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Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Step 1: Request Your Course Shell

Step 1: Request a Course

Step 2: Learn Blackboard

Step 3: Upload Content

Step 4: Add Materials

Blackboard course shells are not created automatically They must be requested each semester.

Requesting a Course Shell: Please be sure to complete all of the fields in the online course request form. Failure to complete all of the fields will very likely delay the creation of your course shell.

Effective Fall 2012: Courses in Blackboard are being created and populated with student users via a feed from Banner. If you included any special instructions in your Blackboard course shell request, such as combining multiple sections of your course into one course shell, enrolling additional instructors in the course, etc., these additional steps need to be handled manually. You will receive an email from when your course shell setup is complete.
  • Request a Course form: Faculty or staff requiring a Blackboard shell for academic courses. If you need to have other instructors, teaching assistants, or graders added to this course, find out more about the privileges assigned to each of the course roles. NOTE: Student users are added as soon as the course shell is created. Students adding the course after the course shell is created will be added within 24 hours of the student's name appearing in Banner.

  • Request a Course (SDM) form: School of Dental Medicine faculty or staff requiring a Blackboard shell for academic courses.

  • Adding Users to Existing Courses form: A form is also available for adding users to an existing course (academic or administrative). Click here for information on the privileges assigned to each of the course roles.

  • Submitting Course Cartridge Key form: Submitting a course cartridge key (academic only) from a publisher.

  • Request an Administrative Course: All former ADM Administrative Courses (department sites, search committee sites, etc.), are being moved to SharePoint. Any surveys or evaluations are now being administered on Qualtrics. Contact ITS at or 618-650-5500 for more information or to request a SharePoint site or Qualtrics survey/evaluation. The Administrative options in Blackboard 9.1 are as follows:

    • CONT - continuous course for academic or professional courses that will continue beyond a traditional academic semester or quarter.
    • DEV - developmental course for professors to develop an academic course in a test environment and, at a later date, export it to a traditional Blackboard shell.
    • INST - instructional course for professors to develop an instructional or informational course to be used mainly by other professors (ex: a shell designed for new faculty to model suggested departmental resources/structures in Bb courses).
    • TEMPLATE - template course for professors to develop a core shell that will be copied into several other academic courses to ensure all courses are uniform in content and design (ex: a SOC 111 shell that is copied into all sections of SOC 111).

Basic Information

  • Blackboard course shells must be requested each semester.

  • Only the "instructor of record" in Banner may request a course shell.

  • Course shells may be requested as soon as an instructor knows the course ID (i.e. ENG), number, and section number, and that information is listed in Banner. Don't wait until the last minute to make your request.

  • Effective Spring 2013, ITS no longer copies content from previously taught courses into new course shells. Faculty are responsible for exporting content from a previously taught course shell and importing it into a new course shell themselves following these instructions.  Upon completion of the import process, make certain to review the Start of Semester Activities site for detailed instructions on items to be reviewed and updated in the new course.

  • Please allow 3 to 5 business days from the time a course is requested until the time it is created.

  • When teaching multiple sections of the same course, you can either request a single course with all students from all sections enrolled in that one section, OR individual course shells for each section.

    • The primary advantage of having all sections in a single course is that you are working in a single course shell, creating individual items that will be seen by all students. The Grade Center will allow you to create a "Smart View" for each section so that the full view is not overwhelming. When working with a "merged" course shell, all materials should be loaded into the merged shell, never into the individual section "child course" shells and the "child course" shell should remain "unavailable" to students. Instructors of merged course shells are encouraged to not even display the "child course" shells on their "My Blackboard" or "My Courses" tabs in order to avoid entering information into the wrong shell.  Visit the Blackboard Tips & Tricks:  Merged Course Sections for additional information.

    • The primary advantage of creating individual shells for individual sections is that the Grade Center includes only those students who are enrolled in that section. The primary disadvantage is that you will need to duplicate your individual course items in each section. Note that you can use the Copy feature in a Content Area in Blackboard to copy content area items from one course into another.

  • Increasingly, academic textbook publishers are developing and offering web-based services to accompany their textbooks. Unfortunately, ITS cannot support publisher content beyond uploading a course cartridge and installing the Blackboard building block. Any technical or support issues encountered after this must be resolved through the publisher sales and/or service representative.  For additional information, please visit the Using Publisher Content web page.

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