SUNY Poly Events Calendar

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Academic Calendars

Information Technology Services

Learning Management System (LMS)


Things to Know About our Learning Management System

SUNY Polytechnic Institute uses the Blackboard Learn System for delivering course content, communication with students, enabling student collaboration and providing assignments and assessments. It is the operated by Open SUNY, formerly called the SUNY Learning Network (SLN), and the local campus. 

Course Archival Schedule
Semester courses are archived and removed from the LMS after 3 years.

Tracking Course Activity
Title IV requires instructors to provide the Financial Aid office with the last date of activity in courses that have been dropped by students receiving financial aid.  Statistics tracking must be enabled in online and hybrid LMS courses to obtain that date. Instructors using third party resources are encouraged to provide access to those resources through the LMS courses so the last date of activity can be obtained. 

Course Instructor Backups (video demonstration)
Instructors need to regularly backup their own courses during all stages of development and while the course is running. The backups should be saved to their user folder on the college file server.  The Open SUNY Help Desk can assist the instructor with the course restore should it be required.

LMS semester-based courses, faculty assignments and student enrollments are maintained via integration with our Banner system. 

Banner/LMS Processing Schedule
Fall Semester  Mid-July
Spring Semester   Coincides with advance registration in November
Summer Session   Coincides with advance registration in April


Technical Information

The Open SUNY HelpDesk is the help desk for Blackboard and Collaborate. Collaborate the webinar application within Blackboard courses.

Blackboard is updated daily between 12-12:30 PM and 5-5:30 PM.  Students who register for courses on or after the course start date will have access to the Blackboard course after the next scheduled update.  Instructors should check the roster in Banner for the most up-to-date enrollments.

The Blackboard maintenance window is Wednesday from 4 -7 AM. Users will be notified with an announcement in Blackboard when maintenance has been scheduled.

Blackboard is a web browser dependent system. Follow the guidance below for optimal system performance. 

Use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Refer to the Open SUNY Browser Compatibility module on the Blackboard login page to make sure your browser works properly with Blackboard.  All tests should be checks should pass as shown in the image below.

Open SUNY Browser Compatibility module showing all browser checked passed.


Best Practices

Always compose your work off-line and save it as a file on your computer.  You can copy/paste from the saved file into the text box, or attach and upload the saved file. These precautions will help prevent data loss.

Students should always use a hardwired network connection when taking on-line exams and tests.

Always use the Logout button to exit Blackboard. Do not close the browser to exit.

Do not open Blackboard in multiple windows or tabs. It can cause you to lose your login session and work.


Access Information

The SITNet ID is the login to the LMS (Blackboard).

Faculty Access

Faculty access to semester-based courses begins on the date they are created and ends three years after the course end date at which time the course(s) are removed from the LMS.  
**Course instructors are responsible for archiving and exporting courses they want to save.  To access content in an archived course, the archive must be imported into an empty LMS course shell. 

Extend Student Access to Courses
Instructors can extend access for students until the course is removed from the system.  Courses will be removed from the system after three years

Requests for Add Participant or Change Participant Rights
All requests to add participants who are not either enrolled in the course or assigned as a course instructor in Banner must be authorized by the Registrar, the college’s FERPA officer.

Student Access

Students have access to LMS semester-based courses on the term start date (i.e. full term, first-half term, second-half term). By default, LMS courses will be accessible for 21 days after the course ends.  The end date can be extended by the course instructor.


Course Information

The Registrar's office manages the course schedule and course attributes in Banner including the instructional method. The correct course instructional method is important since students may search the schedule by the instructional method. After students have registered for a course, changes to the instructional method require timely notification to the registered students about how the course will be taught so they have time to change their schedule is needed. The notifications come from the academic unit or college. Note that only online asynchronous and online synchronous courses are listed in the Open SUNY catalog.

Instructional Methods and Descriptions

Classroom courses are traditionally taught courses that meet in-person on scheduled days and times.  Courses may also be taught in video/audio classrooms with students located at multiple sites.

Hybrid courses have classroom meetings (in-person or remotely) and asynchronous online components. The classroom meetings are on a physical campus location, live webinar or other synchronous tool. Students can expect that up to 49% of the course may be taught online. Lecture/lab courses with online lecture and in-person labs are classified as hybrids. They are identified as Hybrid on the schedule Notes. Hybrid lecture courses will have H in the section number.

Online synchronous courses are online courses with synchronous sessions via live webinar or other technology.
Online courses are fully asynchronous and have no synchronous meeting time (remotely or in-person).
The courses are identified with a letter in the section number: S for online synchronous, W for online asynchronous.

Both types of online courses have activities that must be completed by the specified due dates, may use a synchronous tool to provide office hours, study sessions, presentations, group projects and access to recorded sessions, and may have proctored exams.  Students will be required to locate their own proctors for the exams. Contact the instructor or department for more information.   Per federal law, students with an F-1 VISA are permitted to enroll in only ONE online course (S, W) per fall or spring semester.

By Appt
Students work with minimal faculty direction. No regularly scheduled meeting times or locations are provided. Independent study, capstone, project, thesis, and Graduate Continuous Registration (CMT) courses are all by appointment.

Primary and Secondary Instructor Rights 

All primary instructors of record in Banner are enrolled in the LMS course with editor rights. Secondary instructors have reduced rights in the LMS course that do not allow access to instructor tools, student assignments, grades or graded submissions.  When the primary and secondary instructors are the same, the primary instructor rights take precedence. 

Changes of Instructor (LMS)

The Banner/LMS processes maintain instructor assignments in the LMS course.  Since instructor access to the semester course may change due to a change of instructor, instructors getting the courses ready for the upcoming semester should do so in a development shell rather than the semester course. Then copy the development shell content into the semester course the week before the semester begins.  

Merged Roster Course for Multiple Sections

A single master course may be requested by an instructor teaching multiple sections of the same course. In all cases the instructor of record must be the same in all sections.  Due to changes of instructor being handled by the Banner/LMS processes, the Registrar’s office may wait until the week before the semester begins before processing some requests.  The merged roster request form is available from 

Development Shells (not term based)

Development shells can be requested by faculty at any time with an IT Support ticket.  They are typically used for course development, collaboration with others, sharing course content with other instructors or teaching assistants, testing and trying things out, and for student projects and internships.  They are not used for teaching courses and students to not have access to them.  There is an Online Learning ticket in the Request Catalog for these requests.



All requests for Blackboard Organizations expands the scope of the Blackboard system at SUNY Poly to support non-course groups.  These organizations can function as an online meeting space for groups that would like an area for information sharing, collaboration, and communication.  Blackboard organizations are available for groups that support the academic, administrative, and research missions of the university, as well as recognized student groups (Note: Student groups must have a faculty/staff sponsor).  

Organization Enrollments

All organization requests Blackboard Organizations expand the scope of the Blackboard system at SUNY Poly to support non-course groups.  These organizations can function as an online meeting space for groups that would like an area for information sharing, collaboration, and communication.  Blackboard organizations are available for groups that support the academic, administrative, and research missions of the university, as well as recognized student groups (Note: Student groups must have a faculty/staff sponsor). 

Organization Backups

The group editor needs regularly create their own backups of their groups before or after making significant changes. Should something happen through accidental erasure, it can be restored from the most recent backup.  Before restoring the group from the backup, editors should contact the Open SUNY Help Desk to make sure the issue they are experiencing will be corrected with a restore.  Some issues are browser related. The Open SUNY Help Desk can assist with the restore should it be required.

Organization documents that need to be retained and accessible for archival reasons should be stored on a network drive for the organization.  Submit requests and inquiries about a network drive for the organization via IT Support request (


Integrations (Collaborate, Ensemble, NetTutor, Turnitin) 

Collaborate The webinar application added to all LMS courses and groups.  By default the course/group members have access to the webinar and recording. Support is provided by the Open SUNY Help Desk (Blackboard Help Desk).
Ensemble The Ensemble video streaming server is available to all LMS courses.  Support is provided by the IT Support ticket.
NetTutor NetTutor is an online tutoring service available to students. Questions about NetTutor should be directed to the Learning Center.  All support for this resource is handled by the service provider ( 
Turnitin Turnitin (TII) is a suite of plagiarism prevention tools. Turnitin Direct is available as an Assignment content item within the LMS. Support and training is provided on the Turnitin website Technical operations are provided by IT Support ticket.


Support Contacts

Registrar's Office

Issues and requests related to grades in Banner, registration, the course schedule, rosters including requests for a merged roster shell, and adding a participant who is not teaching the course, enrolled as a student, or changing a participants rights in the course.  


Open SUNY Help Desk (Blackboard Help Desk)

End user help for Blackboard and Collaboratate, including faculty support services. The Open SUNY Helpdesk will notify course instructor about sissues and problems with course reported by students. They will not correct anything without the course instructor’s approval.

 1 (800) 875-6269 (toll free in US), option 1
 1 (518) 443-5617 (direct (send from SUNY Poly email address)

Online Footprints ticket


ITS Help Desk

The ITS Help Desk handles issues and requests with SITNet IDs, SUNY Poly email and campus technology.

(315) 792-7440
IT Support ticket



Faculty Resources

Instructional Technologist website  Campus workshops and training are offeredy the the campus instructional technologist/designer


Quick Reference