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The following information about Blackboard will help you get started with your online course environment.


All Rhode Island College courses are now available and accessible within Blackboard. Enrollments are managed automatically, so students who are registered for your course this semester should already be able to access your course within Blackboard. If you are experiencing difficulty with enrollments, contact User Support Services Help Desk.


If you teach multiple sections of a course (also called “child courses”), you may manage all of your sections though a single “master” online course. If all enrolled students have access to your master course, you can place an announcement in the child courses to refer students back to the master course, where you’ll be posting your new content. Learn how to manage child courses.


You can maintain interrupted communication with your students through two primary communication tools within Blackboard: 

  • Announcements – You can create and send announcements to all of your students. These are posted on an announcements page within your course, but you can also send these announcements by email. Learn how to create an announcement.
  • Email – Blackboard also allows you to email your students directly, through your course. You can email all students, or you can select groups of students to reach out to. These emails will go to your students’ RIC email accounts. Learn how to email your students in Blackboard.

Remember, you can also follow up on your Blackboard communications with concurrent communications in Outlook Mail and Microsoft Teams. Sometimes more communication, although redundant, can be better.


To deliver content to your students in Blackboard you’ll need to upload and structure your content:

  • Create a Content Area – A content area is a container to organize and present your content in a structured way, such as by week or topic.
  • Create a Content Folder – A folder can contain content or other folders.
  • Create a Learning Module – A learning module can help you integrate related content and learning activities.
  • Create a Lesson Plan – A lesson plan will outline the key information students will need to understand in the lesson, such as instructional objectives, as well as content needed to complete the lesson.


Once you’ve created and organized your content areas, adding course content is quite easy:

  • Add Content to a Content Area – You can create your own bespoke content in text and image, and you can upload attachments.
  • Attach Files – You can add all types of files as your course content, including text files, such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files, and PDFs, as well as images, audio and video.
  • Add Links – You can embed links to websites with content you’d like your students to review, for example as required or supplemental reading. The link can direct your students to a specific website, video or even a file you’ve saved on your Microsoft Office 265 OneDrive.
  • Edit or Move Your Content – You can change how your content is placed, and viewed, at any time.
  • Add Another Content Folder – You can place folders within folders to assist with organizing your content.


Want to record a lecture and then upload it? No problem with Kaltura Capture. You can use Kaltura to record your audio narration within your PowerPoint presentations, record your computer screen and audio narration, or record just yourself with a video camera (or phone) and/or accompanying audio.

If you just want to use your own camera to record a quick video, without installing Kaltura Capture, you can use Kaltura Express Capture.


Many faculty use Blackboard Collaborate to hold virtual office hours, synchronous live meetings with students and/or record meetings for later asynchronous viewing. A number of functions are available to you with Blackboard Collaborate, including:

  • Share your desktop to teach students about a specific topic.
  • Share files with groups.
  • Initiate and moderate chat sessions.
  • Share files.
  • Conduct polls.
  • Record and capture audio and video content shared during a session.

Take our self-paced course, “Collaborate Ultra: V13 Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience,” to get you quickly up to speed. The course will teach you about the key features and core functions of the Collaborate user interface. You’ll learn about session roles and how to effectively manage the communication tools, understand audio indicators, manage session and participant interaction, display the whiteboard and PowerPoint content, record a session and more. For access to the course, email

Another option you might explore is meeting with your students online through Microsoft Teams, which is one of the apps available to you through Microsoft Office 365.


Blackboard offers a variety of tools that allow your students to interact and submit work. 

Page last updated: August 21, 2020