Oops! Getting Help with Blackboard

Blackboard is our current learning management system (LMS) here at W&M, chosen way back in 1999.

Accidents happen. You clicked the wrong thing or dropped when you needed to drag, and now your Blackboard course doesn’t work right. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone, and IT is here to help. Here are the best ways to get in touch with us.

Via Email

The bbhelp@wm.edu email is monitored by the different members of the Blackboard team. If you email me directly and I happen to be out of the office dealing with my own accident, your problem will have to wait until l return. That’s not true when you email bbhelp@wm.edu. Someone will always be available to read and respond to your ticket.

The Technology Support Center Phone Line

If you need an even faster response, call the Technology Support Center (TSC) at 1-HELP. The TSC is fully staff during business hours. Their technicians can resolve many Blackboard problems, like password resets or enrolling a student in your class. If they can’t fix the problem, they’ll get you to someone who can.

DIY at the Blackboard Help Pages

If you’re the kind of ambitious blackboard user who likes to figure things out for yourself, go to the Blackboard help pages: https://help.blackboard.com/ where you’ll be able to search all of the help topics. These pages are linked from every William and Mary blackboard course, look for the “help” link in the left hand navigation.

Need more targeted help? The WM Blackboard support pages provide an array of step-by-step video demos specifically made for WM faculty and staff. You’ll also find a link to our hand out for students on test taking.

When something goes wrong your first instinct is to fix it as fast as possible. While that’s a great idea when it comes to spilled milk, it can be a problem in Blackboard. Certain mistakes, like hiding the results of an exam from the Grade Center, can only be fixed by IT. If you try to fix things by unchecking the box yourself, you’ll delete all of the student responses. In general it’s smart to ask for help before you start clicking.

An Ounce of Prevention…

Of course, the easiest way to fix a problem is not to have one. If you find yourself unsure how to set something up in Blackboard or wondering if you’re about to make a mistake, we’re happy to help. Faculty, staff, and students are all eligible for Blackboard training. I can speak to a class or a department or just meet you at your office to show you all the right clicks.

Course Cleanup Coming Soon

One of the biggest complaints we hear about Blackboard is that it’s too slow. At the same time everyone wants to have access to all of their course materials. Unfortunately, speed and size have an inverse relationship in our Blackboard system. The more courses we have, the bigger our Blackboard system, the longer it takes to load.

You may have received an email on January 12 listing classes scheduled for removal from the system. These classes are unused (not opened more than 12 times in the last year) or out of date (unused for 2 years). While archiving your classes is an inconvenience, please remember that removing old classes is an important part of Blackboard maintenance.