When teaching an online course, it is strongly suggested that you review the information in the Services section of our website where you will find information about training sessions and training topics provided by the Office of Distance Education. We encourage you to register for needed training. Our recommendation regarding training is that you attend all sessions that correlate to any feature you plan to use or have your students use in the course of conducting your online course.
Your online course should be ready for student use no later than the first day of classes as noted on the Academic Calendar. It is strongly suggested that you send an email to all students in your course to let them know how to get started in your course. This email can set the tone for students' performance and your expectations in your course. This email would be a great way to also remind students about the Blackboard system requirements and 24/7 Blackboard support.
As the course begins and progresses, we recommend that you closely monitor your official roster and the Blackboard student roster in your course(s) to ensure you know who is in your course, especially during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester. Please note that you should not enroll or unenroll students from your Blackboard course. Enrollments are automated between Banner and Blackboard. If you have questions about student enrollments, contact the Office of Distance Education. Please note that you should also not attempt to merge sections of your online courses. If you wish to merge courses, you should contact the Office of Distance Education prior to the start of the term (before students access the course). Please review the "Course Enrollment Merge" page for information that should be sent in your merge request.
Instructors are the primary point of contact for students regarding course information and assistance, as well as other information related to their university experience. Maintain good communication prior to and throughout the semester with every student and inform the students of your preferred form of communication. If you have had no correspondence or evidence of course activity from a student in a reasonable amount of time, you should contact the student to determine why and offer appropriate assistance or instructions. Various features in Blackboard, such as the Last Access column in the Grade Center, the Performance Dashboard, and the Early Warning System will assist you with determining a student's last access to your online course.
Please be sure that you check your JSU e-mail often and encourage your students to do the same. If your JSU e-mail is not your preferred e-mail account, please forward your JSU e-mail to that account. This is very important for both you and your students, as much important information from the Office of Distance Education and the University is sent to your JSU e-mail account.