Student Frequently Asked Questions
Blackboard FAQ Document (PDF)
How can I tell if Blackboard is down or if I have log-on issues?
How do I access Organizations that I may be enrolled in (ex. RCC Tutoring Services)?
I can’t remember my password to myRCC to access Blackboard.
I can log into myRCC but not Blackboard, all I get is the blackboard login page and it won’t let me log in?
What if the myRCC single sign-on is down? How do I get into my Blackboard course?
All the discussion board posts disappeared.
How do I post a comment to the Discussion Board?
What should I do if I am composing more than a couple of sentences in my posting?
How can I add pictures to the Discussion Board and resize images?
How can I add a video to my post?
How do I print out my syllabus in Blackboard?
How do I submit work using the Assignment Feature in Blackboard?
I am having trouble attaching files in Blackboard.
I am having trouble downloading my instructors attached documents in Blackboard?
How do I Customize my tabs in Blackboard?
How do I remove courses from a previous semester from My Blackboard Courses?
I can’t see my courses in Blackboard. It says Not Enrolled in Any Courses?
When I log into Blackboard I cannot see the menu listing to get to the content in my course. It stays on the Announcements screen. What should I do?
Where do I go if I need Blackboard Help?
Why won’t my Collaborate session start?
If Blackboard is down or has a scheduled outage for updates you will see an announcement on the single sign-on website. There may also be a notice on the RCC Home page of any scheduled outages.
Note: The VCCS maintains an open maintenance window every Thursday from 12:00 AM to 4:00 AM. During this time individual servers or systems MAY go down without warning.
If the single sign-on site is down, see the next FAQ for instructions to log in to Blackboard, Student Email and Student Information System separately.
If you try to login several times and cannot access Blackboard try the following troubleshooting suggestions:
- When logging into Blackboard from the myRCC single sign-on, right click on the Blackboard link and click on open in new tab or window. This should redirect the browser to open.
- Make sure you are using Internet Explorer, FireFox or Chrome (Safari on a MAC) to log into the myRCC applications. Our systems do not work well with the AOL browser.
- Make sure you have pop-up blocker turned off for the myRCC site.
- Do not use a bookmark to log into Blackboard. Always log in via the myRCC single sign-on location. If you have problems logging into the system after an outage , you may need to clean out your Internet history. Click here for directions.
- Security settings may be blocking you from opening the myRCC website. You can set up the site to be a trusted site. See
directions below: For Internet Explorer Open IE and select Tools From the drop-down menu, choose Internet Options Select the Security tab, and then Trusted Sites. Click on the Sites button In the Add this website to the zone
box: type in https://rcc.my.vccs.edu and click on add site. Make sure the box is checked for Require server
If you continue to have problems after trying several times within the hour, please email the RCC Help Desk at RCChelp@rappahannock.edu for solutions. **If sites OUTSIDE the VCCS are also not coming up, you are experiencing a problem with your Internet connection
To Access information in a Blackboard Organization, follow the directions below:
- Locate your Student Connect tab on the top menu bar in Blackboard.
- Locate the module My Organizations.
- If you are enrolled in an Organization you will see it under Organizations in which you are participating.
- Click on the title and you can access it much like a Blackboard Course.
If you do not remember your security question to reset your password to myRCC, please contact the RCC Help Desk at email@example.com. When emailing the Help Desk, please make sure to include your username and a alternative email address to contact you with information. Your account will be reset to your six digit date of birth no spaces or hyphens (mmddyy). This will allow you to log into the account and create a secure password and security question to access Blackboard. It might take up to 15 minutes to access the systems after changing your password
If you are a NEW student to RCC or have returned after three or more years since your last class, you may not have a Blackboard account yet. The Virginia Community College System will disable inactive accounts after a period of three years.
The way to trigger the VCCS to create or reactivate your Blackboard account is to register for a class. Once you have registered for a class, the VCCS will create your Blackboard account within 24 hours and you will be able to access it directly from the myRCC menu. If this hasn’t happened, please make sure that your enrollment is showing in the Student Information System (SIS) or contact the RCC Help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the myRCC single sign-on is down, you can log into Blackboard at http://learn.vccs.edu. You will use the same username and password that you use to access the myRCC single sign-on. If you still cannot get into Blackboard, the service might be down. You can check the VCCS outage site for detail outage information at http://helpnet.vccs.edu/central/outages.htm. Please contact the RCC Help Desk if the problem is not resolved.
If you are in a discussion board, and you see no posts, especially if they were there previously, you may have changed your display parameter. Look at the buttons at the far right of your Blackboard window, just above the discussion board itself.
If you are in List View (highlighted at the top of the Discussion board window) you will see a button labeled Display. Click Display, then Show All. Your posts should reappear. You can also switch to Tree View at the upper right.
To post a response to the discussion board, please follow the steps below:
- Locate the Discussion Board in the left navigation panel in your Blackboard course.
- Click on the Blue Forum Title to add or read the posts.
- Click the Create Thread button to post a response.
- Make sure to type in a subject heading and click on submit when complete.
- Note: if you click Save Draft it will save your posting as a draft – this means only you can see it. To publish it to the class. you will need to edit this post and click on Submit.
As a best practice, if you are composing a long discussion thread, it is best to type your response in a text editor. This way you can copy and paste your posting into the Blackboard discussion thread text box. If something happens with the connection or submit in Blackboard your work will be saved on your computer.
- Go to the Discussion Board in your Blackboard course.
- Open the Discussion Board Forum where you need to add an image.
- Click on Create Thread.
- Type in the Subject of your thread.
- You can either add an image in the text editor to display in your message or you can add your image as an attachment. (Please make sure that your image has no spaces or special characters in the file name. Most image sizes in Blackboard are 150×150 pixels).
- You can also choose to “Attach a File” for individuals to open and view outside of the Discussion thread.
- Click Submit for students to see your image in the discussion board or click on the attachment to view your image within your thread.
If you need to resize your picture for free, you can go to www.picresize.com (The Internet’s Best Picture Resizing Tool).
- Use the Record from Webcam icon at the bottom left of the Text Editor tool bar. This uses a feature called Video Anywhere. You can record right from your computer’s camera to the discussion board. **Please note, this interfaces with You Tube through your VCCS Google account. You will need to set up your You Tube channel for this to work.
- Import a video using the Mashups tool, at left center of the text editor tool bar. This will allow you to add any You Tube video, Flickr photo, or slide share presentation to your post.
For additional help getting started, check out this helpful link: Getting Started with Video Anywhere.
Option 1: If your syllabus is attached as an Adobe Acrobat document (PDF file type) – (IE, FireFox or Chrome) – Click on
the link to open the file. It will open in a new tab. When you bring your mouse near the bottom of the page, a floating toolbar will appear. You may click the Disk icon to save the file to your disk or hard drive, or the Printer icon to print it.
Option 2: (IE only) For any file type, Right-click on the link to the document (i.e. do not actually open the document) and select Print Target from the context sensitive menu.
Option 3: If your syllabus is a Word document (DOC or DOCX file type):
(FireFox) Click on the link to the document. A dialog box will appear asking to open or save the file. Select open to print out in the word editor.
(Chrome) Click on the link to the document, then look toward the bottom left of the window, there will be an icon for you to click to open the file – Chrome will download files to its default location prior to opening.
(IE) Click on the link to the file, a dialog will appear. Your simplest method is to simply save the document to your hard drive, then go to it using Windows and open the file.
Note: If your syllabus is not attached as a separate file in blackboard but is embedded directly within the page, you can choose to copy and paste your text to a Word document and print from Word or a text editor.
There are two ways to submit work using the Assignment feature. You can type right into the text editor or you can attach and submit a separate file. Your instructor tell you how he/she wishes the work to be submitted. Here is a video to help you out: Submitting an assignment in Blackboard.
- Click on the Assignment heading (title)
- Either type your work in the Assignment Materials text editor or attach your saved file (use Browse for Local File button to locate your file)
- After selecting your file in the pop-up window, you will see it in the Attached Files list under the File Name and Link Title.
- Make sure to click on Submit when you are finished. If you click on Save as Draft it will not be sent to the instructor to grade, and your instructor will not be able to see the files.
** Please note that not all instructor’s use the assignment feature for turning in assignments. Please check your course syllabus for details on how assignments are collected.
Faculty at RCC use Microsoft Word and must receive your files with the .doc, .docx, or .rtf extensions. If you use Microsoft Works, you will need to save your files with the .doc or .rtf file extension. Otherwise the instructor might not be able to open and grade your work. If attaching a file to the assignment feature in Blackboard, make sure that your file name does not contain any special characters, spaces or hyphens. If you are using Internet Explorer and continue to get error messages, you may want to try using another browser such as FireFox to see if the problem persist. You can download FireFox at www.mozilla.com.
There could be several reasons you may be having problems downloading the files in Blackboard. See below:
- The browser you are using is blocking the file you are downloading. You need to go to FireFox and try downloading the file in a different browser. This is a known issue in Blackboard. You can download FireFox at www.mozilla.com.
- The security settings on your computer will not allow you to open the file. You need to save the file to your computer before you can open the attachment.
- You need to allow pop-up blockers for the Blackboard site.
- You may not have the correct version of Microsoft Office to download the files. Most instructors at RCC are using Microsoft Office 2010. If the attached file has an x at the end of the extension (ex. docx, pptx, xlsx) you will need to download the Microsoft Office Compatibility software to download the files. If you do not have Microsoft Office on your computer and you need to download the Microsoft Viewer files, click here.
- The document might be a pdf file and you will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to open the file. Click here to download Adobe Reader.
Students will see the following tabs at the top of their Blackboard screen – Some can be customized:
RCC - Information and announcements for everyone at RCC, as well as Blackboard courses and organizations you are enrolled in and course/organization announcements. This tab cannot be customized.
Learn – Information and announcements specific to students, including your class schedule, Blackboard courses you are enrolled in, announcements from your Blackboard courses, important school calendar dates, and a dictionary.
Student Connect – Information and tools to help students connect with other people, including access to student email, chats with a reference librarian, student services announcements, tutoring information, links to Blackboard organizations you are enrolled in, and information about other organizations on campus.
Research - Library and other research resources.
Help - Help information on Blackboard and VCCS Student Email, as well as ways to get more information and help if needed. This tab can not be customized.
To move modules around on your page, simply click on the title bar and drag to where you want it to be.
To add modules to the Learn, Student Connect and Research tabs, please click on the Add Module button at the top left and select the modules that are RCC specific.
To change the appearance of the page, please click on the Personalize Page button at the top right of the page.
In the title bar, you will see an icon that looks something like a gear (Below). This is the Manage My Blackboard Courses icon. Click this to take you to the personalization screen. In the course listing clear the check boxes for the course you wish to disappear. Then click the submit button. This will remove the course from your list. It does NOT remove you from the course, but simply makes it invisible.
Note: Instructors are asked at the end of each term to make their courses unavailable. If this has not been done, students will still be able to see the course in the listing. You may also put in a help desk ticket at RCCHelp@rappahannock.edu to request that they make it unavailable to you. Keep in mind, your official enrollment is listed in the Student Information System (SIS).
If you just added a Blackboard course it can take up to 24 hrs. to be added to the course. Instructors have until the first day class meets to make courses available for students to see in Blackboard. If your class has started and you still cannot locate your course in Blackboard, please contact your instructor.
If this happens in your Blackboard course, it could be that your Course Menu has simply been minimized. If so, locate the arrow tab in the left border of the Announcement window. Click on the arrow to bring back the menu listing. If that does not work try logging into Blackboard with a different browser, such as FireFox or Internet Explorer.
If you see a box where the menu should be, but no menu, check by the course title. If it has a triangle icon that is pointing right, you have collapsed the menu vertically. Simply click on the triangle and the menu will expand.
If the problem persists, please contact the RCC Help Desk at email@example.com or contact your instructor.
If you are having trouble navigating through Blackboard there are several things that can assist you:
- If it is a course related question on content that is within your Blackboard course, please contact your instructor. Contact information for your instructor should be located under Instructor information, Faculty Information or Contacts in the Blackboard course or the course syllabus.
- If you are having trouble with a Blackboard function, first look through our Blackboard Video Tutorials. If you cannot find your answer there, then please email the help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond typically within 24 hours. Please allow extra time on Weekends.
- For more help visit our Online Resources website at http://www.rappahannock.edu/Help Desk/tutorials.
If you are receiving Unable to Launch the application or Unsigned application requesting unrestricted access to system when you are attempting to join a session in Blackboard Collaborate, you will need to clear your Java Cache (see below). This may happen any time but is especially common after a version update.
- Click on Start > Control Panel
- Click on Programs > Java
- On the General Tab, in the Temporary Internet Files section – click Settings.
- Near the bottom of the window, click the Delete Files button.
- In the resulting pop-up dialog box, check the Applications and Applets, and Trace and Log Files boxes.
- Click OK.
- Open the Java control panel by going to Finder> Applications >Utilities > Java Preferences
- On the Network tab, click the Delete Files button.
- Check both boxes on the pop-up dialog box
- Click OK.
** Note for MAC OSX users, if you have upgraded to Mavericks, you MUST use a 64-bit mode browser such as Safari or Firefox. Google Chrome will not work at this time by design of OSX.
Keep in mind that not all instructors allow students to check their grades in Blackboard. Please be sure to read over your syllabus or email your instructor on how your grades will be posted.
- In your course menu click on My Grades. If you do not see My Grades, but do see Tools, click on Tools then on the My Grades tool.
- My Grades also appears on the RCC Tab in the Tools module on the upper left of the Blackboard window.
- Click on your name at the top of the Blackboard Window, then on the My Grades icon along the left icon row.
Please Note: Keep in mind, this is not your official grade. Official grades are posted in the Student Information System(SIS) at the end of the
Why can’t I see my grade in Blackboard?
Not all instructors at RCC display grades in Blackboard. Please read your syllabus and contact your instructor to find out how your grades will be posted. The grades posted in Blackboard are not your official grade posting. Your official grade is posted in the Student Information System (SIS) at the end of each semester on the grade due date. If your instructor is allowing you to view grades in Blackboard you will see a My Grades area in your Blackboard course menu listing.
If you are asked for a password to take the quiz/test, please contact your instructor. Most distance learning and hybrid classes at RCC will have online password protected quiz/test that will need to be taken in the testing center on the Glenns, Warsaw or King George site. Also, check to make sure your test does not require the Respondus Lockdown Browser – if it does it will say so in the item title.
If your instructor is requiring you to use the Lockdown Browser tool to take the test, it will prompt you for a password unless you have started Blackboard using the Lockdown Browser. Tests that require this will normally say so up front. If you are required to use it, the Lockdown Browser is a free download found on the Learn tab in Blackboard.
A common issue with students taking a quiz or test is to hit the Browser’s Back button to go to a previous question. Using the Browser’s Back button will cause the page to reload, which Blackboard interprets as leaving the test or quiz. Please avoid using the Back button. If “backtracking” is allowed – this means going to a previous question, and is an option the instructor can turn on or off – the quiz will have its own link or button to do so. Note, other browser control buttons or their keyboard shortcuts (usually the Control key + a letter key) can have similar effects.
If your instructor only has one attempt on the quiz or test that you are taking, you will need to contact the instructor to reset the test attempt. You will need to let them know why you were unable to submit when emailing the instructor.
When taking a quiz/test I keep getting disconnected?
If you continue to get disconnected when taking a quiz/test, you may need to open an active browser to keep Blackboard open. This happens after being connected for long periods of time. To download software that will open an active window, visit the http://www.download.com site. Type “Stay Connected” in the search field and download the programs for staying connected. Run this program every time you access your online course in Blackboard if you are experiencing the disconnect problem.