Blackboard Courses: Ready for New Term

Students will receive access to their Blackboard on Wednesday, July 4. Please complete the following tasks in Blackboard before students receive access to their courses (see "Preparing Courses for the Start of a New Term" at for step-by-step instructions):


Upload a complete and current syllabus with your contact information. If you are teaching a pre-developed course (i.e., there is content in your course already), download the syllabus included in this course site, edit the contact information, and re-upload the syllabus.


Create a complete instructor profile, with your first/last name, e-mail address, short bio (with relevant personal and professional information), AND a photograph. Including a short bio and photograph is a great way to begin “humanizing” the classroom, that is, making it a more personal experience for you and your students.

Need some advice on taking a headshot for your profile using your phone? Check out this resource: “How to Take Your Own Professional Headshots at Home” at


Review the Grade Center to be sure the columns already included match the assignments listed in the syllabus. It is critical to maintain your Grade Center throughout the term.


Post an announcement welcoming students to the course. A welcoming announcement, particularly with a short video, begins to create “instructor presence”, which can help your students feel more comfortable and more personally connected to you. A welcome announcement can also communicate how your students should get started and how to navigate through the course, whether the course is on-ground or online.

How about creating a video for your welcome announcement? You can use the Kaltura Media Mashup, available in Blackboard wherever you see the Text Editor tool bar. [See video at] 


If your course is pre-developed (meaning it already has content in Course Documents), change the Display After dates of the folders for weeks 2 to 10 in Course Documents so students only see the Week 1 folder at the start of the term. Set the Display After date of the folders for weeks 2 to 10 to the Sunday prior to the start of the week at 1:00 am CT.  [See video at]

The Sundays for the new term are July 15 (week 2), July 22, July 29, August 5, August 12, August 19, August 26, September 2, and September 9. 

Students should ONLY see the Week 1 folder when they gain access on Wednesday, July 4.


If you are teaching an online course, you will likely see a Web link in Course Documents asking students to complete the End-of-Course evaluation. The purpose for includes this Web link is to remind students to complete the End-of-Course evaluation. They must click the “Mark Reviewed” button within the description of the Web link for the Week 10 folder to be visible.

Before students gain access to their course site, you must date and time activate the Web link, making it available to students at the start of Week 10. (For the new term, this is Sunday, September 9.)


You are welcome to download a Term Calendar that specifies Day 1, Day 2, etc. for each week of the term. (Note: You and your students can also download the Term Calendar as a PDF file using the “Current Term Calendar” link on the Kendall News page in Blackboard.) (PDF version) (Word version)

Term Calendar

Faculty access to new Blackboard course sites:
Monday, June 19, by 8:00 pm CT

Student access to new Blackboard course sites:
Wednesday, July 4, by 8:00 pm CT

New On-Ground Student Orientation:
Thursday, July 5

New term begins:
Monday, July 9 (Day 1)

No classes/Campus closed:
Monday, September 3 (Labor Day Holiday)

Final classes/exams:
Tuesday, September 18, to Thursday, September 20

Final grades due:
Monday, September 24, by noon (via NLU Faculty Portal)