Spring 2014 Blackboard and System Reminders for Faculty

For Blackboard (links are to helpful How-To Library pages):

  1. Adding People to Your Courses: All officially enrolled students and instructors need to be enrolled through the registrar’s office.  If you need to enroll someone who will NOT receive credit for the course (auditing students, TAs, colleague instructors, librarians, etc.), you may use the Role Assignment Tool in the Portal (Faculty tab).  Please choose the role carefully.  You are able to use either student ID number or name to identify the student.  Please note that if you enroll a student using this tool, and then the student officially enrolls in the course through the registrar, that student will end up with blocked access to the class. Encourage all students considering your course to enroll officially as soon as possible.
  2. Merging Blackboard Courses: If you are teaching more than one section of a course and would like to maintain only one Blackboard course, please fill out the request form linked here to create a ticket.  We will merge the Bb courses identified into a single new course.  Make this new section available to your students. Please note that merging a course applies to Blackboard only, and the official enrollment remains with the original courses/sections in Portal.
  3. Make Bb course Available: Your students will not be able to see your course in Blackboard until you make it available to them. Follow the instructions linked here to make the course available.
  4. Copying Course Materials: Materials used in a previous course in Blackboard 9 can be copied to a new course using the directions linked above. Course materials stored in Blackboard 8 are no longer accessible.
  5. Blackboard IT Resources for Faculty and Students: There are special content areas in every Blackboard course providing links to important information (how to report a ticket, best test taking practices, etc.). Please point out these resources to your students so that they may report problems and troubleshoot any issues effectively.  The content area for Faculty is not available to students by default, and does contain additional information relevant to faculty regarding IT Support and Blackboard.

Other routine reminders:

  1. The official course list is in Portal. Blackboard enrollments are managed based on the enrollment records of the Registrar’s office.  If a student does not appear on the class list in Portal, he/she is not officially enrolled in the course.
  2. Blackboard enrollments update hourly. Once a student adds/drops the course, the course will be added or dropped within approximately one hour in Blackboard.
  3. Grades and attendance must be entered in the Portal. Blackboard does not communicate with the official records available in the Portal.
  4. Access to the Portal and Blackboard are controlled by Password Manager. Please make sure that you are enrolled in Password Manager prior to the deadlines for posting grades and absences for your students. If you are not able to change your password or unlock your account using Password Manager, you will need to bring a picture ID to the IT Support Center in Baltimore Hall to have a staff member assist you with enrollment and password reset.
  5. If you have problems or questions, please create a ticket at http://itsupport.smcm.edu describing the steps and errors received.  Screenshots of error messages are encouraged and can be attached to the ticket at creation or by replying to an email generated by the ticket system for the problem. Please have your students report problems themselves so that we have the details needed to troubleshoot the issue effectively.

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