Answers to Blackboard Questions
What is Blackboard?
Blackboard is a product designed to allow instructors to create and manage web-based or web-enhanced courses. It allows students, who are enrolled in online courses, to access their class or classes.
Can any student access courses on Blackboard?
No, only students who are registered in an online course or registered in a regular on-campus class with an online supplement can access Blackboard (not all on-campus classes use Blackboard).
Classes are visible starting on the first day of the term.
Where do I find my Blackboard course?
Click the Logins link at the top of any Oregon Tech main webpage to see all Oregon Tech login links. One of the links listed will be MyOIT. You will also see a link labeled "Blackboard" that you can use to log in.
You can go directly to the Blackboard CE login page by typing this address into your browser http://online.oit.edu. Your online courses will appear in Blackboard on the first day of the term. It is a good idea to bookmark the login page in your browser, so you can still access Blackboard even if the Oregon Tech web site is offline.
I keep getting a certificate error when I log in. What should I do?
If you use an old address, such as http://learn.oit.edu, it will still let you access Blackboard but you will always get a certificate error that you have to accept first. To avoid this error message, use http://online.oit.edu instead or login through your MyOIT account.
I'm getting a warning about the application's digital signature. Should I let that run?
Yes, please click Run whenever you log into Blackboard and see a box that says, "The application's digital signature has been verified. Do you want to run the application?" You should also make sure that there is a check mark in the box in front of the line that says, "Always trust content from this publisher."
If you click Cancel instead, your Blackboard program will have some problems. For instance, you might not be able to attach files to your assignments or to your email messages.
How do I obtain a Blackboard user name and password?
Upon registration in your online course, Oregon Tech will send you a Blackboard user name and password. This information will be sent to your Oregon Tech email account, which is created for you automatically, and to any other email address you have listed with Oregon Tech.
Your user name is usually your firstname.lastname. Your default password is your first initial, last initial and last four digits of your Oregon Tech Student Identification Number. For example, John Doe would use john.doe as his user name and jd1234 as his password if his ID number was 918181234.
Where can I get help?
Contact the ITS HelpDesk by phone at 541.885.1470 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to specify whether your problem is with Blackboard or email. If you have a problem with the course content, availability of an exam, or other course design issue, please contact your instructor using the course's internal Blackboard email.
Is there a Blackboard orientation session I can take?
Each fully online course includes a customized "Read Me First" section that helps you get started in the class. View this Getting Started Guide for Students to learn hows how to use the basic features in Blackboard.
Does Blackboard work in all labs on campus?
All public computing labs on the Oregon Tech Klamath Falls campus support Blackboard.
Can I connect to my Blackboard course from home or work?
If you have a computer and an Internet connection at home or work, you can access your Blackboard course.
You need to test any personal or work firewall you may have to ensure it will allow access to Blackboard. Some work sites may have safeguards in place that will not allow Blackboard to fully function on the computers. If this happens, you can either ask the IT people at your work site if it is possible to allow Blackboard to be used or you may have to use your home computer instead. The most common item that won't work on a work computer is chat.
Can I connect to my Blackboard course using my mobile device?
Yes, you just need to install the app. There is an app for Android devices, BlackBerry devices, iPhone and iPads. View the directions for installing the Blackboard app.
Why is Blackboard slow when I access it from home?
The bandwidth available to Oregon Tech is not unlimited, as some people might think, even though we have our own T1 lines. During peak times from 8am to 5pm approximately, access to campus network resources, including Blackboard courses, may be a little slower than usual. The difference is usually only a few seconds longer than you have to wait during other less busy times though.
Your home internet service provider may be experiencing heavy demand and slow response times. Home connections are typically slower between 5pm and Midnight and also varies depending on how many other people in your area are using the same internet provider at the same time. If Blackboard seems unresponsive, it is most likely due to your home internet connection speed, your computer speed or both.
Also note that your home internet download speed is always much faster than your upload speed. So if you are uploading something to the internet, it will take longer than just viewing something on the internet. If you have to upload a very large file, the wait from your internet provider can be as long as an hour. If you have a slow computer, it will also affect your upload/download speed. So if your home internet connection is slower than normal and an old computer, it will take awhile for it to upload a file. Your home internet provider may time out on you also if it takes too long.
Note that wireless connections are not as fast and reliable as a hard wired connection. You should always try to plug into your internet service rather than use a wireless connection when using programs like Blackboard especially when you need to upload an assignment or take a test.
How do I logout of a Blackboard session?
You can log out of Blackboard by clicking the Logout link in the upper right corner of the page. To be safe, you should also close your web browser to clear out any session information that might remain. If you are accessing your Blackboard course from a campus computing lab, make sure you close all web browser windows and log off of the computer.