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Blackboard Guidelines and Procedures

Effective Dates and Issuing Authority

Effective Date:                              July 1, 2015

Date Reviewed:                            July 1, 2016

Issuing Authority:                        Assistant Vice President of Academic Computing


The Office of Computer Services provides students, faculty and staff access to the Blackboard System. With the Learn System, faculty can post online course content; host blogs, wikis, discussion forums and chat sessions; provide online access to grades and assessments; and perform many other teaching/learning activities. With the Content System, students, faculty and staff can access online storage and create, manage, and share e-portfolios.

These guidelines and procedures regulate the use of the Temple University Blackboard System by Blackboard users, instructors and leaders.


Overall Compliance
Blackboard users must comply with all other Computer Services policies on computer usage, networking, security, and other applicable policies related to the use of Temple University computer resources.

Course (and Organization) Material Responsibility
While the Temple University Blackboard system is managed by the Computer Services department, Blackboard course owners are responsible for their course content, for ensuring that content adheres to current copyright laws and is ADA compliant in accordance with University policy.   

Course (and Organization) Backup
It is the responsibility of the Blackboard course owner to maintain a backup of their course(s) or organization and its content. The Computer Services department recommends periodic archiving be made and this backup should be downloaded and stored. Nightly backups are performed on the Blackboard system for disaster recovery purposes; however, these backups do not enable a course or item within the course to be recovered from system backups. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Blackboard course owner to maintain a backup of their course(s) and course content.

Computer Services recommends the following:

  • Blackboard instructors should periodically download grades stored in the Blackboard Grade Center. Downloading will create a file, which can be stored on your personal computer and opened in Excel or other spreadsheet program.
  • Blackboard instructors should maintain an archive of their course(s). Archiving creates a compressed (zipped) file that contains all of the documents posted in the course. This archive should be downloaded and stored in a safe location.
  • Blackboard instructors should never recycle a Blackboard course without first downloading grades and archiving course content.

New Courses
A new course has to be created every semester. To simplify this process, Computer Services’ will create new course shells each semester. Once the new course shell is created, course owners will be able to copy content from a previous semester course if they choose.  Course owners will no longer be able to recycle an old course as they did previously.

Course (and Organization) Inactivity, Removal and Deletion
Courses and organizations will be deleted from the Blackboard System two (2) years after taught. Entire courses or parts of courses or organizations cannot be removed or recycled by Blackboard course owners. Once a course or organization is deleted from the Blackboard system, it cannot be undeleted.

Course (and Organization) Enrollment and Un-enrollment
Enrollment - An automatic enrollment process will enroll all students who have an AccessNet account and are registered for a specified Temple University course into a specified Blackboard course or organization. The automatic enrollment process for a semester begins two weeks prior to the semester and occurs daily at 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. every day and will stop two weeks after the drop/add date for the semester.

  • Blackboard instructors who wish to have automatic enrollment occur at a non-scheduled time may use the “synch” tool.

Un-enrollment - When a student drops a course and is removed from the Temple University official class list, they are marked unavailable in the Blackboard course list and are not automatically removed (from the Blackboard course list). Blackboard course owners can un-enroll and/or recycle students from a course or organization. Once un-enrolled, all grade book-related items including, discussion forum postings, and drop-box items associated with un-enrolled or recycled students are removed and will be unrecoverable.

  • Blackboard instructors who wish to have students removed from the Blackboard class list may do so via the “synch” tool or must do so manually.

Course (and Organization) Shared Content and Limits
A "Shared Content" area will be allocated for each course or organization on the Blackboard System. Blackboard course and organizational owners are responsible for the files and folders stored within their course's "Shared Content" area and are not permitted to exceed the 1 GB quota limit. In courses (or organizations) with multiple instructors (or leaders), all instructors/leaders have access to and are responsible for managing the "Shared Content" area for that course. The Blackboard System should not be used for any "Personal Content" as the University has other repositories for this use (i.e. OwlBox, Google Drive, etc.)

Deleting Shared Content Areas
Files and folders stored in "Shared Content" areas will remain until a course owner or leader deletes them or the associated course or organization is deleted from the Blackboard System. In courses or organizations with multiple course owners or leaders, all course owners and leaders have the ability to delete, edit, and overwrite files and folders stored in "Shared Content" areas. Files and folders deleted from "Shared Content" can be retrieved for a short period from the recycle bin. Recycle bins are automatically emptied daily at 5:00AM EST. After recycle bins are emptied, there is no method to retrieve deleted items. A "Shared Content" area is deleted when the associated course or organization is deleted from the Blackboard System after the retention period.

Computer Services will allocate access for all users on the Blackboard System to create, manage, and share e-portfolios. Blackboard users are responsible for the files, folders, and any other content stored within their e-portfolios and are not permitted to exceed the 500MB quota limit.

Blackboard Availability
Blackboard may be unavailable or have intermittent access every Saturday morning from 2:00-6:00AM for weekly maintenance. Blackboard may also be unavailable at other times for periodic upgrades, simulated load testing, or more involved system maintenance.

Further Information
For more information on how to use Blackboard, please read the detailed instructions on the Computer Services web page. For consultations, please contact the Center for the Advancement of Teaching.


  • Users - individuals with active accounts on the Blackboard System.
  • Course Owners - instructors or leaders who have unrestricted access and has full responsibility for content.
  • Instructors - users who manage course content with either instructor, builder, or teaching assistant rights within a particular course on the Blackboard System.
  • Leaders - users, who manage Blackboard organization content with either leader, builder, or assistant rights within a particular organization on the Blackboard System.