Getting Started with Blackboard

For help logging into Blackboard, please view our online tutorial.

1. EOU Blackboard Home Page

When you first log into Blackboard you will land on your EOU Blackboard Home Page. The two components of the Home Page you should be familiar with are the Tools and My Courses modules, as seen below in red.

The Blackboard Home Page


The primary feature of the Tools module to be aware of is the Personal Information section. This is where you go to change your Blackboard password. Please be sure to use this feature to change your default YYMMDD password to something else which is secure and is not public information.

The Tools section of the Home Page tab

My Courses

In the My Courses module, you will see any EOU class you are enrolled in that has been made available in Blackboard by the instructor. The name of each course will appear as a clickable hyperlink that will allow access to that course.

The My Courses section of the Home Page module

The courses that appear in the My Courses section are customizable. Most instructors make their courses unavailable after the end of a term and these courses disappear from the My Courses module. However, some courses will remain available after the end of the term. If you prefer to hide those courses, you can do so by clicking the small gear button in the upper right corner.

The gear button allows you to hide old courses

2. Accessing a Standard EOU Blackboard Course

Course Menu

Every Blackboard course you access will have several things in common but the most important component is the Course Menu highlighted in red below. Because the Course Menu can be customized by faculty to serve their specific instructional needs the menu in any specific course may look different than our example below. But the basic function of the menu is the same across all courses.

The Course Menu provides access to important areas of the course

The Course Menu provides access to key features and areas of the course. Sometimes the Course Menu disappears when you’re navigating through a course. This will also happen if you click the Hide Course Menu tab.

The Hide Course Menu tab

Toggling this tab will give you a larger view of the content window on the right. Also, if you’re trying to print off the contents of a content area in Blackboard, sometimes it helps to hide the Course Menu so only the content area is printed and not the menu. To get the Course Menu back, simply click the Show Course Menu tab, as you see below.

The Show Course Menu tab

Course Tools

Another important component of the standard Blackboard course is the Course Tools area. The availability of the Course Tools area is determined by the instructor of the course, so it may not be available to you. Additionally, sometimes it is named Communication instead of Tools in the Course Menu.

The Course Tools are usually available under the Tools link in the Course Menu

When you click on Tools (or Communication) you will be taken to a page populated with different tools that may be used in this course. Some of the Tools you will frequently use in a Blackboard course include the Announcements, Discussion Board, Email, and My Grades.

The Tools area of a Blackboard course

Using tools without the instructor’s knowledge can potentially cause confusion. For instance, the Tools section includes one tool called Messages and another tool called Email. If you use the Email tool, it will send a message to the recipients’ EOU email addresses. If you use the Messages tool, the recipient will not realize it unless they also open up the Messages tool and check for themselves.

Alternately, items populated in the tools page may be placed in the course menu by the instructor and the link to the tools page disabled, as shown below. It is also possible for the instructor to modify the look of the course menu. Such design features are at the discretion of the instructor.

A sample Course Menu with buttons instead of links.

Instructions on how to use the key tools which may appear on the Course Menu or on the Tools page are linked below as individual tutorials.

Helpful tutorials for Blackboard Tools

Other tutorials for beginners