Beginning of the Semester Process



Summer is almost over and it’s time to start getting ready for the fall semester.  Now is the time to gather, review, and update your course materials as well as brush up on common Blackboard tasks using the tutorials and resources found at the Faculty Blackboard Support Website. To help instructors prepare their courses for the fall semester, we have compiled this best-practices task checklist.

Task #1: Prepare Yourself for Blackboard Access

Blackboard is Web-based and can be accessed on PC or Mac computers with an Internet connection and supported Web browser.  Please review these resources to prepare your computer for working with Blackboard.

You will use your MATC network username and password to log into Blackboard through the myMATC portal OR by going to the Blackboard website directly.  This is the same login you use to access  MATC Gmail and campus computers.

To resolve a login problem, please use the online Password Manager or call the Help Desk at 414-297-6541.

Task #2: Build or Import Your Course Content

—Once you are able to log in and access your course shells, you may add content to them in several ways:

Task #3: Review  and Troubleshoot Your Course’s Content

Once you have added content to your courses, please review the content to make sure that all information is up-to-date and accurate, that all links work, and that your materials are accessible to students.  As a part of this review process, we recommend requesting using a test student account to preview and interact with content as a student. This is a best practice for developing content  and correcting problems proactively.

It is also a good idea to review the columns in your Grade Center to ensure that everything is accurate, organized, and ready to go.

Task #4: Create a Welcome Announcement and E-mail

Research shows that students will be more successful in your online course if you do something to engage them the first week. At least 7 days prior to the start of the class, create an announcement in your course that welcomes students and informs them of any “getting started” tasks you would like them to do so they are prepared for class too. When a Blackboard announcement is first being created, you will have the option of pushing the announcement to student’s e-mail as well (“Override User Notification Settings”).

Task #5: Make Your Blackboard Course Available to Students

Instructors using Blackboard must make each of their courses available to students. This should be done by no later than 10:00 AM on the first scheduled day of class.