A Blackboard Learn version 9.1 Overview

We have upgraded Blackboard to the very latest release, version 9.1.
This brings a more attractive user interface, and a number of new or improved tools which lecturers will be able to use to build their courses online.
Initially the biggest difference which students are likely to see is in the appearance of courses. This guide aims to familiarize you with the new screen layout, and other changes you may come across.

Logging on
This is unchanged - continue to log on at http://blackboard.garrettcollege.edu, using your username and password (see below). If you do not know your password, stop by TC 310 to have your password reset.

About your Password

New Students
Your login information will be sent to your home address a few weeks before classes start. Be sure to bring this information with you!

Returning Students Beginning Fall 2010, users will have one password for campus computers (network), email, and Blackboard. Your Blackboard and email password will be defaulted to your network password. If you do not remember your password, stop by TC 310 for assistance.

Enroll in the Self Service Password Management System
All students should enroll in the SSPM. This will enable you to change your password or retrieve a forget password. It only takes about a minute and may save you a lot of time in the future. Go to https://sspm.garrettcollege.edu (don't forget the "s") For detailed directions, go to www.garrettcollege.edu/services, click on Technology.

Home Page
Although the design has changed, this should still look quite familiar.

Courses
Courses have been given a makeover, but most things you need should be easy to find.
If you see fewer buttons on the course menu, that's probably because Blackboard 9.1 hides any menu areas which have no content. This saves you opening up areas only to find that they're empty. If you have a face to face course that uses Bb, your course may only have a few buttons in the course menu.

When you go into areas like Course Documents, although the icons may have changed, everything should still be just where it was before the upgrade.

Problems opening Word and Excel files
You may find that, when attempting to open Word and Excel files from Blackboard, a Microsoft security warning appears at the top of the screen.

The file opens if you

  • click on the yellow bar
  • then choose Download File

NEW! - Blogs and Wikis
Blackboard now comes with its own blog and wiki functionality (usually accessible via Course Tools), if your instructor uses utilizes them

Course tools
Previously course tools were separated into Tools and Communication, but have now been brought together. Features available include Blogs and Wikis, course Calendar and Tasks, and communication tools such as Discussion Boards and Email. Your instructor may use any number of tools, depending on the course. Not all of these tools will be in use on every course. On the other hand your instructor may create links straight from the course menu to tools that are regularly used e.g. Discussion Boards & Blogs.

Announcements
On the Home Page you'll see that there is an Announcements Block. Announcements from all your courses will appear on the home page. Announcement from each course will appear on the course homepage.

You can find a link to the Blackboard User Guide in the Course Tools area.