Spring Semester 2015 Start Dates

Reminders

Spring Semester for ECU students starts January 12, 2015.

Brody School of Medicine Spring Semester schedule:

  • Classes for M1, M2, M3 begin January 5th.
  • Classes for M4 begin January 12th.

Note to students: It is up to each instructor when to make classes available. Some instructors open their Blackboard courses early, some wait until the first day of class. If you have received an email from an instructor notifying you that your Blackboard course is available, but it is not, please send a reply to the instructor letting him or her know that the course is not showing.

Blackboard Course Purge – Summer and Fall 2012 Course Sites

Every year we purge old Blackboard courses. We do so to stay within our storage goals and business policy of keeping only two years of Blackboard sites in our production system.  In a few short weeks, we will be purging the following courses (all of them) unless you submit a request to have your courses saved.

>>>>> The purge date is  December 10th, 2014  <<<<<

  • Summer #1,#2 and Full term 2012
  • Fall 2012

You have 2 choices for saving your course site.

1 - Request us to save your Bb sites in Blackboard. If you choose this option you will need to list all FULL COURSE ID’s in your request submission. Here is the link to submission site
—>>>  https://ecu.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_e9vkwHgfaK8SVq5 ,<<<—–

2 – Export or Archive your Bb courses offline.  This is a suggested best practices for all used Blackboard courses at the end of every semester. Make sure you save all exported or archived sites on your ECU Piratedrive.

If you’d like to export or archive your own courses, it is easy.

Export: Only course content
Archive: All course content, student interactions and gradebook data

** As a general best practice we  always suggest that you export and archive all courses at the end of each semester as your personal backup. **

In both an export or an archive you will be saving a .zip offline for your records. Please save these files in a secure location like Piratedrive.

  1. Go to the Control Panel in your Blackboard course, click Properties and Utilities.
  2. Click Archive course.
  3. Include Grade Center History if you want to save student work.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Wait for an email confirming the archive process.
  6. Once you receive the email, go back to Export/Archive Course under the Control Panel. Click to download to a secure location (e.g., Pirate Drive).

Please download the one-page PDF, How to Archive Your Course for further details, including FERPA and HIPAA regulations regarding privacy. Note: The .zip file is only useful once uploaded to the Blackboard environment.

Questions? Contact Matt, Cindy, or Allen

Spring 2015 – Prepare for Semester

notebookIt’s that time again, ECU faculty — Spring Semester! Here are some Blackboard things that are helpful to know as you prepare for the start of the semester. You probably have a long list of things to do, so this whether you teach face to face, distance, or both, this info will help.

  • Scenario: You are ready to make your course available to students. Solution: Login to Blackboard. Go to your Spring course:
screenshot

Course Availability

Go to the Control Panel. Next, click Customization > Properties > Set Availability. Under Duration, please leave Continuous checked; do not choose the date selection option. Courses are not made available automatically – each instructor decides when to turn the course on for the semester. ALSO, please make your Fall ’14 sites unavailable (same instructions).

screenshot

Course Copy

  • Scenario: You want your Fall ’14 course content copied into your Spring ’15 course. Solution: Course Copy tool. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this Course Copy PDF. Cautions and important notes: Only do the course copy ONCE. Do not assume “it didn’t take” and repeat the process because it will result in duplicate or triplicate content. During peak times (pre-semester), it may take a little longer than you anticipate because many instructors are doing the same thing. Do not do course copies multiple times for “pieces” of the source course. Do not do course copies if you want to import one or two exams. Use the export/import feature under Tests, Surveys, Pools. Your destination course (spring) will end in 201530 – please double check that you are copying to the correct semester.
  •  Scenario: You teach more than one section and use the exact content for each section and would like to avoid building duplicate courses. Solution: Section Merge. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this Section Merge PDF. You’ll find the Section Merge tab at the top of your Blackboard page once logged in (screenshot below). Caution: Make sure you merge your sections ending in 201530 (year 2015, fall semester is 30). If you make a mistake, do NOT click Remove; choose Modify.
screenshot

Section Merge

  • Scenario: You use Tegrity for lecture capture, or want to use Tegrity, in your Blackboard course. Or you have Mediasite videos in your Bb course. Solution: Before you do a course copy or request a course copy, contact Allen Dennis or Percevial Murphy. Or visit ECU’s Tegrity Blog and/or Mediasite Blog.
  • Scenario: You are tired of seeing so many courses in your course list in Blackboard. Solution: Hide the courses you do not want to see. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this PDF document, How to Hide Past Courses.
  • Scenario: You would like to start using LockDown Browser to give online exams. Solution: Click the Blackboard Support tab at the top of your screen once logged into Blackboard. You’ll find a link for info, plus the URL to provide to students.
  • Blackboard Blog for PDFs, videos, etc. Faculty Support
  • Blackboard Blog for PDFs, videos, etc. DE Faculty Support
  • Blackboard Blog for PDFs, videos, etc. Student Support

Questions about anything? We’re here for you! Your Blackboard Support Team:

Mobile Exam Building in Blackboard

11.05.14

Mobile-Friendly Exams

If you have used or want to use mobile exams in your Blackboard course, please read the PDF below, especially the “Other Important Information” on pages 8-9 of the PDF. Important note: At this time, a bug exists where mobile exams cannot be copied during a course copy. They end up as a traditional exam after the copy, meaning they are not as “mobile friendly.”

PDF on Mobile Friendly Exams

Questions? Send us a note: ecublackboard@ecu.edu

LockDown Browser Issue

9.24.2014 | Updates on Respondus LockDown Browser Issues

Very recently we updated some settings for one of our building blocks, Respondus LockDown Browser. We reported issues with test taking to the vendor and they provided us with the necessary updates to their product. With those updates in place, students will no longer get the “session error” message. Because of those updates, it is important that you look at your settings in your own courses, if you require that quizzes be taken with LDB. It just takes seconds, plus it’s a good reminder to look at the actual tool now and then.

As the screenshot (below) displays, there are some quizzes listed with “Not Required” or “Required.” One quiz, in the example, has a red error message with “Fix It.”  Once the Fix It button is clicked, just choose Modify Settings and then require that the quiz be taken in LDB. Normally that Fix It error messages results from a change to the quiz name or a settings change in the Test Options. In this case, it is because we updated the building block.

screenshot

 

We thank you for your patience while we worked to solve the “session error” message in LockDown Browser.

____________________

Student sees one question at a time. Issue has been fixed.

Student sees message, “Session error.” Very sporadic, does not affect submission. Continue to click through. We are still working on this; not everyone gets the error; again, does not affect answering questions or submitting exam.

Instructor should double check for the “Fix It” error message in the tool before releasing the exam. Remember, the scrambled password in test options should not be removed; think of it as an “invisible” password, invisible to you and students. If exam settings were changed, you may see a “Fix It” error. To check, go to Control Panel, Course Tools, Respondus LockDown Browser, and if you see “Fix It” next to any exams, click Fix It and that’s it.

9.4.2014| Respondus LockDown Browser Issues on personal computers (please note – these solutions are for PC users only)

Issue: Student reports, “I can only see one question.”  Issue has been fixed, noted above.

Solution:  Compatibility settings in IE can be problematic with students who only see one question on a quiz. We do not recommend Internet Explorer for Blackboard, but LockDown Browser has many of the same settings as Internet Explorer. So, in this case, we tell students to do this if they can only see one question or do not see a submit button – they will have to save any questions, and back out of LDB, even if means a force shutdown.

Then, in this order:

1. Open up Internet Explorer. Go to Tools > Internet Options > General tab > Browsing History: Delete.

2. Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab > Reset.

3. Tools > Compatibility View Settings > disable/UNCHECK all settings enabled during reset. Screenshot below.

Note: If the student has an old version of IE, i.e. IE7, they should update IE to 9, or preferably 10 or 11 and then recheck those compatibility view settings.)

We’ll do further troubleshooting if necessary! If this happened in a computer lab on campus, let us know and provide the name of the lab. Submit a Help Ticket @ https://ithelp.ecu.edu/ or  email us: ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Reminder: the link to provide students to install or re-install LDB: Download here

IE screenshot

compatibility view settings in IE

 

 

Issue: “Link is Blocked” Error Message

This occurs when there is a second level link (as in a PDF attachment) being accessed from a primary level link. However, link blocking usually does not occur until the student enters a quiz and starts accessing links within a quiz. Usually, this comes from configuration issues with the underlying Internet Explorer browser components.

Solution: To resolve this issue, please try the following after leaving the LDB environment:

  • Start Internet Explorer and first go to Tools.
  • From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  • Inside the Internet Options dialog box under the General select Browsing History.
  • Hit Delete to clear the browser cache and related areas.
  • Finally, if you are running any third-party toolbars or add-ons, remove them from Internet Explorer.

 

 

 

Making Past Bb sites unavailable / Hiding Current Sites

8/29/14

Making Your Past Courses Unavailable 

Hello ECU Faculty

The ECU helpdesk and Bb support staff are getting lots of calls about past semesters’ sites still being available from the student perspective.   Please make your past sites unavailable today or over the weekend.  Having past sites open is never a good idea because….

  • You generally don’t want your past students to still have access to course content and assessments.
  • It confuses students who think they have completed the course but still see it listed in the My Courses module.

Here is how to turn student access to your past course sites off.

Control Panel / Customization / Properties / Set Availability / Toggle to NO.

Making Course Unavailable

 

Hiding Your Past Courses

Many of you have called and emailed about how to hide past courses.  Hiding is a nice way of removing past sites from your view without deleting them.  A best practice is to only show the courses for which you need access, e.g., only the Fall 2014 sites. (You may want to make sure the course is unavailable to students first; see instructions above.)

Here is how to remove past sites from your MY COURSES view.

Click the WHEEL ICON in the MY COURSES Module / uncheck the courses you don’t want to see / Drag and drop to re-order if you want / Click SUBMIT.

wheel_icon

Downtime: Blackboard

Downtime: Blackboard

When: Sunday, August 17 / 9:00am-11:00am

Blackboard will be unavailable between 9:00am and 11:00am on Sunday morning during our normal maintenance window.

 

Downtime: Citrix

When: Sunday, August 17 / 6:00am-12:00pm

Citrix will experience a brief interruption in service between 6:00am and 12:00 noon Sunday during our normal maintenance window.


To check the authenticity of this e-mail:
Visit www.ecu.edu, and click on the “Help Desk” link under the “MyLinks” section on the right-hand side. This will take you to the ECU IT Help Desk page where you can review our “Announcements” section.

Need Help?

If you experience any difficulties in relation to this announcement or have any questions, please contact the ECU IT Help Desk by phone at 252-328-9866 or via the Web at www.help.ecu.edu.

ITCS Notifications: www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/allnotices.cfm

Computing Systems Maintenance Schedule

Please keep in mind that regular maintenance on all computing systems is performed on Sundays between the hours of 5:00 am – 12:00 pm. If there are other times that systems will be down, notification will be sent through ITCS Notifications.

Illegally downloading music, movies, and other copyrighted material via file-sharing programs can cost you your network access. You may even be subject to civil and criminal penalties. Anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

University employees who violate university computer-use policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Student violations are misconduct under the applicable student disciplinary code. Sanctions may include revocation of access privileges in addition to other sanctions available under the regular disciplinary procedures. Visit www.ecu.edu/itcs/itsecurity/filesharing.cfm for more information.

Follow ECU’s Student Code of Conduct, computing-use policies, copyright policies, and federal copyright laws. University Attorney Statement on Copyright: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/policies/copyright.cfm

Fall ’14 Welcome Back

It’s that time again, ECU faculty — Fall Semester! Here are some Blackboard things that are good/helpful to know as those eager students return to campus and come to your classroom, whether face to face – or online.

  • Scenario: You have not logged into Blackboard since the May 2014 upgrade. When you log in, you get a dark gray screen. It’s okay, it’s the profile set-up screen. Solution: Follow the instructions, which do not take long. Your students will do the same thing. Once logged in, you will see a Global Navigation Menu. This short video summarizes the Global Navigation Menu – please watch. We have info on the new features/tools (after May ’14 upgrade) on this blog post – please read. We have some favorite new tools: Video list.
screenshot

View of Profile Setup

    • Scenario: You are ready to make your course available. Solution: Go to your Fall course(s):
screenshot

Course Availability

Go to the Control Panel. Next, click Customization > Properties > Set Availability. ALSO, please make your Spring ’14 sites unavailable (same instructions). Under Duration, please leave Continuous checked; do not choose the date selection option. Courses are not made available automatically – each instructor decides when to turn the course on for the semester.

screenshot

Course Copy

  • Scenario: You want your Fall ’13 course content copied into your Fall ’14 course. Solution: Course Copy tool. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this Course Copy PDF. Caution: Only do the course copy ONCE. Do not assume “it didn’t take” and repeat the process because it will result in duplicate or triplicate content.

 

  • Scenario: You teach more than one section and use the exact content for each section and would like to avoid building duplicate courses. Solution: Section Merge. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this Section Merge PDF. Caution: Make sure you merge your sections ending in 201480 (year 2014, fall semester is 80). If you make a mistake, do NOT click Remove; choose Modify.
screenshot

Section Merge

  • Scenario: You are tired of seeing so many courses in your course list in Blackboard. Solution: Hide the courses you do not want to see. You can do this yourself with the instructions in this PDF document, How to Hide Past Courses.

Questions about anything? We’re here for you! Your Blackboard Support Team:

Respondus Pre Configured Server option

In order to make your use of Respondus as simple as possible we are now offering a pre configured server setting option.  If you already user Respondus click the EDIT SETTINGS option and remove the ECU server you already have in place.  Then, follow the directions as shown in the 3 screenshots below.

If you have any questions please email Matt Long longm@ecu.edu or Allen Dennis dennisa@ecu.edu

Respondus has a simple video explaining the faculty POV on this new option. Here is the URL (skip to the 1:55 mark).
http://news.respondus.com/2013/04/01/video-tech-tip-using-preconfigured-server-settings/

1 – Choose Add New Server
respondus1

2 – Choose Yes, check for preconfigured server settings
respondus2

3 – Enter in a server name (your choice on the server name) , your ECU username and password information and select the Save my Username and password option. Lastly, choose the “Run connection test”.
Once this is done you are set. Remember that you will need to update your password here whenever you update your ECU password.

respondus3