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As of May 2, 2011, faculty can create Blackboard course shells through HomerConnect for Fall 2011 courses. Please note that ITS is also piloting the new Sakai system over the summer and expects to make that option available as well in early August. While both Blackboard and Sakai will be available for the 2011-2012 academic year, all Blackboard courses must be moved to Sakai by August 2012. We are encouraging faculty who are building new course sites to consider waiting until early August in order to use Sakai. ITS will offer extensive support for Sakai including training, documentation, video tutorials, individual consultations, etc.

For more information about Sakai see the Instructional Support Services website or contact the Helpdesk (607) 274-1000.

To create a course "shell" in Blackboard:

  • Go to HomerConnect and login using your HomerConnect ID and password
  • Choose Faculty/Advisors and click the "Blackboard Application" link at the bottom of the page
  • You will be directed to a page that lists terms and shows "Not Activated" and "Activate as...". Activation refers to whether or not a course shell has been created in Blackboard. Only activate those courses which will use the Blackboard system
  • Choose the Fall 2011 term. The page will refresh showing all of the courses you are teaching. Courses that have not been activated in Blackboard will show up under the "Not Activated" heading.
  • Instructors have the option of activating sections as either "Stand Alone" sections or as "Group A" or "Group B". "Stand Alone" sections are managed individually in Blackboard by the instructor. The "Group A" or "Group B" option can be used to group individual sections of the same course taught by the instructor together.
  • Click on the button next to the section to activate the course in Blackboard and create the course shell
  • The page will refresh and the section will move to the "Activate as" section
  • Click the "Update" button at the bottom of the page
  • Logout when you have finished activating sections

Courses are created in Blackboard at 8 am and 3 pm daily. To see the section in Blackboard, log into and choose the Blackboard quick access link on the upper right side of the menu:

  • Login using your Netpass username and password
  • The activated sections will appear on the class list section of Blackboard
  • Click on the appropriate course section to begin creating or importing content.

Grouping Sections in Blackboard

Instructors who use Blackboard and teach courses with multiple sections can group these sections ("child" sections) together so that content is managed in one "parent" section. After grouping, instructors will see only the parent section; child sections will be inaccessible. Faculty will be able to build content in the "parent" section as soon as the "parent" course is activated.

Copying Content

To copy content from one section to another:

  • Activate your section(s) through HomerConnect
  • Log into Blackboard via
  • Click on a blank section.
  • You have 3 options the first time you login to it: create a blank course, copy from an existing section, and copy from file.
  • Select Copy content from another course.
  • Click Continue.
  • The courses you are enrolled as Designer are displayed. Select the course you want to copy its content from. Then select Continue.
  • The course is now updated with content. Repeat this process for any other courses.

For more information about the Blackboard system at IC, visit the ITS Blackboard support website.

Instructional and Digital Media Design Assistance

Finally, summer can be a great time to re-vamp your online course materials. Please contact Marilyn Dispensa, Center for Education Technology, or Mark Hine, Digital Media Production for assistance.

ITS Helpdesk

Blackboard and Sakai Options for the Fall | 0 Comments |
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