The teaching and learning materials in Blackboard are delivered to students through a Blackboard course. Each course contains content that is specific to an enrolled cohort of students and is usually associated with a particular faculty or department.

Any member of Imperial College can be enrolled on a course with a given role, or courses can be made available to all users via self-enrolment. You can read further about enrolling users in our help guide. 

Once created, it is the responsibility of the course owner (usually the course leader) to create content and to ensure that staff and students are enrolled on the course correctly. If you need further guidance with this then please contact your Faculty Learning Technologist and they shall be able to assist you with this.


Curriculum courses

Curriculum courses – These are an Imperial College accredited module that can contain any relevant content. These courses will usually contain some form of assessment, be part of the curriculum or be for credit. These courses can contain both formative and summative assessment content.

Curriculum courses are automatically created in Blackboard by Banner (Imperial College student records system). Registry are responsible for adding curriculum based courses to Banner. Contact Registry if you need a curriculum course added to Banner and Blackboard.


For curriculum courses, students will be automatically enrolled, dependant on the information held in Banner. The enrolling of members of staff to a course should be carried out by Faculty/Departmental staff. If you need further assistance with this, contact your Faculty Learning Technologist or see our help materials on enrolling users.

Course Rollovers and Templates

If you need to rollover content into a new curriculum Blackboard course or use a template for a new curriculum Blackboard course, contact your Faculty Learning Technologist before the start of the academic year and they will be able to facilitate this for you.

Cross listed courses – (parent - child)

Blackboard courses can be arranged in a parent / child relationship, with enrolments from the child course being replicated in the parent course. This can be used when a course has multiple iterations in Banner, as it removes the need for courses to be duplicated multiple times in Blackboard for different cohorts. 

Each parent course can have multiple child courses attached and content added to the parent course will be visible to all students enrolled on the child courses too.

Informational courses

Informational courses – These courses are for information purposes only and should not contain any form of summative assessment, be part of the curriculum or be for credit. These courses can contain formative assessment content.

To request a new Blackboard Learn course please complete the New Blackboard Learn Course form in ASK Service Now.

Once a course has been created for you, it is your responsibility to organise and administer it. This includes ensuring that the course is populated with content and that students and staff are correctly enrolled upon it. If you need assitance with this, contact your Faculty Learning Technologist.

If large numbers of Blackboard courses are required, these can be created in bulk via a file upload. Please contact the ICT Service Desk for more information regarding this.

Sandbox courses

What is a Blackboard Sandbox Course?

A Blackboard Sandbox Course allows you to test and experiment with the different features, tools and content available on the system. These can be used to help staff development course design skills and get to know their way around Blackboard, in a course that is only accessible to them.

How do I create a Blackboard Sandbox Course?

  1. Go to Blackboard sandbox management
  2. Enter your Imperial Username and Password and select Log In
  3. Displayed will be list of your current Blackboard Sandboxes. To create a new course, select New Sandbox
  4. Read the disclaimer that is displayed and select the Agree button
  5. Your new Blackboard Sandbox will now be displayed. The course name will contain your username. Click on the Course ID link to access the course in Blackboard directly. Your Blackboard Sandboxes will also be displayed in your My Courses list in Blackboard
  6. If you need to delete a course, click on Delete. Please be aware that this will permanently delete the course and all the content will be lost.

Limitations of use

Blackboard Sandbox courses are limited to staff only. Each member of staff is allowed 3 courses each.

Blackboard Sandbox courses are intended for personal use only and should not be used for teaching and learning. Students should not be enrolled on these courses.

If a course is deleted, this action is not reversible and all the content will be deleted also.

Course availability

The availability of a Blackboard course can be altered to suit the teaching delivery needs. Unavailable courses will be hidden from students. Enrolled staff will still be able to access the course as normal, edit content and enrolments.

To change the course availability, carry out the following: 

  1. Navigate to the required course in Blackboard
  2. Under the Course Management menu, select Customisation 
  3. Select Properties 

From here you can select the appropriate availability options: 

  • Available – the course is openly available to enrolled student participants.  If self-enrolment is activated, then users will be able to enroll in the course anytime they wish.
  • Not available – the course is not available to students. Please note that enrolled staff will always be able to access a course. 

In addition, the duration of the course can be specified to start and end on set dates.