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Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Students - Frequently Asked Questions

I cannot log into Blackboard. What's the problem?

The answer to this question is generally one of several things:

  1. You are using your full Email address, rather than simply your e-ID as your username. Your e-ID is the part of your SIUE Email address that comes before the, for example, jsmith.
  2. Your e-ID was never activated or it was activated but not preserved. To activate or preserve an e-ID after receiving the postcard, go to the e-ID web site:
  3. Your password has expired. SIUE e-ID passwords must be changed every 60 days. To change a password before it expires, visit the e-ID web site: To reset a password that has already expired, visit LB 0005. You must present your SIUE Cougar Card ID or another photo ID.
  4. You are a new student and you are not enrolled in any courses that are using Blackboard. Continuing students who have had at least one course that used Blackboard should still be able to log in to Blackboard to access their Content Collection.

I cannot see my course in the My Blackboard tab in Blackboard. Why not?

The answer to this question is generally one of four things:

  1. Your instructor is not using Blackboard. If your instructor is not using Blackboard, there will be no course for you to see.
  2. Your instructor has not yet made the course available. Ask your instructor whether he or she has made the course available.
  3. You may not be enrolled in the course or correct section number. Double check CougarNet to be sure you are actually registered in the correct course and section number. For example, if you are registered for section 001 but you attend class for section 002, you will not see the Blackboard course shell for section 002.
  4. If you added the course late, it will take 24 to 48 hours for your registration to be updated from Banner into Blackboard.

I can't submit my test or assignment to Blackboard.

Although Blackboard will work on both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (WiFi) connections, it is strongly recommended that students use a secured wired connection when taking tests or submitting assignments. Using Blackboard over a wireless connection can result in a dropped signal, which may kick students out of a test or assignment submission causing them to lose any unsaved data. If students must use a wireless connection, make sure that it is trusted and reliable, such as the SIUE eduroam network.

Note: Free WiFi hotspots from locations such as Starbucks, McDonalds or Panera are typically unsecured and are not an appropriate place to take exams or submit assignments. Students may be unable to submit tests or assignments using an unsecured WiFi hotspot due to dropped connections.

My instructor has indicated that he or she cannot locate or open a file I submitted in Blackboard. What's the problem?

There are several possibilities, depending upon how those files were submitted:

  1. If you used the Assignment tool, make sure that you actually submitted the file. Simply saving a file, does not result in its submission. You must actually click on the Submit button.
  2. If you are using Microsoft Office 2007, unless otherwise instructed by your instructor, when you save your Office files, for example, be sure to Save As: Word 97-2003. Office 2007 is not backward compatible with older versions of Microsoft Office. For additional information see the known issues page.
  3. If you do not have Microsoft Office, and are using some other word processing software (Microsoft Works, WordPerfect, Open Office, etc.), when you save your file be sure to Save As: Rich Text Format (.rtf). That file format is acceptable across a range of word processing software.
  4. If you use Open Office, save your files as .doc, .rtf, or .pdf. Open Office uses .odf as a file extension and it is not compatible with Microsoft Office.

My instructor has included PowerPoint presentations, an audio or video file, and/or a PDF document in my course, but I cannot view them.

If you do not have Microsoft PowerPoint on your computer, download and install Microsoft Office 365 (free of charge for enrolled SIUE students). If you do not already have the appropriate media viewer installed on your computer, you will need to download it. See the plug ins section of our Recommended Software page for links to the most commonly used plug-ins. Opening a PDF document requires Adobe Reader.

What kind of Internet connection or computer do I need to take an online course or an online exam?

Blackboard will work on both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (WiFi) connection. It is strongly recommended that students use a secured wired connection (needing a password to access) when taking tests. If taking the test on a wireless (WiFi) connection, a drop in signal may kick the student out of the test. If students must use wireless connection, make sure that it is a secured connection (requiring a password to access). Students may be unable to submit tests or assignments using a non-secured WiFi. Note: Free WiFi from locations such as Starbucks, McDonalds or Panera is most likely non-secure and therefore not an appropriate place to take exams or submit assignments.

Some firewalls may block Blackboard. If you are trying to use Blackboard at work and cannot connect, please ask your company's IT staff about their firewall settings.

Open a supported internet browser, and type in the address for Blackboard: Users must begin the login process from that authentication point; they cannot bypass that page and go directly to the login page itself.

What kind of hardware and software do I need to use Blackboard?

Most laptops and computers manufactured within the last 5 years will be sufficient for use with Blackboard. You should not rely on a mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.) to participate in online learning. 

You may need a sound card, speakers, or a video card. Most computers have these items included. For those courses using Zoom for live meeting, a microphone and headset will be required for full use of the software. Other software needs include:

In addition, you may need one or more of the following plug-ins, depending upon the type(s) of materials your instructor is including in your course:

I'm completely unfamiliar with Blackboard and its features. How can I learn more about how to use it?

The course navigation within each Blackboard 9.1 course includes a "Help" link. Click on that link to access "Blackboard Help for Students." You may find additional help by searching the ITS Knoweldgebase.

I'm a student in a School of Nursing program and need specific assistance with creating and managing my program portfolio. Where can I find information on this topic?

School of Nursing students who need information on or assistance with their portfolios should consult this resource site.

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