The Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is used to provide e-learning services to staff and students. It allows lecturers to share module materials, post announcements for students, and run quizzes and surveys. Blackboard also includes a Virtual Classroom facility, discussion forums and various other module tools. Please note that Blackboard will be in place until August 2019 while UCD transitions to the new virtual learning environment Brightspace.
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Summer 2018 Release - New Features
Improved grading with rubrics
Graders can now save feedback and the content will remain saved when changing the rubric's view from in-line to full screen.
Chemistry notation support
The math editor found in the Content Editor has been updated. This version adds tools specific to chemistry including an embedded periodic table of elements.
SCORM engine update
The integrated SCORM player has been updated to a newer version that improves playback of responsive content and better supports SCORM packages in right-to-left languages such as Arabic.
Collaborate Ultra Building Block update
Add Collaborate Ultra to your group tools.
Instructors can add Collaborate Ultra sessions to Groups pages in the Original Course View of Blackboard Learn. If instructors allow, students can share content and use the whiteboard, as well as create recordings. Institutions need a Collaborate license to use this in their courses. For more on course groups for instructors click here.
More responsive Blogs and Journals tools
Blogs and Journals have been better optimized for use on mobile devices. Posts and comments composed with responsive content will render on smaller devices. Options for filtering posts or navigating groups or users will appear below
You can access Blackboard through UCD Connect (icon available on top right of screen) , or directly from http://elearning.ucd.ie. Your Blackboard username is the same as your UCD Connect username.
You can also access Blackboard via your mobile phone, by downloading the Blackboard Mobile Learn application to your phone from the relevant app store.
Help and advice is available from the Helpdesk, by emailing email@example.com or at ext: 2700.
If you belong to the UCD College of Business, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback from academic staff and students has shown that there is significant variability across Schools in the structure and organisation of content in Blackboard (Bb) modules and that both staff and students can sometimes find it hard to place/find learning materials in the current Bb module layout.
In order to assist Schools in the easiest and most effective use of Bb, UCD Teaching and Learning, collaborating with IT Services, has devised a new, simplified Bb module structure. By providing a level of consistency of navigation across modules and some simple strategies for enhancing student learning via the Bb environment, this new structure should be easier to use for both staff and students. Associated guidelines on good design and organisation of your learning materials have also been prepared to accompany the simplification. From Summer 2013, new Bb modules will default to this new, simplified structure.
At the end of each semester, Blackboard module instructors should archive their module content to ensure that they retain all assessment material for the required period of time in accordance with the University Assessment Code of Practice(ACOP).
Archiving the material does not remove the module content, it merely creates a copy of the content at a point in time. The archiving process should be completed once the due dates for assignment submissions and exam boards have passed.
Please complete all 3 tasks listed below.
Task 1: Archive module content
1. Open the Blackboard module to be archived
2. Go to Control Panel
3. Select Packages and Utilities
4. Go to Export/Archive Module
5. Click on Archive Module
6. Choose Include Grade Center History then click Submit
Task 2: Archive Grade Center data
To archive Grade Center data
1. Open Blackboard module
2. Go to Control Panel
3. Open Full Grade Center
4. Click on Work Offline
5. Select Download
6. In the Data section, select Full Grade Center.
7. Click Submit
Task 3: Archive assignment submissions
1. Open Blackboard module
2. Open Control Panel
3. Select Grade Centre
4. Select Full Grade Centre
5. Select the drop down arrow to the right of the column name of the assignment required
6. Select Assignment File Download
7. Click on tickbox against column heading Name to select all users and then click Submit
Once these 3 tasks have been completed, to locate the archive file -
1. Open Blackboard module
2. Open Control Panel
3. Open Packages and Utilities
4. Open Export/Archive Module - the ZIP archive file will be saved here
5. To download the file to your computer, double-click on the ZIP archive file and you will be prompted where to save it.
Please note that these training courses are available to Staff members only. Students who attend the IT Services Induction day when they register will receive an Introduction to Blackboard during the presentations.
An Introduction to the use and features of Blackboard (Course IT/18)
This half-day course is designed for first time users as well as those who need to reinforce their Blackboard skills.
The course will provide you with:
- An understanding of the relationship between Blackboard, the UCD digital campus and student Banner system
- The ability to configure the look of your Blackboard course
- The ability to populate areas of Blackboard with different file types and understand how they react in Blackboard
- The ability to use communications and group tools
- The ability to create assessments
An Introduction to using Blackboard for Assessment, Assignments, Surveys and tracking of student work (Course IT/21)
This half-day course is designed for users of Blackboard.
The course will provide you with:
- The ability to create assessments
- The ability to create surveys
- The ability to create assignments with and without plagiarism checking
- The ability to use the "Grade Center"
- The ability to extract data to use in Banner
- The ability to keep copies of the submitted work
To request a place on any of these courses, please send an e-mail to email@example.com specifying your preferred training dates.
Q1 What browsers are supported for use with Blackboard?
The functionality of different browsers can change due to regular updates whereby some components of the system maybe adversely affected. If you experience problems with one browser using Blackboard then try a different one. If the issue then persists please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for a list of Supported Browsers for Blackboard.
Click here to check if Blackboard supports your web browser and Operating System.
Q2 How to log into Blackboard?
- Go to http://elearning.ucd.ie
- Enter your username and password.
- Username: Your UCD username.
- Password: Use the same password as for UCD Connect.
Q3 Why aren't some of my modules appearing in Blackboard?
To see which of your modules use Blackboard:
- Login to Blackboard.
- Your courses will be listed under the My Modules section on the My Blackboard page.
- To access a module, click on the module name. This will open its home page.
- Navigate the module by clicking the buttons on the left-hand side of the page.
Blackboard module enrolment information is read directly from the student registration system. Log into SIS, and make sure you are fully registered for the module. It is not enough to register for a programme, you must also be registered to the individual module.
NOTE: A "Provisional" registration status will not entitle you to Blackboard module access. You must complete the registration process first.
Some lecturers do not use Blackboard to provide module materials. To see if your module is available on Blackboard, log into SIS and review your class list. Blackboard-accessible modules should have a small Blackboard icon next to their names.
Alternatively, log into Blackboard and click on the Modules tab. Than search for the module by browsing the module catalogue or entering the module code in the Search window.
Q4 How to print from Blackboard?
When printing files that are stored on Blackboard, you should first save the file to your disk. Then open the saved file with the relevant application and print from there.
Q5 What is Blackboard Mobile Learn?
Blackboard Mobile Learn takes the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) mobile, providing staff and student’s access to e-learning services on a variety of popular mobile platforms.
Q6 How do I view the SafeAssignment report?
Click on the link where you submitted your assignment you will see a button called "View Originality Report".
Q7 How do I request a new Blackboard module?
Modules should be automatically created on Blackboard from the information provided from the Module Descriptor. If your module is not appearing please contact your Curriculum Liaison person and ask them to check the Module Descriptor and that it has the setting for Blackboard turned on.
Q8 How do I add a Module Instructor?
Module Co-ordinators are now able to assign roles to staff as co-lecturers, module assistants, assistant graders and tutors for access to their module's data (including Blackboard).
To do this you need to access the Module Access Management system (MAMs) See next FAQ.
Q9 What is the Module Access Management system?
The Module Access Management system allows Module Coordinators and School Administrators to view and amend who has access to their module's data (in Class Lists, Grading Lists etc.).
To access the new Module Access Management system you will need to do the following:
- Login to UCD Connect
- Choose InfoHub
- Click on Students tab
- Choose Module Access Management.
Q10 How to use SafeAssign?
Instructors may upload papers directly with the Direct Submit feature, without student involvement. Direct Submit allows Instructors to submit papers one at a time or several at once by including them in a .ZIP file. They are checked against SafeAssign's comprehensive database of source material and the originality reports, which include the results of the matching process, are delivered to instructors through the Blackboard Learning System.
Q11 Why can't I see any of my module menu buttons?
In Blackboard, it's possible to hide all module navigation buttons, so that only the contents of the module entry point (usually Announcements or Home Page) are visible. You can enable this option by clicking the Hide Module Menu button.
Q12 How to manage the file sizes of course material in Blackboard?
If you are using Blackboard to deliver course materials to your students, please note the following guidelines for including images and tips for limiting the size of your presentations:
- Physical Size: Keep image sizes small. Use an imaging application to reduce the size.
- Resolution: If you want to display an image on screen, it is not necessary to use high-resolution images. It is still possible to maintain the quality of the image and reduce the amount of space it takes up. All images should be reduced to an appropriate resolution such as 72dpi.
- Image type: Once you are happy with the image you have chosen, save the copy you wish to use for your presentation.
- Video clips and Animation: The use of video clips or animation automatically increases the size of your file and unlike images, there is no way to compress them. Please limit the use of video clips and animation in your presentations.
Q13 How to get and use pre-made Blackboard module material (course cartridges)?
Please contact your publisher to see if a course cartridge is available
The publisher will advise on methods of payment if you wish to buy a cartridge
The publisher will email you a link to allow you to download it, once you have bought your cartridge.
Please forward this email to UCD IT Services at email@example.com. Please include basic information about the course cartridge.
As soon as the cartridge has been successfully installed by the helpdesk you will be advised by email.
Q14 How to get and use helpful extensions for Blackboard (building blocks)?
Visit the Blackboard website to find the building blocks you want.
When you decided on the building block you want, contact UCD IT Services to ask if it is compatible with our version of Blackboard by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If it is compatible, you can then buy the building block. When you receive it (by download or email), forward it to email@example.com for installations.
Q15 How to Archive a Blackboard Module and SafeAssign Submission?
To create an archive of a Blackboard module:
- Log into Blackboard and open the module you want to archive.
- From the Module Control Panel, click on the Packages and Utilities link.
- Select Export/Archive Module.
- Click the Archive button.
- Check the Include Grade Centre History checkbox.
- Click Submit.
How to Archive SafeAssign Submissions:
- Open the Module Control Panel and click on the Module Tools link.
- Select SafeAssign.
- Click on the SafeAssignments link.
- Click on the dropdown menu for an individual assignment, and choose View Submissions.
- Click the Download All Submissions button.
- When prompted, save the file.
Q16 How do I Download the Gradebook (or a Column)?
- Open the Module Control Panel and click on Full Grade Centre under the Grade Centre heading.
- Choose the “Work Offline” button, located over the top right hand side of the Grade Centre.
- Choose “Download”.
- To download the Full Grade Centre (recommended), leave all default settings and click on Submit.
- Click on “Download”.
- You should now be able to save the download file to a location on your computer.
Q17 How do I add a Plagiarism check to an Assignment?
In the Content area where you would like to place the assignment .e.g. Assessments select the Assessment tab followed by Assignment
Under Submission details in the Grading section you will now see the Plagiarism Tools options.
Q18 How to clear a SafeAssign attempt?
- Open Full Grade Centre in Blackboard module
- Go to the column associated with assignment
- Click on tickbox to left of students name whose attempt you want to clear
- In the assignment cell for the student click on down-arrow and choose View Grade details from the pull-down menu
- To the right of the attempt details select Clear Attempt
Q19 How to access your Blackboard modules?
Your modules are listed on the My Blackboard page, under the My Modules section. To access a module, click on the module name.
Q20. Why is the scrollbar missing in the Grade Centre?
The scrollbar appears missing in the Grade Centre due to the default font size on your computer being set too high. To resolve this follow these steps:
1. Click Apple -> System Preferences
2. Click [General]
3. Select [Always] from the [Show scroll bars] section of the screen
4. Close any open System Preference windows
1. Logout of Blackboard and close your web browser
2. Open the Control Panel [Windows Start Button > Control Panel]
3. Under Appearance and Personalization, click Change the theme
4. Click Window Color
5. Click Advanced appearance settings
6. In the Item: drop-down list, choose Scrollbar - select a number less than 20 from the size: option (17 is the default value)
then click OK
7. Close any open control panel windows
8. Reopen your web browser and login to Blackboard
Q21 Why can't I see documents in New Box View?
Some browsers (such as Safari) disable the use of 3rd party cookies by default. These can be enabled on a per-site basis or all at once. To allow cookies to use New Box View follow these steps:
In the browser choose Settings or Preferences followed by Privacy
Select "Always allow" (or similar)
Refresh the page with the viewer open
Choose Settings or Preferences again and revert to the default of "Allow from websites I visit" (or similar)
If 3rd party cookies must be disabled, some browsers allow for domain exceptions to be added. In this case - allow [*.]box.com (Chrome) or https://www.box.com (Firefox).
Q22 Submitting Assignments in Blackboard – Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge web browser
Submitting assignments to Blackboard using Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge can result in an empty file being uploaded under certain conditions, e.g. if the file is edited and saved after it has been selected for upload and before it is submitted.
Blackboard recommend that you submit your assignment via another web browser e.g. Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer