Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions concerning Blackboard. For more helpful guides, visit the How-To section of the website. If you have a problem not answered here, feel free to submit a support request.

FAQ Quick Reference

The table below will provide you with an overview of how this FAQ is structured and what tools you can expect to be covered in each section.

Help Topics What Will Be Covered
Accessing Your Courses
Content Issues
Blackboard Exams
General Questions

 

What browser should I use for Blackboard?

Students should use Mozilla Firefox because it works best with UALR’s Blackboard system.

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How do I login to Blackboard?

To login to Blackboard, you will need your NetID and Password. This tutorial will walk you through the process of finding your NetID and changing your password in BOSS.

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When can I access my Blackboard courses?

Students will not have access to their Blackboard courses until the first day of the term.

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My list of courses is incorrect.

There are a number of factors that can impact what courses you see in Blackboard. Before contacting Blackboard support, you should:

  • Check your enrollment in BOSS
  • Contact your instructor to verify that the course is available to students
  • Wait for Blackboard enrollments to update—this usually runs every three hours

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Can I access courses from previous semesters?

Unfortunately, students will not have access to courses from previous semesters. If you need access to materials from a previous semester, you will have to contact the instructor of the course at the time and request copies of the materials from them.

As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to keep more than one copy of your course work and assignments in case you may need the material after the semester ends. Backing up files to DVD or an external hard drive is recommended as an alternate data storage solution.

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Why are the dates in my course from a different semester?

This typically occurs when the instructor is in the process of updating the course in Blackboard. As they go through and update the course, the dates will change to for the current semester.

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How do I reply to and create discussion posts?

This tutorial will assist you with using discussion boards in Blackboard.

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I can’t find and/or open an assignment, test, etc.

If you are having an issue locating course content, please contact your instructor for further assistance. Your instructor might make an assignment unavailable until a certain date or until other criteria has been met.

If you are are having problems opening course content (assignment files, exams, etc.), there is likely an issue with your computer hardware and/or software. Please contact Blackboard Support for further assistance.

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How can I see my grades?

You can view your course grades in Blackboard only if your instructor has made the My Grades tool available. For more detailed instructions about viewing your grades in Blackboard, please visit our Grade Center tutorial.

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I’m having issues uploading a paper to SafeAssign.

If you have problems uploading a paper in SafeAssign, please check the following:

File Characteristics

  • The name of the file should not contain any spaces or special characters.
  • Files created using Office 2007 may have some file extensions that are not recognized by SafeAssign. Acceptable file extensions for uploading files through SafeAssign are: .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .html, .odt, .zip, and .pdf.
  • If you have tried uploading as one file format without success (a .doc or .docx for instance), try saving the file as the universal .rtf format.
  • Papers uploaded to SafeAssign cannot be larger than 10MB or contain more than 5000 sentences.

Browser Options
Supported browsers for use with SafeAssign include Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Other browsers may not function properly. We suggest all users (Mac and PC) should download Mozilla Firefox.

Java Installation
Having outdated or multiple Java installs may be causing the problem. This tutorial will walk you through the process of verifying and reinstalling Java.

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I can’t access course videos on my work computer.

This is usually a Firewall issue on the network you are using. If you are trying to access course content from a work computer, sometimes they have restrictions that prevent users from downloading/accessing large video files or streaming videos.

We recommend trying to access these video files from another computer or location; perhaps from home or a library computer. If you do not have access to another computer, you might try talking with someone in the IT department or a network administrator at your work to resolve the issue.

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I was kicked out of my exam. What happened?

If you experience problems during a test and cannot continue, contact your instructor immediately. A few reasons that you might lose information in Blackboard include:

  • Your Internet connection dropped
  • The browser refreshed
  • Your browser timed out due to inactivity. Blackboard has a security setting that logs you out if it doesn’t receive any input for a period of time.

The following tips can help you avoid this issue in the future:

  • Do not refresh the browser page
  • Do not close the browser window
  • Do not click the browser’s back button
  • If possible, compose your text in an external application (i.e. Microsoft Word, Open Office, Pages, etc.) and then paste it into Blackboard. Working offline first ensures that your work in progress will not be lost.

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My exam is asking for a password, what do I do?

If you are taking a regular exam (using any Internet browser), your instructor should have provided you with a password. You will want to contact your instructor for further assistance.

If you are taking a Lockdown Browser exam, the system will ask “did your instructor provide a password for access to this exam”. If you select “no”, the system will auto-generate a password for the exam.

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What is Lockdown Browser and how do I get it?

Some instructors will ask you to download Respondus Lockdown Browser, which disables certain programs, keyboard, and mouse functions to prevent unethical behavior during test-taking. You can download the Lockdown Browser from the Help tab inside the Blackboard system or from our Respondus Lockdown Browser support page.

If you are on campus at UALR, the Ottenhiemer Library computers have Lockdown Browser already installed. Simply find the Lockdown Browser icon and open it to access your Blackboard course.

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Lockdown Browser will not open.

Please visit our Troubleshooting Lockdown Browser page for more information.

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How do I know if I have email?

Blackboard keeps no record of received emails, only Blackboard messages. When you receive an email sent from within Blackboard, it will appear in the Inbox of your UALR email account. Keep a copy if important messages in case you need them at a later date.

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How do I see the new stuff added to my course?

Blackboard as a few different options to notify you when there is new content.

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How can I make sure my system is ready for Blackboard?

Most problems in Blackboard arise from incompatibility issues with your browser or software on your computer. Run our Blackboard Browser Check to make sure you have all the necessary software installed and up-to-date. Additionally, you can find tutorial and information to prepare you and your system.

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What is Java and how do I install it on my computer?

Java is a programming language and software platform that is required for certain features of Blackboard to function properly. In order for Blackboard to run properly, it is important you have the latest version of Java installed on your system.

Be aware that when downloading a new version of Java, any previous Java installations on your computer may not be overwritten. This can cause problems when trying to run Java on Blackboard. You will have to manually un-install any pre-existing versions of Java on your system. For more information on verifying, installing and troubleshooting Java on your system, visit our Troubleshooting Java page.

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How do I print something from my Blackboard course?

Because Blackboard is web-based and composed of iFrames, printing is handled through your web browser, or, if the content is an attached file such as a Microsoft Word or Excel document, through that program. The system is not ideally designed to support printing, but there is a work around.

Follow these easy steps to print a clean page in Blackboard using Firefox:

  • Click inside the frame in Blackboard you are interested in printing
  • Right Click on the frame within Blackboard you are interested in printing
  • Click on “This Frame” in the menu shown
  • Click on “Print Frame” in the next menu shown

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