U of S Course Tools (Blackboard) provides instructors with an online work space for courses. This Learning Content Managment system allows instructors to distribute course material, communicate with users, manage student evaluation, facilitate group projects, conduct online exams, quizes and surveys and more.
Course information (CRN, students enroled, basic empty template) is loaded into the system approximately one month before the start of each term. Enrolment changes are updated AUTOMATICALLY based on the student registration system. ALL campus degree courses are loaded into Blackboard.
Requesting Development and Test Courses
A test course is a practice area where you may experiment with the Blackboard software. It is recommeneded that all instructors and course developers have a test course with which to practice. Students won't see any of this content, so practice and experiment. You may view the student view by selecting the student preview icon at the top right of the screen.
A development course is a course that you may build your actual course. Once it is ready and you want to use it for teaching, you may copy its content to the "live" course. Students would not see this content until you enable the course to be viewable by students.
Copy Course from Development to Live
Roll a Course Forward from Term to Term
The procedure is the same as the one followed for moving a development course into a live course, however there are some best practices which should be observed.
- Steps for Course Copy and recommended settings (see Copying a Development Course to a Live Course)
- Wait for the confirmation email that the copy has finished
- Update all dates in the new course (adaptive release, assignment due dates, etc.). This is now easy and all dates may be changed on one screen.
- Review all the menu items and make sure the “public access” is set correctly for each item. Only “Show to Public” things that are safe for the public to see.
- Test the entire course using the preview as student option. Test EVERYTHING in the course, noting any errors, missing images, and so on.
To see the course as a student, click the student preview icon beside the Edit Mode On/Off toggle button.
Do not perform a "Course Copy" multiple times into the same course. You will be sent an email when the course copy has completed. Wait for that email to arrive before working on your course. If the email does not arrive within 30 minutes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Do not copy your course again as that can cause duplication in your course when both copies are finally processed.
Changing Course Availability to Students
Course Development Support
If you would like assistance while you are developing your course, the following groups can provide support in the areas of instructional design and educational technology:
- The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness (GMCTE) (For instructional design support)
- ICT Training Services (For educational technology support)