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If you are new to using Blackboard Learn or Moodle, we encourage you to explore this website, the Student Orientation & Resource Area. It contains tips to help students prepare for their online classes, video tutorials about participating in discussions and more!

Student Orientation Webinars

This free webinar provides new online students taking online courses an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Blackboard Learn and Moodle Learning Management Systems (LMS). The webinar is a 45-minute long overview of the LMS and answers frequently asked questions that students have about taking an online class at UMass Amherst. The webinars will only be offered on the dates shown on the calendar below, and will be limited to 20 participants per webinar.

Below you will find the topics that are covered in the Intro to Blackboard Learn webinar:

  1. Preparing for your Online Course
  2. Student Resources- Help Desk Info, Student Orientation & Resource Area, Library, etc. 
  3. Corresponding with classmates and instructors
  4. Overview of Basic Course Tools (Discussions, Assessments, Assignments)

  5. Question and Answer (Q&A)  

     Click here for additional information

    Additional Information 

    • Registration closes 24 hours prior to each webinar, so make sure you register early!
    • Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to the webinar and instructions on how to log into the webinar.
    • Twenty-four hours prior to your webinar's start time, you will receive an additional reminder email.

     Access to the Orientation Webinar  

    • After you have registered for a webinar, you can attend the presentation by clicking on the webinar link that is included in both your confirmation and reminder emails. 
    • This link will direct you to a webinar session that is hosted using Blackboard Collaborate, a video conferencing tool used by students and instructors. 
    • We strongly encourage participants to login at least 5-10 minutes early.

To register for a webinar, follow these steps:

  1. Visit our Eventbrite page.

  2. Find an "Online Student Orientation Webinar" date of interest to you. 

  3. Click the green "Register" button on the event registration page.

    1. The green button will only be visible when registration is open for a particular event. If registration is not open, please return at a later date and register then!

  4. Enter your first name, last name, email address, and confirmation of your email address. 

  5. Click "Complete Registration."

This free, optional course was developed to introduce students to an online course environment that is structured similar to many other online classes at the university. The course was designed with an important purpose in mind—to ease students' minds about taking online classes through UMass Amherst! If you're a new online student who is interested in gaining familiarity with tools in online classes, connecting with other students new to online learning, and asking questions as the semester gets underway, you've come to the right place! 

This orientation is self-paced so that students have the ability to work on the class on their own schedules. Course facilitators will be answer students' questions and respond to any work that they submit.

 Click here for additional information

Access to the orientation course

  • Students who have registered for the Online Student Orientation course through Eventbrite will receive login instruction 48-hours prior to the course start / first day of Preview Week. 
  • Access to the course on the first day of Preview Week each semester.
  • Course registration ends on the second day of classes each semester. 
  • Course access will close at the mid-semester date each term. 

To register for our orientation course, complete the following steps:


The training resources are helpful as you start your online experiences and learn about how to use your LMS.

However, if you are experiencing technical issues, a 24/7 HelpDesk is available for technical support for Blackboard. You have the options to call, email or chat based on your preference of communication.  Information about the HelpDesk is located:

  1. On the main login page,
  2. On the MyUMassAmherst page within Blackboard,
  3. Within your Blackboard course under “Help & Resources” on your course menu.

If you need technical support for Moodle, UMass IT is available to assist. See information on how to contact IT and their availability at this link.

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