Getting started with Blackboard - A guide for students

Blackboard has been replaced with Brightspace. Blackboard will be retired on April 28, 2023 with no access to the system. 


Blackboard is University of Windsor’s learning management system. Blackboard is completely web-based, and therefore you will need an Internet connection to access its features.

Accessing Blackboard

You can easily access Blackboard Learn by logging in at using your UWin ID and password.  You will be brought to the Home tab in Blackboard.

Alternatively, some find UWindsor's blackboard site easily by entering terms in a search engine such as Google, "Blackboard and UWindsor". The link will usually appear at or near the top of the search results page.

Once logged in, you will see links along the top of the page including - "Home", "Training," "Courses," "Organizations," "Content Collection". Your courses are available in the Courses tab, or they are visible from the Home tab under My Courses. Finally, Courses are visible from the MyBlackboard drop-down link near your name in the upper right corner.

Signing In

You will need your UWIN ID and password to access your blackboard site. To log in go to:

At the sign in screen, you need to enter (or select) your full (including the "" part). Your password is usually the same one you use to access your Webmail. 

If you are unable to access Blackboard, Microsoft 365 Apps (Office 365) or UWinsite Student through UWindsor's sign-in process, please ensure you have fully activated your UWin Account by:

  1. Setting up your multi-factor authentication (MFA) options
  2. Extending your UWin Account 

If fully activating your UWin Account does not resolve the issue, please also try syncing it.  If you continue to have difficulty logging in, contact the Service Desk at ext. 4440 or submit a Service Request.

Finding your courses

There are many ways you can access your course website in Blackboard:

Method 1

  1. Click on the 'Courses' tab in the top navigation menu
  2. You will see a list of all courses you are enrolled in, that have an active course site on Blackboard
  3. Select the course you would like to access, to open the site

Method 2

  1. Locate the navigation pane on the right panel of your homepage
  2. Click on the arrow to access the drop down menu with a list of courses you are enrolled in
  3. Select the course you would like to access, to open the site

Can't Find Your Course Website

If you are unable to locate your your course website, there may be a few possible reasons:

  • Your instructor may not be using a website for this course, or has not yet made the course website available.
  • You may not be properly enrolled in the course. Verify your enrollment by logging into UWinsite Student.
  • If you have verified your enrollment and still cannot access your course site, there may be a temporary issue within the course website that need to be addressed. Wait 24 hours to see if it resolves if you have made any recent changes to your enrolment in UWinsite Student.
  • If none of the above scenarios apply to you, contact the Service Desk for additional support by submitting a Service Request or contacting ext. 4440.

Getting Help

If you are experiencing difficulties using Blackboard, you can create a Service Request to get help. To do so, navigate to and sign in using your full UWinID and password (the same way you log into your webmail). Then complete the online form. Also, you can visit UWindsor's online self-help pages for Blackboard and locate the topic you need (there is a search box at the top right corner of the site too). Further, Blackboard hosts online self-help pages and videos at for students and we are using Learn (the Original Experience), and Collaborate: Ultra Experience.

Navigating Your Courses

Your course site will consist of a navigation bar at the top and navigation pane to the left.

Each course site will feature a set of tools, that your instructor has decided will assist you in your course. These tools may vary between your sites, depending on the settings instructor has set. The left navigation pane will give access to all available tools in your site.

Course Tools

The content of your courses will be available in the left navigation menu. Each instructor has the option and ability to design their courses in a way that best fit their goals for the course. Therefore you may notice differences in tool availability among your course sites. To familiarize yourself with the different course tools that Blackboard has to offer; you may wish to explore the content of each of your courses.  For more information, visit Blackboard's Online Self-Help pages for students.


Some instructors will post the course outline or syllabus using Blackboard's Syllabus tool.

To access this tool

  1. Locate the Syllabus link in the left navigation menu
  2. Click on the Syllabus link

If an attachment is available, you may click on it to open the Syllabus or course outline.

My Grades

My Grades is a function in blackboard that allows your instructors to securely share grades and feedback with you.

To access your grades

  1. Click on the name of the course you would like to access
  2. Click on My Grades in the left navigation menu
  3. Review your grades

Blackboard Tools

Blackboard has a number of interactive tools that you may find in your course sites. The availability of these tools within your course sites will vary depending on your instructor's settings.


The discussions tool allows you to engage in online discussion with members of your course.

To create a thread

  1. Select discussions from the left menu
  2. On the action bar, click Create Thread
  3. On the Create Thread page, ensure to type a subject
  4. Include your question, description, or instructions in the message box.
  5. You may attach a file by using one of the following options:
    - Uploading a file from your computer by selecting the Browse My Computer for Copyright Cleared File option or Browse Content Collection
  6. To create the thread, click Submit

The thread will appear in the forum

To reply to a discussion

  1. Select discussions from the left menu
  2. Select a topic
  3. Select the thread you would like to reply to
  4. Read the messages
  5. Click the blue Reply button under the message you would like to reply to
  6. Type your reply in the message box
  7. To attach a file, you may select a file from your computer or browse the content collection
  8. Click Submit


The e-mail tool in Blackboard allows you to contact your course instructor, within the course site. Depending on how your instructor has designed your course, this tool may or may not be available to you. It is wise to verify with your instructor the best method of communication during your course.

To send an e-mail

  1. Click send e-mail in the left hand menu
  2. Click on the user type who you’d like to send an e-mail to
  3. Use the message box to type your e-mail message
  4. To attach a file, click the attach a file button and browse your computer for the file
  5. Click submit to send your message


The assignments tool in Blackboard is the portal where you will submit course work. Instructors will provide you with the information that you will need to complete any assignments in the course.

To Submit an Assignment

  1. Refer to your syllabus to locate where your instructor has placed assignments in your course.  They may be located in a location on the left navigation menu, called Assignments (if your instructor has chosen to put assignments in this location).  Alternatively, you may find some instructors use the Resources section or another part of your course.  
  2. Once you've found the location for the assignment, then click the name of the assignment.
  3. On the Upload Assignment page, review the instructions, due date, points possible, and download any files provided by your instructor.
  4. You may complete the assignment by either following:
    - Writing your response in the Text Submission box where you you can use the content editor to format text, add files, images, links, and multimedia.
    - Browsing your computer to attach an external file. Follow the instructions that your instructor provided for naming your file. If you select the wrong file, you can remove it
  5. Click Submit.


Tests are another method of assessment that your instructor may use within a course site. Instructors will provide you with the information that you will need to complete any tests in the course.  We recommend you review the Student Test Taking Best Practices article ahead of writing your online tests.  You can also practice taking tests in the Student Orientation to Blackboard course site that you have access to in your Courses menu.

To take a test, use the following the steps

  1. Ensure you are on a desktop computer with a wired Internet connection for best results.  Navigate to the location in your course site where you instructor has prepared the test and click the title.
  2. Click Begin to take the test.
  3. Your instructor may choose to have you type a password to begin taking a test. If necessary, type the valid password and click Submit to begin the test.
  4. Test answers are saved automatically. You can also click Save next to each question or Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page.  It is recommended to save every 10-15 minutes regardless.

When you complete the test, click Save and Submit.  You may have to click the OK button in the bottom right to reveal any further information your instructor wishes to share.


The journal tool is an area where you may communicate with your course instructor in a private setting. You may also use this tool to self-reflect on your course experience. You may wish to verify with your instructor if this tool will be available in your course site.

To access the journal tool

  1. Click Journals in the left navigation menu or wherever your instructor has prepared Journals in your course, such as Resources.
  2. Click the name of the journal you would like to access

To create a journal entry

  1. On the journal topic page, click Create Journal Entry.
  2. On the Create Journal Entry page, enter a title and message
  3. You may also upload an external file from your computer to the Journal Files area.
  4. When you have finished writing your journal entry, click Post Entry to submit.

You may also save your journal entry as a draft for later posting.


Blogs are similar to journals, however they can be viewed by all members in your course site. Members of your course site can also leave comments on your blog posts.

To access the Blogs tool

  1. Locate the Blogs link in the left navigation menu or wherever your instructor has prepared a Blog in your course, e.g. Resources.
  2. Click on the link to access blog topics
  3. Click on the topic you would like to access

To create a blog entry

  1. On the blog topics page, click Create Blog Entry
  2. On the Create Blog Entry page, create and title and message
  3. You may wish to add an external file from your computer. You may do so by clicking the Browse my Computer link and uploading your file.
  4. When you have finished writing your blog post, click Post Entry to submit

You may also save the blog entry as a draft for later posting.


Wikis are collaborative documents that allow you to contribute and modify pages of information. Your instructor may wish to you have you collaborate with other students on a Wiki page as a method of assessment. Only instructors can create a Wiki document, but students can create pages.

To create a Wiki page

  1. Locate the Wiki tool in the left navigation menu or wherever your instructor has prepared you to access a wiki in your course site, such as Resources.
  2. On the Wiki page, click Create Wiki page
  3. On the Create Wiki page, include a title and your information. You may use the content editor to format your text, include external files, images, links and multimedia.
  4. When you are finished editing your Wiki page, click Submit.

Wiki's are collaborative documents, therefore any member of a group may edit a page. Note that when a member is editing a Wiki page, it is locked for a period of 2 minutes to prevent other members from editing the page at the same time.

To edit a Wiki page

  1. Locate the Wiki page from the left navigation menu
  2. Select the Wiki page you would like to edit
  3. Click Edit Wiki Content
  4. Make the required changes
  5. Click Submit to save your changes

To comment on Wiki pages

  1. Locate the Wiki topic page and select the Wiki page you would like to comment on
  2. Click comment and type your message
  3. Click add to submit your comment


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Article ID: 9430
Mon 11/2/15 5:33 PM
Wed 1/11/23 10:58 AM

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