A good start leads to a good finish, and you've just taken your first step on the path toward success in learning online.

Online learning can consist of both real-time interactions, such as in Blackboard Collaborate or Microsoft Teams as well as interactions that occur over extended periods of time, such as in messages or discussions. The important benefit of online learning is that it can span time and distance. You don't have to be in the same place as your instructor to obtain course-related information.

With Blackboard Learn, you have access to your course content from anywhere, at any time. You can also interact with your classmates and instructors.

These instructions can help you get started in the online environment.

Log in

Everyone needs the same three pieces of information to gain access:

  • The web address of your institution's Blackboard Learn site
  • Your username
  • Your password

In most cases, the web address given by your institution directs you to the login page. If you're directed to another location, look for a login button or a special portal area.

More on logging in

If you have login issues, contact the computing help desk at your institution. 

If you're not sure how to contact your institution's help desk, look for the technology office on your institution's website. You can also search the web for your institution's name + Blackboard + help or support.

Determine your course view

Let's determine which course view you have—the Original Course View or Ultra Course View. Our help documentation is separated by each view on the same page, so let's learn how to determine your view!

Find your courses

Original Course View

Courses vary in design based on the instructor and the institution, but some common elements exist. Your institution and instructor control which tools you can use.

The course menu appears on the left side of your window—your access point for all course content. Select an item to open it. Content appears in the main window to the right of the course menu.

Video playlist: Get started in the Original Course View

More on the Original Course View

Ultra Course View

On the Course Content page, your instructor's name and picture appear. At the top of the page, you can open frequently used tools. Select the icons to check the course calendar, drop in on class discussions, access your grades, and send a message if allowed.

As you open pages, they open as layers. Close the layers to return to a previous page or the list.

Video playlist: Get started in the Ultra Course View

The Course Content page


Manage your information

Blackboard Learn provides numerous tools for you to store your personal information, schedule, and to-do items. You can also change your password and determine your privacy options.

Blackboard Learn has a calendar that you can use to record important dates such as homework deadlines, sports events, field trips, and study sessions.

Your instructor also may use the calendar to help remind everyone about class meeting times, due dates for coursework, and office hours.

More on the calendar

Access course materials

In your Blackboard courses, you may find a variety of content, such as online lectures, multimedia, tests, assignments, and links to websites and social media. You'll also be able to add many types of content to your discussions, tests, and assignments. You can also upload files from cloud storage.

More on navigating inside your course

More on the types of content in your courses

More on adding files, images, video, and audio


Your instructor may communicate directly with you or may send announcements and messages to the entire class.

If your course has a syllabus, check for your instructor's virtual office hours and preference for direct communication. 


In discussions, you can share thoughts and ideas about class materials. Participants don't need to be in the same location or time zone, and you can take the time to consider your responses carefully. Your instructors may choose to grade your contributions.

More on discussions


You can view messages in each of your courses. If allowed by your institution, you can also create and reply to messages. If allowed, you and your instructors can send messages to each other, multiple people, or an entire class for reminders, quick questions, and social interactions.

Messages activity remains inside the system. You can't view or send messages outside of your course.

More on messages

Announcements from your instructors and institution

Instructors use announcements to communicate time-sensitive information and course updates. Administrators at your institution use announcements to communicate institution-wide information such as the holiday schedule or special events.

More on announcements


You can choose which notifications you receive about activity in all your Original and Ultra courses. 

More on notifications

Submit assignments and tests

As you progress through your course, you'll complete different types of assignments: problems to solve, chapter questions to answer, research papers, presentations, creative writing, and so on.

In Blackboard Learn, you can easily upload your files and receive files back, along with your grade and feedback.

Your instructor controls the date when assignments are ready for you to access. 

More on submitting assignments

More on assignment grades

Instructors use tests to assess your knowledge of course content and objectives. Your instructor assigns point values to questions in a test. You submit your test for grading and the results are recorded.

More on taking tests

More on test grades

Check your grades

You can view all the coursework and grades for one course at a time or all your courses from one page.

Your instructor may leave feedback about your work and may also leave a video or audio recording for additional information about your grade.

More on grades

If your instructor has assigned attendance grades, you can view your overall attendance grade and detailed records. Your instructors can use your attendance grade as part of your overall course grade. Also, some institutions and programs have attendance policies that require instructors to track the number of class meetings students have missed.

More on attendance grades

Use the Blackboard app

The Blackboard app is designed especially for students to view content and participate in courses. The current version of the app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

The Blackboard app provides an intuitive way for you to interact with courses, content, instructors, and other students.

The Blackboard app shows only the courses where you're enrolled a student.

More on the app