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Information Technology Services

Faculty - Blackboard Step-by-Step

Access to Blackboard is not automatic nor is the creation of Blackboard courses.  You can use Blackboard from any computer that is connected to the Internet provided you have requested a course shell and received confirmation that it is ready for use, or you are enrolled in some capacity in a Blackboard course owned by someone else.

STEP 1: Request a new course shell.

Blackboard course shells are not created automatically.  They must be requested each semester by the instructor of record for the course (as recorded in Banner).  Request your course shell as soon as you are listed as the instructor of record in Banner, utilizing the appropriate form available on the ITS Blackboard home page.

STEP 2: Learn about Blackboard

  • Workshops - We offer comprehensive workshops that cover all of the basics of using Blackboard and its many tools.  See the current workshop schedule and register to attend one or more sessions.

  • Tips and References - Search the ITS Knowledgebase for helpful articles and tips on the most frequently used Blackboard tools.

  • Reference Materials - The Blackboard 9.1 Tool Guide provides a quick overview of the various tools available within Blackboard and their suitability for addressing specific instructional objectives.
  • Instructional Design Consultations - Not sure how to utilize Blackboard to meet your instructional objectives, how to identify the right tool(s) to meet those objectives, and/or how to structure your course to make it intuitive for your students to use?  Contact the Instructional Design & Learning Technologies Center to discuss your instructional objectives. The instructional designers will work with you to adapt your current content for delivery in a web enhanced, blended, and/or online environment. Contact or 618-650-5500 to schedule an appointment Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

  • Tech Support - For general tech support, please call 618-650-5500 or email

STEP 3: Set up, Customize, and Review your course

When a new blank course shell has been created, faculty will need to develop the structure and content for that course, determining the appropriate layout and tools to be used.  Faculty may replicate a previously taught course by exporting the content from  the  previously taught course  and importing it into the new course.  After the import, it is essential that faculty follow the start-of-semester activities instructions to review and update any course options, dated materials, and/or time-sensitive settings imported into the new course shell, and delete duplicate navigational items. 

Members of the IDLT Center can help you plan your course structure.

Finally, see what your course looks like to students before making it available.

STEP 4: Make your course available

Courses are made unavailable by default at the time of their creation to allow you to add content prior to releasing the course to your students. The word "unavailable" is listed next to the course name.  You as the instructor will always have access to your course, but your students will only have access once you have made the course shell available to them.

Make the course available to students by:

  • In the Control Panel, click on the Customization link.
  • Click the Properties link.
  • In Section #3: Set Availability, click the Yes radio button.
  • Click Submit to finalize the process.
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