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Getting Started

Requesting Courses

Once faculty have access to the Blackboard system, they can request a Blackboard course for those sections where they are listed as official Faculty Member of record. Requests are made through the Blackboard Faculty Tools (BFT). Instructions for using the BFT are listed below. Click the following link to find more details regarding the use of the BFT .

  1. Requests made through the BFT will take approximately 24 hours to be processed. The processing server runs twice daily on week days.
  2. After course requests are processed, faculty will see the course title upon logging in to Blackboard.
  • Looking at the list of courses from the Courses tab allows us to see the unique course ID for each assigned course. This information is especially useful when one has been using Blackboard for an extended period and has several semesters' worth of courses with the same title.
  • The Course Availability option under Settings for new courses is set to 'Unavailable' by default. This default setting does not allow students to access these courses.
  • Non-credit students are not automatically enrolled in Blackboard courses. Contact the IT Service Desk for more information concerning non-credit students in Blackboard.
  • Course ID are unique for every course. 
    Sample Blackboard course id and name
    • The Course ID begins with the Year (in the above example: 2008), followed by the Semester which is represented by a numerical code-- 2 for Spring, 6 for Summer and 8 for Fall semester respectively (the above example refers to a course taught in Fall 2008).
    • This is followed by the Course Subject represented by an alphabetical code (e.g.: CSCI), the three digit Course Number (in the above example: 677), then the Course Section (e.g.: 1) ending with the Course Name (e.g.: "Pattrn Recog Algor and Appl Section 1").
    • Development shells always begin with the word "Shell".

Faculty who teach multiple sections of the same course in a given semester have the option of consolidating these course sections in Blackboard into one master course. Click here for step-by-step instructions to request a master course.

Find more answers...
Are you looking for more information related to getting started teaching with Blackboard? Review the answers to frequently asked questions asked by NIU faculty and staff regarding getting started teaching with Blackboard. Also, consider attending an upcoming Blackboard workshop.

Last Updated: 8/31/2015