Students‎ > ‎

Blackboard Orientation: Introduction


On this page, you will be given some important information about why using technology as a social worker is important. You will learn the course requirements and the expectations of your time and interaction.

image of entrance to UM school of social work


The deployment of technology in social work is driven by a desire for access and equity, greater flexibility, and is affected by economic or geographic restraints (Jones, 2010). The National Association of Social Workers (hereinafter NASW) and the Association of Social Work Boards have developed standards for technology and social work practice (National Association of Social Workers & Boards, 2005). These guidelines were established so that the core values of social work would drive the implementation of technology when technology is used to fulfill the needs of individuals, groups, and communities (National Association of Social Workers & Boards, 2005). As a social worker, you are required to meet the technology standards developed by NASW. By learning how to utilize the Blackboard course management system, you will be adhering to one of the social work and technology standards.

This is a free, non-credit, mini-course and is a prerequisite for all courses. Here are some important components that you need to know:
  • Everything in this course is completed online. 
  • There is nothing that requires you to be in a classroom or in Baltimore. 
  • The course takes between 2-4 hours to complete, depending on your skills working online. 
  • With the possible exception of Collaborate, you can do the classwork on your own schedule.  

You have multiple attempts at getting 100% on the exam for the Certificate of Completion. The exam does include a couple of questions about Collaborate Ultra, which is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. We recommend you hold on to your certificate of completion, email it to yourself, etc. so that you can produce it any time in the future if requested by an instructor.

Common Course Icons:

Steps you complete on your own


Very Important Information

Navigation Controls

Make sure you also familiarize yourself with the new Collaborate Ultra interface in Step 10 and provide feedback in Step 12


Our version of Blackboard may differ from other institutions, and our IDEA Team can best support you when using Google Chrome browser. In order to prevent issues, we highly recommend you download and install Google Chrome and only use it for Blackboard.

Now take a big breath and click on STEP 1 to begin. 


Jones, P. (2010). Collaboration at a Distance: Using a Wiki to Create a Collaborative.

National Association of Social Workers. (1999). Code of Ethics. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from the Social Workers website (