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Getting Ready for the Start of the Semester

The following are some useful tips to get your Blackboard courses ready.

To use the Checklist offline, please download the fillable PDF for your convenience - Getting Ready for the Start of the Semester Checklist

Course Availability: Blackboard course sites should be made available one week before classes start. It is important to have your course syllabus and contact information available for students to view before the first day of class. Lear how to make Original Course Available or Ultra Course Available.

Hide Areas in Course: You can hide areas (menu items, folders, links, etc) of your course if you are not ready for students to view the content. To learn more in Hiding/Showing Links in Original or Hiding/Showing Links in Ultra 

Welcome Students to your Course(s): Create an announcement for students to see when they enter your Blackboard course. Include information about how the course will be conducted this semester and what to expect for the first week of class. Check the Email Announcement setting to have a copy sent as an email to students at the same time. Learn more on making Original Announcements or Ultra Announcements 

Merging Course Sections: Teaching several sections of the same course? If so, you may want to merge the sections together and use one Blackboard site for everyone. BB Manager is the tool to use for merging Blackboard sections together. Make sure to do this before making any changes to your courses. How to use BB Manager - Merging Multiple Sections 

Syllabus: Update syllabus for the current semester providing important information about what is expected from students taking the course. For more information view the Faculty Senate policy Policy 331.1 Course Syllabus and Office of Teaching & Learning Syllabus Design 

Adding Users to Blackboard: Student and Instructor enrollments into Blackboard are completed, automatically, based on information from Campus Connection. All other users, such as TAs, Graders, Learning Assistants, and Course Builders, must be added by completing the instructions on the our Adding Users to Blackboard Original Learn KB page.

Accessibility with Blackboard Ally: Blackboard Ally is available to analyze the accessibility of your course content. Prioritize ensuring your syllabus and required readings are accessible and videos are captioned. Ally also automatically provides Alternative Formats to students for many files (Word, PowerPoint, PDF,etc) that are posted. To learn more about improving your content accessibility and the types of alternative formats view Blackboard/Anthology Ally 

Copy Content from another Course:  Quickly copy content and settings from a previous semester into a new course. Go to the previous course and select specific area to copy. NOTE: If copying tests and/or assignments make sure settings and gradebook are selected to ensure they function properly.  As a best practice, once your course has been copied, check to make sure all your links are working properly. Learn more about Course Copy Tool in Original or Ultra Copy Content From Other Courses 

Digital Textbook and Activities: Update and confirm the links to your digital textbook and activities. More information provided by the NDSU Bookstore Adding a Course Materials Link to your Blackboard Original Course or Ultra Course 

Grade Center: As you create graded items (assignments, tests, discussion, etc.) within your course, they are added to the Grade Center in the order that they are created. You can manage the graded items and organize them in the Grade Center by going to Manage > Column Organization. You can then grab and move your items into the order you want and this will automatically reorder the items in the Grade Center view once you hit submit. Working in the Blackboard Original Grade Center or Ultra Gradebook 

Campus Connection Grades Import Feature: There a feature that will allow grades to be imported from Blackboard into Campus Connection for end of semester grading. You will see a CC Final Grade column in Blackboard Grade Center in your courses, this column is pre-configured for this. CC Final Grades Import (Original only) Final Grade Integration to Campus Connection 

Be a Student in Your Own Course:  Student Preview allows you to experience your course as a student. The Student Preview eye icon in the upper right of the Blackboard screen is toggled to display an orange bar at the top as a reminder of your Student Preview User role. While using Student Preview, you can submit assignment/tests and save your activity. How to use Original Student Preview or Ultra Student Preview 

YuJa: YuJa is a video platform that allows users to store, record, edit, and share video content. YuJa offers several accessibility features, such as captions, transcripts, audio descriptions, and keyboard shortcuts. These features are not only important for meeting ADA requirements, but can also help all students to better understand the content. YuJa Lecture Capture, Video Recording, and Storage 

Zoom: Zoom is a cloud-based web conferencing application. With Zoom you have the flexibility to create virtual classrooms and invite students to join from their desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Students can also share content from their devices such as PowerPoint presentations, and YouTube videos. More about  Zoom  

Use the LAIC Course Checklist: Use the course checklist to make sure your course is ready for your students. LAIC Course Checklist  

Student Course Experience Survey:  Include wording in your syllabus about the end of semester Student Course Experience Surveys. Examples: Near the end of the semester, you will be asked to complete an online course evaluation form. Your feedback on the course is extremely valuable to me. I read my students comments carefully and use them to improve the course the next time I teach it. During the first couple of weeks share examples of how feedback from previous students has helped to improve the course. More information about the NDSU Student Course Experience Survey 

Instructional Design: Our team of instructional designers are here to help you develop new courses, redesign existing courses, provide course reviews, give recommendations for incorporating new technologies, and more. If you would like to work with an Instructional Designer, please submit a consultation request. 

LAIC Professional Development Opportunities: LAIC offers workshops, seminars, and book discussions, on a variety of teaching tools and strategies throughout the year. Please visit our Professional Development Opportunities KB page for detailed information.

Clean up Course Menu in Original: Delete menu items that are empty and not being used. Make sure you have your menu set up in the order you want students to follow in viewing course materials. 

Review Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions: Check on dates, descriptions, and links to ensure they align with the weekly objectives and course goals



KeywordsBlackboard Manager, Start of Semester, Tips, YuJa, LAIC, pedagogy, organization, ally, Anthology ally, blackboard learn original, learn original, blackboard, semester, start, checklist   Doc ID108212
OwnerLori S.GroupIT Knowledge Base
Created2021-01-08 13:57:19Updated2024-04-19 09:32:37
SitesIT Knowledge Base
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