Thursday, August 20, 2015

Using Due Dates in Blackboard

This post will provide you with some tips for setting up date options for assignments, tests and discussion boards in Blackboard.  When you create one of these items, you have the option to add dates to the Availability and Due Dates. 

Availability controls when the item appears or disappears for students. You must check the "Make the Assignment Available" button or students will not be able to see the item. 

If you want your item to show up for students for a limited period of time you have two options.  The "Display After" option is the date and time you want the item to appear for students.  The "Display Until" is if you want the item to become unavailable for students after a period of time. You do not need to set a "Display Until" date and time unless it is material that you do not want students to have access to for review.

Due Dates let students know when they need to turn work in but they do not control the availability of the item.

Why should you set due dates in Blackboard? Setting due dates helps keep students on task and organized when submitting assignments, posting and commenting on the discussion board, and taking quizzes or exams. 

Due dates automatically populate to:
  • The student's Blackboard calendar
  • The Grade Center
  • The To Do module on the Home Page
  • Some features of the My Dashboard page for students

Due dates are helpful for instructors as well. 
  • Late assignments will be identified as late in the grade center (students can still submit the assignment)
  • Discussion board posts  will automatically show up in Needs Grading after students submit a custom number of posts
  • Tests provide the option to prohibit students from taking tests after the due date

As you can see, using due dates has some huge benefits for both instructors and students during the semester.  But, what happens to the due dates when content is copied over to the next semester?  Blackboard has a really helpful tool to edit dates.  The Date Management tool that allows you to edit due dates, availability dates and simple adaptive release dates all in one place for items within your course such as discussions, assignments, tests, announcements, etc. 

Resources for setting due dates:

Resources for the Date Management Tool:

If you have any questions, please contact TLT ( or 8-7107) and we would be happy to assist you!

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