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

Rearrange the my Courses Module Display

You can rearrange the my Courses module by Term to group all courses by term first and then by course  Or, you can rearrange the courses in any order you would like regardless of term.

Group by Term

  1. Log in to Blackboard
  2. Click the Gear icon in the top right hand corner of the my Courses Module (on the right hand side of the page)
    Gear Icon
  3. Select Group by Term
  4. Drag and drop to organize the terms.
  5. Click the Submit button


Ordering Courses

  1. Click the Gear icon in the top right hand corner of the my Courses Module (on the right hand side of the page)
    Gear Icon
  2. Click the two headed arrow to the left of a course, and drag and drop the courses to the order you would like.   If Group by Term is selected first, then courses will be ordered in the order you select here within the term they belong within.
  3. Click the Submit button.

Make your Blackboard Course Available or Unavailable

A Blackboard course must be made available before students enrolled in the course will be able to view or access the course and its content.

How to Make a Course Available – Qwickly: Course Availability

  1. On the my MiraCosta College page (this is the first page you see after logging on to Blackboard).
  2. Click on Course Availability under my Qwickly Tools on the right side of the page.
  3. Click on the Off button.  The button will change to On.  Your course is now available for student access.
  4. Click the My MiraCosta College link to refresh the page.

my Qwickly Tools Course Availability

My Qwickly Tools Off to On

Refresh Blackboard Page

How to Make a Course Available – Traditional Blackboard Method

Tutorial: Making your Course Available

  1. Enter your Blackboard course.
  2. Under Control Panel click Customization
  3. Select Properties
  4. In the Set Availability section, click Yes to make the course available to use
  5. Click Submit.

How to Make a Course Unavailable – Traditional Blackboard Method

  1. Enter your Blackboard course.
  2. Under Control Panel click Customization
  3. Select Properties
  4. In the Set Availability section, click No to make the course available to use
  5. Click Submit.

If your course is unavailable, only instructors, course builders, teaching assistants, and graders can see and access unavailable course.

Students cannot access unavailable courses.

Blackboard’s New Release for Summer and Fall 2015

MiraCosta College upgraded to the newest release of Blackboard for Summer and Fall 2015. Looking for your Spring 15 or older classes to export content from?  Go to: and follow the export/import procedures.

Below are some notable changes for faculty.

New Faster Hardware

AIS has a new server and a clean installation of the new Blackboard Learn. With the new hardware and software, Blackboard will run smoother and faster and be ready to keep up with future releases and enhancements.

Single Sign-On

Blackboard now utilizes MiraCosta’s single sign-on system. Once logged into one MiraCosta single sign-on system, faculty and students can access other single sign-on systems without having to log in again, until the session has expired. Blackboard joins current single sign-on systems 25Live, Clockwork, Moodle, WordPress, Library Prox, Regroup, Maxient, and CCCApply. Additional campus systems will be converted to single sign-on soon.

Single Sign-On

Course Content – Export /Import

Faculty will need to export existing course content from the old Blackboard server and import into the new Blackboard server.

Student Preview

Viewing your course as a student is an important way to ensure that it is working for your students as you intended, and now it’s much easier. With this upgrade, instructors can view their course exactly as a student does from within their instructor account, rather than having to log in with a separate Blackboard username and password. This is a significant simplification for MiraCosta faculty!

Student Preview

Email Improvements

During 2014, changes made by some email providers to reduce spam meant that some users may not have received emails generated within Blackboard. This update includes changes inside Blackboard to fix this issue. You can read more about email from Blackboard – emails sent from different Blackboard tools are not formatted consistently.

Calculated Formula Assessments

Calculated Formula questions in Tests are used by faculty to create quantitative questions using a formula & variables that can be dynamically generated, calculated, and scored. The automated grading of these questions, the correct answer to be calculated using the defined formula and variables, and the student’s response validated to award credit, has been improved to include calculation to significant figures. In addition, support for scientific/exponential notation is improved. The Test Canvas and the Item Analysis report have also been updated to include Significant Figures information.

Calculated Formula screenshot

My Grades

The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. Students now view feedback by clicking View Feedback.

View Feedback

Anonymous and Delegated Grading

Anonymous & Delegated Grading provides a more useful, robust option than the “Hide User Names” function to enable anonymous grading, and provides a mechanism for lead faculty to delegate grading. When creating or editing an assignment, faculty can enable Anonymous Grading and Delegated Grading within the Grading Options section.

These tools can enhance assessment by avoiding bias (with Anonymous Grading) and/or by promoting reliability by obtaining two or more grades from separate individuals (with Delegated Grading). However, faculty in any courses in which grading is a shared responsibility may benefit from the capabilities.

For Anonymously Graded Attempts, student identifying information will be obfuscated. The student’s name is replaced with a unique identifier that can be used by graders and instructors to identify a particular attempt for evaluation without discovering the identity of the student.


Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.  Also, there is now a course list filter in the calendar.

Additional Information

Much of the text above is adapted from Blackboard’s What’s New in Blackboard Learn 9.1, April 2014 Release. More details are available there.

End of Semester Blackboard Tasks for Faculty

The following are important tasks for faculty to complete at the end of each semester in Blackboard.

1.  Grade Center: Review the Student Total Column and Export your Grade Center
At the end of the semester it is important to ensure that your student grades are calculated correctly. Also, export a copy of the grade center to an Excel file so that you have it available for future student grade questions and appeals.

2.  Course Availability:  Make Your Course Unavailable
To restrict students from access to your course, change the availability of each course from on to off.

3.  Archive: Archive your Course
Download your course as a backup with students records for possible future use.

4.  my Courses Module: Rearrange the my Courses Module Display
Change how your courses display within the my Courses module. You can display by term first, and then by course name or you can organize by course name only.

5.  Exporting courses for use in the upcoming semester:
If you are exporting courses from Summer 2015 or later, follow directions found on the Export/Import from Summer15 or Later on Blackboard page. If you are exporting a Spring 15 or earlier course, see the Export/Import for Blackboard Courses from Spring 2015 and Earlier page.

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