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.

Designed to meet the QM rubric standards, our Blackboard QM Course Template provides the foundation for instructors to build a QM-quality course. The Blackboard 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. All course content may be changed as needed to fit any teaching style.

The Blackboard QM Course Template is being automatically applied to all new courses starting Spring 2021.


CAFE regularly updates the Blackboard QM Course Template to ensure its information and links remain current. If you have previously adopted the Blackboard QM Course Template, the version you are currently using will not be automatically updated.

Those wishing to adopt the latest version 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 materials, requiring you to rearrange and clean up your course menu.

The Blackboard QM Course Template was last updated August 12, 2020: View Update Notes

Course Menu

course navigation menu

Designed to quickly and intuitively guide students through the course, the course menu is broken up into three subheaders: Getting Started, Course Content, and Support.

Getting Started contains important information related to the course structure and introductory steps for students. In this section, students will find information about your course overview, syllabus, and more.

Course Content is where students will spend the majority of their time in your course. Here students will find your learning materials, assignments, and activities.

Support gives students quick access to help guides and university resources.


Getting StartedBlackboard screenshots: Announcements, Start Here!, Course Information

  • Announcements serves as the entry point of the course where instructors can post timely information critical to course success. Announcements can also be sent as emails to students.
  • Start Here! is where students are welcomed to your course and may find instructions on getting started with your course.
  • Course Information houses information about you as the course instructor, as well as your course syllabus and schedule.


Course ContentBlackboard screenshots: Learning Units, Unit 1, Assignments, Quizzes & Exams, Discussion Board

  • Learning Units contains sub-folders, known as “Units,” that house all weekly course materials, as well as links to relevant assignments and assessments. Learning Objectives and step-by-step student activities can be added to each Unit.
  • Assignments is a dedicated area in which Blackboard Assignments, Turnitin Assignments, and more can be created to collect student work.
  • Quizzes & Exams is a dedicated area in which Blackboard Tests can be deployed to students.
  • The Discussion Board allows instructors and students to engage in communication. CAFE has added an icebreaker Forum, encouraging students to introduce themselves.
  • My Grades allows students to quickly check information relating to their course activity. Students can review the scores you’ve awarded and comments added to their submissions.

SupportBlackboard screenshots: Send Email, Student Resources

  • Send Course Email allows students and instructors to send email to others within the same course. Emails sent from Blackboard will be received in each recipient’s Cal Poly Pomona email. The original author will also receive a copy.
  • Student Resources provides an aggregated list of support links, including Blackboard guides, university policies, and other resources.
  • Blackboard eHelp provides basic guides for both instructors and students.
  • IT Service Desk is available to answer student inquiries about Blackboard and other university technologies.