Start of Semester Checklist for Faculty

This guide will assist you with ensuring a smooth startup to your Blackboard course. Listed below are some of the common tasks you will need to do to prepare your Blackboard course for the upcoming semester and step-by-step directions for completing these tasks. If you have any questions with anything on this checklist, please contact the I.T. Help Desk.

Summarized Checklist

  • Import course content.
  • Remove unnecessary files.
  • Update course dates.
  • Customize course menu.
  • Review, Create, and/or Edit grading criteria.
  • Enroll extra course users.
  • Add term/year to course title.
  • Combine course sections.
  • Customize “My Courses” tab.
  • Change notification settings.

Import Content from another Blackboard Course

  • Directions. (Importing starts in Part 3 in the link).

Check for Unnecessary Files

  1. Navigate to Files underneath Course Management and select your course.
    Blackboard Start of Semester Files
  2. Before you delete any files, check to see if they are linked to your course. Click the chevron next to the file name and open 360 Degree View to check.
    Blackboard Start of Semester File name
    Blackboard Start of Semester 360
  3. Delete any old files that are no longer needed. There are a few reasons why we recommend this
    • If you delete a link to a file in the Course Documents area of your course, a copy of that file still remains in the Files area.
    • If you have imported files from a previous course, you may have duplicate files. Generally speaking, you can tell if a file is a duplicate by checking for a number in parenthesis at the end of the file name.
      Example: A file named “Syllabus(1).pdf” is likely a duplicate.
      The "Delete" button above your course files deletes all checked files.


Update Course Content

  1. Update dates in your course. Dates exist in the course syllabus/schedule, due dates for your assignments and any other date criteria you have set up in your course.
  2. Hide or delete content you are not using this term.
  3. Check URLs, videos and images to make sure they still work.

Customize Course Menu

  • Directions.
  • Note: You may want to reorder and/or hide links you are not using in your course or delete duplicate menu items from a previous import.

Review and/or Create Grading Criteria

  1. Directions for Creating Grading Criteria.
  2. Directions for Managing Grade Columns.
  3. Delete grade center columns you are no longer using.
    Note: Grade Columns associated with an assignment cannot be deleted unless the assignment is deleted first.
  4. Hide grade center columns you do not want students to see by selecting “Hide from users.”

Enroll Course Users

  • Directions.
  • Note: Student enrollment in Blackboard is automatically updated every 24 hours for academic courses so you should not need to enroll students. However, you may want to enroll Instructors, Teaching Assistants or Guests in your course.

Add Course Term/Year to Course Title

  • In the Control Panel, under Customization, go to Properties. In the Course Name text box, add the term and year to the title (e.g., Fall 2014). This will make it easier for you to identify courses when copying content to other sections.
    Blackboard Start of Semester CustomizationBlackboard Start of Semester Course name

Combine Course Sections

  • If you would like to combine multiple sections of the same course, please contact the I.T. Help Desk.
    Please note that you will need to combine courses before students complete work in the course, otherwise, student work will be deleted.

Add/Hide Courses in your My Courses List

  1. On the main Blackboard page, click the Gear Icon to the right of your My Courses tab.
    Gear next to My Courses tab.
  2. Select the boxes of the information that you want to see in your My Courses box on the main page. If you want to completely hide a course from a previous term, check Unselect All.
    View of My Courses Tab Settings
  3. Click Submit to finalize changes.

Check Notification Settings

  • Directions.
  • Review the settings for notifications you receive from Blackboard and determine where you would like to receive notifications (e.g., email, text).