Learning Management System Policy
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of the University of the District of Columbia’s learning management system (LMS), Blackboard 9.1. Blackboard is available to faculty, learners, and staff. Users have the responsibility to use it in an efficient, effective, ethical, and lawful manner. Blackboard 9.1 is primarily used to facilitate instruction; manage courses, including face-to-face, hybrid and online courses; administer assessments; collaborate with learners or colleagues using Web 2.0 medi and applications; and facilitate other aspects of the university’s academic mission.
Ownership of Blackboard Data
The University of the District of Columbia owns the data housed within the university’s Blackboard structure subject to underlying copyright and other intellectual property rights under applicable laws and University policies. Ownership of the intellectual property that resides in and is delivered by Blackboard is defined by University policy as per the Office of General Counsel’s web site.
Privacy and Right of University Access
The University of the District of Columbia’s intention is to keep the LMS secure. Under some circumstances, it is necessary for staff members from the Office of Information Service and Management (I.S.M.) or the Center for the Advancement of Learning (C.A.L.) to access individual UDC Blackboard accounts; these circumstances may include, but are not limited to, maintaining the system, investigating security breaches, or troubleshooting, etc.
Enrollment in the Blackboard System
Banner is the official University student information system. Blackboard pulls faculty, learner, and staff data (information and registered or assigned courses) from Banner to create and operate courses. New faculty members, learners, and staff will receive a UDC email address after their unit coordinator adds their data to Banner. Banner and Blackboard are synchronized to ensure effective functioning of the system for student enrollment and course management. I.S.M. and C.A.L. staff are unable to manually enroll instructors and students in specific courses; course enrollment permission must be reflected in Banner.
The data that is entered into Banner (e.g. curriculum, instructors, room locations, course, etc.) is processed by a tool called Snapshot, which loads the information into Blackboard. Courses become available only when everything is coded correctly in Banner and faculty are assigned as instructor of record for specific courses. Courses are batched into Blackboard 9.1 by I.S.M. one month prior to the start of the semester. Courses will be available only to faculty at that point. Learners are batched to the LMS two weeks prior to the 1st day of the semester, but they are unable to access their respective courses until 48 hours prior to the first day of class. Note: faculty are able to make their courses available to the learners enrolled in their courses up to two weeks prior to the first day of the semester.
Data Purging and Archiving
Courses remain on the LMS for one semester beyond the instructional semester. At that point, courses are archived and purged by the Center for the Advancement of Learning in order to make the most efficient use of storage space on Blackboard. Faculty interested in maintaining access to content stored in their courses should export their courses to their office computer or to an external drive. Once courses have been archived, they will only be available by submitting requests for courses to be restored to UDC’s Blackboard staging site.
The LMS is backed up on a regular basis as a way to recover from a data loss of the entire eLearning system. However, each user is responsible for backing up their own files and folders as appropriate.
The use of Blackboard is only for educational purposes and is restricted to faculty, staff, administration, organizations, and students of the University of the District of Columbia. All activity initiating from an account is considered to be authored by the account holder.
- The Office of the Chief Academic Officer requires that faculty put at minimum their syllabi and contact information into their Blackboard course site along with resources, readings, and content to foster student success.
- Each course and organization is limited to 100 MB of space on the system. Faculty may petition for an additional 50 MB of space. No courses will be allowed to exceed 150 MB of space. If you need assistance managing your documents and resources, please see the Center for the Advancement of Learning.
- Organizations that show no activity for two years will be purged from the database.
Faculty, staff, or departments can request temporary Blackboard accounts for users outside of the university. Full-time faculty or staff requesting these types of accounts will be required to submit user information, the rationale for the account, the expiration date, and sponsor information. Click here to submit your request form.
Changes, Modifications, and/or Additions
Many requests require the efforts and coordination of both C.A.L. and I.S.M. Therefore requests must be made by the deadlines listed below in order to allow sufficient time for the C.A.L. and I.S.M. teams to properly process and implement the requests. Please check the submission deadlines below:
For Fall semester implementation: request needs to be submitted by February 15th
For Spring semester implementation: request needs to be submitted by June 15th
For Summer semester implementation: request needs to be submitted by October 15th
The following steps are required:
- A formal request must be made by faculty or the appropriate person and sent to C.A.L for review. Click here to submit your request form.
- The request will be reviewed by the Center for the Advancement of Learning.
- If approved, the request will be submitted for implementation.
The Center for the Advancement of Learning reserves the right to reject any request that does not comply with the system standards, etc.
Many vendors produce tools, commonly referred to as “building blocks,” which link their materials into an LMS. Building blocks can provide both faculty and learners with supplemental information or functionality to complete coursework. The following policy describes the process for requesting and installing a building block. Many requests require the efforts and coordination of both C.A.L. and the Information Service and Management (I.S.M.) department. Therefore requests must be made prior to the projected application date in order to allow sufficient time for the C.A.L and I.S.M. teams to properly implement the external technology.
For Fall semester implementation: request needs to be submitted by May 15th
For Spring semester implementation: request needs to be submitted by September 15th
For Summer semester implementation: request needs to be submitted by February 15th
The following are the steps required:
- A faculty or academic staff member with instructor access to a course may request the installation of an external technology/building block. Click here to submit your request form.
- Once the request is made, it will go through a process of approval by The Center for the Advancement of Learning.
- Once it is approved, the implementation will be on available on the Blackboard Staging server prior to being available to all faculty and learners
The Center for the Advancement of Learning reserves the right to reject any request for an external technology that does not comply with the system standards, etc.
Web 2.0 Technologies
Use of web 2.0 technologies must comply with University policies, Conditions of Use of University Computing and Data Protection, etc.
Kaltura can be used to upload, share, and create video by UDC faculty, staff, and students for courses and organizations inside Blackboard. Kaltura and Blackboard do not impose a limit on the upload size; however, the maximum file size that your browser will allow you to upload is 2 gigabytes. Every three years, The Center for the Advancement of Learning (C.A.L.) purges all media to make the most efficient use of storage space on the Kaltura server. Faculty who wish to keep their media need to download and save it to their hard drive. Once the maintenance is complete, they can upload it again. If you need assistance, please see the Center for the Advancement of Learning.
Students must download the LockDown browser from UDC Blackboard. Instructions can be found in the Student Dashboard and course shell.
NBC Learn Higher Education is a collection of videos, newsreels, documents, and images available on-demand to UDC faculty and learners. UDC Faculty and learners can access NBC Learn via Blackboard and via on-campus IP authentication when they log on to https://highered.nbclearn.com
See UDC Intellectual Property Policy