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Blackboard Courses from Fall 2016 Summer 2017 to be Deleted Beginning December 1, 2022

In accordance with NIU’s course retention guidelines for Blackboard, only the last 5 years of courses are retained in Blackboard. The Division of IT will begin removing courses from the 2015-2016 academic year this fall. Shells and Organizations will not be affected at this time.

Courses to be deleted: All courses from Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017 will be deleted. Courses from Fall 2017 to Fall 2022 will be retained in Blackboard.

Removal date: The removal process will begin on December 1, 2022

You may save any courses you wish to retain before the course removal process begins by exporting the courses from Blackboard. You may also download the Grade Center if you wish to retain the grades for your records. Learn more about downloading the Grade Center in Original or Ultra Course View.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please feel free to contact the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at 815-753-0595 or If you experience technical issues while exporting a course or downloading your grades, please contact the Division of IT Service Desk at, 815-753-8100 or

Blackboard is the course management system used campus-wide at NIU. Faculty and TAs use Blackboard to course materials, deliver tests and surveys, hold online discussions, and facilitate many other course-related functions. Both the Original Course View and the Ultra Course View are available.

Students need their NIU AccountID / ZID and password to log in to Blackboard. Learn more about getting started with Blackboard at NIU.

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Faculty need their NIU AccountID / AID and password to log in to Blackboard. Learn more about getting started teaching with Blackboard at NIU.

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Blackboard Getting Started Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I open my course to my students?Updated

Courses, by default, are not available to students until the faculty member decides to make them available or until the first day of the semester, if you selected Auto-Availability when requesting the course. After the scheduled section is created and materials added to the course, you can make the course available by accessing the Course Availability Settings in one of three locations:

  • From the Tools tab on the base navigation, click Course Availability Settings
  • In Original Course View, in the Control Panel, click Course Tools and then click Course Availability Settings
  • In Ultra Course View, in the Details & Actions panel, click View Course & Institutional Tools and then click Course Availability Settings

Setting the availability is an immediate process (meaning the faculty member does not have to wait for the server to run in order for the command to be processed).

At the end of the semester, faculty do not need to reverse this process, as all NIU courses are automatically set to be "unavailable" 10 days before the beginning of the next semester. Once a course is made unavailable, students lose all access to the course and are unable to see the course in their list of courses.

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