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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Blackboard Section

General Topics:

  1. What is Blackboard?
  2. I am teaching a class and want to use Blackboard. However, my course DOES NOT appear in Blackboard. What do I do?
  3. How are my students enrolled in my Blackboard course?
  4. How can I receive help and/or training on Blackboard?

Access:

  1. How can I create a Blackboard Account?
  2. I forgot my Blackboard username and/or password. What should I do?
  3. If CUNY Portal is down, is there another way I can access Blackboard?
  4. I logged into my Blackboard account, but I do not see the course that I am teaching. What should I do?
  5. I use AOL and I’m unable to access Blackboard. What should I do?
  6. Where can my students go for help with CUNY Portal and or Blackboard?

Course Management:

  1. My students cannot see my Blackboard class. What should I do?
  2. What is the Digital Drop box and how can I use it?
  3. My students cannot see my Power Point presentations posted in Blackboard. Why?
  4. How can I copy materials from one Blackboard course into another?
  5. I have different sections of the same course. How can I merge them in one "Parent" course?
  6. How to add a Course Builder to a course?
FAQ Answers
1. What is Blackboard?
Blackboard in a web based course management system used by faculty to present their course materials, assignments, quizzes, and discussions online.

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2. I am teaching a class and want to use Blackboard. However, my course DOES NOT appear in Blackboard. What do I do?
Once you have successfully logged into Blackboard, look for your course under the main Blackboard window in the "My Courses" area, and then click on the course. If you do not see the course that you are teaching, this means that you DO NOT appear in SIMS as the official instructor for the course.

What Needs To Be Done?

Please talk to your department chairperson and/or Unit coordinator and ask them to contact the Office of the Registrar or Ms. Suzette Quintana from the Office of Academic requesting that the appropriate changes are made in SIMS so that your name appears as the official instructor for the course.

Blackboard is now integrated with SIMS, thus after changes are made in SIMS, nightly updates to Blackboard will reflect the changes to your course site.

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3. How are my students enrolled in my Blackboard course?
Students are now automatically enrolled in their Blackboard course site. Blackboard is now integrated with SIMS (registration database),
thus after a student registers or adds/drops a course, nightly updates to Blackboard will reflect the changes in the instructor’s course site.

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4. How can I receive help and / or training on Blackboard?
Technical Support:
OIT can assist you with all aspects of building your Blackboard course. We welcome you to set-up an appointment with an OIT support staff. For technical assistance, please contact our support staff:
Location: C Building, Room C-559
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm
Phone: (718) 319-7971
OIT Webpage

Technology Workshops:
The Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) offers a series of Blackboard and other technology related workshops to faculty during the fall and spring semesters. We recommend that faculty new to Blackboard or to online teaching, participate in at least two Blackboard workshops. To view our listing of workshops, please visit: Faculty Workshops

Blackboard Tutorial:
The OIT has developed an online tutorial to familiarize faculty with the Blackboard environment and provide quick lessons in Blackboard 6 features. To view our online tutorial, visit: Blackboard Tutorial

Blackboard Instructor Manual:
To access Blackboard instructor manual, enter the Control Panel of your course. From the Control Panel, click "Manual" from the "Help” area or visit: Blackboard Instructor Manual
If your question has not been answered by Blackboard online manual, contact the OIT.

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5. How can I create a Blackboard Account?
To Access Blackboard, you must register with CUNY Portal. CUNY Portal is a gateway to several CUNY resources, including Blackboard.
Steps for creating a CUNY Portal account:
  • Go to the CUNY Portal website: www.cuny.edu
  • In the left navigation area, click “Log-in”
  • Click the “Register Now!” link located on the right side of the screen
  • On the New Registration Page, click “Faculty”(the link that best describes your affiliation with the Hostos CC)
  • Enter your Last Name, Social Security No., and Date of Birth in the New User Validation page, and click the next button
  • From the User Validation page, click the “Confirm” button
  • CUNY Portal will assign a username
  • Enter your password twice. Passwords are case sensitive and must be a minimum of 6 characters long
  • Your email address will be displayed (In most cases, your Hostos email). If you forget your password, your password will be sent to this email address
    NOTE: Please write down your username, password, and email address
  • Click on the ”Save” button
  • Login with your username and password
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6. I forgot my Blackboard username and/or password. What should I do?
If you forgot your CUNY Portal username, contact the Hostos CC Help Desk, to verify the correct username. The Help Desk is located in the C-Building, Room C-595; service hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 8:00pm, or by telephone (718) 518-6622.

Once you have your CUNY Portal username, you may request a new password through CUNY Portal. Go to www.cuny.edu, click on "Log-in", then click on "Forgot your password?". Enter your username, and then click on "E-mail password". A new password will be sent to the email address you have registered with CUNY portal.

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7. If CUNY Portal is down, is there another way I can access Blackboard?
Yes. Once you have a CUNY Portal username and password, you can access Blackboard directly; go to: https://blackboard-doorway.cuny.edu.

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8. I logged into my Blackboard account, but I do not see the course that I am teaching. What should I do?
Once you have successfully logged into Blackboard, look for your course under the main Blackboard window in the "My Courses" area, and then click on the course. If you do not see the course that you are teaching, this means that you do not appear in SIMS as the official instructor for the course.

What needs to be done:
Please talk to your department chairperson and/or Unit coordinator and ask them to make the appropriate changes so that your name appears in SIMS as the instructor for the course.

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9. I use AOL and I’m unable to access Blackboard. What should I do?
AOL web browser does not consistently work with Blackboard. To successfully connect to Blackboard, do the following:
  • Connect to the Internet using AOL
  • Minimize the AOL window
  • Launch and use the Internet Explorer (IE) web browser
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10. Where can my students go for help with CUNY Portal and or Blackboard?
The College has established a Help Desk to provide quick resolution to students with CUNY Portal and Blackboard access. The Help Desk is located in the C-Building, Room C-595; service hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 8:00pm, or by telephone (718) 518-6622.

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11. My students cannot see my Blackboard class. What should I do?
All Blackboard courses are created as "Unavailable". This means that the instructor can see the course, but students cannot. To make your course available to your students do the following:
  • Login to Blackboard and enter the course you would like to make available
  • Go to Control Panel
  • In the Course Options Area, select Settings
  • Click Course Availability and click "Yes" to make your course available
  • Click Submit
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12. What is the Digital Drop box and how can I use it?
The Digital Drop box feature is designed for file exchange between instructor and student. Students use their Drop box to submit papers to instructors for grading. The paper is then retrieved by the instructor in his/her Drop box, the instructor will then make appropriate comments to the paper, and then send the paper back to the student’s Drop box.

Retrieving a file from your Drop box
  • Enter your Blackboard course and navigate to the Control Panel
  • From the Course Tool, click Digital Drop box
  • Click on the student’s paper
  • Click Save and select a save location for your file
  • Note: You should now read the paper and add your comments. Save the file under a different name to distinguish it from the original paper the student sent
  • Return the paper to the student
Returning a file to your student’s Drop box:
  • Enter your Blackboard course site and navigate to the Control Panel
  • Under Course Tool, click Digital Drop box
  • Click the Send File button
  • In the Select Users area, select the student whom you are returning this file to
  • In the File area, Browse and locate the modified file you want to return to your student
  • In the Name field, enter a name for your file, e.g. Assignment 1
  • Enter your message in the text box (Optional)
  • Click Submit
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13.My students cannot see my Power Point presentations posted in Blackboard. Why?
Probably they don't have Power Point installed on the computer they are using. What you can do is Impaticize your presentation by using Impatica for Power Point. This software lets you compress Power Point presentations and also make them available for those who do not have Power Point on their computers. If you want to get more information about Impatica please attend the Impatica Workshop for faculty. Go to the Faculty Workshops Homepage for info about all Faculty Workshops offered. You can also visit the Impatica FAQ web page.

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14. How can I copy materials from one Blackboard course into another?
The Course Copy feature allows instructors to re-use materials from semester to semester. Instructors may copy part of a course or their whole course into another Blackboard course that they are teaching. Frequently copied items include tests, survey, and staff information. To complete this function, you must be enrolled as in instructor in both courses.

To Copy Course Materials:
  • Logon to Blackboard and enter the course site you would like to copy information from
  • Go to the Control Panel and under Course Options, click Course Copy
  • Click Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course
  • Click Browse
  • Click the Search button
  • Click Select next to the course site you would like to copy information to
  • Check the boxes next to any content areas you want to copy
  • Click Submit
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15. I have different sections of the same course. How can I merge them in one "Parent" course?
Choose a course to be the "Parent". Go to the Control Panel of the parent course, and then access the "Instructor Course Merge Module" tool. Rosters of merged course sections will be added to the Parent course. You must be an Instructor in all the courses you would like to merge. Courses can only be merged with one Parent course. The Modify feature of the tool includes a "Hide Course" option, which can be used if a course site is not needed after it is merged with a Parent Course.

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16. How to add a Course Builder to a course?
In the Control Panel of your course. Then click on Enroll User, look for the user name and click on add. After this go again to the Control Panel, click on "List / Modify Users" look for the user name just added to the list, click on properties, and select the Course Builder option.

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