It is very important to verify with your professors at the beginning of the semester whether they are going to use Blackboard in the course to make it available, and how they will use it.  Not all professors use Blackboard, and they may not have made their Blackboard sections available.  Also, different professors use Blackboard differently.  A professor who teaches a classroom-only course may not have the kind of materials posted on Blackboard that you find in a hybrid or fully online (asynchronous) course, such as assignment submission links and online exams.

If you are still having trouble with your Blackboard courses after talking with your professor, then you need to go to the Student Technology Help Desk.


Open Lab C-595/Help Desk Operational Hours Student Technology Help Desk link (please click)
Fall & Spring Semester
Mon – Fri 7:45 AM – 10:00 PM
Sat – Sun 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Summer Semester
Mon – Thu 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Fri – Sun CLOSED

The Student Technology Help Desk, located in Room C595, is staffed by tech tutors who are experts in all the aspects of technology use by students both for classroom, distance learning and Blackboard.  Students with any questions or problems concerning Blackboard must contact the Help Desk.

On-Campus Workshops are offered in Blackboard.  To register for a workshop click on the Student Workshops: Online Registration link in the menu on the right side of this page or the link below.

Student Workshops: Online Registration


Blackboard’s Student Help Site is Blackboard’s own website for providing student support:

Blackboard Support

The CUNY Blackboard site, which you can get to by clicking on the Blackboard 9.1 tab on the top of your Blackboard Home tab, has User Guides that provide useful information on how to get the most out of Blackboard. Presented in a variety of text and video formats, the information will help you perform many common Blackboard tasks.

Blackboard Student User Guides link (please click)


To get to Blackboard you first need to be registered for an account in the CUNY Portal and have access to your CUNY Portal account.  If you need to register for a CUNY Portal account click on the following link and follow the instructions:CUNY Portal Log-in/New User Registration

If you are having difficulty registering or accessing your CUNY Portal account,  please contact the Student Help Desk, Room C595

  • To login to Blackboard,  follow the instructions shown in the link below: Login to Blackboard


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.

Browsers The browser you use to access Blackboard is very important.  Some work better with Blackboard 9.1 than others.

Firefox, latest version, is generally considered the best browser for Blackboard on PC and Mac platforms. To download, click on the following link

Mozilla Firefox


Internet Explorer should be avoided for Blackboard use.

Below is a link to a summary of the common browsers and their compatibility with Blackboard:

Browser Compatibility with Blackboard

Application Software, Plugins and Players Professors are going to have different types of print and audiovisual media posted in their Blackboard courses for download or online viewing, from Word and PDF documents to Powerpoint slideshows to Quicktime movies.  They may also link to websites that have these assets or even require you to submit them as assignments.

Recommended Software – Microsoft Office for Word, Powerpoint and Excel files.  Office applications can be used to open documents posted in Blackboard as well as create documents for assignments, and they can generate pdf files.  On the Mac the iWorks applications Pages, Keynote and Numbers can do the same tasks.

Microsoft Office can be downloaded free from the CUNY eMall!  To access the eMall:

  1. Login to the CUNY Portal
  2. At the top of your Portal page click on the link that says “eMall”
  3. Click on the Software link
  4. Click on the Microsoft Software link


3/4/2020 EDIT:  Microsoft Office is no longer available for Hostos students in the eMall.


On-campus Workshops are offered for Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.  To register for a workshop click on the Student Workshops: Online Registration link in the menu on the right side of this page or the link below.  To download OpenOffice, go to this site:

Student Workshops: Online Registration

Plug-ins and Players – Your professors may post files that require users to have various players and plug-ins installed on their computers.  The following are the most commonly required ones:

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