Digital Down Low


How to navigate the confusing, yet crucial, Blackboard

Marco Omta / For The Post

Liz Backo

Blackboard is a pain. That’s a given. Remember all those awful websites your high school tried to use to do online homework? It’s like those, but it’s centralized for all your college classes. The struggles are something you learn within a week of experiencing university life, and it becomes integral to you as a student very quickly. Just about every assignment, online quiz or test announcement will likely be found there, unless your teacher feels exceptionally unique and decides not to use Blackboard at all.

That being said, there are certainly ways to make it work for you. Learning to adapt to Blackboard can take a while, but the site can prove to be useful if you know what to do. Here are three major ways to make things easier for yourself which may save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.

1. Enable your browser to remember your username and password for login.

One of the most frustrating things about the site right off the bat is that it routes through the university network, so it can’t “remember” your username and password, which you’ll find yourself typing in over and over and over, even within minutes because of how often you might be using it. If you allow your browser to remember your username and password, however, it takes a click of a button to access the site.

2. Make sure you understand your grades and how they’re calculated.

Depending on how the teacher grades your class, Blackboard may show your grade as a 65 percent even if you have a 100 percent so far in the class, so long as you have only done 65 percent of the coursework. Some teachers add in those points and assignments as time goes on, and others have them all there at the beginning that have a starting grade of zero. Make sure you figure out which style your teachers are, if they even upload the grades on Blackboard at all. Through that, you can get a better idea of how things are going in the semester.

3. Give yourself some time to turn an assignment in before its due date.

Especially in large class sizes, many people will try to work on and review their submission until the last minute. In fact, sometimes so many people do it that Blackboard can fail to upload everyone’s files in time, potentially leaving you with a late assignment. Although some professors may be lenient on a minute or two, others may not be. In fact, some specifically state that Blackboard issue to make sure students do not fall prey to the slow upload speed.

The website certainly is not perfect, even if you know all the tips and tricks, but having a grasp on how it works and how to solve some of its issues certainly helps. Best of luck.

— Marco Omta is a junior studying music production. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What helps you navigate Blackboard? Email Marco at mo183714@ohio.edu.

Back to The Orientation Guide

Development by: Taylor Johnston / Digital Production Editor

Landing Page

Special Projects

This story is part of a series of specially designed stories that represents some of the best journalism The Post has to offer. Check out the rest of the special projects here.