Pre-Semester Checklists for Instructors Using Blackboard

It is always exciting to start a new semester for you as instructors. However, you might be overwhelmed to have classes ready before the 1st day of the semester, especially if you use Blackboard in face-to-face, hybrid, or online courses. To lessen your worries, we have prepared a pre-semester checklist along with the tutorials and resource links for you to make the preparation easier.

  1. Have you requested all of your Blackboard Courses in the Course Request System directly at https://crs.uh.edu or in AccessUH “Blackboard TA & Course Requests”?

    Tutorial: How to Request Blackboard Courses

    Note: Allow 24-48 hours for a course or instructor to show up in the Course Request System after it has been entered in PeopleSoft. Check with your department scheduler to find out when the course or instructor was entered into PeopleSoft.

  2. Have you added TA or Co-instructor into the Blackboard course if it is needed?

    Tutorial: How to Add a TA

  3. Have you requested to merge courses, if desired?

    1) You can merge courses as part of the initial course request.

    Tutorial: How to Request Blackboard Courses

    2) If the course(s) are already created, you must email bb@uh.edu.

    Note 1: Combined courses must all be in the same session of the same semester. Courses from different sessions or different semesters cannot be combined.

    Note2:  If at all possible, it is best to combine courses before students loaded. After students are loaded, combining courses becomes much more difficult and time-consuming, taking up to 3 days to complete and making the course unavailable to students during this process.

  4. Are you ready for students? If not, make your course unavailable.

    Students will be loaded into Blackboard 5-6 days before the first day of classes.   Students will be able to access your course as soon as they are loaded. If your course is not ready for students, make the course unavailable.

    Tutorial: How to Make a Course Unavailable

    Note. If you want students loaded earlier than 5 days before the start of the semester, send an email to bb@uh.edu.

  5. Have you updated the course dates?

    Be sure to update all due dates, availability dates, and adaptive release of your course contents, such as announcements, discussion forums, assignments, blogs, or exams. Actually, you can use the “Date Management” tool to easily adjust dates automatically or adjust them individually from one convenient location.

    Tutorial: Blackboard Date Management

  6. Have you deleted old content?

    Delete all semester specific content such as Discussion Forums and students’ postings copied from previous semester.

    Tutorial: Deleting Old Discussion Boards

  7. Have you deleted old grade center columns?

    You’ll also need to delete copied grade columns which you will not use in the new semester.

    Tutorial: Deleting Grade Center Columns

    Note. The grade columns for copied Turninit assignments can’t be deleted. You need to hide those columns from students and set the column value as 0 point.

    Tutorial: Deleting Turnitin Grade Columns in Copied Courses

  8. Have you checked that all website links are working and are current?

  9. Have you made your course available to all students if you denied access?

    Tutorial: How to Make a Course Available

  10. Have you added the Blackboard Resources for Students?

    The UH Blackboard team has created resources for students and you are welcome to add to your Blackboard course.

    Resource: Blackboard Resources for Students

If you have any questions or need any assistance in Blackboard, please contact your college instructional designers or Blackboard 24/7 support or call 844-570-6763.

Jackie Hsu
Instructional Designer, FDIS at

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