Using Blackboard 


In our ELI history courses, you will use Blackboard to

  • check for important course announcements from your instructor
  • submit assignments
  • receive feedback on your work (on the gradebook)
  • complete the required Syllabus Quiz
  • post and respond to messages on the online discussion board (The discussions are your opportunity to confer and collaborate with one another to discuss and prepare for the course assignments. Sometimes, posting on a specific topic is required.)
  • coordinate your group work, if your course has a group assignment
  • take your online exams (at a testing center or through a proctor)
  • check your grades in the online gradebook
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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.

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Submit Assignments

You will use Blackboard to submit assignments and extra credit to your instructor. You will see a button (Submit Assignment) on the left side of Blackboard. When you click on that, you will have the opportunity to send a message and attach an assignment. Please see more information at Submitting Assignments.

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Post and Respond on the Online Discussion Board

In your course, you must post and respond in the Blackboard discussion forums. Please see your course Explanation of Assignments and Grading for more information on the total possible points for your required use of Blackboard discussions .

  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. You cannot post anything as an attached document to a discussion.
  4. Please remember that the Blackboard discussion board is for discussion; it is not for submitting assignments.
  5. Postings to the "open forum" do not receive credit.
  6. Generally, your instructor will grade, but not respond to, your posts.
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. Usually there is one discussion for each unit of the course.  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. 
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Online Exams

You will use Blackboard to take your exams online in a testing center. Click on the "Exam Passes" button in your Blackboard course for more information about the procedures to take your exams. You may not access the Internet, email or any electronic resources while taking your exams.

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Online Gradebook

After you 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 (


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