Skip to content


Distance Education

About Blackboard

How to Access Your Course

  1. Login to Buzz In and click on the Blackboard Link located on the right.
  2. Go directly to Blackboard at

Your username and password will be the same as your Buzz In and ESU Email account. In most cases, you will not be able to access Blackboard until the first day of class or shortly before.



Frequently Asked Questions

If my instructor has made my class unavailable, how do I know the course is in Blackboard?

Many instructors make their course unavailable to students so that they can finalize course content.  Your course will be accessible on the first day of class.  However, you can still tell if the course is on Blackboard. After you have logged in, go to the Tools box on the main screen of Blackboard. Select Send E-mail. All of your courses will appear there even if your instructor has made access unavailable.

My course is listed in the My Courses section of Blackboard so how do I access it?

Your course will be listed on your Blackboard Homepage which is the page you will see after logging in to Buzz-in and clicking on Blackboard.  You will access your courses by clicking on the course under My Courses (located to the far right). If you don't see your couse in this list it is because your course has not been made Available by your instructor.  See the question just above this one if you want to check that you are actually enrolled.

Why are last semester's classes still appearing in Blackboard?

Courses remain in Blackboard for a period of time after your course has ended in order for you to retrieve any information you may wish to save and for instructors to archive the course. You can hide previous classes in Blackboard if you wish. Just select the pencil-like icon in the top-right hand corner of the My Courses box on the main page of Blackboard and uncheck all items for any course you don't wish to see in your list. This process may be reversed to unhide a course.

Why is a class I dropped still appearing in Blackboard?

If you are still seeing a class you have dropped, check with Distance Education as maybe you have not actually been dropped from the course.

Can I remove a class from Blackboard?

Yes, just select the pencil icon in the top-right hand corner of the My Courses box on the main page of Blackboard and follow the directions.

NOTE: This does NOT officially drop/withdraw you from a course. You must contact Distance Education to process your drop or withdrawal.

What are some concerns for Mac users?

Blackboard works very well with the Macintosh platform. However, there are some issues that Mac users should be aware of when accessing Blackboard courses.

File names
The Mac operating system does not require users to use file extensions on the end of file names to indicate what program should be used to open the file (such as Termpaper.doc or Termpaper.txt). This information is stored inside the Mac file.

However, Mac users must rename their files being uploaded into Blackboard to include the proper file extensions (Example: For a Word file titled “Chapter 1”, the Mac file needs to be renamed “Chapter 1.doc” before uploading). A PC requires this information to open the file. Failure to provide a file extension can cause the file to appear as random characters when downloaded or opened via Blackboard. A partial list of extensions follows.

File Extensions
Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF): .pdf
Apple QuickTime movie: .mov
Graphics Interchange Format file (.gif graphic): .gif
Joint Photographic Expert Group file (.jpg graphic): .jpg
Microsoft Excel workbook: .xls
Microsoft PowerPoint presentation: .ppt
Microsoft Word document: .doc
Plain text document: .txt
Rich Text Format (RTF) document: .rtf
Tagged Image File Format file (TIFF graphic): .tif
Wave sound file: .wav
Web page (HTML): .html
Zip-compressed archive: .zip

My instructor says he gets an error message when trying to view my assignment I uploaded.

You can not submit a file that contains “#” in the file name. This character will cause an error message during opening. If the file name contains a “#” symbol, rename the file on your computer without the “#” by right clicking it and selecting “Rename” from the pop-up menu. Make the appropriate changes to the name and then try Uploading it again. Your instructor may need to reset the assignment for you to be able to resubmit it.

I cannot view any threads on the discussion board. I get this message after I click on the first posted thread “Click Here to view alternate content for browsers that do not support IFRAMES.” When I click, I get nothing.

This message may be delivered because of the Parental Control settings in your security software. Follow the directions below depending on which security software you are using and it should take care of the problem.

  • Norton Security – Right click Norton Security in the Start Up Menu > Open it > Choose Status & Settings > Select Parental Control and Click Turn Off or Disable.
  • McAfee Security – Right click the “M” in the Start Up Menu > Click on Privacy Service > Click Disable.

I’m trying to access a quiz, but I get a message that the quiz is already in progress.

There are two things that could cause this problem:

  • You doubled clicked the quiz link when trying to access it. You should click the link only once. Clicking it more than once causes Blackboard to consider that you are accessing it a second time.
  • If this happens, you will need to ask your instructor to reset the quiz for you and be careful to single click the link next time.
  • A pop-up blocker could be preventing the quiz from opening.
  • Disable pop-up blockers on your computer. Usually a message will appear at the top of the window and you can click on it to allow pop-ups. You can also add to your trusted sites in your pop-up blocker and under Tools > Internet Options > Security in your browser.


I created a posting on the Discussion Board and clicked the "Save" button.  I can’t find what I posted. It isn’t there.

When you are finished with your posting, there are three actions you can take… Cancel, Save, or Submit. Click the Cancel button if you change your mind and do not want to add a post. Click Submit if you would like your message to be added to the Discussion Board forum. Selecting Save, will save your posting as a draft to review later but will not post it to the Discussion Board. To see if you created a draft instead of submitting a post, go to the Discussion Board and forum that you attempted to post your message. In the "Display" drop-down box choose "Show All." You should now see all published posts as well as your drafts. Select your draft message. Click Submit to post the draft to the Discussion Board.

My instructor has asked us to submit an assignment using the Digital Drop Box. Where do I find it and how do I use it?

  • From within your course, click the Tools button.
  • Select Digital Drop Box.
  • Click on the Send File button, type in the title, click Browse, and locate the file for upload.
    NOTE: The Add File button will only save the file in your Drop Box list but will not send it to the Instructor.
    • If you wish to send a file that you have previously added, click on the Send File button and then select the previously uploaded file from the Select file drop-down menu.
    • Click the Submit button.
  • Click on the file once to highlight it, and then click Open.
  • The file name and path should appear in the Browse field. Click Submit.

NOTE: A Student cannot remove a file once it has been sent to the instructor. Once an instructor grades or reviews the file and returns it to the student, the Remove button will reappear and allow the student to delete that file from the Digital Drop Box.

NOTE: The Digital Drop Box is used as a means to send files directly to the instructor. Use Send E-mail to send files to a fellow student.

While taking a quiz, the screen will freeze up but the time will continue to countdown, leaving me with little or no time to move on to the next question. What can I do?

It appears there may be a problem with your browser or a firewall issue. The most common problems with this are related to:

  • AOL – AOL’s browser is not supported by Blackboard.
    Solution: You will need to minimize your current browser and open another Internet Explorer browser. Go to Blackboard with the second browser and take your test from it.
  • Browser Timeout after 45 minutes or less – your browser may timeout after a certain amount of time and disconnect you from the internet.
    Solution: Open a second browser as in Item #1. Click the original browser (located on the bottom bar) and then go to another web page using the second browser periodically while you are taking your test.
    Here is a web page you can use to keep your internet connection active:
  • Personal Firewalls – Firewalls can conflict with Blackboard and the submission of forms or other browser functions.
  • Internet Security Software such as Norton Security or McAfee Security – Security software can conflict with Blackboard and the submission of forms or other browser functions.
    Solution: Disable it while you are taking your test and re-enable it once you are done.

Another option is to use a browser other than Internet Explorer, such as Mozilla Firefox. For most browser issues related to Internet Explorer, using a different browser is sometimes the easiest solution.

You may want to call your instructor so he/she knows you are having a problem.

Getting Help

Taking an online course can be a challenging experience for students. Not only is the learning environment more isolated than the traditional classroom, but an online course may require more motivation and effort to successfully complete. At Emporia State University, we are committed to providing resources to help make the experience as trouble-free as possible.


If you get rolled-over to the answering machine during normal working hours, please leave your FULL NAME, PHONE NUMBER, DEPARTMENT, and a BRIEF MESSAGE about your call. They will return the call as soon as possible.