Frequently Asked Questions for Students

Blackboard: Get Started

Blackboard: Email

Blackboard: Courses and Course Content

Blackboard: Assignments

Blackboard: Tests

Blackboard: Grades

How do I check my grades?

Blackboard: Collaborate

TurningPoint


Blackboard: Get Started

Where can I get Blackboard help?

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

Additionally, students can contact GW Information Technology at (202) 994-4948 for Blackboard assistance.

Back to top


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 @gwu.edu). If you do not have one, you can create a NetID online or contact GW Information Technology 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 Information Technology for assistance.

For assistance with your NetID account, contact GW Information Technology at (202) 994-4948.

Back to top


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 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 System and then contact the instructor to inform them that you cannot see the course.

Back to top


How do I change my password?

If you forgot your NetID password or cannot log in, you can reset your NetID password online or contact GW Information Technology at (202) 994-4948 for assistance.

Back to top


What browser should I use?

Blackboard is accessible via most major web browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge (Windows), and Safari (Mac). Check if Blackboard supports your browser and operating system.

Learn more about Blackboard browser support.

Back to top


Can I access Blackboard on a mobile device?

The Blackboard app, Blackboard's mobile solution for students, is available at no cost for iOS and Android devices.

If you have trouble using the mobile app, you can try using a browser on your device to access Blackboard at blackboard.gwu.edu.

Learn more about the Blackboard app for students.

Back to top


Blackboard: Email

Why am I not receiving emails sent from Blackboard?

You likely have two separate email accounts, a student account (@gwmail.gwu.edu) and a staff/faculty account (@email.gwu.edu).

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.

When determining mail routing, your staff email domain takes precedence over the student email domain, which means that when someone sends an email to Net[email protected], as Blackboard does, it will be sent to your staff email account and not your student one. If you want emails sent from Blackboard to go to your student account, you must set up email forwarding.

Learn more about how GWemail routing is determined? (You may need to log in with your NetID to view this content.)

Back to top


Can I change the email address used in Blackboard?

You cannot change your email in Blackboard. Blackboard uses your official @gwu.edu 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.)

Back to top


How do I send an email from a Blackboard course?

  1. Open your Blackboard course.
  2. Click Tools on the course menu.
  3. On the Tools page, click on Send Email.
  4. On the Send Email page, click on a recipient category from the list provided.
  5. Complete all the relevant fields on the page and click Submit to send the email. A copy of the email will be sent to your GW email account. Blackboard does not keep a record of emails sent from a Blackboard course. Be sure to keep a copy of important messages in your GW email inbox in case you need them at a later date.

Learn more about sending emails from Blackboard.

Back to top


Blackboard: Courses and Course Content

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, move your mouse pointer near the left border of the page and click the arrow.

Image highlighting the expand course menu arrow in Blackboard

Learn more about navigating around a Blackboard course.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


Can I customize which courses I see on my Course List?

  1. Put your mouse over the Course List module and then click the Manage icon in the top right corner.
    Image highlighting the manage course list icon in Blackboard
  2. On the Personalize: Course List page, place checkmarks next to the courses and information that you’d like listed and remove the checkmarks next to what you do not want to see.
  3. Click Submit. A confirmation message will appear at the top of the page if it has been successfully updated.

Back to top


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 the Blackboard page, click the arrow next to your name to access the Global Navigation Menu and choose what you'd like to view.

Image highlighting the Global Navigation Menu in Blackboard

Learn more about Blackboard's Global Navigation Menu.

Back to top


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. So they 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 at this time.

Learn more about Blackboard AssignmentsBlackboard Tests, and Blackboard Course Content.

Back to top


Why can’t I log in to Echo360?

Under some circumstances, users have issues when trying to log into Echo360 using the Safari browser. The site will ask to enter an email, and then to select affiliation, and then it goes back to the enter email screen. This cycle repeats. This issue is related to how Safari treats third party cookies. Prevent Cross-Site Tracking should be unchecked.

  1. Open the Safari Browser, select the Safari menu from the menu bar, and choose Preferences.
  2. Select the Privacy tab.
  3. Uncheck the box next to Prevent Cross-Site Tracking.
  4. Close preferences.
  5. Quit, then relaunch Safari.

Learn more about preventing cross-site tracking in Safari on Mac.

Back to top


Blackboard: Assignments

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.

Learn more about submitting Blackboard assignments.

Back to top


Why is the file I submitted to an Assignment blank?

Files selected for Assignment submissions can become replaced with an empty file if a user has opened and closed the file after selection and before submission. To avoid this issue, do not open a file after selecting it for upload into Blackboard.

Back to top


How do I view instructor feedback and comments on an Assignment?

You can view your Assignment's grade and feedback from the My Grades page after your instructor has graded your assignment.

  1. Open your Blackboard course and click My Grades on the course menu.
  2. On the My Grades page, you can view all your graded coursework. If a submission isn’t graded, the Needs Grading icon appears instead of a grade.
  3. Select the View Feedback icon to view your instructor’s overall feedback in a pop-up box.
  4. If a rubric was used to grade your assignment, click View Rubric to see a rubric with your scores and feedback.
  5. Click on an assignment’s name to view in-line feedback and comments from your instructor.

Learn more about Blackboard Assignment grades.

Additional Resources:

Back to top


Blackboard: Tests

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 like Notepad or TextEdit, and then paste it into Blackboard.

Learn more about Blackboard Tests.

Additional Resources:

Back to top


How do I install Respondus LockDown Browser?

The Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment for Blackboard tests. LockDown Browser is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. It is recommended that you download Lockdown Browser each time you take a new test to be sure you are using the latest version.

Download Lockdown Browser

If you have problems downloading, installing, or taking a test with LockDown Browser, let your instructor know immediately and contact Respondus Technical Support if you are unable to resolve the issue.

Back to top


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

You must first download Lockdown Browser and then install it on 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 or exit LockDown Browser and close the blocked programs 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 and contact Respondus Technical Support if you are unable to resolve the issue.


Blackboard: Grades

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 System.

To view your grades in Blackboard:

  1. Log in 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 Blackboard's My Grades tool.

Back to top


Blackboard Collaborate

How do I join a Blackboard Collaborate session?

To access Blackboard Collaborate, click on Tools in the course menu, and then select Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. On the Collaborate page, click on the name of the session you want to join and then choose Join Session in the session details panel. The session will then launch in a new browser tab. Use Chrome or Firefox browsers for the best experience.

Learn more about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for Participants.

Additional Resources:

Back to top


Which browser should I use to join a Blackboard Collaborate session?

Collaborate Ultra requires a modern web browser with WebRTC support. For anyone serving in the role of Moderator or Presenter in a session, Blackboard recommends using either Chrome or Firefox.

Collaborate also requires specific permissions to function as desired. For example, Collaborate needs permission to access your camera and microphone so you can use audio and video. Give Collaborate permission when asked, or set up permissions in your browser preferences later.

Learn more about browser support for Collaborate Ultra.

Back to top


How do I add a Blackboard Collaborate profile image?

You can add a Collaborate Ultra profile image after you join a session.

  1. In your Blackboard course, open the Collaborate session.
  2. After the session launches, click the purple icon in the bottom right of your screen to open the Collaborate Panel.
  3. Select the My Settings icon at the bottom of the panel.
  4. Click the pencil icon on the silhouette image next to your name.
  5. Click Upload to browse your computer and select an image.
  6. Use the blue box to select the area of the picture you want to use and then click I Like It!
  7. If you’d like to use this picture for every session, keep the option Always use this profile picture checked.
  8. Click Save to finish.

Learn more about Collaborate Ultra profile images.

Additional Resources:

Back to top


TurningPoint

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 (if applicable) to their account to receive credit for participation in a polling session.

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

  • 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. Turning Technologies is offering a $10 rebate on the purchase of a bundle.
Additional Resources:

Back to top


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

When you purchase a license from Turning Technologies, the license code is automatically associated with your account. You don’t need to enter it separately. To confirm the license code was added to your account, log in to your Turning Account and confirm that there is a green checkmark next to the license code section.

If you purchased a license from the GW Bookstore you need to manually add the license code to your Turning Account.

Back to top


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 through Blackboard?
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 (@gwu.edu). If you used a personal email address, you would need to change it to your GW email.

Back to top


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 imageImage of the Profile Picture Icon in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra at the top right corner of the page.
  3. Next, click the pencil iconImage of the change profile picture icon in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra near 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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top