Blackboard UBN (Ultra Base Navigation) is a virtual learning environment and is the Learning Management System (LMS) the College uses.
This means that all your course content, assignments, resources, discussions, and so much more are going to be in one place on Blackboard Learn!
You may use more than one platform in your online learning experience, but they will all be linked back to Blackboard Learn.
To get into Blackboard UBN you must use your George Brown College credentials:
Username: Your student ID number @georgebrown.ca
Password: Your GBC password
These are the same log in credentials you use to access Stu-View and your GBC email. If you have login issues, it might be easily solved with resetting your password at https://service.georgebrown.ca
We suggest you use the latest version of Chrome or Firefox to open Blackboard UBN. You can also test your device's compatibility on the GBC's Blackboard UBN login page.
By clicking on the link, Blackboard UBN will automatically check whether your browser supports the most recent release of Blackboard UBN.
Once you log in to your Blackboard UBN page you will find your dashboard. On there you will see your navigation options, and customizable features. Here are key items on your dashboard to get you started:
Once you have opened your Course panel from the left hand navigation, select the class you are joining.
Once selected, the course information and options will open on your screen. From the Details & Actions panel, select "Join Session" and the Blackboard Collaborate session for the class will open in a new window.
The camera icon will turn purple if there are others in the room.
Once you have opened your Course panel from the left hand navigation, select the class you are joining.
Once selected, the course information and options will open on your screen. On the left hand navigation, select the link that resembles "Online Classroom" or "Zoom Classroom", then select the Zoom link to enter the Zoom web portal.
Your college Zoom account is separate to any personal account and will use your GBC credentials as your log in.
Once the Zoom portal is open, you will see a list of Upcoming Meetings. This is a list of your Zoom classes. Select the right link and click "Start" to join your online class. You can view recordings of your online Zoom classes by selecting "Cloud Recordings".
If you haven't set up your GBC Zoom account, it's easy. Visit the GBC Zoom site, and log in with your student ID and password to activate your account.
Blackboard has a FREE app that you can quickly download through the Google Play store for android and windows devices, and the Apple Store for iOS devices. The app is a great tool for many students who choose to access notifications and course information on the go.
For download and installation support you can watch a quick tutorial here.
Log in as you would in the web browser version:
2. Select Sign IN: Blackboard-Prod should automatically be selected.
3. Input your login details:
Username: your student ID @georgebrown.ca
Password: your StuView password.
Blackboard Learn allows you to set your preferences to make sure that you never miss any communication from your courses, instructors or even your classmates.
Check out these sections for some quick tutorials on making the most of these functions:
You can choose the types of notifications you receive and how they're delivered to you. This video shows you how to customize your notification preferences in Blackboard Learn.
The Activity Stream in your starting point when you log into Blackboard at George Brown. This provides up-to-the-minute updates and lets you jump directly into course actions and stay on top of what’s important.
In Blackboard Learn Ultra, your messages all have one home—just like a normal inbox, but better. You can access all your messages right from the base navigation, or from your course. This video will take you on a functionality tour of the Messages feature.
Your instructors can add different types of content to your courses, such as files, text, assignments, images, multimedia, and links. They can organize content in folders, learning modules, and lesson plans.
You can access course content from the links on the course menu. Links that hold content are called content areas. For example, an instructor may add a content area that contains a week's worth of course material. So, week 1 could include content such as readings, assignments, a discussion, and a link to a website. You have to select each item individually to open it.
The course menu is the panel on the left side of the dashboard that contains links to all course areas. Instructors control the content and tools available on the course menu. Instructors can even customize the style of the course menu. They can change the colour, add sub-headers and dividers, and choose buttons or text for the links. These customizations create variations in the look and organization of your courses.
What if you don't see some content?
Remember that instructors can limit which content items you see based on date, time, individual users, course groups, and your performance on graded items. Ask your instructor about content that you think may not appear for you but should.
The college is transitioning to a new classroom streaming tool that is familiar to most students, Zoom. So while we're transitioning to this new tool, your online classes may be streamed through Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, or even MS Teams. Don't worry, we'll provide you with some tips to help you navigate your online classes until the full transition to Zoom is complete at the beginning of the Fall semester.
No matter which platform your instructor uses, they will create a virtual classroom to share presentation material and communicate with you and your classmates through audio, video and chat tools. These direct links will appear in your course shell in Blackboard and they will direct you to whichever platform your class is being held on. This is where you'll have your online lectures, live discussions and presentations when studying online.
Webinar rooms in any of these platforms include a collaborative whiteboard tool that allows you to interact with your classmates and your instructor in real time. Desktop applications and web resources such as multimedia can be displayed directly within the web conference room.
An interactive recording can be created for each session allowing you the opportunity to review material following the live online webinar. Check with your instructor to see if they provide this option in your course.
Each of these platforms require certain permissions to function as desired. For example, you need to grant permission to access your camera and microphone so you can use audio and video. Give Collaborate Ultra, Zoom, or Teams permission when asked, and/or set up permissions in your browser preferences.
There are a few browsers that support these tools, so make sure you are working within those browsers when you use this system:
As you progress through your course, you'll complete different types of assignments: problems to solve, chapter questions to answer, research papers, presentations, creative writing, and so on.
In Blackboard Learn, you can easily upload your files and receive files back, along with your grade and feedback. Your instructor controls the date when assignments are ready for you to access and when they are due. Make sure you read your course outline throughly and make note of all important dates so you don't miss anything. Adding them to your calendar will help you stay on track.
Your instructors may also use tests to assess your mastery over course content and objectives. You can only access a test when it has been deployed by your instructor in a Content Area of the course. When the instructor lets you know that test is available, and where to find it, enter that area of the course and click on the test link to start it.
Start your test as soon as you can.
Read all of the instructions.
Check your internet connection.
Don't refresh the page, close the window, or use the browser's back button while you take a test.
You may see your score immediately after you complete the test if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information. Your instructor may choose a date in the future to release test scores while your classmates take the test. To access feedback and grade information, select the test in the content area or My Grades and follow the instructions below.
SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool that allows your instructor to check the originality of a homework submission. SafeAssign automatically conducts the check by comparing your assignment against a database of other assignment submissions. So make sure to cite your sources in everything you submit!
Respondus is an integrated tool in Blackboard Learn and is used for proctoring tests and exams. This tool must be installed on the device you will be using before you take an exam.
Your device must have a web camera in order to use this tool.
The Lockdown Browser for Blackboard Learn will prevent you from accessing any other materials, including internet browsers or other software, while the test/exam is open. This means that you can’t refer to external information or copy material from external sources while working on the test.
How LockDown Browser Works:
The Monitor tool builds on the Lockdown Browser and uses your webcam to record your activity during the testing session. The recording can verify you are taking the exam alone and that you're not using physical materials such as written notes.
To use Respondus you only have to download it once. Then:
Respondus can be downloaded from the college's AppsAnywhere platform using your student ID and password.
When you go to your grades, you are able to see grades for all of your courses or one course at a time.
To view grades:
Select the View Feedback icon to view instructor feedback in a pop-up box. Official course grades are later posted and available through Stu-View.
Blackboard Learn is a fully accessible learning management system and includes many tools for you to make the most of your experience. You can test your device's compatibility on the GBC's Blackboard Learn login page.
Some of the customization includes adjusting text size and contrast, screen reader compatibility, and printing to braille to name a few.
We've included some links below to help you navigate the tools you may need to help you with your online studies and your individual needs.
Blackboard Ally is an accessibility tool within Blackboard Learn that creates alternative files that are easier to use by all students.
Ally works within your online course so it's available right where you need it.
Alternative files include readable text for screen readers, pictures with captions, and easy-to-navigate content. Ally creates multiple alternatives from the original documents in your course. You can download these alternative formats anywhere that files are used.
Visit the Ally help page in Blackboard Learn to learn more.
Collaborate Ultra has many accessibility features. Check them out online and find out more on the tools you need.
Some noteworthy highlights:
Global keyboard shortcuts have been established for common actions within Blackboard Collaborate.
Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts:
For the best Blackboard Collaborate Ultra experience with your screen reader use Firefox and JAWS on a Windows system. On a Mac use Safari and VoiceOver.
Blackboard Learn EasySoft support can be accessed at anytime 24/7 right from your dashboard!
Hover over the blue circle with the question mark in the bottom right of your screen to access the Support Centre and choose from a selection of support topics or type in what you have a question about.
Support topics will automatically generate depending on where you are in Blackboard Learn to help you get the answer you need.
If you can't find the answer you need, use the Live Chat Support Centre to help resolve your issue.
You can also call to speak to Technical Support at 416-415-5000 ext. 4357 (help)
For GBC password reset, use the self-serve password utility at https://service.georgebrown.ca, or call the Technical Support number above.
Think about what you have learned in this module and complete the self-assessment below.
Academic Success Strategies