Blackboard Tips for Faculty and Staff

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Be the first five UNC faculty or staff to send an email to our IDD address and you can win a prize! In the email tell us that you read the tip and how you found our tips page. (IDD)

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#11 - Too Many Courses in My Course List!

Are there TOO MANY courses on your course list in Blackboard? You can make access to courses easier by either hiding courses, or moving courses to the top of your list.  Use the little gear at the upper right of the My Courses panel to streamline your course list and make finding your current courses easier. See the Course Display Quick Reference guide for complete instructions.

Manage Courses Graphic


#10 - Attention Safe Assignment Users!

If you have existing Safe Assignments in your Blackboard courses, we recommend deleting them and re-inserting using the regular Assignment tool. See the Safe Assignment Quick Reference guide for complete instructions.

Safe Assign Icons

#9 - The easy way to create tests in Blackboard!

If you contact IDD, we will send you a Word document with the correct format.  Type your True/False or Multiple Choice questions into the document and send it back to us.  We will upload the questions to your Blackboard course using Respondus.  Please send questions one week in advance of the quiz date.

What could take you hours to type directly into Blackboard, can be done in 5 minutes! We work with existing Word documents and publisher test banks. Please contact us, we can save you time! Email IDD.

Key formatting items:

  • Asterisk * placed in front of the correct response.
  • Spaces and paragraph markers used as shown. No tabs or auto-numbering.

Example text

#8 - Need to learn more about Blackboard for next semester?

The IDD (Instructional Design and Development) can help you learn about Blackboard.  We offer a full day boot camp, an online course, self-help pages and consultations.  PS – prizes are available to people who can find the bells on our support site pages. 

For tips page:
If you’d like to use Blackboard to supplement your face to face courses, we have these training options available:

  • Blackboard Bootcamp – full day of training on Thursday, Jan. 9th  to get you started using Blackboard.
  • Online workshop – Online course available starting Dec. 30.  This is also a good opportunity to experience what it is like to be an online student.
  • Self-help pages – This site contains How-To guides and tutorials for many Blackboard topics.  Click on Faculty, Quick Reference Guides Alphabetical for the complete list.
  • Consultations Email IDD to make an appointment to work on your specific issues. 

If you are teaching online next semester and have questions  - we are available over the holidays.  Just email us and we can meet with you to work on your specific questions.

Explore our support pages and find the Bellsand you’ll get a prize!

Email us at IDD Email and tell us where you found them.

#7 - Test Taking Tip – Do not use FORCE COMPLETION!

We recommend using a Timer with Auto-Submit and NOT setting Force Completion. 

Here’s why….

  • Use the Set Timer in conjunction with Auto-Submit

When the Set Timer option is used in conjunction with Auto-Submit a timer appears when the student begins the test. The student is given a 5 minute warning and a 1 minute warning upon reaching the end of the set time.

If the student accidentally closes the browser, or loses the connection to the test, the student CAN access the course and test once their connectivity is resolved. The timer continues to record the time from the initial test entry. This results in less instructor intervention and less student frustration with the test.

Using the Auto-Submit feature is an added bonus because it will save and submit the student’s test when the time has lapsed. This alleviates issues with students not saving and submitting the test which causes the in-progress icon to appear in the grade center.

  • DO NOT use the Force Completion setting!

The Force Completion setting on Blackboard exams allows students to enter the test only one time.  If the student accidentally closes the browser, or loses the connection to the exam, the student cannot continue with the exam unless the instructor intervenes and resets the exam. For this reason, this setting is not recommended.

In addition, our Blackboard Support site has some Test Taking Tips that can ensure success on the student side:

Link to Student Support Resources - Look for Taking Tests

#6 - Blackboard Collaborate UNC's Virtual Classroom Tool

Blackboard Collaborate enables you to hold synchronous sessions – like a webinar or virtual office hours – in your online or hybrid courses. It is available in your Blackboard course now! Blackboard Collaborate provides you with default rooms as pictured below.

BBC Rooms

Link to Blackboard Collaborate Support Resources - Look for Session Types.

#5 - Emailing from the Grade Center

Did you know you can email students right from the Grade Center in Blackboard?  In addition to grades, the Grade Center shows the last date that students logged in and whether they have submitted assignments or not.  It is easy to send an email to students who have low grades or are late with assignments by selecting the check box next to their names in the Grade Center and choosing Email Selected Users

Grade Center Email graphic

#4 - Streamline Your Course List

Are there TOO MANY courses on your course list in Blackboard? You can make access to courses easier by either hiding courses, or moving courses to the top of your list.  Use the little Gear at the upper right of the My Courses panel to streamline your course list and making finding your current courses easier. 

Manage Your Course List

#3 - Blackboard Help

The UNC Blackboard Support site is still available and has been updated to reflect the new version.  You can access Help in two ways.  From the Blackboard login page, look below the login for direct links to Faculty and Student Help.  From inside a Blackboard course, select the menu in the very upper right corner of the screen and click on the question mark at the bottom of the menu.  The following link takes you to the support site – add it to your favorites for easy access.

Link to Blackboard Support Resources

#2 - Course Copy

The most efficient way to copy a course from one semester to the next is to use the Control Panel, Packages and Utilities, and use the Select All button to copy everything in the course.  Just be sure to only do this ONCE or you will end up with duplicates.

Link to Course Copy Instructions

#1 - Transfer Grades from Blackboard to Banner

If you are tracking student grades in Blackboard, set up a Banner Final Grade column in the Blackboard Grade Center and automatically the grades will be transferred over to Banner at the end of the semester.  For full instructions, see this document on our Blackboard Support Page.

Link to Blackboard to Banner Instructions