An Introduction to Blackboard: Your Online Classroom

Blackboard is Caldwell University’s Learning Management System (LMS) which is an internet-based software that allows students to access:

  • Syllabus
  • Assignments
  • Instructions for readings
  • Announcements
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Access to course materials
  • Online quizzes or exams
  • Chat rooms and threaded discussions

Students enrolled in an online Blackboard course will not have any in-person requirements. All course content such as feedback, communication and quizzes or exams will occur entirely through Blackboard.

Most of Caldwell’s online courses are offered in seven week accelerated sessions that run throughout the year. Online courses can be quickly identified by their section designation:

  •  Online Session A – 565 (7 weeks)
  • Online Session B – 566 (7 weeks)
  • Online Session C – 500 (15 weeks)

Time Commitments

Caldwell Online courses are built to be equivalent to traditional face-to-face courses in goals and learning objectives. Students in an online course are expected to work both inside and outside of the online course. The following are approximate hours based upon the type of online course you are enrolled in:

  • 3 credit/ 7 week course: 20-26 hour per week
  • 3 credit/ 15 week course: 9-12 hours per week

If you are enrolled in two 3 credit/ 7 week online courses at the same time, this would be equivalent to a full time job as your time commitment would be between 40-52 hours per week.

What skills do I need?

You will need to be able to:

  • Browse and search the Internet
  • Use Email
  • Navigate to and open files/folders
  • Copy, paste, save and attach files
  • Download and install software of plugins
  • Express your thoughts and ideas in writing
  • Express questions and/or concerns to your professor or advisor
  • Learn independently and manage time effectively

Textbooks and Resources

Textbook information will be listed in the syllabus located in the course information section in the course menu. You will be able to buy or rent textbooks online through Caldwell University’s Bookstore. Attempting to complete an online course without a textbook or required resources is not advisable since discussion questions, assignments and quizzes/exams are based off the readings you are assigned in each unit.

In order to participate successfully in an online course, you must have reliable internet access, including a Caldwell email account and access to the web. The following will tell you what type of requirements your computer should have:

Hardware or Software Component Recommendation


Operating System Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.4 (or higher)
Memory 512 MB
CPU 1.6 GHz
Free Disk Space 256 MB or more
Other Sound card and speakers (microphone recommended)
Browser Firefox 3 or later
Safari 3 or later
Google Chrome 4 or later
Opera 9 or later
MS Internet Explorer 7 or later
Browser Settings  Java, JavaScript, and cookies enabled. Popup blocker disabled.
Internet Connection DSL or broadband strongly recommended (56K or greater will work)
Productivity Software MS Office (Open Office serves as a free alternative)