The following are a few of the top tips for faculty in using Blackboard.
Make your course “available”
Your courses and student enrollment are automatically created and populated from Access.SMU. The courses are set to "unavailable" by default, which means your students will not be able to view or access the course until you modify the setting.
To make your course available click Customizations > Properties, then set the availability to Yes.
Tip: You can also change the course title in this area.
Tell your students how you expect them to use your Blackboard site.
Faculty use Blackboard in different ways, so it is a good idea to set your students’ expectations on how your course will utilize Blackboard at the first class meeting.
Copy content that you want to reuse from a previous term into your new course
With the integration of Blackboard and Access.SMU, course shells for all courses and sections for the current term are automatically created and populated. If you plan to reuse materials from a previous term’s course, we recommend that you move your current course materials into the new course shells.
Copying Course Materials via the Course Copy Tool:
Go to the previous term’s course that contains your course materials. Control Panel > Packages & Utilities > Course Copy See detailed instructions in the Bb Help course under Frequently Ask Questions.
Copy multiple sections’ enrollment into one section
Blackboard has a new tool that allows faculty to combine sections into one. Academic Computing will combine your sections for you if you request this via a help ticket. This tool continues to work as students add or drop.
Set up your grade center
Once you have your grade center complete, show the My Grades tool by clicking the arrow icon next to the link and selecting “Show Link.” If you choose to set it up later be sure the My Grades tool isn’t visible until you’re ready for it to be.
Note: Instructors may also select other features to use in Blackboard (announcements, discussion boards, etc.) by clicking the arrow icon next to the link and selecting either “Show Link” or “Hide Link.” The feature will be invisible until you select “Show Link.”
Do an initial back-up after your course is set up
As is the case with all digital technology, a back-up copy of your course can prevent hours of rework in case something unexpected happens.
To back-up your course, go to the Control Panel, choose Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive Course.
Hide your old courses
You will probably still see a list of courses from previous semesters when you login to Blackboard. These courses can not be deleted from your list, but you can hide them easily. Simply click on the Gear icon in the top right corner of the "my courses" frame. Uncheck the courses that you no longer wish to see.
If you need assistance with any of the Blackboard features, check out the new Blackboard Help and Tutorials course. Log onto Blackboard. You will find the help course in you're My Courses module. You’re also welcome to contact the IT Help Desk