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Blackboard Reminders for the Beginning of the Semester

Date posted: 08/19/2011

As many new faculty, teaching staff, and TAs may request course space on Blackboard this week and get ready to develop their courses on Blackboard, here are a few useful links as reminders for some of the "beginning of the semester" frequently asked questions:

  1. Requesting a new course on Blackboard - After logging into http://webcourses.niu.edu click the red "Services" tab at the top of the page and then "Blackboard Faculty Tools". Click "My Courses" and then follow the links on the displayed window. Instructions and step-by-step tutorials can be found at: http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/start/request.shtml. Blackboard course requesters should be "primary instructors of record" for their courses in the MyNIU system.

    Course space requests take 1 working day to be processed by the automated process in ITS, and course requests submitted on Friday will be processed the following Monday.

  2. Combining course sections - Those teaching dual level courses (400 and 500) or multiple sections may want to combine their sections into one master course. The link with instructions for doing that can also be found at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/start/multiplesections.shtml.

    "Course combine requests" also take 1 working day to be processed.

  3. Making courses "available" to students - After creating and posting documents on a Blackboard courses, faculty should make those courses "available" to students. Otherwise, students will not be able to see the courses. The instructions for making courses "available" to students can be found at: http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/start/availability.shtml

  4. Pseudo-Student accounts - Some faculty may want to enroll themselves as a student in their Blackboard courses to see what students see, but to do this they need Z-IDs. Faculty using Blackboard to teach can request pseudo-Z-IDs for themselves at ITS's forms website at http://itsforms.niu.edu/app/itsforms by clicking "Computing Access Resource (CAR) and selecting "Faculty/Staff Account" in the drop down box, and clicking "Account Management" and "Continue.": Select "Create/Reactivate", then "Faculty / Staff Z-ID" and "Continue. Primary account is your Faculty ID. Add Z-ID to course: Fill out the appropriate info, then click "Next" and "Finish." Once requested, it will take approximately 1 business day for the Z-ID to be created and added to a course.

  5. Blackboard workshops - The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center regularly schedules workshops on using Blackboard for teaching purposes, and the monthly program schedules can be found under at http://www.niu.edu/facdev.

Answers to other Frequently Asked Blackboard-related questions can be found at: http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/faq and the A-Z Index of Blackboard-related help information can be found at: http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/atoz.

For login and password-related questions, please refer faculty to ITS helpdesk at 815-753-8100 or helpdesk@niu.edu and for other teaching-related Blackboard questions, faculty can submit the questions at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/ask