ON DEMAND: Using a Master Course Copy to Ease Blackboard Course Maintenance (15 mins)

  • Robert Dieterich George Mason University
  • Ying-Ying Kuo George Mason University


This presentation demonstrates strategies and the technical how-tos for using a single "master" version of a Blackboard course to ease the process of deploying that content to new Blackboard instances every semester. The master Blackboard course becomes a repository for the canonical version of a course's Blackboard instance. Every semester, every section of a course may begin with a copy of the master course and optionally enable / disable elements as needed. This approach can also help maintain course consistency between different teachers while still allowing them to customize for their own needs. This master course also serves as a natural gathering place for updates and content fixes. As issues are encountered while teaching the material, fixes can be applied to the master version so the same issues will not occur the next semester when the material is deployed again. It is worth noting that the repository and issue-fixing benefits of the master course apply not only to course content, but to the design of the Blackboard course site itself. I have used this master course strategy for organizing the content for GAME140 Applied Coding for Game Designers, a fully online course with large numbers of videos, quizzes, and projects. Adoption of this strategy has significantly reduced the amount of effort needed to deploy new instances of this course every semester. The master course strategy has proven useful as multiple sections of GAME140 are taught every semester with most content being shared between online and face-to-face versions of the course. This presentation will cover the following topics: * Introduction to the Concept of a Master Course * Demonstration of How-to Copy the Master Course into a New Course * Blackboard "Gotchas" to Avoid in the Copying Process * Best-Practice Strategies for Organizing Information on the Master Course Site to Make Deployment and Maintenance Easier.

On Demand Pre-recorded Presentation