University of Southern Indiana

Blackboard Online Help

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is a course management system used by USI faculty and students. Many of your courses will require you to use Blackboard. Students can access course materials their professors make available and may participate in class discussions online.

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Faculty


Click the links to the right for more information.

To view tutorials please follow this link:


Tablets and cell phones are not compatible with Blackboard.  Blackboard needs Java to run and the Android, iOS, and Windows RT platforms do not support Java.   There may also be additional problems with internet availability and/or cell phone signals.  For these reasons we do not recommend using tablets, cell phones, and similar devices with Blackboard.  The Blackboard app has very limited capabilities and should not be seen as an alternative.

IMPORTANT: Latest Java Update

Oracle has recently updated the Java program to version 7u51. Changes in this version of Java break the collaboration tools (Chat and Virtual Classroom) in Blackboard.
The summer upgrade to the Blackboard will resolve this issue. In the meantime, if you need to use collaboration tools, we suggest you update your version of Java no further
than Java 7u45. This will allow you to continue to use collaboration tools through the spring semester.

If you have already installed Java 7u51, you can roll back Java to version 7u45 to allow Blackboard collaboration tools to continue to function.

Java 7u45 can be downloaded here:


Copying Text from Microsoft Word into Blackboard - Don't do it!

We would like to remind all Blackboard users that you should not be copying text out of Microsoft Word and pasting it into Blackboard text fields. This includes all areas of Blackboard where text may be entered, such as Discussion Boards, Blogs, Tests, etc... and applies to both students and instructors. If you copy text from Word and paste it into Blackboard, there is a chance that either your text will be garbled and incorrectly formatted, or, if you are copying/pasting from Word into Blackboard using Internet Explorer, even not appear at all.

We still highly suggest that you write up long texts that need to go into Blackboard on an outside text editor then copy/paste into Blackboard so you don't lose your text if Blackboard crashes, but avoid MS Word for this. Instead use Wordpad or Notepad (both are standard in Windows) to type up your work, then copy/paste into Blackboard from there. This will prevent the formatting/blank posts errors mentioned above. In the past, we have told users that they could copy from Word into Notepad/Wordpad, then into Blackboard, but we have found that this is no longer working in all cases, and so should now be avoided.

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