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Preparing for the new Academic Year: Setting up your Sites

Blackboard uses standardised school-level templates to ensure that students within a school enjoy a consistent VLE experience. We have put together this short guide detailing how to prepare module sites for the next academic year in order to make best use of your school template.

About Enrolment

  • Module leaders are automatically enrolled as Instructors on relevant modules. Staff teaching on a module will be enrolled automatically once Timetables are confirmed in mid-September.
  • If you have not been automatically enrolled on a module you coordinate, email to update your details. Changes take 24 hours to take effect.
  • A new Blackboard site is created for every module. The sites has the template for the School that owns the module. The sites are empty upon creation and need to be populated with content. Via VLE Site Manager module leaders can request additional versions of the module sites (e.g. for Term B, for February cohorts).

Copying Content from One Site to Another

We have produced two guides which support you with copying content from one site to another:

Getting Your Site Ready

  1. Once learning materials have been moved, add a Welcome Announcement. Remember that the Welcome Announcement is the first thing students see when entering a site.
  2. Create a discussion forum. Go to the Discussion Board and create at least one forum so that students have an area to communicate with each other. You may even want to initiate discussion by starting a thread.
  3. Set up any Submission Points (see helpsheets in Help and Support area on Blackboard).
  4. Turn on Student Preview to see the site from a student perspective.
  5. Enrol any colleagues on the site who need access for teaching or support purposes.

Making Your Site Available to Students

When you are ready for students to access the site, make it available.

  1. Navigate to the module site and look for the top menu where you will see the ‘Edit Mode’ button.
  2. To the left of the ‘Edit Mode’ will be a small padlock symbol. If your site is not available it will be red.
A screenshot showing the red padlock symbol within the top navigation bar on your site. You must click this to make the site available.
  1. To make your site available, click the padlock and it will turn grey and open. This means the site is now available and visible to students.
A screenshot showing how the padlock image turns grey and opens to denote that your site is not available to all students.
  1. To hide the site again from students, repeat the steps above in reverse.