Blackboard Student FAQs


Accessing Blackboard

I can access my.Fairfield and other University systems. Why can't I sign into Blackboard?

If you are new to Fairfield University, please verify that your registration and payments are completed. If there are no holds on your account, you should have access to Blackboard within 12-24 hours. If you are a current student, and there are no holds on your account, you should be able to sign into Blackboard. Most often login failure are due to a recently reset NetID and cached data. If you recently reset your NetID, you may need to clear your browser cache to sign in.

Why don't I see my courses in Blackboard?

Courses and enrollments populate in Blackboard 2 times a day. If your registration and payments were processed today, please wait at least 12 hours for the next update to process. If you believe you have registered for the course and it is not displaying, we recommend that you contact the Registrar's Office to confirm your enrollment is complete.

I see my course/organization, but why can't I access it?

All courses are unavailable to students by default to allow faculty to upload course content before the semester starts while enrollments may still be changing. Some faculty do not use Blackboard beyond sharing the syllabus, or they may email you directly with information on accessing courses materials. If you believe you should have access to the course in Blackboard, please contact your instructor requesting that they make the course available.


Communicating through Blackboard

How do I keep up to date with my courses?

To get the most out of Blackboard Ultra Course View's communication tools, we recommend you start by setting up your notifications for course activity based on your preferences.

  1. Log in to Blackboard

  2. Select Your Profile (Your Name) on the base navigation menu

  3. Under System Settings, select any of the links in the section Global Notification Settings. This will open the Notification Settings layer which you can toggle between each option.

  4. Select each tab to open Stream Notifications, Email Notifications, SMS Notifications, and Push Notifications, and select the notifications you want to receive as well as the timing of each.

Types of Notifications

  • Stream: Choose which activities appear on your Activity Stream page.

  • Email: If you want to receive email notifications, add an email address to your profile page. Then, choose how often and which activities you want to receive notifications for.

  • SMS: If you want to receive SMS text messages on your mobile phone, add a phone number to your profile page. Then, choose how often and which activities you want to receive notifications for.

  • Push notifications: If you want to receive push notifications, choose how often and which activities you want to receive notifications for. Messages pop up on your mobile device if  you have the Blackboard Learn mobile app installed. Note: You must also enable Notifications for the app through your phone's system settings.

Yes! Your schedule is a mix of academic and personal commitments. To help keep up with everything you've got going on, you can put everything on one calendar.

You can share your Blackboard Learn calendar with external services so course events appear with other events. To learn more, visit Blackboard’s Help Center:https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Student/Ultra/Stay_in_the_Loop/Calendar.

How do I send an email?

The process to send an email to peers or instructors differs between the Original and Ultra Course Views. Expand the steps below for your course view to learn how to use the email function in Blackboard.

The email tool allows you to send email to other people in your course without launching a separate email program and having to look up your instructor and/or peer emails. You can send email to individual users, the entire class, or to groups of users.

  1. Log into your course and click on Send Email from within the Course Menu.

  2. Select a recipient type. Instructors can send email to all or selected individual Users, Students, Groups, Teaching Assistants, Instructors or Observers. From a Blackboard Learn course, email cannot be sent to anyone who is not a mem- ber of the course.

  3. The names and email addresses of your students appear in the To field. Your name and email address appears in the From field.

  4. Enter a Subject.

  5. Compose your message in the text box and use the Text Editor to customize the text, insert hyperlinks, images, bullets, etc..

  6. Check the Return Receipt box to have a copy of the message sent to your Inbox.

     

  7. To attach files, click on Attach File and then Browse your computer for your file. You can attach more than one file.

  8. When finished composing your message, c Submit

More information can be found on Blackboard's Help: Original Experience and Email

You can include hyperlinks in any textbox within Blackboard, including emails and announcements, by following these steps:

  1. Select Insert Link (If you do not see the option, expand the text box (...)

  2. Enter the URL

  3. Replace the "text to display" with a descriptive text, such as the name of the resource you're linking out to.

  4. Under Open Link In, select New Window

  5. Select Save

 

The messages tool allows you to send emails to other people in your course without launching a separate email program and having to look up emails. You can send email to individual users, the entire class, or to groups of users.

  1. Open the Messages page from the course navigation.

  2. Select the New Message button  in the right corner.

  3. Select the recipients for your message.

  4. Select the Allow replies to the message to allow other users to respond to your message from within Blackboard.

  5. Type your message.

You can include hyperlinks in any textbox within Blackboard, including emails and announcements, by following these steps:

  1. Select Insert Link

  2. Enter the URL

  3. Replace the "Link Text" with a descriptive text, such as the name of the resource you're linking out to.

  4. Choose Insert




Course Views (Original v Ultra)

Why do my courses look different from one another?

Fairfield University is in the process of transitioning to Blackboard Ultra Course View - a simpler, modern course experience for students and faculty. Graduate courses and select Undergraduate courses are currently running in Blackboard Ultra Course View while most Undergraduate and Organizations are still using Original Course View. If you are taking an undergraduate and graduate course, or if one of your courses is participating in the Early Access to Ultra Pilot, you may encounter both course views during your time at Fairfield University. 

Can you tell me more about Ultra Course View?

Fairfield University is in the process of transitioning to Blackboard Ultra Course View providing our faculty, staff, and students with an accessible, modern interface to navigate their courses and organizations. If you use the Blackboard app, you may notice similarities when you open a course using Ultra Course View.

When will you see this change?

Since Summer 2023, all graduate courses have converted Blackboard Ultra Course View as well as a select number of organizations and undergraduate courses participating in the Blackboard Ultra Early Adoption pilot. All undergraduate courses and organizations will run in Ultra Course View beginning Summer 2024.

Where do I go if I have questions?

To learn more, we encourage you to review the videos in Blackboard's YouTube playlist: Navigating Blackboard Ultra Course View for Students (YouTube Playlist).

If you have additional questions, please contact academiccomputing@fairfield.edu 


Supporting Software

How does Blackboard Support Accessibility?

In addition to text exceptions and being built with accessibility in mind, we have licensed Blackboard Ally which works seamlessly with Blackboard to promote the accessibility of your course content. Ally automatically creates alternative versions of your course files. This allows students to choose the type of file they want that best suits their needs. While you're in the process of improving files, students still access alternative copies.

How do I install Respondus LockDown Browser?

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. When students take an online assessment that uses LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit for grading. It is available across Windows, Mac and iOS platform.

How to use Respondus LockDown Browser on iPad

Install the lockdown browser from the App Store,

  1. Open my.fairfield.edu from your browser either using Safari or Chrome (mostly preferred)

  2. Navigate to Blackboard and select it

  3. Once logged into Blackboard, search for the course and open it

  4. Launch the test, on the right of the screen scroll down and then click launch test

  5. This will open the test in a lockdown browser and make you unable to access other apps and features on the iPad till you submit the test.

Blackboard App for Mobile Devices

The unified Blackboard app will allow students and instructors to engage with their classes from any device. As a student, you can use the app to view content, submit assignments, engage in discussions, view your grades, and more. Students are encouraged to downloaded the unified Blackboard app. More information on learning with Blackboard app

Please be aware that some course content may display differently in the app. If you experience any issues using the Blackboard app, we recommend trying through a web browser and contacting academiccomputing@fairfield.edu with any questions or concerns.



Contact the ITS Help Desk in the Library Room 230 or at (203) 254-4069 for assistance.