Dr. Alex E. Blazer Curriculum Vita Teaching Portfolio

Blackboard Basics

Blackboard vs. Email

Electronic mail is fine for communication, but it's not practical for assignment collection. Therefore, I prefer to receive electronic assignments in a central location, Blackboard. Email your questions about the assignment, but submit the completed assignment via Blackboard.


It is your responsibility to keep your Blackboard login information current in order to download the course packet, communicate with the discussion board (if your course has one), and upload assignments. If you lose access to Blackboard, it is your responsibility to have your access repaired. That said, I do understand that Blackboard does go down from time to time; and in those instances, you may email me your completed assignment.

Submitting Assignments

Informal Responses, Formal Papers, Take-Home Exams

Upload informal responses, formal papers, or take-home exams to the Assignments category, which is linked from the red course menu located on the left-hand side of the Blackboard screen. For instance, if you need to turn in Paper 1, you would follow these steps (note that this is a generic Blackboard module and will not look exactly like your real assignment):

  1. Login to Blackboard.
  2. Click the link for our course.
  3. Click the "Assignments" link located on the red course menu.
  4. Click the "View/Complete Assignment: Paper 1 " link.
  5. To attach your assignment for upload, click the "Browse" button and then browse to your completed assignment.
  6. After attaching your assignment, make sure you click the "Submit" button at the bottom righthand corner of the page, otherwise I won't be able to open your assignment. (Note: Clicking the "Save" button saves your comments and attached documents to Blackboard but does NOT allow the instructor to access it.)

Discussion Boards

If an assignment is to be seen by the entire class, such as an article or poem summary, it will be posted to the course discussion board, available in both the Assignments section and the Communications section. To upload a discussion board response via the Assignments section, follow these directions.

  1. Click the "Assignments" link on the red menu bar.
  2. Click the "Discussion Board" link. (Note: This link is underlined in black as opposed to the usual blue.)
  3. Click the "New Thread" button.
  4. Fill in the Subject line, preferably with the author and title of the work under discussion.
  5. Fill in the message box with your response or attach your response in a Microsoft Word or Rich-Text Format file. (Note: Even if you fill in the message box with your response, I suggest saving your response in a word processing file just in case there's a problem posting your response.)

Peer Response

Peer Responses for 205, 225, and 226 classes will be submitted in two places in Blackboard: the Assignments section, which is read by the instructor, and the Groups section, which is read by fellow peer group members. After you have completed all of your peer responses, upload them all at once to these two sections.

  1. Click the Assignments link on the red menu bar.
  2. Click the "View/Complete Assignment: Paper # Peer Response"
  3. To attach your peer responses for upload, click the "Browse" button and then browse to your completed peer responses on your harddrive or flash drive. Make sure that all of your peer responses are in one file.
  4. Click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page, otherwise I won't be able to open the responses.
  5. After you have uploaded your peer responses to the Assignments section for your instructor to grade, you also need to upload the responses to the Groups section for your peers to read.
  6. Click the "Groups" link located on the red menu bar.
  7. Click the "Paper # - Group #" corresponding to your assigned group.
  8. Click the "File Exchange" link.
  9. Click the "Add File" button.
  10. Name the file and then Browse to the peer response located on your harddrive or flash drive.
  11. Click the "Submit" button.
  12. Repeat the process until you have uploaded all of your peer responses.

Accessing Graded Assignments

You can access your assignment grades (for electronically submitted assignments only) by clicking the My Grades link on the course menu.

  1. The link will take you to a page listing all of the assignments in the class.
    View Grades
  2. Ungraded Assignments: If an assignment has been submitted but has not been graded, its link will look like this: !, an exclamation point. You may verify that you properly submitted the assignment by clicking the ! link.
    Ungraded Assignment 
  3. Graded Assignments: If the assignment has been graded, its link will look look like this: , a green check mark. You may view your graded assignment by clicking the link. Your graded paper is in section 3 Feedback to Student. Pay no heed to "Grade: 0 out of 0.0;" your graded paper is the attached file in Comments from Instructor.
    Graded Assignment

Review Comments in Microsoft Word

To view professor comments in Microsoft Word, you need to set up Word's Track Changes feature. Double-click an image to view it in its normal size.

  1. From the menu bar, select View > Toolbars > Reviewing.
    View > Toolbars > Reviewing
  2. From the menu bar, select View > Markup.
    View > Markup
  3. From the Reviewing toolbar, select either Final Showing Markup or, if that does not reveal comments, then Original Showing Markup
    Reviewing > Final Showing Markup