FAQ for Students
What is Blackboard?
How do I get help for Blackboard?
I am an incoming freshman or a new student to USI. When will I be able to access Blackboard?
Will all of my USI courses use Blackboard?
My professor says his/her course is supposed to be on Blackboard, but I'm not seeing it. What's wrong?
I am getting disconnected from exams, what can I do?
How do I remove old courses from my Blackboard listings?
How can I learn how Blackboard works?
How can I access course materials on Blackboard?
What if I forget my MyUSI Personal Identification Number (PIN)?
Do I need any special software to use Blackboard?
Can I access my online course material from any computer?
Can I view any other courses that are listed on Blackboard?
Where can I access email sent to me through Blackboard?
Can I change/update my personal information in Blackboard?
Can I get my final grades from Blackboard?
I’ve saved a thread for a discussion board, how do I retrieve it?
I am auditing a course this semester, how do I access the Blackboard site for this course?
USI Blackboard Usage Policies
Blackboard is the name of a software program that USI uses for online instruction and communication. Students can access course materials their professors make available and may participate in class discussions online.
If you are having trouble using Blackboard, please browse through the rest of this site. Many common questions and problems are addressed within. If you need further assistance, please send an email to USI Blackboard by clicking the Contact Us link in the top right of this page. In your email, please be sure to include your name, your USI username and a detailed description of your problem. If you would like to speak to a support technician, you can call (812) 465-1080 during normal USI business hours (8am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday).
In most circumstances, you will usually have access to Blackboard 24-48 hours after you officially register for your courses.
Please be aware that even after you have access to Blackboard, you still may not see any or only some of the courses you are registered for. See the next section concerning course availability for more information about when your courses will appear in Blackboard.
Maybe. Blackboard is an optional tool available to instructors; some use it, others do not. If you are unsure whether your course is supposed to be on Blackboard, contact the course instructor. He/She can verify if the course is supposed to accessible through Blackboard.
There are a number of reasons a course might not show up on your course listing:
If you register for a course during open registration or after classes have begun, it can take up to 48 hours after you register before your course appears on your Blackboard course listing.
The professor might still have the course set to be unavailable to students.
You may have been dropped from the course due to a hold on your account.
If you believe that a course is supposed to be on Blackboard, but you cannot see it, please contact the instructor of the course to attempt to resolve the situation. Blackboard support is unable to grant student requests to be added into any course or for courses to be made available. All requests concerning these matters must come from the instructor of the course.
Blackboard requires that your internet connection to the server be stable and uninterrupted during the course of an exam. Even a brief disconnection between your computer and the Blackboard server can cause Blackboard to lock you out of your exam. While we cannot completely prevent this from happening, we do offer a list of best practices that we highly suggest you consider to minimize your chance of getting locked out of a Blackboard exam.
- Use a wired connection to the internet. Wireless connections can be very unstable, and even a brief loss of connectivity can lock you out of your exam.
- Close all open programs before taking an exam. Open programs may interfere with your connection to Blackboard, resulting in a lockout.
- Close all background programs that connect to the internet. Programs running in the background that connect to the internet, such as Limewire, iTunes, etc... may cause your secure connection to Blackboard to be lost, resulting in a lockout.
- If you are on a home network that others are using, try taking your exam at a time when your network is being lightly used by others. If some other computer, video game console, or consumer electronics product with wireless capabilities is heavily utilizing the network, then you may lose your connection to Blackboard, resulting in a lockout.
Also, we suggest that as you take an exam you keep track of your answers outside of Blackboard. This way, if your connection is lost, you still have your answers and can easily re-enter them when your test is reset.
It is easy to remove old courses off of your Blackboard course list. Go into Blackboard, and in the "Courses" module, click the pencil icon in the upper right hand corner. On the page that follows, you'll see that each course on your list has a "Display Course Name" check box next to it. Uncheck the box for the courses you don't want on your list and click Submit.
Resources available to students for learning Blackboard:
Blackboard Help for Students Website
Contact Blackboard Support - If you need help using a feature in Blackboard and the above website does not help, please send an email send an email by clicking the Contact Us link in the top right of this page
USI students enrolled in courses can access Blackboard by logging into MyUSI and clicking Blackboard logo to the right of the page. Detailed instructions for logging in can be found here.
ICN students, non-credit students and guests can access Blackboard directly through the Blackboard home page at http://bb.usi.edu. Detailed instructions for logging in can be found here.
You will need to call the USI Information Technology Help Desk at 812-465-1080 for instructions on obtaining your PIN number.
Perhaps. You will need a connection to the Internet (broadband speed connection recommended), a supported web browser and Java. The latest version of Java is required to run many of the features in Blackboard, and may not already be loaded on your computer. To get the latest version of Java, please go to http://www.java.com and click the "Free Java Download" button.
Any computer that has a Blackboard supported web browser, Java, and is connected to the Internet can access USI Blackboard. Some browsers are incompatible with Blackboard and might cause undesired effects or produce errors when working with the Blackboard system. Web browsers such as Google Chrome (current release), Firefox 3.5 or later, and Internet Explorer 8.0 or later are recommended due to these compatibility issues. Click here for a list of Blackboard compatible browsers.
If you are working on a public computer such as in a lab, make certain you click the "LOG OUT" button in Blackboard and close your web browser completely when finished.
Yes, some professors welcome guests to visit their course sites and view syllabi or other documents. To find out which courses allow guest access you can either click the "Courses" tab in Blackboard, or you can browse the USI Blackboard course catalog and look for any courses that have a PREVIEW button associated with them. Guests may only view documents; they are not allowed to enter online discussions, send email, or transfer files.
All Blackboard email is sent to your USI email account. This cannot be changed. If you would like to forward your email from your USI account to another email account, you can do so through MyUSI. Easy-to-follow instructions on forwarding your USI email to your personal account are found by clicking the FAQ link on the MyUSI login page. Please do this immediately so that you do not miss any messages from your professor or the University.
No. Your personal information in Blackboard is based on the information you provide to the University.
While your professor may choose to use the optional online gradebook feature in Blackboard, your final grade, as recognized by the University, will be reported through MyUSI. So, it is advisable to use MyUSI as the source of this information.
After saving a thread, you can retrieve the thread by going into the forum, choosing “Show All” from the “Display” drop-down menu and clicking the “Go” button. The thread(s) you saved will then be listed along with the other postings in the Discussion Board. The saved files can be identified by the “draft” tag next to the thread name. Click on the link for the saved thread to access it. Once you’ve accessed the saved thread, click on the “Modify” button to publish or modify and publish the posting, or click “Remove” to delete it.
Please be aware that once you’ve saved a thread, you can only publish, modify and publish or remove the thread. You cannot modify and save (without publishing) the thread again.
If you already have a Blackboard account, contact the instructor of the course and inform him/her that you are auditing their course. The professor can then add you to the course. For security reasons, USI Blackboard Support cannot add users to courses manually.
If you do not have a USI Blackboard account, contact the Information Technology Help Desk by clicking theContact Uslink at the top right of this page and request a USI username. Once you have a USI username, please send it, along with your full name, to USI Blackboard Support again by clicking the top right link. Bb support will create an account on the system for you and email you when it is ready to go.
USI Blackboard adheres to the USI Data Communications and Computer Use Policy. USI Blackboard users are subject to laws governing U.S. copyright law. For assistance or questions about copyright laws applied to education, consult the USI Rice Library copyright guidelines.