Frequently Asked Questions

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard Learn™ is an e-learning system used by hundreds of higher education institutions. Students using Blackboard as an educational medium have the ability to complete 100 percent of their coursework, such as assignments and exams, via the internet. Blackboard facilitates course communication through the use of chat rooms, discussion forums, blogs and more. With these tools, instructors can create a more meaningful learning experience.

How can I learn to use Blackboard?

Blackboard 101 classes are offered every semester. During the first week of classes, these introductory courses are conducted face to face on two campuses and online. If you have never taken an online course, or want to familiarize yourself with the Blackboard system before taking a class, it is highly recommended that you come in for one of these sessions. Please call our helpdesk at (304) 327-4545 to find out when they are being offered.

Blackboard on demand offers a list of help videos and a PDF that can answer many questions.

You can also take the Discussion Board Tour or learn about sending email and using the messages area within Blackboard. 

How do I access my login information?

Your initial login information for Blackboard is the same as your school login for the lab computers. You can find this information by going to the myBSC homepage at mybsc.bluefieldstate.edu and clicking on “Find New User Login Information.” You will need to provide your birth date and either your Social Security Number or your Student ID number.

What are the technology requirements for using Blackboard?

To access a Blackboard course, you will need:

  •  A computer
  •  An internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox (preferred)
  •  An email address (one is provided to all Bluefield State students)
  •  Word-processing software such as WordPad or Microsoft Word

How can I set up my browser to work better with Blackboard?

Most browsers will work with Blackboard without any modifications, yet if problems arise, the information below may help resolve any issues.

Often problems arise due to pop-up blockers and some browser settings that make it difficult to take online courses. These issues can be avoided by adding http://bluefieldstate.blackboard.com to the exception list in your browser settings. In Firefox, which can be downloaded for free, click the tab labeled Tools, then choose Options, then Content for FireFox. In Internet Explorer, click the tab labeled Tools, then choose Internet Options, then Privacy, then Settings.

If you continue to have problems, please call our help desk at 304-327-4545, and we will be happy to help you choose the proper browser settings for your online courses.

Why was I dropped from my course?

When the number of hours clocked for willful absences exceeds the number of semester credit hours, the instructor will notify the Registrar that the student has exceeded the permissible number of absences. The student will then be withdrawn from the class. Instructors may, however, make variations to the above attendance regulations. The instructor will file a copy of his/her attendance requirements with the dean of the school and include them in the course syllabus.

Absence Policy: Bluefield State recognizes three kinds of absences: (1) an institutional absence, resulting from participation in an activity in which the student is officially representing the college; (2) an unavoidable absence resulting from illness, death in the immediate family, or unnatural cause beyond the student’s control; (3) all other absences, which are considered willful.

May I use any word-processing program?

Bluefield State recommends that students use the Microsoft Office suite for most online courses; however, you may use any word-processing program available to you, such as Wordworks or OpenOffice.
Most instructors can open documents from any of these programs, but some will specify that they want assignments submitted in specific formats, such as .rtf, .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word). Please submit your assignments in whatever file format the instructor requests. You will likely be able to find these details in the course syllabus or in the assignment instructions.

Do I need an email address to take an online course?

Yes, you will need one, and Bluefield State provides you with one to use if you don’t already have one. The information on retrieving your email address and password is the same as listed above for getting your username and password for Blackboard.

Bluefield State recommends that students use the school email account provided to them; however, you can update your Blackboard account details by selecting the tab marked “My Bluefield State.”

What do I do if I get kicked offline in the process of taking an exam?

Contact your professor first. Most instructors can correct or reset a test for you. If the professor is unable to retrieve your answers, he or she will need to contact Blackboard Support.

Online Test-Taking Tips:

Make sure that the test page is completely loaded at the beginning of the test and after each question is answered. Clicking too fast before the page loads, or double clicking, may interrupt the transfer of information and cause you to be released from the exam.

For best results, DO NOT click “Save Answer,” but rather click the arrow to move to the next question (which will save your answer as well).

Where can I go for help with Blackboard?

Blackboard Content Management Services is located on the top floor of the Physical Education building in Rooms 411 and 410. The Blackboard help desk is located in the lab on the same floor (411-C) and is open between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.