Blackboard Learn is a program that allows instructors to create, deliver, and manage web-based components for courses. It can be used to add online elements to a traditional course, or to develop completely online courses with few or no face-to-face meetings.
Before you begin using Blackboard, there are a few important things to know.
Blackboard accounts are created when other technology accounts are created. The username and password for Blackboard is the same as other systems (email, DataVU, etc.). If you are having trouble logging into your account, contact the IT Help Desk.
Blackboard courses are created automatically each semester using course data from the Registrar's Office. If you do not see a course, it typically means that the Registrar's data is incomplete and that you are not yet listed as the instructor of the course (i.e. the Registrar has "staff" listed). You can contact your Department Head for more information on getting listed as the faculty of record for a particular course.
All courses are initially created as “unavailable.” You will see that designation in parenthesis next to the name of your courses. Unavailable courses are invisible to students. In fact, the link to click for entry into your course does not show up in your students view as long as the course is unavailable. Courses are created as unavailable so that instructors have time to upload content. It also prevents students from accessing empty courses that instructors decide not to use. Once you are ready for students to see your course you must make it available by going to "Control Panel / Settings / Course Availability" and changing the selection from "No" to "Yes". This will create a link in your students' Blackboard accounts directly to your course. Click here for a downloadable tip sheet.
Because Blackboard courses are generated using the Registrar's data, your students are automatically added to your courses. During the Add/Drop period, students are added and dropped automatically as the Registrar processes the students' forms.
Copying Course Content
Each semester a new, empty, Blackboard course will be created for each course you are teaching. A course copy feature is available in the Control Panel for those instructors who teach the same course during more than one semester. This feature allows you to copy the entire course, or only select contents of one course directly into another. For more information on the course copy feature, click here.
Help With Blackboard
The Instructional Design and Faculty Consulting Center has Instructional Designers who can help you with any aspect of Blackboard. You can also find step-by-step instructions and downloadable tip sheets on Blackboard features in the Documentation section.
How Can I Help Prepare My Students?
The Instructional Design and Faculty Consulting Center have a couple of options for helping your students prepare for using Blackboard.