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Center for Teaching & Learning: Blackboard - New Course Checklist

Supporting the MCPHS faculty and staff in their commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning

Are you new to MCPHS University? New to teaching online? Use this simple checklist to make sure your course starts off successfully!

As you progress through the development of your course, reach out to our staff if you run into any roadblocks!

instructionaldesign@mcphs.edu

Looking for a paper copy? Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click this icon:  Print Page
See more course checklists.

Template Overviews

Stock Your Course With Good Stuff Notes Resources
  Start building your syllabus! (Is there one already developed? Work with that, or create your own!) Don't forget to check with your departmental administrative staff or Dean to ensure you're using the standard content and formatting.   
 

Get the latest Academic Calendar

Be sure to identify University holidays, etc. that may affect your course's meeting days

Latest Academic Calendar

 

Write your course schedule

Map out the learning activities/assessments/assignments for each week or specific milestones  
 

Determine your readings

Consult with the MCPHS University librarians for links to journal articles, resources and to discuss any copyright questions  
  Find videos to add variety to your content Identify resources that will be of use. Make building your course easier - develop a list all of the video URLs you'd like to incorporate when it is time to build the course in Blackboard.  
 

List your web resources

Start a list of the web links you'll be using, for easy cut/pasting when you start building your content areas  
  Take a photo of yourself or create a short introduction video Personalize your course--whether you're online or in person, connect with your students!  
  Gather all of your files into a single folder Don't forget your presentations, lectures, PDFs, and other created handouts  
Arrange Your Course Shell
      Request the basic course template or the Learning Module template This provides a standardized base to start adding content into

Request your preferred template 

  Adjust content to align with the course template (if used) Ask your an instructional designer about integrating a course template into your course(s).  
  Add or subtract weekly modules as needed 15 weeks? 12 or 10 week summer course? Project or other milestone based course? Set up your modules to reflect this  
 

Write assignments

Include specific and detailed instructions; develop or reference rubrics to guide students  
  Develop and record your presentations It's better to have several 15 minute lectures with 15-20 slides (if you're using PowerPoint) than 2 hours and 67 slides.   
  Develop your discussion board topics and link them within your lessons Don't forget to think about criteria, expectations on formatting, peer response, etc. to create complete exercises Learn more about discussion boards and ways to implement them here!
 

Prep your weekly units

Work through them in sequence--focus on the early weeks of the semester, to ensure there is content for the start of the semester  
  Add Grade Center categories as needed Projects? Special categories that align with your syllabus Learn about customizing the Grade Center
  Edit your weighted total column in the Grade Center Set the grading categories to their appropriate weights.  (Be sure to set up the categories first!) Learn more about Weighted Total Columns

 

Finalize and Launch Your Course!
      Run the "Check Course Links" Tool This checks internal links and helps to ensure accuracy (This process can take several minutes to complete)

Learn how to check your internal course links here.

  Check your external web links This has to be done manually, but it's important to be sure you're providing updated and available information to your students!  
  Double check your Grade Center Now's the time to check with an Instructional technologist or designer to be sure it's set up as you would like! Send an email to Academic Technology and Instructional Support.
 

Post an announcement

Welcome your students and don't forget to select "Send Email" Learn how to create an announcement.
  Use the student preview Use Student Preview to experience the course exactly as it will display to your students.   Learn how to use the student preview.
  Make your course available We recommend making your course live a week prior to the start of the semester--this allows students to familiarize themselves with your course content, the syllabus and identify textbook and supplies purchases. You can leave the units hidden for now. Learn how to make your course available.
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