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Faculty of Humanities Teaching & Learning Office

Start of Year and Semester: FAQs and checks

At the start of the new academic year or semester

Academic Staff

See also these useful Knowledge Base articles which cover some commonly occurring questions and issues with Blackboard 9:

Administrators (esp. those who schedule classes or assign staff in Campus Solutions)

For all staff, we direct your attention to our elearning year, which contains key dates, filterable by various activity types.

eLearning Key Dates for Academic Staff:

Access to your previous Blackboard courses

Your students will have continued access to previous Blackboard courses.

Staff will also continue to have access to previous courses. After the end date in Campus Solutions they will be moved to the 'Ended' tab in My Manchester > My Courses.

Other Knowledge Base articles you may find useful:

Visibility and Status of 2017-18 Blackboard Spaces

As soon as you can see your classes listed in the Future tab of My Manchester > My Courses, you can activate your Semester 1 and All Year 2017-18 courses. If the course was running in 2016-17, had a Blackboard course and has the same course code in 2017-18, you will be able to 'roll-forward' the 2016-17 course into the 2017-18 course space during the activation process (ie you will see the previous version of the course listed in the drop-down menu under 'Choose a template...'). Once activated, courses may take up to 24 hours to appear in your MyManchester list and in Blackboard.

However, we recommend that you consider choosing the Standard Course Structure 'template' for your School/Discipline (Standard Course Structure) from the drop-down 'Choose a template...' list and then copying across the material you need from your previous course. This will ensure you only have current material in your course. If you have material from an old Standard Course Structure in your course, this is likely to be out of date. See this Guide on how to activate and copy course material.

If you are having difficulties with activation, please see the section above for "Academic Staff".

Full details on How to activate Blackboard 9 courses (STAFF) are available in the Knowledge Base.

Courses are only accessible to students 1 week before the start of semester, unless the course leader decides to open the Blackboard course earlier (typically for administrative and preparatory tasks). For most courses in 2017-18 this is:  

  • Semester 1 and All-year courses: 11th September 2017
  • Semester 2 courses: 22nd January 2018

All student enrolments are via Campus Solutions so you will not be able to add students manually to courses via Blackboard.

Most Semester 1 and All Year courses should now appear to students under the 'Current' tab.

In semester one of 2017-18, the access to Blackboard module sites by students will change. Students will be able to see their own previous years’ Blackboard module sites. For more information on what is happening and what you need to do, please see the following guide: Extended Student Access to Courses

New courses and courses with a different course code


  • A Blackboard space will appear under the 'Future' tab for new courses once they have been scheduled and you have been given Primary Instructor access by your School Administrator in Campus Solutions. You can then activate your course, see How to activate Blackboard 9 courses (STAFF) in the Knowledge Base.

  • Normally you will be starting from scratch, and in most cases you should choose Standard course structure - [School] from the drop-down templates list (these are also referred to as Standard Course Structure).

  • If, however, you want to copy content from another course into this one, you will need to choose TEMPLATE-I1000 UoM template, which will give you a clear space. You will need to be Primary Instructor on both courses to copy from one to another. A guide on How to copy courses in Blackboard 9 (STAFF) is available on the Knowledge Base.

  • If you've activated your course with the wrong template, please don't do any development work in your course and get in touch with the eLearning team

Change of course code

  • When you activate a course which has a different course code from the previous year, you will NOT be given the option to choose the 'previous version of the course' from the templates drop-down list. In this case, you will need to choose the template for your School or Discipline area. This will give you a clear space to copy your 2016-17 course into.

  • Once you have activated this new 2017-18 course (which may take up to 24 hours to appear), you will be able to copy your 2016-17 course into it. A guide on How to copy courses in Blackboard 9 (STAFF) is available on the Knowledge Base. You will need to be Primary Instructor (or another role permission to copy) on both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 courses. Note that your copied course will not have any of the previous student enrolments or student generated content - this is the same as if you were rolling-forward.

  • If you experience any problems with copying your course, perhaps because the course is too large, please get in touch with the eLearning team.

Resits Without Attendance

For general University guidance, see the TLSO's Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations.

Students who are resitting without attendance require access to the lecture notes of the current delivery of the course (i.e. 2016-17). For courses supported using Blackboard the equivalent resources need to be made available e.g.

  • Weekly course/lecture notes
  • Reading lists (if these are not available via Link2lists)

The eLearning team can advise on the easiest way of downloading the materials.

New Academics

Your Blackboard course(s) should be visible to you in My Manchester: my.manchester.ac.uk/uPortal/. If you cannot see a Blackboard course you are expecting to see, please contact your School Administrator in the first instance to make sure you have been added to the course in Campus Solutions.

We recommend that you attend Blackboard training or come to a Drop In session organised by the eLearning team. Details of Training and Drop In sessions are on the Humanities eLearning website. See http://www.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/tandl/elearning/training/index.php

Course development and training

If you would like support with adding content, developing your course structure, or working with a particular aspect of Blackboard, you can:

Update Reading Lists

  • Contact the Library to update the course's "Link2Lists" reading lists.
  • Make sure the Link2Lists Reading List is live on your Blackboard course
  • More information is available on the Library's website

Standard Course Structure (SCS)

Induction material for students

Below is a presentation that staff can use when introducing students to Blackboard. Students should be encouraged to read through this before getting in touch for help.

See also:


Get in touch

If you have any questions please get in touch by contacting the eLearning team. Please provide specific information (such as course codes, staff names, student IDs) if you are reporting an error or mistake.