FAQs for Original CourseSites Instructors

Document created by jbanks on Jun 18, 2018Last modified by jbanks on Jul 5, 2018
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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.


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?

CourseSites data will be stored until the end of 2018 (per the CourseSites Terms of Use) to allow instructors sufficient time to back-up their data and retain copies of their courses.


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 as well as five courses in the Ultra Course View. You are able to convert your five Original courses to be Ultra courses, so it is possible to carry out live teaching using the 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 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.
  • The Original Course View is familiar to many educators and students from Learn 9.1. It is known for its unmatched breadth of functionality that allows for full control of the course design and presentation of content.


How can I invite students to participate?

It's easy. For Ultra courses, select Roster from your base navigation and select the Invite plus sign.On the Invite Students panel, type an email address where you want to receive the invitation email for the sample student. You can use the same email address that you used to register yourself for CourseSites. Select Send. Feel free to invite yourself so that you can experience the course from a student's perspective.


For Original courses, you can add students as follows. From the Course Management Control Panel, expand Users and Groups, then select Users and Create User. Complete the form for each user you wish to add. The mandatory fields are first name, last name, username, and password. Click the Submit button. You will need to provide your students with their username and password and ask them to complete the rest of their profile. Note: Coming soon, we will have a more streamlined workflow for inviting students to an Original course, which will be consistent with the workflow for inviting students to an Ultra course. This functionality is planned to be released this month (July).


Can I use Blackboard Ally in my courses?

Blackboard Ally is currently supported in the Original Course View, it is planned to be available for the Ultra Course View later this year.


Can I use Blackboard Collaborate in my courses?

Blackboard Collaborate is currently supported in the Original Course View and the Ultra Course Views.


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:

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