Getting Started with Blackboard (Instructors)

Table of Contents

First-time setup

Every semester, a Blackboard course site is automatically created for each course offered by Ohio University. Blackboard course sites become accessible to the Instructor of Record eight (8) weeks prior to the published course start date.  Although students are automatically loaded to each course site two (2) weeks before the start date, a course remains inaccessible to students until the instructor opens it. 

  • Using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, go to and log in with your OHIO email and password. Select the Courses link in the menu along the left. For more information, see the Find Your Courses Bb Help page.

  • Introduction to Blackboard — Ohio University (video hosted on YouTube) - An eight minute video tutorial demonstrating how to create a minimally acceptable Ohio University course in Blackboard. 

  • Explore a sample course - View sample Blackboard courses designed to promote best practices in course design, inclusive pedagogy, and technology for remote and online teaching.

  • Where do I start? - Build your course with these five (5) basic steps in mind to create a successful, pedagogically sound, and engaging course.

  • Pre-launch checklist - Use this checklist as a guide for the tasks or steps you should complete in each area of the standard OHIO pre-loaded Blackboard course menu before opening the course to students.

  • Download the Blackboard app for iOS or Android to view content, grade assignments, and communicate with students.

Navigating course components

Blackboard Original

  • Navigate Inside a Course - Become familiar with the course menu, the Control Panel, and various features of the Original Course View. 

  • Customize Your Course - Change your course properties, style options, and structure to reflect your teaching style.

Blackboard Ultra

  • Navigate Outside a Course - While the application navigation is the Ultra Experience format, your courses display in the familiar Original Experience style. 

  • Profile - Customize your Blackboard Profile, configure your notifications settings, and add cloud storage accounts. 

  • Activity Stream - An up-to-the-minute news feed captures the action in all of your courses. 

  • Find Your Courses - On the Courses page you can customize your course list and manage student access to course sites.

Adding students and other users

  • Open a Course to Students - Set your Blackboard Original course to "available" to allow students to view and access content. 

    • All Blackboard courses are "private," and thus inaccessible to students, by default, which allows instructors to build content privately until they are ready to share the course with students. Courses will be labeled in the course list as "Private," further indicated by a closed padlock icon, until they are opened to students. 

    • Students are unable to access Blackboard until they are enrolled in at least one active course or organization. Students are enrolled in Blackboard two (2) weeks prior to the course start date, then on a rolling basis twice daily (2am and 2pm) as the data feed is updated by the University Registrar. A period of up to 24 hours may be necessary before a student's enrollment populates based on when the student registration processes.

  • Adding TAs, instructors and other users to Blackboard courses and organizations - Enroll additional users in a course, such as teaching assistants and co-instructors, assigning course roles with appropriate degrees of access by creating a ticket on the Learning Management System: Blackboard page and selecting the Merge Course Sections detail.

Copying and combining courses

  • Complete a Course Copy in Blackboard Original - Copy course material from one course to another, such as from a development course to a live course. 

  • Combine/Merge Courses - Prevent duplication of effort by combining the enrollments of multiple sections into a single course. You may request your course sections be combined by creating a ticket on the Learning Management System: Blackboard page and selecting the Merge Course Sections detail.

  • Create a Test Course - Use test courses as developmental spaces to build and maintain templates for the structure and content of your courses. You may request a Test Course by creating a ticket on the Learning Management System: Blackboard page and selecting the Merge Course Sections detail.

Get help from OIT

Additional resources

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Article ID: 152
Wed 3/23/22 11:01 AM
Thu 1/11/24 5:29 PM