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Distance Student Library Guide: Tips for Success - Blackboard

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Tips for Online Student Success - Blackboard Checklist


The Course Home Page will keep you up to date by displaying announcements, the latest discussion posts, and messages for a single course. (Please note that some instructors may have a different setup for their Course Home page.)

  • The To Do section provides a chronological listing of upcoming due dates. This section is divided into What's Past Due and What's Due. Use this information as the launching point for your daily coursework. 
    • The What's Past Due area displays any test, assignment, or survey that has passed its due date with no submission. 
    • The What's Due area displays information about any test, assignment, or survey that contains a due date.
  • The Notifications Dashboard is one way you may be able to view notifications for all of the courses you're enrolled in (if you are enrolled in more than one course). 
    • To access the My Blackboard Tool Notifications, locate the Global Navigation Menu in the top right-hand corner of MUOnline (it will be indicated by your name and a drop-down arrow)
    • Select the drop-down arrow next to your name to view/access additional menu/setting options.


Course calendar events appear to students and usually include due dates for assignments. The use of the Calendar will vary from instructor to instructor.

  • Your calendar can be viewed by the day, week, or month. You can access the Course Calendar in some courses via the Calendar link in the course main menu or from the My Blackboard Tool menu from the Global Navigation Menu in the upper right corner of MUOnline (click on the top icon from the drop-down arrow next to your name, which is in the upper-right corner of MUOnline).


Announcements are messages from your instructor that contain important information. Many instructors send at least one announcement each week (usually to introduce a new module, provide feedback, and to send out other pertinent information quickly and broadly).

  • You can easily view course announcements via the Course Home Page and/or if your instructor has enabled an Announcements link in the course main menu. 
  • In addition, instructors will often send a copy of announcements to your student email. Be sure to check your MU email account regularly for announcement notifications.


If enabled by your instructor, you can subscribe to email alerts to know when new Discussion Posts are made. Your instructor chooses if the alerts are for posts made at the forum or thread level. Be sure to check your MU email account regularly for Discussion Post notifications.

  • When the forum email subscription feature is enabled, select Subscribe at the top of the page. You will receive emails when new posts are made to the forum.
  • When the thread email subscription feature is enabled, select one or more thread check boxes and select Subscribe in the Thread Actions menu. You'll receive emails when new posts are made to the selected threads.


You can access your grades link from two places: 

  • Select My Grades on the left main course menu. Your instructor has to create the Access Global Navigation Menu (upper right corner) and select the My Grades icon.
  • Need help? Access Blackboard Student Grades Help for more information.


If you have a question about course content, such as “When is my assignment due?” or “Which chapters do I read for class?” you will need to contact your instructor or Teaching Assistant (TA). 


The Blackboard Mobile App is a great way to take your courses on the go. In addition to viewing content and participating in courses, you can enable push notifications on your mobile device and receive notifications for new content items, courses, test availability, announcements, graded items, and due/overdue items.

Please remember, though, that important assignments and exams should not be completed on your mobile device, and should instead always be completed on a reliable desktop PC or Mac or laptop with a secure internet connection and power source.

Download this checklist as a printable PDF

Special Thanks to WVU