Getting Started in Blackboard
Logging in to Blackboard
You will use the same user ID and password you use for email and other network services. If you are having issues/difficulties with your user ID and password or other computer difficulties, the HelpDesk is available 7 days a week (check the HelpDesk Website for hours of operation) by phone at 502.852.7997.
UofL performs weekly maintenance on servers each Friday starting at 10 p.m. and finishing around 2 a.m. EST. During these times Blackboard, ULink, and Email may be unavailable. If you suspect a system is down at another time you may call the HelpDesk at 502.852.7997 for status.
Software Requirements for Using Blackboard
Software needs depends on individual requirements of the course. The instructor may require specific programs/formats for document and assignment submission. If you don't have the required programs on your computer, the Microsoft Office Suite and other programs are offered to the university community at reasonable prices through the University of Louisville's IT Store.
To download and read documents, free reader versions of Microsoft applications are available for download. Open Office is a free open source software suite which emulates most of the functions of Microsoft office. If you need to view Office 2007/2010 Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files you will need to download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack.
Computer Requirements for Using Blackboard
Visit the Blackboard Recommended Minimum System Requirements page.
Plugins Required to Use Blackboard
Some courses may require certain plug-ins for your browser to play or utilize materials. You may or may not need the plug-ins, depending on what type of files your instructor shares with you via Blackboard. These plug-ins are free downloads:
- Apple Quick Time - QuickTime Player is an application for playing, interacting with, or viewing any video, audio, VR, or graphics file that is compatible with QuickTime.
- Java - Java provides a framework on your computer to enjoy internet programs including utilities (such as chat), games, and business applications.
- Shockwave, Flash & Acrobat Reader - Adobe Shockwave and FlashPlayer plug-ins let you experience automation and entertainment in your Web browser. Acrobat Reader lets you view and print PDF files.
- Real Networks RealPlayer - Play online audio and video content.
- Microsoft Media Player - Windows Media Player supports Windows Media (WMA,ASF), MP3, WAV, MIDI, AVI, and other formats.
- Microsoft Silverlight - Microsoft Silverlight is used extensively in video within web pages much like Flash.
Blackboard and Firewalls
You should give this information to your company/school system administrator:
Outside of the university, companies/school systems use firewalls. To use ULink and BlackBoard, traffic on specific TCP/IP port numbers must be allowed. Specifically, firewalls must allow traffic to/from:
orionweb1.louisville.edu on ports 8331 and 7991 for ULink
blackboard.louisville.edu ports 8008, 8010, 8011 for Blackboard Chat rooms