SPRING 2017 Things to Do for Instructors
Prepping for Spring 2017 Semester
Spring course shells are now available. Remember, any spring Blackboard shell and course ID ends in the number 201730 (2017 = year, 30 = spring semester).
COURSE AVAILABILITY: How do I make my course available to students?
- Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Set Availability > Yes. (Please make your Fall 2016 courses unavailable, too.)
- Utilize Qwickly to make multiple courses/sections available at one time and/or post announcements to multiple courses! (Screenshot below.) Look for the module on your landing page in Blackboard. Read about Qwickly.
- We (Bb Team) do not automatically make your courses available. It is up to the instructor to make the courses available to students.
LOGGING IN: How do I log into Blackboard? I get a message that my username or password is incorrect.
- Please submit a help ticket asking for assistance, and include your Banner number and your username.
COURSE COPY: How do I copy my course from one semester to the next? Go here to learn more. Do NOT do another course copy if you think “it didn’t work.” Contact Blackboard Support.
SECTION MERGE: How do I merge (or collapse) two or more course sections? Go here to learn more. Make sure your sections end with 201730 (meaning year 2017, semester 30=spring).
ADD TA OR CO-INSTRUCTOR: How do I add another instructor or a TA to the course?
- Control Panel > Users and Groups > User > Find User to Enroll > Browse (type username only in the box), click Go > when you see the username, click the box and then Submit.
- If that does not work, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the username and role (TA or instructor). The Blackboard team will add your TA or instructor.
BROWSERS: Does a browser change really make a difference with Blackboard?
- Yes it does. Firefox and Google Chrome are still favorite browsers for Blackboard, even for the Mac. It’s a common suggestion from the Blackboard team, “Please try another browser.”
- We’ve also found that clearing the browser’s cache/history every couple of weeks is useful when there are display issues (such as in the gradebook). It just takes a few seconds to clear your cache/history. Instructions for clearing cache.
SAFEASSIGN BUILDING BLOCK: I don’t see SafeAssign as an Assessment and I’d like to use it for my writing-intensive course. Where is it?
- The SafeAssign tool is located from within the Assignment Tool. Choose Assignment as your assessment type, then under Submission Options, check the SafeAssign box.
- If you notice the SafeAssign green-check icon is missing in your courses, there is nothing wrong. SafeAssign is a submission option when creating an actual assignment, and the green icon is a thing of the past. The assignment icon is the same for a SafeAssignment and regular Assignment. (That happened after the May 2015 upgrade.)
DROPS/ADDS: Drops & Adds – How does that work?
- We update the Blackboard feeds frequently at the beginning of the semester, syncing data with Banner multiple times per day. The drops and adds are updated from Banner – you do not need to remove or add students.
- If you use Groups in your courses, consider waiting to add groups until you’re pretty sure your roster is stable and there won’t be many more drops and adds.
TRAINING: What kind of Blackboard training do you offer instructors?
- To search for Blackboard training sessions, please log into ECU’s Cornerstone Portal for training.
- If you do not see what you need, please contact one of us for a desk-side or small group departmental training session.
- Blackboard has a YouTube channel for instructors where you will find short instructional videos for the different tools and features in Blackboard: Blackboard’s YouTube Channel.
TEGRITY/MEDIASITE/LYNDA.COM: Do I need to do anything special at the beginning of the semester if I use Tegrity or Mediasite in my courses? Yes. See the support link below. Interested in Lynda.com videos to add to your Bb course? See the support link below.
As of May 2016, ECU uses TeamDynamix for our help ticketing system, so for any technology-related questions, please submit a help ticket or call the Help Desk @ 252-328-9866. Include your full course ID if it is a course-related issue.
Blackboard Support Team