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About Blackboard

Blackboard Learn (Blackboard) is the online/distance Learning Management System (LMS) used by our instructors and students. Once you’re accepted for enrollment and registered for classes, almost everything you’ll do and need as an online student will happen in Blackboard. We suggest you bookmark this link: https://blackboard.iavalley.edu/.

Blackboard overview

Blackboard (short for Blackboard Learn) is our online course LMS platform. If you hear someone referring to Blackboard, they are talking about the https://blackboard.iavalley.edu/ website.

The first thing you need to know about using Blackboard is how to find stuff. It functions as a website, so you need to read what’s on the screen and click the links to move around. Blackboard has a variety of things you should learn: uploading files so you can turn in assignments and complete essay tests, navigation toolbars and tabs, an internal electronic mail feature we call Course Mail or Blackboard mail, as well as discussion forums and chat rooms so that you can communicate with your instructors and classmates. There are a lot of tools and features in Blackboard, so knowing how to move around and find help is important.

TIP: Do not use the browser forward or back buttons when in Blackboard. The browser forward and back buttons confuse Blackboard and may result in you using links that are not valid.

Before you start exploring, there is one important thing to remember: When working with Blackboard, make sure that you open only one browser window or tab at a time. Blackboard may lose authentication and you could become disconnected if you open multiple tabs or windows. (You don’t want to take a 100 question test just to find out that it was never submitted because you had multiple windows opened!)

Remember that every course on Blackboard may look a little different because instructors can change the background colors, the names of the tabs along the left side (Content, Calendar, Information), or they may choose not to use all of the available features. If you have questions about how your course site is set up, the first step is to contact the instructor of that course.

Browser compatibility

Browser requirements are listed on a link from the login page of Blackboard. At this time, the current version of Firefox and Chrome are the recommended browsers to use with Blackboard, though Safari may also work. Internet Explorer (IE) is not recommended unless you are using Windows 8 and have the latest, updated version of IE. Specific browser requirements for Blackboard can be found at https://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Student/015_Browser_Support/013_Browser_Support_for_October_2014.

Problems with video – A shield may appear on the URL bar (to the left with Firefox and on the right with Google Chrome) on pages with video clips. You will need to click on the shield and “allow access” or “load anyway” to view the video clip(s) from Blackboard.

Firefox shield Chrome shield

Problems with chat – Use of the chat text feature may require you to click on a red “X” or block in the upper right of your browser window to allow the script to continue.

Other technical requirements

See Computers, Internet Connections & Browsers for additional information and instructions.

Blackboard account information & user orientation

All enrolled students are given access to Blackboard. To log in, you must follow these steps:

  1. In your browser, go to https://blackboard.iavalley.edu/ (we suggest you bookmark this URL).
  2. Log in using your student ID number as username, for example: 321321. This is the same ID number you use to access College computers on campus.
  3. Initial password is set to your birth date in the ‘mmddyyyy’ format (for example, Aug 25, 2001 will be 08252001).
  4. Upon first login, you will be asked to change your password. Your username and password will be the same for CampusWeb (JICS) where registration, billing advising, etc. are kept, and the College on-campus network (which gives you access to your H drive and lets you log in to the school computers).

Please memorize your ID number … you will be using it often! If you do not know your ID number, you can contact the Registrar’s Office or Admissions. The ID number should be listed on your student ID card or on any College bill.

After you log in, you will be on your Blackboard My IVCCD page. This is the main clearing station for all of your Blackboard activities. On the My IVCCD page, you will see a list of all of your College courses.

After logging in to Blackboard, you will want to enroll yourself in the Introduction to Blackboard class to get yourself started. To do this, under the Courses Tab, find the Self Enrollment Course List and click on the Open Enrollment Class for Intro. to Blackboard link, then click the drop-down menu button next to the Introduction_to_Blackboard_for_Students  title and pull down to Enroll. Finally, click the Submit button. When you click under the Courses Tab again you should see the Introduction to Blackboard class in your Course List. Please take time to read through the course materials so that you understand the basic features and capabilities of the Blackboard platform.

If you ever have any technical trouble using Blackboard, contact helpdesk@iavalley.edu or call the Helpdesk at 641-844-5555.

Oh, and don’t forget about PawPass, a web page with frequently used links for students and staff!

  • If you are taking an online course, it will be on Blackboard.
  • If you are taking on-campus courses, please understand that not all of your courses will have Blackboard content. While all instructors will be keeping attendance records in Blackboard, some instructors will use Blackboard more often than others. They may post syllabi, grades, handouts, PowerPoints, etc.
  • If you are taking an online course, you may be required to create additional usernames and passwords for outside websites (for example, if your textbook publisher provides online content). We recommend that you do not use your College student ID/password combination for these sites. You may be able to access some of these sites via course links inside of Blackboard.

Blackboard course mail & student email accounts

Blackboard course mail – Communication in online courses will mainly take place via the Blackboard Course Mail accessible through the Course Messages link in Blackboard. Course mail is a closed system and students can only send messages to their instructors and classmates (similar to Messages on Facebook). Course mail will not allow you to send messages to traditional email addresses. Students must click the “To:” button to select recipients.

To access your course mail, log in to Blackboard, click on a specific course or group link, then click Course Messages (on the left) and View Inbox.

Optionally, your instructor may elect to not use Course Messages and instead contact you via your College email address (…@iavalley.edu). In that case, the Course Messages tool may not be turned on for the Blackboard course.

Student email accounts – All students have access to their own College email address. This email will be used as the primary source of communication with all students for College-wide announcements. Students are expected to check their College email address on a regular basis to receive important information and updates.

Most instructors will communicate with you through the Blackboard course mail system, but you should also read your messages through your student email account, since emails and reminders from student services will be sent to your College email account.

Login instructions

  • Go to https://ivdmail.iavalley.edu.
  • Your login ID is your IVCCD/ECC student ID number.
  • Your initial password is your birthdate formatted as mmddyyyy.
  • Most users will have an email address as their firstname.lastname@iavalley.edu.*

* Important exceptions: Because of duplicate names, you will need to check your email address after you log in. You will see it displayed in the upper right corner of Outlook Web App.


Questions? Contact Helpdesk at 641-844-5555 or email helpdesk@iavalley.edu.

Contact

Joseph Struss

IT HELPDESK

641-844-5555
helpdesk@iavalley.edu