What is the new CourseSites?
We have introduced a new cloud-based CourseSites environment that provides you with the latest technology from Blackboard. This new platform offers you access to a simple, yet powerful digital learning environment that goes beyond the traditional LMS. The new CourseSites enables you to take advantage of our new, intuitive, and personalized user interface – the Ultra experience – designed to make it easier than ever to teach and learn online, from any device - for free!
In addition to Blackboard Learn, you now have access to Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Ally, and our mobile apps - which are all seamlessly integrated into the comprehensive digital learning environment.
- Blackboard Collaborate will provide you with a one-click virtual classroom that delivers a level of engagement that makes you and your students feel like you're face-to-face.
- Blackboard Ally helps you make your course content more accessible and provides benefits for all your students.
- The Blackboard and Blackboard Instructor apps gives you and your students quick and easy access to Blackboard anytime, anywhere.
Why did you introduce a new CourseSites environment?
We wanted to ensure that educators around the world have access to the latest technology from Blackboard so you can deliver an unparalleled online learning experience to your students. By introducing the new CourseSites environment, you are able to take advantage of a cloud-based platform that is always up to date and includes Learn, Collaborate, Ally, and our mobile apps. Additionally, with the new Ultra experience, the interface is more personalized, proactive, and intuitive for both you and your students.
Do I need to register for the new CourseSites?
Yes. This is required before you can begin teaching live courses within the new environment. Don’t worry; registration takes less than 2-minutes to complete. You can register here.
Is the new CourseSites really free?
Yes! CourseSites is still a free platform! And it is NOT a limited trial, you can use CourseSites to teach live courses for as long as you'd like, for free.
What is going to happen to the Original CourseSites?
We understand change isn’t always easy, so we encourage you to embrace this change at your own pace. Both the new and original CourseSites environments will live in parallel until the end of 2018. On December 31, 2018 the original CourseSites will officially be decommissioned. We will provide periodic updates to remind you of the end-of-life date and to export your previous courses in order to import them into the new CourseSites.
Will my current courses in the original CourseSites automatically transfer over to the new CourseSites?
No. We’re giving you the flexibility to transition your courses over at a time that works best for you. As a result, we will NOT migrate your original courses over to the new CourseSites. This allows you to embrace this change at a pace that works for you, rather than being forced to change at one specific time. See the next question for export/import instructions.
Will my student data in the original CourseSites automatically transfer over to the new CourseSites?
No. You have the ability to export and then import your course information into the new CourseSites platform from the original CourseSites but migrating student data such as grades, discussions, etc., will not transfer over to the new system.
How do I export my courses from the original CourseSites and import them into the new CourseSites?
Exporting and importing your courses in to the new CourseSites environment is quite simple. Below, please find detailed export and import instructions:
- Detailed export instructions can be found here and a how-to export video here.
- Detailed import instructions can be found here and a how-to import video here.
What happens to the old course material?
The original CourseSites platform will be decommissioned on December 31, 2018. After that date, all course content will be permanently expunged from the system and will no longer be recoverable. Please aim to export/import your courses prior to December 31, 2018.
Can I preserve the course for archive purposes?
Yes, you can export and archive your course(s) by saving the .zip package on your local machine.
I’m ready to dive into the new CourseSites. How do I get started?
To help you navigate the new CourseSites, please find a hand-picked list of recommendations to help get you started:
- Watch videos to get excited about the Ultra experience. We think you’ll love the modern, intuitive, and efficient user experience.
- Export your courses from the original CourseSites. You can find detailed export instructions here and a how-to export video here.
- Register for the new CourseSites. This is required before you can begin teaching live courses within the new environment. Don’t worry; registration takes less than 2-minutes to complete.
- Import your courses into the new CourseSites. Find detailed import instructions and a how-to import video here.
- Visit the Institution Page within the new CourseSites environment for helpful resources. (you can find the Institution Page located on the Ultra navigation menu on the left-hand side)
How many courses do I get to conduct live teaching?
When you register for the new CourseSites, you automatically get ten course shells to play with, build out content, and conduct live teaching. You will have five courses in the Original Course View (which is the same course view you use today in the original CourseSites environment) as well as five courses in the new Ultra Course View. You are also able to convert your five Original courses to be Ultra courses if you desire to do so, thus it is possible to carry out live teaching using the new Ultra Course View with up to ten courses. You'll also get a demo course with exemplary content that demonstrates best practices and the Ultra Course View's potential.
- The new Ultra Course View is known for it's modern, fully responsive, and intuitive interface and workflows that make it engaging, efficient, and enjoyable to use on any device. We encourage you to give this new course view a try!
- The Original Course View is what you have been using in the original CourseSites environment - thus you can continue using the same type of course you use today when you move to the new CourseSites environment. It has the same course navigation, functionality, and workflows you use today. One difference you will notice is that the colors, fonts, and spacing have been modernized to be consistent with the modern look of the rest of the new environment.
How can I invite students to participate?
It's easy. For Ultra courses, select Roster under Details & Actions on the left side of the course page and then select the Invite plus sign in the top right corner of the page. On the Invite Students panel you can either:
- Paste in the email addresses of the students you want to invite. You can enter as many email addresses as you'd like by simply separating them by a comma.
- Or you can scroll down to the Shareable Link to copy the link that can be shared with students to allow them to enroll in your course.
For Original courses, go to the Control Panel in the course menu on the left side of the page and select Users and Groups and then Users. You can then either:
- Copy the shareable link provided, which can be shared with students to allow them to enroll in your course.
- Or select Invite Users to be taken to a page where you can paste in the email addresses of the students you want to invite. You can enter as many email addresses as you'd like by simply separating them by a comma.
How long do the student invitation links last?
The student invitation links sent to ask students to register for CourseSites or to enroll in a course will last for 93 days once deployed from the system. Once this 93 day period concludes, a new link will need to be generated from the roster in the course to re-invite students.
Can I use Blackboard Ally in my courses?
Blackboard Ally is currently supported in both the Original Course View and Ultra Course View.
Can I use Blackboard Collaborate in my courses?
Blackboard Collaborate is currently supported in both the Original Course View and Ultra Course View.
Is there an end of life date planned for the Original Course View in the new Coursesites?
No, we have no plans to end of life the Original Course View in the new CourseSites. In fact, we are planning new enhancements for the Original Course View. Please click here to check out our latest blog which outlines the new enhancements for Blackboard Learn with the Original experience.
I have questions. Where do I go for answers?
Your CourseSites team is here to help you and your students achieve success. We’ve created two channels for you to engage with us: