Clean Up Your Bb Course List

January 31, 2013 in BB Tutorials, BB Tutorials, Distance Learning, Faculty, Student


I don’t know about you but my Blackboard course list can get quickly out-of-control. Thanks to some improvements in Bb, we now have the option to organize all our courses by term. This makes it much easier to find things and turn off courses in past terms. Another great thing is this option is available for both faculty and students.

Watch the video or follow the directions to learn more:


Step 1: Go to your “My Blackboard Courses” module.

Step 2: Click the gear wheel icon in the upper right hand corner of the module. You must hover over the corner for the icon to appear.

Step 3: Go to Item 1 “Terms” and click the “Group by Term” checkbox.

 Step 4: Make your selections for how you would like your terms to appear.

Step 5: Click  the Submit Button

Now, your courses should be organized by term in Blackboard. You can even use the arrows to the left of each term to expand or collapse the list.

Copying Course Content

August 16, 2012 in BB Tutorials, Faculty

This tutorial will walk you through the steps in order to copy content from one course to another OR within the same course. You can use this function to copy content items, pictures, videos, and folders. You will not be able to copy assignments, discussion boards, and other items with a grade value.
To copy content from one course to another, please follow the steps outlined below:

      1. Log into Blackboard.  Select the course.
      2. Click on the content area (Syllabus, Course Information, Assignments, Course Documents, etc.).
      3. Click on the chevrons (down arrows) beside the title of the content item you wish to copy to get the menu.  Click on Copy.

      1. On the Copy screen, you will need to select the Destination Course and the Folder where you want the content to go.

      1. Now for a brief explanation of the two:
        • Destination Course: Contains a list of courses that you are currently enrolled in as an instructor. Clicking within the highlighted field will produce a dropdown for you to select the course you wish the item to go to.
        • Destination Folder: By clicking on Browse, a new pop-up window will appear. The list of the folders in this pop-up mirrors any editable Content Areas and any sub-folders within the Destination Course you selected.

      2. Click on the folder you want the content item to go.
      3. Click Submit to complete the copy process.

To download this tutorial, click here: CopyContent!

Fixing Text Box Issues in Bb Tests

April 4, 2012 in BB Tutorials, BB Tutorials, Distance Learning, Faculty, Student, Uncategorized

photo credit: Hernan Vargas

I have received recent reports of students having trouble with text boxes within Bb tests and quizzes. A few students have reported that they can type their answer for item 1, but they are unable to enter text for any of the following test items using text boxes.

This is caused by an incompatibility problem between Bb 9.0 and the latest release of Microsoft Internet Explorer (9) and Mozilla Firefox (11) web browsers. Students using older versions of these browsers will not experience any text box issues in their tests.

There are two possible solutions:

1. Students may turn off the text editor feature in Bb. This is easily done. Please watch the video at this link for directions:


2. Students may download Google’s Chrome browser. Then, use the Chrome browser to open Bb and take the test.

This incompatibility problem will be fixed when we move to Bb 9.1 on May 12th.


Ken Fairbanks
Director of Distance & Distributed Learning
Wytheville Community College

Seeing Blackboard through the Eyes of a Student

February 16, 2012 in BB Tutorials, Discovery Fridays, Faculty

image of student using laptop

Sometimes you don’t know what you DON’T know… and this is probably one of those things.

Did you know that every faculty member has TWO active Blackboard usernames? Well you do!

All of us have our username that we use each day to log into the MyVCCS/MyWCC portal like jdoe123. This username can also be used to log into Bb directly, by going to This should not be news to anyone.

All of us also have a second username that we can use to log into Bb directly as a student. This second username is the same as your normal username with an underscore student added to the end, such as jdoe123_student. (Note: The password for both is the same)

Why do we have a second username? This username allows us to enroll ourselves in our Bb courses using the student role and view our courses as a student would see them.

This can be very useful for checking:

  • Content Areas
  • Assessments
  • My Grades Tool (Adding yourself as a student is the only way to view this tool in Bb)

I add my student username to all my courses to check my gradecenter and the student’s My Grades tool to assure that graded items are displaying and calculating correctly.

How do you add your username_student to your courses? You use the same process you would for adding any student to Bb, just enter your username_student. If you have never added a student to a Bb course see this short tutorial: How to add a user to your Bb course.

How do I access my course as a student? You go to and log directly into Bb using your username_student and your normal username’s password.

Please remember that you must make your course “available” to students and while logged in as a student, you cannot edit or change any content. You are a STUDENT.

Also you cannot be logged in as a student and as faculty simultaneously in the same browser. You can get around this by using different browsers, such as Firefox and Explorer.

This can be a very useful tool for inspecting and fine tuning your Bb courses. If you have any question about setting this up, please contact Distance Learning and we will assist you.


Ken Fairbanks
Director of Distance & Distributed Learning
Wytheville Community College


Go Direct!

February 14, 2012 in BB Tutorials, BB Tutorials, Distance Learning, Faculty, Student

Did you know that you can sign into Blackboard directly without going to the MyVCCS or MyWCC portal? Occasionally, we will experience temporary network or power outages that shutdown the WCC website or portal pages.

Access Bb directly by going to (I recommend bookmarking this address) and use your established username and password.

Image of Blackboard direct log-in page

Blackboard direct log-in page

Don’t let a little outage keep you from getting your work done!


Ken Fairbanks
Director of Distance & Distributed Learning
Wytheville Community College