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Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

AccountID, Requesting

I am a new faculty member and do not have a working AccountID but need to get my courses started. When will I be able to request my courses?

An individual cannot be issued access to the university's computing resources (including Blackboard) until that individual's hiring paperwork has been received by Human Resource Services (HRS) and has been entered into the HRS system.  Any concerns or questions about when an individual's AccountID will be available should be addressed to HRS at 815-753-6000.

We have hired an instructor to teach a course next semester, but their contract does not begin until shortly before the beginning of the course. Is there any way for them to get access to Blackboard to begin developing the course now?

Access to Blackboard and other university systems is a complex and ongoing issue that involves several units across the university. Access is restricted to protect the university and our students. However, we know that developing a high quality course in Blackboard requires time for preparation.

If a new instructor needs to begin preparing a course significantly before the term of the contract begins, departments can complete a Volunteer Agreement form and a Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement form. Both are available on the Human Resource Services website. This form provides information required by HR and IT Security to ensure appropriate access, and to protect the university. Once these forms are completed, they should be directed to HR, as with traditional hiring paperwork.

The department will also need to request an "affiliate account" using the DoIT Computing Access Request form (CAR). To complete the CAR form:

  1. Select Non-Paid Affiliate from the drop down menu
  2. Select Account Management and then click the Continue button
  3. Select Create/Reactivate and then click the Continue button
  4. Complete the form and click the Next button
  5. Verify the information and submit the request

This process cannot be used in place of hiring paperwork to gain access to Blackboard due to delays in hiring paperwork. It can only be used when someone is completing development or instructional work that is unpaid (and thus volunteer). It is important for the department to be clear that this access and development is not paid work, and is not a guarantee of employment. Should the course not be offered (such as due to low enrollment or budgetary issues), or should the instructor not be able to teach (such as due to illness or schedule conflicts), the instructor should not expect compensation for the development work. For these reasons, completing this process should be done with careful consideration of the risks.

I would like to have a colleague from outside of NIU participate as a guest speaker or expert on a discussion board in my Blackboard course. How do I request access for them?

Access to Blackboard is a complex issue that involves several units across the university, because it includes student academic records. However, it is also beneficial for students to learn from experts from outside of NIU.

To request access to Blackboard for a guest speaker, you need to have the individual complete a Volunteer Agreement form and a Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement form. Both are available on the Human Resource Services website. Once these forms are complete, they should be directed to HR, as with traditional hiring paperwork.

You will also need to request an "affiliate account" for the guest speaker using the DoIT Computing Access Request form (CAR). To complete the CAR form:

  1. Select Non-Paid Affiliate from the drop down menu
  2. Select Account Management and then click the Continue button
  3. Select Create/Reactivate and then click the Continue button
  4. Complete the form and click the Next button
  5. Verify the information and submit the request

Note that this process is only required if you need the guest speaker to access your Blackboard course for some reason, such as participating in a discussion forum or commenting on blog entries. If you will be connecting with the guest speaker via Blackboard Collaborate, you can generate a guest link for your session and send it to them via email. Once the affiliate account has been created, you will need to add the guest speaker to your course.

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Last Updated: 09/27/2016