Course Management

Blackboard offers instructors a variety of course management tools–tools that will allow instructors to customize their course sites, control availability of the course, create work groups, and more.

Setting up Your Blackboard Course 

A course shell will be automatically created for each course you teach prior to the start of each semester.  You will find it on Western’s Blackboard site at  A course shell is just an empty Blackboard course with a few navigational links that are automatically added (such as Announcements, Tools and Help) but no content.  Your job will be to customize the look and feel of each course, add content and tools, and make it available to students.

If you have an existing course file (an exported file from a course you backed up previously), see Manage Course Files for instructions in importing a zip file.

Follow this tutorial to set up your Blackboard course: Setting Up Your Course

View this video tutorial from Blackboard: Getting Oriented with Blackboard Learn


Personalizing Your My Courses Window – Hiding Unwanted Course Titles and Re-ordering Them

When you launch Blackboard, your available courses will appear in your My Courses window. If you have old courses that you no longer want visible, or you want to re-order the way courses appear, you can do that Personalize: My Courses.

Follow this tutorial to hide unwanted Blackboard courses and re-order them: Personalize: My Courses.


Course Availability – Make Available/Unavailable

When the course starts, it must be made available to students so that it appears in their Blackboard course list.  At the end of the semester, it should be made unavailable so that it no longer appears on their lists.

Follow this tutorial to make your course available/unavailable: Course Availability

View this video tutorial from Blackboard: Course Availability


Enrollment – Add/Delete Users

When the course starts, it must be made available to students so that it appears in their Blackboard Course List. Students who register on time for your course will be automatically enrolled.  On occasion, you may need to enroll a user yourself after enrollments have been processed.  If a student drops your course, you will need to delete him/her as a user.

Follow this tutorial to add/delete users:  Enrollment


Combining Multiple Sections into One Blackboard Course

If you teach multiple sections of the same course, you may wish to maintain only one Blackboard class for all sections.  You can do this by designating one Blackboard class as a “master” class and having all students from sections you choose enrolled in that one class.  This will allow you to maintain only the master class and ignore the rest of them.  Students will see only the link to the master class and will not be confused by the presence of an additional course link on their Blackboard page.

Follow this tutorial to Combine Multiple Sections:  Combining Blackboard Sections

Need Your Course Sections Combined? Click here for the direct link to the Combinations Form


Managing Course Files – Import, Export, Archive 

  • Archive takes a snaphot of the class as it is at the point you do the archive.  It takes the entire class and puts it into one file. It is possible to copy user information with an archive.
  • Export allows selected portions of a class to be put into a file. Typically, an export happens when it is desirable to move content from one course to another.
  • Import allows class materials to be brought into a class from an export file.

Follow this tutorial to archive, export, or import a classManage Course Files



A group is a subset of students enrolled in a Blackboard course who collaborate on course work, share files, and communicate via e-mail.  Once groups are created, they can be applied to other tools within the system such as blogs, wikis, assignments and discussions.  Group collaboration has benefits and challenges, follow this link for some Best Practices in Group Collaboration.

Follow this tutorial to create groups: Groups


Learning Modules

A learning module is a shell in which other types of content are added. The idea is that information is presented in “chunks.” Learning modules enable the instructor to enforce a structured path for progressing through content. Instructors can impose viewing rules that are sequential (must be reviewed in a specific order) or nonsequential  (can be viewed in any order) .  When a user enters the learning module, the first content item within the learning module appears.

Learning Modules can be set up to allow students to browse them, like a book, or so that students must progress through them in a predetermined order.  With the ability to set up sequential viewing of content, this setting will cause some items not to open until students have opened others.

Follow this tutorial to create a learning module: Learning Modules