

Send Email

The "Send Email" utility sends email to the instructor and other enrolled students from within the Blackboard application. It lacks many features of dedicated email clients, including:

Discussion Boards

Use a discussion board to participate in course-related discussion outside of class. Conversations are logged and organized by forums set by the instructor that contain threads of all related replies. The instructor may also choose to provide a forum where students are able to post anonymously.

Note: Discussion boards have limited search capability. Select a meaningful subject line to facilitate notice and response.

Course Roster

Retrieve a list of users enrolled in the course. Based on an enrolled user's privacy configuration, their contact information can be retrieved from the Carnegie Mellon Directory.

Group Pages

Students enrolled in a course can be divided into project or study groups, and the instructor can provision the group with tools (e.g. blogs, calendars, discussion boards, tasks) accessible via the "Groups" tool.

View & Submit Assignments

The default location for assignments is a link named "Assignments" under the "Course Menu". The instructor will need to communicate the new location if that link is renamed or moved. Students will use this link to view assignment instructions, download files provided by the instructor, and submit the completed assignment to the instructor.

  1. Select an assignment under the assignments area to view instructions and download any assignment files provided by the instructor.
  2. Enter and/or upload assignment materials.
  3. When prepared to submit work for grading, click "Submit"
    — or —
    To save for future submission, click "Save as Draft"

Note: The instructor will not have access to the completed assignment until the user clicks "Submit".

Warning: Remove any special characters from the filename and add/confirm an appropriate file extension suffix before uploading the file to Blackboard or the grader may not be able to open it.

Submit Turnitin Assignments

Instructors use the Turnitin service to detect plagiarism. Assignment submission is integrated into Blackboard and similar to a default Blackboard assignment submission.

Note: Do not include personally identifiable information like a name in an assignment submitted through Turnitin. The service retains all submissions externally, and students need not sacrifice their FERPA-awarded rights to submit assignments. Instructors and other course staff will have a mapping of student to assignment submissions.

  1. Locate the assignment within the course content or assignment pages as discussed in the View & Submit Assignments directions above.
  2. Click "View/Complete" below the assignment.
    Student Assignment List Screenshot
  3. The Turnitin dashboard will appear. Click "Submit" next to the assignment to be handed in.
    Student Assignment Selection Screenshot
  4. Add a title and select a file to upload.
    Student Assignment Upload Screenshot
  5. Review the uploaded document and click "Submit".
    Student Assignment Submit Screenshot
  6. A confirmation message will appear along with a preview of the submitted assignment.
    Student Assignment List Screenshot

Check Grades

When the instructor manages grades within Blackboard and permits student access, grades are available for review within the "My Grades" utility under the "Tools" area.

"My Grades" includes grade data like the grade item name, item details, due date, last submitted, grade value, points possible, and any instructor comments.

View Grades Screenshot

Personal Preferences

Students are able to review personal information sent to Blackboard, configure privacy options, and change the language used by Blackboard to render navigation and other non-content information.

Personal Information

Student information in Blackboard is processed and updated nightly from Student Information Online (SIO) and Human Resources.

Registration information is reflected in the "My Courses" panel on the Blackboard home page. Personal information is available under "My Places":

  1. Click the "My Places" link at the top of the page.
  2. Click "Personal Information" under "My Preferences".
  3. Click "Edit Personal Information" to bring up the available student information on Blackboard.

Note: The email address listed under personal information will be the one used in Blackboard-initiated email communication. Consult the Computing Services documentation on mail forwarding to route mail to another address.

Privacy Settings

Students can control their visibility in course rosters and the ability for classmates to send him or her email through Blackboard on a course-specific basis.

  1. Click the "My Places" link at the top of the page.
  2. Click "Personal Information" under "My Preferences".
  3. Click "Set Privacy Options" to bring up the settings page for privacy information.

Note: Instructors will always be able to view students in the roster and send email to students regardless of privacy configuration.

Change Language

The default language Blackboard uses to render application information can be changed and saved as a user preference:

  1. Click the "My Places" link at the top of the page.
  2. Click "Personal Information" under "My Preferences".
  3. Click "Change Personal Settings" to bring up the Blackboard application preferences.
  4. Select a desired option from the dropdown menu under "Select Language Pack".

Note: Course content and custom options will continue to display in the language they were written.