two students sitting on couch studying

What's New in Blackboard - April 2024

The April 2024 release includes big updates for Discussions, per-question fedback when grading a test student-by-student, the ability to edit individual dates on the Batch Edit page, an indicator added to Attempt Logs for submissions that were auto-submitted by the timer, and more.

Learn More

Blackboard is the course management system used campus-wide at NIU. Faculty and TAs use Blackboard to course materials, deliver tests and surveys, hold online discussions, and facilitate many other course-related functions.

Faculty need their NIU AccountID / AID and password to log in to Blackboard. Learn more about getting started teaching with Blackboard at NIU.

More Faculty Getting Started

Upcoming Workshops

All event times are listed in Central Time Zone (CT).

Recorded Workshops

Blackboard Getting Started Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I open my course to my students?

Courses, by default, are not available to students until the faculty member decides to make them available or until the first day of the semester, if you selected Auto-Availability when requesting the course. After the scheduled section is created and materials added to the course, you can make the course available by accessing the Course Availability Settings in one of three locations:

  • From the Tools tab on the base navigation, click Course Availability Settings
  • In Original Course View, in the Control Panel, click Course Tools and then click Course Availability Settings
  • In Ultra Course View, in the Details & Actions panel, click View Course & Institutional Tools and then click Course Availability Settings

Setting the availability is an immediate process (meaning the faculty member does not have to wait for the server to run in order for the command to be processed).

At the end of the semester, faculty do not need to reverse this process, as all NIU courses are automatically set to be "unavailable" 10 days before the beginning of the next semester. Once a course is made unavailable, students lose all access to the course and are unable to see the course in their list of courses.

Why don't I see the icon to convert my course from Original to Ultra Course View?

In order to convert your course from the Original Course View to the Ultra Course View, the course has to be completely private/unavailable. If you left the check box selected to automatically open your course to students on a specific date, your course is technically available, even though students won't be able to access it until that date. You will need to first make your course unavailable by clicking the lock icon in the upper right corner of your course.

Learn More

Login to Blackboard

Get Help

Technical Support and Student Help

Division of IT Service Desk


Teaching Support and Faculty Help

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning


Back to top