Blackboard FAQ’s

Q: What is Blackboard?
A: Blackboard is course management system that provides a web-based platform that allows faculty to add and organize course resources for students to access online. NIU is currently running Release 9.1.

Q: How do I access Blackboard?
A: Faculty and students access the BSMCON Portal online by typing in the Location field of a web browser. Faculty and Students use their Usernames and passwords for their Blackboard login. Even if you have several Blackboard courses, only one login name and password is necessary.

Q: How do I log in to Blackboard?
A: Once you arrive at the Blackboard home page, type in your assigned username in the “username” box and your password (same as username – all lowercase) in the “password” box. Then click on the Login button.

Q: How do I find out what my Username is or how do I change my password?
A: As indicated above, you will need your Username and a proper password to access Blackboard. If you are a new student at the College, you will receive your Username and Password during Student Orientation.

Q: I am a current student at BSMCON, but I cannot log in to Blackboard?
A: If you are unable to log in to the Blackboard system, it may be for one of the following reasons:

  • You have entered an incorrect Username.
  • Your password has expired and/or needs to be reset

Please refer to the questions above to resolve either of these issues.

Q: What operating systems do I need to use Blackboard?

  • Windows users:  XP, Vista, or Windows 7, Windows 8 or 8.1.
  • Mac users:  Macintosh OS 10.2 or higher

Q: What software do I need on my computer to run Blackboard?
A: You will need the following software installed on your computer to access course-related content:

  • Operating System Word Processor (WordPad, Notepad, Pages)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

For certain courses that use graphics and video content, you might need Windows Media Player, Real Player, Quick Time, or Flash installed on your computer.

Q: Can I access Blackboard from any off-campus location (home or work)?
A: You need not be on campus or use an on-campus computer to access Blackboard. You can use Blackboard anywhere you have a computer with Internet access.

Q: Will virus protection software or firewalls interfere with Blackboard?
A: Commonly used virus protection software products, like McAfee or Norton, should not interfere with accessing Blackboard.
If you access Blackboard at home and you use firewall protection, you might encounter occasional problems while using Blackboard. To resolve such problems, you will need to make changes to your firewall settings. If you experience similar problems at work, contact the technical help desk for assistance.

Q: How do I access the courses that I am registered for?
A: Once you log into Blackboard, you will see your courses listed under the BSMCON tab on the right hand side of the page. You can also click on the Courses tab at the upper left hand corner of the page to get a listing of the courses that you have registered for and which have a Blackboard course Web site.

Q: Can I use non-schol e-mail addresses to communicate via Blackboard?
A: No. In order to receive or send e-mail messages via Blackboard, you will need to use your school-provided e-mail account.

Q: I am a student; why can’t I see the course I’m enrolled in?
A: The course may not be opened yet. It will open when the College Term begins.

Q: Students want to change their e-mail address in Blackboard.
A: The College has assigned an academic email for all students and this email address may not be changed.

Q: I lost my password. Please reset my password.
From the Blackboard login page, Click “Forgot Your Password?”
A: There are two options, username or email address to retrieve your password.
An email will be sent with instructions to change the password.

Q: A Student User is inquiring on how to modify a discussion board posts in BB.
A: The instructor has the option of allowing students to modify their posts. Please contact your instructor to see if that option is enabled.

Q: Can I access Blackboard from my mobile device?
A: You can access Blackboard using the browser on your mobile device, but most functionalities will not work due to the limitations of mobile devices. Instead, you should use the Blackboard Mobile Learn app available currently on the iTunes App Store for iPad, iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as on the Android Market, BlackBerry App World, and Palm webOS