In light of the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency, and per the Chancellor’s directive, our entire campus is currently prioritizing support for our students, faculty and staff as the transition to Distance Education is underway.

In order to assist you with the transition, the Information Technology and Educational Technology Departments have been coordinating a comprehensive information, resource and training effort. The goal is to ensure that all of our constituents have access to the necessary technology and support that may be needed.

A single resource website has been set up as the Go-To for all of your transition readiness needs. This website will be updated frequently and we recommend you to bookmark it for easy access.

Go to information on:

Live Online Teaching Through Blackboard
Roadmap to Teaching Innovation
Blackboard Support
Video Tutorials
Tips of the Week
Other online resources, rich media, hardware and software


Blackboard, CUNY and Hostos’s Learning Management System, allows you to have an online site containing your course content, activities and assessments so that your class can carry on whether it’s in-class, hybrid, fully online, or off-campus because of snow day, make-up for missed class, flu season,  or the coronavirus.

If you’ve never used Blackboard before please review the Hostos Blackboard Support tutorials below, including “How to Get to Blackboard.”  Once in Blackboard you will see links to your courses on the left side in the My Courses module.  You should also see the link to the Roadmap to Teaching Innovation Blackboard training course (description and links below) which contains all the information you need to get your courses up and running in Blackboard.  It will be lower down in the My Courses module under Courses in which I’m enrolled: Student.

For more tutorials, visit Blackboard’s YouTube Channel: Blackboard YouTube Channel

The first step is to ensure that your Blackboard course is available to students in order to establish a viable line of communication.  With the Edit mode set to On you should:

  • Use the Announcement tool to post announcements to students and check the Email Announcement box so that the announcement is sent to students’ emails.
  • Upload your syllabus.
  • Post your Contact information.
  • Upload files (slides, Word documents, PDF,that are part of your course content.
  • Create items and folders to add additional content.
  • Post Assignments, Discussion Forums and threads, blogs, journals and wikis to increase student particiption and engagement.

Blackboard Mobile Apps

Blackboard offers two mobile applications and which application one uses depends on whether you are accessing a course as a student or as an instructor. If you are both a student and a faculty member, you will need both apps to fully interact with all of your courses.  The apps are free for you to use and are available in the Apple and Android app stores.

Blackboard app – this is the app for students.  Watch the video introduction here: Blackboard App
Blackboard Instructor –
this is the app for instructors. Watch the video introduction here: Blackboard Instructor App

The CUNY Blackboard support website has a site that provides support for the Mobile apps, including how to set-up your courses to be mobile-friendly: CUNY Blackboard Mobile App site

Live Online Teaching  – Collaborate Ultra, Zoom and Panopto

As Hostos instructors, you have two tools available to you that allow you to conduct real-time streaming lessons online through Blackboard – Collaborate Ultra and Panopto. 

With Collaborate Ultra you can conduct live streaming videoconferencing lesson with your class, and includes breakout rooms, application and document sharing and live chat.  This tool allows you to conduct a lesson live.

Watch a video overview on how to use Collaborate Ultra: Collaborate Ultra video

The CUNY Blackboard site has a links to Collaborate tutorials for both faculty and students: CUNY’s Blackboard Collaborate for Students and Faculty

Panopto allows you to record a lecture-capture lesson and also upload videos.  To learn more about Panopto, as well as the Panopto Initiative, click on the following link:
Panopto at Hostos

All Blackboard courses have these tools available to them.  You can access them through the Collaboration Link in the course Navigation  Menu:

Collaboration link

This section has access to both Collaborate Ultra and Panopto as well as instructions on how to get started.  Roadmap to Teaching Innovation covers both Collaborate Ultra and Panopto in detail.

Zoom You also have the option of using Zoom cloud-based videoconferencing with your class.  Zoom has many of the same features as Collaborate Ultra, including breakout rooms, whiteboard, screen and application sharing and live chat.  Although it is not integrated into Blackboard the same way Collaborate Ultra is, recurring sessions corresponding to class meeting times can be easily scheduled in Zoom and the link to it posted in Blackboard.
These are the features which are currently included in our subscription:

  1. Unlimited meeting duration
  2. Up to 300 participants per meeting>
  3. Free VOIP and International Toll Number
  4. Polling
  5. Screen Sharing
  6. 24/7 Technical Support
How do I login to start using Zoom as a Host?

To start a meeting as a host (e.g. if you are Faculty member launching  class session, or a staff member hosting a meeting), follow the instructions below:

  1. Open a web browser (Microsoft Edge, Chrome and Firefox work best) and navigate to
  2. Click on “Sign In” towards the top right of the window
  3. When presented with this screen, select “Sign in with SSO”
  4. You will then be presented with this screen in which you would type “hostos-cuny-edu” as a prefix to “”; alternatively you could click on the “I don’t know my company domain” and it will present you with a screen to enter your HOSTOS E-MAIL ADDRESS. Click “Continue”
  5. You will then be presented with the Hostos login webpage where you will again enter your Hostos e-mail address, and in the password field, enter the password for your Hostos e-mail system, and click “Sign In”
  6. You’re done! Now you should see your Zoom account profile and you can begin to host meetings using the menu on the left or the top right of the page:

How do I join a Zoom meeting?
Joining a Zoom meeting is easy from any device. Just click on the link you received in the meeting invitation or on the course page and it will connect you to the meeting. You can sign in with your Hostos e-mail, or just connect as a guest. It is important to note that , ALL ZOOM MEETINGS WILL HAVE THE WAITING LOBBY FEATURE ENABLED BY DEFAULT. This is a company/platform setting and not determined by Hostos.
What if I already have a Zoom account which I created using my Hostos e-mail address? What if I want to use Zoom to teach classes?
Please contact the IT Service Desk (718 518-6646) immediately so that theycan coordinate with Zoom to try and move your settings, recordings, etc. over to your Single Sign On Hostos account and also to enable Zoom in Blackboard for you.
Where can I go to find some quick start tutorials or to sign up for live training?
Here are some web pages from Zoom that have great tutorials. You can also sign up for one of the live webinars, including one focused on Zoom for Education.
Who do I contact if I need help with Zoom?
Your first point of contact will still be the Hostos IT Service desk, especially if it relates to logging on or getting started. However, CUNY has assurances from Zoom that our Students, Faculty and Staff can also reach out to Zoom support using their online trouble ticket system directly.

Roadmap to Teaching Innovation

Roadmap to Teaching Innovation is a self-paced online course in Blackboard that covers the important basic and advanced features of Blackboard.  Current full-time and adjunct faculty are enrolled in the course and are free to navigate throughout the course and look up specific Blackboard topics.

To go directly to the Roadmap course, click on the following link: Roadmap to Teaching Innovation.

If you are a current faculty member and cannot access the course or do not see it in your My Courses module, click on the following link to enroll: Roadmap to Teaching Innovation Self-Enrollment.

To learn more about Roadmap to Teaching Innovation, click on the following link:  Roadmap to Teaching Innovation page.

Hostos is a national leader in introducing and facilitating innovative ways of using recording/video streaming applications and smart mobile devices in teaching and learning. Please talk to us about how we can help you in your plans to go online both for your classroom and distance.

Roadmap to Teaching Innovation Contact:

If you have any questions about the Roadmap course please contact:

George Rosa

Hostos Blackboard Support

One-on-one support
The members of the EdTech Office Staff in Room C559 provide help with Blackboard on a walk-in basis.  Please check the hours and contact information of EdTech staff posted on this website.  For support while off campus, please contact EdTech at

ext:718 319-7915



Archiving by CUNY CIS of Pre-Fall 2021 Blackboard course sections.
Starting Spring 2021 CUNY CIS will begin the process of archiving course sections of semesters previous to Fall 2018 and removing them from the Blackboard environment.  Once archived, a section can be restored to the instructor by making a request to CUNY CIS through Hostos EdTech.  The process is expected to be completed before Summer 2021.

When making a request to restore a course, please include the exact Course ID as it appears in CUNYFirst.

While the old course is still available, there are a few steps the instructor can do in preparation to keep its content accessible before its removal from Blackboard:


  • Request from EdTech the creation of a course shell and then copy the course into the shell.  You can choose to copy Student Enrollments in order to include student records.
  • Instructors can archive the course and save the content in a .zip file on their desktop.  It can then be uploaded into another course shell when needed.  Instructions on how to do this are found on Blackboard’s Help Website (click on the following link):

Note: When archiving a course. where you choose the FIle Attachmentsfor Files Outside of the Course Default Directory click on the radio button next to Copy only links to files stored outside of the course default directory.  Choosing the other button may make the file too large to upload into a course shell.

Please contact EdTech (X7915, if you have any questions about the archiving process or support in preparing for it.

CUNY’s Blackboard Support Site
The site:

which is also a tab on your Blackboard home page, has information on CUNY’s Blackboard, updates, user guides and links and contact information about Blackboard support on all CUNY campuses.

Throughout the semester workshops are offered on Blackboard and its various tools and features and how they can be used in your instruction, whether you teach online or classroom only. To see the schedule for upcoming workshops, click on the following link:

Faculty Workshops: Online Registration

or the link in the menu on the right.


Go to User Guides in CUNY’s Blackboard site:

CUNY Blackboard User Guides

Most of the information on the print tutorials, and more, can also be found on the Roadmap to Teaching Innovation course (see above).


  1. To get to Blackboard you must have your CUNYfirst ID and password. From the Hostos Community College home page, click on ‘Login To’ > ‘Blackboard’.
  2. The CUNYfirst login will appear:CUNY Login
  3. CUNY Login ID:This password expires every three months. Besides CUNYfirst, The CUNY Login ID and password is also used to access Blackboard. When you click on any link to Blackboard, it will take you to the Blackboard login page. Type in your CUNYfirst username followed by, then your CUNYfirst password in the password field. For example, if CUNYfirst username is john.smith22, the username you enter to login to Blackboard must be The username field is already populated with the part, as shown below.


Have basic computer-use skills, and a familiarity with accessing the internet, browsers, pop-ups, plugins, productivity software such as Microsoft Office, and media players such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, VLC.

You should have access to high-speed internet service, such as DSL or FIOS. If you lack that at home you can use the computers in the computer labs, library or open spaces. Also, places like Starbucks and even McDonalds offer WIFI service.

Online courses will be using Blackboard 9.1…

…and to successfully complete online courses you will need access to a well-working computer and a fast internet connection. If you don’t own such a setup then you will need to consider an alternative plan, such as using the computers in the computer labs. Make sure you have administrative rights to your computer so that you can install software like browser updates and plugins.


The computers in your campus computer lab are all equipped with the necessary browsers and plugins needed to participate in an online course.


Internet Connection

  • High speed* network service such as Cable or DSL
    Note: using dial-up is possible but you may experience performance issues with certain Blackboard features
  • Device connected to network through cable (ethernet) or strong, stable wifi
  • Especially for online exams it is recommended that the network connection be ethernet rather than wifi


  • 2 GB of RAM (2 GB or higher optimal)
  • 1 GB of free disk space
  • Sound card and speakers

Supported Browsers & Operating Systems

Click on the following link for Blackboard’s report on the operating systems currently supporting Blackboard 9.1:
Blackboard 9.1 Browser and Operating System Support

Smart Phones and other mobile devices:  Blackboard uses responsive design, which mean that the layout of the Blackboard page changes to accomodate the smaller dimensions of the mobile device screen if the course, allowing instructors and students to access and view the course using the device’s browser.   Although the course is highly viewable in Responsive design view and some tools function normally, the assessment tools, like Tests, Assignments, SafeAssignments and Turnitin assignments should be administered and taken on a desktop and laptop computer only!  

  • Web Browser
    For the latest information on browsers supported by Blackboard go to Link: Browser Support

Important Notes on Browsers

  • Unsupported
  • Safari
    Note: Safari for Windows is an exception. Apple’s continued support for this browser is unclear, and Blackboard does not test it.
  • AOL browser is not supported by Blackboard. However, an AOL connection can be used with one of the supported browsers to access Blackboard.
  • To check if your current browser is ready for Blackboard 9.1, including plug-ins and settings, click on the following link: Browser Compatibility Check
  • Browser Plugins and Players
    A browser plugin is an add-in software component that that adds a specific feature to it. Many of these are “players”, plugins that give the user the ability to use various audio and video filetypes. Your professors may post files that require users to have various players and plugins installed on their computers. The following are the most commonly recommended ones in courses using various media:
  • Java Plug-in
  • Apple Quick Time
  • Apple iTunes
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Windows Media Player
  • VLC Media Player
  • Microsoft Silverlight

Video Tutorials

Getting Oriented with Blackboard Learn

How To Design Your Course Entry Point

Getting Started With Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

How to Add a Tool Link to Your Course

How To Make Your Course Available to Students

How to Create Announcements in Your Course

How to Send Email in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Inline Grading for Assignments with Annotate

Using the Content Editor

How to Create Discussion Board Forums

How to Create a Blog

How to Create a Journal

How To Create and Manage Wikis

How to Create a Mashup

How to Create a Rubric for Grading Student Work

How to Grade Using a Rubric

How To Create a Test in Blackboard Learn

How to Build a Pool of Test Questions

How to Upload Test Questions from Microsoft Excel

How to Export and Import a Test or Survey

How to Set Test Options

Color Code the Grade Center

How to Create a Smart View of Grade Center Data

How to Download and Upload Grades from the Grade Center

Using Item Analysis in Blackboard Learn

The Retention Center in Blackboard

Tips of the Week

Reserving Tech Resources in the Academic Computer Center

  1. Login into Tech Resource Reservation System
  2. Enter your Hostos credentials (username and password same as you log in into your work computer)
  3. Click Log In
  4. The default page you will see is the Multimedia Carts (ACC MMC). To reserve other resources such as clickers and projectors, please make a selection from the View schedule menu at the top of the page.
  5. After selecting the resource you want, locate the date, time and resource name that is available for reservation. Click on the empty cell (background will become green) and the New Reservation window will pop up.
  6. Fill in the required information such as Start and End times, Class name, Section, and Eq. Delivery Room. Please provide additional information in the Summary section.
  7. Click Submit
  8. Click Log Out to exit the system

NOTE: For technical questions, please email or call ACC at 718-518-6523. All reservations need approval from the administrator of each resource you submit a reservation for.

Making your course(s) available to your students

  1. Login into Blackboard
  2. Select the course you want to make available from the My Courses module (top-right)
  3. Click on the lock icon that appears at the top-right hand side before the Edit Mode button

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Using the Attendance Tool

With the Blackboard attendance tool instructors can  mark whether a student is present, late, absent, or excused for each class meeting. The attendance records for each student appear in a single column next to other grades. On the Attendance page, profile pictures appear so instructors can easily identify students. Instructors can use attendance as part of calculating grades in the Grade Center.

  1. In the Control Panel, go to Course Tools > on Attendance in Course Tools
  2. Instructors mark students Present, Late, or Absent by clicking next to the students in the appropriate column. The arrow points to the Settings button.Attendance Column
  3. In Settings instructors can determine the grading schema for attendance.Settings window
    NOTE:Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Uploading your syllabus

  1. Login into Blackboard Video button
  2. Select the course you want to upload your syllabus from the My Courses module (top-right)
  3. Make sure Edit Mode is On (top-right)
  4. Click on the name of the Content Area into which you wish to add the file (e.g. Course Information or Syllabus)
  5. Hover your mouse over the Build Content Action Link button
  6. Under the Create section, click on the Item link
  7. Complete the Content Information field (provide a name)
  8. (Optional) copy the content from a Word document and paste it in the Content Editor section under text.
  9. In the Attachment section, click Browse My Computer to locate the file you want to upload. Files can be in the following formats: Word and PDF (we recommend PDF files)
  10. Click Submit

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Making a Course Copy

  1. Login to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right) Video button
  3. Make sure Edit Mode is On (top-right)
  4. On the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Course Copy
  5. Select the appropriate option: Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course
  6. In the Destination Course ID field, click Browse to select the destination course.
  7. Select all the content you want to copy to from the course you are to the course you selected
    • Copy Links to Course Files: No copies of linked files are included in the copy. The copied course will have the same set of links and those links will point back to the original location of the link defined in the origin course.
    • Copy links and copies of the content: This will make copies of linked files, but ONLY those files that are linked. Files within the course’s home folder that are not linked to any content within the course are not included in the copy (Recommended option).
    • Copy links and copies of the content (include entire course home folder): This will make copies of ALL files in the course’s home folder whether those files are linked to course content or not.In the File Attachments section, select the option to copy links to:
  8. In the Enrollments section, DO NOT select this option because it will copy all enrolled students from the source course to the destination one.
  9. Click Submit.

Importing Exported Courses into Blackboard

  1. Login to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right)
    Make sure Edit Mode is On (top-right)
    On the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Import Package/View Logs
  3. From the Import Package/View Logs page, click on Import Package button
  4. In the Select a Package section, click Browse My Computer button.  From the window that opens, select a location where the course package is located.
  5. In the Institutional Hierarchy Node section, leave it as is.
  6. From the Select Course Materials section, select all the items you want to be copied by checking the checkbox to the left of the name of each item.
  7. Click Submit.

Merging Course Sections

  1. Login to Blackboard
  2. In the Blackboard Home page, you will find the Section Merge Tool module (middle-left), click the Click Here To Create and Manage Merged Courses link
  3. To create a new set of merged courses, click on the Setup New Merged Course link (top-left)
  4. In the Select Courses To Merge page, select all source courses.  Source courses will be merged into another course.
  5. Click Submit
  6. From the Select an Existing Course page, select the destination course (Only one).  This course will have the enrollment of the previous selected courses added to it.
  7. Click Submit
  8. Click OK to go back to the blackboard Home page

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Sending Announcements

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select the course you want to send announcement from the My Courses module (top-right) Video button
  3. Make sure Edit Mode is On (top-right)
  4. In the course menu (left panel) or from the Control Panel under Course Tools click the Announcements link
  5. Click Create Announcement button from the Announcement page (top-left)
  6. Complete the Announcement Information field (provide subject and details)
  7. Set up additional information
  8. Click Submit

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Preventing Cheating Online

The following are steps that can be taken to prevent academic dishonesty and cheating on online exams:

Academic Integrity
Include information about Academic Integrity and consequences of violations. Hostos Blackboard courses have a section on CUNY/Hostos policies which you can refer students to. Consider giving a lesson on Netiquette and Academic Integrity and quiz students on it. The lesson could be recorded so that it doesn’t take time from covering course content. Stay in communication with students and provide prompt feedback. Use the Discussion Board to familiarize yourself with students and vice versa.
Assessment Strategies
Provide prompt feedback to students on assessments. Post grades in the Blackboard course Grade Center and make them available to students so that they see their grades building in real time. Clearly state in the syllabus the Hostos Grading Policy.
Use a variety of assessments to determine the Final Grade. These can include:
• Project -based learning assignments
• Problem-based learning assignments
• Group projects
• ePortfolio
• Discussion Board assignments
• Presentations
• Journals
• Blogs
• Wikis

Preventing Plagiarism in written assignments
• Use anti-plagiarism applications Turnitin or Blackboard’s SafeAssign to check for similarities.
• Require proper citations and a bibliography.
• Provide a list of topics to choose from and make requirements very specific.
• Consider having students submit drafts before the final research paper is due.

Preventing Cheating on online exams

  • Before an exam, post practice quizzes so that students are familiarized with the format of your online exams, and you can detect problem areas.
  • Schedule exams for a set date and time, like an in-person exam, rather than setting a long period of availability like 24 or 48 hours.
  • Require students to use a desktop or laptop computer to take the exam connected to their network by cable or strong wifi.
  • Be available to the students while they are taking the exam. Have a Zoom or Collaborate session running during the exam that they can enter and communicate with you if there is a problem.  However, if you are using Forced Completion, remind the students that they can’t leave the exam without completing it.
  • Use a variety of question formats.
  • Include questions that require critical thinking to solve.
  • If using multiple choice and/or short answer, avoid answers that are easily searchable in Google.
  • If using essay questions, base the questions on previously assigned reading and only give them the prompt at the beginning of the exam.
  • Set the exam to randomize the order of the questions for each student.
  • Consider setting the test to drawing questions randomly from question pools.
  • When setting the date for making students’ exam results available, set a specific date rather than when the availability date ends or when all students have completed the exam.

Here are links to information to help prevent online cheating in Blackboard assessments:


Creating Assignments

Instructors can create an Assignment in Blackboard as a way for students to submit coursework.  When an Assignment is created, a Grade Column is automatically created for it in the Grade Center.  Students can either type the assignment answers directly into the  Assignment tool text box or attach a document.  Files formats compartible with Assignments are: Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), Adobe Acrobat (PDF),  Image (JPE, JPEG, PNG), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and other audio and video files.

To create an Assignment:


  1. In the top-bar action menu in the content area where you want to post the Assignment, click on Assessments then select Assignment.
    assignment 1
  2. Enter the Name and Instructions for the Assignment.
    assignment 2
  3. If you want to attach a document for the students to read click on the Browse My Computer button.
    aassignment 3
  4. Enter Points Possible for this Assignment.
    assignment 5
  5. Click Submission Details to expand it. Choose if it is an Individual, Group or Portfolio Submission.  Specify if it is a Single Attempt, Multiple Attempts or Unlimited Attempts, and if you wish to have it check for plagiarism by using SafeAssign (discussed separately).
    assignment 6
    You are also given options for Anonymous Grading to prevent bias, and Delegated Grading if the course is taught by multiple instructors or has teaching assist
    assignment 7
    Click on Display of Grades allows you to set how the grades are displayed in the Grade Center and to the students in their Grades tool.assignmnet 8
  6. Set the Due Date for the Assignment.
  7. Set Availability Dates and Times, then Click Submit.assignment 10

Grading Assignments with Annotate

To retrieve and grade Assignments submitted by students:

  1. One way to access them is to go to the Full Grade Center in the Control Panel.
    grading assignmnet 1

  2. Click on the Drop-Down Arrow in the header of the Assignment’s grade column, then click on Grade Attempts.grading assignment 2
  3. This will take you to the Annotate, the Inline Grading Application.To download Annotate Quick Start Guide, click on this link: Annotate Quick Start GuideAnnotate
  4. Annotate offers a more robust feature set to provide customizable feedback to students. Features include a sidebar summary view, freehand drawing tools, various color selections, and much more.Annotate menu

    Document View Settings

    A. Sidebar: View Thumbnail, Outline, Annotation, or Bookmark views of the submission.

    B. Pages: Use the arrows to jump to different pages in the submission.

    C. Pan: Move the submission on the page.

    D. Zoom and Fit: Zoom in and out of the submission or adjust the view to fit the page, fit the width, or select the best fit.


    E. Annotation tools: Select each tool to view the tool properties.

    • Drawing, Brush, and Eraser: Draw freehand on the submission with various colors, thickness, and opacity. Select the eraser to remove annotations. You can erase parts of a freehand drawing with the eraser or select the Delete icon to delete the whole drawing.
    • Image or Stamp: Choose a preloaded stamp or create your own customized stamp or image to add to the submission.
    • Text: Add text directly on the submission. You can move, edit, and change the text and select the font, size, alignment, and color of the text.
    • Shapes: Choose Line, Arrow, Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, and Polyline. Each shape has its own settings to change the color, width, opacity, and more.

    F. Comment: Provide feedback in comments. Your comments appear in a panel next to the submission.

    Students can access the annotated files but won’t be able to add annotations in their submissions.

    G. Print or Download: Print or download the submission with the annotations.

    H. Search: Search the submission for specific text.

    I. Content Library: Create a bank of reusable comments. You can add, edit, delete, and search comments in the library. You can also add a comment directly to the submission page from the menu.

    The Content Library is only available in SaaS environments.

    Highlighter: Select specific portions of the submission to highlight. As you highlight text on the submission, an additional menu opens. You can highlight, strikethrough, underline, squiggle, or comment on the highlighted section.

    On the Assignment Submission page, supported file types open in the browser. You can view and annotate these document types in the browser:

    • Microsoft® Word (DOC, DOCX)
    • Microsoft® PowerPoint®(PPT, PPTX)
    • Microsoft® Excel®(XLS, XLSX)
    • OpenOffice® Documents (ODS, ODT, ODP)
    • Digital Images (JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, TGA, BMP)
    • Medical Images (DICOM, DICM, DCM)
    • PDF
    • PSD
    • RTF
    • TXT
    • WPD
  5.  Watch the Annotate video

Creating a SafeAssignment
SafeAssign is an anti-plagiarism checking tool incorporated as an option in Blackboard Assignments.  It’s designed to be used to promote originality and to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase.  SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.  SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of sources to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.  Files formats compartible with SafeAssignments are: DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM.

    1. To create a SafeAssign assignment, following most of the steps described above for Creating Assignments.
    2. In Submission Details check the box next to “Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign”.safeassign
    3. You can check to option to Allow students to view SafeAssign originality report for their attempts.
    4. You can check to option to Exclude submissions from the Institutional and Global References Databases.  You may want this if you’re allowing students to submit more than one attempt.
    5. Click Submit

Grading a SafeAssignment

You can access students’ SafeAssign submissions through the Grade Center. Viewing the submission through Grade Center will allow you to use inline grading.

      • Go to Grade Center, Full Grade Center, scroll to the SafeAssign assignment and then click on the drop down arrow next to a student that has submitted the SafeAssign assignment and click on the Attempt.
        grade safe assign 1
      • To view the SafeAssign report, click on SafeAssign in the right hand side of the screen to expand it, then click View Originality Report.grade safeassign 2
      • Reading the SafeAssign report. The citations are highlighted in different colors. You can uncheck a citation and resubmit the document.Safeassign similarity report


Creating Turnitin Assignments

Turnitin is a third-party anti-plagiarism and originality tool that offers some grading features that SafeAssign does not have.  Turnitin just checks attached file for originality.  Students cannot type directly into a Turnitin assignment link.

File formats compatible with Turnitin are: HTML, Hangul Word Processor file (.hwp), Rich text format (.rtf), Plain text (.txt), Microsoft Word® (.doc/.docx), OpenOffice Text (.odt), WordPerfect® (.wpd), PostScript (.ps).
Adobe® PDF – Turnitin will not accept PDF image files, forms, or portfolios, files that do not contain highlightable text (e.g. a scanned file – usually an image), documents containing multiple files or files created with software other than Adobe Acrobat®
Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps) – Turnitin converts the PowerPoint® slide deck into a static PDF, leaving all text and images in their original format but leaving out features such as presenter notes, embedded video, and animations. Text with visual effects is not supported, and it is recommended that any visual effects such as shadows and 3D be removed prior to submitting to Turnitin.
Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx) – The version of the file that can be viewed in the Document Viewer will look the same as it would if the Excel file had been saved as a PDF and submitted to Turnitin. We highly recommend that users pay attention to the image preview provided in the single file submission to verify that the file is presented in an acceptable manner. Users can adjust the way the file looks by editing the page setup and print area settings for the file prior to saving it and submitting it to Turnitin.

  1. In the Assessments drop-down menu click on Turnitin Assignment.
    Turnitin in Assessnments menu
  2. In the Add Turnitin Assignment tool insert the assignment attributes and parameters, including assignment name, point value and dates available.turnitin2
  3. Continue choosing assignment options. These options include allowing students to submit after the due date, filtering out small matches, submitting paper to a repository, searching the internet, periodicals and journals.
    turnitin 3
  4. Continue choosing assignment options. Then click Submit.turnitin4


Grading a Turnitin Assignment

  1. You can access submitted assignments through the Grade Center or Needs Grading link.gradingturn1
  2. The Feedback Studio uses 2 “layers” – the Grading layer (blue) for marking up and grading content, and the Similarity layer (red) for checking originality.grading turn 2
  3. In the Grading layer you can use Quickmarks to mark up a paper by dragging and dropping commonly-used comments, and create custom Quickmarks comments.gradingturn3
  4. Text and voice commentary can be added.gradingturn4
  5. The Similarity layer will reveal unoriginal content, percent originality and percent similarity to possible online sources.gradingturn5

Editing Assignments

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right)
  3. Make sure the Edit Mode is On
  4. Navigate to the course area containing the assignment (e.g. Assignments)
  5. Click the Action Link to the right of an assignment’s name to access the contextual menu and select Edit
  6. On the Edit Assignment page, make the desired changes
  7. When you are satisfied with the changes to the assignment, click Submit

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Sending emails

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right) Video button
  3. In the Control Panel under Course Tools click the Send Email link (towards the bottom of the list)
  4. Select the group you want to send the email to by clicking on the respective link (e.g. All Student Users)
  5. Enter the subject and message of your email
  6. Attach files by clicking on the Attach a file link (optional)
  7. Click Submit

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Creating Forums in a Discussion Board

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right)
  3. In the Course menu click Discussions (left-side)
  4. On the Discussion Board Page, Click the Create Forum button (top-left)
  5. On the Create Forum Page, under Forum Information, enter the Forum name and instructions (optional)
  6. Under Forum Availability, set the Availability to Yes and Display Dates (optional)
  7. Under Forum Settings, select the appropriate options
  8. Click Submit

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Creating Tests and adding questions

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right)  Video Icon
  3. From the Control Panel, click on Course Tools link, then click on Tests, Surveys and Pools (bottom of Course Tools).
  4. From the Tests, Surveys and Pools page, Click on the Tests link.
  5. From the Tests page, click on Build Test (top-right).
  6. On the Test Information page, provide a name.
  7. Optionally, type Instructions and a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
  8. Click Submit
Creating questions. You should change the Question Settings if you want to include images, external links and feedback.
  1. After the test is created, you can add question by using one of the following methods: Create Question or Reuse Question or Upload Questions you may have in comma delimited text file.
  2. If adding questions by using the Create Question, select question type from the drop-down list and follow the instructions.
  3. To add more questions, please repeat step 11.

Making tests available to students: Go to the Content Area in which you would like the test to appear. Select Test from the Create Assessment drop-down list. Select the test you wish to display from the list that appears and click the Submit button.

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Creating Test Pools of questions

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right) Video button
  3. Make sure Edit Mode is On (top-right)
  4. In the Control Panel area click Course Tools, and then select Tests, Surveys and Pools
  5. From the Tests, Surveys and Pools page, click on Pools
  6. From the Pools page, click Build Pool. Provide a Name for the pool, a brief description and instructions
  7. Click Submit

Adding questions to the pool

There are three different ways to add questions to a pool.

  1. By clicking the Create Question button (top-right)
  2. By clicking the Find Questions button
  3. By clicking the Upload Questions button

Customizing the Grade Center view

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right) Video button
  3. Make sure Edit Mode is On (top-right)
  4. In the Control Panel area click Grade Center, and then select Full Grade Center
  5. To hide a column, click on the column dropdown list and select hide column (left of column name)
  6. To restore the view of a hidden column, click on Manage at the top of the page and select Column Organization.
  7. Select the column to show by checking the checkbox (left side) in the Shown in All Grade Center View.
  8. Use the Show/Hide dropdown menu and click Show Selected Columns to show the selected column.
  9. Click Submit. A success message will appear in the top-left corner of the page.

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Missing the Grade Center Scrollbar

Missing Grade Center scroll bars are a symptom of the default font size on your computer being set too high.  The following instructions show you how to display Grade Center scroll bars when Windows is set to display extra large fonts.

Mac OS:

  1. Click Apple -> System Preferences
  2. Click [General]
  3. Select [Always] from the [Show scroll bars] section of the screen
  4. Close any open System Preference windows


  1. Logout of Blackboard and close your web browser
  2. Open your computer’s Control Panel [Windows Start Button > Control Panel]
  3. Under Appearance and Personalization, click Change the theme
  4. Click Window Color
  5. Click Advanced appearance settings
  6. In the Item: drop-down list, choose Scrollbar
  7. Select a number less than 20 from the Size: option (17 is the default value)
  8. Click OK
  9. Close any open control panel windows
  10. Reopen your web browser and login to Blackboard

Source: Blackboard Help for Faculty.   University of Southern Califonia.  Accessed May 2020.

Adding students to courses

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right)
  3. In the Control Panel under Users and Groups click the Users link (towards the bottom of the list)
  4. Click on the Find Users to Enroll button (top-left)
  5. IF YOU KNOW THE STUDENT’S CUNYfirst EMPLOID: On the Add Enrollment page, in the box next to Username, type in the student’s CUNYfirst Emploid.  Keep the role at Student, then click Submit.  The student is now enrolled.
  6. IF YOU KNOW THE STUDENT’S CUNYfirst EMPLOID: then click Browse.
  7. Search users by  Email or Last Name or First Name, then click box on the left of the name of the person you want to enroll, then click Submit.  The student is now enrolled.

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more

Adding YouTube Videos

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Select your course from the My Courses module (top-right) Video button
  3. Make sure the Edit Mode is On (top-right)
  4. Select the Content Area where you want to add the video. (e.g. Course Document, Chapter 1)
  5. On the Action Bar (top-left), point to Build Content to access the drop-down list and under Mashups select YouTube Video.
  6. In the Search for a YouTube Video page, type a search criteria.
  7. (Optional) Select matching pattern and language in which you want to do the search.
  8. Click Go
  9. (Optional) Click Preview to watch the content before adding it to your course.
  10. Click Select to add the content to your course.
  11. Provide a Name for the content. You can also provide a Description of the video and additional options for the Mashup.
  12. Click Submit. A success message appears at the top of the page. The Mashup appears a the bottom of the Content area.

NOTE: Every course in Blackboard has been populated with useful information for your students (e.g. CUNY & HOSTOS attendance, grading, academic integrity policies; information about all support services offered by the college; and much more)

Other online resources, rich media, hardware and software

The EdTech Media Center offers powerful software and hardware technology to capture and record lessons, classroom activities and  quickly and easily be make them available as streaming media and podcasts.



ePortfolios are a way for students to curate and showcase their best work. Create your own ePortfolio by visiting and using your Hostos credentials (email username and password) to log in.

ePortfolio Contacts

For questions concerning ePortfolios and how you can start an ePortfolio program for your classes:

David Dos Santos
Room C559


Panopto – The Panopto Building Block allows us to add powerful media tools to Blackboard, combing the best features of video sharing, webcam recording, screen recording, and more all within the Blackboard Learn environment. Creating and sharing multimedia learning content is easier than ever using this intuitive tool.  To learn more about Panopto, as well as the Panopto Initiative, click on the following link:
Panopto at Hostos


VideoScribe – is a powerful application that allows users with little or no design and drawing skills to create professional quality whiteboard animation and presentation videos.   Images, text, music and voiceover can be added to to the creations.  EdTech has licenses for VideoScribe and its staff can assist you in creating your presentations.  Please contact EdTech to learn more.


Adobe Creative Suite – Hostos Community College owns a site license that permits the applications of the Adobe Creative Suite – including Photoshop, Illustrator,  InDesign, Premiere, AfterEffects, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Flash and others.  To have them installed on your Hostos-issued computer (not your personal computer!) you need to place a job request to the Hostos IT office. To do that go to this link:
Submit an IT Job Request


Faculty may borrow laptop computers, webcams and iPads from EdTech.  In addition, faculty are free to use the computers in Rooms C556 and C559.

Equipment Loan Contact:

Iber Poma

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