Additional Blackboard Help from Across CUNY


Thousands of courses taught at the CUNY colleges have an active Blackboard presence and if you are visiting this page it might be helpful to know that you do not have to teach an online class to offer your students online resources to augment your course delivery. Some faculty use Blackboard to store and provide students with electronic course materials while others create fully or partially-online course environments. Some courses might be conducted entirely through Blackboard without any on-campus sessions. If you decide to try Blackboard you can log in and use it whether you are teaching a fully in-person course, a hybrid, or an online asynchronous course. Your students have been pre-registered to Blackboard in every course. What you need to do is populate the course with your resources, lectures, activities and projects, activate your course (to make the course available),  and let them know to access it.

To access Blackboard you will need to have a CUNY Portal Sign in and to post final grades in many of the colleges you are required to activate your CUNYFirst account. Check with your HR administrator to see if CUNY First is currently active at your college campus. CUNYfirst is the City University of New York’s fully integrated resources and services tool, using the latest technology to serve our students, faculty and staff. Signing on to CUNYfirst – from anywhere, anytime – allows students to manage their academic careers and financial accounts in real time. It will give faculty additional tools to enhance their interaction with students. It is also designed to give staff access to powerful processes that connect with the finance, student administration and human resources functions.

Click here if you need to access your CUNYFirst account information or to register for the first time.

This rest of this section contains resources for finding answers to common Blackboard issueslogging in to Blackboard, tips and tools for helping your students to get started,  even for helping them to get organized. It also provides you with contact information for those who seek direct, one-on-one support at your college.

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard  is the online course management system (CMS) used at CUNY that allows students and faculty to participate in classes delivered online. The Blackboard platform hosts hybrid and online courses and stores documents like syllabi, PDFs, digital library materials, audio and video clips which can be accessed to complement face-to-face teaching. Blackboard enables instructors to provide students with course materials, discussion boards, virtual chatting, online quizzes, and even conduct synchronized ‘as-live’ courses with an entire class through Blackboard Collaborate.

Blackboard Collaborate:

Blackboard Collaborate is an online learning and collaboration platform designed specifically for teaching virtually in a live, social and interactive setting. Starting an instance of Collaborate from within your Bb course takes only a minute. The tools within the collaborations offer synchronous methods for an entire class to participate together even when they are in different locations;

Blackboard Tutorials:


Whether you’re looking for a short video on a specific topic or a beginner’s guide, find the help you need here:

CUNY Blackboard Faculty User Guides

Blackboard On-demand learning center release 9.1

Blackboard Help for Instructors — directly from Bb

New York City College of Technology — Contains Bb grading handout, videos, and other help

CUNY: Differences Between Bb 8.0 and Bb 9.1

CUNY School of Professional Studies — Link to videos that can help you better understand Bb

City College — Offers videos, Bb manual, FAQ’s and Additional Resources

 Hostos Community College — FAQ’s that students may have and answers for faculty

 Lehman College — Description of Bb, logging in and archiving your course

 Lehman College — Help with key features of Bb,information on iTunes and iPod synching

 Queensborough Community College —  Bb FAQ’s


More Blackboard Help for Faculty

  • Online “Netiquette”: Being a responsible ‘net’ citizen

    March 1, 2013Alyson Vogel
      Online Netiquette This document frames a courtesy and respect policy and set of guidelines for students posting comments in their online classes and is a helpful one-page addition to your online course suitable for your course documents section. It’s entitled Online ‘Netiquette’ – Being a responsible ‘net’ citizen in a digital world. The document is campus-specific to Lehman College as seen in a few bullets, but can be adapted for your own college using resources that abide by your college’s principles of community and campus policies governing computer use and student conduct. (See link to Online Netiquette.) CUNY Acceptable Use Policy: The City University of New York Policy on Acceptable Use of Computer Resources
  • Things I say to my Blackboard students

    December 4, 2012Alyson Vogel
    William Ashton teaches at York and has a blog entitled things I say to my Blackboard students. Ashton: “I realized this morning, when responding to a student on Bb, that it might benefit others if I share some of the things I say to my students on Blackboard.”
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