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Blackboard contains all of your course information and is known as a Virtual Learning Environment, or 'VLE'. It is used by tutors (referred to as ‘Instructors’ on Blackboard) to deliver modules and learning support materials to students. Throughout these guides the term ‘course’ will refer to a University course or module, as Blackboard uses the word ‘course’ for both.

*** The videos below will introduce you to the new navigation and features available for you ***

Accessing Blackboard

To access Blackboard you must have a University IT account.

There are two main routes into Blackboard:

  • Through the Student Hub which will automatically log you into Blackboard (preferred method) when you select the Blackboard tile
  • Directly to Blackboard where you will need to choose the correct login button for your account type and then enter your student number as your username (staff use network username) and your network password

  • Home Screen

    Once logged in, you will see a page similar to this:

     Student home page UBN, New Blackboard home page

    An explanation of the left-hand menu area:

    Institution Page

    This is your Blackboard landing page and contains links to:

    • The university noticeboard which updates regularly with news and events
    • Links to Library Student Support areas, including the Turnitin Test Area and Head Start resources
    • Other help videos, eg, how to use the university timetabling system
    • Accessibility Statement - we are trying to make everything we do, accessible to as many people as possible. This statement declares our intent and highlights any areas where we still have work to do.


    Your Profile Information

    Here you can add a photograph of yourself which will appear throughout Blackboard, eg, on Discussion Board postings, within Blackboard Collaborate, etc. You can also add pronunciation to your name on this page and manage your notification settings. 

    Activity Stream

    This will display recent announcements and content added to all your modules. Forthcoming deadline dates will also be listed along with notifications about feedback which has been released.


    These are all of the modules and/or programmes that you are currently enrolled on. You can view your courses via a List view or as Tiles. It is usual for you to be able to see your modules from previous years of study e.g. if you are in the 2nd year - your 1st year modules will still be accessible. Use the Search function to locate a course or the drop-down list to view the modules you studied within each academic year. You can also favourite courses by clicking/unclicking on the purple star.


    See forthcoming deadlines on all your modules in one place. You can view via Week or Month and view your entire Schedule or just upcoming Due Dates. You can also add items to this calendar, however, these entries will just be visible to you.


    Once feedback and grades have been released, you will be able to see them via the Marks area. All your modules will be listed in alphabetical order. Click on View all work to see your feedback in more detail. 


    Your instructor controls which tools are available to you. These are functions which are outside a course and you will only see the tools you have access to.

    Help Help icon, Help icon

    On every page there is a link to dedicated help for that page. Simply click the question mark to the bottom right of the page, and then go to Blackboard Help for information about that page. 

  • I can't login?

    If you experience problems, for example you cannot log in, please check your login details and try again. It is surprising how many people type a wrong letter or character when in a hurry. If you enter your login details incorrectly 3 times, your account will be locked in order to protect you and your account from non-authorised people. Also check that the Caps Lock is not on - passwords are case-sensitive.

    If you can sign into the Student Hub, but not Blackboard, then there might be a problem with Blackboard.

    If you can't sign into any university systems then there may be a problem with your account, please contact the IT Service Desk (01228 888888)

  • My Courses / Modules

    All of your modules in Blackboard are based on a template that provides some standardised sections. Your tutors may change some of these sections or section names to better suit the delivery of your course, but the left-hand menu in most modules will look very similar to this (NOTE: if the left-hand menu in your Blackboard module is not visible - please see Studying on a Small Screen to enable it):

      Menu ItemDescription
    Bb_module, Announcements All current announcements and messages for this module. 
    Module Information You will find within this section key information relating to this module. These include a module description, an overview of the topics to be covered and timetable information, together with the module specification document.
    Module Team Your tutors for this module and may include tutors who are associated with the module, but may not have directly taught your group. 
    Learning Materials This section contains the learning materials relevant to your module and consists of a range of resources, activities and tasks for you to complete either before, during or after your scheduled sessions. You should review this section regularly for the latest additions in order to give yourself the opportunity to access information or complete tasks in a timely manner. 
    Reading List OneList provides online access to reading and resource lists and electronic library materials. You can also view the availability of physical library items, add items from OneSearch to your personal collection, make suggestions, and add comments. 
    Discussions If your module is using online discussions then the menu will provide a link to the discussion forums in Blackboard. 
    Assessment Here you will find information relating to the assessment of this module and resources to help support your understanding of the process. This includes clear and concise details of the assessment tasks in the form of an Assessment Brief. You will also find your Turnitin submission links here.
    Collaborate Room Blackboard Collaborate is used for any online sessions you need to attend. There can be multiple Collaborate rooms available, so check for one that includes the date and time of your session. 
    Linkedin Learning Information and links to allow you to make the most from your free access to LinkedIn Learning. Explore, learn and gain certificates for each short course completed. 
    Research and Writing Tips The Skills@Cumbria team are here to help you with all of your academic skills.
    Module Evaluation Provide feedback on this module once it has been completed. This link may remain hidden until the final week(s) of the semester. 

    Where a tutor adds more items or tools to the menu such as Blogs, Wikis, Tests or external links - these will be explained by the tutor.

  • Assessment / Turnitin

    Most assessments completed as coursework are submitted to the university through Turnitin in Blackboard. These assessments are often written essays, but can also take other formats such as presentations and academic posters. You can find your assignment submission points in the main left-hand menu in each Blackboard module/course:


    If the Assessment link is not available in your module menu, this is usually because your tutor(s) have not yet released your assignment submission points yet.

    Non-written Assignments

    If you are completing a non-written assignment such as a live presentation, a performance or piece of artwork - check your assignment criteria closely as there may still be a requirement to submit something through Turnitin such as a PowerPoint, transcript or reflective piece.

    Other tools for assessment in Blackboard include contributions to discussion boards, blogs or wikis (further guidance below).


    The University uses Turnitin, a plagiarism detection and prevention database which will provide feedback to you on the similarity of your work compared with a worldwide collection of resources and previously submitted student work. Tutors will grade and comment upon your work within Turnitin. When all work for your group/module has been marked, provisional grades and feedback will be released for you to view within Blackboard.

    See Turnitin for more information about submitting your work, viewing the "originality" of the submission and retrieving feedback.

    You should also read about Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism.


    Final grades will not normally be confirmed until after an Assessment Board.


  • Blogs

    Blogs are a useful learning tool and allow you to work collaboratively and/or receive feedback comments from your peers and tutors.

    Blogs are often used for reflective writing and all posts are displayed in reverse chronological order, showing latest post to oldest.

    Your work on Blackboard is in a secure space and only those on the course can log in to see the course blogs.

    Starting your Blog

    To use the blogging tool, your tutor will need to set up a blog within Blackboard. This can be created for the whole course, for a smaller group or individual work. The tutor will also need to create a link and/or menu item for you to access the blogging tool.

    When you arrive at the blogging window, you will see the blog(s) that have been made available to you:


    Click into the Blog and you will be able to create a new Blog post:


    The Blog Entry window includes a lot of text tools for you to format your content and you can even add images/video to support your written words (adding a title is mandatory):


    By Posting your entry, you have added to the Blog. This now appears on the front page of the Blog and is available for others to view and comment upon: 


    IMPORTANT NOTE: Once a Blog entry is posted to a Group or Course Blog, you do not have the ability to edit or delete it (only your tutor can do that), so you might want to compose all of your words externally in Word first - check the spelling, grammar and Referencing before you Post.

  • Discussions / Forums

    The discussion board is a tool for sharing thoughts and ideas about class materials. It is also used for Flexible Distributed Learning (FDL) to allow students and lecturers to discuss topics, research findings, assignments and reflection - from distant locations.

    Depending on how your instructor has set up your course, you access the discussion board from either the course menu or a course area, such as a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. Your lecturer will tell you where it is located within your course.

    The main Discussion Board page displays a list of available discussion forums. A forum is an area where users discuss a topic or a group of related topics.

    The Blackboard discussion board allows for threaded discussions to take place in your Blackboard course. The board can be split up into Forums, which may be used to separate discussions on different topics. Within each forum users may post threads (as in “threads of a conversation”), which are the conversations themselves. A user may post a new thread (usually a question or statement calling for a response) and other users may then reply to that thread, creating a discussion.

     Watch this video to find out more:


  • Wikis

    A wiki is a webpage with multiple authors. At the University, wikis are often used as a way for students to work collaboratively when they are not necessarily in the same location.

    When using a wiki, students can edit, delete and create new pages. All edits on a page can be traced to the individual who made the change. You will also be able to comment on pages.

     Watch this video to find out more:


  • Blackboard Ally - Accessibility

    We don’t all read and consume information in the same way as each other and this can be especially true when trying to digest new concepts or complex ideas.

    Blackboard Ally is a tool that supports your tutors in making all of their content accessible, but also allows you to view or hear documents in a range of alternative formats (PDF, HTML, ePub, Audio and Braille). Blackboard Ally is available in all modules in Blackboard.

    Blackboard Ally

  • Blackboard Mobile

    Blackboard mobile image,

    Finally, if you want to access Blackboard on your mobile:, the Blackboard app is available for Android and Apple devices.


    Click on the following buttons to go directly to the App download from your App Store:

    Play Store button,

    App Store button, Apple 'download the app store' button

    Once installed, open the app and search for "cumbria", then select "University of Cumbria"

    Click “Web Login” and then “Click to Login” on the page that follows. This will take you to the University’s Sign-in Page. Enter your details and you will then be taken into the app.

    Blackboard App Help

    Blackboard Learn - the previous version of the Blackboard app was called Blackboard Learn. You may still have this app installed on your device, but it is no longer supported and does not work properly anymore. Please remove Blackboard Learn and install the new Blackboard App.

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