Setting Up Your Profile in Blackboard

Your profile in Blackboard lets you add a profile photo, adjust your notification settings, and link a cloud storage account.

Once you have added a profile photo, it will be visible throughout Blackboard, such as on your course outline in Ultra Course View or in Discussion Board posts. This will help your students connect with you.

Blackboard profile page

Accessing Your Profile

  1. Log into Blackboard
  2. Click your name in the left navigation menu (prior to entering a course)

Adding a Profile Photo

  1. Move your mouse over the profile photo (it is a gray silhouette if you have not yet added a photo)
  2. Click the pencil icon that appears
  3. Click the Upload a New Profile Picture button
  4. Find the photo you want to use on your computer and click Open
  5. Wait for the photo to upload

Adding Name Pronunciation

Names are important in creating an inclusive and welcome learning environment, including using the correct name and accurately pronouncing names. Mispronouncing a name, asking repeatedly for someone to pronounce it, or saying that someone's name is difficult to pronounce are microaggressions that can make someone feel like they don't belong as part of our community, even if that isn't what you intended.

In Blackboard, the pronunciation feature allows everyone to add a phonetic spelling and short audio recording of how to pronounce their name. Name pronunciation is visible in your courses on the roster, discussions, messages, groups, and gradebook.

To add either phonetic spelling or a short audio recording for the pronunciation of your name:

  1. Click the Add pronunciation link on your profile
  2. In the Pronunciation field, type in a phonetic spelling of your name 
  3. Click the Record name pronunciation link to record yourself pronouncing your name
    1. You may need to click Allow to provide permission for the browser to use your microphone
    2. Wait for the 3..2..1.. countdown to begin recording
    3. Click the Stop button to the right when you are done recording
    4. Click Play name pronunciation to review your record and click the X to remove the current recording and start a new one
  4. Click the Done button when you have finished

Tips for Phonetic Spelling

  • Separate syllables with dashes
  • Use capital letters to indicate the syllable that should be stressed
  • Review this phonetic spelling guide (PDF) for recommendations on how to spell your name phonetically

Modifying Notification Settings

Blackboard automatically sends you notifications for the most important activities in your courses, like new student submissions or discussions. You can view these notifications in the Activity Stream, receive them as an email, or get push notifications from the Blackboard Instructor app.

In the Global Notification Settings, you can decide which notifications are important to you and how you would like to receive them. You can also decide whether you want individual email notifications or a daily digest, which is sent daily at 12:15 AM.

Connect Cloud Storage Accounts

If you connect a cloud storage account, like your NIU Microsoft OneDrive storage, or a personal OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive account, you can post files from those storage spaces to Blackboard without downloading them to your local computer or mobile device. This allows you to work entirely in the cloud. 

This used to be included on your Profile. That workflow has been updated so now you can access Cloud Storage as you are adding files to your course. 

Learn more about adding files from cloud storage in Original Course View

Learn more about submitting files from cloud storage in Ultra Course View

How do I change my name in Blackboard?New

Your name in Blackboard is automatically updated based on your name in MyNIU. By default, this is your legal name. If you go by a name that is different from your legal name, you can designate this within MyNIU in the Employee Human Resource System. Once you have specified a preferred name in MyNIU, Blackboard will update by the next business day to display your preferred name throughout Blackboard. Note that your preferred name will also appear in the online directory and O365. 

This process is different from changing your legal name, which can be done through Human Resource Services.

To add a preferred name in MyNIU:

  1. Go to and click the MyNIU Employee Human Resource System button
  2. Log into MyNIU
  3. Click the Personal Details module
  4. Click the Names tab in the left navigation
  5. Click the Add Preferred Name button
  6. Complete the details in the pop-up window and click the Save button
Why do I sometimes see name pronunciation for my students?New

Blackboard profiles include an option for you to provide a phonetic spelling or short audio recording of how to pronounce your name. If your students have added information on how to pronounce their names, you will see that in Blackboard when you hover over or click on their profile photos. If you do not see name pronunciation in someone's profile card, they have not added that information.

You may want to recommend that students set up their Blackboard profile, including adding a profile photo of themselves or something that represents them and adding their name pronunciation. 

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