Getting Blackboard Course Sites
From CLEW Wiki
Getting New Course Sites
Course Site Automation
Blackboard Learn's course creation process is different than our previous LMS CLEW. You won't need to request a site anymore except in special circumstances where 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 until you make it available (see below).
What if My Course Doesn't Appear?
If you do not have a course shell created, but the following three conditions have been met:
- the beginning of the semester is less than 6 weeks away,
- you know you have been assigned as the Instructor of Record AND
- your course has been listed in the SIS,
submit a Service Request by visiting uwindsor.ca/bbhelp. 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.
Occasionally, there are still issues with getting a course site and by getting the Service Request started, the LMS Administrator can generate a "Sandbox Course Site" where you can prepare your materials. These materials can be copied into your actual course shell once the three conditions above have been met, and you can then continue on and Set the Availability of your site to Yes so your students can access it (see below).
Early Birds - Getting a Course Site Well in Advance
If you want to get an early start on building your site well in advance of the semester, you can submit a Service Request by visiting uwindsor.ca/bbhelp and ask for a sandbox site. Please provide the course code, section, semester, your UWin ID (and other instructors, or Departmental Support staff's UWin ID's) with your request. The LMS Team will prepare a sandbox site for you to develop your site in and then you can use it as a template to continue to keep current for future copies of the site. This way, no student work will occur in the site, and you can continue to update it on an ongoing basis as much as you wish. When you import your content to the automated course shell, then you can use the Date Management feature with Blackboard to update due dates prepared in the course in assignments, tests, etc.
Where do I find the Course?
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. It is by default, set to not currently available, so you have time to prepare it before your students see it.
What about the Next Semester?
For subsequent semesters, your course will be automatically created as described above. The semester number will be provided in the course name, and the course will be unavailable until you set it to be available (described below).
Set Course Availability (formerly LAUNCH THIS SITE in CLEW)
Once you are ready to activate your course, so your students can see it, select Customization -> Properties -> Set Availability. Switch to Yes, and click Submit.
Courses come automatically set to No to give you time to prepare the site, so you must activate them manually when you are ready. Additionally, you will notice this status as "not currently available," when viewing your list of courses in the Course tab. The text appears beside the name of the course.
What will my Course Site Contain?
The default menu for course shells is:
- Course Home Page (The Home Page contains modules that display notifications about your course, such as "What's New," "My Tasks," "My Announcements." Instructors can choose not to use the page, give it a different name, and choose which modules appear.
- Announcements (A tool link to the Announcements tool)
- My Grades (Displays grades to students from the Grade Centre)
- Resources (A Content Area called "Resources" which contains no content)
- Syllabus (A Content Area called "Syllabus" which contains no content)
- Email (A tool link to the Email tool - To alter the Email Distribution options for example, you only want students to email the instructor, not the entire class, select from the Control Panel -> Customization -> Tool Availability -> Find Email on the list. Click the grey chevron for Email Settings -> click the options you want users to be able to send email to such as All Instructor Users or All Teaching Assistant Users to be visible only. Then Submit to complete.
- Help (Tool link to Blackboard Help)