Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Blackboard End-of-Semester Course Availability Policy

Background
The Committee on Academic Technology (CAT) and Information Technology Services (ITS) implemented several enhancements to Blackboard @ F&M, the College's supported course management system. These enhancements, which more closely mirror the way eDisk course folders are managed, took effect on May 20, 2011.

These enhancements include:

  • Automated course generation
  • Automated student enrollment
  • F&M NetID Integration


Course Availability Policy

Why have a course Availability policy?
Due to the automated course generation and automated student enrollment implementations at the beginning of each semester, new students may have access to course documents before the instructor has recycled/released the course material. All courses will be automatically set to "Unavailable" to students. This will give instructors time to configure the courses before the new students may access the course material.

“Available” and “Unavailable” courses

  • Available course: This is a course that currently enrolled students may access.
  • Unavailable course: This is a course that currently enrolled student cannot access.


Who will set courses to “Unavailable”?
ITS will set all courses to "Unavailable” at the end of each semester

  • ITS will inform faculty when courses will be set to "Unavailable”
  • Setting course to "Unavailable” is guided by these requirements:
    • After grades are due at the Registrar's office
    • After the previous semester’s enrollments have been purged from the courses
    • After the courses have been archived


When will courses be set to “Unavailable”?
All academic courses will be set to "Unavailable" on the date the previous semester’s students are removed from courses:

  • Fall 2012: 08/23/2012
  • Spring 2013: 01/11/2013

What student data will be purged when students are removed from a course?

  • Grade Center entries (grades)
  • Discussion board entries
  • Paper submissions

When will students be removed from the courses?
Previous semester students will be removed from the courses on:

  • Summer 2012: 08/23/2012 
  • Fall 2012: 01/11/2013

What happens to manually added students?
If you manually enrolled a student, you will have to manually remove the student from the course.

How can I preserve student data before students are removed from a course?


When will students be automatically added to courses?

  • Fall 2012: 08/24/2012
  • Spring 2013: 01/12/2013
  • More information on the Blackboard Course Automation Calendar

Will my course material (PDFs, Word documents, videos) still be available?
Yes, your course material will still be available in your course. ITS is setting the courses to "Unavailable" to the students. This will give instructors time to configure the courses before the new students may access the course material.


How do I set my course to “Available”?
After the course have been set to “Unavailable”, faculty revert the courses to “Available” at their own discretion.
Please use the following QuickStart: http://www.fandm.edu/its/blackboard/article/course-availability-and-duration

Blackboard Enhancements 2011 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Contacting the Blackboard Administrator

Contact the F&M Blackboard Administrator at


For more information about Blackboard at the College, please contact Oscar Retterer or an IET Instructional Technologist/Designer.