ALTO: having trouble accessing the course on Blackboard?

Use the Google Chrome browser

We strongly recommend that you use an up-to-date version of the Google Chrome browser. Firefox and Safari should work OK, but Internet Explorer and Edge will not.

If you are using a work (managed) laptop, you can download and install Chrome by following these instructions on Solve. You’ll need to connect to Aston via the VPN first.

If you are using a personal computer, you can download and install Chrome yourself.

Finding the ALTO course on Blackboard

The ALTO course on Blackboard has been set up so that all members of staff have access, but inevitably there are a few people for whom this should work but doesn’t.

Double-check your My Courses list on your Welcome Page again to make sure you didn’t overlook the ALTO course – this is easy to do if you have a long list of courses that are not grouped by term. See further down this page for instructions to group by term.

Self-enrol on the ALTO course

If you really can’t find the ALTO course, you can self-enrol on the course:

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Click on Courses at the top right of your screen
  3. Search for ‘Active‘:
    Searching for the keyword Active
  4. Look down the list to find the course Active Learning Teaching Online and click the little arrow next to the course code:
    Self-enrol step 2
  5. Select Enrol and you’ll be taken to the course.

If that option is not available, you are already enrolled – check your My Courses list.

If you are still having problems, please email the TEL team at – note that the ALTO tutors can’t sort out technical access problems, but the TEL team can.

Grouping by term

Grouping by term is a great feature that makes it easy for you to focus on a list of this year’s modules:

  1. Move your mouse over the header of your My Courses list and click the little gear icon that appears. Note that the ALTO course is grouped by ‘University or Staff level’so should be easy to find.
    group by term gear icon
  2. Select the checkbox for Group by Term:
    group by term checkbox
  3. Your courses are now grouped by year and you can show/hide them by clicking on the little arrows (circled below):
    group by term controls
  4. The little gear icon gives even more control – you can hide individual modules or even entire terms to ‘tidy up your list’ while still allowing access to old modules if you really need to do that later.

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