Coming in the future!

On November 13-14th, Academic Technologies and Blackboard would like to invite you to a demonstration of Blackboard Ultra. Ultra is Blackboard’s newest learning management system. It features a learner-centered environment designed to improve user efficiency and satisfaction in a modern, comfortable, and simple interface.

November 13th

o 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (Open to all Faculty/Staff) – Ultra Demonstration with the opportunity to provide feedback on Ultra as well as the current Blackboard LMS.

November 14th

o 9:00 am to 10:30 am (Open to all Faculty/Staff) – Ultra Demonstration with the opportunity to provide feedback on Ultra as well as the current Blackboard LMS.

o 11am (Open to all Faculty/Staff) – Bb Assessment and Integrated Reports Demonstration

Interested in attending?  Go to and click the Faculty/Staff button on the right side of the page to sign up. Click the LEARNING button at the top to view the Calendar of training events.

Grade Center Tips!

1.  The last access column represents the last time the student accessed the course you are checking.

2. Hiding a column just hides it  from the your grade center view it is still visible to the students. To hide a column from student edit the column information and select NO for option 3

3. To weight grades click on the chevron arrows next to Weighted Total, Edit Column Information.  You can then set up your grade weighting either by item or category.

4. Pointing at a grade item will show the Grade Title, Points etc in the Grade Information Bar

5. Grading color codes is a neat way to highlight low grades, assignments that need grading or other important information.

6.  Smart Views is another way to just highlight groups, specific grade items such as journals or discussion.

Lots more tips and information on Blackboard can be found in the CAHS Kiosk of Information (OET8000)  course you are enrolled in as a student!

Dog Days? No!

Time to learn some new tricks! Want to know if students have looked at something, click on the contextual arrow next to the item and enable Review.  Advise students to check after reviewing this not only gives you an indication but also reminds students what they have opened and what still needs to be opened.  Go one step further using Adaptive Release and have a quiz or another item appear once Review is checked.

Have Review next to Syllabus and upon checked have a short Syllabus quiz become available to the students!


Tips to make Your BB site better

Ten tips to make your Bb site better for students!  Here are a few –

  • Instead of cryptic “Week 1”, “Week 2”, “Week 3” titles on your content folders (and who keeps track of which “week” of the semester it is, anyway?), say something about the content. e.g., “Week 3 – Protein transport”.
  • Even better – make the title a question! “Week 3 – How do cells move protein molecules around?”  Pique your students’ curiosity!
  • Use the Description field of the folder to say something about what’s inside. E.g., “This week, we’ll explore the four stages of teamwork: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.  Think back on the times you’ve worked in teams and be ready to share that experience.”  (Bonus: get them to recall what they might already know about the topic, if applicable!)

Grades and non grades

As the semester’s almost over I often get a question about adding extra credit to weighted totals in grade center, this link gives a good explanation and steps on how to do this.  Remember if you “work offline” and download your grades to put them on your pirate drive rather than your hard drive so that you are a good steward of student information!

And if you want to go completely outside the box check out this article on “Going Gradeless”

In light of recent announcements

Regarding some issues with SabaMeeting you may want to try a different web conferencing program, Collaborate.

What is Collaborate? Collaborate is a web conferencing program which enables a group of people to interact with one another in a virtual online meeting environment. Collaborate can be accessed “live” anytime from anywhere attendees have access to a computer and an Internet connection. Meetings in Collaborate can be recorded, so those unable to attend the live meeting are able to play back the meeting at a later time.

Adding Extra Credit to a Weighted Column

This question came across my desk at the end of the semester and found confirmation of my solution.

Adding extra credit points to a weighted column in Blackboard Learn can easily be accomplished with three grade center columns. Assuming your weighted total column is already created you will need to create an Extra Credit column and a Final Grade Column.  Click the confirmation link above for more on this topic.

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