Office for Digital Learning

Digital Learning Environment

Teaching Modules at Ulster

Posted on: 10 May 2016

Every module at Ulster is available in Blackboard Learn and students are automatically registered following enrolment. Staff are not automatically assigned to modules and must request access to their modules every year.

To gain access to modules all academic staff must request access to modules they teach, this is done via an online form at

Once you have requested a module you will receive a confirmation email within 15 minutes confirming that the module has been released in most cases. If your module is within the Ulster Business School your request has to be approved by faculty support staff and may take longer.

Modules, at Ulster have an associated unique reference number - Course Reference Number (CRN) to denote an instance of the module in this academic year or semester. CRNs can also be used to differentiate cohorts of students or to allow modules to be be delivered in multiple campuses. It is important to note that if a module has multiple CRNs, these are distinct areas in Blackboard.

There are 3 types of access you can request:

  1. Instructor – Instructors have access to all areas in the Course Control Panel. This role is generally given to the person developing, teaching or facilitating the class. If a Course is unavailable to Students, Instructors may still access it.
  2. Course Builder - The Course Builder role has access to most areas of the Course Control Panel. This role is appropriate for a research assistant or to an assistant who has limited responsibilities, but should not have access to Student Grades. Note: If the Course is unavailable to Students, a Course Builder can still access the Course.
  3. Marker - The Marker role has limited access to the Course Control Panel. A Marker would assist the Instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of Assessments and Surveys. A Marker may also assist the Instructor with adding manual entries to the Online Grade Centre. Note: If a Course is unavailable to Students, the Course will appear in the My Courses module and Course list for a user with the role of Marker, but the Marker will not be able to enter the Course until the Course is available.

NB. Associate lecturers (with 'A' codes) and PhD students (with 'B00' codes) cannot request access to Blackboard modules via the Module Access Request System. An Instructor (Module Co-ordinator) must e-mail Blackboard Help Desk ( requesting module access on their behalf. The e-mail should quote the module code and correct CRN number and the required level of access e.g. instructor, course builder, teaching assistant) - or a description of their role within the module.

Programme Support Areas

In addition to modules, every programme at Ulster has a Blackboard area for programme specific information and resources, you can request access to programme support areas via

What other areas are available?

  • TSA – Teaching Support Area – Ad-hoc teaching support area, such as placement support or an area for PhD students to collaborate.
  • CSA – Community Support Area – Supports a community of practice, these areas are used for non-teaching activity such as students' union areas.

These areas can be requested by emailing

How do I migrate content from previous year?

Module content is automatically migrated from a previous year if the system can find a match. For instance BMS811 in Semester One (Coleraine) of academic year 16/17 will be populated with content from BMS811 Semester One (Coleraine) academic year 15/16.

If you wish to migrate content from another module instructions are available on the Blackboard Support Wiki.

Are there any templates available?

Blackboard module templates have been agreed by the Digital Learning Sub Committee and endorsed by the Learning and Teaching Committee. As of September 2015 all validated and revalidated modules must use the Ulster module template. It is not technically feasible to apply a template on top of existing content, and the process requires manual intervention. The recommended workflow for migrating content is:

  1. Request a development area in Blackboard with the new template applied by emailing
  2. Add module content to the development area.
  3. Request access to the live module area.
  4. Make a content migration request from the development area to the live area.