Blackboard (Faculty): Start-of-Semester Activities

ITS suggests completing the following activities in your Blackboard courses at the start of each semester.

  1. Check that Your Course is in Blackboard.

    • Blackboard course shells are automatically created for every course listed in CougarNet/Banner and appear in Blackboard three months prior to the start of the upcoming semester (ex: October for SP18 courses). ITS will notify the campus when course shells are ready. Classes added to CougarNet/Banner later will have a corresponding course shell in Blackboard by the following day.  

    • You must be listed as the "Instructor of Record" in CougarNet/Banner in order to see the course in Blackboard. This ITS Knowledge Base article explains how to determine the Instructor of Record in CougarNet/Banner and what to do if the teaching faculty is not listed there.

  2. Build Your Course.

    • If you have never taught the class before and need to build it from scratch, feel free to contact an ITS Instructional Designer for assistance (618-650-5500). 
      • Quick tip: Be sure to store large media files, such as voiceover PowerPoints, in an external location such as OneDrive. Use TechSmith Knowmia for storing and linking your videos. Uploading large media files directly into your course can cause latent technical issues with playback and content exporting. ITS can assist you with storing and linking large media files. 

    • If you have taught the class previously, you might start by exporting a copy of the course from a previous shell and importing it into your new course shell. Please see these instructions for exporting/importing a previous course in Blackboard and contact ITS with any questions. When copying a course from a previous semester, be sure to:
      • Organize items in the left navigation and delete duplicated items.  Note that your copied navigational items will generally appear beneath the default course navigational items that were in the course at the time it was created. Delete unnecessary items and reorder items in the order in which you want them to appear.

      • Review the imported Grade Center, deleting any duplicate columns, removing columns for assessments that will no longer be used, creating columns for new assessments, and reviewing the Total and/or Weighted Total columns to be sure they are accurate for the new course.

      • Edit all imported Discussion Boards in order to 1) associate your name (rather than Anonymous) as the creator of any instructor created discussion thread prompts, and 2) to delete Anonymous threads imported from discussion boards where students could create their own threads.

      • Review and update other content and settings, such as:
      • TechSmith Knowmia Videos - if you have linked videos through Knowmia LTI, you will have to re-link the videos and/or folders. First, if you have not already, download and reset the Analytics and Quiz Results.  Next, navigate to the folder(s) containing your videos. Begin at Step 8 with these instructions.

      • Turnitin Links - Turnitin updated the creation tool. All Turnitin Assignment links should be updated as the old assignment links will not work in the future. For further instructions, see Create a Turnitin Assignment.

      • Accessibility - Enhance your content for accessibility with Blackboard Ally - files such as Word documents, PDFs, and PowerPoint files will display colorful icons to indicate the accessibility level of the file. Click the indicator for more guidance on how to increase the accessibility. Consider adding this item to your course to help students know how Ally can assist them in learning. Contact ITS if you have additional questions.
  1. Activate your Student Preview. This will allow you to see the course as your students see it, test Adaptive Release rules, and verify Grade Center settings.

  2. Make Your Course Available All Blackboard courses are set to be "unavailable" at the time of creation. Once your course is developed and is ready for students to view, you must make it available in order for students to see it.

See Also:

Keywords:blackboard, black board, bb, start of semester activities, start-of-semester activities, how to start with blackboard, getting started with blackboard, teaching with blackboard, what to do first in blackboard, open my online class, start with blackboard, open class, open online class   Doc ID:73214
Owner:Center I.Group:Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Created:2017-05-10 09:38 CSTUpdated:2022-01-06 11:12 CST
Sites:Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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