Getting Started with Blackboard
You can share your Blackboard course site with your students by following the steps below:
- Under Control Panel (left column of course home page) expand Customization.
- Click the Properties option.
- Click the Yes radio option next to Make Course Available.
- Click the Submit button.
Your students should now see your Blackboard course listed in the "Courses" section when they login to Blackboard.
- From the Course Menu, click on Faculty Information.
- Next, click on the Create Contact button.
- Fill in the template with the information that you would like added.
- Click on Submit.
Managing your Course Sites
If you are teaching multiple sections of the same course you can request to have the student enrollments merged into one site by completing the Merge Multiple Course Sections Request form.
All official courses will automatically be assigned a Blackboard course site. However, if you would like to use Blackboard to support a project, committee work or to develop a course that you can later copy from please complete the Blackboard Course Request form.
Course content can be copied between Blackboard sites. This is helpful when building new course sites each semester. Please note that if you plan on requesting to have your Blackboard course sections merged you should do this prior to copying content into your empty course sites.
Keep in mind that the course copy feature should ideally be used once for each destination course. If used more than once to copy materials into a particular course site, multiple copies of your course contents may be added to the Blackboard site.
How to Copy/Reuse course content:
- Go to the Control Panel in the originating Blackboard course (course site with content).
- Expand Packages and Utilities and click Course Copy.
- For Copy Type choose Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course.
- Click Browse next to "Destination Course ID."
- A Courses window will pop-up. Click the radio option button next to the course you want to copy content into and click the Submit button.
- In the Course Materials section select the content you would like to copy by checking the appropriate boxes*.
- In the File Attachments section select "Copy links and copies of the content."
- IMPORTANT: Under the Enrollments section DON'T check the box next to "Include Enrollments in the Copy."
- Click the Submit button.
- You should see a message that the process has been queued and that an email will be sent when it is complete.
- If you are copying tests, quizzes or surveys you will need to check off the box next to "Tests, Surveys, and Pools." Choosing the content area where the tests are deployed will not copy the tests. Be sure to also check the box next to "Grade Center Columns and Settings."
- Assignments (that were created using the "Assignment" tool) need to be copied by choosing the content area they are deployed in and checking the box next to "Grade Center Columns and Settings."
- Enter the course area where you want to add an item.
- Scroll over the Build Content button.
- Select Create item.
- Create item page will appear.
- Fill in the name and add the item; you can attach any documents from your computer. Option #2 is Attachments.
- Hit Submit.
- The Syllabus is the same as adding an item, except it is a predefined area in the course menu.
- To add your Syllabus, simply click on the course menu area entitled "Syllabus," then follow the directions for Creating an Item (see Creating an Item above).
Assignments allow you to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. In an assignment, you can include a description, point value, and file attachments. You can create assignments in several course areas, such as in a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. Students access the assignment, type a submission, attach files, and submit it. You can respond to each student separately with comments and attached files.
Please see Blackboard help for instructions on using the assignment feature in Blackboard, as well as videos on how to create an assignment and how to grade an assignment.
Probably the most effective way to create and manage tests is by building a question pool and then creating the exam from the pool. Please see the attached file for instructions on how to create a question pool, export the pool to your computer, create a test using test manager, and deploy a test to share with your students (MS Word).
Blackboard Support Resources
Blackboard is basically a point and click system for navigation.
- From the user homepage, you will click on the class you wish to access. Classes are listed under “My Courses”.
- Once inside of your class, the point and click navigation will continue. There is a menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen. You are able to click on the item that you would like to navigate to (or open).
The control panel is where you as the instructor can manage your course. Further in the trainings, we will discuss the options of building and tools within this function. It is important to remember this is a function only available to the instructor. The Control Panel is divided into Categories. The defaults are as follows: Files, Course Tools, Evaluation, Grade Center, Users and Groups, Customization, Packages and Utilities, and Help.
Turnitin is a comprehensive solution that helps students learn by facilitating personalized feedback. Faculty can check students' work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against the world's largest academic database. For more information on Turnitin, please contact Meagan Martin at email@example.com.
“My helpful hint is to provide detailed grading rubrics and directions for any paper assignment and if possible one or two exemplars of an "A" paper ... especially for students just starting ... students who follow the rubric and read the exemplars nearly always do much better than those who do not ... I also believe more frequent but short writing assignments help students acquire or re-acquire the basics of professional writing rather than a twenty page term paper, unless it is a capstone course.” - Robert Dumas, Former Graduate Program Chair, Forensic Nursing
In the Grade Center, you can provide and manage your students' grades for assignments, tests, discussion posts, journals, blogs, and wikis, and for ungraded items, such as surveys or self tests. You can also create grade columns for any activities or requirements you want to grade, such as special projects, participation, or attendance.
- Click on Add Calculated Column (select Weighted Column).
- Give it a Name, etc.
- Under #3 (Select Columns):
- Click on and Highlight a column name.
- Then click on the arrow to the right of the box.
- Now, the item will appear in the box entitled: Selected Columns.
- Give it the weight percentage you want for the item.
- The total weight must equal 100%.
- Click Submit.
- Go to the Manage tab.
- Select Organize Grade Center.
- All Grade Center Columns should appear in the second area.
- On the far left hand side is a gray box in front of each item. Put the cursor here and click to drag and drop wherever you want it.
“It helped this semester that I only corrected/responded to the discussion board after the required responses, rather than having a response upload to grade center each time the student wrote something. Instead I added a minimum number of responses before it showed up for grading in grade center.” - Gail Cahill, Adjunct Faculty, Education Department
To grade a single assignment attempt:
- Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
- Access the cell's contextual menu and select Attempt.
- The Grade Assignment page appears.
"The grading rubric feature is great. It is worth the time investment in setting up the rubrics because grading is so much faster." - Karen Waddill, Adjunct Faculty, Education Department
- Embed a Librarian into your course.
- Embed online library resources into your Blackboard course.
- Access articles, images, eBooks, et cetera through the library's databases. Click on the item you want.
- Most of the Library's databases provide a "Permalink" or "Permanent Link," which is a static link directly to that specific item. Copy this link and paste it into your content area as an Item or a Web Link.
- If the database doesn't provide this link, contact a librarian for help.
- If the item is in a PDF format, you can save the file and load it directly into Blackboard. Be sure to include the citation for the item for copyright (contact the Copyright Liaison for questions about copyright and fair use).
Learn more about the library services available at the Fitchburg State Distributed Learning Library Services page.