Blackboard Instructor Interaction

In order to ensure that we are meeting instructor to student weekly contact hours, all online and hybrid courses must implement instructor-led interaction methods. Discussions, journals and wikis are great ways to have students demonstrate their knowledge on a subject, but instructors must interact with students for it to be counted towards their weekly contact hour requirements. Course Messages are similar to email allowing instructors and students to communicate privately, but the messages are retained inside the Blackboard Course. Office Hours give instructors the opportunity to expand their normal face-to-face office hours to online students. Announcements are useful for reminding students about upcoming assignments or giving assignment feedback to the whole course. Many instructors use email for interaction with students. Email is difficult to measure. We recommend using personalized journals that students submit questions or concerns and instructors respond. You may also refer students to online office hours to answer their emails online.

Below is a video that covers different types of Instructor Interactions within one course. 

How to Interact with Students in your Courses

Instructions and video tutorials for each type of interactive tool: 

How to add Course Tool Links (Journals, Collaborate Ultra, Discussion Board, Course Calendar) to the Course Menu:

  1. Click on the Plus Sign in the top left-hand side of the Course Menu.
  2. Click on Tool Link.
  3. Name the Tool Link.
  4. Under Type, select the type of tool.
  5. Check the box for Available to Users.
  6. Hit Submit.

How to create a Tool Link Video Tutorial

How to create a Course Message

  1. Access the course that you need to send the message through.
  2. Click on Course Messages.
  3. Click Create Message.
  4. Click the “To” button.
  5. Select the Recipient from the “Select Recipients” box and click the move icon (>) and your recipient should now be listed under the “Recipients” box.
  6. Add the Subject and type the message in the Body.
  7. Hit Submit.

How to create a Course Message Video Tutorial

How to create an Announcement

  1. Click on Course Tools.
  2. Click on Announcements.
  3. Click on Create Announcement.
  4. Add a Subject and a Message.
  5. Check the box for “Send a copy of this announcement immediately”. If you add a Date Restriction to the announcement, then it won’t send the email until the Display After Date.
  6. Click Submit.

How to create an Announcement Video Tutorial

How to set Open (Display After) Dates on Learning Modules

  1. Hover over a Learning Unit and click on the chevron.
  2. Click on Edit.
  3. Check the box next to Display After.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Do this for all of your Learning Units.
  6. You can now use the Date Management Tool to set the dates in the Master or you can have instructors set the dates in the Live Shell.
  7. Click on Course Tools.
  8. Click on Date Management.
  9. The first time that you click Date Management, you will be taken to a screen with four options. You will need to select, List All Dates for Review.
  10. Hit Next.
  11. Once the dates load, click Next.
  12. From this screen, any item in the course that has a date on it will be listed here. You can also sort by Item Type to make setting your dates easier.

How to set Open (Display After) Dates on Learning Modules Video Tutorial

How to create Journals:

  1. Click on My Learning Journal.
  2. Click Create Journal.
  3. Name the Journal and fill out the Instructions section.
  4. Add Display After and Display Until Dates.
  5. Select the options for the Journal Settings.
  6. Check the box for “Grade” and enter a Points Possible.
  7. Add a Due Date.
  8. Hit Submit.

How to create a Journal Video Tutorial

How to create Wikis

  1. Create a Wikis Menu Item.
  2. Click on Create Wiki.
  3. Name the Wiki and add some instructions.
  4. Add Display After and Display Until Dates.
  5. Check the box for “Grade” and enter the Points Possible.
  6. Add a Due Date.
  7. Hit Submit.

How to create a Wiki Video Tutorial

How to Set up Collaborate Ultra for Weekly Office Hours:

*Google Chrome is the recommended browser for Collaborate Ultra. To install Google Chrome, please visit

  1. Access your Blackboard course using Google Chrome.
  2. Click on the Office Hours tab from the Menu.
  3. Click on Create Session.
  4. Name the session Office Hours.
  5. Select a Start Date and End Date.
  6. Click on Repeat Session.
  7. Select Repeat Weekly from the drop-down.
  8. Select Every Week from the drop-down.
  9. Select the Days that you want the Office Hours to repeat each week.
  10. Click the box that says “End After Occurrences”, then select “End on Date”.
  11. Select a date at the End of the Term.
  12. If you would like to enter the session before the Start Date, then you can select an option from the Early Entry drop-down menu. However, if you select No Early Entry, then neither you nor the students will be able to access the session until the Start Time.
  13. Click on Session Settings.
  14. Under Default Attendee Role, select Moderator. This will allow students the ability to upload documents and share their screen with you by default in a session.
  15. Hit Save.

How to create Office Hours using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Video Tutorial

How to use Collaborate Ultra for Weekly Office Hours Video Tutorial