BbStarter Strategies

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Getting Started Overview

Welcome to the University of Windsor’s Blackboard Learn learning management system application. Please review the information in this guide to help familiarize yourself with the Blackboard Learn system and its many features.

Checklist for a Quick Start

Review the Instructor Semester Checklist below to ensure you are ready to work with your course to start a new semester.

Accessing Online Help, Tutorials And Resources is home to a wealth of resources for help with all your Blackboard related questions. Here you can find support organized by user types: Administrator, Instructor and Student, in the form of articles, videos and tutorials covering all types of topics and help that users may need. This site even includes help for mobile versions of Blackboard.

When visiting the site, be sure to select the correct Blackboard release that you are working on. For all UWindsor users, we are using the Learn: Original Experience (version 9.1 2014). If you forget, all information can be found at the bottom of the log in page, under Installation Details.

Logging into Blackboard Learn

Please navigate to to access the login page (above). Use your UWin ID and password to log in. If you don’t have a UWin ID, please contact Service Desk at ext. 4440. You will need a UWin employee number first, which is issued by Human Resources at ext. 2047.
UWindsor Login

First Login

After your first login, you will be taken to the “Welcome Veil”. This will only appear on your first login. Here, you are given an option: visit the Global Navigation Menu. Review the material from the Global navigation, and click Close to exit the Welcome Veil. You won't see the veil on subsequent logins.

Global Navigation Menu

On the top-right corner of every Blackboard screen, you will see the Global Navigation menu. This Global Navigation video provides an overview of its function and features. Your User Name is your global Blackboard Identification relating to your user role, which designates your Blackboard experience, access and views. This is set by System Administrator only and uses the email address you provide as your unique identifier linking a user with Blackboard account. More about the Global Navigation features in this Blackboard Video.

Student Preview

Student Preview Button

A great feature offered in Blackboard 9.1 is the Student View. Located under the tabs towards the top, right corner of your screen, it looks like an eye, and allows you to switch your screen view from facilitator to student and back so you can see exactly what your students see. If you select "Keep the preview user and student data" upon exiting the Student View, you can also maintain "student work" if you are testing out a feature. This is handy if you want to see what the student experiences when completing an assessment, and show you what it is like to grade the assessment. More on the Student Preview is available at

Course Creation Process

Blackboard Learn's course creation process is different than used with CLEW. You won't need to request a site any more except in special circumstances when your course site isn't automatically generated.

Instead, there will be an automatic process whereby, once your course code is entered into the Student Information System (SIS), and you are connected to that course in the SIS as the Instructor of Record, a regular process runs and will automatically create a "Course Shell." This shell is not available to students by default, until you make it available.

You will see this newly created course when you log in to Blackboard and review your courses. Courses are seen at the top of the Blackboard site under the Courses tab, or when you are on the Home tab, it appears as My Courses. Finally, it can also be seen from the Global Navigation drop-down list up by your name in the top right corner of the Blackboard site. The course will appear with a unique code, the course code, and the course name.

If you do not have a course shell created, but you know you will need one, (and it is listed in the SIS) AND you are listed as the Instructor of Record, complete a Service Request at Please provide the course code, section, semester, your UWin ID (and other instructors, or Departmental Support staff's UWin ID's) with your request. If you are just getting started (i.e. recently hired), ensure your department has submitted your UWin ID and Course Code to the Registrar to be included in the SIS. This will trigger a Blackboard course shell to be created within 24 hours.

See the Getting a Course Site wiki article for more information.

Import Your Content from CLEW

Use the CLEW Import tool once you are in the new course shell to import materials from CLEW (specific tools only) into the new Blackboard course. To do this, go to the Control Panel -> Course Tools -> CLEW Import tool -> and follow the on-screen prompts for the course and materials that you wish to import. Review the warning/error/message after you are done to see if further follow-up is necessary. Review all content that has been imported for availability, links working, setting up further functions (i.e. Assignments). For more information on using CLEW Import tool, visit the [Blackboard Help Wiki] article.

Please don't get impatient! It may take a while to import your content. If you press the Submit button more than once, you risk having multiple copies of materials in your course site. If you experience errors on import, please email Help Desk with the details.

Continue to add materials to your site until you are ready to make it available to your students. See the other lessons on this site to help you with how to do that.

Set Course Availability (formerly LAUNCH THIS SITE in CLEW)

Edit Mode Options
Edit Mode Options

To activate your course, so your students can see it, ensure you have set the Edit Mode to ON (see image to right).

Then navigate to the Control Panel (left side of your course site, below the course menu) and select Customization -> Properties -> Set Availability. Switch to Yes, and click Submit.

Set Availability

Courses come automatically set to "No" to prevent unintended issues, so you must activate them manually when you are ready.

Additionally, you will notice that your courses are unavailable when reviewing your list of courses in the Course tab as the "not currently available" text appears beside the name of the course.

Not Currently Available list

Customized Start Date

Customized start date settings
Customized start date settings

If you would like your students to have access prior to the Term Duration beginning date, you need to add one more additional step - you have to give the site a customized beginning date and end date (end of semester used in default Use Term Duration - make note of this as it is visible in the before you make any changes to maintain the correct date!) - see Customized start date settings thumbnail image - right.
Then click Submit to complete the process.

Student Enrolment - Add students, GA or TA or Departmental Support

Once your course site has been created, the student enrolment will be automatic and continue to be updated when students add or drop your course through the SIS. You likely won't need to touch the student enrolment. They won't see the site until the site has been made active (see above). A good rule of thumb regarding the automation process of students who add / drop a course is that today's adds/drops will be reflected in Blackboard early tomorrow morning, but possibly much sooner (probably within the hour).

If you do need to add someone to a site such as a GA, or TA, or departmental support ensure you know their UWin ID. Access this function through the Users and Groups link in the Control Panel. Instructions are available regarding adding users from the Manage Users article at

You don't need to delete users - just make their status inactive through the Users and Groups function above.

Students Who Drop Your Course

Students, once registered in a course who drop the course, are not removed. Instead, their status is changed to "Unavailable", but they are stealthed in the site so you don't see them anymore. This is done so that all work / activity they may have completed in the course, is retained in the course site. If students actually get removed them from the site, anything they may have submitted is also completely removed. Occasionally, some students mistakenly try to switch sections or are simply trying to adjust their courses in SIS and have on numerous occasions dropped a course inadvertently.

A good rule of thumb regarding the automation process of students who add / drop a course is that today's adds/drops will be reflected in Blackboard early tomorrow morning, but possibly much sooner (probably within the hour).

How do I access a Roster in my course?

Instructors can download their roster from the Grade Centre. Select: Grade Centre / Work Offline / Download / User Information Only.

Export or Archive your Completed Course

Once you have completed your course, have your grades in, and want to use materials again in the future in your next course shell, you can use the Blackboard Packages and Utilities features to export or archive or import materials.

To access, click Packages and Utilities from the Control Panel. Then, click the Export / Archive Course option. See below for descriptions of functions:

You must have the proper permissions to perform these operations You will receive an email from the system telling you when the files (.zip) will be ready to download. Save the files in a secure place for use in the future. Use the Export Course option if you plan on reusing the material in future courses. You will be able to select all or parts of the course you want to bring into the next course shell.

Closing Courses

Courses will be automatically closed to students by the first day of the next semester. You won't need to do anything to your course site to disable student access. If you have a special circumstance where you need to keep it open, please email with the course details (name, section, number, your UWin ID, as well as the length you need it open for). The instructional team will continue to have access to the course site through the Courses tab, but it will appear as (currently not available) status.

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