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Blackboard Help for Faculty

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New Features and Updates for Blackboard

  • Beginning in Fall 2024, W&M will transition to Ultra Courses. Learn more and get started
  • Oscelot Photo Roster within Blackboard is no longer availableStudents can upload images in their profile which will display in the course roster in BlackboardAs an alternative, instructors can view their student roster with images in Banner 9 Class List.
  • Blackboard Course Generator has a new look! See what's new on the BB Course Generator webpage.
  • Ally and Impact are two new tools coming to Blackboard to enhance accessibility and communication for students and instructors. 
  • New information has been posted about FERPA & Merged Blackboard Courses.
how to upload your profile photo
Update your Profile Photo

Your profile picture will appear on course content pages, course cards, in the activity stream, discussions and messages next to your activity. 

  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. Click your name from the left navigation.
  3. Point to the generic avatar and click the pencil icon to upload, change, or remove an image. 
  4. In the panel, select " Upload new profile picture". Or, you can drag a file to the upload area. 
  5. Your image is saved automatically. Close the panel to return to your profile.

Steps for uploading a profile photo

Blackboard Resources
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Blackboard Course Generator
Beginning of Semester
  • Blackboard Courses by default are available for students to see in their course listings. If you don’t want students looking at a course while you are developing content, you will need to make your course unavailable (for instructions click here). Make sure to turn your course back on for students to see for the first day of class.
  • For quick access to current courses, the My Blackboard Course listing can be sorted by term (for instructions click here).
  • Learn how to Customize your Blackboard Course Menu.
  • Want to see your course through your students’ eyes? Use the student preview feature to experience exactly what your students do, including submitting assignments and taking tests.
  • When uploading files for Blackboard, it is recommended you do not use special characters (# ? % ! @, etc) in your file name.
End of Semester
  • Archive your course content to make sure you have a copy for your records (for instructions click here).
  • Students are not removed from courses at the end of the semester. You may want to make your course unavailable or make sure assignments and test/quizzes are not available for students to see.
  • If you wish to make your course unavailable to students, please follow these directions:
    1. Log into your course
    2. Click on the Control Panel
    3. Click on Customization
    4. Click on Properties
    5. Under Set Availability select No to Make Course Unavailable
Blackboard Ultra Course 

Visit the Blackboard Ultra page to view a collection of videos, documents and other resources to make your transition to Blackboard Ultra successful. 

Blackboard Tools
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Panopto is an easy-to-use tool for recording in-class lectures, events, presentations, and tutorials that can be distributed to students through Blackboard.


Zoom is a conferencing service that offers both video and audio conferencing and screen-sharing capabilities. 

Poll Everywhere (PollEv)

Poll Everywhere is a student response (SRS) that allows instructors to engage students with questions and polls on any Internet-enabled device. 

Grade Center

Grade Center (pdf) - Learn how to manage your students' assignments and grades in Blackboard's Grade Center.


NameCoach is a tool to help others with the proper and preferred pronunciation of names. Access the NameCoach recorder directly at or through Blackboard. 

Usage Instructions

Honorlock Test Proctoring 

William & Mary has adopted Honorlock as the solution for administering online high-stakes exams that require proctoring within Blackboard. Faculty will need to determine if and when this proctoring service is the best choice for their course. Our Exam Integrity Matrix (pdf) provides other options for less invasive pathways for online assessment integrity. Contact [[stli, STLI]] if you have questions about strategies for maintaining academic integrity in a way that takes advantage of the best resources for your teaching context.

The Honorlock Usage Guide (pdf) provides instructions for enabling Honorlock, troubleshooting steps, and best practices. A short video tutorial is also available to get you started.

Additional Resources

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Clear out your Cache and Cookies in Google Chrome Browser
  2. Issues with Google Chrome Profiles (instructions in the Usage Guide, page 3)
  3. Reach out to Honorlock via chat 
Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally works seamlessly with the Learning Management System (LMS) to gauge the accessibility of your content. Ally provides guidance and tips for lasting improvements to your content accessibility.

  • Receive feedback on the accessibility of your content
  • Improve content accessibility with Ally's step-by-step instructions

In addition to providing instructors with insight to their content accessibility, Ally automatically creates alternative versions of files. This allows students to choose the type of file that best suits their needs. 

  • Automatically checks course materials against WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards
  • Gives students accessibility and flexibility to download alternative formats such as audio and electronic braille when they see this icon: Blackboard Ally Logo 
  • Delivers accessibility guidance to instructors tthrough the use of Accessibility Indicators that are only visible to instructors in their course. (Pictured below). 
Ally Accessibility Indicators
Helpful resources to get you started

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Watch Blackboard Ally Tutorials



Impact is a new tool that will help with inline support for faculty and students when navigating in Blackboard. Customized messaging will allow users to get help when needed by providing support articles and videos to help perform tasks. Impact will replace the Blackboard Help messaging that is currently in the system and allow users to find materials for help when needed.

When completing tasks in Blackboard, look for the question mark Impact Icon to find help materials along with pop-up tutorials to guide you through the process.  

Blackboard tutorials

Blackboard maintains a constantly updated help website for users. It includes tutorials, videos, and step-by-step instructions. Blackboard Help pages are provided in a variety of different languages.

William & Mary Specific Instructions

W&M Information Technology has written instructions for our specific Blackboard environment.  If the topic you need is missing, please email us at

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Blackboard Ultra
Merging Blackboard Courses & FERPA Concerns

Questions? Contact the Technology Support Center (TSC)
757-221-4357 (HELP) | [[support]] | Jones 201, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm