The first step to getting started in Blackboard is to ensure that your NIU issued AcountID has been created and that you are able to successfully login to Novell. An AccountID is assigned to you when you are hired as an employee, and it is canceled after you leave NIU. The AccountID for all NIU faculty and staff hired after 2005 begins with the letter "A", followed by 7 digits. Students are issued a similar ID, called a Z-ID, that begins with the letter "Z".
Contact your department if you do not know your AccountID. If you are a Teaching Assistant, the numerical portion of your A-ID should be the same as your Z-ID. You will need to use your A-ID instead of your Z-ID to use MyNIU for any courses you are teaching independently. If you are working with a faculty member, you can check with them as to whether they enrolled you in their course with your A-ID or Z-ID.
Starting in 2019, accounts for instructors who are on a temporary appointment will not be deactivated at the end of the semester. Instead, their accounts will remain active for 12 months from their last day of employment.
NIU passwords are used by faculty, staff and students to access Blackboard, email, Office 365, and a number of other applications and platforms. This password expires every 365 days.
To change or reset your NIU password:
Create a secure password - see Building a Better Password.
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" from the Division of Information Technology. To 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.
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.
The department will also need to request an "affiliate account" for the guest speaker from the Division of Information Technology. To 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.
Students have access to Blackboard after leaving the university according to the reason why they left. Keep in mind, though, that courses are made unavailable automatically 10 days before the start of the next semester. However, students will be able to retrieve materials from their content collection, such as portfolios.
Students who graduate will have access to Blackboard for 400 days after graduation. Students who are dismissed will have access for 255 days. Students who formally withdraw will have access for 10 days.