Get to Know Blackboard

All students need to know how to access and use Blackboard. Each course at The University of Texas at San Antonio receives an online space in Blackboard. The instructor is able to add information inside of the courses they will be teaching, such as the course syllabus and your grades. Some instructors will add much more content, including documents, videos, assignments, tests, and additional resources.

5 Steps for Success

Step 1: Check Your Browser will take you to the main Blackboard login page where you need to click the Check your Browser before Login button. Why should you check your browser? Your browser, if set up correctly, lets Blackboard work properly. If your browser is not set up properly, pop-up blockers, cookies, missing plugins, and out of date items can keep you from being able to login or see course content.

If you do not see all green check marks on the results, you may need changes to your settings or additional plugins and updates. If you don’t know how to fix the issues, call OITConnect at 458.5555 for help.

Step 2: Login to Blackboard

After your browser is set up correctly, enter your abc123 and passphrase to access Blackboard.

Having trouble with your passphrase? Visit the Passphrase Portal and call OITConnect at 458.5555 if you are unable to reset your passphrase on your own.

Once you login, you will see the Blackboard main page where the classes you have registered for are listed under My Courses.

Students can access a Blackboard course on the first day of classes based on the academic calendar.

Step 3: Check Your Classes

You get access to your courses on the first day of class. Look inside each class and see what your instructor has provided you. Login regularly to stay up to date with course work and communications. If you have questions about the content in the course, contact your instructor.

Step 4: Know Common Tools

Discussion Board

The discussion board is a class communication space you may be familiar with from using Internet where people post and reply to one another. You will only be able to use the discussion board in Blackboard if the instructor has created a forum(s) for your course. If your instructor has decided to use discussions, you can go to the discussion board and choose a forum, then write your post or reply to someone else. The specific options may vary between courses as these choices are up to each instructor.


Assignments are links that allow you to turn in work to your instructor. You will only be able to upload an assignment if the instructor has created a link and made it available to you. If your instructor has decided to use Blackboard to collect assignments, locate the link for the assignment, click on the title of the assignment, follow your instructor’s directions for either writing in the text editor or attaching a document, and then submit your work.


Tests are created by instructors to check your knowledge. You will only be able to take a test if the instructor has created a test and made it available to you. Read the information carefully, as each instructor can decide the settings they use for a test as well as the types of questions to include. Pay close attention to if the test is timed or uses forced completion, which means once you begin you must finish the test in one sitting. It is also important to take a test using a wired Internet connection instead of WIFI. Brief interruptions with WIFI signals can interfere with you successfully completing and submitting a test.

Step 5: Get Help

Visit the UTSA Online Student FAQs to learn the answers to common questions students ask.

Visit Blackboard Help for Students to look up a particular part of Blackboard you don’t understand and learn more about it.

Call OITConnect at 458.5555 if you have technical issues. Be sure to tell the representative your name, contact information, course name and section, and a full description of your issue to assist in troubleshooting.

Contact your instructor if you have questions about content, directions, expectations, or other course requirements. Be sure to read your syllabus as each class may have different expectations.