Getting Started With Blackboard

Below is a summary checklist outlining the steps a new instructor should take in creating a course in the Blackboard course management system.

Getting Started Checklist:

1. Log in to Blackboard
2. Add content to your course. (readings, exams, discussions)
3. Choose one of the three options for students to enroll (see below for options)
4. Make the course Available
5. Let the students know course title and how to login
6. Review other resources available about the Blackboard system and Blackboard at CSM

Checklist Details:

___1. Log in to Blackboard

To log into blackboard go to: or select "Blackboard Login" from the CCIT quick links drop down list, the Academic Web Services page, or other locations.

  • Click the Login button.
  • The first time you log into your blackboard account (or if you have forgotten your blackboard password) click on the "Forgot password?" link.
  • Fill in the information requested on the top half of the Forgot your password? page and click Submit.
  • An email will be sent to your official campus e-mail address with a link from which you may set or reset your password.

In addition to the username sent to you for your instructor account, a second account was created for you with student privileges so you can experience the course exactly as your students will. This will allow you to test exams, verify that settings you make have the desired impact, and insure that material you have made available is seen by students as you expect. If your instructor account username is username, your secondary student account will be s_username. Professor John Smith, for example, may have an instructor username of jsmith, so his secondary student username would be s_jsmith.

When you login to the Blackboard system for the first time, you should change your password. Please do not make your password the same as your e-mail password. For advice about creating passwords, see our Password Information Page. Passwords in the Blackboard system are case sensitive, so be sure to keep this in mind when you reset your password. To change your Blackboard password, click on the MyCSM tab, then select Personal Information > Change Password.

___2. Add content to your course

There are many ways to add content to your course. First, select the course to which you want to add content by clicking on it in the course ID or title under the Courses you are teaching section under the MyCSM or Courses tab. As the instructor, you can determine what content areas to make available to students and when to make the content available. To define content areas and availability for the course, click on the Control Panel button, then select Course Settings in the Course Options section.

The Course Settings of most interest will be Area Availability, Course Availability (you can populate your course prior to making any part of it available), and Enrollment Options. Once you experiment with building a course you will quickly learn these options. Most of the Content Areas are organized into Folders and Items. Information is typically placed into content areas by uploading files from your computer or filling out a form on a web page. Browse through the Control Panel and experiment with some of the features.

___3. Choose one of the three options for students to enroll

Not every course has a Blackboard component, so Blackboard courses are not automatically created for every class on campus and students are not automatically enrolled in the Blackboard component of a course. Therefore, you must select one of three possible ways for students to enroll in the Blackboard component of your course:

  1. Allow the students to self-enroll with an optional access code you may provide. (Most convenient for instructors and students)
  2. Have students use the Blackboard system to send you an email asking to be enrolled. This allows you to approve each enrollment.
  3. Manually enroll each student.

To set the enrollment option for your course, click on the Control Panel button, then select Course Settings, then select Enrollment Options.

___4. Make the course Available

When you are ready to make your course available to students, go to the Control Panel, then select Customization, then Propertied.  Scroll to #3 Course Availability, click in the Yes radio button and Submit.

___5. Let the students know course title and how to login

Once you have made the course available for students to access, be sure to let them know what the course title is in the Blackboard system and how to login. If you have selected the self enrollment option, and are using the optional access code, let them know the access code you created for them to enroll in your course. Remember that access codes are case sensitive and it is easy to confuse some letters and numbers (such as a lowercase "L"and the number "1" and the letter "o" and the number zero) so be very clear in your instructions.

Remind your students how to get into the blackboard system ( Point them to this  information on accessing Blackboard for the first time. You may also select a Blackboard Login link from various Mines web pages. If you have decided to have students self enroll, they can find more information here. More information about using the Blackboard system can be found at (

___6. Other resources available about the Blackboard system and Blackboard at CSM

Additional information to help you get started:

  • The (Instructor's) Online Manual is available in the Assistance section of your course Control Panel (lower right) and is also available on the Blackboard Documentation page


CCIT Outages & Notices

More Resources

Need Computing Help?
Contact us through the Mines Help Center Helpdesk or 303.273.3430 or 303.273.3431.

For computer emergencies involving classes currently in session ONLY, dial extension x2345.

Contact CCIT
CCIT facilities are primarily housed in the east end of the CTLM building (Center for Technology and Learning Media):

Campus Computing, Communications and Information Technologies
1650 Arapahoe St.
Golden, Co. 80401-1887

Computing Commons Front Desk (CT156)
(303) 273-3431
Office: (303) 273-3430
Fax: (303) 273-3475

Business Mailing Address
Colorado School of Mines
1500 Illinois Street
Golden, Colorado 80401-1887

About Campus Computing

If you have question or concerns about the content on this page, please submit a request to the Mines Help Center.