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Beginning of Semester Reminders

To help ensure a smooth start to the semester, we’ve composed a brief reminder message outlining tasks instructors need to complete prior to the start of the semester
Last Updated: Jan 04, 2017  |  4098 Views

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Beginning of Semester Reminders

 semester begin

  • All classes will automatically become available to students on the start date of the class. Instructors do not need to make these classes available. Students will see the class in their “My Courses” list as unavailable until the start date. To learn how to change class availablity click here.
  •  Check out the Faculty Tab. This resource has a new look and features resources help you take full  advantage of all of the features and functions available in the Blackboard Learn environment:
    • Ask.Blackboard Knowledge Base: A searchable database of tips, tricks, how-to’s, and information on new features within Blackboard Learn.
    • Steve Sinclair’s Blog: A forum highlighting cutting edge learning technologies, teaching and learning best practices, and the musings of our resident Instructional Technology guru.
    • Blackboard System Information: Stay up-to-date on known issues, future enhancements, and other upcoming events related to the Blackboard Learn environment.

semester list

1.       Has the "Begin Here" Section been Updated? – Check to determine if the "Begin Here" section of your course is the most up-to-date version.  Does it have the following parts: Start Here!, Review your class Syllabus, E-mail Your Instructor, Introduce Yourself on Discussion Boardt, Submit Your Personal Plan for Success, NWTC Cares about Your Success!(Starfish) & Start your Learning in Class Materials?  If not, then refer to this knowledgebase article.

2.       Review Your Materials – course links, activities, assignments, discussions, and grade center items. When reviewing your Grade Center, if there are additional Running Total or Weighted Total columns, please remove them. Remember, if you Hide a column, your students will still see that column in their My Grades view. Refer to the Faculty tab within Blackboard for resources regarding the Grade Center.

3.       Update Your Due Dates - Be sure they are current and can be easily located. Use Date Management to change all dates in one location.  Grade Center Due Dates tool is a good companion the built-in Date Management function.

4.       Update Your Syllabus – Review expectations, policies, class calendar, and grading information.

5.       Post Your Welcome Announcement – Welcome your students to the class, get them excited about the course outcomes, and give them guidance as to where to begin.

6.       Post Your Introduction to the Discussion Board – Be the first one to post an introduction to model an appropriate introduction. Take this opportunity to share who you are.  

7.       Check Your Respondus Lockdown Browser Assessments – This knowledgebase article include a set of best practices.  PLEASE review it!  

New Features for this Semester:

semester questions

  • Technical issues or questions regarding Blackboard? Contact the NWTC Help Desk at 920-498-6800 or
  •  How to perform tasks in Blackboard? Contact the Technology Training Consultant inside of Talent Development with any additional questions 920-498-6266 or

Answered by Steve SinclairBookmark and Share

Other Answers / Comments (2)

  1. It would be great if you'd put the link back so those of use who want to make the course available early could...I know I can look it up, but a link would be great :)
    by * on Aug 28, 2016.
  2. I have changed this article to include the link to class availability.
    by Steve Sinclair on Aug 29, 2016.


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