Step 1: Support


In this first step of the MSW Technology Orientation, you will learn three key areas of the university that are here to support you with your technology needs.

Key Points on this page:

General Technology Support

Please view this handy flowchart to determine who to contact when you need support.

Cannot Log In

Is Blackboard or Zoom down? Won't load? Can't log in? Contact UMB CITS Helpdesk.

(Also for help with any of the following: UMID, Office365, Email, Zoom, UMB campus portal, Eduroam wireless, DUO authentication, Blackboard/Collaborate outages, campus network) 

If you cannot log into Blackboard or Zoom at or for whatever reason, please contact CITS:

Note that access to Blackboard is through UMID's which are managed at  If there were any issues with setting up your UMID, you may need to contact either the UMB CITS Helpdesk (above) or the UMB Registrar, if there were errors with your date of birth or other related issues. 

Important Note

It is best NOT to go to the UMB CITS Helpdesk for normal course issues. For those, you should contact the IDEA Team using the Help link in your course or the contact info below.  Any Blackboard issue CITS HELPDESK can't handle (such as course/assignment/exam issues) they forward to the SSW IDEA TEAM, which takes extra time.     

To repeat and summarize: The ONLY reason you should contact CITS Helpdesk is if Blackboard/Zoom is down/unreachable or you have a login problem. If you can log into Blackboard, then every other issue should go to the SSW IDEA Team (see below) after or at the same time as you contact your faculty member. Contacting CITS Helpdesk for issues within courses will almost inevitably lead to delays in getting the support you need.

IDEA Support

Blackboard course problem? Quiz problem? Assignment problem? Questions about using Bb?

Contact SSW IDEA Team: there is a Help! link in the lower left of every course. Please do NOT reach out to IDEA Team (or its members) using Blackboard's messages or email tool. 

Note: if you are finding broken links, content not available or something missing in your course, you should first reach out to your instructor! 

IMPORTANT NOTE: At the beginning of the semester: The availability of your course and the course content is set by your faculty member. If you see your course unavailable or don't see content in your course that you expect to, first reach out to your instructor. 

 Blackboard Help

You can access Blackboard course help ( at anytime within the course, or by bookmarking the Blackboard Course Help link. 

The phone number for the IDEA Team for Blackboard Course Help is: 410-870-9663. Our core hours are 8am-4pm Monday-Friday.

If you prefer to reach us via email, please email and we will return your email within 1-hour during our core hours. 

The easiest way for us to help you is to get the URL to the specific assignment, exam or item in your course. Copy and paste the web address from the top of your browser window. Otherwise, you need to tell us: your course number and section (SOWK 600 Section SY1, for example) AND the specific name of the assignment, exam, or item in the course.  Why? Because many of our instructors teach multiple sections of the same course, and most courses have multiple assignments, exams and content items, in various folders that can take a long time to sort through. 

Not including these specifics will delay support as we search for more information to try to help you.

(Copy and paste the web page address into your email) for faster service response to your question. We will respond back within 24 hours during normal business days. 

If you have a question over the weekend, we will respond back to you on the next business day in the a.m.

You may be able to find answers about functionality in the Blackboard student FAQs

Be sure you cc: your instructor if you are having any technical issues, so that they are aware of your issue.  And if your request is strictly about a broken link or missing content, first contact your instructor.

Who are the IDEA Team?

The mission of the University of Maryland School of Social Work IDEA TEAM is to support quality teaching, learning and research.

Below is an image of the five IDEA Team members (in order of appearance): Senior Instructional Technologist, Colin Fagan, MS; Cathy Hanssens-Passeri, MA; Dr. Clark Shah-Nelson, DBA, MA; Alexis Guethler, Instructional Designer; and Instructional Technologist, Rodney Urand, MS.

Computer Related Support

Have a computer-related, wi-fi, printer, projector or media problem?

If you have trouble with any of the following, contact SSW Informatics

classroom tech, projectors, computers, network, G drive/servers, Windows OS, Mac OS, hardware, software, media center, audio/video production, Microsoft Office, Office 365/email, Skype

NOTE: If you haven't yet reviewed the Minimum Technology Requirements page, please do so, as it addresses some very important basic information about hardware/software needs for the MSW program, as well as how long you have access to materials in Blackboard. 

Your UMARYLAND.EDU Email Address

Your email account will be the primary source of all SSW and UMB communication. It can take a few days after you have paid your confirmation deposit (via the accepted student page for each semester)  for your email account to be created. Once it has been created, you will receive an email with the subject "Welcome to Office 365 - University of Maryland, Baltimore - Action Needed" Note that this may end up in your spam or junk email folder. The email will inform you of your new email address and a specific step you will need to complete to validate and activate your email. 

Once your email has been created, you will need to log into with your UMID and password to validate and make your email account active. If you go there and this option is not yet available, your email account has not been created and is awaiting processing. Once these steps have been completed, you will be able to log in to send and receive emails using your UMaryland account at )

There is nothing the IDEA Team nor Informatics can do to speed up or begin this process. You must simply pay the confirmation deposit and then wait and check your inbox and spam folder for the email mentioned above to proceed. 

Once you are able to log into and send/receive emails from your address, if your Blackboard profile has not been updated to include your new email address (and is blank) - please email from your account to request for us to update your profile email. 

Page Summary

If you encounter difficulties logging into Blackboard or other UMB services, reach out to CITS for assistance. For hardware and infrastructure-related help, such as Wi-Fi issues, contact Informatics. All Blackboard inquiries should be directed to the IDEA Team, reachable at 410-870-9663 during their core hours from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday, or via email at, with a guaranteed response within 1 hour during core hours. When seeking assistance, it's best to provide the URL to the specific assignment, exam, or item in the course to expedite the process. Additionally, you can access Blackboard Help within your course or bookmark the Blackboard Course Help link for easy reference. For general Blackboard student FAQs, refer to the resources available. Remember to CC your instructor for technical issues and contact them directly for broken links or missing content.


There is no actual place to write the  answer to these questions, they are just a learning activity. However, for your success, you will need to know the answers to these questions!

1. When should you contact CITS Helpdesk and when should you contact the SSW IDEA Team for Blackboard issues?  

2. If you have a Blackboard issue inside a course after logging in, whom would you contact for help? CITS, IDEA Team, or Informatics

3. To whom might you go for help with a wi-fi issue?  CITS, IDEA Team, or Informatics

4. From whom would you seek support for UMB campus email?  (Hint: It's NOT the IDEA Team!)

4. When is the IDEA Team available to assist you?  Think about what you can do to prepare to receive the help you need within the timeframes available. 

5. What information might you need to provide to receive efficient assistance?  (ie. is it helpful to simply say "I have a problem with an assignment in my research class?")

Can you answer these questions correctly?  If you can, go to Step 2.