Blackboard: Getting Started

Logging In

You can log into Blackboard using your Westside Access credentials.

After logging in, you’ll land at the base navigation page. Here, you’ll be able to see all courses that you are enrolled in. The new Courses page sorts your courses into a timeline so that you can focus on courses that are currently active. You can search for courses by name or filter the view. Courses you mark as a favorite will appear at the top of your course list, making it easy for you to access the courses you use most frequently. You can even make courses visible or hide them from students right from your Courses list. You can no longer reorder your course list; courses are listed in alphabetical order.

The page lists your Current Courses by default, but you can use the forward and backward arrows or the Current Courses drop down menu to access previous or upcoming semesters. You can also use the Filter menu to modify your view of the page or use the search function to find courses on the current page.

If you access a course frequently, you can select the star icon to add it to your favorites so it appears at the top of the list. No more scrolling! You can select the star icon again to remove a course from your favorites when you’re finished working in it often.

If there are courses you do not need to see, you can hide them from your view. Click the … menu next to the course and select Hide Course. Once hidden, you can use the filter menu to view the courses that are hidden from you. Note: This only hides the course from your view and does not affect whether students or other faculty and staff can view your course.

Managing Course Availability

In addition to the settings within your course, you can adjust the availability of your course from the Courses Page. Click the … menu next to the course and choose to open the course or make it private (this is equivalent to available and unavailable).  

Grid View

Use the course view toggle at the top of the page to switch between list view (default) or grid view. In grid view, your course card includes an image. Every course is assigned a default image from a library of landscape photographs. 

You can add a custom image to represent your course by clicking the pencil icon in the corner. The minimum size for images is 1200 x 300 pixels. Text isn’t recommended for the image, but if you are using text, it should be centered vertically and horizontally in the image and wrapped over multiple lines to avoid being cut off. 

Activity Stream

On the Activity Stream, you can see what’s new in all your courses and jump directly into course activities from the list! You don’t need to dig through the system or miss submissions from students. You see a prioritized list of what’s relevant to you, including updates to discussions, recent messages, and new student submissions to assessments. For a student, the Activity Stream also highlights upcoming or past due dates, newly added content, and recently posted grades.

Other Items

Calendar will show you upcoming due dates for all your courses.

Messages displays all messages from your courses.

Grades shoes you a quick overview of how many assignments you have to grade, as well as the average of those graded.