ONLINE AND BLENDED LEARNING

Faculty FAQs

I. For - Getting Started

Where do I go online to find the Blackboard system?
Do I need a special username and password to get to my online courses?
What if I don’t know (or forget) my username or password?

II. Preparing to teach an online course

How do I request a new online course?
Is there a cost for using Blackboard?
I’ve never taught an online class, or I have used a different online system, and I need help learning how to get around. What should I do?

III. Preparing my computer to teach an online course

How do I make sure my desktop or laptop computer will work with the online classes?
Can I use an iPad or mobile device with Blackboard?
Do I select Yes or No in the Security Warning box?

IV. Adding/removing participants in Official online courses

How do I enroll students in my online course?
What do I do if a student reports that she/he cannot access my Official course?
How can I remove students from my course?
How do I add instructors?
Why do additional instructors, or teaching assistants or staff need training?
How soon after training may INSTRUCTOR, STAFF or TEACHING ASSISTANTS be enrolled into a Blackboard Course?

V. Backing up my Blackboard Course

Who is responsible for backing up my Blackboard course?


VI. Miscellaneous Questions

What if items seem to be missing from my online course?
How can I COMPRESS images in my PowerPoint presentation to make the files size smaller?
Why does the file size matter?
How do I connect materials from textbook publishers to my online course?

VII. Additional Help?

Where do I go for additional help?



I. Faculty - Getting Started


Where do I go online to find the Blackboard system?
There are two easy ways to navigate to the Blackboard Login Page.

Option 1: From the UTHSCSA home page (www.uthscsa.edu), Click Quicklinks, then click the Blackboard link (see red arrow below).
Blackboard navigation
Option 2: From the Portal (inside.uthscsa.edu) page, click the button labeled Blackboard (see red arrow below).

Blackboard navigation

Do I need a special username and password to get to my online courses?
No. Your UT Health Science Center domain user name and your Blackboard login (we call it the "domain user name") are the same. Similarly, your password is the same for any UTHSCSA web sites where you need to identify yourself to the system (we call this "authentication"). That means any changes you make to your UT Health Science Center password will be reflected in your Blackboard online course login. When you change your password for DOMAIN (for faculty and staff, your E-mail account) you’ll need to use that same new password the next time you log into Blackboard. If you just changed the password, you might need to give the system a few minutes to "catch up" to your change as it updates your data record throughout the system.

What if I don’t know (or forget) my username or password?
If you have problems with your password and need to have it reset, call the IMS Service Desk at 210-567-7777, option 4 or click here for the UTHSCSA Domain Password Resetting Tool.

If you cannot recall your username, you will need to report in person to the [designated Computer Support location] for additional assistance.

II. Preparing to teach an online course


How do I request a new online course?
Each offical course has an Blackboard course shell created and posted approximately 4-6 weeks prior to start of the semester or academic year. New online courses need a "course shell" which can be blank or can contain a copy of a previously taught online course. To request a course shell for a development course, complete and submit the electronic Blackboard New Development Course Request Form (Z-Dev), including required signatures. Submit this form to IMS service desk using the contact information provided on the form.

For acadmic support courses*, contact the Director of OBL, Dr. Aggie Manwell-Jackson at manwell@uthscsa.edu. (*Academic support courses are courses not offered through the Registrar's office, but support academic activities, such as, facutly groups and residencey programs.)

Is there a cost for using Blackboard?

  1. There is no cost for official Bb courses, defined as courses created through the REGISTRAR with an official course number, for which the student receives credit.
  2. Academic Support or CE courses incur a $500 initial set up fee, and a $250 yearly maintenance fee. CE courses incur a variable user enrollment fee dependent upon the length and complexity of the course. (minimum $25 per user for one hour course; enrollment rate increases to $100.00 for users enrolled in a semester long course).
  3. Each academic support or official course is provided up to four (4) hours of free instructional design and information technology design services. Additional hours can be charged up to $60 per hour.

I've never taught an online class, or I have used a different online system, and I need help learning how to get around. What should I do?
If you wish to be an INSTRUCTOR in a course, and you have never taught with BbLearn before, then you must complete at least a one hour Blackboard FUNDAMENTALS workshop. See the Faculty Development page for a listing of days/times. You may also contact the Director of OBL, Dr. Aggie Manwell-Jackson at manwell@uthscsa.edu.

Faculty have several options for additional assistance with learning and Blackboard Learning technology. We agree that often experience is the best teacher and you can learn a lot just by exploring and trying things out or by connecting with a more experienced faculty member. We suggest you contact a member of the Online and Blended Learning Team for an informal consultation. Call 210-567-7777, option 4 to request enrollment in this course if it's not already listed in your available courses. We also provide links to internet tutorials to help you learn quickly in a zero-risk environment. Check out the faculty tutorials to get started.


III. Preparing my computer to teach an online course


How do I make sure my desktop or laptop computer will work with the online classes?
For recommended computer settings, refer to the Pre-semester checklist.

Can I use an iPad or mobile device with Blackboard?
Yes, you must download the Blackboard Mobile Learn app. After downloading the app, locate the campus by typing: University of Texas Health Science Center SA. However, we strongly suggest you access to a desktop or laptop due to constant device configurations, which may or may not your affect your current device's setup when using certain tools, such as discussion boards

Do I select Yes or No in the Security Warning box?
You must carefully read the question to determine the answer. You want to be able to view nonsecure items or content NOT delivered securily. Open document to view and read more about the Security Warnings.


IV. Adding/removing participants in online courses


How do I enroll students in my online course?
In OFFICIAL courses students are AUTOMATICALLY enrolled in Bb courses related to registered classes via PeopleSoft as follows:

  • Monday 3 weeks before the start of class
  • Monday 2 weeks before the start of class
  • Beginning Monday, 1 week before the start of class daily throughout the semester or academic year.

What do I do if a student reports that she/he cannot access my Official course?
Typically this is due to an issue with the registration process before the semester’s official census date, when student records are updated continuously in the Registrar’s office. First, advise the student to contact the Registrar’s office for additional information. The Blackboard system will automatically update enrollment lists overnight or within 1 business day. However, if you determine that your student’s access is not related to registration issues, advise the student to contact the IMS Service Desk at 210-567-7777, option 4 for assistance.

How can I remove students from my course?
Contact the Registrar's office (210-567-2621).

How do I add additional instructors?
The individual in your department responsible for entering data into the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (PS/CS) Course and Student Information System is responsible for adding all non-students, including instructors, teaching assistants, staff and auditors, into a Blackboard course. This individual is usually your department administrator who is trained in this process by the Registrar.

The PS/CS administrator may enter individuals into one of four (4) Blackboard roles if the role appropriate training has been completed. The roles are INSTRUCTOR, TEACHING ASSISTANT, STAFF, which have training requirements, or AUDITOR, which has no training requirements.


Why do additional instructors, or teaching assistants or staff need training?
INSTRUCTOR, TEACHING ASSSTANT and STAFF ROLES have full editing permissions in a Blackboard course and may upload or download files, create, edit or delete content, assignments, assessments, and grades. Hence, a basic level of knowledge is needed to prevent inadvertent deletion of critical student data and maintain student data integrity.

Please review training requirements at Faculty and Staff Training . Register for training in the Knowledge Center (click on Course Catalog/Academics).


How soon after training may INSTRUCTOR, STAFF or TEACHING ASSISTANTS be enrolled into a Blackboard Course?
Knowledge Center records completion of role appropriate training and automatically updates the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions system every 24 business hours, which then allows the PS/CS administrator to assign an INSTRUCTOR, TEACHING ASSISTANT or STAFF role. PS will update Bb course enrollments every 24 hours.

Hence if faculty complete training on a Monday at 1 pm. they may not be enrolled into a Blackboard Course as an instructor or teaching assistant until Wednesday. Note STAFF roles convert and are listed as Teaching Assistant within a Blackboard course roster.

There are NO TRAINING REQUIREMENTS for any non-student requesting a Blackboard AUDITOR role (with Read Only status) in a course.


V. Backing up my Blackboard Course


Who is responsible for backing up my Blackboard course?
Courses remain on the LIVE site and are accessible to enrollees for one year from the last day of the course. The Blackboard Administrator is responsible for creating backups of all ACTIVE courses every night. The Blackboard Administer is responsible for backing up all official courses on the last day of each semester and archiving them in a separate location.

Starting October 1, 2013, official courses are archived for (a rolling) four years on a separate website (to be announced) for review via domain user name and password for all students, faculty and administrators. All files will be read only status. A course director may request that their course be copied onto a CD for $10.


VI. Miscellaneous Questions


What if items seem to be missing from my online course?
For BbLearn courses, with Edit mode ON, go into the content (i.e., item, assignment, assessment, etc.) and select Edit, then from the "Availability" section check to see if permissions are set correctly for viewing.

How can I COMPRESS images in my PowerPoint presentation to make the files size smaller
It is recommended images be compressed before uploading presentation into Blackboard. Instructions can be found at Compress Presentation.

Why does the file size matter?
File size is very important, it can mean the difference between a fast load and a very slow load times. A slow load time can be frustrating to the user experience. Here is a diagram to visually help you see the differences in file sizes and load times: Diagram.

How do I connect materials from textbook publishers to my online course?
The access policy for supplemental materials supplied by textbook publishers varies. Check the terms of purchase/ terms of use for any items you purchased, or contact the publisher through its official web site to learn more. The simplest way to refer students to the publisher's web site is to insert a link for it as one of your course resources.


VII. Additional Help?


Where do I go for additional help?
Our job is to ensure your success with the technology you need while you are learning at UTHSCSA. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for help whenever you need it by navigating to [web site] or calling 210-567-7777, option 4 for Blackboard support. Refer to the Faculty Development page for more information.