Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Tag: course availability

Course Availability for Students with Incompletes

A few weeks after the semester ends, a course will automatically become unavailable to all students.  If you have a student with an incomplete who needs access to a course after this occurs, the course can be made available to just that student. This is a two part process.  First, you would need to mark the course as unavailable to the other students who were enrolled in the class.  Then, you will make the course available (open) again.  Although this will open up the course again, only the student marked as available will have access. To make the course unavailable to the other students in the class:

  1. In the Control Panel, go to Users & Groups and Users.
  2. The right-most column shows the Availability of the course for each student, when the course is made available.  If the course is available, students having ‘Yes’ in that column will have access.  If the course is not available, all students will not have access.  
  3. To change a student’s availability from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’,  hover on the username for a student to make the drop-down arrow appear.  Click on the drop-down arrow and menu  and select Change User’s Availability in the Course.
  4. Change the drop-down option for Available (this course only) to be No and click Submit.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for all students who need to be made unavailable.
  6. Once completed for all students except for the student with the Incomplete, confirm that only the student with the Incomplete has ‘Yes’ in the Availability column.

To make the course available again:

  1. In the Control Panel, go to Customization and Properties.
  2. Under step 3, change the Make Course Available to Yes and click Submit.

I Can’t Find My Course Section on Blackboard

Instructors are assigned to Blackboard courses based on the UIS course schedule.  If you are not listed as the instructor of your course section in the course schedule, you will not have access to your Blackboard course site.

Please contact your program secretary or online coordinator to be listed as the instructor in the course schedule. Once listed as the instructor in the course schedule, you will have access to your course site within 24 hours.  

If access is needed more urgently, your program secretary or online coordinator can  contact COLRS to verify that you will be teaching the section.  He/she will need to provide us with the course name and number, course section, and your Net-ID.

Blackboard Course Creation

Each semester, a Blackboard course shell is created for each course section offered at UIS. The course name begins with the year and semester.

Example: A chemistry course taught in Fall 2013 might be named: 133CHE10154321

13 – Last two digits of year
3 – Fall semester (spring is coded as a 1 and summer is coded as a 2)
CHE – Three digit department abbreviation
101 – Course number
54321 – Course reference number from Banner

Additional Course Creation Points

  • Instructors listed in the course schedule will have access to their empty Blackboard course sites at
  • Students are enrolled automatically two weeks prior to the first day of class each semester.
  • Students cannot access a course until it is either (1) automatically opened on the first day of classes according to the published academic calendar, or (2) opened by the instructor prior to the first day, if desired.
  • Instructors who are not teaching an online class can choose whether to use the Blackboard course. If you will not use the site, you can make the site unavailable to your students.
  • Each course contains an announcement stating the Blackboard course site may or may not be used at the instructor’s discretion.
  • If a student drops or withdraws from a class, he/she is not automatically removed because course grades and statistics would be removed along with the student.
  • You can hide a student instead of removing them permanently.

Make Blackboard Course Available to Students

To make a course available to students:

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Customization > Properties.
  3. Under Set Availability, choose “Yes.”
  4. Click Submit.