The goal of Blackboard Learn is to provide an accessible platform for students and instructors for equal access to courses.  Blackboard is fully committed to ensuring that our platform contains no barriers for users with disabilities and is both usable and accessible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility levels using two sets of standards: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act issued from the United States federal government and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Keyboard navigation in Blackboard Learn

Industry standard keyboard interactions are used throughout Blackboard Learn to move between menus, open menus and select items within a menu. Keyboard navigation patterns differ between browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome), but the interactions within any particular browser are common and consistent. In the sections below, notes are used to indicate where interactions may differ between experiences and course views in Blackboard Learn.

If you are using a Mac with Firefox or Safari and are having difficulty navigating using your keyboard, review and update your operating system and browser settings. This ensures they are properly configured for keyboard navigation. To learn more, see the following information:

Keyboard navigation within the content editor

The content editor in Blackboard Learn is based on third-party technology from TinyMCE. It provides accessible controls, as well as keyboard shortcuts for formatting content created within it. The content editor appears throughout your courses, such as when you participate in a discussion.

To use your keyboard to jump to the content editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a bulleted list.

Student Resources for utilizing JAWS with Blackboard Learn

Below are specific user guides for students that Blackboard has provided for utilizing the JAWS screen reader with different components of Blackboard Learn courses:


Instructor Resources for utilizing JAWS with Blackboard Learn for Instructor tasks

Additionally There are faculty resources for utilizing Blackboard Learn using JAWS as a instructor located at:


Step 1: Locate “My Course” on the institution home page
Step 2: Hover in the light blue of “My Course”, to the right you will see a cog (looks like a tooth gear)
Step 2: Click the cog
Step 3: Check the box to the left of “Group by Term”
Step 4: Click “Submit”

The video below will walk through how to grade your assignment, discussion, etc.. with a rubric that you have setup.

Grade an Assignment using the “Needs Grading” section

Step 1: Select the “Needs Grading” option underneath the Grade Center in the Course Management Panel.

Grade Center options with Needs Grading and full grade center

Step 2: Filter the list to assignments using the filter criteria at the top of the page, if necessary.

needs grading filter showing assignments being filtered

Step 3: Either click on the name of the student to grade


click on the action item link that appears next to the title of the assignment and select either “Grade All Users” or “Grade Anonymously”.

grade all users or grade anonymously options

Step 4: Preview the “Assignment Details” by clicking on the words on the right hand side of the screen if necessary.

Step 5: Provide inline grading Comments, Highlights, or Point Annotations as needed (if the student uploaded a supported file to their assignment submission that allows for the use of the in-line grading feature).

Note:  On 1/15/2018, the provider of in-line grading service (Crocdoc) terminated operations, and the in-line grading solution (Box) was implemented by Blackboard as a replacement for this service.  Below are steps on how to add Comments, Highlighting, and Point Annotations utilizing the new service.  more detailed information about the transition can be found here.  Additionally a video tutorial on how to use the new “Box” in-line grading feature can be found at:

If you see a students submission and to the right it says “Submission Text” where the file download link would be, this indicates the student did not upload a file for their assignment submission, and wrote their assignment response in the “Submission” field.  When students submit text versus a file, the in-line grading features are not available to annotate their response, however you can highlight and copy/paste the student submission into a new Microsoft Word document, annotate their response in Microsoft Word (using the review/comment tools) and then upload that annotated/graded version in the student Feedback section (see step 7 below for more details).

  1. Adding in-line Comments
    1. Highlight the text where to comment is directed
    2. Click on the comment Icon  Comment Icon
    3. Add the comment in the popup box provided
    4. Select the “Post” button to save your comment.
  2.  Highlighting content
    1.  Highlight the text where you would like to turn on highlight
    2. Click on the Highlight icon Highlight Icon
    3. The text will be highlighted, if you would like to add a comment in addition to highlighting the text, click on the comment icon Comment Icon, add your comment and click the Post button to save your comment.
  3. Adding in-line Point Annotations
    1. Click on the Point annotation icon on the Box Menu bar
    2. Click on the specific location that you would like the point annotation to appear
    3. Enter your comment in the box provided and select the Post button to save your point annotation

Note:  Annotations (comments, highlighting, or point annotations) are supported only for Adobe PDF, Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX) Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX) attachments submitted by students.  In addition to the formats above, Point Annotations can also be added to the following formats:  AI, BMP, DCM, EPS, GIF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVS, TGA, TIF, and TIFF.

Step 6:
Download the original submission of the assignment in the bottom right hand side of the the screen if necessary.

submission download

Step 7: Click on the down arrow underneath the words “Attempt” to provide feedback and/or attach another document for users to view.

grading area showing the button to push to pull down the feedback area feedback text box with attachment option highlighted

Step 8: Click in the box next to the words “Attempt” and provide the student with a point value for their grade.

grading area pointing out the box to put the student's score in

Step 9: Click on the “Submit” button


Grade an Assignment using the “Full Grade Center”

Step 1: Select the “Full Grade Center” option underneath the Grade Center in the Course Management Panel.

Grade Center options with Needs Grading and full grade center

Step 2: Find the column with the assignment that needs grading as well as a user with a submitted assignment (this will be noted by a yellow exclamation point).

Step 3: Hover over the exclamation point and click on the action link item that appears.

Step 4: Select “Attempt xx/xx/xxxx”.

Attempt 3/22/10 !

Step 5: Complete steps 4 – 9 from above.

Technical Support

The Blackboard Learn  Team is here to support all MSU Denver faculty and students with Blackboard Learn. To make support easy and convenient, we’ve provided four options:

Additionally there are various on-line resources available provided by Blackboard

1. Browser Requirements 

2. Blackboard Help

For Faculty

For Students

3. On-Demand Learning Center

For Faculty

For Students

4. Blackboard Collaborate

Resources and Tutorials

If you have any questions, please contact the MSU Denver ITS Help Desk at 303-352-7548 or complete a service request at


Step 1: Go to the “Course Navigation Menu”

Step 2: Click on the “+” icon to “Add Menu Item”  Graphic of the plus button

Step 3: Click on “Content Area”  Graphic of content area

Step 4: Name the Content Area  Graphic of naming content area

Step 5: Check the box to make this area “Available to Users” Graphic of check for available to users

Step 6: Click “Submit” Graphic of submit button

Step 7: Hover to the left of the content area link, click on the four arrows that will appear, and drag this new content area to where it should go on the “Course Navigation Menu”.