Module 1: Getting Started with Blackboard

As a TA, you should be given access to the Blackboard course site automatically, shortly after you are added to SIS as a teaching assistant. You'll be able to access the course site before the term begins with your TA access.

You probably already know how to access Blackboard at UML, but if not your best bet is to start here for the login page: https://www.uml.edu/it/services/academic-technology/learning-management-system.aspx. You can login using your UML username and password. If you don't see the course you are looking for, ask the instructor if you have been added to the course in SIS as a TA.


Please be sure to connect with the professor before you add or change anything in Blackboard.
Instructors will often copy past materials into their course sites, or have specific ways that they like to do things.
Take the instructor's lead before making changes


Once you are logged into Blackboard, have spoken with your instructor, and are clear on what tasks you will be performing in Blackboard, you should get acquainted with the interface as you will experience it with TA access. This video will orient you to the platform and get you going.

Add Tools to the Course Menu

When you first access the course you are TAing for, it might be completely empty. If your instructor has given you the okay to add tools to the Course Menu, then you can easily add and name content areas, tools, and pages to the left-hand course menu.

  1. Make sure Edit Mode is ON (upper right-hand corner)Screenshot of the Blackboatd Tool Menu
  2. Hover over the plus sign (+) in the upper corner of the Course Menu. you'll see a drop-down menu with options like Content Area, Blank Page, Tools, etc...
  3. Click Content Area, name it "Home Page" and check the box to make it Available to Users. This will create a new menu item called "Home Page" where you will be able to add folders, files, etc..
  4. Next, select Tool Link from the drop-down menu from step 2, and choose My Grades. This will add a My Grades menu item from which students can view their grades (assuming the Grade Center is used).

Many courses will have tools in the Course Menu like Announcements, Discussions, Email, Assignments, and Quizzes. Instructors will also be able to integrate Zoom from the Course Menu. And finally, you can use sub-headings and dividers to separate and organize similar tools. Best bet is to keep this manageable for students and not add too many links or tools to the Course Menu, like the example below.

screenshot of a Blackboard course menu with links to Home, Discussions, etc..

Go to Module 2: Communication Tools in Blackboard