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Start of Term Tips for Instructors

Start of Term Tips for Instructors:

  • Course Site: There is typically no need to request a Blackboard course site – all full-time AS/EN, Carey, Nursing, SAIS, Peabody, and Education courses should have a course site by default in Blackboard.
  • Course Enrollments: Student enrollments for your course are populated from SIS to Blackboard. It can take up to 24 hours for a SIS add or drop to populate or be removed in your Blackboard site.
  • Adding a TA to your course site: Even if you have added your TAs to your course in SIS, they must be manually added to the Blackboard course site. Follow this documentation to add the TA to your course.
  • Course Availability to Students: For a course to be seen by students, it must be made available by the instructor: Making a Blackboard Course Available (video demo)
  • Course Copy: A reminder that course material is not automatically copied over from semester to semester. If you want to reuse material from a Blackboard course taught in a previous semester, you’ll need to use the Course Copy feature. Course Copy allows you to select which parts of a course you would like copied and then copies those parts over to the new course site. For the Course Copy feature to work properly, 1) you must be an instructor in both courses, and 2) the course to be copied into must be an existing course. Please see the Course Copy tutorial for more details.
    • Important Note: The Course Copy information does not apply to AAP instructors. Due to course transfer errors, AAP instructors are not permitted to use the course copy or other transfer functions. Fully online sections will be transferred automatically by the IRC, while face to face sections need to be requested in advance of the term. Please review the AAP transfer documentation, if you have any questions.
  • Course Merge Request: By default, a Blackboard course site is created for every section. Instructors who have multiple sections, but desire to only use/maintain one Blackboard course site must request that their sections be merged each semester by emailing This will enable instructors to manage content and enrollments from one section.
    • Note: Please do not simply reply to a previous email you might have received from as that could cause your new request to be missed.
    • Instructors can use this documentation to create smart views for their courses after the merge is complete.
  • Course Quota: By default, a Blackboard course site has a quota of 2GB. Please contact if you know you may need more space.
  • Browsers: If you experience problems using Blackboard, it may be because you are using an unsupported browser. You may be aware that Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, two of the most popular browsers, are on a ‘rapid release’ schedule, releasing updated versions of their browsers as often as every six weeks. This makes it difficult for programs such as Blackboard to keep up with all of the latest updates. For a complete list of currently supported browsers in Blackboard, please see the Supported Browsers and Operating Systems page.
    • Internet Explorer 11 (IE11): IE11 will no longer be supported by JHU. Microsoft ended active development for Internet Explorer in January 2016. Over time, we have found more features of Learn no longer work properly with IE11 and Blackboard will not resolve issues specific to IE11. We recommend an alternate browser, e.g. Chrome, Edge, Firefox.
  • Regular Maintenance Hours: Please be aware that IT@JH reserves Thursday mornings from 4 AM – 7 AM (Eastern) for maintenance. Blackboard ( may not be available during those hours on those days.
  • Blackboard “how to” resources: Please review the JHU Blackboard knowledge base for articles, FAQs and step-by-step instructions that may be useful to answering many of your initial questions.
  • Blackboard support is provided by specific teams within each JHU school, please visit the contact info page to find your school’s support team contact information.