Building Courses

Building Courses

Organizing your course content need not be a daunting task, and making a few strategic decisions about how you want students to navigate through the course material can simplify the the process of building a course. Check out the resources below for introductory information about building courses, and contact STaR’s instructional design team if you need assistance with putting your course together.


Organizing content in your course

Navigating a course

Before you begin building a course, be sure to familiarize yourself with the site navigation options present in Blackboard. All courses are laid out using the course menu, so make note of how to add and rearrange items there. You will also want to make note of the Control Panel, located at the bottom of the course menu, where many of the tools used to facilitate the course are located. Each item added to the course will also have it’s own menu, where you will find the options available for editing those items.

Learn more: Navigating a course

Creating containers for content

When organizing your course materials, it can be helpful to begin by dividing up the content by week, unit, or chapter. While there are many ways to ‘chunk’ your subject matter, there are a few standard elements, like the course menu or course content areas, that are common in all courses in Blackboard that can be used to reflect your course structure.

Learn more: Create containers for content

Rubrics for Course Design

Quality Matters
To achieve your goals for delivering quality online learning, you need everyone to agree on what the expectations are. You need trustworthy standards that foster objective feedback on course design. QM Rubrics and Standards were created to help course developers, teachers, faculty, entire organizations, and — most importantly — students. The General Standards and Specific Review Standards in each Rubric are intended to guide you through the development, evaluation, and improvement of your online and blended courses.

Learn more: Quality Matters rubric, QM rubric best practices

Blackboard Exemplary Course rubric
The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program (ECP) began in 2000 with the goal of identifying and disseminating best practices for designing high quality courses. The core of the program is the ECP Rubric, which defines key characteristics of high quality courses within the framework of Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. Thousands of instructors, teachers, and designers have used the Exemplary Course Program to evaluate and improve their courses with recognized best practices.

Learn more: Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric

Best Practices for creating course content