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Blackboard Basics Guide

Additional Tools

This course has covered some of the basic Blackboard tools.  Once you feel comfortable with these, check out additional Blackboard tools and other tools you can use in your classes.  Also, be aware that we have focused on browser-based access to Blackboard.  There is also a Blackboard App for students and a Blackboard Instructor App for instructor use.  

The CTE periodically provides training on a variety of tools.  Check the CTE Professional Development Calendar found on the CTE / IT Resources tab in Blackboard to see what sessions are planned.  

Here are some additional tools to consider:

Tool Description
Wikis, Blogs, Journals

Blackboard includes several tools that provide ways for students to interact with you and one another.  While similar, wikis, blogs, and journals each work a bit differently.  These tools can all be used to create graded or non-graded activities. 

Learn more about these tools:  


Portfolios provide a way for students to collect and share artifacts.  Blackboard Portfolios are created independently of a course but can be submitted for grading within a course. 

Learn more about Portfolios.  


Rubrics provide an effective way to communicate clearly to students what your expectations are for assigned activities and to then evaluate submitted work. 

Learn more about Rubrics.  Additional information can be found by accessing the CTE / IT Resources tab in Blackboard. 


Screencast-O-Matic is easy to use screen recording software that you can use to create videos for your classes.  You can record anything that is on your screen, your webcam, or a combination of the two.  A free version of the software with limited capabilities is available for anyone to use, or contact the CTE ( for access to our Pro account.  Note that Pro account usage is for faculty use only.  Students should be directed to use the free version.  

Learn more about Screencast-O-Matic.  Additional information related to Screencast-O-Matic and creating videos for instruction can be found by accessing the CTE / IT Resources tab in Blackboard.


VoiceThread provides a way to create, share, and comment on PowerPoint files, documents, images, videos, and more.  Comments are added using a webcam, microphone, phone, or typing.  VoiceThread has many uses including lectures, assignments, discussions, group work, and student presentations.  

Learn more about VoiceThread.  Additional information related to VoiceThread and its use in your classes can be found by accessing the CTE / IT Resources tab in Blackboard.

Retention Center

The Blackboard Retention Center provides you with a way to keep track of students who may be at risk.  It also contains an area for keeping your own notes related to each student.  

Learn more about the Retention Center.  

Windows 10 Photos App

Windows 10 includes a Photos app that can be used to resize photos before uploading to Blackboard. 

See Resizing Photos for Professor Information  to learn more.  While this guide sheet focuses on photos for Professor Information, the app can be used to resize any photo.