Frequently Asked Questions for Students

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Your Courses

Course Content and Tools


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Where can I get Blackboard help?

The Official Blackboard Help Site, FAQs, and a variety of short video tutorials are available from Blackboard. Also, when logged in to Blackboard, check out the Student Guides section for links to helpful documentation.

Additionally, students can contact the GW Division of IT at (202) 994-4948 for Blackboard assistance.

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Why can't I log in?

  • Confirm that you’re entering your GW NetID and password correctly and that your caps lock key is not on. Your NetID is the first part of your GWmail address (before the If you do not have a NetID, you can create one online or call the GW Division of IT for assistance.
  • Identify when you created your GW NetID. If you have just created your NetID, allow one day for your account to be added to the Blackboard system.
  • Check your browser cookies and JavaScript settings. Make sure cookies and JavaScript are enabled in the browser you’re using. You can also try logging in using a different browser.
  • Reset your password. If you forget your NetID password or cannot log in, you can reset your password online or contact the GW Division of IT for assistance.

For further assistance contact the GW Division of IT at (202) 994-4948.

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I can't see my course(s).

If you do not see all your courses listed after logging in to Blackboard, check the following:

  • Are you officially enrolled in the course?
         Check the GWeb Information System to verify that you are officially enrolled in the course. If you have just registered, please allow one day for your enrollment to be added to the Blackboard system.
  • Has your instructor made the course available to students?
         Some instructors choose not to use Blackboard for their course so students should not expect to see every course in which they are enrolled on their course list. However, if they instruct you to access a course in Blackboard, but it’s not in your course list, first verify your enrollment in the GWeb Information System and then contact the instructor to inform them that you cannot see the course.

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How do I change my password?

If you forget your NetID password or cannot log in, you can reset your password online or contact the GW Division of IT at (202) 994-4948 for assistance.

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Why am I not receiving emails sent from Blackboard?

It is likely that you have two separate email accounts, a student account ( and a staff account (
To check your staff account, log out of your student account and sign in to the Staff and Faculty area on the login page. You will use the same NetID and password that you use for your student account. If you want emails sent from Blackboard to go to your student account, you must set up email forwarding.
When determining mail routing, your staff email domain takes precedence over the student email domain, which means that when someone sends an email to [email protected], as Blackboard does, it will be sent to your staff email account and not your student one.
For more information on email routing visit the following link:
How is GWemail routing is determined? (You may need to log in with your NetID to view this content.)

Can I change my email address?

You cannot change your email in Blackboard. Blackboard uses your official GW email address. 

How to forward mail from your GWmail account to your preferred email account. (You may need to log in with your NetID to view this content.)

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What browser should I use?

Blackboard is accessible via most major web browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (Windows), and Safari (Mac).

Check if Blackboard supports your browser and operating system.
Learn more about Blackboard browser support.

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Your Courses

What happened to the menu in my course?

The Course Menu can be hidden to give users more space to display content in Blackboard. To view the menu again, single click the gray arrow located on the left side of the page.

Learn more about course navigation.

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Can I access courses from previous semesters?

In most cases, students do not have access to courses from previous semesters. If you need access to content from an earlier semester, you must contact the instructor to request copies of the materials or ask that they temporarily make the course available so that you may access it.

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Can I customize my Course List?

  1. Click the gear icon in the top right corner of the Course List module.
  2. On the Personalize: Course List page, place check marks next to the courses and information that you’d like listed.
  3. Click Submit. A confirmation message will appear at the top of the page if it has been successfully updated.

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Can I see what's new in all my courses?

The Global Navigation Menu allows you to see updates from courses you are enrolled in, view grades, be reminded of due dates, and much more. At the top of any page click the arrow next to your name to access the Global Navigation Menu and choose what you'd like to view.

Learn more about the Global Navigation Menu.

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Can I access Blackboard on a mobile device?

The Blackboard app, Blackboard's newest mobile solution for students, is available at no cost for iOSAndroid, and Windows devices.

If you are having trouble using the mobile apps, try using a browser on your device to access Blackboard at

Get started with the Blackboard app for students.

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Course Content and Tools

Taking a Test on Blackboard.

If you experience issues during a test, and you cannot reopen it or continue, contact your instructor immediately.

The following tips can help you avoid issues in the future:

  • Use a wired connection if possible as wireless internet connections can be less reliable.
  • Do not click the browser’s back button.
  • Do not refresh the browser page or close the browser window.
  • Compose your text in an external application (i.e., Microsoft Word, Open Office, Pages, etc.) and then paste it into Blackboard.

For more on Tests follow these links:

How do I install Respondus LockDown Browser?

The Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment for tests taken in Blackboard. If your instructor requires that you use it for a Blackboard test, you need to download and install the browser and then use it to log in to Blackboard to take the test.

Click the download link below to download and install LockDown Browser to your computer. LockDown Browser is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.

If you have problems downloading, installing, or taking a test with LockDown Browser, let your instructor know immediately. Then check that you have installed the software from the correct link (see above) and contact Respondus Technical Support if you are unable to resolve the issue.

For further information, consult:

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How do I take a Blackboard test using Respondus LockDown Browser? 

You must first download and install LockDown Browser to your computer.

To take a test with LockDown Browser:

  1. Close all open programs on your computer.
  2. Open the LockDown Browser program. 
    Note: If prompted, either accept the prompt to close all blocked programs (e.g. screen capture, instant messaging) or exit LockDown Browser and close the blocked program before restarting.
  3. When prompted, log in to Blackboard.
  4. Open your course, find your test, and click the name to open it. 
  5. Click Begin when you are ready to start the test. 
    Note: Once a test has been started with Respondus LockDown Browser, you cannot exit until you Save and Submit.
  6. When you finish the test, click Save and Submit and then quit LockDown Browser.

While using the LockDown Browser, you may be unable to copy, print, access other applications, visit other websites, or close the test until it is submitted. If you have problems downloading, installing, or taking a test with LockDown Browser, let your instructor know immediately. Then, check that you have installed the software from the correct link (see above) and contact Respondus Technical Support if you are unable to resolve the issue.

For further information, consult:

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I can't find an assignment, test, or some other course content.

Your instructor controls the placement and availability of tests, assignments, and other content. Your instructor may have set specific conditions for releasing the content or hasn’t made it available. Contact your instructor to identify where the materials are located and if you should have access.

Learn more about Assignments, Tests, and Course Content.

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How do I know if I successfully submitted my assignment? 

Upon submission, the Review Submission History page appears with information about your submitted assignment and a success message. You'll also receive an email with your confirmation and details each time you submit. 

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How do I check my grades?

Instructors determine which grades if any, appear in their courses. Posting grades in Blackboard are entirely optional for instructors and serve an informational role. Students' official course grades are recorded only in the GWeb Information System.

To view your grades in Blackboard:

  1. Login to Blackboard.
  2. Access the course in which the grade has been assigned.
  3. Click My Grades on the Course Menu.

If you do not see My Grades on the Course Menu, click Tools and click My Grades on the resulting page. If you don’t see My Grades in your course menu check with your instructor.

Learn more about the My Grades tool.

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How do I use Blackboard Collaborate?

Access scheduled and recorded sessions by clicking on Tools in the course menu and then on Blackboard Collaborate or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

For more on Blackboard Collaborate consult the following resources


How do I use TurningPoint in my course?

All students must have a Turning Account, register it through Blackboard, and add their license code and device ID to their account to receive credit for participation during a TurningPoint session.

If you do not have a Turning Account license and clicker, you can purchase them at the GW Bookstore.

  • If you have a clicker, you only need to purchase a Turning Account license and enter your device ID in your Turning account.
  • If you do not already have a clicker, you can purchase the Turning account license bundle which includes a clicker and a Turning Account license.
  • If your course allows the use of a mobile device instead of a clicker, then you only need to purchase a Turning Account license. To participate in a TurningPoint session with a mobile device, you must also install the TurningPoint app from the Apple App store or Google Play store.

Turning Technologies is offering a $20.99 rebate to GW students for purchases of subscriptions.

For further information, consult the following resources:

I purchased a license online but didn’t receive a license code. Where is it?

When purchased online, the license code is automatically applied to your account. You don’t need to enter it separately. If you are in your Turning Account, you can confirm it was applied by seeing the green checkmark for the license code.

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My instructor informed me that I am showing as inactive in their TurningPoint participant list. I created a Turning Account. Why am I inactive?

Have you registered your Turning Account?
Be sure that you have clicked on Tools and Turning Account Registration from within Blackboard. You may have created your Turning Account from the Turning Technologies website, but you still need to register it through Blackboard. Click on the Turning Account Registration link within Blackboard and log in to your Turning Account. You only need to do this once. Confirm the Learning Management System box has a green checkmark.

Have you added a license code to your account?
You must also have the license code box with a green checkmark. Be sure to have purchased and entered a license code. You can find the license code in the box that came with your clicker or part of a scratch-off License Card. If you purchased it online, it is automatically applied to your account. You won’t receive an email with a license code.

Did you use your GW email address to create your account?
When you create your Turning Account, you must use your GW email address ( If you used a personal email address, you would need to change it to your GW email.

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I created my Turning Account with a personal email address, how can I change it?

  1. Log into your Turning Account with your current email address.
  2. Once in your account, click on the Profile image Profile Image Icon at the top right corner of the page.
  3. Next, click the pencil icon Change Profile Icon Imagenear your name to change your personal information.
  4. In this section delete your personal email address, enter your GW email address, and click Save.

You should receive an email verification to verify the change of your account email. Be sure to follow any instructions in the verification email.

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How do I know if I have set up successfully for polling?

When logged into your Turning Account you should see a green checkmark next to each section of the dashboard. The Response Devices section does not need to have a green checkmark if you are using TurningPoint Mobile.

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