Step 3: Navigation



This step will walk you through the navigation of Blackboard, including learning how to view your course, locate pertinent information about your course and expand and collapse the navigation side panel.

Logging In

  1. Login into your and sign in with your UMID and password.

  2. Once you login, you will view your My Institution page (#1 in the image below)

Finding Your Courses

    • To access your courses, locate the My Courses Plus box (2) and find the courses you want to access.

    • Alternatively, you could select Courses from the side navigation. That provides a different view of the courses that you are enrolled in. Note that not all courses may show up automatically, especially under "Current Courses" , so we recommend using that dropdown to change to the current semester (ie. Fall 2021) or use the Search box feature to locate, and then favorite, your courses. More on this below.)

Favoriting Your Courses

On the Courses tab, after logging into Blackboard:

First change the Current Courses dropdown to go to select the current semester (ie Fall 2022)

That will limit the results to only your classes for that semester.

If you don't see your course listed, this may be because the courses are not yet in Blackboard or your instructor has not yet made the course available to you. Most Fall courses won't show up until sometime in August and Spring courses in January. Once all courses are in Blackboard and made available to you, you can always use the Search box at the top and search by course number (670, 744, etc.). Alternatively, you can just use the Search box to locate any of your courses at any time.

When you locate the classes you are in, click the Star icon on the right to "favorite" them, and they will then show up at the top of your list when you click on Courses each day.

If you can't find your course at all using any of these methods (and it is in August/January), there is a chance there was an issue with your enrollment, and it should be verified with SSW Records and Registration (

2. Simply click on the name of course link you would like to view.

NOTE: Your instructor can control whether the course is available to students or not. If you see a course that is Not Available (Private) - you should email your instructor to request access.

Also: The IDEA Team, working with UMB CITS, archives Bb classes older than 3 years and removes them from Blackboard. The archives are able to be restored if at some point a faculty member requests this. There is no guarantee of access to course materials after a course is completed. If you intend to download/save any course materials, you should do so during the current semester. Access to Blackboard after graduation is managed by UMB CITS via the UMID, and will be removed according to their policies.

Please note that your instructors make the course available to you in Blackboard. Until they do, you will not see your course listed as available in Blackboard.

Some instructors open courses early and some do not. If you do not see your course available and are eager to enter, please email your instructor.


    1. NOTE: As of July 2, 2021, all incoming students are automatically enrolled in the SOWK 690 Incoming Student Prerequisites course, which contains the Blackboard orientation quiz and certificate. Once this course has been opened to students, after logging in, you should be able to locate it in the Courses tab and enter the course.

    2. Note that all courses remain locked/closed to students until the instructor is ready to open them to students. Many students contact the IDEA Team asking for access to courses that are closed, but it is up to instructors to open the courses, so please contact your instructor.

    3. If you feel you do not see courses for which you believe you registered, start by contacting Records and Registration ( to get clarification on your enrollment status. If they are able to verify you are enrolled, but you still don't even see it listed in Blackboard, contact the IDEA Team and your instructor.


The name of the orientation course may be different than in the image is currently called "Incoming Student Prerequisites (History of Oppression +) and once you are enrolled, it should display in the "My Courses Plus" box on the My Institution tab.


To locate the pertinent information of your course, you will need to utilize the navigation on the left hand side of your course.

Some instructors change the default navigation, removing links to some tools, moving or renaming others, or adding in their own navigation.

Some of the primary areas you will need:

        • Syllabus: details about the course, grading policies, expectations, etc.

        • Course Materials: slides, documents, links to resources, links to other aspects of the course modules.

        • Assignment: submit assignments if your instructor has set them up.

        • Exams: take quizzes, tests or exams if your instructor has set them up.

        • Email: email your instructors or all classmates with important updates or information.

        • Discussion Board: open discussion with your fellow students and/or instructor.

        • Groups: for group discussions and collaboration if you instructor has set them up.

        • My Grades: see all your grades and comments if the instructor has set it up.

        • Student Tools: access tools like Collaborate Ultra, Email, and

        • other tools that may not be in the navigation bar,

        • depending on if your instructor has enabled them.

Can't see anything but Announcements or Welcome in your course?

Please note: the image below may not match what your course looks like. Each instructor has the ability to change the look and colors of the navigation, as well as the tools, and links available there. But it will always be in the left side/column in your Blackboard course.

If you don't see navigation buttons on the left, it is likely because the "hide/show" toggle arrow was clicked at some point, and the menu is hidden!

The image below displays a gray tab on the left navigation with a white arrow within it. This arrow toggles (hides/shows) the navigation. Sometimes for whatever reason, this might get inadvertently clicked or triggered so that you only have Announcements showing in your course and no navigation. When the occurs, locate the gray tab and click it to re-display the navigation buttons.

This can also happen if your Blackboard browser window is sized too small - so you may need to first expand the size of your Bb window/tab to the size of your whole screen. If you don't see the gray/white icon highlighted in blue in the image below no matter what, screen size is most likely the issue:


  1. Go into the Orientation Course, and become familiar with all of the links on the navigation bar.

  2. Expand and collapse the navigation bar to learn the process.

  3. Explore Ultra Base Navigation to get used to this new mode of browsing courses.

  4. After the exercise is completed, please go to Step 4.