University of Southern California

Learning Design & Technology

Advancing USC's strategic vision for teaching with technology

Blackboard Learning Management System

Blackboard ( is USC’s eLearning platform. Instructors use it to post and distribute course content such as syllabuses and handouts, to communicate with students via announcements and email messages, to assess student learning through quizzes and online assignments, and much more.

A Blackboard course website is automatically created for every course at USC, although each site is hidden from students until the instructor chooses to make the course website available to them. Fall course sites are automatically created on April 15, spring course sites are created on November 15, and summer course sites are created on March 15. This streamlines the course-site creation process and supports the Provost’s Emergency Preparedness initiative. In the event of a campus closure or suspension of classes, the availability of courses in Blackboard will enable USC instructors to connect with students and continue teaching with minimal interruption.

ITS Learning Design & Technology (LD&T) serves as the nexus for USC’s educational technology strategic planning, governance, and communications. LD&T’s experts provide support for Blackboard users, general training, customized workshops, and consultations on strategic uses of Blackboard for distance- and technology-enhanced learning. LD&T also supports evaluation and assessment of Blackboard by identifying institutional and user Learning Management System requirements.

Getting Help with Blackboard

For around-the-clock Blackboard support, call 213-740-5555 and choose option 3, or send an email to

USC Blackboard Help for Faculty

USC Blackboard Help for Students also offers several hours of additional Blackboard 9 training movies for both instructors and students. Log in to and then search for “Blackboard 9 Essential Training.”

All USC instructors and teaching assistants are automatically enrolled in a Blackboard Best Practices course within the platform that helps deepen their understanding of how to use its more advanced tools and features, such as tracking students, creating lessons, embedding surveys, or embedding Twitter feeds. To access this course, log in to Blackboard and click the Blackboard Best Practices link at the top of your My Courses Plus list.