Logging In and My CourseWeb

Contents

Overview

When you log in to CourseWeb, the first thing you will see is the My CourseWeb page. This page contains customizable boxes called modules. Modules help you organize information and links. A module can contain a tool such as a calculator, or display dynamic information such as grades, alerts, and announcements. You can use the links in modules to navigate to areas in your courses.

You can personalize some of the content and layout of the My CourseWeb page, but some modules are fixed and cannot be changed. The options you set are the default settings that appear each time you log in.

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Logging In to Blackboard

  1. Begin by opening up a web browser. We suggest using the latest version of Firefox.
  2. Place your cursor in the address bar and type: my.pitt.edu
  3. Press the Enter key.
  4. Log in with your Pitt Username and Password.  If you do not know your username or password, please contact the HELP desk at 412-624-HELP (4357).
  5. Click the CourseWeb link on the right side menu:
    CourseWeb on the my.pitt menu

 

If this is your first time ever logging into Blackboard, you may be prompted to set up a profile, which includes some social media options. Setting up a profile is optional, and you can close this window by clicking “I’ll do it later” at the bottom of the page. If you have questions about why and how Blackboard would like to connect with Facebook and Twitter, expand the accordion box below to read more.


Why is Blackboard Trying to Talk to Facebook (or Twitter)????

In early May 2014, we upgraded our Blackboard 9.1 server to the latest release (Release 9.1, Service Pack 14 for those that prefer specifics). Here’s a question you may ask when you first log in: WHY IS BLACKBOARD TRYING TO TALK TO MY FACEBOOK (OR TWITTER) ACCOUNT?

example social profile screen

First, some things you should know:

  • Blackboard wants to do a one-time PULL from your Facebook or Twitter profile.
  • This pull only happens once. If you do connect your Blackboard account to Facebook or Twitter, it will not change your Blackboard profile each time you change your social profile picture, “About me,” etc.
  • Beyond the “About” info and profile photo, nothing else is shared between Blackboard and Facebook or Twitter. Status updates, photo albums, etc. are not connected to your Blackboard profile. Read: they are NOT visible to your professors (or students, or project team members, etc.) unless you are connected within Facebook or Twitter.
  • If your profile photo and “About” info from one of these two realms is decent (and professional!), connect away!
  • It is not possible to connect a LinkedIn profile to Blackboard at this time.

I already have a presence somewhere in the social media realm. Why would I want to take advantage of these new social features?

The most obvious reason is to separate your “social” life (i.e. Facebook/Twitter) from your “academic” life. We’re not necessarily advocating that you connect your Blackboard account to Facebook or Twitter (unless your profile info is professional/academic). However, we are suggesting that you might want to consider creating a separate, NOT-connected-to-Facebook/Twitter-profile within Blackboard.

Why?

Student scenarioStudent scenario: Let’s say you’re in a large-enrollment course and you’ve been assigned to a group project. You have no idea who your teammates are, and their Facebook or Twitter default profile picture is a random cartoon drawing. But hey, they have a Blackboard profile and it’s actually a normal picture, so now you can find them in class to schedule that first team meeting!

Instructor scenario: The profiles, including a small profile thumbnail, are now connected to the roster and discussion board tools. So, now in a threaded discussion, there’s a small picture next to each student post that lets you place a face with a name. Assuming students have created their profile, that is.

Another instructor scenario: Let’s say you want your students to form project teams based on similar experiences, interests, or plans of study. Bonus for students: the profile extends across all their courses so if multiple courses require a student introduction, they only have to update one profile!

and lastly… we’ve had many requests for a photo roster to be available within Blackboard. We can’t connect Blackboard to your PeopleSoft photo roster. This is the next best thing! If you encourage students to upload a picture to their Blackboard profile, you’ll have a photo roster!

Example user profile card

In summary…

  • We are not suggesting that you should connect your Blackboard account to your social media presence (unless you have a professional/academic presence anyway!).
  • Unfortunately, we can’t edit the text in the prompt that you initially get when you first log in to the upgraded system, or else we would. (Sorry!)
  • Instead, we ARE suggesting that you use the new Blackboard profile tool to create a separate academic presence for your Pitt peers, colleagues, students, etc.
  • Or, at the very least, upload a professional picture of yourself so that your headshot is visible in the various tools that are now connected to the profile features (e.g. discussion board, class roster, groups tools, etc.)!

For more information on the new profiles features, visit our Profile post for support information.


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 My Courses Module

This is where you will access your courses. Any course in which you are an Instructor will appear as a link in this module.

My Courses Module

You can customize your My Courses module so that only the courses you wish to see appear there (i.e., only courses you are currently teaching). Please see the Hiding Courses article for detailed instructions. Hiding courses will not delete them off of Blackboard, it will just hide them from your My Courses list. You can unhide them again at any time.

Please note that some of your courses may say “(not currently available).” What this indicates is that the course is not currently available to be accessed by students. You as the instructor have full access to the course, even if it is currently unavailable. Making courses available to students is done manually by the instructor of the course on their own timeframe. See Making Your Course Available for more information.

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Other Modules

Some modules, such as My Courses, are permanent fixtures on your My CourseWeb page, but others may be moved to another location, removed, or replaced with other modules. Any module that has the ability to be moved can be dragged and dropped around the screen by mousing over the title bar of the module until a “handle” appears:

Drag and drop a module

Once your cursor turns into the four-way arrow, you may click on the module to drag it and drop it to another location on your screen.

There are other modules that you may find useful to have on your My CourseWeb screen, such as a calculator, or personal bookmarks. Click the Add Module button Add Module button on the top left of the page to explore other available modules you may wish to add or remove.

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