Blackboard – request a custom (arbitrary) course

Staff guide: most Blackboard courses and enrolments are set up via the Banner student information system. See this guide if you want a custom Blackboard course not connected to Banner.

Do I need a custom course?

Custom (arbitrary) courses should only be requested if it is not possible to set up the course in the Banner student information system or if we do not have an automated process for course set-up and user enrolment. 

If you have any questions please open a ticket with ServiceLine – include Blackboard in the ticket description.

I want a 23-24 or 24-25 version of an earlier custom (arbitrary) course.

  • Please see the use cases below before requesting a new custom course. If there is a more automated solution available, it will be more efficient to run and better for the student experience.

I want to teach students enrolled on different module codes in a single “parent” Blackboard course.

For example, there are multiple Banner codes (CRNs ) for the same module or I want to teach closely related modules in one Blackboard course.

  • Please follow this link for more information on how to merge enrolments into a single “parent” Blackboard course. Students will be unaware of the merged enrolments and will continue to access the course content via the module code they are enrolled on in Banner.

I have one group of students enrolled on multiple module codes, but I want to teach them via a single Blackboard course.

This use case is slightly tricky.

  • If Banner module codes and titles can be organised to better reflect teaching and assessment this is the best solution.
  • For now, choose a module to teach from and keep the others hidden. This is not ideal as it could cause issues with archiving and finding past assessments under the correct module code. If you want the main teaching module to have a different title in Blackboard, please contact ServiceLine and we can set this up in Blackboard.
  • Occasionally, custom courses are used to deliver modules in this way. Please contact ServiceLine and the Blackboard team can discuss your requirements and suggest the best solution.

I want a Blackboard course to deliver a course outside the assessed curriculum.

For example, for study skills sessions, language skills or a special event for University students.

  • You can request a Banner zero credit module for courses that fall outside the assessed curriculum; Blackboard course set-up and enrolment is then handled automatically via Banner. Contact your CQA office to request a compulsory or optional zero-credit module.

I want students to have access to a module ahead of the academic year where it is delivered.

For example, for a field trip or dissertation preparation.

  • Next year’s courses can be opened to students as soon as they are available in Blackboard. New courses are released in April and students are enrolled in Blackboard as soon as they are enrolled on the module in Banner.
  • Contact your CQA office as they can set up a zero credit module in the year ahead of the taught module, or as a Banner split module that will appear in both years.

I want a course to hold final assessments outside of the taught modules.

  • All final assessments must be held in the Blackboard module course (or merged module course) associated with the Banner module. This is very important for student access, data transfer and archiving of submitted work.

I want an information course to hold general student information and communication.

For example, induction sessions, school or programme announcements, employability, events, general policy and assessment and guides….etc.

  • You can use the link in this guide to request a Blackboard Programme Course to hold programme-level information and communications. Students are auto-enrolled via programme codes and the course will appear under the heading “Programme Information” in the course list. Please consult with your Deputy Head of School for Education or the Programme Leader to coordinate the information on these sites.
  • If you would like a school, department or faculty-level Blackboard course please follow this link to request a custom Blackboard course and we can discuss the setup and enrolments with you. These courses are usually listed under the term heading: “Induction, training and further resources”.
  • Consider SharePoint if you require a repository for documents, guides and information.

I want a course to test out ideas, practice skills, or start to build next year’s course.

I want a course to deliver staff information and training.

I am holding an event for external users.

Other users – or not sure?

  • Please open a ServiceLine ticket if you have any questions. We will be able to discuss your requirements and find the best solution for you. Include “Blackboard” in the ticket description.

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