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October 2014

Preparing your Blackboard for the new academic year

(27 August 2014)

All Blackboard courses are visible to students on Monday 8 September 2014. You can access Blackboard via My Manchester for staff. Click on the link to Blackboard in the Teaching category of links (you may need to click on ‘View all’).

You will be able to see and update your Blackboard course in the Course List on the Blackboard home page within 24-48 hours of it being activated.

Activating your course

The course academic lead is responsible for making sure Bb courses are activated. However, some schools/programmes have local arrangements for activation. Bb courses may be activated by the course academic lead or anyone listed as primary instructor in Campus Solutions.

If you are a course academic lead, find out how to activate your course - this information includes details about rolling forward your 2013/14 course content to the 2014/15 Bb course, but also see ‘Standard Course Structure’ below. You can activate your Bb course as soon as you want, but it needs to have been set up in Campus Solutions first, and you must be registered as a Primary Instructor in order to activate your course. Check with your school/programme administrator if you can’t see the Bb course listed in the portlet.


You can find the link to activate the Bb course via the new My Manchester for staff:

  • Log into
  • Click on the A-Z link (top right hand corner)
  • Click on ‘M’ in the A-Z index
  • Scroll down and click on the ‘My courses (Blackboard)’ link
  • Click on the ‘Future’ tab to see your 2014/2015 courses
  • Click on the blue i (information icon) to begin the activation process


Standard Course Structure

A new Blackboard template (Standard Course Structure) has been created for each School for 2014/15. As there have been a number of changes to the templates in the last couple of years, we recommend  that  you  use  the  new  School template  to  activate  your  course  for  the  coming  academic  year and then copy only the material you require from the 2013-14 version of your course. This is an easy process and will take only a few minutes. Further instructions are at:

While it is possible to activate an exact copy of your 2013-14 course this will copy unwanted files/old documents, old Grade Centre columns and old Turnitin submission links. This material will become automatically available to students at the beginning of Semester unless removed or edited.

Note, if your course code has changed, the previous year’s course will not be available for rolling forward on activation, so you will need to choose the new template and copy across your content.


Support and Training

  • Support through the start of year period includes:
  • Scheduled training sessions for introductory Blackboard (Build) and Turnitin/Grademark
  • School based drop-ins
  • School based training sessions (tbc)
  • Faculty drop-ins
  • Bookable 1:1s

For details, see:

eLearning calendar:

Training and development:


Ensuring your Bb course has appropriate content for the start of year

Please review the article on Preparing Blackboard 9 courses for start of year and semester 2 (STAFF), available on the Knowledge Base, which includes:

  • the process required in order for Bb courses to be made available to students in Blackboard;
  • a link to ‘Key dates for Blackboard 9’;
  • a link to a ‘Post-activation checklist’;
  • links to other related articles.
  • Blackboard 9 maintenance periods for 2014/15

The following are confirmed dates for scheduled Bb9 maintenance and downtime at Easter 2015. Bb9 will be unavailable from 16:00 on Thursday 26 March until 12:01 on Monday 30 March 2015. We hope that this early notification will enable you to factor in these dates when timetabling assignment submission dates and key course activities.

Further information

The eLearning Year

Start of Year: FAQs and checks

Calendar of support and training for start of year

eLearning lifecycle and start of year communications list

If you have any queries please contact


Welcome week