Blackboard FAQ

This page lists some of the most frequently asked questions about Blackboard, you can use the search box below to filter questions. (Example: if you would like to find all questions on discussions then type the word “discussions” in the box).

Remember that we also have a Blackboard Guide for Staff that is available from the Downloadable Resources page. Also, if you cannot find an answer to the question you are looking for then simply email the question to , we will answer it and add it to the list so that the answer is available to everyone going forward.


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  • 1. How do I set up adaptive release on Blackboard?


    A very powerful feature of Blackboard is adaptive release. This allows you to only release pieces of content if certain criteria are met. (For example: you may wish to only release lesson 2 if the student has submitted the assignment for lesson 1). The advantage of this type of functionality is that it allows students to work through the material at their own pace, while still being guided. To implement adaptive release on a piece of content, follow the steps below.

    1. Navigate to the piece of content you wish to edit, hover over its name and click on the small grey arrow that appears to the right of the name to see the item menu.  Select Adaptive Release.


    2. You are given a page of options. You can limit the release of the content in 4 ways:

    Date: Allows you to release content based on certain date. For example: you may wish to make the content available from the 12th March until the 15th March. To do this simply input the dates and times accordingly.


    Membership: Allows you to release content based on the specific user(s). For example: you can set the content to only be visible to j.bloggs or group 1 (if you have groups setup – see section on using groups function for more on this). To do this enter the username(s) of the people who should see the content (or if it is a group, select the group from the left hand box and move it to the right box below).


    Grades: Allows you to release content based on what grades students have received in an test/assignment. For example: you may wish to make the advanced material available to those who received greater than 60%. To do this, choose the grade centre column from the dropdown (Below is an MCQ) and set the criteria accordingly.


    Review Status: Allows you to release content based on whether a student has reviewed another piece of content. For example: you may wish to make lesson 2 available once they have read lesson 1. To do this simply select the piece of content that should have been reviewed from the dropdown.

    Note:  For this option, the student there are prerequisites.

    • Review Status must be turned on for the content (see the Blackboard Guide for instructions on how to do this).
    • The student must set the content to reviewed status (meaning that you are reliant on a student to update the content as read).


    3. Once you have set all the release criteria, click Submit.



    Question Link:


  • 2. How do I login to BB?


    1. On your computer open any web browser. (example: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Chrome).

    2. In the address bar type


    3. Select staff logon



    4. Enter your username and password and click Login



    Note: If you do not have a username or password you can request one from the Learning Technologies Unit by emailing



    Video by Blackboard: Getting Oriented with Blackboard Learn


    Question Link:

  • 3. How do I send an email using Blackboard?

    Whenever possible, try to communicate with students primarily through email and announcements so that there is a record of all module-related communications. Follow the steps below to email individual and groups of users (including students, teaching assistants, or instructors) for a particular module.

    1). Expand the Course Tools menu in the Control Panel (at the bottom of the menu on the left of your module page) and select the Send Email option.


    2). On the Send Email page, select the type of email you would like to send.  As most communication will be between the instructor and the students, this example will use the All Student Users option.  Please note that emails sent to 'all users' will be sent to everyone enrolled in the module regardless of teaching role (e.g. instructors, teaching assistants, and students).



    3). On the next screen, Blackboard will automatically populate the 'To' and 'From' fields so all you need to do is type in the subject and content of your email and then click Submit.  If desired, you may attach files as well.




    - Video by Blackboard: How to Send Email

    Question Link:

  • 4. How do I set up a reflective journal in Blackboard?


    Blackboard allows for the creation of reflective journals/ learning logs through its journals tool. To create a journal follow the below steps.


    1. On the Control Panel, click Course Tools and click Journals

    Control Panel Screenshot



    2. Click Create Journal (top left)

    Create Journal


    3. You are given a page of options, type a name, instructions and set the availability of the journal.

    Setting up a journal


    4. In the Journal Settings section, select the appropriate options

    • Monthly or Weekly Index Entries: i.e how often the students should post.
    • Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries: Tick the box if you wish for students to be allowed to edit)
    • Allow Users to Delete Comments:  Tick if it applies
    • Permit Course Users to View Journal: Ticking this will make the journal public to all users enrolled on the module.


    5. In the Grade Settings section, select whether the journal is to be graded or not.  If it is to be graded type the number of points possible.

    Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.36.25


    6. Once you have finalised the options click Submit. You will be brought back to a page which lists the journals on the module. This is the page that students see. To make a posting they should click on the journal title and click the New Journal Entry button.



    Blackboard Video: How to Create and Comment on Journal Entries

    Blackboard Page: Journals

    - RMIT: Online Tutorial Reflective Journals


    Question Link:


  • 5. How do I create a discussion board?


    1. Go to the Discussions page on your site

    2. Click on Create Forum.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 09.27.22

    3. Enter a Name and Description for the Discussion

    4. Fill in the relevant options as required. The options are explained briefly below.

    - Forum Availability: Let's you decide when and for how long the forum is available to students. We usually advise that forums be time limited as this tends to make the discussion more dynamic. (For example, only allow students to post for one week )

    - Viewing Threads/Replies: Select standard view here. This means that students do not need to create a new thread (i.e start a new conversation) to view the forum.

    - Grade: Here you are choose whether to grade discussion posts. We would usually advise that a discussion should be allocated a small percentage of marks as this incentivises students to participate. If you wish to grade the forum then select the Grade Forum option and type the number of possible points (example if it is worth 20% type 20). If you prefer to grade by thread then Select the Grade Threads option.

    - Subscribe: You can opt to allow students to subscribe to the forum. This means they will get an email every time someone posts to it. It can be a very useful function.

    - Create and Edit and Additional Options: Allows you to choose whether to allow anonymous posts, file attachments, thread creation, subscription, and member rating of posts.

    5. Click Submit



    Video By Blackboard: How to Create Discussion Board Forums

    Video By Blackboard: How to Use Discussions

    Blackboard Webpage: Discussion Board

    - Blackboard FAQ: How do I subscribe to a discussion board?


    Question Link:

  • 6. Is there a limit to how much I can put on a Blackboard module site?


    The UCC/ICLA license permits UCC staff/students to copy an extract from a work, and there are express limits on the extent of the permitted copying; The material must be included in the ‘licensed materials’ (an exhaustive list of the relevant publishers); the copying must be of the original work; the copying in the case of any one published work cannot exceed 5% of the work or one chapter (whichever is the greater), save that, in the case of an article in a journal or periodical, the whole article can be copied, but not more than any one article in any issues or publication; or in the case of a short story or poem of not more than 10 pages in length, the whole of the short story or poem may be copied.


    Related:  (original license) (digital extension)


    Question Link:


  • 7. How can I see my module site?


    1. Once logged in to Blackboard, you will see a box entitled My Courses, this lists of the module sites that you have access to.



    2. Click on the title of the module you wish to view.


    3. This brings you to the module site which will look something like the below.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 17.21.11


    Note: If you cannot see your module listed under My Courses, you may need to request access from either another lecturer (who has access to the site already) or you can email the ltu at 


    Question Link:



  • 8. How do I check if edit mode is on/off?


    1. In order to make any of changes to a site, you should ensure Edit Mode is on.

    2. In the top right hand corner there is an edit mode toggle which looks like this.


    3. Click on it to turn it on/off.

    4. It is worth knowing that having Edit Mode off can be a quick way of checking what students see.


    Question Link:


  • 9. How do I make my module site available to students?


    Please note: that module sites are by default are not available to students (i.e students cannot see them). It is the responsibility of the module co-ordinator to ensure that the module site and content are visible to students.


    To make a course/module available to students you should do the following:

    1. Go to the Module Site (click here to view instructions on how to access the module site).

    2. Go to the Control Panel (in the bottom left).



    3. Select Customisation, a menu will open then select Properties



    4. Approximately, halfway down the page there is an option to set course availability. Set the option to Yes to make the course available to students. (The remaining options on this page should be left as default).




    Video by Blackboard: Making your Course Available


    Question Link:


  • 10. How can I give someone access to my module site?


    Students will be enrolled automatically in Blackboard based on their registration. However in some cases you may wish to give access to another colleague. You can do this if you have instructor access yourself. To do so:

    1. Go to the Module Site (as explained here).

    2. Go to the Control Panel (in the bottom left).



    3. Select Course Tools and choose Manage Users


    4. Select Add Users by Role. 

    5. Type the username into username box (or select you can search for it at the top of the page using first name/surname or email).

    6. Select the role needed to the user (e.g. student/instructor etc..). What the person can see/edit on the site will depend on this role.

    7. Click Submit


    Question Link:


  • 11. How can I check what students see?


    Instructors and students have different levels of access in Blackboard, so at times you may wish to check what students see. For example, you (the instructor) might add an assignment on Blackboard but you do not want students to see it for another few weeks. You might wish to double check what students see to be sure that they can't see it. The best way to check is to use the student preview mode. To use this:


    1. Click on the below icon (which is in the top right hand corner)


    2. Once in student preview mode, an orange line will appear at the top of the screen, saying that you are in student preview mode, an exit preview button also appears

    3. To exit the student preview mode click on the Exit Preview  button (top right)



    Video By Blackboard: Student Preview


    Question Link:


  • 12. How can I add an item to the menu?

    1. Hover over the + (top left).


    2. Select the Content Area

    3. Type a name for the content area.


    4. Make it available for users to see (or not if you wish to keep the area hidden) by making sure the box is ticked (unticked).

    5. Click Submit

    6. The new menu item will appear at the bottom of the menu, you can then drag it to where you would like it to be.



    Blackboard's own page: Instructor Features

    Blackboard's own page: Create Course Areas for Content


    Question Link


  • 13. How do I remove an item in the menu?


    It is good practice to remove any redundant links from your Blackboard site. To remove an item:

    1. Click the dropdown arrow next to the menu item you wish to remove.

    2. Click the option you wish

    - Hide Link (will hide link from students and keep content) or

    - Delete (will remove link and delete content).




    Best Practices : Remove redundant objects


    Question Link:

  • 14. How to rename an item in the menu?


    1. Click the dropdown arrow next to the menu item you wish to rename.

    2. Click Rename Link.


    3. Type the new name in the box.

    4. Click on the green tick.



    Question Link:

  • 15. How can I set the module home page?


    The home page/ landing page of the module is the page that students see first when they login.

    Note: It is best to ensure that this page is either set to an announcements page or to a modular style home page (which includes announcements). The reason for this being that students will then see any announcements as soon as they login.

    To update the home/landing page of the sit

    1. Go to Control Panel


    2. Click on Customisation.

    3. Once the Customisation menu has opened. Click on Teaching Style


    4. Scroll down a little until you see Select Course Entry Point

    5. In the dropdown select the page you wish to be the new landing page


    6. Click Submit



    Video by Blackboard: How to design your course entry point?


    Question Link:

  • 16. How to add content to my module?


    It is possible to add a lot of different types of content/files to Blackboard. No matter what the type of content, the basic steps are the same. They are as follows:


    1. Go to the page where you wish to add the content by clicking on that menu item.

    2. Hover over the Build Content


    3. Click on the type of content you wish to add. For example: Item, video… etc.. A brief explanation of the different types of content is given below


    Content Type Description
    Item Allows you to add text/image or multimedia
    File Allows you to add documents that can be downloaded
    Audio Allows you to add audio files (they should be no larger than 5MB). Accepted formats include MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA
    Image Allows you to add images. Accepted formats include GIF, JPG, JPEG, BMP, PNG, and TIF.
    Video Allows you to add videos. Accepted formats include MOV, WMV, MPEG-4/.MP4, SWF, FLV, RM
    Web Link Allows you to add a link to an external website
    Learning Module Allows you to create a package of related content that can include a table of contents and that can be followed sequentially.
    Lesson Plan A special content type that combines information about the lesson itself with the curriculum resources used to teach it.
    Syllabus Enables you to attach an existing syllabus file or build a course syllabus by walking through a series of steps
    Course Link Allows you to create shortcut to an item, tool, or area in a course.
    Content Package (SCORM) Allows you to add a package from another application that meets SCORM standards. For example, you can add clickable packages made from Storyline or Captivate.
    Content Folder A course area that contains content items. Folders allow content to be structured with a hierarchy or categories.
    Module Page A page containing dynamic personalized content modules that help users keep track of tasks, tests, assignments, and new content created in the course.
    Blank Page The blank page tool allows you to include files, images, and text as a link in a course area. Blank pages are different to items as they do not include a description.
    Flickr Photo Link to a site for viewing and sharing photographic images
    Slideshare Presentation Link to a site for viewing and sharing PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, or Adobe PDF Portfolios
    You Tube Video Link to a site for viewing and sharing online videos


    4. Depending on what type of content you choose you will given different options. Once you have chosen your options.  Click Submit



  • 17. How do I remove a piece of content?


    It is good practice to delete any content that is obsolete or irrelevant. This makes a site less cluttered and simpler to use. To delete a piece of content you should


    1. Navigate to the piece of content, you wish to delete.

    2. Hover over the name of the content and a small grey arrow appears to the right of the name.

    3. Click on the arrow and menu will appear

    Edit Menu

    4. Click on Delete

    5. You will be asked for confirmation, click OK



    Best Practice: Remove Redundant Objects


    Question Link:

  • 18. How can I copy or move content?

    Note: If you wish to copy several items of content at a time (across different locations) then you should follow the steps in the question entitled: How can I copy an entire section of content to another module?

    If you wish to copy or move content from one page to another in the same module site or from one module site to a different module site you should follow the below steps:


    1. Navigate to the item, you wish to copy

    2. Hover over the name of the content and a small grey arrow appears to the right of the name.

    3. Click on the arrow and menu will appear

    Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 14.10.18

    4. Click on Copy/Move

    5. You will be asked to confirm the destination for the content. Choose the Destination module

    - if it is the same module - you can leave it as is.

    - if it is a different module - select the module you want to move it from the dropdown.

    6. Select the Destination Folder by browsing to it.



    7. Click Submit 



    Best Practice: Remove Redundant Objects

    Blackboard Page: Copying and Moving Content


    Question Link:

  • 19. How can I make content available/unavailable to students?


    For any piece of content it is possible to decide whether or not it should be made immediately available to students or not. One of the advantages of this is that you can prepare content in advance and set it to be automatically released to students at a time that is appropriate.  To do this:


    1. When adding any new piece of content you are given a page of options. (If the content already exists edit the content)


    2. One of the options is to Permit Users to View this Content. To ensure the item is available make sure the Yes option is selected.




    3. If you want to set availability based on dates fill in the dates and times in the below boxes. (For example: this could be useful for setting up a test).


    img3_Availability dates


    Question Link:

  • 20. How do I edit an existing content item?


    1. Navigate to the piece of content, you wish to edit.

    2. Hover over the name of the content and a small grey arrow appears to the right of the name.

    3. Click on the arrow and a menu will appear

    Edit Menu

    4. Click on Edit

    5. You will then be brought to the page of options you saw when first setting up the content and you change the settings as required.

    6. Click Submit


    Question Link:


  • 21. How do I create an announcement?


    1. Go to the Announcements page of your module (or if you do not have one go to Control Panel - Course Tools - Announcements).

    2. Click on Create Announcement (top left)



    3. You are brought to a page of options. Type in a subject and the message of the announcement. (just as you would for an email).




    4. Select if the announcement is to be date restricted (for example should only be available until tomorrow) and if so enter the dates.


    Note: where possible it is good practice to make announcements date restricted so that they are only showing until the appropriate date. 


    5. Finally, in the email announcement section, tick the box if (by clicking on it) if you want a copy of the email to be sent immediately to everyone who is enrolled on the module.


    Note: The email will be sent to the student's umail account. 


    Question Link:


  • 22. Where can I find more help on Blackboard?


    You can download our Blackboard Guide for Staff here and there is also a number of resources available from Blackboard including:

    Blackboard's help website

    Blackboard playlist of short instructional videos

    You can also ask us a specific question by emailing us at  We will respond by adding to the FAQ so that everyone can benefit.

    Question Link:


  • 23. How can I read, print or save all discussion posts?


    To read/ print/ save or archive all posts in one discussion board

    1. Go to the discussions page of your site.

    2. Click the name of the discussion board you want to read.

    Screenshot of Discussion Name


    3. You will be shown a list of threads, click the top check box, all boxes next to all the threads will then get selected and click collect.

    Screenshot of collecting threads


    4. You are then shown all the posts (starting with the most recent), you can read and reply to messages accordingly. If you want a PDF perhaps to print/keep an electronic version of the discussion then click the Print Preview button in the top left of the screen.

    Screenshot of Print Preview Button


    5. A print dialogue box opens, choose the settings that apply and click save.

    Screenshot of Printer Dialogue Box




    Blackboard Webpage: Search and Collect Discussions


    Question Link:


  • 24. How can I grade a discussion board online?


    Note: For the below steps to be possible, you need to ensure the forum is setup to be graded. (See How do I create a discussion board? for more on this).  The following steps assume that the Blackboard is set to be graded.


    1. Go to the discussions page of your site.

    2. Click the name of the discussion board you want to grade.

    3. Click the Grade Discussion Forum option on the top of the screen. (If you do not see this option then you need to set the Forum to graded by editing the settings).

    Grade Discussion Forum Button


    3. You will then be shown a list of students with the number of posts they have made. Click the Grade button (on the right hand side) in the row of the student you wish to grade.

    Discussion Forum Grade Student Button


    4. On the Grade Discussion Forum page, a collection of that student's posts made to the graded forum appears. Note that you can sort the posts (assuming there are multiple) in different orders and also print the posts, using the buttons at the top of the screen.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 17.37.33



    5. On the right hand side of the page, enter your feedback and grade and click submit. 

    Grading Discussions



    6. Navigate to the next student to grade by clicking the arrows next to the student name.

    Screenshot of how Navigate through grading students


    Related Links:

    Video By Blackboard: How to Create Discussion Board Forums

    Video By Blackboard: How to Use Discussions

    Video By Blackboard: How to Grade Student Collaboration Inline

    Blackboard Webpage: Discussion Board

    Blackboard Webpage: Grade Discussions

    - FAQ: How do I create a discussion board?

    - FAQ: How can I read/print or save all discussion posts?

    - Idea: Increased Student Interaction



    Question Link:


  • 25. How do I create groups on Blackboard?

    Sometimes you will want to break a module into smaller groups.  The reasons vary (e.g. high enrolment, specialised subtopics, etc.) but the basic steps will be the same:


    1. In the module page, select Groups in the menu on the left. (If you do not see a groups item in the menu, follow these steps to add a menu item.)


    2. Once on the Groups page, select Create and then select the type of group you want to create.  As the majority of groups have Random Enrolment, that’s the example we’ll follow here.



    3. You will then be asked to enter some basic Group Information including group name, description (optional), and visibility.  Groups are visible to students by default, but if you are breaking them up into groups for purely administrative reasons, feel free to hide them – you can always go back and edit the group if you change your mind.


    4. Next, set the Tool Availability and other settings for the group. All of the tools are available by default, but it is important to note that the four items at the bottom of the list are not available for all modules so should be deselected by clicking on the box next to the tool name.  As a general rule, we recommend limiting student access to only those tools you want them to use in your module.  If you have any questions about the tools in Blackboard, please see the Blackboard Guide for Staff or the FAQs.


    5. Lastly, determine the Membership You can create groups according to the number of students per group or you can create a set number of groups.  Don’t forget to tell Blackboard how to distribute any remaining students as it’s rare that the number of students and the number of groups line up exactly.


    6. Click Submit to create the group(s). You will then be taken to the main group page with a list of all the groups.  Clicking on a group name will take you to that group where you can view the membership, create discussion boards, etc.


    For more information about Blackboard Groups - including an explanation of the different types of groups - please see pages 29-30 in the Staff Guide to Blackboard.


    Question Link:



  • 26. How do I set up electronic submission using Turnitin?


    Turnitin is an an add on for Blackboard, it can check assignments for plagiarism and it also also allows for online marking. To use these functions assignments must be submitted through a Turnitin Direct Assignment box. The steps on how to set this up are below:


    1. Login to Blackboard (How do I login to Blackboard?)


    2. Go to the module where you wish to set up the Turnitin Assignment Submission (How can I see my module site?)


    3. Browse to the content area where you want the submission box to be (for example: you might want to have it on on the assignments page )

    Assignments in Menu


    4. Hover over Assessment

    Turnitin Assignment


    5. Select Turnitin Direct Assignment and you will see a page like the below.

    Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 14.28.13


    6. Select the settings appropriate for your assignment. The most important settings to change are listed below:

    • - Assignment Name: Give your assignment a name (for example: Assignment 1)
    • - Assignment Description:  Give a short description or instructions
    • - Submission Method: in most cases this should be set to file upload (meaning students are expected to upload a document)
    • - Overall Grade: What grade will the assignment be marked out of
    • - Number of Parts: How many parts are students expected to submit (usually 1).
    • - Start Date: The date that the submission box is available from (default is immediately)
    • - Due Date: Due Date of the Assignment
    • - Post Date: The date on which results/feedback are to be released (if you are unsure about this, it is best to set it to a few months away).
    • - Reveal Grades Immediately: Should usually be set to No as a precaution.
    • - Students View Originality Reports: Choose whether students should see originality reports. (We generally recommend that they should see them as it can be a useful learning tool).
    • - Allow late submissions: If yes then the submission box will take submissions after the due date and the assignment will be highlighted as being late.


    7. Click Create Assignment you will then see something like the below on the relevant Blackboard page.



    Video on OVPTL you Tube Channel: Creating a Turnitin Assignment

    Resources: Turnitin Instructor Manual


    Question Link:

  • 27. How to archive or backup a module on Blackboard?

    Archiving a Course creates a permanent record of a course, including all the content and user interactions available at the time the Archive is created.  To create an archive follow the below steps:

    1. From the Control Panel, select Packages and Utilities

    2. Select Export/Archive Course from the sub-menu.

    Archive: Packages and Utilities

    3. Click the Archive Course button. If you wish to include the Grade Centre History, tick the box to do so.


    4. Click Submit (on the right)

    5. Click Refresh. 

    Please note that it can sometimes take some time for the archive file to appear so you may wish to continue with other work and check back at a later stage. If this the case when you return you should come back to the same page (i.e: steps 1 and 2)

    6. The archive file is visible as a zip file containing the module code and the date & time on which it was created.

    Archive File

    7. It is important to save this archive File to a dedicated folder on your own computer so that the module and all contents can be restored to Blackboard if necessary. To save it click it with your right mouse button, and select Save Target As… Choose where to save the file, e.g. a dedicated Blackboard Archive folder on your computer.


    - Blackboard Web Page: How to archive a course

    Question link:

  • 28. How can I copy several items of content at one time to another module?


    Note: If you only need to copy one item of content then you should follow the steps in the question : How can I copy or move an item of content?

    If you are looking to copy a number of items for example from several sections you can do it by following the below steps:


    1. From the Control Panel, select Packages and Utilities


    2. Select Export/Archive Course from the sub-menu.

    Archive: Packages and Utilities



    3. Select Course Copy


    4. For the copy type option select copy the materials into an existing course


    5. In the next box, enter the destination course ID. In the case of UCC course this is usually the year plus the module code, for example: 2016-EC1001

    Course Copy


    6. Next, tick the boxes for any section you wish to copy and click submit (i.e you can leave the last two options as default).




    - FAQ: How can I copy or move an item of content?

    - Blackboard's own page: How to copy a course



    Question link:

  • 29. How do I set up a blog in Blackboard?


    Blogs are another way for you and your students to interact online.  When you enable blogs in a module, each student will have his or her own blog and will be able to comment on the other module blogs.  To set up blogs on your module, follow the steps below:

    1. Open the Tools window in Blackboard by selecting the Tools item in the main module menu.Tools in Menu


    2. Click on the Blogs link in the list of tools.

    blogs step 2


    3. In the new window, click Create Blog

    Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 11.57.19


    4. Fill in the appropriate details before hitting Submit.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 11.58.14

    Blogs are now enabled for your module.  Be sure to remind students to post, comment, and respond to comments regularly.



    Blackboard's own help page: Blogs


    Question Link

  • 30. How do I bulk download assignments from a Turnitin Submission Box

    1. Browse to the assignment submission box (of the assignment you wish to view).

    2. Click View Assignment


    3. In the right of the assignment page you will see 3 icons (Word, PDF, Excel). Click on the preferred format (usually pdf).

    Turnitin Export

    4. You may get a window such as the one below. If so then click the part that says ‘Click here to begin download’.

    Turnitin Export Message

    5. A zipped folder containing all the assignments will then be downloaded to your computer's downloads folder. 


    Resources: Turnitin Instructor Manual


    Question Link:

  • 31. What is a rubric?


    In terms of assessment, a rubric is a set of criteria that includes descriptions of levels of performance. It usually comes in the form of a table or grid, it is essentially a scoring tool/marking scheme that can used to interpret and grade student work.

    Rubrics can be set up in either Blackboard (on both discussion boards and assignments) or in Turnitin.



    Resources: Sample Discussion Board Rubric


    Question Link:

  • 32. Why should I use a rubric?


    Rubrics allow for the instructor to

    - Assess assignments consistently from student-to-student.

    - Save time when grading

    - Give timely, effective feedback that the student can work from.

    - Clarify expectations and components of an assignment

    For the student, rubrics provide a guide for the assignment. They know what criteria they must meet to achieve a given result.



    Resources: Sample Discussion Board Rubric

    University of Manchester: Rubrics - what are they? Why and how should I use them?

    University of Waterloo: Useful Assessment Tools

    - Edutopia: How do Rubrics help?


    Question Link:

  • 33. How do I create a rubric for a discussion board?


    In order to create a rubric for a discussion board, follow the below steps:


    1. Browse to the discussion forum that you wish to attach the Rubric to.


    2. In the Forum Settings (see How do I create a discussion board? for more on accessing the settings) select Grade Discussion Forum

    Rubric FAQ Pic 1


    3. This will generate new rows called Due Date and Associated Rubrics. Click Add Rubric.

    Rubric FAQ Pic 2


    4. Next choose Create New Rubric.

    Rubric FAQ Pic 3



    5. All fields in the Rubric are editable and rows and columns may be added or removed:

    Rubric FAQ Pic 4



    6. Click Submit once you are have filled in all the information.


    7. At this point you can choose to allow/disallow student to see the rubric (it is usually recommend that students should see it, as it allows for clarity of expectations).

    Show student Rubric


    8. Later when you grading the discussion the rubric will appear when you are in the grading screen. (For more on grading discussions see the FAQ: How can I grade a discussion online?)



    Resources: Sample Discussion Board Rubric


    Question Link:

  • 34. How do I create a rubric in Turnitin?


    Note: Please see the  How do I set up electronic submission using Turnitin? for the initial steps on creating an assignment.

    1. In the content area which contains your assignment, select View Assignment

    Turnitin rubric pic 1


    2.  In the Tools column select Launch Turnitin Rubric Manager

    Turnitin rubric 2

    3. Use the grid at the top-left to Create a New Rubric

    turnitin rubric pic 3


    4. Create a specific title for the new rubric. This will be important later.

    t rubric pic 4


    5. All fields in the rubric are editable when double clicked. Use the plus signs to add criteria or scales. 

    t rubric pic 5

    Some points to note:

    • You can remove a criterion or scale hover over the item until you see a Trash Canturnitin rubric trash can


    • You can also choose whether a rubric has a grade, percentage (or neither) associated with it by clicking on the relevant symbol at the bottom of the screen

    Rubric Percentage


    6. Click Save when you are done


    7. Once one student has submitted an assignment, you can attach the rubric to the assignment – use the Pencil icon to begin grading

    turnitin rubric pic 6


    8. Ensure you are in Grademark mode (top left) and then select the rubric icon (looks like a grid)on the bottom-right of the screen:

    Grademarkturnitin rubric pic 7

    9. Attach your rubric to the assignment by clicking on the chain/link icon and then close the rubric manager

    turnitin rubric pic 8


    10. The criteria will now be displayed on the right of the assignment. Select each scale which applies and then select Apply rubric percentage to grade

    turnitin rubric pic 9


    11. When you exit the assignment - the rubric grade will now be displayed in the GradeMark column of the student’s submission row.

    turnitin rubric pic 10




    Video on OVPTL you Tube Channel: Grading Turnitin Assignments Using Rubrics

    Video on OVPTL you Tube Channel: Grading Assignments Via Rubrics - What the Student Sees

    Resources: Turnitin Instructor Manual



    Question link: 


  • 35. How do I subscribe to a discussion board?


    A handy way of keeping track of discussion board activity is to subscribe to the discussion, this means that you will get an email everytime someone posts to the discussion. To subscribe to a discussion follow the below steps:

    1. Go to the discussions page of your site (If it is a Group Discussion you wish to subscribe to then go to the Group Discussion).

    2. Click the name of the discussion board you want to subscribe to



    3. Once you are in the discussion board you will see a Subscribe button in the top left hand corner. Click on the Subscribe button. 




    Video By Blackboard: How to Use Discussions

    Video By Blackboard: How to Grade Student Collaboration Inline

    Blackboard Webpage: Discussion Board

    Blackboard Webpage: Grade Discussions

    - FAQ: How do I create a discussion board?

    - FAQ: How can I read/print or save all discussion posts?


    Question Link:

  • 36. How do I add my photo to my Blackboard profile?


    Adding your photo to your Blackboard profile takes less than a minute and it can add a human touch to activities such as discussions. In this screencast we bring you through the steps of adding your profile photo.



    Question Link:


  • 37. Where can students get help on Blackboard?


    Blackboard provide a number of helpful resources for students these include:

    Blackboard help page for students

    Blackboard help videos


    Question Link:

  • 38. How do I embed a video?

    If you want to post a video on Blackboard, but do not want to use the YouTube mashup tool - for example, if you wish to have the video play on the page rather than as a popup - it can be embedded directly into the page. To do so, ensure that you have the URL for the item you want to embed and then do the following:

    1. Open the Content Area in which you want to embed the video.

    2. Hover over Build Content, and select ‘Item’.

    3. Type the name you want to give your video in the ‘Name’ box, then click the ‘Insert/Edit Embedded Media’ icon.

    4. In the popup, select the media type from the drop-down menu (in this example, for a YouTube video select ‘Iframe’).

    5. Copy and paste the video URL into the ‘File/URL’ box or select the file from an existing source via ‘Browse My Computer’ or ‘Browse Course’.

    6. Click ‘Insert’.

    7.  If desired, type any text you want attached to the video below the yellow box. If you wish to resize the video, click the yellow box and drag to the desired size using the selection points.

    8. Select the appropriate options and click ‘Submit’.

    9. The content area will reload with the embedded content and a green bar will confirm the embed.

    Question Link: