Learning Centered Technology

Technology for the Educator

BB9 Semester Start-up

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Semester Start-up Checklist

Here is a starter guide to help you get course content ready to a new semester. You may not be using all of the tools in your course so disregard anything not appropriate for your individual section.

1.  Move Content from Semester to Semester

2. Change the Syllabus

  • Using word make changes to the old syllabus
  • Save the updated syllabus as a PDF document
  • From the designer view go to the Control Panel go to the Content Collection> Course> and fine old syllabus.
  • Click the action link to the right of the syllabus name and choose Overwrite File from the popup menu.
  • Upload the new PDF Syllabus.
  • Check your course link to make sure the new syllabus is available to students

3. Change all Due Dates

Change due dates in the course for all course tools such as assignments, discussion, Announcements, etc… (These dates reflect in the students’ ToDo list and will show up as past due if they are not changed.)

  • With the new Date Manager updating Due Dates is much easier.
  • Go to Control Panel> Course Tools> Date Manager
  • If you have never run date manager before you will need to click Run Date Manager> List all Dates for Review> Start.
  • Once the process is complete click Next.
  • Select the Pencil to the right of each item to change the dates.
  • Once all the dates have been changed click the Refresh button at the top right of the screen and Blackboard will send you an email with all the new dates.
  • This process will change dates for
    • Calendar
    • Assignment
    • Quizzes
    • Discussions
    • Announcements
    • Selective Release items
    • and any other dated item
  • If an date is missing from the list of available items you will need to go to that individual item and add the date. After that is complete the item should appear in the date manager.

4. Hide/Reveal Selected Content

  • All items including exams, modules, assignment, etc. can be hidden in BB9
  • In the designer view click the Action Link beside the name and select Edit
  • Check to make sure Permit Users to View this Content is set properly to make it available or unavailable to students.

5. Check The Grade Book For Unwanted Columns

Last semester we noticed a lot of unwanted columns in the grade book such as Totals, Weighted Totals, and extra Start Here columns

  •  To remove them click on the Control Panel> Grade Center> Full Grade Center
  • Identify the column you want removed and click on the Action Link in the column header and select Delete Column
  • If there is no delete option, it means the column is attached to a tool such as discussion or quiz. In order to remove that column you will need to go to the tool and delete or edit the assignment. If you want to keep the assignment but remove the column in the grade book, you simply make the assignment not gradable.
  • You Can Now Delete The Column In The Grade Book
  • You can now return to the full grade center and delete the column.

6.  To organize the order in which the columns appear to instructors and students

  • Go to the Full Grade Center and click Manage> Column Organization
  • Click the 4 headed arrow on the left of the screen and drag the columns in the order you want them displayed
  • Make sure to click Submit after arranging the order of column or you will lose the changes.

7. Check The Discussions For Previous Semester Post

  • Click on Discussions
  • You should see a list of Forums; to the right of each forum you should see Total Post. If there are post click on the Forum Title to enter the forum
  • In the Column title row select the checkbox to select all post
  • Click the delete button to remove unwanted post
  • This must be done for all forums that contain unwanted post.

8. Check Course Menu For Dual Tools

  • When copying a course from one semester to the next you will often find dual tools on the course menu
  • Most often Homepage, Start Here, Tools, and Help will be duplicated, but others may be as well
  • To remove click the action link beside the unwanted item and click Delete

9. Organize the Course List on the Blackboard Homepage

  • When you first log onto Blackboard 9 where you see your list of courses, on the My Courses Title bar module, click on the round icon on the right of the screen
  • On the Edit Course List page you can hide courses by unselecting the course
  • You can also change the order the courses appear on your home page by clicking and dragging the course up or down the list of courses
  • When completed click the Submit button

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

April 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

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