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Frequently Asked Questions

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Blackboard Students

What are the technical requirements for taking a class online in Blackboard?

The minimum requirements for taking a course online change every year as older technology such as browsers are replaced with newer versions. We keep an updated PDF document of all of the recommended technology requirements. You can access this document here.

How do I find MSSU's Blackboard?

Missouri Southern State University's Blackboard is located at  There is also a direct link to MSSU's Blackboard located in the "Quick Links" section at the bottom of the MSSU homepage,

How do I log into Blackboard?

MSSU students log into Blackboard using their student email address as their “username” and their LioNet pin as their “password”. Students need to contact the IT help desk to get Blackboard login information. The Blackboard Help Desk does NOT have access to login information.

I have my Blackboard login information and I have verified that it is correct. However, I am still not able to log in. What do I do?

Students having difficulty logging into Blackboard may call the  Help Desk at 417-659-4444

Who do I contact if I am having technical issues concerning Blackboard?

Students experiencing technical issues concerning Blackboard may call the  Help Desk at 417-659-4444 or email  The Blackboard Help Desk hours of operation are Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm central time.

Who do I contact if I am having trouble with my MSSU student email account?

Students with questions regarding their MSSU student email accounts may contact the Help Desk  at 417-659-4444. Hours of operation and alternate contact information are published on the IT Department web page,

Who do I contact about general computer questions?

Students with general computer questions may contact the Help Desk  at 417-659-4444.

What should I do if I get "kicked out" of a test?

Students that experience problems successfully completing or submitting an exam should contact the instructor of the course. The Help Desk is not authorized to clear an assessment attempt or allow for additional attempts.

What internet browsers are compatible with Blackboard?

Click here for information regarding computer operating systems and internet browser compatibility with MSSU's Blackboard.

What is Java? Why do I need it? Where do I get it? 

Java is one of the underlying technologies that students are required to install on their computers in order for Blackboard to function correctly. To learn more about the technology and acquire the free download, students may visit For help installing or trouble-shooting Java on their computers, students may contact either the Help Desk at 417-659-4444.

Is there a place for general information about Blackboard?

Yes. All MSSU students will see the "Blackboard Orientation and Information Course Site" in their course listings once they've logged into MSSU's Blackboard. This site contains helpful tips and information about the requirements and general use of Blackboard. 

Blackboard Faculty

I am a new instructor and I need access to Blackboard.

All MSSU faculty are automatically given Blackboard accounts. Missouri Southern State University's Blackbaord is located at There is also a direct link to MSSU's Blackboard located in the "Quick Links" section at the bottom of the MSSU homepage, To log in to Blackboard, faculty users will use the first part of their assigned MSSU email address (e.g. smith-j) as their Blackboard “username”. The faculty Blackboard “password” is the assigned LioNet pin. NOTE : The LioNet pin “password” must be entered in ALL CAPS.

How do I request a  Blackboard site?

Blackboard site creation is accomplished automatically. Blackboard sites mirror the course schedule information in Banner (MSSU’s data system). However, only Blackboard sites for Internet, hybrid and remote site classes (Instructional Method codes INET, HYBD & SITE, respectively) are automatically made available to faculty and students. If a faculty member would like to supplement his or her on-ground class (Instructional Method code TRAD) with a Blackboard site, then that course must be marked “Blackboard Enhanced” in Banner. Communication between faculty and the departmental staff member responsible for building the course schedule in Banner will need to occur to facilitate this process.

How are my students "loaded" into my Blackboard site(s)?  

Blackboard faculty and student enrollments are managed automatically. Blackboard faculty and student enrollments mirror the enrollment records and faculty assignments in Banner (MSSU’s data system).   Changes to faculty assignments and student enrollments are automatically reflected in Blackboard. The synchronization process between Banner and Blackboard occurs daily at 6 a.m., 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. After updating faculty assignments and/or student enrollments in Banner, please allow time for the synchronization process to occur before expecting to see the changes reflected in Blackboard.

When do my Blackboard sites become visible to students?  

Blackboard sites become visible to students at 12:00 a.m. (beginning of day), two days before the official start date of the class.

What if I want to save my Blackboard site to use in the future?  

New Blackboard sites are created every semester from which to teach. However, faculty at MSSU are allowed a maximum of four Blackboard templates for each course they teach. The content in a Blackboard template can be copied into a “live” Blackboard course site. Access to four Blackboard templates for each class taught accommodates the saving of Blackboard content for use with a variety of instructional delivery methods. For example, if an instructor teaches ENG 0101, that instructor is allowed to maintain four Blackboard templates for his/her ENG 0101 offerings. The naming convention below accurately reflects how the template sites will appear in your Blackboard course listings: 

  1. ENG0101: College Composition I (Trad)
  2. ENG0101: College Composition I (Inet)
  3. ENG0101: College Composition I (Hybd)
  4. ENG0101: College Composition I (8W) 

Each of the different sites above can be developed with a different student audience and instructional purpose in mind. Each semester, depending on course offerings, the content in the specified template can be manually copied to or automatically populated into the correct “live” Blackboard site. Contact  the Help Desk at 1-417-659-4444 to have any needed template sites created and/or to provide the information needed to facilitate the automatic populating of preidentified content into an upcoming Blackboard course site.

How do I tell a Blackboard "template' from a Blackboard course with students?

The "live" Blackboard sites (sites that contain student enrollments) will appear in the instructor's Blackboard course enrollments using the following name convention:


What types of assistance are provided by the Department of Distance Learning to MSSU faculty using Blackboard?

The Department of Distance Learning at MSSU is very pleased to offer a wide variety of services to faculty at MSSU. For a complete description of our offices, please click here. Below is a list of the most commonly needed assistance. 

  • For technical issues and questions in regards to the management of Blackboard content (i.e. making assignments available/unavailable, uploading assessments, managing the grade center, etc.), MSSU faculty may contact the Help Desk by telephone at 417-659-4444 or email at
  • For questions or concerns regarding the creation and administration of Blackboard templates, MSSU faculty may contact the Help Desk by telephone at 417-659-4444.
  • For questions or concerns regarding instructional design and course development, MSSU faculty may contact a member of the Distance Learning Instructional Design Team. They are:
Ms. Tara Schneider 
Certified Blackboard Expert 
Webster 109E 

Who do I contact if I am having trouble with my MSSU faculty campus email?

 Faculty with questions regarding their MSSU faculty email accounts may contact the Help Desk at (417) 659-4444.

Who do I contact with general computer questions?

Faculty with general computer questions may contact the  Help Desk at 417-659-4444.

Is there a place that has general information about Blackboard?

Yes. All MSSU faculty will see  a "Faculty Resources" tab at the top of the page once they’ve logged into MSSU’s Blackboard. This site contains Distance Learning policies and procedures, and information about the requirements and general use of Blackboard as well as training tutorials and best practices.

Testing Services

If I take a distance learning course will I have to come to campus for testing?

It depends upon the instructor. Many professors use Blackboard for testing. They may require the use of a proctor, or the use of secured app such as Honorlock.  If the instructor requires a proctor, you will test at MSSU's Testing Services Office in Webster or retain your own proctor.  If you use a proctor, you must establish and vet this proctor with the Testing Office.  The Testing Office is a proctor site for all students. However, if you live over 30 miles from campus, you may choose to pay for a proctor in your area. See the Proctor Guidelines for more information.  Everyone must schedule their appointment for testing, contact the Testing Office at least 24 hours in advance of the time/date you wish to take test.. If using a proctor, you will still have to call and book the test with our office so that we can plan to get the test to your proctor. You must present a government issued, photo I.D. before testing with any proctor; onsite or offsite.

What is a Proctor?

A proctor is a professional person such as an employee of a school district, police officer, or clergy member who is willing to receive your testing materials and will assure testing integrity. Students must print our proctor form from this link and have it completed by the prospective proctor candidate. Proctors must be approved by our office before testing can be arranged. Proctor forms should be received by our office at least one week prior to your exam date in case the proctor is denied. Our office is aware of some pre-approved areas for testing in Missouri and Arkansas. Contact us for more information on these proctor sites.

Do I need to take the test on the same dates as the on-campus students?

While testing dates are determined by the instructor, distance learning students usually have a few days in which to complete the test if a proctor is required.

For more information contact us:

Testing Services Office Distance Learning
MSSU Webster Hall - Room 117
3950 E. Newman Rd Joplin, MO 64801-1595