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Your courses may have online components. Consider these questions as you prepare for your online learning experience at the start of your term. 


Where do I access Blackboard?  Go to blackboard.syr.edu or connect through myslice.syr.edu. For either option, use your NetID and password to log in to Blackboard.


Does it matter what browser I use?  Yes, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox work best. We recommend you do not use Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. Check the default settings on your device to ensure that your default browser is either Chrome or Firefox.


Where will live synchronous online sessions be held? Typically, your instructor will use either Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for your live class sessions.


Why am I having difficulty logging in? Verify you are using the latest versions of Google Chrome or Firefox WebRTC. Next, ensure you are using your NetID and password to log in. If you’re still having trouble logging in, contact the ITS Help Desk at 315.443.2677 or help@syr.edu.


Why isn’t my NetID and/or password working? At any time, you can visit the NetID self-service page to look up your NetID, confirm your password works or reset your password if needed. If you still can’t log in, contact the ITS Help Desk at 315.443.2677 or help@syr.edu.


What equipment is recommended for live sessions and/or virtual meetings? Most instructors will recommend using headphones for synchronous live sessions. Headphones will minimize distractions for you and your roommates. Most headphones are equipped with a microphone; be sure to test your headphones and microphones before your first live session. 


How do I find my course information? Once you log in to Blackboard, your course will be listed under My Courses on the landing page. Click on your course name to enter the course room and access the material. You will generally use the left side navigation panel to find your course information.


How do I get to the live sessions for my course? Select your course in Blackboard; in the navigation pane on the left, select the section (Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) your instructor has indicated for live sessions. Select the date and time for the appropriate session; click “join session.”


I have been prompted to test my audio and video when I entered the live session, what do I do? Your audio and video settings will be evaluated as you enter the session. Click “ok” if your audio and camera are working in the test. Note: Your browser may ask you to allow it to use the computer’s camera and audio. Please allow it.


Do I have to share my camera/video during live sessions? You should be prepared to share your camera. Your instructor will review the expectations during the live session.


Do I have to leave my audio/microphone on? It is best to mute your microphone when you are not speaking and to be in a quiet space to reduce any background noise.


Does my appearance matter during live sessions?  You should present yourself as you would in a classroom on campus.


What should be in the background on camera?  During live sessions, a background free from distractions is best. Some platforms (i.e Zoom, Microsoft Teams) allow you to select a background of your choice. 


What should I expect and how do I best communicate in the online environment? Refer to the Netiquette for Students Guide on proper conduct and online communications. Your instructor may set forth expectations around conduct, communications, use of the camera and microphone, use of the chat box, etc.


Are the live sessions recorded? How do I access them? Live sessions are recorded and can be referenced later. To view a recording, return to the section your instructor indicated for joining the live sessions, select the course link on the left, select recordings, select the date of the recording you wish to view and click “Watch Now”.


*How do I submit an assignment?  Links to upload documents or enter text for your assignments are generally located in the coursework folders unless otherwise indicated by your instructor.


*How do I take a quiz or test?  Links and access to your quizzes and tests are generally located in the coursework folders unless otherwise indicated by your instructor.


*How do I post in the discussion board?  Links and access to discussion boards are generally listed in the coursework folders and/or a Discussion Board section in the navigation pane.


Can I use any device to access Blackboard?  You will have the most functionality and best experience with a PC or Mac with the following minimum hardware requirements:

  • Minimum of 2 GB available disk space
  • Dual-core processor: 2.0 GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB+
  • Internet connection
  • Minimum download speed: 5 Mbps
  • Minimum upload speed: 3 Mbps


Tablets will have limited functionality.


The Blackboard app is available for smartphones with limited functionality (Blackboard app iOS11+ Android 5+).  Additionally, there are several options for accessing Zoom.


Please note: Accessing live sessions from a mobile device is not recommended.


*For more details and links to watch short videos on these topics, refer to the Asynchronous Course Overview content page. 


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