Blackboard 9 - Setting Up a Course

This document describes how instructors and teaching assistants can get started setting up a course on Blackboard.

Blank Course

When we first create your course on Blackboard, it will be mostly blank, with a few empty folders. A typical empty course might look like this:

Blank Course

There are two types of buttons. Some buttons, such as Announcements, Discussion Board, My Grades, and Blackboard Manual are links to special tools within Blackboard. Other buttons are links to Content Area folders, like Course Documents and Assignments. In these empty Content Area folders, you can add content, post assignments, tests, and quizzes.

There are several ways to fill in content: post new content, copy from another course, or import a package. To post new content, see Posting Content - (that page also describes how to create, rename, and organize your own buttons.)

Course Copy

You can copy content and settings between courses with the Course Copy utility. You may want to use this to copy from a past semester to a future semester. To begin, go to the course you are copying from and go to Control Panel / Packages and Utilities / Course Copy.

Course Copy

On the next screen, choose Copy Materials into an Existing Course.

Copy Type

After you choose this option, you will see a Browse button appear. Click it and a new window will open allowing you to choose the destination course.Select the course and click Submit in that smaller new window.

Copy Options

Choose which parts of the course you want to copy. Most likely, you will just be copying some Content Areas and maybe the Grade Center Columns and Settings. Make sure to leave the Enrollments unchecked. Click Submit. You will see a message informing you that Blackboard has started the process.

Copy Queued

Wait two or three minutes, then go look at the destination course to verify that the copy worked. If the copy hasn't worked within an hour, try again.

Import Package / Course Cartridge

Another way to get content into your class is to upload specially-created ZIP archive files from your computer to Blackboard. See Import Packages for detailed instructions and a list of packages you can import . You will first need to download a package to your computer then upload it using Control Panel / Packages and Utilities / Import Package.

Some textbook publishers create a "Course Cartridge" as a supplement to their textbook. You can usually find detailed instructions from the publisher. Go to Control Panel / Packages and Utilities / Import Course Cartridge.

Users - Enrolling Students

We usually add students to their classes on Blackboard a couple days before the term begins. If you need your students to have access earlier, contact the Blackboard Administrator. You can add and remove students, TAs, and other instructors by following the instructions here: Listing, Adding, and Removing Users.

If you have multiple sections of the same class, you may want to consider consolidating all the students into one course on Blackboard. (Advantages: you only have to set up the course once, you can email all students at once. Disadvantage: you have just one list, it's hard to determine who is in what section - but this might not matter - you do not have to split up grades for the E-Grading system at the end of the term.) Contact the Blackboard Administrator to consolidate your classes.