Once faculty have access to the Blackboard system, they can request a Blackboard course for those sections where they are listed as the Instructor of Record in MyNIU, anytime within 45 days from the start of the semester. Requests are made through the Blackboard Faculty Tools (BFT). Instructions for using the BFT are listed below.
- Timing: Requests made through the BFT will be processed immediately. You will receive an email notification to confirm that it has completed.
- Availability: Courses are initially listed as unavailable. This means that students will not see the course, but you can begin working on it.
- Auto-Availability: When requesting a course, you may specify an "Auto-Availability" date. This would be when the course will automatically become available to your students. The default date specified is the official start date of the course, but you can enter any date you prefer, or you can opt-out of auto-availability entirely. If you opt-out, you will need to make the course available manually when you are ready for students to see the course.
- Student Enrollments: Any student who is enrolled in the course in MyNIU will automatically be added to your Blackboard course, and enrollments will be updated twice a day as students add or drop your course. You may add other users, such as students or faculty, to your course, either to assist you with teaching the course or for them to view the material.
- Shells: You may request a shell for development purposes, if you want. Shells do not have students enrolled in them, and should not be used for instruction. If you make a shell available, it will become unavailable again within 24 hours. Shell names always begin with the word "Shell".
If you are teaching multiple sections of the same course in a given semester, you may want to consolidate the course sections into one master course.
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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: 05/06/2020