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Essential Pre-Blackboard Skills for Faculty

To start working with Blackboard, at the most basic level, it is highly recommended that faculty are already comfortable with the following computer skills. The table below provides the most essential technology competencies recommended for faculty who wish to use Blackboard.

Chances are, you have a computer literate friend, relative, or colleague who could help you become familiar with most of the skills below over the course of a few meetings. Many people prefer the "one-to-one" approach when getting started learning to use technology. You might also start out by contacting the educational technology or distance learning staff at your college to see if they have anyone who can help, or ask if your college has faculty mentors.

Additionally, check out your college's Continuing Education courses to find keyboarding or other computer courses that might fit your schedule.

The table below lists some of the most essential skills, as well as links to quick tutorials and reference websites, which can help you get started.

Basic Computer Skils Learning Resources
Using the mouse and keyboard
  • Comfortable with the mouse and the use of single-click, double-click and right-click.
  • Comfortable and efficient with keyboarding skills.
Mouse Demo:
Learning to Use the Mouse (3 mins)

About the Mouse

About the Keyboard
Operating system interface
  • Open multiple windows using operating system software (e.g. Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder).
  • Minimize and maximize windows, and move and resize windows.
    Utilize built-in Help system of operating system and appropriate applications.
Working with Windows:  Basic Concepts

Desktop fundamentals in Windows XP

Desktop Fundamentals in Windows Vista

Windows 7 Tutorials

Control Panel
  • Change your monitor's display resolution settings.
Change monitor display resolution
File and folder management tasks
  • Open, save, name (and rename), print, and delete files.
  • Saving a file as a different file type (such as .rtf or .htm).
  • Explain the difference between the Save and Save As commands.
  • Create, name (and rename) folders.
  • Organize files and folders (including subfolders) into an efficient structure for workflow and backup purposes.
  • Move and/or copy files and folders using drag and drop and/or copy and paste.
  • Search for files in various locations on PC or network drives
  • Recognize and use common icons, windows, menus, and file extensions (e.g. .doc, .xls, .ppt, .txt, .htm)
Working with Files & Folders in Windows XP:  Using "Windows Explorer"

Searching for Files & Folders in Windows XP

How to Create and Rename Folders in Windows XP

FileWorking with Files & Folders in Windows Vista

Using the Internet
  • Use an Internet web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox, Netscape, Safari) to explore the Web for content and information.
  • Enter the address of an Internet site and connect to that site, or copy and paste a web address into a web browser.
  • Utilize a search engine (e.g. Google, Yahoo) effectively to find websites on various topics.
Exploring the Internet
Download and install required plug-ins or helper applications
  • Navigate to a website that contains links to download helper applications and plug-ins that enhance functionality or provide access to specific types of content (for example,
  • Follow the instructions provided that will enable you to download and then install the plug-in or helper app on your own PC.
Adobe Flash Player is a commonly plug-in used by both instructors and students; it enables users to view and interact with rich multimedia content in Flash format.
Open PDF Files with Adobe Reader
  • "PDF" stands for "Portable Document Format". The PDF file format is one of the most widely used file formats on the Internet. It used for document-sharing on thousands of websites.
  • The Adobe software company created the program, which is available as a free download from Adobe's website: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
  • Once a computer user downloads and installs Adobe Reader on their computer (it can be installed on Macs, Windows PCs, and computers with other operating systems, as well), they can open any PDF document.
About Adobe PDF (Word format)

About Adobe PDF files
(PDF format).

If you can open this file, you have Adobe Reader installed on your computer)

  • If you are a CT Community College faculty member in our system you should already know how to access your college email account via Outlook Web Access (OWA) in order to communicate with students and receive messages from within the college community. This can be accomplished by logging into your email via myCommNet or by accessing OWA directly. It is strongly recommended that you communicate with your students using your college email account, rather than through a personal email account.
  • Use an email program to create, open, reply, and forward messages and organize messages into folders.
  • Open an attachment, and add a file as an attachment to an e-mail message that you create.
Access your college email through Outlook Web Access (OWA)


Yahoo email

Word processing skills
  • Use the Save As command to save word processing files as different file types to compensate for software version compatibility issues.
  • Enter, edit, select, delete, copy and paste, and move text in a document.
  • Utilize spelling and grammar checking tools.
Word 2003
(40-50 mins)

Office 2007 Overview video
(30 mins)

Office 2007 Resources

Office 2010 Tutorials

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