Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blackboard Learn Pre-Semester Course Checklist

Do you copy your previous Blackboard Learn course sites to a new semester? If so, here is a checklist to help you prepare your course site in Blackboard Learn for the upcoming semester and ensure that it is ready for your students to use.
  1. Course Menu Items
    Reorder and/or rename the course menu items to be more reflective of your course structure. Any course menu items not in the default course template will be added to the bottom of the course menu under Help. Also, hide or delete any course menu items that you are not using for a more streamlined and simplified course navigation tool.
  2. Announcements
    It is important to check the display dates of announcements to make sure that old announcements are not visible to students. Student Preview is a great way to see if old announcements are displaying. Change the display dates of any announcements that you plan on re-using. Delete any old announcements that you are not using.
  3. DocumentsCheck all documents to make sure they still open properly. Update and re-upload any semester-based documents such as the syllabus and course schedule.
  4. Due Dates
    Check and update due dates in discussion forums, assignments, and quizzes/tests so they will automatically be reflected in the Calendar. This also ensures that students do not receive past due notifications for future activities. You can easily view all due dates from within the Full Grade Center under Manage > Column Organization. Also, all due dates can be updated in the Date Management Course Tool.
  5. Viewing Options
    Check the viewing date options for content folders, discussion forums, assignments, and quizzes/tests to ensure that only those items that you want students to see are visible. Change any display dates on items that you want to release to students at a later point.
  6. Web Links
    Check the external hyperlinks to web resources in your course to make sure they still open properly and then update as necessary.
  7. Quizzes, Tests and Pools
    Double check to ensure that all of your quizzes, tests, and pools were copied over from the previous course site and are deployed properly in the content areas. If not, please contact the Blackboard Helpdesk at bbhelp@northshore.edu right away. Also, check and update if necessary any quiz or test taking options.
  8. Grade Center
    Check the Full Grade Center to ensure that all of the grading columns are present and visible to students (or not) and that the weighting is set up properly (if you use a weighted grade).
  9. Student Course Tools
    Hide links to any course tools that you are not using with students to streamline the tool area and reduce confusion.
  10. Content Collection
    Check the files listed in the course content collection and delete any files that you are not using as this helps manage the course quota. The course content collection can be accessed from the course's Control Panel and the 360 ° View allows you to see which files are linked into the course or not.
A printable version of this checklist is available at https://goo.gl/18q3r5.

When your course is ready for students to view, you will need to give them access. All course sites are unavailable to students by default.

To make your course available (when you are done updating it for the new semester):
  1. In your Blackboard course, expand the Control Panel, click Customization, and then Properties.  
  2. Scroll down to the Set Availability Section and choose Yes.
  3. Click Submit to enable students to see and access your course.
Please send us an email at bbhelp@northshore.edu if you need help with any of these tasks.