Online Course Availability 1/16/2020 – What Does This Mean?

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Online Course Availability 1/16/2020 – What Does This Mean?

There may be some confusion as to what opening your classes are in Blackboard, what being fully developed means, and the requirements of teaching online. See below for some direction.

The “100% Online Course Offering Protocol” is the agreement between The Office of Special Sessions and the faculty member teaching the fully online course. The agreement covers many areas including; department approval, Special Sessions approval, training, stipends and lastly course development and availability requirements.

By default, all online courses, when launched, are unavailable to students. This allows the faculty member to develop, update, and maintain the course before students can get in and take a look. The current procedure is for faculty to make the course available one week prior to the start of the semester for the Preview Week. See the link below.

For an online course to be ready, please review this checklist:

1. The entire course should be developed at least two weeks prior to the course start date, and revisions may be made as the term progresses

2. One week prior to the start of class the class should be made available. What does all this mean?

Course Content

 If applicable, course content has been copied from a previous semester.

 All course links have been checked for broken or missing content.

 Due dates, adaptive release dates, availability, etc. has been updated.

 All course content has been updated to reflect the current semester and textbook information.

Course Menu

 Course menu is named and ordered appropriately.

 Replicated content folders that were created during the course copy have been deleted.

 Content folders are descriptive and easy to read.

Welcome – Start Here

 Information in the Welcome – Start Here area has been updated.


 Announcements have been set as the course entry point.

 Announcements from previous semesters are removed or hidden.

 A welcome announcement has been created and is ready to be shared.

My Instructor

 Name, email address, phone number, office hours, etc. are up to date.


 The updated syllabus has been uploaded to the Syllabus area.


 All assignments are provided in the Course Content area.

 Assignment due dates and points possible have been updated; instructions have been tweaked if needed.

 The Grade Center is setup.

o The gradebook setup matches the grading policy in the syllabus.

o Duplicate Grading Schemas have been deleted.

o Duplicate Categories have been deleted.

o Duplicate Columns have been deleted (i.e. Total, Weighted Total, etc.)

o All hidden Columns have been verified; hidden columns not serving a purpose have been deleted.

Discussion Board

 Icebreaker/Introductory activity is in place and updated.

 Duplicate forums have been deleted.

 Discussion Board activities are made available, hidden, or date restrictions are set, based on the course schedule.

ADA/Universal Design

 The accessibility of your course content has been checked (Ally).

o Refer to the Ally Accessibility Checklist

 Font & Background colors have high contrast (includes highlighting).

 All font is in sans serif (Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Tahoma, or Verdana).

 Color alone does not indicate meaning (i.e. Red=Test Dates).

 Hyperlinks include information about why the link is present, where the link goes, and what happens next, as in “opens in new window”.

 Alt tags for non-textual items are in place.

 Transcripts and/or captions are available for all multimedia.

Presentation & Content

 Instructor adhered to rules of Standard English (grammar, punctuation, spelling)

 Presentation style is consistent

 There is limited use of colored text, highlighting, and all caps.


 Bb Collaborate Ultra Sessions are set up, if applicable.

Student Preview

 Reviewed the course and all course content in Student Preview mode




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