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 eLearning Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as the Blackboard login page.
Accounts and Access
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
- Ask their department to complete and submit paperwork for the following term
- Request temporary access to Blackboard
Additional Instructor Access
eLearning can only grant additional instructor access to Blackboard courses with the expressed consent of the course's original instructor. Consent may be emailed to email@example.com. Alternatively, the original instructor can manually enroll users into their courses using Blackboard’s How to Find Users to Enroll tutorial.
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:
- A Cal Poly Pomona faculty or staff, acting as the guest’s sponsor, may prompt the guest to submit the Guest Account Request Form.
- After carefully reading all stated requirements, the guest must complete the form and accept the usage agreement.
- Upon submitting the form, the guest and sponsor will receive an email confirmation to authorize the guest account creation.
- Once the sponsor has accepted authorization of the account, the guest account will be created in the Blackboard system within an hour.
- The guest will receive an additional email with Blackboard log in instruction.
- The sponsor will be informed via email that the guest be manually added into the course or organization.
With student preview, instructors can experience their courses exactly as their students do. Learn more at Blackboard’s Student Preview help article.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Student data is maintained for the length of IT's course retention practices.
Course Creation Services
New Course Creation
All courses offered through BroncoDirect are provided with a course shell in Blackboard automatically. Course shells for the following term are created approximately 30 days before the end of the current term. 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 the instructor and students. The combined rosters will be automatically enrolled into the new course within 24 hours.
Instructors can easily discern which sections their students originated from by navigating to their combined course’s Control Panel > Users and Groups > Users. The student’s original section will appear under the 'Child Course ID' column.
Course combine requests may be sent to email@example.com.
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.
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.
Content Management Services
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 eLearning's Request Form. Once submitted, the process will take up to two business days.
Each Blackboard course and organization is given a quota of 400 Megabytes and 50 Megabytes, 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 700 Megabytes must be approved by IT Systems.
Blackboard has an inherent single-file upload limit of 200 Megabytes. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Faculty may request to have all content deleted from their courses by contacting the LMS Support team at email@example.com.
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 and Restoration Services
Courses remain in Blackboard for 3 years and are then removed entirely during End of Term Maintenance. This time frame is adhered to for the following reasons:
- To allow easy access to course material that will be used again
- To allow easy access to Blackboard grades for grade appeals
- To allow incomplete students to complete courses at the faculty member’s discretion
Organizations and Special Courses (ie. Course Sandboxes, Course Templates) that are not accessed by anyone for 1 year are marked as ‘inactive’ and placed in queue for deletion. If an inactive Organization or Special Course is accessed again within the following term, it will be marked as ‘active’ and taken out of the deletion queue. If an inactive Organization or Special Course is not accessed during the following term, it will be deleted from Blackboard entirely during the following End of Term Maintenance. Organization or Special Course leaders/intructors will be notified via email multiple times before removal occurs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty who have personally stored Blackboard backups or archival zip files may request a course restore via eLearning'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 eLearning immediately physically or via email at email@example.com.
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 eLearning’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 Turnitin.com directly.
Adopting an integration involves several campus departments, including eLearning, 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
- A Blackboard integration is requested through the eLearning Request Form.
- Bronco Bookstore is notified if the integration is publisher-related or requires student payment.
- eLearning 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
- eLearning performs basic usability testing.
- 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)
- Procurement works with requestor and vendor to secure funding (if necessary) and an End User License Agreement (EULA).
- Evaluation results and supporting documentation are brought before the IT Change Management Committee for approval.
- eLearning and IT perform final usability testing and schedule campus-wide rollout of the integration.