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Quick Start for Blackboard

Build your course in Blackboard using a diverse set of tools that will help you deliver robust digital courses.

1. New to Blackboard

If you want to start off your fall course with a clean slate or if this is your first Blackboard course:

  1. Watch the Getting Start with Blackboard webinar recording
  2. Download the Quick Start Guide for Blackboard to jumpstart your course building in Blackboard.

Download Standard Course Template


2. Copy and Import Your Course

If you would like to copy a course from a previous semester to your summer course:

  1. Watch how to copy your existing course to a new course shell.
  2. Watch how to import a template or course into a new course shell.
  3. The Course Template is standard for all course modalities.
  4. Find more information about copying and importing your course to Blackboard.

3. Make Your Course Available to Students

  1. Courses are automatically set to be hidden from students.
  2. How to make your course available to students.
  3. We recommend that the syllabus and textbook information in your course is available to students two weeks prior to the term.

4. Add Content

  1. Blackboard can work with many file types including DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, PDF, ZIP and more.
  2. Download Adding Content for step-by-step instructions.
  3. Visit Blackboard's Help page for Edit and Manage Content for more information.
  4. Uploading files to Blackboard will also allow students to download them in different formats through Ally's alternative format (.mp3, .epub, or Braille).
  5. Librarians are also available to help develop content to share online.

5. Record Your Lectures

  1. Watch the Recording a Lecture webinar recording
  2. Download MediaLecture to get started.
  3. Read more about recording with MediaLecture.
  4. Creating a MediaLecture Link in Blackboard can be tricky. Use the step-by-step instructions to get it right the first time.
  5. You can also record your lecture using Collaborate.


6. Discussions and Blogs

Discussions and Blogs allow students to engage in the course and with each other and you.

  1. Watch the Discussions and Blogs webinar recording.
  2. Learn more about discussions.
  3. Watch a video about the discussion board interface.
  4. Watch a video about creating a discussion forum.
  5. For information on grading discussions, see Grading Online with Blackboard.

7. Communicate with students

  1. Students have access to IT, student services (advising, tutoring, etc.), and the library through Starfish. There is a link to Starfish in all Blackboard courses.
  2. Download Communicate with Students for step-by-step instructions.
  3. Watch a video on how to create an announcement.
  4. Watch a Youtube play list about working with Blackboard Communication Tools.
  5. For information on Collaborate, see Using Collaborate Successfully.

Important: Emailing student grades is a violation of FERPA.


8. Create an Assignment Dropbox

Assignments allow students to submit documents to you, including documents, spreadsheets, specialty files, and videos.

  1. Learn how to create an assignment drop box in Blackboard.
  2. Watch a video which outlines how to create an assignment.  The video walks you through assignment options and how to set the due date.
  3. Learn about SafeAssign, Blackboard's citation checking AI.
  4. Watch the Introduction to Assignments webinar recording.
  5. For information about grading assignments see Grading Online with Blackboard.

9. How to Create a Test

Tests can be complicated to build without some guidance.  Use the links below to help you start building.

  1. Looking for an alternative to high-stakes testing, check out Alternatives to Closed-Booked, Timed Exams.
  2. Visit How to Create a Test in Blackboard Help.
  3. Watch the Introduction to Tests webinar recording.
  4. Watch a video on how to create a test.
  5. How to add a test to a content area.
  6. Setting Test Options for a test.
  7. For students with accommodations, test availability and exceptions can be adjusted for individual students and groups. Learn more about how to set a test exception in Blackboard.
  8. For information on on grading tests, see Grading Online with Blackboard.

For more how-to and step-by-step instructions, visit the CIT Blackboard Instructor Help page and/or the Blackboard Learn Instructor Help Guide. If you would like to ask a question, talk to someone or guided in-person coaching, request help