Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)
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Blackboard Support

The following provides information on how Blackboard is supported at Cal Poly Pomona:

End of Term Maintenance

Typically performed over two days following grade submission, Blackboard may experience planned downtime for upgrades, Blackboard integration installation, application of security patches, course backups, and student enrollment for the upcoming term.

The IT Service Desk will notify faculty, staff, and students via email before each scheduled End of Term Maintenance. Updates are also posted to the CAFE Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as the Blackboard login page.

Bronco Accounts

All Cal Poly Pomona faculty, staff, and students with a Cal Poly BroncoName and password are also granted Blackboard accounts. This is the same username and password used to log into BroncoDirect and CPP email.

Faculty not currently teaching will be restricted from accessing Blackboard. If access is needed, please email us at Your Blackboard account will be re-enabled the morning after we receive your request.

Students will have access to Blackboard for one year after leaving Cal Poly Pomona.

For non-Cal Poly Pomona faculty, staff, and student access, please review the Guest Accounts section.

Faculty Leave Access

Blackboard access is disabled for faculty who are not teaching in the current term. Those wishing to regain access to Blackboard must:

Additional Instructor Access

CAFE can only grant additional instructor access to Blackboard courses with the expressed consent of the course's original instructor. Consent may be emailed to Alternatively, the original instructor can manually enroll users into their courses using Blackboard’s How to Find Users to Enroll tutorial.

Guest Accounts

Guests are individuals who do not have a Bronco ID number, such as guest lecturers from other universities, guest consultants from related companies, and guest students. The guest or affiliate must have a valid reason for having an account and follow these procedures:

  1. A Cal Poly Pomona faculty or staff, acting as the guest’s sponsor, may prompt the guest to submit the Guest Account Request Form.
  2. After carefully reading all stated requirements, the guest must complete the form and accept the usage agreement.
  3. Upon submitting the form, the guest and sponsor will receive an email confirmation to authorize the guest account creation.
  4. Once the sponsor has accepted authorization of the account, the guest account will be created in the Blackboard system within an hour.
  5. The guest will receive an additional email with Blackboard log in instruction.
  6. The sponsor will be informed via email that the guest be manually added into the course or organization.

Student Preview

With student preview, instructors can experience their courses exactly as their students do. Learn more at Blackboard’s Student Preview help article.

Graduating Students

Graduating students continue having access to Blackboard for up to 1 year in order to cover possible grade disputes and allow for retrieval of submissions. Students wishing to access their previously submitted materials must first ask their instructor to make the relevant Blackboard course(s) available.

Student submission and grade data is disabled after 1 year, but can temporarily be re-enabled by request. Please contact for more information. Student data is maintained for the length of IT's course retention practices.

New Course Creation

All courses offered through BroncoDirect are provided with a course shell in Blackboard automatically. Course shells for the current term and two future terms are always available within Blackboard at any given time. New sections and instructor changes in BroncoDirect will be reflected in Blackboard the following morning.

New Blackboard courses are created as unavailable to students. Instructors must make them available to allow student access.

Combine Course Rosters

Faculty may request course rosters in Blackboard to be combined for the purposes of delivering content or allowing cross-section interaction. Such a request must meet the following criteria:

  • Course sections to be combined are of like subject and catalog number
  • No student submissions have been made in the separate Blackboard sections (e.g. assignments, Discussion Board posts, Blog posts, etc.)

Upon approval, a new Blackboard course shell will be created and the original separate course shells will be made unavailable to students.

Instructors can easily discern which sections their students originated from by navigating to their combined course’s Control Panel > Grade Center > Full Grade Center. The student’s original section will appear under the 'Child Course ID' column.

Course combinations can be requested through the Blackboard Request Form.

Automatic Course Enrollments

During End of Term Maintenance, all students who have officially enrolled into courses using BroncoDirect will be automatically synchronized into Blackboard courses for the upcoming term. After which, enrollments are synchronized daily between 8:00 am to 9:00 am and 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm for the remainder of the term.

Manual Course Enrollments

Instructor may manually enroll users who are not registered through BroncoDirect into their Blackboard courses, including teaching assistants, guest consultants, guest lecturers, and guest students.

For users with a valid Cal Poly Pomona account, please follow the instructions on how to manually enroll a user.

For users without a valid Cal Poly Pomona account, please refer to the Guest Accounts section.

Open University Students

Once an Open University student receives a BroncoName and claim code, disclosed by the Office of Admissions and Outreach through email, they must claim their account. The Service Desk has provided instructions on how to claim a Bronco account.

After their Bronco account has been claimed, the Open University student will be automatically added to Blackboard's user database within 24 hours. The Open University student will be automatically enrolled into the Blackboard course if they are officially enrolled through BroncoDirect.

Remove Users

Instructors have the power to manually remove users. When a user is removed from a course, all associated information (including grades, submitted files, and Discussion Board posts) is removed.

Course Copy

Blackboard allows copying of materials from one course to another, using one of two methods:

  • In Blackboard, navigate to the course containing content and use the "Copy Course" feature under “Packages and Utilities” in the Control Panel.
  • Faculty may request the copying of course materials using CAFE's Request Form. Once submitted, the process will take up to two business days.

Course Quota

Each Blackboard course and organization is given a quota of 700MB and 50MB, respectively. This quota is used for content uploaded by the instructor or organization leader.

Quota increases are available on request. Quota increase requests that push a course or organization’s total quota over 1GB must be approved by IT Systems.

Blackboard has an inherent single-file upload limit of 200MB. Large uploads, including audio and video files, are better housed on servers separate from Blackboard, and then linked to from within the Blackboard course. For consultation on such uploads, please contact us at

Cleaning Up Unused Course Files

All files uploaded into Blackboard are automatically stored into Content Collection spaces, which are tied to individual courses and organizations. When an instructor deletes a file (like in the Course Documents area), the link to that file is broken but the file itself still remains in the Content Collection. To permanently remove content and reduce quota usage, an instructor will need to do so directly from their course’s Content Collection space.

Instructors may easily access their course's Content Collection files by navigating to their course, going to their Control Panel (bottom-left menu), and clicking the right arrow icon (->) next to ‘Content Collection.’ From here, check the box to the left of any file and then click the ‘Delete’ button. If any files are still linked within the course, the instructor will be notified and given the option to delete or keep those files.

Recycle Course

Faculty may request to have all content deleted from their courses by contacting the LMS Support team at


Material uploaded by Cal Poly Pomona faculty, staff, or students is expected to fall within copyright guidelines.

Browser Time-Out Issues

Blackboard is set to trigger a browser time-out, which will automatically log users out of the system, at three hours. This practice has been adopted for security purposes to ensure that users are not logged in indefinitely (e.g. user neglecting to click “Logout” after logging in using a public computer).

Activities that will take longer than three hours to complete must be broken into multiple sections.

It is also recommended that users log out of the system and then log back in before starting a test.

Course Retention

Official Blackboard Courses

Current Term Archives Practice - Courses archives are automatically created for any change that the instructor makes in a course. These archives are kept for 6 months and are then automatically deleted. Additionally, Blackboard provides course data backup at least once per day to two discrete locations. This backed up data is kept for 30 days.

Prior Term Archives Practice – CPP retains 7 years of courses: the most recent 4 years are live in the Learning Management System (LMS) and are accessible to instructors. The 3 older years are stored as archives offline (restored copies are available upon request). During End of Term Maintenance, the oldest term of the 4 years of live courses are archived and then removed from the LMS, becoming inaccessible to instructors. This term is now considered the 5th year of the retention rotation. CPP IT creates the offline archives to campus-managed storage, validates, and removes the courses from the LMS. These offline archives are kept for up to 3 more years, completing the 7 total years of retention. When they have aged beyond 3 years, they are removed permanently and cannot be restored.

Note: instructors are encouraged to not make any changes to courses that have already ended. Instead, it’s recommended to request a new sandbox course, copy materials into the sandbox course, and then make changes there. If making a change in a course that has already ended is absolutely necessary, once all changes have been made, instructors are encouraged to email to request a one-off course archive to archive it in its current state.

Organizations and Special Courses

Organizations and special courses (i.e. Course Sandboxes, Course Templates) that are not accessed by anyone for 1 year are marked as ‘inactive’ and placed in the queue for deletion during the end of term maintenance. The organization or special course must be accessed before the end of the term to be removed from the deletion queue. Organization or special course leaders/instructors will be notified via email multiple times before removal occurs.

Course Restoration

Blackboard has the ability to restore a course from any point in time over the past 30 days. Point-in-time restoration requests may be sent to

Faculty who have personally stored Blackboard backups or archival zip files may request a course restore via CAFE's Request Form, indicating that an archival zip file has already been generated in the special instructions field. Upon form submission, the faculty must deliver the zip archive file to CAFE immediately physically or via email at

Course Content

Material uploaded by Cal Poly Pomona faculty and staff is expected to fall within Section 508 compliance.

Learn about making common file types accessible at CAFE’s Creating Accessible Materials page.

Blackboard Learn Accessibility Resources

Blackboard’s Accessibility Resources provides best practices, usage guidelines, and system features regarding accessible compliance.

Blackboard integrations add extra services to Blackboard. For example, we have integrated Turnitin with Blackboard. You can use Turnitin, a writing feedback and plagiarism detection service, directly within Blackboard without having to leave the Blackboard environment or log into directly.

Adopting an integration involves several campus departments, including CAFE, IT, Bronco Bookstore, and Procurement. We have created the following evaluation procedure to ensure that all technologies at Cal Poly Pomona are secure, and allow for all members of the Cal Poly Pomona community to benefit from them.

Please note: The integration evaluation procedure may take several months and require significant input from the person or group requesting the tool. Assuming approval, campus-wide rollout of the integration will typically be performed only during End of Term Maintenance

Integration Evaluation Procedure

  1. A Blackboard integration is requested through the CAFE Request Form.
    • Bronco Bookstore is notified if the integration is publisher-related or requires student payment.
  2. CAFE gathers pertinent information from the vendor, including:
    • Level of vendor support for end users (CPP students, instructors, and staff)
    • Instructions to configure the integration for testing
  3. CAFE performs basic usability testing.
  4. IT performs security and accessibility testing, working with the requestor and vendor to gather the following documentation as needed:
    • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
    • Accessibility Roadmap
    • Higher Education Cloud Vendor Assessment Tool (HECVAT)
    • Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan (EEAAP)
  5. Procurement works with requestor and vendor to secure funding (if necessary) and an End User License Agreement (EULA).
  6. Evaluation results and supporting documentation are brought before the IT Change Management Committee for approval.
  7. CAFE and IT perform final usability testing and schedule campus-wide rollout of the integration.