Framingham State University's eLearning platform, Blackboard, delivers online, on-campus and blended courses. Regardless of how content is delivered, support services are available to all students, faculty and staff. To view official help documents visit the Blackboard Learn Help for Students site. If you are unable to find the answer to your question, please email IT@framingham.edu or call 508-215-5906.
Take Blackboard 101 for Students
Blackboard 101 for Students is a self-paced introductory course to learn to navigate and submit assignments in Blackboard. You must be logged into Blackboard to access it. Once you enroll yourself in Blackboard 101, the course will appear in your My Courses list. The instructions to enroll can be found on the Blackboard home page once you are logged in.
Taking a course remotely may mean that you need to adopt a new approach and new study habits. Below are some steps you can take to get started.
- Make a list of all your classes, your professors’ names and email addresses. You may find this information onmyFraminghamunder the Academic tab and Current Schedule; you may also find your schedule and faculty contact information on Starfish.
- Understand how your professor intends to complete the course. Will they use Blackboard or another way to deliver the course content? Read all emails from your professors and make notes about that on the list you created above.
- Be organized! Create a separate folder for each course. Schedule time to do coursework on a regular basis, participate as requested and stick to your schedule for the duration of the course. If you allow too many days to pass by without a login, you may find it difficult to catch up.
- Download your class syllabus from each course site to understand expectations and understand your instructor’s communication and instructional continuity plans. It is likely your professor will post an updated or modified syllabus and taking time to read this is extremely important.
- Become familiar with any tools your professor is using to teach your class. See the Blackboard and ETO helpful resources below.
- Make note of your due dates and confirm with your professor how your assignments are collected. CASA has tools that can help you with this.
- Gather everything else you will need to be productive. Think about what you will need if your professor uses real-time video conferencing: does your computer have a built-in microphone and speaker? Do you have a headset for your phone? Do you have your class notes, textbook or other equipment, like power adapters, that you’ll need?
What do you need to know about Blackboard?
Many of your faculty are using Blackboard to deliver classes remotely. All that is required to connect is a computer with a browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) and connection to the Internet. Blackboard is used by faculty and students to share information and course materials, to engage in critical thinking activities and collaborate online. If you are new to Blackboard or need a refresher, take the Blackboard 101 course for students, or email IT@framingham.edu.
For mobile users
The Blackboard Mobile Learn app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Use the app to receive notifications, view content, review grades and more. If taking a test or responding to the discussion board, we recommend that you log in on a computer (laptop or desktop). More information on the Blackboard Mobile Learn app can be found at: Blackboard Mobile Learn>>
How will my professor lead real-time class meetings?
Some professors may ask you to sign into a class meeting using a tool in Blackboard called Collaborate Ultra. You will find the session linked in your course space or under Course Tools. Collaborate is used most often to hold virtual class meetings, share content, and hold class discussions. Some professors may also use Collaborate to run office hours and advising. For the best experience, you will need a microphone-either built into your laptop or computer or an external device such as a USB microphone or headset.
Once you join a session it will open in your browser, so you don’t need to install any software.
If you need assistance using the tool:
- Reference theCollaborate Help page>> on the Blackboard website
- watch the followingYouTube video>> (2 minutes, 14 seconds)
- email@example.com you are unable to resolve the issue.
What is Panopto?
Your instructor might record their lectures or make video demonstrations for you and share that material via Panopto in your Blackboard course. As a student, all you have to do is click and watch the video. In this way, the tool is like YouTube.
In some cases, your instructor might ask you to make your own recording of a presentation or demonstration using the Panopto Recording tool. If that happens, additional resources will be provided to guide you through the process. Watch the following Panopto “Get Started” videos>> (2 minutes, 29 seconds; 3 minutes, 9 seconds; you will be prompted to login to your Blackboard account) for more information about this special situation.
Why would I use VoiceThread?
VoiceThread is a relatively new tool in Blackboard that may be used to host asynchronous discussions, present class materials, and invite discussion on those materials, as well as for student presentations. VoiceThread allows for multiple modes of participation in discussions by allowing responses as video, audio, text, or any combination. This bridges the gaps in social presence typically found in online courses by allowing all participants to see and hear the presenter, as well as their presentation, image, or other course materials. For anyone with disabilities, all videos are closed-captioned.
If you are asked to use this tool in your classes, reference this Student Guide to VoiceThread>>
Need additional help?
Contact Information Technology Services (IT) at FSU: 508-215-5906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.