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Frequently Asked Questions & How-to

The sub-menu to the left sorts this FAQ according to the six main elements of a Blackboard course or organization site, namely Content, Tools, Evaluation, Users and Groups, Customization, Packages and Utilities. Additionally, there are areas discussing Access, Getting Started, Copyright, and Notifications.

Below are some general information about Blackboard that does not fit neatly into the sub-menu categories.

Blackboard is a course management software package written by a company called Blackboard, Inc., based in Washington, DC. Princeton University purchases a license to use the Blackboard Learn platform, specifically licensing the Course Delivery and the Community Engagement elements. The program code runs from load-balanced, dedicated Solaris servers, while the database runs from dedicated Oracle servers. All servers are Princeton-owned and campus-based.

Users of Blackboard can only interact with the program by using a Web-browser based interface. Blackboard allows creation and administration of course content without the need to purchase or learn a full-fledged web editing program. It also provides access to numerous interactive tools such as discussion boards, e-mail lists, and online assessments that would otherwise be rather difficult to set up.

Princeton University creates some extensions used in Blackboard, such as the Site Members Photos tool. We also integrate tools created by other entities.

Blackboard at Princeton is managed by Dennis Hood. It is an offering of the Educational Technology Centers (ETC), which is a part of Academic Services within the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

Blackboard has its own dedicated helpline, (609) 258-0737, available during business hours (9 - 4:30). Questions may also be sent to .

We will be happy to send someone to your office to consult with and train you in the use of the Blackboard and related teaching technology. To request this service, fill out our online request form at:, or contact Academic Services at 258-7331, or send e-mail to