Blackboard

Blackboard is Stony Brook University's learning management system (LMS), which allows instructors to supplement face-to-face classes, or launch online classes. Blackboard includes a variety of features that allow instructors to do anything from uploading course documents, to posting an announcement, to collecting and grading assignments. For students, Blackboard offers an easy way to contact instructors, download and access course documents, and check grades.

Blackboard Basics

All courses are put into Blackboard, but instructors need to activate the course before students will be able to access it. All registered students (undergraduate and graduate) receive a Blackboard account at the beginning of their first semester at Stony Brook University.

Logging In

To log into Blackboard, go to blackboard.stonybrook.edu in your web browser. (NOTE: no “www” in this address.)

Enter your NetID and NetID password.

If you have not created your NetID, please click NetID.

Once you have entered your credentials, click Login.

 

Launch Blackboard

Blackboard Mobile

For Students:

The Blackboard App gives students mobile access to their Blackboard courses and allows them to keep on track with their courses on the go.

Blackboard App for Students

For Faculty:

Blackboard Instructor gives faculty the ability to manage their courses, reply to discussions, post announcements and more from their phone or tablet.

Blackboard App for Instructors

Privacy Note

Blackboard allows students to set their privacy settings, which shows/hides personal information from other Blackboard users.  Changing privacy settings on Blackboard allows users to show/hide their personal information which includes being listed in the Blackboard directory and on course rosters that are visible to other students.  Changing your privacy options only applies to other students.  Instructors for courses you are taking will always be able to see information (email address, Stony Brook University ID number, NetID, etc.), even if it is hidden from other users.

Student FAQs

What are the technical requirements and compatible browsers for Blackboard?

Technical Requirements 

Find out what the tech requirements are for your courses to run smoothly.

  • Java is required to run Blackboard. Java.com allows you to test your computer to see if you are running java and if it is up to date. Java can also be installed or upgraded from this site. 
  • Mac OS X Lion no longer comes with Java installed. Java can be downloaded and installed from Apple's support site.

 

Which browsers are compatible with Blackboard?

Blackboard has compiled a compatibility matrix to show which browsers work with your operating system.

  • If you are on an older version of Mac OS X or Safari. Please make sure to check the compatilibty matrix above.

Clearing out your Cache will clear the browser's temporary memory and allow you to download a new set of cookies.

  • NOTE to Safari users: make sure cookies are always enabled. To do this, open Preferences > Click the Privacy tab > Under Cookies and website data, select Always Allow.
Why can't I change my email in Blackboard?

Emails and announcements that instructors send through Blackboard are automatically directed to your Stony Brook University email address.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you read these emails as they contain important information regarding your courses.  For most students, your official University email account is Google Apps for Education but you may verify your official Electronic Post Office (EPO) address

If you choose to forward your official University email to a personal email account, the University will not be responsible for any messages marked as undeliverable.  You can set up email forwarding using these DoIT-provided instructions.

Why can't I log into Blackboard?

Some questions to ask yourself when you are not able to log into blackboard:
1. Have I set up my netID? 
If you are not sure,  you can check this by logging into solar. On the right hand side when you log in, under Security and Personal Data, there is an option that says "NetID Maintenance." You can proceed to set up your netID and netID password. 

2. Did you accidentally lock yourself out of your blackboard account? 
If you have 10 failed attempts into blackboard, the system will automatically lock your account for about 10-15 minutes. To avoid this issue in the future, if you are unsure of your password, you can log into solar. On the right hand side when you log in, under Security and Personal Data, there is an option that says "NetID Maintenance." There is an option that says "Test Your NetID Password." If you are still unable to get the password, you can reset your password by clicking "Click here to set or change your netID password on the netID maintanence page. You must answer a security question that you have previously set up. Then you will have the option to change your netID password. If you are not able to answer your security question, you need to submit a ticket on the IT Service Portal

3. You have forgotten your netID password completely? 
You can log into solar. On the right hand side when you log in, under Security and Personal Data, there is an option that says "NetID Maintenance." There is an option that says "Test Your NetID Password." If you are still unable to get the password, you can reset your password by clicking "Click here to set or change your netID password on the netID maintanence page. You must answer a security question that you have previously set up. Then you will have the option to change your netID password. If you are not able to answer your security question, you need to submit a ticket on the IT Service Portal

Please refer to this link for visual instructions. 

How do I register my clicker?

In order to register your clicker and use it in your class(es), you will need to create a Turning Technologies account first and add your Device ID to your account.  The easiest way to do this is through your course on Blackboard.

To register your clicker:

1. Log into Blackboard and go to one of your courses

2. Go to the "Tools" section of the course, scroll down to the bottom and click the "Turning Account Registration (clickers)" link

3.  You will be redirected to the "NetID Single Sign On" page. Login with your NetID and NetID password

  • If you are NOT logging in for the first time please skip to Step 7

4. If you are logging in for the first time, you will see the following steps:

  • Go ahead and click Get Started

5. Subscription

  • If you purchased a new clicker from the University Bookstore, enter the license code that is printed on the business card and click Redeem, and then Continue
  • If you purchased a clicker/license bundle from Turning Technologies, your license should already be applied to your account.  Please press Continue
  • If you are renting a clicker, purchased a used clicker or received it from a friend, you will need to purchase a license code in order to use it in your class(es).  You can purchase the license later on. Please click Continue

5. Clicker ID

  • If you have a clicker with you, please enter the 6-digit Device ID printed on the back of your clicker and click Add
  • If you don't have a clicker, simply click Continue

6. Blackboard Connection

  • The Blackboard box should be automatically checked off if you accessed the Turning Technologies webpage through Blackboard. If it is not checked off, please return to Blackboard → Tools and connect to Turning Technologies that way

7. Once you are finished, you will see the dashboard which tells you the status of each category

  • If you did not have a subscription code and wish to purchase one, you can clicker on Purchase Subscription
  • Confirm that your Clicker ID is matching with the one listed under Response Devices
  • Make sure all 3 categories are checked off before using it in class. Blackboard will not receive grades unless these are checked off


If you have any questions or run into trouble while registering your clicker, you can contact Turning Technologies' Support Team by email at support@turningtechnologies.com or by phone at 1-866-746-3015.

How do I set up my NetID security question and password for the first time?

You can set up your NetID security question and password in SOLAR through NetID Maintenance.

If you don't see the NetID Maintenance option in SOLAR, check with your department to see if you are active for the term.
  1. Log into SOLAR (http://www.stonybrook.edu/solar) and click the NetID Maintenance link under Security and Personal Data.
    (If you don't see NetID Maintenance, check with your department to see if they are missing anything for you to be activated for the term)
  2. Click the link that says "Click Here to Set Up Your Security Question and Set Your NetID Password."
    *You first have to create a security question and answer before setting up your NetID password.
    click here to set or change your NetID Passphrase password
  3. Click the magnifying glass and select from a list of standard questions or enter your own question. Type your response in both fields. Don't worry about the change to upper case. Responses are not case sensitive. Click OK. Make sure that the question and response are easy to remember, but difficult for others to know.
  4. You will be brought back to the NetID Maintenance page where you will now see three new buttons. Click Set / Change NetID Password.
  5. Enter your new password/phrase twice then click Submit Password Change.
    Passwords/phrases starting March 5th, 2018 must be at least 16 characters long.  Parameters for passwords on the Set NetID Password page in SOLAR.
  6. You will receive a confirmation message letting you know that your password change was successfully submitted. Please be aware that password changes take up to 10 minutes to process and take effect.
Why is my Scroll bar missing in Grade Center?

To re-enable your scroll bars on your Mac:

  1. Launch System Preferences, either from the Dock or from the Apple menu.

  2. Once the System Preferences window opens, select the General preference pane in the upper left corner.

  3. The middle section of the General preference pane controls when scroll bars appear and a few additional scroll bar options.

  4. To return the scroll bars to their pre-Lion functionality, select "Always" from the Show Scroll Bars options.

How do I submit my assignment to Blackboard?

When submitting work online it is important to check with your instructor about the assignment and how it will be submitted.

Prior to submitting your work check with your instructor about the following:

  • Naming protocol - if you are submitting work online many instructors have a preferred format for file names so that submissions are organized (ex: jdoe_paper1.doc ).
  • File type - this will help make sure that your work is submitted correctly and that your instructor can access your work. If you are working on a Mac, make sure that the file type extension appears at the end of the file name (ex: jdoe_paper1.doc, on a Mac you may need to manually type in the .doc extension)
  • Where the assignment is posted in the course - Blackboard is a flexible webspace and assignments can be posted in many different locations.
  • When the assignment is due - Instructors can set deadlines that will remove the submission links from the student view of Blackboard. Don't wait until the last minute, submitting early allows time for us to help you if there is an error.

If you have submitted a file incorrectly or uploaded the wrong file you must contact your instructor immediately. Your instructor can clear the incorrect attempt and allow you another submission. 

If your instructor wants your assignment to be submitted through Blackboard there are two main ways: through the Assignment feature and as a SafeAssignment. Submitting through these methods are similar but slightly different, documentation about the different types of assignments and viewing their grades can be seen below. This chart shows some of the differences between the two types of assignments:

 

  SafeAssign Assignments
Plagiarism Checking Yes No
Accepted File Types Specific (see below) Any
Number of Attachments Allowed One Multiple
Number of Attempts Allowed One One to unlimited (up to Instructor)

 SafeAssign only accepts certain types of files, including:

  • Microsoft Word: .doc and .docx
  • OpenOffice Writer: .odt
  • Adobe PDF: .pdf
  • Plain text: .txt
  • Rich text: .rtf
  • Web page: .htm and .html

Uploading and Submitting a Blackboard Assignments (Students)

 

SafeAssignments for Students in Blackboard (PDF)

How do I request an organization in Blackboard?

Blackboard Organization sites allow you to have a Blackboard community for your department, club or a project. These can be deparmental sites for Clubs, Students, or your Staff and Faculty members. We create a Blackboard Organization which can allow you some of the following options:

  • Send emails to your department
  • Host department discussion boards
  • Create a Major/Minor site to contact and engage your students
  • Create a Club site

This request must be filled in by a staff/faculty member of the University.

 Blackboard Organization Request Form

Faculty FAQ

How do I post an Announcement in Blackboard?

Announcements are one of the first things students see when they log onto Blackboard and enter your course. They are the best way to post information about upcoming tests, assignments, or other events.

  • Announcements can also be emailed directly to students, students cannot reply directly to the email announcements. If you want your students to be able to reply back to your announcments try: Sending an Email from Blackboard.

1. Enter your course by clicking its name in the My Courses module.
2. Any announcements will appear in the My Announcements module on the course Home Page.


3. Click either the title of the announcement to read its full text or more announcements... to see all announcements.
4. The full text of your announcements will appear. Make sure Edit Mode is ON in the upper right corner of the screen. 


5. Click Create Announcement.


6. Under Announcement Information, enter a Subject (required) and Message (optional).
7. Scroll down to Web Announcement Options. By default, announcements display on the Home Page for one week, then they’re archived but still accessible by clicking more announcements. 

  1.       How long do you want your announcement to display on the Home Page? 
  2.            Duration: Select Permanent to display it indefinitely. Otherwise, leave it at Date Restricted.
  3.            Select Date Restrictions: To display the announcement for more or less than 7 days, check the boxes for Display After and Display Until. Use the calendar and clock icons to select the desired dates and times, or type them manually into the boxes provided.

8. Proceed to the next section.
9. Want to e-mail your announcement to the class? Check the box for Email Announcement. This way, students will receive an e-mail notification even if they haven’t already signed up to receive them.  If you want your announcement to be available after a date in the future, you cannot also send an email. 
10. Does your announcement pertain to a document, assignment or test in another area of the course? If so, scroll down to Course Link.
11. Click Browse to open a popup listing all areas of your course.


12. Click the Expand All button in the upper left corner of the popup, or the plus button [+] to the left of any area to expand it.
13. Select the appropriate area of the course.
14. Click Submit at the bottom of the page.
15. The announcement will appear at the top of the page. Previous announcements are displayed in reverse chronological order.

How do I create and manage assignments in Blackboard?

Blackboard’s Assignment tool provides a way for students to securely submit work to Blackboard. Setup and use of Assignments is similar to SafeAssignments, but there are a few notable differences:

  SafeAssign Assignments
Plagiarism Checking Yes No
Accepted File Types Specific  Any
Number of Attachments Allowed One Multiple
Number of Attempts Allowed One to unlimited (up to Instructor) One to unlimited (up to Instructor)

 

Assignments can be used for projects because it allows submissions of any file type. Assignments also allow options for multiple submissions of a project and for group submission and grading of a project.

 

Creating and Managing Blackboard Assignments

Grading Assignments with Inline Grading

 Uploading and Submitting a Blackboard Assignments for Students (PDF)

How do I set up a Discussion Board in Blackboard?

About Discussion Boards

Blackboard’s Discussion Board feature can be used to interact with your students, and for students to interact with each other. Use the Discussion Board to have students:

  • Post answers to written assignments, so other students may review them and offer feedback.
  • Post reactions to assigned readings, and discuss with the rest of the class.
  • “Ask the Professor”. Students post questions to you instead of e-mailing you privately. This way, the answers benefit the whole class!

Discussion Board Vocabulary

  1. Forums: A discussion board is comprised of one or more forums. Each forum pertains to a specific topic or assignment. If your class will have to complete three discussion board assignments this semester, you will need to create three separate forums.
  2. Threads: Forums are comprised of one or more discussions, or threads. When a student wants to start a new discussion in a forum, they create a new thread. Other students can reply to the first to strike up a conversation, or post a new thread to start their own. Responses are grouped together (or “threaded”) to help keep track of the conversations.
  3. Posts: Threads are comprised of one or more posts. Each response in a forum is considered a post, whether it starts a new thread or continues an existing one.

Setting up Discussion Boards in Blackboard (PDF)

How do I place my Echo360 recordings inside my Blackboard course?

To add your Echo360 videos to your course, you will need to follow these instructions:  

  1. Start by entering into your course site within Blackboard.
  2. Now go to the course content area of your choosing. In the image below, ours is called "Content", yours may be different, ex; Documents or Assignments.

left hand column in course

  1. Now, use the "Build Content" drop-down found under the title of the section you are in.  In our case, we are in the Content area.

image of opened drop down

  1. From this menu, we want to select under the Mashups section, "Echo Cloud".

select Echo Cloud

  1. This brings up the Create Echo Cloud page. 

Create Echo Cloud page

What this does, is create a link to the recordings; so at a minimum, all you need to do is give it a name (Video Lectures, Videos, Captures...) and hit submit.  If you want to add more options, like to enable tracking, you can certainly also choose those features on this page before hitting submit.

 

  1. After you hit submit you will see this new link with an echo360 logo next to it added to the content area. In this picture, it is the link that says "Videos".

After hitting submit, you will see the link

  1. Next click on the new link. Select the Course, Term, and Section that your videos are associated with...

 

... and keep the default choice, "Link to the Section Home".

  1. Finally, Click "Link Content" and you are finished.

 

How can I add another user to my Blackboard site?

Blackboard syncs with PeopleSoft/SOLAR to add instructors, teaching assistants, and students to courses. If you are coteaching with another instructor, have a TA,  or a student auditor, they may not be automatically be added to Blackboard, if they are not registered or listed in SOLAR. In this case you will have to add them manually.

  1. Enter your course by clicking its name in the My Courses module.
  2. In the Control Panel, select Users and Groups, then Users.
    usersandgroupscontpanel.png
  3. Select Find Users to Enroll.
    finduserstoenroll.png
  4. On the Add Enrollments page, type the student’s NetID into the box provided, then click Submit.
  • Don’t know their NetID? Click Browse to open a search popup.
    browseusers.png
  • In the popup, search by first or last name, or e-mail address.
  • Check the box next to the student’s name, then click Submit to close the popup.

  5.  Select the appropriate course role.

  • Instructor: Instructor
  • Teaching Assistant: Graduate TA
  • Course Builder: Undergraduate TA (Does not allow access to Grade Center, Undergrad TAs having access to Grades is a violation of Stony Brook's FERPA policy)
  • Grader: Graduate TA who is only grading, not uploading content.
  • Student: Student or Auditor, access only to content, no editing rights and will be listed in the Grade Center.
    roleenroll.png

  6. Click Submit.


If you accidentally enroll someone into your course with an incorrect role, it’s easy to change it.

  1. In the Control Panel, select Users and Groups, then Users.
  2. Your course roster, including all students, instructors and TAs will be listed.
  3. Click the down-pointing arrow button to the right of the username (NetID) of the person you wish to change, then select Change User’s Role in Course.
    userdropdownchangerole.png
  4. Select the appropriate role, then click Submit.
How can I copy all the content from my previous course in Blackboard?

Blackboard provides a batch copy tool to move multiple entire areas of your course at once. This is ideal if you plan to reuse the majority of your content from a previous course.

1. Enter your old course by clicking its name in the My Courses module.
2. In the Control Panel, select Packages and Utilities, then Course Copy.


3. Click Browse to the right of Destination Course ID (opens in a new window).


4. Select your new course from the list, then click Submit.
5. Check the boxes next to all areas you wish to copy. It’s usually easiest if you check most boxes (except Enrollments), then delete the content you don’t need from your new course later.

If you only want to copy some parts of your course, keep these tips handy.

  • When copying Discussion Boards make sure to click on the forum in your new class and choose the correct option for you. If you have graded Discussion Boards make sure to also check the box next to Grade Center Columns and Settings.
  • When copying Tests or Surveys, you must select:
    • The Content Area where they’re located
    • Grade Center Columns and Settings
    • Tests, Surveys, and Pools
  • When copying Assignments, select:
    • The Content Area where they’re located
    • Grade Center Columns and Settings
  • When copying SafeAssignments, select:
    • The Content Area where they’re located
    • Grade Center Columns and Settings
    • After the copy has completed, you’ll need to synchronize your new course. Contact us for help!
  • Copy everything in one shot if possible. If you do several course copies with Grade Center Columns and Settings selected, you will end up with duplicate columns in your Grade Center!

6. Click Submit. The next page will say that you’ll get an email when the copy has completed.
7. Wait a few minutes (15 is usually sufficient), then check your new course.

Can I merge my Blackboard sections together?

DoIT can merge your sections together for you. This can help to save time and duplicate work across two parts of a class. Merging classes together merges the enrollments of the class into a single course section that all students and faculty have access to. For example this is can be done for crosslisted sections, where one course has two Blackboard courses created for two different departments. 

To have your course please fill out our form at the link below:

Blackboard Course Merge Request Form

How do I hide my Blackboard course from students?

When a course is created on Blackboard, the course is made available to students by default.  This gives the instructor the ability to upload documents, create assignments, set up their discussion boards and more. If you are not interested in using Blackboard at the start of every semester, instructors need to make their courses unavailable to students.

After logging into Blackboard, check the My Courses box.  If any of your courses say (unavailable) next to the course title, students will not see them when they log in.  To make a course unavailable, follow these directions:

1. Click on the name of your course in the My Courses module.
2. In the Control Panel on the lower left-hand side, select Customization, then Properties.


3. Scroll down to Set Availability.  Switch Make Course Available to No


4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Submit.

How can you organize and manipulate the user interface on the Blackboard Grade Center?

Organizing your Grade Center

 

Hide a column from student view

1. Select the arrow button to the right of the column title, then Edit Column Information.

2. Scroll down to Options.

3. Select No for both Show this Column to Students AND Show Statistics (average and median) for this column to Students in My Grades.

4. Click Submit.

5. In your Grade Center, a red icon will appear to the left of the column title. That icon means students cannot see these grades.

 

Hide a column from instructor view

1. Select the arrow button to the right of the column title, then Hide Column.

2. A Success confirmation will appear above the Grade Center

 

Hide multiple columns from instructor view

1. In the Action Bar, select Manage, then Column Organization.

 

2. Check the boxes to the left of the columns you wish to hide

3. Click Show/Hide at the top or bottom of the page, then Show Selected Columns.

4. Click Submit.

 

Restore hidden columns to instructor view

1. In the Action Bar, select Manage, then Column Organization.

 

2. Any hidden columns will be grayed out and say (Hidden). Check the box to the left of the column Name, click the Show/Hide button at the top or bottom of the page, then Show Selected Columns.

3. Click Submit at the top or bottom of the page.

4. If the column is also hidden from students, Edit Column Information, then change Show this Column to Students to Yes.

 

Freeze Columns

By default, the Last Name and First Name columns are anchored on the left side of the Grade Center.  Instructors may control which columns are frozen.

1. In the Action Bar, select Manage, then Column Organization.

2. A dark gray bar will appear, stating, "Everything above this bar is a frozen column. Drag this bar to change which columns are frozen."

3. To add frozen columns, select the four-pointed arrow icon to the left of the bar and drag down OR select the icon to the left of any row and drag above the bar. Anything above the bar will remain frozen.

4. Click Submit at the bottom of the page.

    

 

Rearrange Columns

When a new column is added to the Grade Center, it is automatically sent to the end.  Instructors can modify the order in which columns appear.

1. In the Action Bar, select Manage, then Column Organization.

2. Click and drag any row up or down to the desired location.

OR

Select the arrow button to the right of any column title and set to ascend or descend.

3. Click Submit at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

 

Create and Apply Categories

Categories are used to classify Grade Center columns. Filter the Grade Center based on category to see how students perform on specific assignments. Use categories to more easily weigh final grades. When creating columns, it is recommended to apply a category. If an appropriate category is not already listed, instructors may create their own.

1. In the Action Bar, select Manage, then Categories.

2. All default categories will be listed. As you add Tests, SafeAssignments, and other graded items to your course, more categories may be added automatically.

3. To add a new category, click Create Category.

4. Enter a Name (required) and Description (optional), then click Submit at the bottom of the page.

5. Repeat until all categories have been created.

6. Click OK to return to the Grade Center.

7. In the Action Bar, select Manage, then Column Organization.

8. Check the boxes to the left of to the first column or set of columns you wish to categorize.

9. At the top or bottom of the page, select Change Category to..., and select the appropriate category.

10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 until all columns have been categorized.

11. Click Submit at the top or bottom of the page to save your changes.

 

 

 

 

 

Where can I get my scantrons graded?

You can get your scantrons graded at the Opscan office located on the first floor of the Melville Main Library S1461A. Use the south entrance to the Faculty Center of the Melville Library from the Academic Mall and our office can be found directly across from the Faculty Center. Click Campus Map - Opscan Office to view map.

During our opening hours, you may drop off your exam forms and pick them up when the results are ready. A request form will be provided for each job request.

 

 

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