Blackboard (MOLE) - Setting up your site for the academic year

It is important for staff to check that their Blackboard courses are ready for the start of teaching. Courses are made available to Module Leaders at least 4 months before the start of the academic year. 

Wherever possible, it is strongly advised that courses are prepared by the start of September. Please follow the steps below to ensure your courses are ready for your students.  

Tasks for Module Leaders

1. Access

Check that you can access your course in Blackboard. Click on the Courses menu in Blackboard, and change the filter to 'Upcoming Courses'.

Clicking the upcoming courses button in Blackboard

If you are the module leader (known as Module Lead Instructor in Blackboard) or module administrator, and do not have access, please complete this access request form. If you are not the module leader, but need access to a course, contact the module leader in the first instance. If the module leader is unavailable, please contact digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk

If you are running a new course, ensure that it is listed on the Directory of Modules. Courses that appear in the Directory of Modules will automatically have a Blackboard course associated with it. Contact your departmental administration team if the module is not listed.

2. Enrol

New Manage Users

Check staff enrolments. Only Module Leaders and Module Administrators are enrolled automatically. You can enrol staff using the manage users tool, which is located in the Course Management > Users and Groups area.

3. Add Content

Create, develop and upload your teaching material into the course. Set your course entry (home) page using the Customisation > Teaching Style menu.

Content is not automatically copied forward from the previous academic year. Content items and folders can be copied into your new course using the Copy tool.

To use the Copy Tool, first access the course you wish to copy content from and ensure Edit Mode is turned on. Click on the Item Menu and choose Copy. Follow the prompts to select the destination course.

Accessing the copy tool from an item menu

Module Lead Instructors and Module Administrators can copy course content in bulk using the course copy tool. 

4. Make Available

Make your course available to students from the Courses page.

Navigate to the relevant Course Card, click on the course menu and select 'Open Course'. Further course availability settings are available in the Customisation > Properties menu. Courses can only be opened by the Module Lead Instructor and Module Adminstrators.

Making course open to students using the course card menu

Allow Guest Access to your course by using the Customisation > Guest and Observer Access menu. 

Other set up tasks

  1. Check content for accessibility via the Blackboard Ally tools.
  2. Add a welcome announcement using the announcements tool. 
  3. Add a banner image to your course.
  4. Add contact details for module leader(s). 
  5. Set up any new assignments, via the Blackboard assignment tool or Turnitin. (Do not copy assignments from other courses, always create new ones). 
  6. Check your Tests and Surveys have been created and deployed.
  7. Check that any Collaboration tools, such as Blackboard Collaborate meetings or Discussion Boards are ready and visible to students. 
  8. Set up a resource list, or copy a resource list from the previous academic year. For guidance see Library resources for your students.

Access the full Blackboard Support Guides