News and Alerts


  • Reminder: The deadline for Fall 2023 course development requests is MAY 15TH.
  • Want to learn more about using the new tools available in Blackboard Ultra? Come to the Design Team’s iPED Workshop: Re-Tooling Course Modules in the New Blackboard Ultra.
  • Need information on course archiving? See our Standards and Policies page for schedules.
  • Developing a new Online Program? The Website Content Request for Online Degree Programs form is now available.
  • Teaching a course Online? The MU Hybrid Checklist has information to help you make decisions about teaching virtually or online.
  • Looking for support? Join the Distance Education Support Community Team to get direct access to designers, instructional documents, meetings, and virtual workshops.
  • Want to add online proctoring options to preserve test integrity? Refer to our Standards and Policies page for more details on how to add the lock-down browser and online monitoring services in Blackboard.

Newsletter Features

In the Know: Development Shells

Did you know that you can request development shells in Blackboard? While term course shells do not become available until approximately two weeks before the start of a term, one can work in a development shell at any time. A course built in a development shell can then be course-copied into the live term shell for the appropriate semester.  

Important notes: 

  • Materials must be course-copied to the live term shell for students to be able to access the materials. Students do not have access to development shells.  
  • Development shells are not archived (removed from Blackboard) like live term shells. More information can be found on our Course Archiving page. 
  • Development shells for non-distance courses can be requested at Course Development for Non-Distance Courses. 
  • Development shells for new distance courses will be provided via the Application for Distance Education. 
  • Note: we limit users to one development shell per type of course. Please contact us if you would like to clean out and reuse any development shell. 

Please reach out to the Design Center if you have any questions. 


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College coursework can come with many unwritten rules, and failure to understand these rules or even know what they are can create the perception that students are not cut out for college. Transparency is a way to make academic expectations and the learning process more visibleRead more


Faculty Spotlight
Dr. Laura Stapleton is an Assistant Professor at Marshall University and has taught at the university for over twenty-five years. In 2021, she earned a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology from Old Dominion University. She recently collaborated with the Design Center on a Belongingness Project in her online MTH 121 class, and she just won the Council of Chairs Award for Excellence in Teaching…Read more


Refer to the Blackboard Services Status page for the most up-to-date information on the availability of Blackboard systems. Due to the volume of users and an influx of traffic, please understand that some services will experience slower upload times, higher wait times, and longer times for uploading graded activities.

NOTICE: Our Blackboard Learn is running on Amazon’s Web Services (cloud). Amazon Web Services has a weekly maintenance window at 3:00 AM on Tuesdays. Services may be intermittently unavailable in Blackboard at this time.

NOTICE: Marshall IT schedules a weekly maintenance window on Sundays from 7 AM to 1 PM Eastern time. Services may be intermittent during this time each week. Pre-planned IT upgrades and outages will take place during Labor Day weekend; refer to the Academic Calendar for more information.

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