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NIU Online Course Demo

- Introduction to Using Blackboard -

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Welcome to the NIU Online Course Demo

The purpose of this demo is to show you what an online course at NIU might look like.
While not all online courses are structured exactly the same way, there are some common components that you will find within each course.

Online courses at NIU are delivered through Blackboard. To access an online course, you need to log in to Blackboard with your student Z-ID and password.

Start Blackboard button

You will see the courses in which you are enrolled under My Courses on the main Blackboard page. Click on a course link to enter the course.

The course page is divided into two areas. The left-hand frame contains the navigation menu that enables you to access different areas of the course. Clicking on a button in the menu will display the content for that area on the right-hand frame.

Typically, the first page you will see when you enter a course is the Welcome page.
This page contains a brief overview of the course, including a course description, meeting dates, and your instructor’s contact information.

The Announcements page is where your instructor can post a welcome message and other information such as important deadlines or course updates.

The Course Information page contains all course-related information,
such as the course syllabus.

Course Modules is the main area of the course where the online lessons are typically located. Your instructor may also label this area as Course Documents or Content.

A typical module in an online course could include: an introduction, the module objectives, a list of readings, the lesson, a discussion board activity, an assignment or a quiz.

The lesson can be in a number of different formats: a slideshow presentation, a webpage of text and images, a podcast, etc. The following is an example of a slideshow presentation. Start Slideshow button

If a Module folder contains an online discussion activity, you can access the specific discussion forum directly by clicking on the Discussion link within the folder.

If you wish to view all the discussion forums created for the course, click on the Discussion Board button on the left-hand menu. You can post your response and view your classmates’ responses by clicking on a specific forum link.

Your scores for graded activities, including exams, can be found on the My Grades page.

The Tools page contains various communication tools including Groups, Blogs, Journals, and Roster. It also contains other tools to send email, access your calendar, update
your to-do list, etc.

Thank you for viewing the NIU Online Course Demo. For more information about online courses at NIU, go to