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Online Learning

Blackboard Quarterly Procedures

Start of Quarter Procedures

End of Quarter Procedures

Blackboard at CWU: Start of Quarter Procedures

At the start of each quarter, please ensure that your current quarter Blackboard courses are properly prepared before making them available to students. Course sections on Blackboard are transferred from Safari four weeks before the start of the quarter and are identified with the course catalog number and the current quarter code.

For Face-to-Face courses using Blackboard:

  • You can easily use the Announcement area, upload the course syllabus, and provide course documents for students to view and download.
  •  If you are new to Blackboard, you can take an Introduction to Blackboard workshop as close as two weeks before the start of a quarter.

For Hybrid and fully Online courses using Blackboard:

  • You should spend time preparing to teach online and learn to use the wide variety of tools available for interaction, assignment submission, and grading.
  • The Office of Online Learning provides training workshops and instructional design consultations. Please contact our office at least one quarter in advance of teaching your course for assistance.

Once you have prepared your course, follow these steps at the beginning of the quarter:

  1. Copy course content from a previous quarter section or from a master course shell to a current quarter section using the following guide:
  2. Update your syllabus and any additional course content that has become outdated or includes previous quarter dates and information.
  3. Check Read Me First files: All new course sections in Blackboard now include Read Me First files with general Blackboard Course Expectations, Netiquette guidelines, Keys to Success for students, a Blackboard Orientation, and links to student Blackboard tutorials. You can modify these files as necessary to fit your course.
  4. Prepare your Grade Center columns if you are posting grades in Blackboard. Tutorials on using the Grade Center can be found here:
  5. Make your course available to students using the following guide:

For support contact: Jane Chinn - or Delayna Breckon  -

For Blackboard self-help tutorials go to:

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Blackboard: End of Quarter Procedures

Whether you plan to reuse a Blackboard course the next quarter or not, it is recommended that you perform the following tasks in the suggested order as part of a good course management routine at the end of each quarter.


Instructors using the Grade Center in Blackboard can download and save a copy of it for use in Excel or in another spreadsheet program. Keeping a copy of your Grade Center gradebook is also a good idea for backup and archival purposes. To export a copy of your existing gradebook read the instructions in the following online tutorial:

Note: It is a policy at CWU that course gradebooks should be kept for two years. Blackboard should not be used as the official record of your class gradebook as Blackboard course sections are deleted after one year. The copy of your gradebook that you download to your computer can serve this function.


Archiving your course is the same as making a backup of your course and storing the backup file on your own local drive. It is always a good idea to keep a backup of important data and information. The Blackboard Administrator can restore archived course files when provided by the instructor. To archive your course read the following online tutorial:


After students have received their grades and retrieved their graded assignments, make your course unavailable so that it does not continue to appear in students' course list in Blackboard. To make your course unavailable, go tothe Control Panel and click Customization >> Properties >> Course Availability >> No.


A master course is either an empty shell to develop content for a new course or a saved course with content that you want to maintain on Blackboard beyond the one-year time limit. Quarterly course sections are only kept on Blackboard for one year from the quarter in which they were taught. To request a master course please do so by filling out the online form at:

For support contact: Jane Chinn

For Blackboard self-help tutorials go to:

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