Blackboard for Instructors

Blackboard Help for Instructors Also see the main page for OWU Blackboard.

Make Course Available

You have uploaded your syllabus, but students do not yet have access to the file. Before students can enter your course, you must make it available to them.

To make your course Available:* Expand the “Customization” area of the course’s Control Panel.

  • Click the “Properties” link.
  • Choose “Yes” under number 3, “Set Availability” to designate your course as available to students.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “Submit” to save your changes.

If you are teaching multiple courses, follow these steps to upload your syllabus and make your other courses available.

Link to this section of the page.

How to enable Collaborate in your course

If you’d like to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in your course(s), here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. Go into the course where you’d like to use Collaborate.
  2. In the Course Management Control Panel, expand the Customization section.
  3. Click the Tool Availability link.
  4. Scroll down until you see “Blackboard Collaborate Ultra” in the list of tools.
  5. Click to put a check mark in the first box to the right, in the Available column.
  6. Click the Submit button at bottom right.
  7. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will then show up in the Course Tools section of the Control Panel and the students’ “Other Tools” page.

If you’d rather not allow students to use it without you, here are two things you may want to do next:

  • Hide Blackboard Collaborate Ultra from the students’ Tools page. (Click the “Hide Link” button there.) OR
  • Lock the Course Room. (Select this option from its action menu within the Collaborate Ultra tool.)

For help, see Blackboard’s Help site or Behind the Blackboard for best practices, documentation, and known issues.

Video Everywhere

Video Everywhere is a feature that allows users to utilize their webcam and microphone to record video and insert it into a forum post, an assignment submission, or a test–anywhere you find the rich text editor. Simply click the Video Everywhere toolbar button, (“Record from Webcam”) on the bottom toolbar and follow the prompts.


(If you don’t see the Video Everywhere button and you only have one toolbar, click the ‘Show More’ button on the far right.)

Screenshot 2015-09-22 at 8.53.01 AM

If you haven’t already activated your YouTube account–freely available with OWU BishopApps, you will see the message below. Please note that the ‘Sign into YouTube’ link has been successfully tested in Chrome and Firefox but does not work in Safari on Mac or Windows. So if it is not working for you please try a different browser.

Beware, you may encounter a Pop-up blocker that will block the ‘Sign into YouTube’ page. Click the notification and select ‘Always allow…’ and then click the link above that.

You will then be led through the process of setting up your YouTube channel, starting with granting permission for OWU Blackboard to access your information:


When you see the “OWU Blackboard would like to:” permissions screen, check to be sure the Google account you wish to use is shown at top right.

If someone else has signed into Google in the browser it will show their email address or name, rather than the Blackboard user account. To change this, click on the account name and select Add Account then proceed to login:

Add account

You will then be asked for basic information to set up your YouTube channel:

Note that the name as you enter it here will replace your default name throughout all OWU BishopApps.

The name entered here will replace all other

You will likely see several messages asking to use your camera and microphone. It is safe and necessary to accept all of them. To avoid the Adobe Flash Player Settings continually asking for your permission to access your camera and microphone select ‘Allow’ then ‘Remember,’ finally click ‘Close.’

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When your verification is complete you will be taken back to Blackboard Learn and shown a familiar screen but ‘Record from Webcam’ will be shown, you will need to select that and you should be able to begin using Video Everywhere.

Screenshot 2015-09-22 at 9

Once you’re done recording or selecting an existing video, you’ll get to set some preferences for how it appears within Blackboard.

Link to this section of the page.

Problems Playing YouTube Videos

Most of the latest browsers have gotten more strict about blocking unsecured content on secured web sites, such as our Blackboard system. The embedded YouTube video mashup calls the video using HTTP instead of HTTPS. That’s why the frame and Player Controls button only will appear in some browsers but no video will load. There are two workarounds for this problem:

  1. To use the embedded mashup tool, you’ll need to switch to HTML editing view and replace all HTTP references with HTTPS.
    1. Insert the Youtube mashup.
    2. Edit the content item.
    3. While editing, click the Toggle HTML Source Mode button, that looks like “< >”. You will see the HTML code.
    4. Press Ctrl+F on a PC or Command+F on a Mac to find the first instance of “HTTP” and add an S at the end. Repeat until they all have the S.
    5. Save and close your the content item. The video should work embedded now in all browsers.
  2. Instead of embedding the YouTube video on the page and going through the steps above, add a URL content item and point it to the full page for the video. Set it to open in a new window to ensure that Blackboard opens the whole page.

Link to this section of the page.

Log Into Blackboard

If you are a current instructor, your Blackboard account has already been created. You can log into Blackboard with your OWU BishopApps username and password. If you are a new instructor, you must be fully processed through Human Resources before you can access your Blackboard account. If you were recently processed, you must wait up to 48 hours for the Blackboard system to receive your information from the employee database. After this time, you will need to use your OWU BishopApps username and password to log in to Blackboard. Log into Blackboard with your username and password. You should see your courses listed in the “My Courses” module on the right. Instructors are “linked” with Blackboard courses based on information in Jenzabar. If no instructor is listed (or if it is listed as “Staff”) then no link is made during the automated loading of the courses. If a course is not listed, contact the Blackboard Administrator.

Link to this section of the page.

Cleaning up your Course List

When you log into Blackboard there is a My Courses module (that is moveable if you’d like to bring it up to the top) that shows courses you’re teaching and courses you’re enrolled in (if any.) If left alone this list will show all the courses you’ve ever taught at OWU since we started using Blackboard back in 2006. Here’s how to weed out any classes you don’t want to see there, so the module is easier to use:

  1. Click on the gear icon at the top right of the module. This takes you to a Personalize: My Courses page showing you the same list with check boxes for various display options.
  2. Use the Select All/Unselect All check box at the left to select/deselect all of the options for that row. Deselect any and all course rows that you no longer wish to see in the module. You may choose to display or hide various elements of the Blackboard course, such as the name, ID, Instructors, Announcements, Tasks, and Calendar Events.
  3. Click the Submit button at either the top or bottom of the page.

That’s all there is to it!

Link to this section of the page.

Upload your Syllabus

Click on the name of the course you want to upload your syllabus into. This will take you into your course. Be sure that the Edit Mode button in the upper right-hand corner is set to “ON.” You should see a course menu on the left-hand side of your screen. If you click through the menu buttons, you will notice that several of them contain no content. This section will walk you through uploading your syllabus, but first, you need to have your syllabus saved as a word or text document.

Tip: Do not use spaces or special characters (e.g. #,+,*) for file names because some students may not be able to open the file depending on their computer settings. Only use letter, number and underscores. For example, use “english_comp_101.doc” instead of “English Comp-101.doc”. Never use an ampersand (&).
To upload your syllabus:

  • Click the “Documents” link in the Course Menu.
  • Hover over the “Build Content” button and click “Syllabus” in the drop down list.
  • Under 1. Name section, enter the Syllabus Name into the text box provided.
  • Under 2. Syllabus, select Use Existing File.
  • Click the “Browse My Computer” button to locate your syllabus (located on your computer).
  • Once you have located the syllabus on your computer, click to highlight the file and then click the “Open” button.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “Submit” to save your changes to Blackboard.

Congratulations! You have uploaded your syllabus to Blackboard. You can use these same steps to upload any file to Blackboard, including PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, pictures, or even short video clips.

Link to this section of the page.

Set a Language Pack
  1. Select the course you want to modify.
  2. Open the Customization drop-down menu and select Properties.
  3. Under Section 6. Select Language Pack, choose your Language Pack from the drop down list. This will be used for buttons, titles, and other text supplied by the system within that course.
  4. Optionally, put a check mark next to Enforce Language Pack. This will override individual student’s language choices.
  5. Click the Submit button.

Link to this section of the page.

Customizing Course Navigation

To customize the course navigation you will be adding to the course menu. You can add links on the Course Menu to items in the course. Items include: Content Areas that provide direct access to content items such as Learning Modules, Tests, and Lesson Plans; tools such as Email and My Grades; internal or external links; and elements that help organize the menu, like a divider.

Here are instructions on how to do this.

  1. Click the Add icon (+) above the Course Menu.
  2. Select the item from the list.
  3. Type the Name of the content item in the Name field.
  4. Click Submit.

Below are three (3) different examples of what the Course Menu may look like:

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 10.18.01 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 10.24.11 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 10.24.42 AM

As you can see, you may easily organize your course by module, type of content, or week.

Link to this section of the page.

Enrolling Students

Students are enrolled in Blackboard courses based on official Registrar information. This information is automatically refreshed (upload only–no drops or deletions) until the last add/drop date for that semester. Faculty may manually enroll individual students in their Blackboard courses by following these steps:

Note: These steps are not recommended for combining classes or merging courses. See Merging Courses below.

  1. Select the course in which you wish to enroll the student.
  2. Under Control Panel, in the Users and Groups section, click Users.
  3. Hover over ‘Enroll User’ and click ‘Find Users to Enroll’.
  4. Add the username of the student in the Username field. (Our usernames are the first part of our OWU email address–what comes before the ‘@’ sign.) You may enter more than one at a time by separating the usernames with commas. Alternatively, you can use the Browse option to search for students.
  5. Select a role; ‘Student’ is the default.
  6. Click Submit.

Faculty may also remove students from their courses by using the Remove Users from the Users page, by highlighting the selected users and clicking the ‘Remove Users From Class’ button. Note that when students log into their Blackboard accounts, they will only see the courses they are enrolled in and that are marked as available. If a course is not listed as it should be, contact the Blackboard Administrator.

Link to this section of the page.

Merging Courses

The Course Relationship Management feature automatically manages multiple sections of the same course. A system administrator will have to set one (or more) of your courses as child courses of a master course. Then, in the master course, you’ll be able to see which course students are actually enrolled in and our automatic enrollment integration won’t be affected.

Just send a request to and let us know which course you’d like to use as the master and which course(s) to link as child. It’s best if you haven’t created any content or had any interactions in the child course(s) before merging.

Link to this section of the page.

Copy Course Content
  1. First, you must be in the course you wish to copy content from. You must also be enrolled as Instructor in both courses.
  2. Under Control Panel, click on Packages and Utilities and select Course Copy.
  3. For Copy Type, select Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course.
  4. Type in the Destination Course ID under Select Copy Options or click the Browse button to find it.
  5. Now select specifically what you want to copy. You must have something selected under Select Course Materials.
  6. Click the Submit button. When the operation is successful, you will receive an email in your OWU inbox and a confirmation message will appear at the top of the destination course.

Note: Please do not use this method to merge enrollments of multiple course sections. Information Services can merge courses using Course Relationship Management, which has some distinct advantages over manually copying enrollments. Simply send a request to with the course IDs for the courses you’d like to merge, and which one you’d like to use as the master course.

Link to this section of the page.

Adding Co-Instructors

Instructors automatically enrolled in Blackboard courses are based on Registrar’s information. You may manually enroll additional instructors in your co-taught course by following the same steps for enrolling a student, above, (using the faculty’s username instead of a student’s) and setting the Role for them to Instructor (or Teaching Assistant or Course Builder.) Note that only a system administrator can remove Instructors from a course.

Link to this section of the page.

Why Electronic Submission?
  • Save Paper
  • Same Time
  • End debates over deadlines
  • Better Comments
  • Reduce Clutter
  • Avoid Germs
  • Facilitate Rewrites
  • Easy Access
  • Permanent Access

Link to this section of the page.

Create Assignments
  1. Click on the course that you would like to add an assignment for, make sure the edit mode (right side of the page below the red header) is turned on.
  2. You may create assignments in any content area, such as Readings Assignments found in the navigation menu, on the left side of the page under the course description.
  3. Once in a content area, three red buttons will appear in the yellow (gold) header in the middle of the page. Hover over the Create Assessment button and a drop down menu will appear. Then click Assignment on the drop down menu.
  4. On the Create Assignment page you must name the assignment and assign possible points. The assignment can either be typed out or you may upload it as a file. To upload a file go to section 2, labeled Assignment Files and click the Browse My Computer button to find the file you are looking for.
  5. You may adjust the due date, availability, and grading before the assignment is submitted. To submit the assignment and allow students access to it, click the submit button at the top or bottom of the page.

For more information see the Getting Started with Assignments Guide

Link to this section of the page.

Creating Mastery Quizzes
  1. In Course Content select “Create Assessment” and then choose “Test”
  2. Select “Create a New Test”
  3. Provide Name and Description/Instructions
  4. Create Questions and select the type of question you wish to create.
  5. [Enter the question content, points, type of feedback, etc.]
  6. When test design is complete, add the test to the course content by clicking “submit”.
  7. Finally select your test options.

Link to this section of the page.

Creating Blog Assignments

Create Learning Teams

  1. Under “Groups” tab in the Content Areas select “Create Single Group”
  2. Select “Manual Enroll”
  3. Create group name
  4. Make sure “blog” is selected in Tool Availability
  5. Under Membership select users you want to be added into your group.
  6. Finally select “Submit” to add your group.

Create Blog Assignments

  1. In your created group select “Group Blog” under the Group Tools.
  2. Click on “Create Blog Entry”
  3. Enter your prompt and attach any documents you want.
  4. Finally, select “Post”

Link to this section of the page.

Using SafeAssign

To access SafeAssign in Blackboard 9.1: – Under the Course Management section, open the Control Panel, and open the Course Tools drop-down menu. SafeAssign should be available there. – Alternatively, click on Content in your class section. Expand the Create Assessment drop-down menu. SafeAssign should be one of the options. To watch a video tutorial on using Safassign, click here. To make SafeAssign visible in the Course Tools section of the Control Panel:

  1. In the course Control Panel, expand Customization.
  2. Select Tool Availability.
  3. Scroll down to SafeAssign and put a check mark in the first box (Available).
  4. Click the Submit button at the top or bottom of the screen.

In SafeAssign, the overall score is an indicator of what percentage of the submitted paper matches existing sources. This score is a warning indicator only and papers should be reviewed to see if the matches are properly attributed.

  • Scores below 15 percent: These papers typical include some quotes and few common phrases or blocks of text that match other documents. These papers typically do not require further analysis, as there is no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism in these papers.
  • Scores between 15 and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism. These papers should be reviewed to determine if the matching content is properly attributed.
  • Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and should be reviewed for plagiarism.

Link to this section of the page.

Using the Grade Center
Learning More
  • Blackboard 9 is designed to be fairly simple to use, and information as well as help is placed at convenient locations while you are using it.
  • Workshops on Blackboard are offered two or three times an academic year. An announcement about upcoming workshops is sent to all faculty members. The current workshop schedule is posted on the Information Services web site.
  • If you have additional questions, contact the Blackboard Administrator.

Link to this section of the page.

Comparison of Blackboard to Self-Service
More Information

Contacting the primary Blackboard Administrator David Soliday 740-368-3130 You may also contact the Help Desk for Blackboard requests and issues.

Link to this section of the page.