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Online Course Training

Blackboard Online Course Development Training

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith requires faculty to obtain Blackboard training certification prior to teaching courses online.

Blackboard Essentials Certification

This training is for faculty members who plan to teach full-online, synchronous online, hybrid, or web-enhanced courses using Blackboard Learn 9.1 but have never been fully certified to teach using Blackboard at UAFS. This training will also include new hires and other instructors who need to teach full-online or hybrid courses.

Blackboard Essentials Certification can either be fully online and self-paced or as a face-to-face two-hour training session. Some of the topics covered in the Essentials training include:

  • Online course types and the training template
  • Managing files in Blackboard
  • Updating the home page, syllabus, and course content items
  • Managing content including files, folders, and learning modules
  • Assignments
  • Sending messages to students in Blackboard
  • Grading student work in the Grade Center
  • Copying course content and managing course shells

Modular Blackboard Training

In addition to the Essentials training course, there are several modular training course shells with information about accessibility, instructional design and best practices, and various tools and resources in Blackboard. Faculty are added to these course shells after they complete the Essentials training.

Targeted Training

Instructional Support also conducts a variety of targeted training sessions on various topics such as Panopto Video, SmarterProtcoring online test proctoring, Accessibility and Anthology Ally, grading in Blackboard, etc. Instructors can request such training by emailing Training can either be online asynchronous, online synchronous or face-to-face.

Alternate Route to Blackboard Certification

Blackboard training may be waived for faculty who can demonstrate significant competency in developing and designing online courses per UAFS requirements. Prospective instructors must develop an online course from a template and demonstrate competency in the use of tools and design principles in the Blackboard Learn system. However, in most cases, completing the training is recommended.

Under certain circumstances departments may request provisional Blackboard certification for an instructor. This will allow instructors to teach in Blackboard as needed. Instructors granted provisional certification are still expected to complete the Essentials training in a timely manner.