What is a course development shell?

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In response to some faculty requests, DoIT’s Instructional Technology team will create Fall 2020 Course Development shells for all courses listed in the Schedule of Classes by close of business on Friday, May 29. The Course Development shells will be accessible in Blackboard by close of business on Monday, June 1.


These shells are for development purposes only, and instructors will need to copy the developed course into their actual course shell.

Create course content, add assignments, upload syllabi - a Course Development shell acts as a staging site for your future production shell. When production shells are created, instructors can seamlessly copy everything from the Course Development shell into the production shell.  

How do I convert my Fall 2020 Course Development shell to the Ultra Course View?
The Fall 2020 Course Development shell will be deployed by default in Blackboard Original. To convert your Fall 2020 Course Development shell to the Ultra Course View, please follow these steps. Please note: instructors are not required to use the Ultra Course View at this time. Faculty should take several considerations into account before switching to Ultra for Fall 2020.

Where can I find my Fall 2020 Course Development shell(s)?
From Blackboard, click on Courses in the base navigation. Next, locate "Current Courses" Click on this filter and change it to "Fall Course Development." Your courses will be named “SUBJ 123 Course Development” (e.g., ENGL 100).

When will FA2020 production shells be created?
Fall semester shells are usually created in late July or early August, per our guidelines. Our goal will be to have production shells deployed no later than July 27.

Should I enroll students in my development shell(s)?
No. Student enrollments will be processed automatically in the production shell when they are created. The purpose of development shells is to provide a space for instructors to fully design their Blackboard course earlier than usual. To avoid confusion for instructors and students, please do not enroll any other user other than instructors or other course designers into your development shells.

How do I get a dev shell if my course was added to the Schedule of Classes after May 29?
Please submit a ticket that includes the course name, course number, and instructor. 

How do I copy my FA2020 Course Development shell into my production shell? 
Follow the steps outlined in this FAQ.

I'm teaching multiple sections of a course. Can I split my Course Development shell?
No. Instructional Technology will not be accepting requests to split Course Development shells. However, when production shells are created, you may request to have that shell split. In that case, you will be able to copy your Fall 2020 Course Development shell to each split shell.

I'm teaching multiple sections of a course that are cross-listed. Can I merge my course development shell?
No. Instructional Technology will not be accepting requests to merge Course Development shells. Choose one of the shells to design your merged course.

Do I have to use the development shell?
No. These shells have been created to provide the option and opportunity for instructors to design their courses earlier than normal. Instructors can choose to design their courses when the production shells become available, and can simply ignore the course development shell(s).