How to Restrict Student to Student Email within Blackboard

By default, all options within the Send Email tool are open to faculty and students enrolled in a Blackboard course.

To restrict student to student emailing through Blackboard:

  1. Click on Control Panel
  2. Select Customization
  3. Select Tool Availability
  4. Scroll down to Email. Click the down-pointing arrow button and select Email Settings.
  5. Uncheck the boxes for the options that you don’t want students to have access to.
    Example: If you only want students to e-mail instructors and TAs, uncheck all boxes except:
    – All Teaching Assistant Users
    – All Instructor Users
  6. Click Submit.

Instructors and TAs can still send e-mail to anyone in the class, even if the steps above were completed, by going to:

  1. Control Panel
  2. Course Tools
  3. Send Email

December & Flex Week Canvas workshops


The Canvas faculty Transition Team is offering three more Canvas workshops before break. Sign up for these via MyFlex:

Workshop: All Hands on Canvas

This workshop is designed to give you open time to work with Canvas in a supported environment. A faculty member who has taught with Canvas will provide a very brief overview of Canvas in the first 10-15 minutes, and from there the time is open for you to become more proficient in your use of Canvas, and to work on developing a class in Canvas, with the support of experienced Canvas users. In addition, attendees may benefit from exploring Canvas resources found at .

Date / Time / Location / Facilitator(s):

Tuesday 12/6 – 2:30-4 pm – OC 4612 – Gail Meinhold
Friday 12/9 – 1:30-3 pm – OC 4611 – Billy Gunn
Tuesday 12/13 – 9-10:30 am – OC 4803b – Billy Gunn

You may also be interested in watching a recording of a recent workshop Sean Davis and Robert Kelley offered which included faculty and student perspectives on the experience of transitioning to Canvas.

January – Flex Week

Friday, January 13th will include a full day of Canvas workshops. The day will open with brief presentations/overviews of Canvas from the perspectives of several MiraCosta faculty. Each of those faculty will then lead hands-on workshops on various aspects of Canvas during the day, and the day will end with a facilitated open lab session for those who want to get to work with Canvas.

Tuesday, January 17th will feature a full day of 1.5 hour Canvas open lab sessions with the support of experienced MiraCosta faculty and staff. Attend as many as you like.

Thursday, January 19th we will offer one final hands-on Canvas workshop focusing on page design, an important skill for those who wish to explore possibilities for Canvas use beyond the basic approaches most typically used with Canvas.

Sign up for these via MyFlex when PDP releases the spring Flex schedule!

As always, you may wish to review the FA’s position on the Canvas transition.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

Oct 2016 Update: Export / Import for Blackboard Courses from Spring 2015 and earlier

As of October 31, 2016, the Bb Archive server is no longer accessible to faculty. If you are looking for a Blackboard course from Spring 2015 or earlier contact the Employee Helpdesk at (760) 795-6850 or

Provide the following information:

  1. Your name and contact information
  2. Semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer)
  3. Year
  4. Four (4) digit class number
    1.  To obtain the 4 digit class number: Log on to SURF and review your my schedule area. You can change the term to review previous semester classes and obtain the 4 digit class number of the course.

Helpdesk will retrieve the course for you (if available) and provide you the export file. You can import that export file with the directions below under the heading ‘Import your Course to the Production Blackboard system’

MiraCosta’s Blackboard system was updated in summer 2015. You can learn more about the update here; this page details how to obtain and copy your courses for reuse from the old (pre-summer 2015) Blackboard system. As a reminder, the Course Copy feature has been disabled and you need to use the Export and Import tools. If you are looking to copy a course from Summer 2015 or later, please see here.

Import your Course to the Production Blackboard system 



 Import Your Course Package

  1. Enter the course you want to import the course into at
  2. Click Packages and Utilities in the Control Panel at left
  3. Click Import Package / View Logs
  4. Click Import Package.
  5. Provide the path to the course package .zip file or click Browse to search for the package file.
  6. Click the Select All button for the course materials to include.
  7. Click Submit.

When the import is complete, you will receive an email from the system. After you receive the email you may return to and your content will be available in the course.

Repeat for all courses you would like to import. Be careful to select the correct import file package you received from the helpdesk.

Technical Support

If you need assistance contact Karen Korstad at 760-795-6787 at

Blackboard Discussion Board Issue & Fix

The Blackboard system update on 9/25/16 (required for system security) introduced a bug within the discussion board tool.

Discussion boards which are set to Unavailable are no longer accessible by the instructor. If you have such discussion boards and you try to access them, you will get a message reading:

Access Denied

Either you are not logged in or you do not have the appropriate privileges to perform this action.

The workaround is you need to edit the discussion board and change its setting to Available. Then you will be able to access it. Clearly, this is not ideal, and we hope that Blackboard will fix this soon.

Additional Workaround

Here’s an addition to the workaround that will keep students out while the discussion board is set to Available. It’s a lot of extra work, but if you absolutely do not want students to access a discussion board while it is available for you to work on, you can follow this procedure.

It relies on using the “manage” option for the discussion board, and changing all the users with role “Participant” to instead have the role “Blocked”. The blocked users will still see the forum listed in the discussions, but when selecting it they will get the access denied message. But unblocked users (i.e. the instructor) can enter it.

  1. Ensure that your Discussion Board forum is set to Available and is accessible to you.
  2. Hover your mouse over the title for the forum then click the “options menu” icon (the circle with a “v” in it) that appears.
  3. Select “Manage” to see a list of all the people who have access to the forum
  4. If you have a large class, click the option to “show all”.
  5. Click the checkbox in the column header to select everyone in the course.
  6. Deselect the checkbox for anyone that should have continued access.
  7. Select “Edit Role”
  8. Select “Blocked”

Remember if you block students using the additional workaround above, you will need to unblock them when you want them to be able to post and/or view the discussion board. Unblock by following the same procedure above, but in step 8 assign everyone the role “Participant”.

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