Just around the corner . . .

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.

BB Upgrade coming!

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!


Blackboard Course Purge! October 16, 2013!

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.

In case you haven’t been back since Spring Semester 2013

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”!

Did you take my challenge? Try the Blackboard Blitz!

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!

New BB Features Coming this Summer – Auto Regrading

There are a few but wanted to highlight one of the neatest “Auto Regrading”!

Instructors can now fix problematic questions by simply editing the invalid question directly and having all necessary updates flow automatically to the Grade Center.  Check out the Blackboard Blog for more information on all the new features which include Course to Course Navigation, Improved Activity Reports and more.

Troubleshooting Lockdown Browser and Update!

Update on lockdown browser is “That pesky second popup box that students would see with a jumbled password is gone.”

Having problems with LDB?  Here are some troubleshooting tips, additional info can be found by clicking on this link

  • Usually, if something occurs (screen goes blank or connection is lost) after the student has started a quiz, there is likely a network issue or local system issue (their own computer). Two examples: Windows started an automatic update and initiated a restart. A family member is watching streaming HD movies on the same wi-fi network connection. If “Force Completion” is NOT checked, students may be able to log back in and continue. If not, a “clear attempt” will be necessary if the instructor allows another attempt.

  • If a few students are having problems on their own computers, it is likely a configuration/setup issue on their personal computer. If ALL students succesfully installed LDB and have problems logging into the test, it is likely a LockDown Browser configuration setting. You should double check under Edit Test Options that you did NOT delete the default password or UNcheck the Password Required box. That is an LDB-generated password that needs to be in place (you do not need to provide that to students). A Blackboard Admin will be happy to help you check your settings. Contact bowersc@ecu.edu, longm@ecu.edu, or dennisa@ecu.edu

  • If all students in a managed computer lab have a problem logging into a test, it is likely a  network issue or configuration of the managed computers. Contact bowersc@ecu.edu, longm@ecu.edu, or dennisa@ecu.edu in that case, and let us know which computer lab has the problem

Coming soon to a site near you!

*First, the much-anticipated and popular notifications setting where announcements are sent to email will be enabled.
* Secondly, you will have the option to have students’ exams auto-submitted once the time limit has been reached.
* Thirdly, the rubrics tool has been enhanced so you will be able to grade from the rubric and your students will see the rubric if you wish. The rubric builder is easy to use and easy to attach to a gradable item.  Click here for videos and pictures!