Before the Flexible Format course begins...

Technical Expectations

Course Management System

Get acquainted with Blackboard and access tutorials showing how to use specific features including:   

  • assignment and rubrics feature
  • posting, editing and reordering news announcements
  • adding or rearranging discussion prompts on the discussion board
  • setting up quizzes and surveys.
  • use of Grade Center

Introductory Welcome

 Create an audio or video welcome from the instructor in the first module and post a photo and brief biography in the news area of the course for the opening day of the class. Provide a tour of the course. Can be done in text or video.

 Course Maintenance

Review and check all course hyperlinks to readings and supplementary resources and update broken links and remove dead links. Keep resources fresh and current each term.  This is also a good time to check for accuracy of due dates if using materials from previous term.  Not sure how to check links in your Blackboard course?  Instructions are located here:

Virus Protection

Update virus protection on your computer because files will be coming from many sources, and students may not be as careful with anti-virus updates. If you aren’t sure if you have updated recently or aren’t sure if you have virus protection at all, check with the Madison College Help Desk for assistance.  

Copyright and Citations

Verify that all referenced sources are properly cited.  Model how to cite sources and images ethically and legally for students. Support for citing sources can be found at: 

 Accessibility of Multimedia 

  • Test course navigation and correct to solve accessibility issues.  
  • Contact technical support staff for assistance in adding enhancements such as podcasts, video introductions, and video lectures to the online course and verify that all multimedia meets disability accommodation requirements such as closed captioning on videos, transcripts of all audio and videos including YouTube videos, and proper use of heading tags in news announcements. 
  • Consider use of universal design principles, as well.  More information on Universal Design can be found here: 
  • Check all media for proper display, video playback, and create alt tags for all images.  If possible, provide a link for students to verify and check their browser to ensure compatibility with Blackboard.  The browser-check link is available here: 

Update the “Specialized” Course Note that students see when they register for your course

Each course has a standard note that contains consistent information about a specific course or set of courses within a given program. An option for “Specialized notes” also exists where an individual instructor can add information related to technical expectations, assignments due first day, proctored exams, software and textbook information.  To update your specialized note, contact your school.