Blackboard FAQ

Frequently asked questions (and answers) about the Blackboard Learn system at the University of Miami.

If would like training on the use of Blackboard Learn, please fill out the request form at lpt.it.miami.edu/help-desk-request-form or send email to our learningplatforms@miami.edu email address.

Student Questions

Course Availability

A list of all your available courses can be found in the My Available Course Sites module located in the main page.

Accessing Available Courses:

  1. Log into Blackboard
  2. Look in “My Available Course Sites”
  3. The semester and the course should be located in there

If your course is not present on the “My Available Course Sites” module:

  • Be sure that your course enrollment is reflected on CaneLink
  • If a course was switched or dropped, the change may have not taken effect in Blackboard
  • If you see the course in CaneLink but not in Blackboard, then most likely it is that the course is unavailable to students. Your professor has not released it yet for access.

Please contact your professor to let him/her know, or advise your professor to contact the Blackboard Help Desk so we can make the course(s) available to students.

Your courses are most likely set to unavailable. Only courses that are set as “Available”  by the Professor will show up in the “My Available Course Sites” Module. Click the link below for instructions on how to see your unavailable course sites:

Please contact your professor to let him/her know, or advise your professor to contact the Blackboard Help Desk so we can make the course(s) available to students. Also, keep in mind that sometimes if a student switched or dropped a class at the last minute the change may not be reflected in Blackboard. Contact the Blackboard help desk for assistance.

If you are officially enrolled in the course, the first thing to do if your course disappeared is to look at the question before “Why isn’t my course on the Blackboard Homepage?”. Your professor may have made the course unavailable.

Another reason may be that the registrar made some changes to your enrollment either for financial reasons or just because they were changing things around. Blackboard does not remove students from courses but instead disable their access to them. To reinstate your access, we simply verify that CaneLink is up to date but we would need to receive permission from the professor or a program administrator if you are no longer officially enrolled in the course. Contact the Blackboard help desk for assistance.

 

Assignments & Grading

This could be due to the following reasons:

  • It is possible that your professor has not made the assignment, test, or syllabus available.
  • The assignment, test, or syllabus has not been uploaded into Blackboard yet.
  • The Date restrictions on the assignment or test may have expired making it unavailable.
  • If you are using Internet Explorer or Safari, trying using Chrome or Firefox.

Please contact your professor to let him/her know or advise them to contact the Blackboard help desk to assist them with making the assignment available to students.

Please be sure to use either Google Chrome or Firefox when using Blackboard. These browsers ensure that you have maximum functionality. Other web browsers such as Internet Explorer may encounter problems and are not recommended for use with Blackboard.

 

Your professor controls the availability of tests, assignments, and all other form of content in the course site. If the item you are looking for is not present in a module, “assignments”, or “course documents” then our best recommendation is to contact your professor to inquire about the item. Keep in mind every professors manage their course independently and one may do things different than another.

Please be sure to use either Google Chrome or Firefox when using Blackboard. These browsers ensure that you have maximum functionality when using Blackboard. Other web browsers such as Internet Explorer may encounter problems and are not recommended for use with Blackboard.

If you have completed an assessment in your Blackboard course and you have not received a grade in the “My Grades” section this may be due to various factors:

  • Your professor may have not enabled the ability to view grades for that assignment.
  • The assignment may still be awaiting your professor’s review and is thus ungraded.
  • The instructor may have hidden the “My grades” section from student view.
  • The assessment may have been in a medium other than Blackboard and the grades may have not been entered into Blackboard yet.

Our best recommendation is to contact your professor to inquire about your grades.

Enrollment

Blackboard Help Desk can help you get access into a course if you are not officially enrolled in it. We just require written or verbal authorization from the professor of that course, academic adviser, or the program coordinator to enroll you. The professor also can do the enrollment himself/herself.

If you don’t see your course, the first thing to do is to check “Why isn’t my course on the Blackboard Homepage?” up above. If it still does not show up as unavailable but you are officially enrolled in it, the Blackboard help desk will enroll you after verifying with CaneLink.

Log-in & Browser Issues

Be sure to go to www.courses.miami.edu and use your University of Miami Single-Sign on credentials when logging into Blackboard. These credentials would be your Cane ID and password.

Common reasons for being unable to log into Blackboard are the following:


Reason 1: Internet Explorer

 

Using a web browser such as Internet Explorer is THE MOST COMMON ISSUE for users not being able to access Blackboard.

  • We recommend using either Google Chrome or Firefox when using Blackboard.

Reason 2: Incorrect browser settings

Clear your internet cache in your browser then restart your web browser. We recommend using either Google Chrome or Firefox to access Blackboard. Internet Explorer is not recommended for use with Blackboard.

Instructions for Clearing Cache:


Reason 3: No Blackboard Account

  • Blackboard accounts are typically created automatically when you enroll in a course. If you are not in a course in CaneLink, please verify with the registrar.
  • You need to have a valid Cane ID in order to be able to log into Blackboard.

Reason 4: You are a new student

Blackboard accounts are created automatically when you enroll in a class. Please be sure you are registered in classes and they appear in your CaneLink. Professor authorization for enrollment in classes is required if you are not officially enrolled.

Search for University Faculty and Staff at this address:


Reason 5: Incorrect Log-in Credentials

Sometimes users may have more than one Cane ID. Please be sure to use the most up to date Cane ID and password. Please contact Blackboard help desk if you do not have an account or the one you were given does not work.

Cane ID information:


If you still cannot log into Blackboard please be sure to contact us or check our website and see if Blackboard is down. This rarely happens.

Faculty/Instructor Questions

Course Availability

Every semester, new courses are added to blackboard and we can now provide you with approximate dates for when it will happen:

  • Fall Courses will be created around May 15th.
  • Spring Courses will be created around November 15th.
  • Summer Courses will be created around March 15th.

Please keep in mind those dates may vary depending on events and changes at the University.

Courses creation and enrollment are two different events. If you have not been assigned to a course in CaneLink, you will not see it in Blackboard. Contact your HR person for more information.

Instructors always have access to their courses unless the sites have not been created or he/she has been blocked by error:

  • All courses are listed in the “Courses” tab. Unavailable courses will have [Unavailable to Students]” next to it. In that case, only students won’t have access to the course.
  • Courses followed by [Unavailable to Students]” will not appear in the home page under “My Available Course Sites”.

Instuctions for using Qwickly to make course available

Video to make your course available in course properties (1:14)

If you have used the method above and your course is still not present in the Blackboard home page, it is probably because the term has not been added to “My Available Course Sites”yet.

After courses are created, we have an approximate set of dates on when the terms will be added to the module “My Available Course Sites”, until then the courses can be accessed by clicking the “Course” tab:

  • Fall term will be enabled around June 1st and disabled around February 1st.
  • Spring term will be enabled around December 1st and disabled around August 1st.
  • Summer term will be enabled around April 1st and disabled around October 1st.

“Disabled” in that case does not mean the courses will be gone, you can still access them via the “Courses” tab. What it means is that they will no longer be visible in “My Available Course Sites”.

When new courses are created in Blackboard they are always set as “unavailable to students” by default to ensure students cannot access the course before the professor is ready.

The term “Course Not Available” merely means it is not available for students to view, Instructors still have unrestricted access.

  • You always have access to your courses as an instructor unless it has been archived, disabled by the registrar or HR, it has not been created, or you have not been assigned to it in CaneLink.
  • You can also easily toggle course availability on or off using the “Qwickly” module on the Blackboard Home Page located on the top left hand side of the main content area.

Only courses that are set as “available” to students will show up in the “My Available Course Sites” Module on the Blackboard homepage. To release your courses to students please follow the methods below:

Instuctions for using Qwickly to make course available

Video to make your course available in course properties (1:14)

Assignments & Grading

 

In addition to the methods below you can always create an assignment in a content area by clicking the “Assessments” tab to create any type of assessment including Assignments, Tests, and Surveys.

Create Assignment:

Create SafeAssignment:

Create Test:

When performing a course copy, you need to be sure that you select “Tests, Surveys, and Pools” otherwise tests will not be copied over to the new course.

If you perform a course copy and select:

  1. Content Areas
  2. “Grade Center Columns and Settings”
  3. “Tests, Surveys, and Pools” the tests will be copied over the content areas in the new course.

If you do not copy the tests into the content areas then there are two ways you can access your tests:

Create Test (New or Existing):

  1. Login in to Bb > Control Panel (Left side window) >
  2. Click “Course tools” > Choose “Tests, Surveys, and Pools” >
  3. Click “Tests” on the right side window >
  4. Click the “Build Test” or “Import Test” button at the top of the main window or edit and existing test

Create Test:

  1. Login in to Bb > Control Panel (Left side window) >
  2. Click “Tests” > Choose “Assessments” at the top of the right side window >
  3. Hover and click “Test” from the drop down menu > Click the “Create” button” >
  4. Add description and instructions > Click “Submit “ at the top right >
  5. Click “Create/Reuse/Upload Questions” from the top bar to add questions >
  6. Click “OK” at the bottom right of the page >
  7. Choose your newly created test from the list >
  8. Set your availability settings and enable student access > Click “Submit” button

* Will automatically create a grade center link on the control panel left window

* Students will be able to access the test form the “Tests” link in the control panel on the left

*After test is created students will be notified in the My Blackboard Updates page

  • Student assessments and their corresponding grades only appear in the “Full Grade Center” when Grade Center functionality is enabled on the assessment’s settings.
  • When a student completes an assessment with grading enabled, the assessment then automatically appears in the “Needs Grading” section under the “Grade Center” text in the left side navigation menu in your course.
  • Once you have graded the item that “Needs Grading” the grade will be automatically updated in your “Full Grade Center”.
  • If you have enabled the option for students to be able to view it, they will be able to see it once it is graded as well. Other popular functions are as follows:

Changing a grade (viewing attempts) in the Grade Center:

  1. Log in to Bb > Click “Grade Center” in the control panel on the left sidebar >
  2. Select “Full Grade Center” >
  3. Choose the student in the correct test/assignment column >
  4. Choose “View Grade Details” >
  5. Click into the cell that represents the student’s grade for that assignment/test column and enter a new value

* Values for new grades should reflect the assignment’s grading set up (Points, Letter, Score, Etc.)

Clearing student Test /Assignment attempts as an instructor:

  1. Log in to Blackboard > Click “Grade Center” in the control panel on the left sidebar >
  2. Scroll the spreadsheet window all the way to the right >
  3. Choose the student in the correct test column and click the drop-down menu in that column >
  4. Choose “View Grade Details” >
  5. Choose the “Clear Attempt” button at the bottom right of the page.

Course Copy

Enrollment

Of course, the Blackboard Help Desk can help you get access to your course if you are officially enrolled in it. However, if you are not the official instructor for a course,  we just require written or verbal authorization from the Chair or the Dean. Contact the Blackboard help desk for assistance.

We will happily assist you to enroll students in your course.

Please be sure to have the student’s

  • C Number
  • or Empl ID.
  • First and Last Name

*This is the primary method of user identification in Blackboard. If you have multiple students to enroll please be sure to send Blackboard Help Desk of a list of the students including the information mentioned.

Faculty can easily enroll students themselves by following the instructions at the link below:

Log-in & Browser Issues

Be sure to go to www.courses.miami.edu and use your University of Miami Single-Sign on credentials when logging into Blackboard. These credentials would be your Cane ID and password.

Common reasons for being unable to log into Blackboard are the following:


Reason 1: Internet Explorer

 

Using an incompatible web browser such as Internet Explorer is THE MOST COMMON ISSUE for users not being able to access Blackboard.

  • We recommend using either Google Chrome or Firefox when using Blackboard.

Reason 2: Incorrect browser settings

Clear your internet cache in your browser then restart your web browser. We recommend using either Google Chrome or Firefox to access Blackboard. Internet Explorer is not recommended for use with Blackboard.

Instructions for Clearing Cache:


Reason 3: No Blackboard Account

  • Blackboard accounts are typically created automatically when you are added to a course in CaneLink. If you are not in a course in CaneLink, please verify with the registrar.
  • You need to have a valid Cane ID in order to be able to log into Blackboard.
  • You are a new instructor and the paperwork was not completed.

Reason 4: Incorrect Log-in Credentials

Sometimes users may have more than one Cane ID. Please be sure to use the most up to date Cane ID and password. Please Contact the Blackboard help desk if you do not have an account.

Cane ID information:


If you still cannot log into Blackboard please be sure to contact us or check our website and see if Blackboard is down. This rarely happens.

 


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