Using any web browser, go to the "My Hamilton" portal and log in as usual. Your courses will be listed in the My Blackboard Courses channel of the Courses tab (second row of menu items) under "Current Courses." Previous (or future) courses are listed under the semester-year sub-menus; just click on them to expand. Courses labeled "inactive" are still accessible to instructors.
If you have any trouble logging in to the portal you can go directly to Blackboard at http://blackboard.hamilton.edu (there is usually a direct link to this page in the browser toolbar favorites). Use your Hamilton network username and password to log in. For example, if your email address is email@example.com, you would log in using the username jsmith and your current password. Your courses will be listed in the "My Courses" module of the "My Blackboard" home page.
As part of the upgrade in June, we switched over to a new authentication method which has significant administrative advantages and is also more secure, in that credentials are *not* passed through from My Hamilton to Blackboard. This is exactly how Gmail functions, by the way, when you log in to My Hamilton and then select "Read Email."
The page you see is the actual login page for Blackboard, located at the easily-remembered location http://blackboard.hamilton.edu. You can skip My Hamilton and just use this page to log in, if you'd like (there may even be a direct link in the browser's tool bar favorites). Then you see the My Blackboard page with all your courses, which is actually configurable to list only the courses you want in the order you wish.
1) You can choose not to see past courses in the "My Courses" Module. If you hover your mouse over the upper-right corner of module, you will see a small gear appear. Click that gear, and then just uncheck the "Course Name" column for any course you no longer wish to see. (If you ever need to access any of those courses, they are still listed on the Courses tab.)
2) You can also change the order in which courses appear on the same "Personalize My Courses" page that you used in step one, although it's a little less obvious. If you hover your mouse over the far left end of the row of a course, you will see the mouse pointer change to the four-pointed arrow "drag-and-drop" symbol. You can move the course up or down and thus change the order in which they appear (you could also use the keyboard-accessible reordering tool which is the up-down arrow at the top of the far-left column, just click that).
There can be several different reasons. First, you must use your Hamilton network account name and password, even if you do not use Hamilton e-mail. If you want mail sent from Blackboard to go to another e-mail account, you must set up forwarding in the Hamilton web mail interface. Contact the Help Desk (x4181) for help in doing this. If you are a new faculty member or employee, you must have a Hamilton email and Colleague ID in order to log into Blackboard. If you do not have or are not sure if you have these, please contact Human Resources for a Colleague ID and the Help Desk (x4181) for an email account.
For Hamilton users, you should use your network username and password. If you have forgotten your network password, please go to http://passchg.hamilton.edu to request it. For guest users and people without a Hamilton email address, you can use the user name "guest" and password "guest" to access parts of the Blackboard system which are available to guests.
All enrollment information in Blackboard comes from the Registrar's system. Only the Registrar's Office can change your enrollment status. First, check your enrollment information in the Web Advisor system. If that information is incorrect, you must contact the Registrar's Office to get it straightened out. Once your Web Advisor records are correct, it may take several hours for Blackboard to correct its records. (The update to Blackboard happens twice daily.)
This may happen if you are a new faculty member and the Registrar has not yet been notified which courses you are teaching. Please contact the Registrar's Office (or have your department chair or secretary do so) and notify them of your teaching assignment. Once your Web Advisor records are correct, it may take several hours for Blackboard to correct its records. (The update to Blackboard happens twice daily).
Note: The user id is usually the same as the e-mail account; however, many users have user names which include a middle initial or number, so if there is any doubt, please use the Browse button to search by last name.
Note: if another instructor is team-teaching your course, you should call the Registrar's office and ask to have this instructor added as the secondary instructor for your course. This information will then transfer from the Registrar's system to Blackboard.
Next semester's course spaces are created approximately one week after the end of registration for that semester (early May for the fall, early December for the spring). You do not need to ask for a course space; course spaces are created automatically every semester, using the Registrar's data. Students and faculty are automatically enrolled in or assigned to courses, again, based on the Registrar's data. Courses are initially set to "unavailable" so that they may be accessed by faculty but not seen by students. Approximately two weeks before the start of the semester, courses will be reset to "available."
In addition to regular course spaces, we also provide course spaces for departmental and advising use. The "advisee" spaces contain all the advisees for each faculty member, as recorded in Web Advisor.
The departmental spaces exist for all departments and concentrations. Faculty are enrolled as instructors based on their primary departmental affiliation; this is automatic except for programs, in which faculty need to be enrolled manually (which can be done by any other instructor in the space). Students are enrolled in these spaces based on their declared concentration as recorded in WebAdvisor; if a student has a double major, then that student is enrolled in both spaces. Minors are now being in enrolled in these spaces also.
All the students enrolled in the departmental/program spaces can be seen in either the Roster (Tools area) or Users list (Users and Groups sub-menu in the Control Panel area). In either area, pick the "Not Blank" option to see the complete list of students (and faculty in the Users area). One can send e-mail to everyone in the departmental space by using the "All Users" option on the Send Email page; to all students by selecting the "All Student Users" option; or to all faculty by selecting the "All Instructor Users" option.
It may be more useful, however, to contact students by class years (status). All the students are also enrolled in class-year groups, which can be seen on the Groups page (from the Users and Groups sub-menu). You will notice that there are groups here for every class year whose students can declare a major and also for minors, by class year. So this year's seniors are in the groups that end in 2012, this year's juniors are in the groups ending in 2013, and when the sophomores declare in February, they will be in the 2014 groups. These groups are maintained and updated automatically as students declare or change their concentrations. New class year groups will be created in the summer and the groups of graduating seniors will be retired.
You can see who is in each class year group by clicking on the group name. Majors are in the "Concentration" groups and minors are in the "Minor" groups. To email the students in any single group, click the "chevron" (double down-arrow symbol) next to any group name and select the "Email" option. On the following page, click the "Select All" button and then click the right-pointing arrow to move the selected students to the "Selected" box.
You also might want to send an email to all majors and minors of a given year. Go to the "Send Email" function (from the Tools page) and pick the "Select Groups" option. Pick the groups ending in the same year and you will be sending e-mail to every student in the selected groups.
Of course, all users have access to all the other tools in a Blackboard course space, such as posting documents, discussion boards, blogs, etc. These spaces are for departments and advisors to use as they see fit.