Blackboard Announcement

All credit courses have Blackboard sites with registered students enrolled. At a brand new course site, links for online orientation, Blackboard tutorials, technical help, and academic support resources are presented.

Starting Spring 2017, we use Blackboard SAAS system to support all credit and non-credit courses.  Should faculty and students need to access the previous Blackboard system, they should contact Distance Learning.

—- For Faculty, before a semester, in MyCommNet > Faculty Self-Service, once an instructor’s name is entered to the course, the instructor is able to access the course in Blackboard. Instructor may build a course from scratch or copy a previous course. Faculty will have access to their courses in Blackboard for two years. For record keeping, faculty may archive or backup course content with student data in the end of a semester.  The system academic policy states that a course gradebook should be kept for 5 years.

—- For Students, SEVEN DAYS before the first day of a semester, registered students are able to view the course site on Blackboard. Student View to a current semester course will be turned off at the 11th week into the following semester.

I. Copy Content from One Course to Another Course
Instruction of Copying a Course
On My Institution page, click on the Name of the course from which you would like to copy (source). Under Control Panel, click on Packages and Utilities. Select Course Copy. Click on Browse button and check the course to which you would like to copy (destination). Select the links in Course Menu and tools you would like to copy. To avoid redundant links, please DO NOT select the links that are already in the MxCC template: “Getting Started”, “MxCC Help”, “Academic Support”, “Blackboard Resources”, and “Faculty Resources”.  Click on Submit. Wait for a few minutes depending on the size of your course. The course is then copied over to the new course site. Click here for more detailed instruction with screen captures. If you have copied a wrong course, you will need to manually delete all links and icons in the course and all files in Content Collection. Examples of term/semester codes:  Spring 2019: 119106; Summer 2018: 118206; Fall 2018: 118306; Winter 2018: 118406

If a program coordinator would like to design a course template and apply it to multiple sections of the course, contact Distance Learning at or 860-343-5756.For on-ground courses, if you use Blackboard extensively and would like to use the same content with minor update in a new semester, you are highly recommended to copy a previous course to the new course site.
II. Faculty/Student Access to Courses
Courses will stay on Blackboard for two years, and faculty are able to access the courses until they are deleted.  Student View of Spring 2018 courses will be turned off 11th week into Fall 2018 semester on November 13, 2018. Incomplete students should finish their work in Blackboard by this date. After this date, students will need to seek professor’s permission for access. Upon professor’s permission, Distance Learning staff will reopen the course for the student.
III. Faculty/Student Access to Courses
For Faculty – When an instructor is assigned to a course in Banner (Faculty Self-Service), the instructor is able to access the Blackboard course site and work on it. For Students, SEVEN DAYS before the first day of a class, registered students are able to view Blackboard course site. Before the first day of a semester, you may hide a link in Course Menu or an item in a content page. Click on the action icon next to the link, select Hide Link. To hide an item in a content page, click on the action icon of the item and select Edit. Check No in Permit Users to View this Content. Click here for instruction with screen captures.
IV. MyCommNet/Blackboard Downtime
Scheduled downtime for MyCommNet will be posted at entry page. Scheduled downtime for Blackboard will be posted at the Blackboard My Institution page.
V. Backing Up Blackboard Courses
Courses will stay on Blackboard for two years. Faculty using Blackboard extensively are advised to back up their courses in the end of a semester. This procedure can be done by course instructor and involves backing up entire course content and student data. You create a backup file in Blackboard, then download the file and save it to your computer or an external drive (ex. hard drive, CD, flash drive).  Click here for instructions. In case of grade challenge, you will contact Distance Learning to restore the backup file to Blackboard. Online/Hybrid courses will be backed up and archived in Distance Learning.
VI. Export/Download Grade Center
 For faculty using Grade Center in Blackboard, we recommend faculty to keep a record of the Grade Center in the end of a semester in case there will be a grade challenge.  BOR policy requires faculty to keep a course gradebook for 5 years.  You will export the Grade Center as an MS Excel file and download the file to your computer. On the Full Grade Center page, go to “Work Offline” (upper right corner) and select Download. Use the “default” setting in the Download Grade page and click on “Submit”. At next page, click on “Download” button.  The Excel file containing entire Grade Center will be downloaded to your computer.
For questions about teaching an online class or using Blackboard in teaching, contact:

Distance Learning
Voice: (860) 343 -5756
Office: Chapman 702/703