Blackboard Beginning of the Semester Checklist

The following are guidelines you can use as a checklist for preparing Blackboard courses for future semesters. We have listed the checklist followed by the guideline descriptions. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact TigerTech (https://www.fhsu.edu/tigertech/) at (785) 628-3478 or at bbsupport@fhsu.edu (FOR FACULTY AND STAFF ONLY).


Before the semester begins:

  • Combine multiple course sections into one course site (optional)

———–> (Submit a Merge Request at https://requestcat.fhsu.edu/)

  • Copy course materials from a previous semester into your new course sites (optional)
  • ———–> (Submit a Course Copy Request at https://requestcat.fhsu.edu/)
  • Check web links in your course:

———–> If you have a link for a web resource (external to Bb), make sure the link(s) is/are alive!


At the beginning of the semester:

  • Verify your course site is available to students
  • Synchronize your new course with the SafeAssign Central Database (only if you have Safe Assignments in your course)
  • Update deadlines, dates and materials
  • Clear ERRORS in LockDown Browser (only if you are using this tool in your course)

Combine multiple course sections into one course site

By default, Blackboard courses are created for all active course sections. You may find it helpful to merge multiple sections or cross-listed courses into a single Blackboard course if you do not wish to post identical assignments and information in multiple locations. However, there may be instances where combining courses is not recommended (see details in the guide below). We recommend that you evaluate your needs in order to develop a course management strategy. If you would like to combine multiple course sites into one, please do the following:

  1. Go to https://requestcat.fhsu.edu
  2. Log into the site with your TigerCentral account.
  3. Click New Ticket and Select Blackboard Course Merging and Enrollment Exemption.
  4. Complete the form and Submit.
  5. Within 2 business days you will receive notification that your course site has been created.

Link to Step-by-Step Guide for Course Combination

http://www.fhsu.edu/uploadedFiles/academic/ctelt/Documents/Submit_BbCourse_Merge.pdf


Request a Course Copy

Each semester, you will get a Bb course site for every course/section you are teaching. These courses are empty sites and you may prepare them from scratch, or import items one-at-a time out of previous courses into these new sites.  To have a entire (of course excluding students) course copied, please submit a Course Copy Request at https://requestcat.fhsu.edu/).

  1. Go to https://requestcat.fhsu.edu
  2. Log into the site with your Tiger Central account.
  3. Click New Ticket and Select Course Copy Requests.
  4. Select the course origin from the right box and the course destination from the left box.
  5. Within 1 business day you will receive notification that your course site has been created.

Verify your course site is available to students

The Course Availability setting is like an on/off switch for your entire course site. You may temporarily disable student access while preparing your course site, but be sure to make it available again when you want your students to use it. It is best to edit your essential course materials before making the site available in order to avoid student confusion.

To make your course available: Go to Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Set Availability > Yes.


Synchronize your new course with the SafeAssign Central Database

If you use SafeAssignment in your course site, make sure to synchronize the SafeAssignment to the SafeAssign central database. If a Blackboard course is out of sync with the SafeAssign server, students will be bounced back to the Blackboard Home Page when they try to submit their SafeAssignments. To synchronize a course, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to Control Panel in the new course site
  2. Click SafeAssign from the Course Tools Area then, SafeAssignments
  3. Near the top of the page (on the right side), click Synchronize this course

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Update deadlines, dates and materials

Go through all course content and make sure all web links, due dates and documents are up-to-date and reflect the current semester.


Clear ERRORS in Respondus LockDown Browser

Every semester and after a course copy or modification in the test option, settings in exams that require Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) have to be “fixed”. The fix can be done by one click on the button “Fix It”. Exams that require RLDB can be accessed through Course Tools>>>Respondus LockDown Browser. Once you are there, you will see a list of the exams that are set to be opened with RLDB and you can click on the button “Fix It” next to every exam error.


Check Weblinks in your Course

If you have a link for a web resource outside of Bb, make sure the link(s) /s/are still alive. You can either go check each link to see if it opens (in a new tab/window) or under Control Panel>>Package and Utilities>> Check Course Links

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REMEMBER:

All web links should be set to open in a new tab/window to avoid access issues.

==>Helpful handout is HERE

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