Preparing your Blackboard course for Conversion to the new LMS

Any next generation LMS, by default, encourages courses to be set up in modules. Proven best practices in instructional design support modular design. What is modular design? The Technology Teaching and Learning Group at Hunter College has developed an excellent resource on learning module design. It states: “A learning module is a sequenced collection of subject-related materials designed to teach a topic or skill. It is the building block of an online course.” The key is the intentional sequencing and selection of materials for your students to learn a concept.

What modular design is NOT: groups of like materials in folders and subfolders. Students should not have to check multiple locations to complete their work for the week. This leads to confusion and missed resources or assignments.

After converting a sample of UIS courses to other LMS platforms, COLRS found that nested folders cause process failure during course migration. More than two folder levels (one folder inside another folder) is the point at which courses were not able to be moved to a different LMS.

Reducing folder levels in your Blackboard course

The Copy and Move tools in Blackboard can make the process of reducing folder levels somewhat less tedious. To access the move and copy tools, click on the Item Options drop down menu to access copy or move for any Blackboard folder, item, or assessment.

By renaming sub-folders and moving them up a level, you can reduce the folder levels without recreating your course.

  1. Click on the “item options” menu for any Blackboard content.
    screen grab of a blackboard folder with arrow pointing to submenu button
  2. Click on Move or Copy to rearrange your content.
    screen grab of Blackboard submen for folder with Copy and Move items circled

File Management on

When a Blackboard course contains many files during the conversion, some LMSs will group all files throughout the course together. One easy way to manage this is to house your files on and link to them in your course. Next Generation LMSs have integrations that allow easy linking of course materials. Or, you can use the share link option in Box to link files.

Video Management in Kaltura

Any new LMS at UIS will integrate with Kaltura Media. Any videos currently housed in Kaltura will also be available for use in the next generation LMS. Any video files uploaded directly to Blackboard may not transfer due to their large size.

Examity, Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor, and Turnitin

These tools — Examity online proctoring service, Turnitin plagiarism detection tool, and Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor video proctoring —  will be available only on the next generation LMS during the summer and fall 2020 semesters.

Older Web Browsers

Update your computer to use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Apple Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer and older versions of other browsers are not compatible with advanced features in a next generation LMS.

Gold Courses

In preparation for our migration to a next-generation learning management system (LMS), please review all pre-existing Gold courses that you currently or previously have used, for which you still have access. Keep in mind that some courses may be hidden from view! To view all courses in Blackboard, even those that do not appear in your course list upon sign in, select the gear icon that appears when hovering over the “My Courses” module.

A red arrow that points to the gear cog that appears when hovering over the "My Courses" module with a mouse in Blackboard.

You will then be taken to a screen that allows you to personalize the “My Courses” module. Be sure to select each Gold course that you wish to review, and then click “Submit” on the bottom of the page. These courses will now be shown in the “My Courses” module after logging in to Blackboard.

As you review the content in your Gold courses, ask yourself:

  • Is this content old or outdated? Have new developments in my field made some of my content obsolete?
  • Have I updated my course since the last time I worked in this Gold course?
  • Is this course regularly offered?
  • Does someone else in my department now own and regularly teach this course?

Depending on how you answer these questions, it may be a good time to delete this Gold course, or replace it with a newer version. There are two ways to request Gold course deletions:

  1. Change the name of your Gold course in Blackboard to include the word “delete.” COLRS will periodically review and automatically delete any Gold course with the word “delete” in the title.To change the name of your Gold course, navigate to Course Management / Control Panel / Customization / Properties. Edit the “Course Name” field, type “delete” anywhere in the field, and then click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.
  2. Or, send an email to with the course ID and the course name of the Gold course you wish to delete. (The course ID typically starts with “999.”)