Sixty days prior to each term, ACCC Learning Technology Solutions (LTS) creates course shells for all CRN-based courses reflected in Banner. This means that if an instructor has a course site that is associated with a CRN, they do not have to request a course site creation. This automatic course shell creation process makes it possible for the LTS to make course sites available prior to the start of the term.
Note: If you are teaching a new course, log in to Blackboard and review your course shell; you will notice the shell is not prepopulated with suggested course menu items. Learn more about the clean course shells below.
There are several special cases that still require the instructor to contact the ACCC-LTS to edit the Blackboard course shells. Instructors may fill out the following forms to request these edits.
While a Blackboard site is automatically created for the majority of CRN-based courses, some may have been missed. If this is the case, please contact LTS@uic.edu and one can be created for you manually.
In many cases, the Blackboard site has been created, but you may not have been added as an instructor, especially if Banner has another instructor listed for the course. To be assigned as the instructor to a course you will need approval from the Department in which you are teaching the course. Once approval is received, please contact LTS@uic.edu, and we will assign your role. Once you are assigned as the instructor you will be able to add TAs and students to your course, as well as make changes to the course (adding content, customization, etc).
You can request a course copy to be made using the Request a Course Copy form, but instructors and TA’s can also copy content from any of the previous courses they are associated with on their own. Follow the instructions on How to Copy Content from Another Blackboard Learn Course Site, or watch the Copying Course Content video tutorial if you would like to do it yourself.
In-person assistance with copying your course content is available at the ACCC LTS Support Office at Lecture Center E, Room E112 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
All CRN-based courses have Blackboard shell sites automatically created. If your course has multiple CRNs (if the course has multiple sections, is cross-listed, or is dual-level), a separate Blackboard site is created for each CRN.
If your course has multiple CRNs, you may want to merge the multiple course sites that are automatically created into a single Blackboard course site. Requests for course merges can be submitted using the Modify a Course to Accommodate Multiple CRNs form.
When a course shell is created, it is unavailable to students by default. Once you are ready for your course site to go live, read these instructions on How to Make your Course Available to students.
Now that you have course sites automatically created every term, you may want to learn how to Manage your Course List in the My Courses module in Blackboard so it does not display course sites you are not using.
Even without much content, the Blackboard Learn course shells have a convenient set of tools to help you manage some of your teaching activities. The Why Blackboard video briefly describes how you can use some of these tools. If an instructor does not have a course to copy into the clean shell, they can build a custom site by adding their own course menu items. View the video (2:59) "Working with the Clean Blackboard Course Shell" for further instructions. In addition, instructors can request a course shell template to be imported into their course site. This is a a pre-designed course site supplied by the LTS based on best practices for online, blended, and enhanced courses.
If you are new to Blackboard Learn, we encourage you to make an appointment for a face-to-face introduction to Blackboard Learn. You can also check the upcoming LTS workshops, view very effective online training videos or lynda.com tutorials.
August 26, 2016