Blackboard: Policies

Course Availability

Blackboard courses are automatically created for each course in the GVSU Catalog. GVSU faculty and staff who wish to request the creation of Blackboard courses for other purposes than courses listed in the GVSU Catalog must contact the

Courses for the upcoming semester are created 6-8 weeks prior to the beginning of a new semester based on timing for upgrades and resources.

Student enrollments are added to courses three weeks prior to the beginning of a new semester.

Courses are unavailable to students until the instructor makes the course available. All courses are made unavailable to students two weeks after the semester ends, however instructors may continue to make the courses available if they choose.

Course Merges

Instructors who teach multiple sections of the same course may prefer to manage those sections (known as “child” courses) as a single merged “parent” course. All requests for merging courses can be submitted using the Blackboard Course Merge Request Form located at:

Duration of Course Availability for Faculty

Courses remain available in Blackboard for one year and one semester.  Shortly after the end of each semester, courses older than one year and one semester are removed.

Creation of Student Accounts

GVSU student accounts are automatically created in Blackboard from Banner as soon as their Student network and Gmail accounts are created. Student enrollments are added to courses three weeks prior to the beginning of a new semester.

Creation of Staff/Faculty Accounts

Staff/Faculty accounts are automatically created in Blackboard once all employee paperwork (i.e. contract signed, i9 form submitted) is completed and 30 days before the employee’s start date.   

Adding Students to Courses

Blackboard student enrollments are received from Banner every three hours. Any student not registered for a course in Banner, but wants access in Blackboard, must first request permission from the Registrar’s Office.   

Blackboard Administrators can add: 1) students fulfilling incompletes, 2) graduate student assistants with the Teaching Assistant role, and 3) undergraduate student assistants with the Course Builder role. Any other student enrollment or access requests must be approved by the Registrar’s Office ( All requests for undergraduate student enrollments needing grading access begin with a "Student Grader Request Form" that must be completed by the instructor of the course.

Student enrollments are added to Blackboard courses three weeks prior to the beginning of a new semester, however instructors determine the availability of Blackboard courses. Updates resulting from students dropping or adding courses are reflected in Blackboard within three hours of the change in Banner.    

Adding Instructors to Courses

Instructor of record in Banner are uploaded to Blackboard every three hours. Only the instructor of record can grant access to other users in their Blackboard course sites (such as teaching assistants or fellow instructors). For more information please visit: Adding users to course

Blackboard Account and Password Information

The Blackboard username and password are the same for network and email accounts. If a student forgets their password, they can reset it by logging into Banner with their G# and pin. If a staff/faculty forgets their password, they should contact the IT HelpDesk (616-331-2101) to have it reset.

Guest Access

Blackboard is available to only GVSU students and faculty/staff. General guest access is disabled. If you have a guest who needs access to a wifi account, please contact the IT HelpDesk (616-331-2101).  If you need only a Blackboard account email

Problems with Blackboard Accounts or Blackboard Server

Frequently asked questions and documentation for Blackboard tools can be found on the eLearning website or this eLearn help website. If you encounter any problems with Blackboard not addressed on the eLearning website, this eLearn help website or need additional support, please contact or call the IT HelpDesk (616-331-2101).

Maintenance Window

Blackboard’s maintenance window is every Tuesday morning from 2am to 6am.

Course Archival and Restoration

Courses are archived two weeks after each semester completes. Course archives are available for three full academic years.  Course archives older than 3 years are deleted at the end of each semester, keeping the total course load at 3 years.

To request a course restore, please contact the IT HelpDesk (616-331-2101). Only the instructor of record can request a course site be restored. If you want to access course content older than three years, you may export your courses and keep the files to upload at a later time.

Course and File Size Quotas

The default file size upload limit for students, faculty and staff is 600MB.

The default course size limit for faculty and staff is 600MB. When a Blackboard course approaches its quota limit, an email notification is sent to the instructor(s). Please contact the IT HelpDesk (616-331-2101) if you receive the quota notification to review options for decreasing the course quota.

Managing Course Files Help Page

Email Policy

Blackboard adheres to the University Email Policy.

Third Party Integrations

“LTI integrations” and “Building Blocks” are integration tools that can be used to extend the functionality of GVSU’s Blackboard system. For any third party integration requests, the eLearning Team at GVSU must take into account Blackboard performance, system security, and data integrity.
If you would like to request an integration, please fill out the Integration Request Form.
As the requestor, you are responsible as:

  • the designated tester of the integration
  • the point of contact for the implementation process
  • the primary support person for any student inquiries regarding the integration, or willing to direct students to the appropriate vendor support

If approved, the implementation may take 3 months or longer. If an upgrade to the GVSU Blackboard system renders the integration inoperable, it is the responsibility of the vendor to provide GVSU with an updated version or fix for the integration.

Blackboard Help

The Help link that is included in every Blackboard course menu leads to the eLearning website. This site provides how-to documentation, videos, and frequently asked questions. The eLearning team also offers many seminars which faculty can register for through GVSU Sprout.

Contact information for eLearning Blackboard Faculty Support:

For all other support questions, please contact the IT HelpDesk (616-331-2101).

IT Policies and Procedures

For additional campus policies regarding proper use, security, and administrative procedures, please visit the Information Technology Policies and Procedures page.