In order to receive a Blackboard account, you must have an NIU AccountID. New faculty and TAs will be automatically provided with an AccountID. Faculty members must be listed as the official Instructor of Record with Registration and Records in order to be included in the Blackboard database. The department needs to relay the faculty member record information to Registration and Records.
Access to Blackboard and other university systems is a complex and ongoing issue that involves several units across the university. Access is restricted to protect the university and our students. However, we know that developing a high quality course in Blackboard requires time for preparation.
If a new instructor needs to begin preparing a course significantly before the term of the contract begins, departments can complete a Volunteer Agreement form and a Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement form. Both are available on the Human Resource Services website. This form provides information required by HR and IT Security to ensure appropriate access, and to protect the university. Once these forms are completed, they should be directed to HR, as with traditional hiring paperwork.
The department will also need to request an "affiliate account" from the Division of Information Technology. To submit the request:
This process cannot be used in place of hiring paperwork to gain access to Blackboard due to delays in hiring paperwork. It can only be used when someone is completing development or instructional work that is unpaid (and thus volunteer). It is important for the department to be clear that this access and development is not paid work, and is not a guarantee of employment. Should the course not be offered (such as due to low enrollment or budgetary issues), or should the instructor not be able to teach (such as due to illness or schedule conflicts), the instructor should not expect compensation for the development work. For these reasons, completing this process should be done with careful consideration of the risks.
Access to Blackboard is a complex issue that involves several units across the university, because it includes student academic records. However, it is also beneficial for students to learn from experts from outside of NIU.
To request access to Blackboard for a guest speaker, you need to have the individual complete a Volunteer Agreement form and a Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement form. Both are available on the Human Resource Services website. Once these forms are complete, they should be directed to HR, as with traditional hiring paperwork.
The department will also need to request an "affiliate account" for the guest speaker from the Division of Information Technology. To submit the request:
Note that this process is only required if you need the guest speaker to access your Blackboard course for some reason, such as participating in a discussion forum or commenting on blog entries. If you will be connecting with the guest speaker via Blackboard Collaborate, you can generate a guest link for your session and send it to them via email. Once the affiliate account has been created, you will need to add the guest speaker to your course.
Students have access to Blackboard after leaving the university according to the reason why they left. Keep in mind, though, that courses are made unavailable automatically 10 days before the start of the next semester. However, students will be able to retrieve materials from their content collection, such as portfolios.
Students who graduate will have access to Blackboard for 400 days after graduation. Students who are dismissed will have access for 255 days. Students who formally withdraw will have access for 10 days.