Prior to each semester, you will need to make specific updates to your Blackboard course site. This article provides a timeline checklist of necessary maintenance tasks.
- 6-8 Weeks Prior to Start of Semester
- 2-4 Weeks Prior to Start of Semester
- 1 Week Prior to Start of Semester
6-8 Weeks Prior to Start of Semester
Course Copy: Make sure your Blackboard course site has the most recent course content, please send a request indicating the source and destination semester for the copy (i.e., SP20 to SU20)
Merged sections: If you are teaching multiple sections of a course and would like these merged into a single section, please send a request indicating the course number and course sections you would like to have merged.
Review current eReserves and determine if you will be using the same eReserves as the previous semester, or if the eReserves will need to be updated. For additional information see FAQ: Online Course Reserves (eReserves).
- If you will be using the EXACT same eReserves as the previous semester, send an email to email@example.com. In your email, include your name, course number, and your request, indicating that you would like the same eReserves set up for the upcoming semester as for the previous semester.
- If you have CHANGES to your eReserves from the previous semester, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, include your name, course number, and a detailed description of the changes that need to be made. Be sure to include the bibliography of any new source(s) you plan to include, as well as under which module the source(s) should be listed.
2-4 Weeks Prior to Start of Semester
You can use Blackboard’s Date Management tool to quickly adjust all content and tool dates for your course.
- Delete any announcements from previous semester (if applicable).
- Create new “Welcome” announcement.
- Review content in the “Getting Started” section and update any information that has changed since the previous semester.
Syllabus & Course Information
- Using the AEFIS Syllabus review the current syllabus and update the content as needed.
- Review current Course Outline and update with new semester dates.
- Review Instructor Biography and update if desired.
Review each course module for the following:
- Ensure each module has been set to adaptively release by date (if applicable).
- Lectures/Videos Folder:
- All videos/lectures are present, and links are working.
- All PDF slides are attached, and the links are working.
- All documents are attached, and links are working.
- Due dates and points possible have been set/updated for all assignments.
- Link to all quizzes/tests are working.
- Due dates and points possible have been set/updated.
- Other Content/Tools (Voicethread, Wikis, Blogs, Flipgrid, etc.)
- Ensure the content/tool is updated (if necessary) and working as expected.
- Any related documents are attached and updated, as needed, and links are working.
- Due dates and points possible have been set/updated, if applicable.
- Delete any student posts that remain from the previous semester in each forum and/or group forum (if applicable).
- Set adaptive release dates for each discussion forum (if applicable).
- If you use MS Teams for discussion, please send a request indicating the full course ID, including the section number.
- Consider revising/updating your discussions using the research-backed guidance available on the page Discussions in Online Courses: Best Practices and Expectations.
- Verify that the due dates for all of your quizzes, assignments, and discussions appear in the Blackboard Calendar (setting the due dates for these items in each module will automatically populate the calendar).
It is expected that instructors hold at least one hour of office hours per section per week. If you teach multiple sections of the same course, it is expected that each section has its own weekly office hour — course sections cannot be combined into one session. For more information, visit Office Hours Options and Expectations.
- Update the “Office Hours” link in the course site’s left-hand navigation to your Zoom Meeting.
- Ensure that the grade center is set up properly and that a column displays for every graded assignment in the course.
- If your course uses weighted grading (i.e., different percentages are assigned to different categories of assignments), ensure that an appropriate weighted column is set up in the grade center.
Student Preview (Recommended)
Once you have reviewed your course, click the “Student Preview” button to see how your course appears from a student’s perspective. This will help ensure that your students will “see” the course the way you want them to see it and help identify any last items that may need to be edited or updated.
1 Week Prior to Start of Semester
- Send a Welcome Email to your students welcoming them to the course using SIS.
- Make your course available to students.
PLEASE NOTE: All online courses will be made available to students by FIRST day of the semester if the instructor has not already made them available.