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Spring 2021 Readiness

Spring 2021 - November 5 Launch Date

  • Per the CAD and the Provost, Spring 2021 courses in Blackboard will become available to students on November 5th, 2020.

Learn more about SHSU's plan for the Spring 2021 semester on the SHSU Updates page.

What is required to be in Blackboard by November 5?

In consultation with the Provost and the Council of Academic Deans, Blackboard will serve as the uniform repository for course materials and student communication. While the entirety of the course does not need to be fully built out by November 5th, the Provost's Office is requesting that the following elements are required to be posted in the Blackboard course shell:

For all courses, independent of instructional modality (online, face-to-face, blended):

    1. Course Syllabus or Course Information: The Provost has requested all courses, regardless of delivery modality, either have the syllabus posted, OR, at least a welcome message.
    2. Attendance Policy: Given the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus, faculty will establish clear guidelines regarding attendance and inform their students of their policy. 

For Blended & Face-to-Face courses only:

    1. Selected Flex Model: Provide overview of the course to include clear instructions for when students are to meet on campus and when classes will be held remotely.
    2. Request Remote Option: SHSU Online will be adding a content area to courses identified by Colleges and Departments as eligible to offer students the option to request remote instruction.

      The approval/denial of the remote option is determined solely by the faculty member, based on the needs of the course.

      Faculty are encouraged to indicate on the syllabus or welcome statement their willingness to allow or disallow remote options. Faculty may indicate such things as "lectures may be viewed remotely but labs must be taken in the blended format with the partial approval option."

What is required to be in Blackboard once the term officially begins (January 13)?

By the official launch of the term on January 13, all courses must leverage Blackboard for essential course elements. It will be vital to follow best practices that will allow SHSU students to quickly adjust to changing conditions while maintaining course continuity. These best practices include using the University LMS (Blackboard) as the hub for the following elements:

  • Syllabus
  • Course Communication 
  • Course Schedule and Calendar
  • Attendance Monitoring 
  • Grade Center ("My Grades" for students)
  • Online Office Hours

There are a variety of tools in Blackboard to manage the six essential elements listed above. To assist you, SHSU Online will be providing ongoing training, instructional design support, and a 24/7 technical call center.

SHSU Online Support Services

SHSU Online is committed to faculty members' success in creating an efficacious learning experience for their students in Blackboard.

Student Support


Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter P, RULE §4.257

  1. Online/Distance Education: The formal educational process that occurs when students and instructors are not in the same physical setting for the majority (more than 50 percent) of instruction.
  2. Online/Distance Education Course: A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent) of the instruction occurs when the student(s) and instructor(s) are not in the same place. Two categories of distance education courses are defined:
    1. Fully Online Course: A course where 85% or more of the instruction occurs when the student(s) and instructor(s) are not in the same place. A fully online course may have mandatory face-to-face sessions totaling no more than 15 percent of the instructional time. Examples of face-to-face sessions include orientation, laboratory, exam review, or an in-person test.
    2. Blended Course: A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place.

      There is considerable flexibility within each of these models, and we are confident that with very few exceptions, every course taught at SHSU will use at least one of them effectively.
  3. Remote/Emergency Remote Course: A temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances. It involves the use of fully remote teaching solutions for instruction, such as Blackboard, to interact with students, take attendance, issue an exam, or collect an assignment. It may also involve the use of web-conferencing software, like Zoom or Bb Collaborate, to host virtual, synchronous lectures in lieu of meeting face-to-face.