Decoding your Blackboard Course List

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If you’ve been teaching at OKWU for awhile, your Blackboard course list is likely filling up. This can lead to a confusing time clicking through courses looking for the current one, and sometimes even working in the wrong course! Here are some tips to help keep you on track and teaching the correct course.

The Blackboard Course List

The course list appears in two places by default – on the My Institution tab and the Courses tab. If you regularly teach the same course, it might look something like this:

courselist_1

Notice that every course name is the same; the only difference is the dates that the course was last available. To make the list easier to read, put your mouse pointer on the Course List box and click the gear that appears in the top right corner. This will take you to the Personalize: Course List page. There are two options on this page that I recommend setting up: Group by Term and showing the Course ID:

Personalize: Course List page

The Group by Term option will organize your courses by terms, and let you collapse the list of courses in past terms. The Course ID will let you see the course section, which is unique to each course so you can be sure you are working in the correct course. Once you’ve set up those options, your course list will look like this:

The Course List after setting the Group by Term and Course ID options.

The Course List after setting the Group by Term and Course ID options.

Notice that the 2014 Fall and 2014 Spring terms are collapsed. You can also see the Course ID. You will need to change the options for your course list on both the My Institution tab and the Courses tab since they are separate modules.

Breaking Down the Course ID

You will find the Course ID in two places: the Course List that we just set up and within the course itself at the top of the sidebar just after the course name. The course ID is unique to each course, so you can use it to make sure that you are working on the correct course in Blackboard. This is one of the Course IDs from the above examples: 2015FALLAGSCLAC3113ONLN1N59. Here’s how it breaks down:

Term – When the course is taught. This is what is used to group courses in the Course List. Note that AGS terms do not line up with Traditional terms, for example the Traditional 2016 Spring term starts in January, but AGS will still be on 2015 Fall.

Course Number – The course number for that particular course.

Type – ONLN is Online, LECT is an on ground course.

Section – Also called the cohort for AGS courses, this identifies the group students are in as they go through their program. TRAD courses will usually have a 0001 or 0002 to identify the section.

To make sure you are working in the correct course, the best thing to do is look at the section, the last four digits in the Course ID. This number is included in communication from OKWU twice: first when we ask if you would be willing to teach a course, and again when we let you know that your course is setup in Blackboard. If you are unsure of which section to look for, pull up those emails and the section will be there. Looking at both the term and the section, you can be sure that you are working in the correct course.

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