Difference Between Course and Organization

Both courses and organizations in Blackboard can be incredibly helpful but sometimes it’s difficult to know which will be most effective depending on what you are involved in. In this post we will layout the features and typical uses for courses and organizations. We will start with courses which are probably most familiar:


Courses are an academic tool and are determined by term (Fall, Spring, etc.). Enrollments for courses happen automatically as long as:

  • The faculty member has requested the Blackboard course shell.
  • The iTeam has processed the request (3-5 business days)
  • The student is registered for the course via MySanDiego.edu
  • The student has not withdrawn from the course

Finally, courses are made unavailable to the students by default. Instructors must go in at the beginning of the semester and make the course available to the students when they deem necessary. This allows the instructor the opportunity to build content and customize their course so when it is made available to students, it is done so as a finished product. At the end of the semester however, courses are made unavailable automatically to students when the term ends.


Organizations are not necessarily academic and have a wider range of uses for administrative, research or club organizations. An organization’s availability is determined by the organization leader(s). Enrollments for an organization work slightly different than a course:

  • The organization leader(s) may enroll users individually in an organization by typing in the names but,
  • Depending on the size, the leader(s) may want to use the Batch Enroll feature to enroll more than about 10-15 users.

Organizations do not generally use a grade center but are used more as an easy way to communicate with members and house content.







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