Using Blackboard

In our ELI history courses, you will use Blackboard ( to

  • check for important course informational announcements
  • email assignments to your instructor
  • post and respond to messages in the discussion board (The discussions are your opportunity to confer and collaborate with one another to discuss and prepare for the course assignments.)
  • check your grades in the online gradebook
Blue Bar

Course Informational Announcements

From time to time, your instructor will post reminder notes as announcements in your Blackboard course. You should periodically check for any new information.

Blue Bar

Email Assignments

You will use Blackboard to submit all assignments to your instructor. You will see a button (Email Your Instructor) on the left side of Blackboard. When you click on that, you will have the opportunity to email a message and attach an an assignment. Please see more information at Using Email.

Blue Bar

Post and Respond on the Online Discussion Board
In your course, you must post and respond in the Blackboard discussion forums a total of ten (10) times with each posting being worth 5 points for a total of 50 points.  In addition, in some courses you can earn extra credit for additional postings/responses (up to a limit of 25 points, 5 points for each additional posting).

  1. Each post should be a substantial intellectual contribution (instructor discretion) to the course.  The following are some examples of posts that are not meaningful:
    • Hi
    • Glad to meet you
    • Agree
    • Interesting point
    • Good
    • Ugh
  2. Your posting can be a comment on your assignment, a remark about the week's reading, a response to another student's posting, a note about the material being studied in the course but you cannot post any assignment (either paragraph or paper).
  3. Your posts should not be all to one forum, for example, the "short paragraph assignment," and you should respond as well as post.
  4. You cannot post anything as an attached document to a discussion.
  5. Please remember that Blackboard is for discussion; it is not for submitting assignments.
  6. Finally, to receive credit for a posting, you must post to Blackboard during the current week of your course (instructor discretion).  For example, you cannot suddenly decide in week 14 to post something about week 2.  When you are in week 3 of the course, you should post about week 3 of the course.
To access the discussion board, after you login to your course on Blackboard, click on the "Discussion Board" button on the left.  You will see a screen with all of the available discussion forums.  Click on any of the links to access a discussion.
  1. You can click on "Add New Thread" to post your contribution to the discussion.
  2. You can also click on one of the posted messages to read it.  Then you can click on the "Reply" button to post your reply to that particular message.
  3. After clicking the "reply" button or the "Add a New Thread" button, a message screen will appear.
  4. Enter a subject for the message that you will post.
  5. In the message portion of the box, type (or cut and paste) your message/paragraph.
  6. Click the "Preview" button to check your message.  You can make changes or click the "SUBMIT" button if you are satisfied.
  7. Finally, clicking the "OK" link will take you back to the list of all course discussion forums.
  8. To exit from the online discussions, simply close the browser window.
  9. Over time, the process of posting messages and then responding will produce a "threaded" discussion.
  10. Please remember that these postings are to be considered formal assignments and subject to the normal writing style rules of this course.
Blue Bar
Online Gradebook
After your login to your course on Blackboard, click on the button for your gradebook along the left side of the screen.  You will then see your course grades.  To exit from the gradebook, either "logout" (top of the page) or simply close the browser window.

For Blackboard, your login name is the first part of your email address before the  The password is your date of birth (mmddyy), although you can change your password by going to  If you have any problems, please contact the college help desk at 703.426.4141 (


This page is copyright © 2011-12, C. T. Evans
For information contact