Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Blackboard QM Course Template

Quality Matters (QM) is a systematic methodology to ensure that online, hybrid, and technology-enhanced face-to-face courses are well designed to support student success. The QM rubric provides a consistent framework for in-depth, collegial, formative (non-evaluative) review of courses.

As part of Cal Poly Pomona's efforts to promote QM, a Blackboard course template was developed. The QM course template features pre-populated content to meet Cal Poly Pomona-specific policies, such as academic integrity, as well as placeholder content to be filled in by the instructor (designated using brackets [ ]). All course content may be changed as needed to fit any teaching style. Designed to meet the QM rubric standards, the Blackboard QM course template provides the foundation for faculty to build a QM-quality course.

To apply the Blackboard QM course template to your own course, please fill out an eLearning request form.


Our team regularly updates the Blackboard QM Course Template to ensure its information and links remain current. If you have adopted the Blackboard QM Course Template, the version you are currently using will not be automatically updated with any new information. If you wish to adopt the latest version of the Blackboard QM Course Template, you may either:

  1. Check the latest Updates Notes below and manually make changes in your own course or
  2. Request to re-apply the Blackboard QM Course Template. Please note that this option may result in duplication of items and may require you to clean up the course manually.

The Blackboard QM Course Template was last updated November 4, 2019: View Update Notes

course navigation menu

Course Navigation

Designed to quickly and intuitively guide students through the course, the course navigation is broken up into three areas: Getting Started, My Course, and Technical Support.

Getting Started contains important information related to the course structure and university policies. In this section, students will find information about the course overview, requirements, policies, and procedures.

My Course is where students will be spending the majority of their time in the course. Here students will find their weekly assignments and assessments and all required learning materials and tools.

Technical Support gives students and instructors quick access to Blackboard eHelp guides and the IT Service Desk.


HOME, Start Here, Course Information, and University Policies & Resources Blackboard content areas

Getting Started


HOME serves as the entry point of the course. Quickly introduce students to the course and provide a banner to make the course instantly recognizable.

  • Welcome to [course title] - Course description that gets students interested in the subject matter. Alternatively, provide the catalog description from the University Catalog.
  • Announcements (pre-populated description) - Provides students with quick access to the commonly used Announcements page.
  • Course Introduction Video - Create a short video to introduce the instructor and the course.

Start Here

Start Here is where students are instructed in how they are to begin using this Blackboard course.

  • Course Overview - Introduce students to the layout of the course and how to navigate it.
  • Blackboard System Requirements (pre-populated description) - Ensure that students are using a device with an Operating System and Internet Browser that is supported by Blackboard.
  • Blackboard Student eOrientation (pre-populated description) - Have students run through Cal Poly Pomona's Blackboard Student eOrientation to ensure that they are familiar with Blackboard and its tools. Some instructors make the orientation required by awarding points for its completion, while other instructors have it as an optional activity.
  • Next Steps - Explain the next steps that students should take to begin their course activities. Reading the syllabus and course schedule and introducing themselves on the Discussion Board is a great place to start.

Course Information

Course Information houses all the important information related to the structure of the course and day-to-day operations.

  • Instructor Information - Quick reference to vital instructor contact information.
  • Syllabus - Use the syllabus template to build a QM-quality syllabus.
  • Course Schedule - Use the course schedule template to build a course schedule.

University Policies & Resources

University Policies & Resources provides students with a section to quickly find information about many of the policies and resources available at Cal Poly Pomona. All of the items in the section have been pre-populated with current links to information covering things ranging from how to use library research guides to getting help at the Learning Resource Center. External policy and resource links will sometimes change without notice, therefore it is the instructor's responsibility to check the links each term and update as needed.

Course Content Blackboard content area and example Module 1 folder

My Course


Post timely information critical to course success. Choose to also send announcements as emails to students so that they don't miss that newly available test or that extended assignment due date.

Course Content

Course Content contains folders that house all the weekly course materials, assignments, and assessments. Within each module folder, there should be a list of Learning Objectives that students will learn and be able to do upon successful completion of the module. Also, within each module, include a list of activities that students must complete. If order matters, include a numbering convention to make clear which items must be completed first.

Discussion Board

Engage the class by having students post comments on various course topics. Pre-populated in the Discussion Board is an icebreaker forum, allowing students to practice and become familiar with posting in the Discussion Board. Instructors may choose to use this icebreaker forum or come up with their own activity to encourage student engagement.


The email tool allows users to send an email to others from within Blackboard. Emails sent from within Blackboard are sent using the user's email address. Additionally, a copy of the email will be sent to the sender.

My Grades

Students can quickly check information relating to their course activity grades. Students can see what score they received on the weekly quiz or view their instructor's comments on their term paper.

eHelp and IT Service Desk webpages

Technical Support

Blackboard eHelp

Cal Poly Pomona's Blackboard eHelp guides can be utilized by both instructors and students. Find tutorials for some of the most commonly used Blackboard tools.

IT Service Desk

If answers cannot be found in the eHelp guides, use the IT Service Desk to log a ticket. Tickets should be used for inquiries such as Blackboard not functioning as intended.