Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 2 -- Academic Affairs

Blackboard Automated Course Creation Policy


It is the policy of Fort Hays State University that all courses taken for credit will have a Blackboard course shell automatically created and populated with students.  This course shell is considered the official course shell for all courses. 

Each of the official course shells will be archived after the end of the semester and removed from the Blackboard system two years later by Teaching Innovation and Learning Technologies (TILT).


  • After a course has been approved and loaded into the CICS system, a computer program will automatically create a course shell in Blackboard.  
  • Summer and Fall course shells will be created on the first business day of April.  The Spring course shells will be created on the first business day of November. 
  • The instructor of record will be automatically loaded as the faculty member for the course. 
  • The structure of each course name will be the title of the course as it appears in CICS, the section code, and the semester it is offered (EX: Test Course_VA_F09). 
  • The course ID will be the department code and number, followed by the section and semester (EX: ART101_VA_F09). 
  • The official course shell will remained “mapped” to CICS.  Every time a student is enrolled or added to the course, the student will automatically be added to the Blackboard shell (there may be up to a four hour delay).  There will be no automated process for students who drop out of a course.
  • Students will be loaded into the Blackboard system at approximately noon one business day before the first day of class. Students will only be allowed to add the course during the add period.
  • Within a week of grades being submitted through CICS, TILT will archive the official course shells.
  • The official course shell will remain on the Blackboard system for two years.  After two years, TILT will archive the course shells outside of the Blackboard system and Technology Services will remove the course shell from Blackboard.  TILT will maintain a library of the official course shells.  They may be reactivated upon request.
  • Instructors who want to merge the course sections must submit merge requests to Technology Services by noon two business days before the first day of class.
  • Course shells will be made unavailable to the students one business day before the next semester student enrollment are loaded into the Blackboard system. If students need continued access to a course (e.g. incompletes), the instructors may manually make the course available to them.
  • For more information visit  http://www.fhsu.edu/learningtechnologies/BlackboardInstructorTutorials/ or contact Teaching Innovation and Learning Technologies at 4194.

Grades must still be submitted through faculty portal.

Approved by Provost’s Council (10-08-09).
Revision approved by Provost's Council (02-08-11). 
Revision approved by Provost's Council (6-19-12).

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