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Online and Distance Education at OISE

Blackboard Tips and FAQ for OISE Instructors

Getting the most out of Blackboard

Don't forget about the top 10 items to get you up and running in our Blackboard Starter Kit:

  1. Check your UTORid
  2. Check your Course
  3. Blackboard Terminology
  4. Edit your Course Menu
  5. Add your Files to the Course
  6. View your Class List
  7. Make your Course Available
  8. Communicate with your Students
  9. Allow your Students to Contribute Content
10. Get Further Assistance with Blackboard


Other things you might want to do in Blackboard:


How do I give someone access to my Blackboard course who is not an enrolled student?

Access to Blackboard is granted through a UTORid username and password. 

You can grant access to your course to someone who is not enrolled as a student.  For example a Graduate Assistant to help you enter content into your Blackboard course, an Auditing Student, another Faculty member if you are team teaching, etc.

Add a user who has a UTORid:
Select your course.  Go to the "Control Panel" and click on "Course Tools".  Click on "UT Manage Users".  Enter the persons UTORid username.  Please see the Portal Info site for further details.

Add someone who does not have a UTORid:
Staff and Faculty can contact the OISE Education Commons CCP.  We can create a "guest UTORid".  Please provide a full name, and email address.


How do I change my preferred email address that is used in Blackboard?

Go to this website and login with your UTORid:


to set your preferred name and email address for Blackboard.


My old courses from last year are clogging up the "My Courses" section.  How can I remove them from view?

You can 'hide' old courses from view on your Blackboard My Page. Just click the little cog icon on the right side of the "My Courses" box.

Then remove the checkmark under "Display Course Name" for the old courses you don't want to see in your list anymore.


I would like to receive files from students as an assignment, how can I do this in Blackboard?

Blackboard gives you a number of different ways to recieve assignments from students.  Here are two most common methods:

1) Assignment Tool

The Assignment tool is effective when you will be assigning grades to student work. This process usually requires the submission of one or more documents.  Post a document/s with an assignment, retrieve the completed assignment from a student, grade that assignment in the GradeCenter and write feedback.

2) Discussion Board (with attachments)

It may be that you want to have open submission of assignments.  You can create a new Discussion Board forum that allows attachments.  This will allow other students to offer comments if you would like to do a peer review of submitted assignements.



How can I make an Outlook mailing list of my class?

Please note, this method will NOT automatically keep an accurate, up-to-date record of student enrolment.  Using Blackboard is recommended, as it will always be updated with changes to enrolments (add/drop) student email addresses.

If you are teaching a course where the enrolments won't change, or you are comfortable manually updating email addresses if required for your personal Outlook mailing list, then you can follow these directions.

General info/help on how to create a “distribution list” in Outlook:

Once you are familiar with how to create a distribution list, you can make one with all of your student’s email addresses. Basically you log into your Blackboard course to retrieve your student’s email addresses (1.), open in Excel and copy (2.) and then paste them into an Outlook distribution list (3.) as shown below:



I would like to use Blackboard for file sharing.

You can share files and folders in your Content Collection with other Blackboard users.  We have created some step-by-step instructions in this how-to file:

File sharing using Blackboard.doc



How can I incorporate Library Resources into my Blackboard course?

The Library supports the integration of library resources, course readings and library services into your online course page.

See Incorporating Library Resources into Your Course Web Pages for a description of services and staff links.



How long are my old courses available to me in Blackboard?

2 years.  A two year retention for courses created based on ROSI.  Deletions will now be an ongoing process, with Winter courses being deleted once Summer courses become current, etc.



When I paste text from MS Word, the text does not look right - how can I fix it?

When you create a file in MS Word, and then try to copy & paste that text into Blackboard, it may not be displayed properly, or the formatting might change.  This is because Blackboard need to convert your MS Word document into a Web-friendly display on the Blackboard website.  One option that may display your document correctly is  through the "Mashup" tool, where there is an option called "Paste from Word"  Please see the following PDF file for step-by-step directions:



How do I use the e-portfolios in Blackboard?

Please consult this UTSC page for a detailed description and walk-through of the Blackboard e-portfolios:




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