Blackboard Guidelines


This webpage is intended to provide guidance regarding access and course management within the Blackboard Learn (Bb) environment licensed by Baylor College of Medicine. Included are statements related to usage, user account management, course management, Copyright, information security, and intellectual property. Blackboard is Baylor College of Medicine’s Learning Management System, which provides a unified framework for course administration, distribution of course materials, and integration of advanced technology tools into the curriculum, and teaching, learning, assessment, and collaboration practices. All courses offered by the College will have their own site in the Blackboard environment, which can be used to deliver web-enhanced, blended, and online courses. At a basic level, Blackboard can be used to develop online components for face-to-face courses. A Blackboard site can be extended into an advanced teaching and learning environment with online discussions, assignments, assessments, group activities, grade
management, and more.

The Education Technology staff are responsible for Bb system administration. The Ed-Tech staff are also responsible for updating this “living” document as is necessary.

These policy and procedures have been approved and will be periodically reviewed. For further information and clarification, contact Ed-Tech by phone at (713) 798-7308 or email at 




The purpose of this document is to:

  • Provide students, faculty, and staff with standardized guidelines and procedures related to the use, management, support, and operation of the Bb environment.
  • Provide guidelines for decision-making regarding the use of the Bb environment licensed by BCM.
  • Reinforce credibility, collaboration, and buy-in from various College stakeholders regarding management of the Bb environment.

In addition to these guidelines and procedures, the College’s Acceptable Use Policy as well as Federal and State law may apply to the use of the Bb environment.

The Education Technology staff offers training and support to faculty and staff regarding the use of the Bb environment. Faculty members using the Bb environment are responsible for:

  • Showing their students how to use the Bb environment in their courses.
  • Uploading and maintaining content provided in their courses.
  • Making their course sites available to students.
  • Informing students when teaching assistants and guest participate have access to course sites and/or participate in online course activities. 

The College licenses the use of the Bb environment to support various academic and administrative activities. Various types of sites are created within the Bb environment:

Course Shells

  • Regular courses (scheduled through CAMS) have a Blackboard Course ID like the example on the right. [view screenshot]
  • Special courses (not corresponding to a course that is scheduled thru CAMS) can be created on Blackboard for a variety of purposes. A special Course ID should begin with the school acronym, be followed by a unique name that identifies the purpose of the course and ends with a suffix that identifies the starting semester (e.g. -19) Care must be taken to ensure that the Course ID of a special course will not conflict with those of any regular courses. 

Organization Shells

  • An online meeting place for different organizations (non-courses) within the BCM community that would like a space for information sharing, collaboration, and communication. Organization members can view information about the organization posted by the organization’s faculty sponsor or delegates, such as Announcements, Calendar events, Discussion Boards, and Rosters. The Organization functions the same way as a Course, except users currently are not able to self-enroll through the course catalog. 


  • Education Technology requires that student Blackboard (Bb) Organizations be set up under the ownership of a faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor will be responsible for the approval of Bb organization content and make sure inappropriate information is not being shared. The faculty sponsor has two management options for Bb Organizations. The faculty sponsor may choose to control membership and content or the faculty sponsor may choose to delegate membership and content control to a member of the Bb Organization. In doing this, the faculty sponsor remains responsible for oversight of membership and said content. The faculty sponsor is required to request the creation of a Bb Organization and may do so by contacting the Ed-Tech IT Support at The faculty sponsor must train the delegated member or send the member to a Bb training session offered by Education Technology before the Bb Organization is created.



Access – Access to Bb course management software, materials, and affiliated online tools will be granted as follows:


Course Shell Management


Courses on the Bb environment are managed by the Bb System Administrator(s) with the goal of reducing faculty time and effort for utilizing online tools and ensuring server performance, efficient use of disk space, and compliance with software licensing requirements.


Course Content Management


All members of the Baylor College of Medicine community are required to comply with applicable laws, regulations, standards, and institutional policies of the College during use of College information systems and educational resources, including Blackboard (Bb). This culture of compliance mandates that all authorized users safeguard the privacy and security of confidential BCM records, including patient medical records and student education records, and use Bb in a manner that demonstrates respect for others and satisfies expectations for professionalism in the online learning environment. Bb is a trusted resource for online teaching and learning because all users have individual responsibility to satisfy these cultural expectations, and a collective ability to preserve the privacy and reliability of information shared in the online learning environment.


Emergency Information: Quick-Tips for Online Learning


BCM is committed to the safety and security of its students, faculty and staff. Personal safety is an important consideration when evaluating the ability to continue on-ground operations during instances of inclement weather. At times, severe weather may result in closures to schools within the institution, roads and/or services.

Our Blackboard servers are located on Amazon Web Services; therefore, there will be no down-time during an evacuation scenario, even if power is lost to BCM’s main campus. Faculty would still be able to login as normal to Single Sign-On using their BCM username and password. Faculty should include an emergency plan on their syllabi that includes the Blackboard URL ( and the blackboard help desk email (which will be available throughout an evacuation scenario and can be reached at