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Get started in Blackboard


This page will walk you through the basics of getting your Blackboard course set up. A printable version of these instructions is linked at the bottom of the page.

First step: requesting a Blackboard course site

Instructors need to request their course sites each semester. To complete this you must be the instructor of record.
  • Go to myBoiseState and log in
  • Under Employee services select Blackboard LMS Middleware
  • Select Your Classes (If you don’t see your course you may not be the instructor of record. Please contact the registrar or department leadership.)
  • Follow steps to request a course site paying special attention to single vs multiple section course sites

Your Bb course site will be available in 4-12 hours Monday through Friday.

Accessing your Blackboard course

Accessing your Blackboard course after its creation can be done through my.boisestate or
Two tabs will display at the top of your Blackboard instance.
The My Blackboard page contains My Courses where you will find the courses you are enrolled in. To personalize, click on the “Gear” icon on the upper-right corner, uncheck or check boxes to hide/display items and click Submit.
HELP! Tab will provide you with resources, tutorials and links to frequently utilized sites.

Course Site information

  • Edit Mode(located in the upper-right corner of each course area):
  • With Edit Mode ON, you can easily manage course content. With Edit Mode OFF you see what your students see

Note: Use Student Preview feature to experience, take exams, etc. like your enrolled students.

  • Course Menu: contains shortcuts students use to navigate your course site
  • Control Panel menu: allows you easy access to all the course-building tools

Note: You can expand/collapse items in Course Menu and Control Panel menu by clicking any of the menu buttons.

Setting up a Bb course site

Customizing Your Course Design

You can customize your course design by changing the color and style of the course menu and displaying a banner. In addition, you can also change the Entry Point of the Course.

  • In the Control Panel, click Customization > Style
  • In the Style page, determine Menu Style and the default view of the Course Menu and the Content View
  • Select the Course Entry Point
  • Upload a banner by browsing your computer files > Submit

Customizing the Course Menu

To add a new course menu item

  • Click on the plus symbol at the top of the menu and select the area you want to add
  • Enter a Name for it
  • Check the box to mark it available to Users
  • Click submit

To remove, hide or delete a course menu item

  • Click on the contextual menu icon () on the right side of each course menu link and select the desired option
    • Note: If you remove a menu item, all information within that area is removed permanently. Double check that there is not content you want to keep in that menu item

To change the order of the course menu:

  • Click the up-down arrow on the left side of each course menu
  • Hold the selection and drag until you see a dotted line (where you want to move the menu)
  • Release the click to finalize the move

Turning Off (hiding links of) Unnecessary Tools


  • In the Course Menu, select Tools
  • On the Tools page, click on the Hide Link button next to the tools that you are not using

Note: You can make it available to students by clicking “Show Link” next to the tool if you decide to use it later in the semester.

Adding files and other content to your course site

Naming Files

When you save a file that you will be uploading into Blackboard it is very important that you and your students follow specific naming conventions. Do NOT use any special characters (#, !, &, etc) or blank spaces. The filename of any file you submit should be less than 12 characters in length and must include only letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores and it must end with a file extension.

Adding Files & Folders to your course files

  • In the Course Menu, select Content Collection
  • Select your course folder (corresponds to your course ID #)
  • Select upload then upload Files
  • Select the files or folders in your PC file manager or MAC finder then drag and drop from window to window.

Note: This allows you to reuse the file in multiple areas within your course(s) and simplifies course file management.

Building Content – Course information, Course documents or Assignment menu items

Various types of content can be selected from the Build Content drop down menu and added to a Content Area.
Note: Most Content added to a Content Area can be set to display on a specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Display restrictions do not affect content, only the availability of the content item to your students.

Uploading Your Syllabus or other course documents

  • In the Course Menu, select Course Documents or Course Information
  • Hover over Build Content and under the create option select Item
  • Type in the Name of your Syllabus or document. Include the file type and relative information in the text box
  • Browse Content Collection for the file, select the file radio button, provide the Link Title and select the desired Options
  • Click Submit

Creating Your Contact Information

  • In the Course Menu, select Staff Information and click on the Create Contact button
  • complete the template
  • Click Submit

Note: You must select Make the Profile Available = Yes for students to see the information.

Welcoming your students

Posting a Welcome Announcement

  • In the Course Menu, select Announcements
  • Click on the Create Announcement button
  • Enter the Subject and Message fields and select the appropriate Options
  • Click Submit

Note: Consider posting a Welcome Announcement. In this message you may want to include the date/time of class, a brief course overview, instructor’s name and contact information, any textbook information, where your students can find the syllabus, as well as how you intend to use Blackboard.

Sending a Welcome Email

  • In the Control Panel, click Course Tools
  • Choose send Email
  • In the Send Email page, select the All Users
  • Enter in a subject and message
  • Click Submit

Making Your Course Available (REQUIRED for your students to access your course site.)

  • In the Control Panel, click Customization and select Properties
  • Select Set Availability, Make Course Available = Yes
  • Click Submit

Note: All courses are set to unavailable to students by default. Before you make your course available, go through all course content and make sure all URL’s and documents are current and reflect current semester information.

Adding grades to your course

Adding Grades in the Full Grade Center

There are several ways to add grades or assessment columns in the Blackboard Grade Center.

  • A grade center column is created when you select items from the Create Assessment menu in your Assignments menu, when creating a test or quiz or when grading any of the communication or course tools.


  • Select Grade Center
  • Select Full Grade Center
  • Select Create Column
  • Enter the column information
  • Select Score for the Primary Display and/or the optional Secondary Display
  • Select the desired Category from the drop down menu
  • Enter in the Points Possible
  • Select the optional Due Date. (Due dates will show on the students Bb course dashboard, in notifications and in their my grades area)
  • In the Options area, select Yes to include this column in the grade center calculations and show this Column to Students and Show Statistics if you want the students to see these options
  • Click Submit

To enter/change grades in a more spreadsheet-like way:

  • Enter the Full Grade Center page
  • Click on the cell in which you would like to put a grade (you may need to scroll to the right to find the column)
  • Enter the grade directly into the cell
  • Press Enter to save the grade. The cursor will be moved one cell down by default

To override grades in the grade details page:

  • From the drop down menu next to any automatically graded item select View Grade Details
  • Select the Manually Override You will then be able to enter the grade
  • Click Save and Return to Grade Center

For a printable of these instructions Click the link to the right. Blackboard quick start guide