Blackboard is a powerful e-learning system, where instructors can bring their lessons to the web. You can upload your syllabus, lecture notes, presentations, or any other type of file including pictures, movies and sound clips. You can also create online exams and assignments that Blackboard will automatically grade. Instructors can even create discussion boards and hold virtual office hours through chat rooms. All courses taught at the university have a corresponding Blackboard course and all students and the instructor of record are automatically enrolled. Follow the steps below to get started with Blackboard.

Basic Information
How to Access
  • Access to the Blackboard system is available at Two links will be displayed on the main page: one for “current students, faculty, or staff members,” and one for guests. Click on the first link. From there, enter your username and password.
  • To access the OWU Blackboard from the OWU home page, click on either the Current Students tab or the Faculty/Staff tab. From there, scroll down to the resources list, click on the Blackboard link, and follow the steps listed above.

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Session Timeouts

There are two ways that your Blackboard Learn web session might expire and log you out of Blackboard. One is your general Blackboard session, and the other is while grading an assignment via the inline grading tool in a course.

  1. When you first logs into Blackboard, the clock starts ticking on your general session. That timer resets with every action you take within the overall Learn system. After 3 hours of inactivity, your session status changes to inactive, and you may be automatically logged out. There will not be any notification of this–the next action you try to take on the site will fail, and you may lose anything that you had been working on. You will then have to log back in again.
  2. Instructors, when you first open an assignment for grading, using the inline editor, the clock starts ticking on your Crocodoc session. That timer resets with every action you take within the inline grading system. After 30 minutes of inactivity, you will be warned that your session is about to expire, and you may reset the timer. If you don’t, or the warning message is unheeded, you will lose any work you’ve done in that Crocodoc interface, and you will have to log into Blackboard again.

Please note that if you have Blackboard open in multiple tabs, one of them may expire and cause you to be logged out of the tab you’re actively working in. So close browser tabs you’re not using.
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How to select a language pack as your personal settings
  1. In the Tools section, click Personal Information
  2. In Personal Information section, select Change Personal Settings
  3. Under Select Language Pack, choose your User Language Pack from the drop down list.
  4. Click the Submit button.

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User Accounts
  • A Blackboard user account is automatically generated for each current student and each teaching faculty member at least five weeks prior to the start of each semester. Updates are loaded each day thereafter through the last add/drop date in that semester.
  • If access to Blackboard is required by other individuals please contact the Help Desk to request a Blackboard account.
  • Blackboard accounts of OWU faculty, staff and students use their OWU BishopApps username and password.

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  • Blackboard may be used in a course at the instructor’s discretion. Not all instructors use Blackboard. Instructors must opt-in by making their course available. Until they do, it will be invisible to the students.
  • The Blackboard course ID is composed of the year (yyyy), the semester (FA, SP or SU), the course id and section, e.g. 2011SPEDUC1101.
  • A Blackboard course will be generated for every class on the academic schedule each semester.
  • Blackboard courses will be available for modification five weeks before the beginning of the semester.
  • Previous course content can be copied into a new course. This is helpful when you want to move content from a current course to the course for the next semester (or to a different section of the same course).
  • In addition to the “look” of the course, all Blackboard courses are generated with the following defaults. Any of these settings can be modified for individual courses.
  1. Availability: Unavailable – students are not able to view a Blackboard course until the status is changed to “Available”.
  2. Enrollment: All course enrollments are nightly automatically uploaded in batch according to official Registrar information.
  3. Guest Availability: No

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Linking a Professor with courses

Professors are “linked” with Blackboard courses based on information in Self-Service. If no professor is listed (or if it is listed as “Staff”) then no link is made during the automated loading of the courses.
When you log into your Blackboard course, you should see all of the courses you are teaching (and also any courses in which you are enrolled).
If a course is not listed, contact the Blackboard Administrator.

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Course Archiving and Purging

Courses in Blackboard are maintained for a period of 5 years. After that time, they are archived and deleted. Historic courses may be restored in Blackboard or copies of the archived courses may be obtained on request.

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Learn More
  • You can find more information about Blackboard on their website here: Blackboard Help

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Blackboard for Instructors

To learn how to create, navigate, and perfect your courses, see our Blackboard for Instructors page.

Class Discussions

To learn how to set up different types of class discussions using Blackboard, see our Online Class Discussions page.


To learn how to view and interact with the courses you are enrolled in, see our Blackboard for Students page.

Learning More
    • “Training workshops on Blackboard are offered a few times each semester. Announcements about upcoming workshops are included in the OWU Daily. The current workshop schedule is posted on the Information Services Professional Development page. Individual instruction and specialized group sessions are available by request.”
    • If you have additional questions contact the Help Desk

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Related Information

Contact the Help Desk for Blackboard requests and issues.