Home » Online Degrees and Certificate Programs » Navigating Blackboard

Navigating Blackboard

In each online course there is a ‘Course Information’ section that contains the following:

  • Course Syllabus
  • Course Schedule
  • Academic Calendar
  • Course Specific Resources & Policies
  • Caldwell Online Student Handbook

It is important for you to review all of the content in the Course Information section to help you get off to a successful start in the course.

Course Structure

Content in each course will be contained in units. In each unit you will find a mix of the following Learning Activities:

  • Lecture
  • Readings and Resources
  • Assignments
  • Discussion Questions
  • Quizzes or Exams


Discussions are graded learning activities that require you to interact with your classmates and faculty member inside of the online course. These are similar to the conversations that happen in a traditional face-to face course meeting except they continue throughout the unit.

Although Discussions are meant to be free flowing, your instructor may have policies associated with them related to frequency, timeliness and quality of responses. It is critically important that you learn and adhere to these policies as quickly as possible.

Click here to view Blackboard’s ‘How to Use Discussions’  video tutorial.


 Each unit may contain one or more Assignments. Assignments, unless otherwise noted, must be submitted for grading though blackboard. These Learning Activities need to be completed and submitted by the due date assigned. Refer to your syllabus for information on submitting assignments late.

Technical difficulties are not valid reasons for not submitting work on time.

 Click here to view Blackboard’s ‘How to Submit an Assignment’ video tutorial.


 Units may contain a Content Assessment, a quiz or exam, which will assess you on the material presented in the unit, textbook and assigned required resources. Content assessments can contain multiple choice, short answer or essay questions, are timed and must be completed and submitted online in Blackboard.

If you have experienced a technical issue while taking a Content Assessment and are locked out from completing it, you need to contact your instructor immediately to have it reset. Technical Support cannot reset Content Assessments.

Click here to view Blackboard’s ‘How to Take a Test Online’ video tutorial.


 Your faculty member will communicate with you using several different tools in the course.

  • General announcements which will appear when you first enter the course
  • Individualized messages which can be accessed on the main menu of the course
  • Feedback on your Discussions and Assignments performance presented to you in the My Grades area on the main menu of the course

Things to Know

  • Create a back-up plan! Remember a technology issue is not a valid reason for missed deadlines. Develop a plan for emergencies, a friend or family member with a computer or the public library.
  • Dedicate time and space – Set appointments to do a little each day in a comfortable spot where you can work uninterrupted.
  • Enlist support of friends and family
  • Keep focused on goals