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Wednesday, December 07, 2016
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Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is Blackboard?
  • Using Blackboard
  • How do I access my Log-in Information?
  • What are the Technology Requirements to use Blackboard?
  • What settings need to be changed on my browser?
  • Why was I removed from the course?

May I use any word processor program?Do I need an outside Email address to take an online course?What do I do if I get kicked offline in the process of taking an exam?Where can I go for help with Blackboard?Is there a Blackboard help desk?

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard Learn™ is an e-learning system designed and used by hundreds of higher education institutions. Students using Blackboard as an educational medium have the ability to complete 100% of their course work, such as assignments and exams, via the internet. Blackboard facilitates course communication through the use of chat rooms, discussion forums, blogs and more.

With such tools, Instructors can build a more meaningful education experience. Technology used to help instructors focus on the fundamentals, manage outcomes and improve performance in real time making learning more engaging. That's what the Blackboard platform is all about. Helping you bring together the right set of tools to deliver a more effective learning experience.

How can I learn to use Blackboard?

Every semester we have our Blackboard 101 classes. These introductory courses are conducted face to face during the first week of classes on two campuses and online. If you have never taken an online course or want to familiarize yourself with the Blackboard system even before taking a class it is highly recommended that you come in for one of our sessions. Sessions are scheduled every semester usually starting the first couple weeks of classes. Please call our helpdesk at 304-327-4545 to find out when they are being offered.

Here are links that you can access online to further help yourself.

  • Blackboard On Demand: list of help videos and .pdf that can answer many questions about blackboard through Blackboard
  • Discussion board tour: a quick help video that explains the basics of working in a discussion board
  • Email: there is a difference between using the send email and the message area in Blackboard
  • Send email: sends email to external email boxes
  • Blackboard messages: sends messages within the course

How do I access my login information?

Your initial login information for Blackboard is the same as your school login for the lab computers. You can find this information by going to the BS homepage at and clicking on the link that reads, "Need access to online classes". When you request your login information you will need to provide your Birth-date with either your Social Security Number or your Student ID number.

What are Blackboard's technology requirements?

To access a Blackboard course you will need:

  • A computer
  • A Internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla FireFox (preferred)
  • A Email Address (one is provided to all BS Students)
  • A word processor such as WordPad or Microsoft Word

See additional technologies requirement in the distance learning site Technology Recommendations

How can I set up my browser to better work with BS and Blackboard?

Most browsers will work with Blackboard with no modifications, but if problems arise the information below will often resolves the issue.

Often problems arise from pop up blockers and some browser settings that will give you a difficult time taking any online course. These can be avoided by adding to the exception list in your browsers settings, usually located in the Firefox browser.  Clicking the link on the window marked Tools, then by choosing Options, then Content for FireFox.  Internet explorer users look at the top of the window for the link marked Tools, then Internet Options, then Privacy, then Settings.

You can download Firefox for free.

Please contact Content Management services if you find yourself having any problems with this specific issue please call our help-desk at 304-327-4545 and we will be happy to help you get the proper settings for the browser you choose.

Why was I dropped from the course?

When the number of clock hours of willful absences exceeds the number of semester hours of credit, the instructor will notify the Registrar that the student has exceeded the permissible number of absences and should be withdrawn from class. Instructors may make variations to the above attendance regulations. However, in no case shall the instructor's attendance regulations be more rigid than those stated above. The instructor shall file a copy of his/her attendance requirements with the Dean of the School and include them in course syllabi.

Absences Policy: The College recognizes three kinds of absences: (1) an institutional absence resulting from participation in an activity in which the student is officially representing the College; (2) an unavoidable absence resulting from illness, death in the immediate family, or unnatural cause beyond the control of the student; (3) all other absences are considered willful.

May I use any word processor program?

Bluefield State recommends that students use the office suite for most online courses; however you may use any word processing format that is available, such as word works or open office.

Most instructors can open any documents in these formats but some will specify that they want, for example, assignments turned in .rtf or .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word) format. Make sure that you have read your syllabus and or any assignment instructions so that you know what format to save your file in before you submit it.

* Please submit your assignments in whatever file format is requested by the instructor.

Do I need an email address to take an online course?

Yes, you do need one and Bluefield State provides one for you to use if you do not already have one. The information on retrieving your email user name and password is the same listed above for getting your user name and password for Blackboard.

BS recommends that students use the email account that is provided for you; however, you can change your Blackboard Account profile by selecting the tab marked My Bluefield State

What do I do if I get kicked offline in the process of taking an exam?

Contact your professor first. Most instructors can correct or reset a test for you. If the professor is unable to retrieve your answers, it will be necessary for the professor to contact Blackboard Support. There are a number of technical variables that will determine the necessary steps to be taken in order to ensure that your exam is properly submitted and or retrieved.

Test Tips:

"Make sure that the test page is completely loaded at the beginning and after each question is answered. Clicking too fast before page loading or double clicking causes interruption in information transfer and students to be released from the exams."

For best results, DO NOT click "Save Answer," but click the arrow to move to the next question (which will save your answer as well).

Where can I go for help with Blackboard?

Yes, the Blackboard Content Management Services is located in the top floor of the Physical Education Building in Rooms 407, 410 and the 401-C Blackboard helpdesk is located in the lab on the same floor. It is part of the Instructional Technology Center and has the office locations to support the faculty and student population of Bluefield State. Anyone in these offices is available for your assistance.

Is there a help desk?

The Instructional Design Center for Bluefield State is part of the Virtual College for online classes. Content Management Services is your support for online. Blackboard is just one of the online methods of instruction at BS. The Bluefield State Blackboard Help Desk hours are Monday through Friday 8 am-4 pm


Emma Zobo
Tracy Trexler

Blackboard Help Desk:
Instructional Technology Center
Bluefield State
Phone: 304.327.4545
Toll Free: 800.344.8892
or 800.654.7798 ext. 4545

Marlene Robinson
Brian Curto

Hilda Cochran
Blackboard Technical Support
Instructional Technology Center
Bluefield State
Phone: 304.327.4510
Toll Free: 800.344.8892
or 800.654.7798 ext. 4510

Audrey Biggs
Instructional Designer/CMS Administrator
Instructional Technology Center
Bluefield State
Phone: 304.327.4578
Toll Free: 800-344-8892
or 800-654-7798 ext. 4545