Blackboard Original Getting Started Quick Guide for Faculty

Blackboard is a course management system used campus-wide at NIU. The system allows faculty to post course materials, deliver tests and surveys, hold online discussions, and facilitate many other course-related functions.


Accessing Blackboard at NIU

  1. Open a browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or Safari)
  2. Type webcourses.niu.edu in the address bar and click Go or press Enter
  3. Type your NIU AccountID in the Z-ID/AccountID box
  4. Type your Password in the Password box
  5. Click the Login button to log in to LMS

Requesting a Course in Blackboard

You need to request your Blackboard course(s) each semester. You will only be able to request courses if you are the instructor of record in MyNIU.

  1. After logging in to Blackboard, click Tools in the lef-hand menu
  2. click LMS Faculty Tools
  3. Click My Courses to request a course
  4. Select the Semester and click the Submit button
  5. Select the course(s) you would like to request and click Request Single Section(s) (for master courses select Combine Sections)
  6. Select whether youw ant the course to automatically be made available to students, and specify the date you want the course available.
  7. Click the Submit button

Note: The request will be processed immediately, and you will receive a confirmation email when it is complete. The course will initially be listed as unavailable because it is still hidden from students.

Making a Course Available

If you do not choose auto availability, you will need to make your course available manually. After the end of the semester, all courses are automatically made unavailable.

  1. After logging in to Blackboard, select the desired course
  2. From the Control Panel, click Customization, then click Properties.
  3. Under Set Availability, select Yes.
  4. Click the Submit button.

Previewing Your Course as a Student

In order to teach with Blackboard, you need to request your Blackboard course(s) each semester, and you need to be an instructor of record to request a Blackboard course.

  1. Log in to Blackboard and select a course from the My Courses module.
  2. Click the Student Preview icon, in the upper right corner of the course.
  3. Preview the course as a student.
  4. Click the Student Preview icon again to leave the preview mode.

Note: Data created in preview mode, like assignment or test submissions, can be kept or deleted when you leave preview mode.

Creating an Announcement

Announcements are an ideal tool for communicating time-sensitive material to students, such as reminders about upcoming due dates or changes to the syllabus.

  1. Click Announcements in the course menu
  2. Click the Create Announcement button
  3. On the Create Announcement page, enter the announcement Subject
  4. Type the Message
  5. Select whether the announcement is date restricted and if it is, enter Date Restrictions
  6. Click the Browse button if you want to create a link to an area in the course
  7. Click the Submit button

Adding Content to a Course

You can add content to Information, Content, or Assessments. These Content Areas exist in the Course Menu by default, but you can create additional content areas.

  1. Click Content or Information in the course menu
  2. On the Action Bar, click Build Content and select Item or File (Item will have an additional Text field while File only allows you to attach a file)
  3. On the Create Item/File page, enter Name and Text
  4. Click the Browse My Computer button to attach a file
  5. Select Date and Time Restrictions if needed
  6. Click the Submit button

Copying Content from a Previous Course

Once you have built a course in Blackboard, you can copy the materials and structure into a new course, instead of building it again from an empty course.

  1. Request your course for the new semester
  2. Access the older course from the My Courses module
  3. From the Control Panel, click Packages and Utilities, then click Course Copy
  4. Click the Browse button to select the Destination Course (a new window will open with a list of all courses in which you have Instructor access)
  5. Select the Course Materials you would like to copy
  6. Click the Submit button

Notes:

To copy Assignments, select Grade Center Columns & Settings AND Tests, Surveys, and Pools in addition to the Content Areas which contain Tests or Surveys.

To copy Tests or Surveys, select Grade Center Columns & Settings AND Tests, Surveys, and Pools in addition to the Content Areas which contain Tests or Surveys.

Course copies usually take between 5-30 minutes, and courses with large files may take longer. You will receive a confirmation email alerting you that the course copy process has been completed.

Adding a Teaching Assistant

All students who enroll for a course in MyNIU will automatially be added to the Blackboard course. Teaching Assistants must be added manually.

  1. From the Control Panel, click Users and Groups, then click Users
  2. Click the Find Users to Enroll button
  3. On the next page, type the individual's Account ID or click the Browse button to search by name
  4. Choose the appropriate role rom the dropdown menu
  5. Click the Submit button

Note: You MUST click Find Users to Enroll before searching to find a user. The search fields on the Users page search within those students and faculty already in the course.


Login to Blackboard

Get Help

Technical Support and Student Help

Division of IT Service Desk

815-753-8100
servicedesk@niu.edu

Teaching Support and Faculty Help

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning

815-753-0595
citl@niu.edu

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