Blackboard has a free site, CourseSites.com, where one can create his/her own Blackboard courses. I often suggest using this site for course development, especially where one’s access to Shenandoah’s Blackboard, or access to the next semester’s courses, for instance, are limited. Courses can be developed on this site, and then EXPORTED for use in Blackboard at SU, much the same way we currently export and import from semester to semester on our Bb server.
You can find CourseSites at http://coursesites.com. CourseSites has most of the tools that we have in our Bb platform.
It is important to note, however, that the Bb team at SU, while possibly able to help you with information about and the mechanics of CourseSites, cannot fully support you in your use of courses there. We do not have access to your courses to help you or your students troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Bb’s CourseSites does have its own Frequently Asked Questions page, as well as its own support through the contact information there.
Getting Started begins with creating an account.
Possible uses for CourseSites:
- Course Development: A course can be developed here and exported and imported to a new course shell at the beginning of a semester.
- Course Backup and/or storage: A course can be exported or archived from our Bb server and uploaded or imported to a course shell in CourseSites for storage, and/or for quick access to certain materials.
- Course Restoration: A Bb course archive can be ‘restored’ (minus the users) to a course shell on CourseSites for easy access to past materials, tests, etc.
- Course Replacement: There is a way you can ‘invite’ your current students into your CourseSites course to provide a quick substitute, in the event Bb service at S.U. is interrupted or unavailable for a time. Faculty teaching distance education courses may want to keep backup materials here in the event of an unscheduled outage.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We are happy to help in any way we can.