Yes Fall 2014 Semester begins in just over a month, on Tuesday August 26. For those of you who did not teach a class this summer you may remember that Blackboard went through an upgrade/enhancement after Spring Semester. OET will be glad to review these enhancements just give a call. Blackboard Blog has many links for exploring these enhancements.
Those interested in using lynda.com - an online library of instructional videos teaching the latest software tools and skills is available for students and faculty. To get started, complete the request form on the login page.
Students complaining they can’t access tests when using Lockdown Browser? Here are a couple of things to check, advise students that if prompted to upgrade Lockdown they need to complete the upgrade. As the instructor please note that any changes you make to Test Options may cause Lockdown browser to “error”. To check on this just go to Control Panel, Course Tools, Respondus Lockdown Browser. If you see this image just click the Fix It button and all should work fine!
With the end of Spring Semester instructors often like to download grades from Blackboard, (go to Grade Center, select Work Offline, select download and follow the prompts to get an Excel workbook of grades for the semester) please remember that those files should be stored on your pirate drive or department pirate drive not your computer’s hard drive.
And a repeat of BB Support’s email yesterday -
Before we discuss the upcoming Bb updates:
… If you teach this summer, please look at this checklist for reminders of things to do: http://blog.ecu.edu/sites/blackboard/blog/2014/05/02/summer-2014-blackboard-checklist/
… To make spring course unavailable, please look at this screenshot: http://winmedia.ecu.edu/platforms/bb9/graphics/course_availability.jpg
When do the updates take place?
Blackboard will go down on the morning of May 12. While Blackboard is down next week, you will be redirected to a blog post with some brief information. When Blackboard is back up, your courses and all content will be in place for you. Blackboard is on the schedule to be down for the weekdays starting May 12th through May 16th; however, we will likely power back up before Friday if everything goes as expected. The May 12th – May 16th downtime is needed for system-integrity testing purposes. Summer semester 1 and 11-week semesters begin on May 19th.
Some of you signed up for the Pilot but others will have to wait until Summer to take advantage of the new features! To highlight a few, you will be able to drag and drop grade center columns directly in grade center (you won’t have to go to Manage).
The Calendar has been completely restructured so that anytime you enter a due date for an assignment, quiz or exam it will automatically be placed in the course calendar.
Inline grading, no more download/upload papers with comments, just enter your comments directly.
More real estate! Check out this link for more info!
Every year old courses are purged from Blackboard. This is done to stay within storage goals and business policy of keeping only two years of Blackboard sites in the production system. In a few short weeks, Blackboard Admins will be purging the following courses (all of them) unless you submit a request to have your courses saved.
>>>>> The purge date is October 16th, 2013 <<<<<
2011 Summer #1 semester
2011 Summer #2 semester
2011 Full Term Summer semester
2011 Fall semester
Click here to find out how to save your courses.
Per ITCS’ Blackboard Blog – Blackboard Learn, Version 9.1, Service Pack 9 (SP9) includes a new look and feel that will enhance the experience for instructors, students, and administrators. Users already familiar with Bb 9.1 will be pleased with the additional functionality that SP9 offers. Check out this link for more information on the newest features. One that I know many will like is “auto regrading”!
I offered a summer challenge last week to try something new. Answer these questions about your Blackboard course and try baby steps by making some changes in you BB course!
Have you added a banner? Have you changed the color scheme, the buttons? Do you still use Course Information rather than calling it Syllabus. Do you use assignments for digital receipt of homework rather than email? How about trying Blogs instead of Discussion Board, Journals instead of word documents. Have you taken a test online? Tried Respondus Lockdown browser.
Checkout the training schedule for a Blackboard Blitz of training!