Faculty Pre-semester Checklist

Offering a course at South Plains College requires preterm planning and engagement throughout the term. The checklist below is intended for faculty members teaching and utilizing Blackboard at South Plains College.

Posting a syllabus and utiizing the Blackboard Gradebook are required for all courses at South Plains College.

Before the Prior Term Ends

  • Request Course Materials, ie bookstore, lab supplies, etc. If you have a textbook(s) required for your course, register with Bibliu as an instructor, and request the book(s). If you do not receive confirmation or there is a delay in receiving the textbook(s), contact your Department Chair.
  • Access the Blackboard Ultra LMS and locate the upcoming semester’s course shell on the dashboard. If the course is not present, customize your dashboard and course list. If the course is not present in the Blackboard course list, contact your chair to make sure that course is assigned to you, then contact Blackboard@SouthPlainsCollege.edu for assistance.

Four Weeks Prior

  • Make sure you have signed your contract and completed the required training(s).
  • Copy course content into the current semester’s Blackboard course shell. If you have developed the course content in a Blackboard sandbox or Master Course you can copy the sandbox course into the current semester course(s). Contact Blackboard@SouthPlainsCollege.edu if you need assistance.
  • Utilize the SPC-Approved Template. Find the template and additional guidance on course migration here. For further assistance on course copying, please review lesson 9 in the Ultra Certification course.
  • Update assignment deadlines, dates, notification settings, and materials copied or imported into the course. You can use the Batch Edit Tool to help streamline the process.
  • Include information about course evaluation in your timeline. Prepare to ask students to complete in weeks 12-14.
  • Schedule an instructional design consultation for a course review either through your department or Instructional Technology. 

Three Weeks Prior

  • Select the academic technologies to use in your course. (i.e. polling software, iClickers, Class.com, HonorLock, Turnitin, GoReact, etc.). Include technology information such as how to access the technology and technical support information in the course syllabus.
  • Schedule an in-person or virtual training session for any desired technologies.
  • Update your syllabus, including links to the SPC Institutional Syllabus Statements on the website copy and in Blackboard.

Two Weeks Prior

Prior to First Day of Semester

  • Our courses open for students the Thursday prior to the first day. Make sure you have content available for students. Start Here and Week 0 content are recommended.
  • Update your Profile. Has your contact information changed? Want to change how you receive course notifications? Make sure your notification and contact preferences are updated. Ask your students to do the same.

Prior to First Official Day of Class

  • Email students a welcome message via Announcements. Include instructions on how and where to access the course in Blackboard.
  • Post or update a course Welcome Video within the Blackboard course shell.

Throughout the Term

  • SPC instructors are expected to be engaging, supporting and assessing students throughout the term. See Faculty Showstopper Organization in Blackboard for information on active learning and student engagement strategies. Other resources include:
    • Student Support Services
    • Health and Wellness
    • and others

Finalize the Term

  • Follow the steps in the link below to meet end-of-term expectations.
  • Submit Final Grades. Watch for emails from the registrar about dates and procedures.
  • Say Goodbye. This announcement can include various end-of-term administrative details: how incompletes are handled, when final grades will be posted, and how to contact the instructor after the course concludes. This is also a nice opportunity to summarize learning to help students reflect on their increased proficiency in the course content. Recognizing students for their successful completion, despite these obstacles, encourages students to persevere as they continue their education. A thoughtful concluding message from the instructor sends a strong message to students about relationships formed.
  • Share with Colleagues. SPC faculty members have established a shared Community of Practice in Microsoft Teams. Engaging with colleagues regarding current research and established best practices is an important part of the lifelong learner philosophy of SPC.