Faculty Development

Web Online Instructions

Blackboard has been adopted as the online course management system (CMS) at JBU. It enables instructors to post components of their courses or their entire course on the World Wide Web (WWW). Students may access these materials by logging into the system using specific Usernames and Passwords. One major advantage of such a system is that the materials are accessible anytime and anyplace as long as the user has Internet access.

Elements of Blackboard include:

  • Threaded discussion
  • SafeAssign (plagiarism detection)
  • Assignment submission
  • Content areas
  • Group work areas
  • Online testing
  • External links
  • Site statistics

Basic Design Principles

  1. Organize your course materials before you begin developing your Blackboard site.
  2. Create your documents in a word processing software.  This gives you the advantage of easier editing and spell check. It also allows you to keep a backup copy of your content material.
  3. Avoid long scrolling screens. Instead, divide the material into “chunks” of information.
  4. Keep the navigation simple and logical.
  5. Use a sans serif font such as Arial or Helvetica. Research has shown that these fonts are easier to read from a computer screen. Use a 12 point font size for text copy.
  6. Avoid all caps. On the Internet this is considered “SCREAMING!” In addition, it is harder to read. It is better to use the normal capitalization and punctuation that is found in books or publications.
  7. Keep animations and sound effects to a minimum. They can be effective but they can also be annoying if over used.
  8. Use appropriate images. These add interest and understanding. Make sure images are clear. Try and create images that are between 5-35 kb in size for easy loading.
  9. Use links to provide additional, useful information. Provide a brief description of link pages for references.
  10. Consider using short video clips. It is usually best to make this content optional since some students will be accessing the site over slow modems and may not be able to view them.
  11. Sound files are another good option. These are usually smaller than video files and are also effective.

What do I need to do in order to get started and create a class?

Contact the JBU Helpdesk to get started with Blackboard (help@jbu.edu or 524-7256)

You will be asked to provide the course name (Old Testament Survey) and the course ID (BBL1013).

Logging into Blackboard

Step 1: Open your browser.  Since Blackboard makes extensive use of Java, make sure that you are using a Java enabled version of the browser and that it is functional.

Step 2: Type eagle.jbu.edu in the address line and hit Enter. Click on Blackboard under Resources. This will take you to the log in screen. Use your regular JBU login name and your ID number as your password (or another password that you have previously selected.

Once you are logged on you will be taken to the My Institution Tab area. Blackboard includes a header frame with buttons and images customized for JBU and contains tabs that will navigate to different areas within Blackboard. Clicking on a tabbed area will open that area in the content frame.

Screen shot of logging into Blackboard

My Institution Tab

This area contains tools and information specific to your courses.

Courses Tab

The Course Tab lists the courses specific to each user. User courses are listed in two categories, those that you are teaching and those that you are enrolled in as a student. To access a particular course, click on the course link in this area.

Your Course Site

The top right hand box contains the courses that you have access to. Click on the course you will enhance with Blackboard. You will see a page similar to the following graphic. This is your course homepage. When you or students enter your course, this is the first page they will see.

Screen shot of Blackboard features

Course web site elements

Announcements Posts timely information critical to course success. Announcements appear on the Main Frame upon entry to Blackboard.

Course Information

Displays descriptive material about the course. Usually, the course syllabus and course objectives are displayed here.
Faculty Information 

Provides background and contact information about course instructors.
Course Documents

Contains learning materials and lesson aids.

Lists due dates and descriptions for class work. Also contains online quizzes and tests.


Allows course participants to communicate. Allows users to:

  • send and receive email
  • read and post messages to the discussion board
  • view the student roster
External Links Hyperlinks to outside learning materials. Can provide a description of each external link.