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Blackboard Student FAQ

May 30, 2014: Blackboard Access Ends

The transition from Blackboard to Canvas will complete at the end of the Spring 2014 term.

Blackboard will no longer be available as of 5 p.m. Friday, May 30, 2014. We strongly encourage you to review the Blackboard sites from your past courses and determine if there is anything you wish to save. You will not be able to access materials on Blackboard after that date.

You can log into Blackboard at

Please direct any questions to

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Access Problems:

I cannot log in to Blackboard. What should I do?

Most access problems can be resolved using our Blackboard Access Guide.

Why aren't all my courses listed in Blackboard?

While many instructors use Blackboard in the teaching and administration of their courses, not all elect to do so. It is possible that your professor is choosing not to use Blackboard this term or he or she may not have had the course site created yet. The instructor will let you know during your first class session whether he or she intends to use Blackboard.

Some schools at Penn use other courseware systems. For a full list of schools and supported systems, see Other Courseware Services.

I recently enrolled in a course that is using a Blackboard site, but it is not listed on my Blackboard home page. Any ideas?

When you make a registration change to your schedule the change will not be reflected on Blackboard until the next business day. There is an enrollment process that we run every weekday morning that pulls people into courses. So, if you were to add a course today, you would have access to that site by late tomorrow morning. If it has been more than two business days since your enrollment in a course changed and Blackboard does not reflect this change, please contact the Blackboard Support Team by using our Web form.

My welcome page only lists courses from past terms. How can I hide these sites?

By default, Blackboard only displays a few courses on the welcome page, but you can change this.

When you first log into Blackboard, the box near the top right of the screen is called "My Courses". You'll see that the top bar of that box has two icons -- a circle and a square. Click on the circle icon (the icon on the left). That will bring up a screen where you can check/un-check "Display Course Name" for any of your courses. When finished click "Submit" to save your changes.

I can't see the course documents. All I can see is the announcements. How can I access other parts of the site?

Sometimes when a course site opens the display window is maximized, making it appear that the course site only has one area of content. To access other areas of the site click on the arrow icon (located on the left side of the screen) to reduce the size of the display window. Please see the screenshot below that indicates this icon.

Which Web browsers are compatible with Blackboard 9.1?


Please see this table of supported Internet browsers and plug-ins for Blackboard.

Can I use my mobile device to access and work in Blackboard?

Yes, the Blackboard Learn Mobile app is available for users of any iOS or Android devices on any network. Blackboard has discontinued free access to the Blackboard Learn Mobile app and now charges a fee for access to this app. Please note that some tools and features of Blackboard may not function on all platforms. To find out more about the app, click here.

Blackboard Tools:

How do I upload assignments to Blackboard?

To submit an assignment, click the link or icon for the assignment.

Under 2) Assignment Materials click on the button for "Browse for Local File."


Once you've selected the file you wish to attach, it will appear under "Attached Files."


When finished, click "Submit" to send your file to the course instructor.

How do I post to a Blackboard blog?

To post to a class blog:

  1. Open the blog or journal (see Accessing Blogs and Journals).
  2. Click the Add New Entry button in the sidebar.
  3. Edit the title, or click continue to use the date as your title. You can edit this field again later.
  4. Type directly into the space provided or select the icons at the top to paste text from Word (clipboard with W), insert a hyperlink (chain), add an image (tree), or embed media (filmstrip). See a complete list of icons in the visual text editor.

    Blog Entry page

  5. Click Save & Exit when done. This will post your entry.
How do I participate in a course discussion board?

First, navigate to the Discussion Boards on your course site. Discussion Boards may be their own menu item on the left side of your course page, or they may be under Tools. Then select the forum in which you want to participate. You can participate in by posting a new message/thread or reply to an existing message/thread.

To create a new message/thread, choose "Create Thread" at the top of the page, write your message/post, and be sure to click Submit when you're finished.

To reply to an existing thread, choose "Reply" at the bottom right of the message area, enter your reply, and click Submit.

How do I take a test, quiz or survey in Blackboard?


First navigate to the test on your Blackboard site. You will see the test/quiz icon (sheet with check mark, "x" and a pencil). Click the link to that item.

When you are ready to begin the test/quiz, choose "Begin". (Be sure to have any allowed materials handy when you do this, as there may be time constraints and you may not be allowed to access the test more than once.) When finished, choose "Save and Submit" to submit your test.

For more detailed instructions on proper test procedures in Blackboard 9.1, please see our online guide.

How do I print a file my instructor has uploaded to Blackboard?

To download and print a Word, PowerPoint, Excel or PDF file from the Blackboard site (in Firefox), right-click on the document link to be printed and choose "Save link as..." Save the document to a known location (My Computer > U:/drive > Downloads on machines in Van Pelt Library). Open the downloaded document, and print using the file menu or ctrl-p.

Please note that the combination of Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 is particularly problematic when downloading and printing. If you encounter difficulties, please ensure you are using a certified or compatible browser.

A number of users have reported problems opening PDFs while using the Safari 5.0.x browser. Users who encounter problems accessing files using Safari should try another browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox or upgrade to Safari 5.1. For detailed instructions on possible workarounds using Safari 5.0, please see our Known Issues page.

How can I view my grades in Blackboard?

There are two ways to view your grades on Blackboard. The first is to use the "My Grades" Tool on the Blackboard Welcome page. The second is to go into a specific course site and selecting Tools > My Grades.

If your grades are not visible in either location, please check with your instructor to see whether he or she plans to make grades available in Blackboard.

My teacher sent us an email through Blackboard, but I don't see it.

Please check your spam or junk folder to make sure the email was not filtered into one of those locations.

How do I change my email address in Blackboard?

User records in Blackboard are updated Monday through Saturday mornings with information found in the Data Warehouse. If you want to change what email address is associated with your account in Blackboard, you will need to make this change in the PennDirectory:

  1. Log into the "My Profile" section;
  2. Press the light blue "edit" button next to your email address;
  3. Add your preferred email address if it is not already there;
  4. Check the corresponding box in the "Display in My Details?" field;
  5. Then select the corresponding dot for the "Display as My Search Result?" field;
  6. Press "Submit" and your email address will be updated in Blackboard the next morning.
How can I watch lecture recordings on my mobile device?

To view lecture recordings using the Blackboard Mobile Learn app:

  1. Open a course site, and locate the lecture recordings.
  2. Select the date/time of the lecture you wish to view.
  3. Click on "View in Browser."
  4. For the desired lecture, choose the option that includes the course name. Do not use the "Download" links.
  5. Click the play button to view the lecture.


How can I get updates on Blackboard news (scheduled downtime, unexpected outages, etc.)?

Updates are posted on the Courseware Page, Blackboard welcome screen and the Penn Libraries homepage.

We also have a Twitter account to provide timely Blackboard news and updates. Follow us!

Where can I get more help?

If you need additional assistance, please contact the Blackboard Support Team by using our Web form.