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Course Readiness Checklist

Starting a new semester means getting your Blackboard course ready for students. You can expect your students to begin looking in Blackboard for course materials the first day of the semester. Students who find empty course sites or sites with outdated materials can easily become discouraged or disinterested.

The following recommendations will help you ensure your course is ready for a new semester.

Getting Started

  • Can you see your course for the current semester in Blackboard?
  • If you are reusing a course from a previous semester, was all the content copied over correctly?

If you are missing content or you are unsure how to copy a course please visit the Online Learning Website or email Online Learning.

Updating Your Course

Systematically review the sections and each tool of your course, to confirm everything is up to date. Be sure to update only the current semester’s course site. Previous course sites must be left unaltered for archiving and data retention (this includes documents from Google Drive that are linked to old courses).

  • Enrollment Verification – Remove old posts; update with current information.
  • Announcements – Remove old posts; hide any posts you will reuse; update Welcome Message.
  • Discussion Board – Remove old posts and forums; hide any forums you will reuse.
  • Assignments – Remove or Replace old assignments; verify release/due dates are current.
  • Grade Book – Remove or Replace old grades; verify assignments, check dates, check weighting.
  • Schedule/Calendar – Change dates for current semester; Remove old items.
  • Modules/Lessons – Update dates for current semester, update content as needed.
  • Syllabus – Verify current policies and procedures are listed, contact info and grading scale are correct.
  • Links – Check all linked materials (websites, documents, videos) to ensure valid links. Remove outdated resources such as DL Website & Campus Cruiser.
  • Help – Provide students with new help information such as http://cfcc.edu/online/student-support/ and http://cfcc.edu/studenthelpdesk/

Tips and Tricks

  • Remove all unused sections and tools. Eliminating the clutter will help students navigate your course.
  • Use a Master Course Site to make all updates and changes, and then copy your course into the current semester’s site. This will save time deleting old announcements and discussion posts.
  • Use a Google Calendar to create your course schedule and import into your current site.
  • Plan ahead! Faculty can expect the need to update approximately 10% of their course content each time it is offered, and to completely redesign their course every 3 years.
  • Sometimes it is easier and less time consuming to start with a blank course and rebuild your content rather than updating every section.
  • Need more time? Sometimes you just cannot get everything done. Post an announcement telling your students when you will have your site ready. Close off sections that are not updated yet.

Getting Help

Blackboard Support

Contact Faculty Blackboard Support when Blackboard is not working as it should, or as you think it should. Technical Support is provided both in person and remotely via phone and email.

Online Learning

Need more help? Contact Online Learning.



Wilmington Campus
411 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 362-7000

North Campus
4500 Blue Clay Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429
(910) 362-7700

Burgaw Center
100 East Industrial Drive
Burgaw, NC 28425
(910) 362-7900

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Accessibility Services

Cape Fear Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, political affiliation or age.