Course Preparation

Spring 2023 course shells are available to faculty in Blackboard. Courses marked "Not Currently Available" are unavailable to students, but are available to faculty. Spring 2023 course shells will be made available to students on January 6, 2023. Fall 2022 courses will be made unavailable to students on December 22, 2022.

All faculty should be prepared to use Blackboard each term.

Syllabus Templates

Syllabus templates have been made available for faculty to use. There is a template designated for "Main" courses and a template designated for courses classified as "Distance Learning (DL)". Both templates are available under the Links section of the Provost’s Faculty Resources.

First Day™ Textbook Program

The bookstore will provide each student with a convenient package for physical books, and digital materials will be delivered directly to Blackboard. Instructors must ensure that the Barnes & Noble College Textbooks link is installed in each Blackboard course so students can access their digital course materials. For instructions on adding the link in Blackboard, access the First Day Complete Faculty Kickoff Guide and the Video Tutorial (to setup the link in Blackboard). **The video references the name "Course Materials". However, the tool should be named "Textbooks" in A&T's Blackboard courses.

Fully Online Courses - Master Courses

Master courses are fully developed "consensus courses" managed by master course coordinators and academic programs. They help ensure essential program goals, course content, and curricular requirements are present in online courses. These courses typically require minimal, if any, changes made to the structure, content, and assessments to be ready for fully asynchronous online delivery. Master courses are managed by schools and programs. All master courses are created by faculty experts nominated by their chairs and deans. All sections of a course will use the master course as the general design but customization is possible. If you have questions about your department’s master courses, please contact the department chair and work with the Course Coordinator.

Access to Master Courses   

In spring 2021, a Master Course Portal was launched with master courses developed from spring 2020 and onward. Updates are made each semester. Use the Portal website to:

Access a database of completed master courses you can search for specific master courses.
Request to have a master course copied into your spring course shell.
Use our Master Course Readiness checklist to see if your master course is ready to go.

Access to Existing Online Course Content

Hundreds of online courses have been previously developed and taught at A&T. If you are scheduled to teach a completely online course for the semester and you are not using master course content, there is likely online course content that can be used for your course. Check with your department chair or the Extended Campus (Gwen Godard – to find out if the course has been previously developed for online delivery. If the course has been previously developed or taught online, you can request a master course copy into your course shell. Course copy requests may take 24-48 hours for completion, so please plan accordingly.  

If you desire content from a previously taught course shell, contact the instructor on record or the department chair to seek approval to use the content. Email that approval, the course ID for the source course, and the course ID for the course you are teaching (as it appears in Blackboard) to the ITTD team. 

Course copy requests can be sent to: 

David Whitehead (, Josh Marsh (, Kathleen Mapston (, Bessie Nkonge ( or Tracie Lewis ( 

Please note that once content is copied, the course navigation menu items on the left of the destination course will shift. After the copy process is completed, you will need to rearrange the menu items in the destination course and remove any extra menu items.

Access to Content from Previous Semesters 

Faculty who taught courses in previous semesters may wish to copy that content into spring course shells. Course copies can be performed following a few simple steps: 

  1. Access the source course in Blackboard. (This is the course that has the content you want to copy.)
  2. In the Control Panel, expand Packages and Utilities and click Course Copy. 
  3. Select Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course.
  4. In the Destination Course ID box, click Browse to select your destination course. (Locate and select the course into which the content will be copied.) 
  5. Select the course materials that you want to copy. Select All is recommended. (Be sure to deselect “Announcements” and choose “Include online the forums, with no starter posts” under Discussion Board.) 
  6. In the File Attachments section, select Copy links and copies of the content.
  7. Click Submit.

If you wish to use content taught by a colleague in a previous semester, contact that colleague for approval to use the content. (If the instructor is no longer available, contact the department chair.) Email that approval, the course ID for the source course, and your course ID (as it appears in Blackboard) to the ITTD team. The course will be copied within 24-48 hours of the request.

Please note that once content is copied, the course navigation menu items on the left of the destination course will shift. After the copy process is completed, you will need to rearrange the menu items in the destination course and remove any extra menu items. 

For a short video tutorial on copying courses, click here.

Course Templates   

All Blackboard course shells and materials should be organized using a logical, build-upon precept manner. Content folders or learning modules should be used to house related course materials (e.g. chapters, weeks, units, or modules). Course templates (located in Blackboard) can be used as a model and guide as you organize your hybrid courses. The Enhanced Course Template and the Flipped Course Template provide examples of how course materials can be organized, sample activities, instructor resources, and more. For access to a course template, please contact in ITTD team member. ITTD instructional designers can also assist with course design and development. 

More Resources   

To learn more about master courses, access the Online Faculty Commons in Blackboard. Select Distance Education from the course menu and visit the Designing a Course folder.

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