Remember, this page is just an overview for instructors who’ve used Blackboard before. If this is your first time bringing a course online and you don’t have a lot of time, please see our First-Time Course Setup Guide. If you want specifics on how to set up assignments, discussions, etc, visit the FAQ page.
1. Get your course content ready.
For courses you’ve taught before, copy your content from the last time you taught this course. Click the plus signs (+) for step-by-step instructions.
If this is a brand new course you haven’t had on Blackboard before, you must be the type of person who thrives on the rush of doing things “just-in-time!” Fortunately, CTEL has you covered. Our Blackboard Course Setup Guide will walk you through the basics of getting your course up-and-running in Blackboard. It provides tips on making it easy for students to get to your material, which will ultimately save you tons of time. Also, you can also reach out to a CTEL Learning Designer to set up a consultation.
2. “Walk” through your course.
Start at the top of your course menu, and check all of your content for typos, broken links, outdated information, etc. In particular, be sure to
- update the availability and due dates of assignments, exams, folders, etc.;
- update your syllabus;
- make sure your course e-reserves are set up;
- check for broken links to outside content, such as YouTube; and
- make sure links to third-party content services, such as e-reserves, textbook publishers, etc. are working.
Blackboard’s Student Preview tool is invaluable for finding and fixing issues in your course before it goes live. Below are some instructions on how to use it.
3. Make your course available to students
By default, all courses in Blackboard are invisible to students until you have explicitly changed the Course Availability setting. You should make your course available at least one week before the first day of classes.
4. Wait for students to be added to your course.
Making your course available tells the system that you are ready to have students added to it, so enrollments are automatically transferred from Mainestreet to Blackboard. It takes up to one business day for this to happen, so don’t panic if there are no students in your course the morning after you’ve made it available. Students who register late for your course will also be added on a one-business-day cycle.
You can check if students have been added to your course in Blackboard by clicking these links in your course menu: Control Panel >> Users and Groups >> Users.
5. Send your first course announcement.
Once you’ve confirmed that your students have been added to your course, it’s time to send your first announcement to your students. If you haven’t used the announcements tool before, follow the steps in this tutorial.