UM Carey Law | Blackboard | Planning Your Course

Planning Your Course

Blackboard offers building blocks for instruction, communication, and assessment. By using Blackboard, you can provide student-centered learning with anytime, anywhere convenience.

Plan how your will use Blackboard. Before you start adding materials, take some time to plan how you will use Blackboard to enhance your course. You can use Blackboard for a range of purposes – from simply posting materials to creating a collaborative and interactive online learning environment. You should choose a role for Blackboard that matches your instructional goals and objectives.

Structure your course site. Once you have determined how Blackboard can help you, start developing the structure of your course site. Plan which content areas you will need and turn off any button, area or tool in your Course Menu that you will not use. This will help simplify your course’s interface and help with course navigation. If you are not planning to use a certain feature such as the Discussion Board until later in the course, consider making it appear only after the class has reached the point where it is needed.

Decide how you want your material organized. Course Materials is usually the area that contains the substance of your course, including most of the content that you will convey to your students. Add folders in your Course Materials section that correspond to your organization with the names representing your organizational structure. You can organize materials any way you please (topic, due date, or type of material are examples), but you should make sure that your organization is consistent. You should also put a picture of yourself, contact information and relevant information about yourself in the Faculty Information section.

Start by adding your syllabus. If you have never used Blackboard before, do not feel as if you need to use all of its features in your first semester. To start, you may want to add your syllabus and become familiar with the email features. Once you are comfortable, add course materials and announcements. Then you can move to more advanced features such as the Discussion Board and groups.

Plan to re-use your course site. If you would like to re-use your course material, refrain from using dates in your course except in the course syllabus or schedule.

Setting Up Your Course Menu

Modifying Your Course Menu

Changing the Availability of Your Course


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved