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 Overview of the University of Rochester online course template

Here are the basics of our online course template. This orientation can be helpful for students taking their first online course at the University.

Overview of Blackboard

There are a number of features in Blackboard that are useful for students taking an Online Course.

Learn more about general features of Blackboard.

Managing Discussions

Discussion boards can be overwhelming in an online course. Learn more about the how to use the Discussion Board.


There are a number of ways to get notifications within and from Blackboard.

One helpful thing is to have Blackboard send you email notifications when things happen in Blackboard. You can get email notifications reminding you of due dates or notifications telling you that certain content is available. You can also get email notifications when assignments are graded. Learn how to turn on email notifications.

When you are in Blackboard, you will also always get Alerts. A red indicator shows up next to your name every time you have an Alert. Learn more about alerts.

Creating an Online Presence

In order to develop community in an online course, it is helpful to have pictures of the class members. Blackboard allows you to upload an avatar that is then used in Discussion Boards, Blogs, Wikis, and Journals. Learn how to upload an Avatar.

Help with Other Software

You may require assistance with software other than Blackboard. Please visit this page for more information.