Minimum Presence in Blackboard - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure aims to describe the minimum presence and course availability requirement to those staff responsible for the administration and use of Blackboard course sites. 

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Availability - The ability of UQ students to access Blackboard course sites for any SI-net course in which they are enrolled.

Course site - The individual Blackboard site for any particular SI-net course.

Course Instructor - The staff member who has the role of course instructor within the individual Blackboard course site.

Minimum Presence - The required minimum use of Blackboard sites for UQ SI-net courses.

SI-net course - Any course offered at UQ through which students enrol via SI-net.

Template - The applied look and feel of the Blackboard site when created, the default items available in the course menu, and the configuration settings applied to all sites at the time of site creation.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure outlines the minimum course components required to be active in a Blackboard course site, including course availability. This applies to any teaching or delegated administrative staff responsible for the administration and use of blackboard course sites.

4. Procedures Statement

All first, second and third year undergraduate courses must have a Blackboard course site available to students from the commencement Semester 1, 2011.

All fourth and fifth year undergraduate courses must have a Blackboard course site available to students from Semester 1, 2012.

Blackboard course sites must meet the minimum presence requirements throughout the teaching semester.

4.1 Minimum components required

The minimum presence requirement describes the way in which the Blackboard site should be used at the most basic level. A template is automatically applied to all Blackboard sites incorporating the menu items that course instructors are required to use for specific purposes.

Any school and faculty templates used must contain the minimum components listed in the requirements.

Individual staff are able to add menu items to their course sites. 

Where a faculty or school has a formal convention of hosting learning materials in an alternate system, this material must be linked from the "Learning Resources" section of the Blackboard course site.

The template consists of the following required items:

  • Announcements: This section is used to post important course information, updates and announcements;

  • Course Profile (ECP): Automatic link to the Electronic Course Profile (ECP);

  • Learning Resources: This content area is where course instructors must upload course materials, lecture notes or links to other sites. Instructors may link to learning held on different systems. Solutions to assessment items should not be uploaded to this area;

  • Discussion Board:  Default course discussion board;

  • UQ Library Link: Single sign-on for students to link to Library Resources which links to the students Reading List and the Library101 online tutorial.

With permission from the Associate Dean (Academic), templates may be customised and alternative mechanisms implemented which provide similar functionality.

4.2 Availability of courses

Blackboard course sites are, by default, unavailable to enrolled students when initially created.  Students are enrolled automatically into course sites, but the course site must still be made available by the course instructor prior to students being able to access it.  Once the course instructor has completed the minimum preparations for the course site, the site should be made available to enrolled students as close to start of teaching as possible.

To make the course available to students:

  1. Log into Blackboard and access the course site.

  2. Go to “control panel” and select “customisation”, and then “properties”.

  3. Locate “make course available” and select “yes”.

  4. All enrolled students should now have access to the course site.

Blackboard course sites must remain available to students for 12 months following the completion of the course teaching period.

Director, Information Technology Services
Mr Rob Moffatt
Director, Information Technology Services
Mr Rob Moffatt