Author Archives: Cynthia Bowers

Known Issue: Needs Grading

Instructors: The Needs Grading feature in Blackboard is not working as designed or expected.

Behavior: From Needs Grading, you may be returned back to the Full Grade Center after posting a grade, rather than moving on to the next student. Your work-around is to grade from the Full Grade Center until Needs Grading is fixed.

The Fix: We are awaiting a solution from Blackboard Learn.

Questions? Please send one of us an email at:

longm@ecu.edu

bowersc@ecu.edu

ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Email Sent From Blackboard

If you are a student who thinks you do not receive all emails from instructors, sent from Blackboard, OR if you are an instructor who hears from a student who says she/he does not receive all of your emails sent from Blackboard (including Announcements), please note:

The message from Blackboard is delivered successfully all the way to the student’s inbox, but may get automatically moved into the “clutter” folder, which is a feature that Microsoft turns on.  The clutter feature learns how the student interacts with messages and moves them automatically. This is something that can be turned off by the student in the Options area of the mailbox

This settings change is for the student email Office 365 only.

Questions? ecublackboard@ecu.edu

 

Spring 2016 Extra Things

INSTRUCTORS

As you prepare for the start of the semester, we have some helpful info about the Section Merge Tool, adding a TA to your course, FYI’s about Course Copy and Section Merge, and making your course available to students.

Did your Section Merge Tool option disappear? After some updates over the holiday break, we found that module reverted back to an optional, rather than permanent module. Simply choose “Add Module” from your Blackboard landing page. Then search for “Section Merge” on the left hand side of the page to add it back…

add module image

 

 

 

 

 

How to Add a TA (or User) to Your Course

Students are populated from feeds we get from Banner, so we’ll take care of adding students.  Adds and drops are also managed when we update the enrollment feeds. Do you need to add a TA (or a Course Reviewer or another role) to your course? The two screenshots below show how that is done. Occasionally, it still does not work for instructors so please do not hesitate to ask one of us to add the user for you – we’re happy to do so.

enroll user image

 

 

 

 

 

If you know the exact user ID, you can add it to the Username whitebox area. If not, or you are not sure, click the Browse button as in the screenshot below.

adduser2

 

 

 

 

 

Important Reminders When You Course Copy and/or Section Merge

  1. Course Copy
    1. Try to do it once; avoid multiple course copies or repeating the process. Course copying in pieces can result in problems (duplicate content, gradebook issues such as orphan columns that cannot be removed). Contact us with questions or issues.
    2. Here’s an “ideal” course copy, if you want all content and assessments/assignments included: Select All. UN-check Announcements. Choose the second radio button for Discussion Board (if you use the DB). Submit. That’s it.
    3. P.S. Your destination course ID should end in 201630, meaning Spring of 2016.
  2. Section Merge
    1. Your destination course ID should end in 201630, meaning Spring of 2016.
    2. If you found you merged the incorrect sections, do not choose Remove to make the change! It will remove/wipe out your course completely. Choose Modify, then dissociate or un-merge. Or, contact one of us and we’ll sure help.

Make Your Course Available to Students

We do not automatically turn your course on for students because you may want the course available one or two weeks before class starts, or you may want to wait until the first day of the semester. It’s the most common question we get from students pre-semester: “Why don’t I see my course in Blackboard?”

To make your course available, go to your course > Control Panel > Customization > Properties > SET AVAILABILITY > Make Course Available > Yes. And please go back to your Fall 2015 courses and choose No for availability.

make course available image

Your Blackboard Team…

Matt Long longm@ecu.edu

Cindy Bowers bowersc@ecu.edu

Adam Brewer brewera@ecu.edu

ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Spring Semester 2016 Things to Do

Instructors: Prepping for Spring 2016

faq screenshot

 

 

The 6 Most Commonly Asked Questions from Instructors > Pre-Semester

  1. How do I make my course available to students?
    • Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Set Availability > Yes
  2. 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.
  3. How do I copy my course from one semester to the next? Go here.
  4. How do I merge (or collapse) two or more course sections? Go here.
  5. 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 ecublackboard@ecu.edu with the username and role (TA or instructor). The Blackboard team will add your TA or instructor.
  6. How do I add Tegrity to my Blackboard course?
    • Visit https://ithelp.ecu.edu/ and log in. On the right side, under Online Forms, you will find Tegrity Course Request.
  7. New!! (1/16/16):
    • If you notice the SafeAssign green-check icon is missing in your 2016 courses, there is nothing wrong. SafeAssign is a submission option when creating an actual assignment, and after our last building block update the green icon is a thing of the past. The assignment icon is the same for a SafeAssignment and regular Assignment.

For any technology-related questions, please submit a help ticket or call the Help Desk @ 328-9866.

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 Support Team

Roles in Blackboard

Now and then we get asked about the roles in ECU’s Blackboard and the permissions that go along with the roles. Here is a list to provide an explanation:

Instructor

Instructors have access to all areas in the Course Control Panel. This role is assigned to the person developing, teaching or facilitating the class. If a course is unavailable to students, the Instructor may still access the course. The Instructor can add and remove guests from the course. An instructor should not modify student enrollments, which are controlled through Banner, and added to Blackboard by ITCS.

TA (Teaching Assistant)

Same as Instructor with the exception of: The TA cannot enroll or remove users from the course. TA’s cannot bulk delete or copy content. TA’s cannot elevate another user’s privileges/permissions or add other users.

Course Builder

The Course Builder has access to most areas of the Course Control Panel. This role is appropriate for a research assistant or to an assistant who has limited responsibilities, but should not have access to student grades.

Note: If the course is unavailable to Students, a Course Builder can still access the course. A Course Builder cannot remove an Instructor from a Course.

Grader

The Grader has limited access to the Course Control Panel. A Grader would assist the Instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of Assessments and Surveys. A Grader may also assist the Instructor with adding manual entries to the Online Gradebook.

Note: If a course is unavailable to students, the course will appear in the My Courses module and Course list for a user with the role of Grader, but the Grader will not be able to enter the course until the course is available.

Course Reviewer

The course reviewer has full access to review all course content, tool areas and gradebook data. But, this role cannot delete any course content.  The purpose of this role is for internal unit or program review.

Outside Course Reviewer

The Outside course reviewer has full access to review all course content in the available mode or unavailable mode.   But, this role cannot delete course content, view the gradebook or look up users.  The purpose of this role is for an external review of a unit or program focusing purely on course content.

Guest

Users with the role of Guest have no access to the Course Control Panel, Grade Center, or any Content area that has a gradable item. If Guest access is enabled by the System Administrator, an Instructor can make areas within a course accessible to Guests*. For external accounts or non-ECU guests, please see the note below.

* If an instructor desires a Guest in the course, there is a setting that needs changed for the Guest to see the course: Control Panel > Customization > Course and Observer Access > change No to Yes for Guest Access.

Note: External accounts for guests with Instructor, TA, Course Builder, or Grader access are only created by Matt Long, ITCS Blackboard Administrator. In order to request an External user account for a guest, the instructor of record must complete the Blackboard External Access Request form within the Online Help Desk ticketing system (in the Online Access Forms area). The Office of the Registrar must approve all External Account Requests. Each external guest must complete and return a Statement of Confidentiality.

Student

A user with the role of Student has no access to any areas on the Course Control Panel. The Student has access only to his or her gradebook and course content and assessments made available by the Instructor.

FERPA Note: An enrolled student in a course should not be switched to the role of TA because of access to the gradebook with all student data and access to personally identifiable information of other students. As well, the role of TA would allow the ability to view, revise and/or delete course content and gradable items, which may compromise the integrity of exams and other assessments.

Questions? ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Respondus LockDown Browser

New! 10/27/15 Update for students:  To make sure you have the latest version of LDB, use the “Check for Update” feature once logged into LDB (look for the ‘i’ icon, upper left corner) or re-install LDB. (Reminder: The URL link for the LDB download — PC or Mac — can always be found by clicking the Blackboard Support tab on the top of your Blackboard landing page.)

New! 10/27/15 Update for instructors:  We have the most recent version of the LockDown Browser building block installed in Blackboard, so if you are a user of LDB for exams, feel free to start using it again. (As always, if students contact you about any issues, encourage them to submit a Help Ticket or forward those messages to us at ecublackboard@ecu.edu.)

New! 10/19/15 Update for students who use a Mac computer: LockDown Browser client for Mac, version 1.0.7.12, has been released. To obtain the latest version (1.0.7.12), use the “Check for Update” feature once logged into LDB (look for the ‘i’ icon, upper left corner) or re-install LDB.

9/14/15 Update

The updated version of LockDown Browser (2.0) that was just recently released by the vendor has been giving some students problems. The fix for this issue is complex and a huge time drain for all involved – student, faculty and support.   Since we understand the time sensitive nature of exams we are NOT recommending the use Respondus LDB until the fix is released late this week (according to the vendor).

Here is how to remove Respondus Lockdown Browser from your exam.

  1. Go to COURSE TOOLS / Respondus Lockdown Browser
  2. Find the exam in questions and in the dropdown choose MODIFY SETTINGS
  3. Choose the bullet option that reads ” Don’t require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam ” Click “Save and Close”

Here are some Bb Exam Settings you should consider instead of using Lockdown Browser.

Force Completion – If you select Force Completion, students must complete the test or survey when they launch it. Students may only access the test or survey ONE TIME. The Save function is available for students to save the questions as they work through them, but they may not exit and reenter the test or survey. In the instructions, Force Completion is noted and explained to students. If you do not enable Force Completion, students may save their progress, navigate away, and return to complete the test or survey.

If students accidentally close their browsers, leave the test or survey page, or lose power or their internet connections, they cannot continue. They must contact you to allow them to start over with a new attempt.

You may want to reserve the Force Completion option for when students are on campus taking a proctored test and connected to an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. If issues occur, an instructor can be available to reset the test.

Alternatively, use the Set Timer options to reduce receiving emails from panicked students who accidentally left a test or survey with Force Completion enabled.

Set Timer – Set a time limit for finishing a test or survey. Type the amount of time in the hours and minutes boxes. During a timed test, the time elapsed is displayed to students. As students approach the time limit, a one-minute warning appears.

When an attempt is complete, student completion time is available in the Test Information section.

If a student saves and exits the test, the timer continues. For example, if he begins the test on Tuesday, saves and exits it, then completes it on Thursday, his completion time will be 48 hours.

Auto Submit – If you set the timer, turn on Auto-Submit to automatically save and submit a test or survey when time expires. Without enabling auto-submit, students have the option to continue after time expires. Tests and surveys are flagged as submitted after the timer expired. You have the option to adjust the grade based on the time.

You may find it advantageous to use the Set Timer options and not the Force Completion option. For example, if a student loses his internet connection for 10 minutes on a timed test, at least he can access the test again and continue. If you enabled the Forced Completion option, he cannot access the test again and must contact you to reset the test.

Password – You can require and type a password for students to use to access a test or survey. Passwords have a limit of 15 characters and are case sensitive.

9/10/15

This is not widespread, but the updated version of LockDown Browser Version 2.0 has been a little “buggy” with some students. Again, a very small percentage of students are affected. It’s not uncommon for products to have a bug, and usually there are work-around solutions until the issue is resolved. We are in contact with the Respondus Technical Support team. {Students: If you experience either of the issues below, please submit a help ticket to ITCS Help Desk with Respondus LockDown Browser in your details, with the Course ID and name of the quiz. And please send an email to your instructor that you submitted a help ticket. Thank you.}

  • Scenario: Students may stall at the “Enter Password” page. This is a recent known issue with LDB and the Respondus LDB developers are working on a fix.
    • Students may not be able get to the quiz even if they continue to deny the password.  For students who still have the “older” version from summer or spring semester, they may be able to access the quiz.
  • Scenario: Students may get an error message during the test indicating “the instructor’s settings need to be fixed.”
    • Advise students, when logged into Blackboard via LDB, to make sure they go to the Content area where the quiz is located, rather than using a shortcut such as a notifications link or a calendar link to the quiz.
    • An aside – the Force Completion option in Test Options is not recommended. If Force Completion is checked, the student will never be able to log back in to the exam if temporarily bumped out. Auto Submit and the use of the timer is a better option.
  • URL for LockDown Browser Download: Is always updated in the “Blackboard Support” tab at the top of the Blackboard page, once the user logs in.

Please let us do the troubleshooting. If you get emails from students, please have them contact us at ecublackboard or submit a help ticket at https://ithelp.ecu.edu/. If you have questions, please let us know.

Cindy Bowers

Matt Long

Top FAQ’s for Students Fall 2015

Blackboard FAQ’s for Students

question mark

  1. When will my course show up? I do not see my course (or courses).
    • It is up to the instructor when to make the course available. Some instructors make the courses available early and some wait until the first day of the semester.
    • If the instructor has sent an email stating the course is available, and it is still not showing, please contact the instructor. Some instructors make the courses available early and some wait until the first day of the semester.
  2. 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.
  3. Will you please remove my Blackboard courses from last semester?
    • It is up to the instructor to make the past course unavailable; however, until that is done, students can hide past courses.
    • To hide past courses, click the little gear icon on your My Courses box on your landing page. This will take you to the Personalize: My Courses page. Uncheck the box in the Course Name column that you do not want to display in your list of courses. Click submit.
  4. I dropped and/or added a course. When will I see the change on My Blackboard?
    • Within 24 hours (except for the weekend), you should see the change, after Banner and Blackboard files are updated.
  5. I am supposed to use Respondus LockDown Browser to take a quiz. What is the link to download LDB on my computer? Please see the “Blackboard Support” tab once you are logged in to Blackboard – you’ll find the link there. Please do a fresh install at the beginning of each semester. If you have any problems, please submit a help ticket.
  6. Can you reset my Blackboard quiz? I lost my internet connection or Blackboard disconnected me.
    • No, we do not reset quizzes for students. Please contact your instructor about your quiz attempt.

See our Blackboard Blog page for Students.

For any technology-related questions, please submit a help ticket or call the Help Desk @ 328-9866.

Blackboard Support Team

Top Bb FAQ’s for Instructors Fall 2015

Prepping for Fall 2015

FAQ image

 

 

 


  1. How do I make my course available?
    • Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Set Availability > Yes
  2. 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.
  3. How do I copy my course from one semester to the next? Go here.
  4. How do I merge (or collapse) two or more course sections? Go here.
  5. 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 ecublackboard@ecu.edu with the username and role (TA or instructor). The Blackboard team will add your TA or instructor.
  6. How do I add Tegrity to my Blackboard course?
    • Visit https://ithelp.ecu.edu/ and log in. On the right side, under Online Forms, you will find Tegrity Course Request.

For any technology-related questions, please submit a help ticket or call the Help Desk @ 328-9866.

Blackboard Support Team

LockDown Browser Tips for Instructors and Students

icon for LDB

LockDown Browser icon

 


LockDown Browser

Student Tips / Need to Know

The URL for downloading Respondus LockDown Browser is here: use this download link. Students must download LockDown Browser to their local computer. It is an easy install of a file that is not very large. If you get a suggestion to re-download LDB, there is no need to do an uninstall first; simply download LDB and follow the instructions on the screen. On the PC, you will see the LockDown Browser icon on your desktop. For Mac users, you will find LDB in your “Applications.”

To take an exam in LDB (whether on your personal computer or in an ECU computer lab), you will log into Blackboard via LockDown Browser. Go to the content area where your exam is located and click “Begin.”

  • The most common “error” for students: some students do not realize they need to enter Blackboard through LDB.
  • Students should do a fresh install at the beginning of each semester. There is no need to un-install LDB. Just re-install LDB.
  • LockDown Browser is installed on most campus lab computers.
  • You will see a “Check for Updates” option when you are logged into LDB. It is a always a good idea to click the option, and accept any update offered.

Instructor Tips / Need to Know

A recommended best practice is to include the download link to Respondus LockDown Browser in your course, or at least in an announcement. Share this blog post with students, too, so they have support resources.

Remind students to contact the Help Desk or Blackboard Support if they have any issues or questions. If you would like a sample quiz added to your course to give students a trial of using LDB, contact Cindy Bowers.

  • The most common “error” on the instructor’s side: Removing the LDB-created password under Test Options. Think of it as an invisible password, or the “lock” in LockDown Browser.
  • Do not share the LDB-generated password with students. If you want them to have a password for your exam, you can do that from the LDB tool under the Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser.
  • If any settings are changed (dates/times, number of attempts, any test settings at all), go back to the tool and look for a red “Fix It” error message. Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser. Simply click Fix It and the test will once again be available to students with the use of LDB.
  • If you do not see Respondus LockDown Browser in your course tools, go to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. Check the Box next to Respondus LockDown Browser to make it available in your tools.
  • To get started using LDB for quizzes and exams, see instructions on our Blackboard Blog page for Faculty.

Support for LockDown Browser

ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Cindy Bowers

Matt Long

Help Desk 

Help Desk Phone 252-328-9866

Test Availability Exceptions

Test Availability Exceptions with Date/Time Availability Settings

7.14.2015

We’ve noticed something that might confuse instructors when using Test Availability Exceptions in the Test Options in Blackboard. (It is a known issue in Blackboard; we don’t know yet when the fix will be available.)

SCENARIO: Instructor creates a quiz, sets date and time availability for opening on (example) 7/16/15, 11:00 AM, and closing down at 7/19/15, 11:00 PM. Instructor wants Student A to have early access to the quiz on 7/15/15, 11:00 AM (also closing down at 7/19/15, 11:00 PM). Test Availability Exceptions settings are in place for the quiz to open one day early for Student A. Instructor clicks Submit.

RESULT: Settings are perfect for all students, settings are perfect for Student A. However, after the instructor clicks submit, it appears that the quiz is available now to all students. See the screenshot below.

screenshot_testexceptionsREASSURANCE: When the instructor clicks the Student Preview icon at the top of the course page, the full student preview will not display the Quiz with the test availability exception. The Student Preview feature in Blackboard shows Blackboard from the student’s point of view.

screenshot

Student Preview Mode

Again, the quiz will not appear to any students before the time/date availability. Only Student A will see the quiz the day before the other students.

Questions? Send us a note!