Author Archives: Cynthia Bowers

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.

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.

 

 

 

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:

Known Issues in Bb after the upgrade

5/23/2014

After our upgrade last week, we have some known issues. Troubleshooting and finding a solution to these issues is priority.

  • Copy & paste function in a text box in Blackboard does not work when pasting from a web page using Firefox as the browser. Please try Google Chrome. Copy & paste from a Word doc works. (see below for details from Bb)
  • Course drops are not currently dropping in Bb. We are working w/ the vendor on this issue right now.  This is our top priority.
  • “Last Visited” feature does not working correctly.  Fix is coming out in June.
  • Slow/sluggish when logging in and/or adding or accessing content. Clicking F5 to fix this.

=======================================

COPY and PASTE problem info from Bb.

In Firefox, Cannot Paste text into Content Editor that was Copied from Firefox

Date Published: Apr 30,2014 Category:Product:Browsers; Planned First Fix Release:Blackboard Learn April 2014 Release; Version:9.1 SP13 (9.1.130093.0),9.1 SP14 (9.1.140152.0) Article No.: 000037400

Product: Blackboard Learn

Release: 9.1

Service Pack: 9.1 SP13 (9.1.130093.0), 9.1 SP14 (9.1.140152.0)

Issue Description: Users are unable to copy and paste content from Firefox to the Content Editor.

Steps to Replicate:

  1. Open Firefox with two tabs
  2. In one tab, go to any website
  3. In the other tab, access Learn as an administrator
  4. Within Blackboard, access any course
  5. Enter announcements tool and create an announcement
  6. From the other tab, copy any text from the website
  7. Go back to the Learn tab and attempt to paste the content into the Content Editor within Blackboard (using ctrl+V)

Expected Behavior:
The text is pasted into the Content Editor.

Observed Behavior:
Nothing is pasted.

Resolution/Workaround:

  1. Paste the text into another program, like a text editor, then copy it again from that program and paste it into the Content Editor.  Alternatively, another browser can be used.
  2. Make changes to the advanced configuration in Firefox:
  • Open Firefox
  • Go to about:config
  • Type in “dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled”
  • Double click the search result item to toggle value from “true” to “false”

Target Release: Blackboard Learn April 2014 Release
Patch Available: No

Please let one of us know if you have any questions. The Blackboard Support Team…

Matt longm@ecu.edu

Cindy bowersc@ecu.edu

Allen dennisa@ecu.edu

LockDown Browser Info – Instructors

Overview

LockDown Browser by Respondus is a tool/building block in Blackboard, which is effective at reducing test-taking issues, and promote academic integrity on online exams. As instructors, your email messages from students who report being kicked out of tests will be reduced. Respondus LockDown Browser is a secure, custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. Instructors will find the tool in their Bb course, under Control Panel > Course Tools > LockDown Browser (no installation necessary for instructors). When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading (unless the instructor makes an exception to LDB settings).

New 8/29/14: If your student says they use a Google Chromebook / Laptop – those are NOT compatible with LDB. The Chromebook operating system is mostly a browser itself.

New 10/24/14: If you would like to provide your students with some tips for settings or troubleshooting any issues, here is a PDF for Students you can add to your course.

URL to provide students for download of LDB: Install Link

Article: Five Little-Known Reasons for Using LockDown Browser

You can provide a web link to students to install the browser on their home computers. We keep that link updated on the “Blackboard Support” tab once you log into Blackboard. The browser will only be used for test-taking within the Blackboard environment. Or, students can take exams in many computer labs where LDB has been installed on machines on both east and west campus. We have many instructors on campus who use LDB for their online quizzes and they are happy with the tool for academic integrity purposes, and for reducing the “I got kicked out…” messages and phone calls from students.

Finally, the student module in Blackboard has LDB information for students with instructions, tips, and resources for help.

Instructions & Info

Best Practice – Suggestion

Consider creating a simple, practice quiz (with complete/incomplete instead of a grade) that you require to be taken with LDB. Doing so cuts down on 1) any last-minute downloading of the LockDown browser before the first real quiz, and 2) last minute “help” emails from students before the first real quiz. For a good look at what LDB is about, watch this LockDown Browser for Instructors video from the Respondus people, which also gives you a view of what students will see. Would you like a sample quiz? Ask the Blackboard team! We have created a generic 5-question sample quiz you can import to your course.

Here’s why we like LockDown Browser:

    • Integrates with Blackboard; instructor has the choice whether to utilize LockDown browser for one test or all tests
    • Compatible with PC and Mac
    • Instructor can still provide links to outside sources to view during exam; however, students cannot navigate to any other website from that link.
    • Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
    • Assessments cannot be exited until submitted by users for grading
    • Task switching or access to other applications is prevented
    • Printing functions are disabled
    • Print Screen and capturing functions are disabled
    • Copying and pasting anything to and from an assessment is prohibited
    • Right-click menu options are disabled and function keys are disabled
    • Screen capture, messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machine, and network monitoring applications are blocked from running
    • The browser automatically starts at the login page for the institution’s course management system
    • URLs cannot be typed by the user
    • External links don’t compromise the “locked” testing environment
    • Assessments that are set up for use with Respondus LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers.

THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS

  1. If just a few students are having problems on their own computers, it is likely a configuration/setup issue on their personal computer. The Help Desk or Blackboard Support team can do the troubleshooting.
  2. If ALL students send you an email because they are experiencing problems logging into the test with LDB, it is likely a LockDown Browser configuration setting. A quick way to check that LDB is still correctly required for the exam, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser. You will see a list of your exams. If you see a red “error” message, click Fix. Do NOT go back to Edit Test Options to change any settings, and from that Edit Test Options area, DO NOT delete the default password or UNcheck the Password Required box. That number is an LDB-generated password that needs to be in place (do not provide that to students and do not delete it).

See this blog post about an optional settings change on the instructor side if students cannot submit an exam in LDB. This is a nice addition to the settings.

Support

A Blackboard Admin will be happy to help you check your settings or do any troubleshooting with students. Contact the Help Desk at 252-328-9866, or the Blackboard Support Team: ecublackboard@ecu.edu, bowersc@ecu.edu, longm@ecu.edu, or dennisa@ecu.edu

From one of our instructors:

“I was hesitant about requiring LockDown Browser for the 150 students taking 12 quizzes per semester in my classes.  I was concerned that I would be overwhelmed with problems and questions.  However, the problems were few and as usual the Bb team would swoop in to help me with any and all of those.  The online instructional materials created by the Bb team are very effective.  Students taking the few minutes to review those rarely have additional questions about using LockDown Browser. ”  KVS

In anticipation of any LockDown Browser help tickets where student gets an error message during a test or does not see submit button – this works like a charm. Unfortunately we have to mention IE.

LDB has similar settings to IE. Even though we do not recommend IE as a browser for Blackboard, IE does need to have compatibility settings turned off. If the user still has IE 7, that needs to be updated to IE 8. Then open a window in IE. Go to Tools > Compatibility View Settings > Disable/remove ALL settings.

Computer Labs on Campus with LDB installations

AHN1307
AHN1310B
AHN2160
AHN2502 (Laupus Library Computer Lab)
AHN3314
AHN4345
AHN4405
Austin 104
Austin 110
Austin 204
Aycock Basement
Bate 2005
Bate 2007
Bate 2009
Bate 2016
Bate 2017
Bate 2018
Brewster C203
Brewster D201
Brewster D213 (Kim Lab)
Brewster D214  (Kim Lab)
Brewster D302
Brewster D302A
Belk 1414
Belk 3102
Brody (BR2L37)
Christenbury 105
Eller House 110
Flanagan 214
Flanagan 378
Graham 207
Howell Science N301
Joyner Basement (CAVE)
Minges 101
Minges 82
Mendenhall Basement Computer Lab
Old Cafeteria 2501
Rivers 128
Rivers 139
Rivers 254
Rawl 135
Rawl 208
Rawl 304
Scales 132
Sci Tech 343
Sci Tech 347
Sci Tech 435
Ward 244
Ward 332
White Hall Computer Lab
Wright 301

New Features Videos

V I D E O S  from the Blackboard Team on some of the new features in Bb as of May 2014:

Mini videos from Allen on some of our favorite new features and tools after our May ’14 upgrade:

Consider adding a link to an announcement in your course for students who may benefit from learning how to set up their Blackboard profile. Take a look at Allen’s Student Intro/Overview Video (3 min).

Check out Blackboard’s YouTube Channel for their short videos on the tools and features in Blackboard.

Questions? ecublackboard@ecu.edu

LockDown Browser | Frequently Asked Questions

 

FAQFOR STUDENTS:

What is LockDown Browser?

Respondus LockDown Browser (LDB) is a customized browser that increases the security of online testing in Blackboard. LDB functions much like a standard browser; however, some options have been removed or behave differently. For example, in the exam environment, the exams are shown in full screen and cannot be minimized, resized, or exited until submitted for grading.

How do I install LockDown Browser on my local computer?

Use this link. http://www.respondus.com/lockdown/information.pl?ID=745639734

It is a quick install and does not take up much room on your computer.

In anticipation of downloading LDB on my local computer, or if I have difficulty with using LDB once installed, what can I do?

  • Make sure your Java is updated by going to http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp
  • Clear out your Java cache: Windows > Control Panel > Java > General > Settings.
  • If you are prompted to make Blackboard a “trusted site” on your computer, click Yes.
  • If you are trying to download LDB at your workplace, there may be some restrictions (firewall or otherwise) for loading software. In that case, you will have to check with the system administrator.

How do I take a test in Blackboard using LockDown Browser?

Once you have installed LDB, click the LDB icon on your desktop to get to ECU Blackboard from the LDB browser. You will be prompted to close all other programs down, such as Outlook, iTunes, Facebook, Dell Dock, etc. Once you are logged in, go to your course and the content area where the exam is located. Take the exam like you normally would, and click Submit when you are finished.

Do I need a password to take the exam?

Generally, no. Most instructors do not assign a password to an exam in LDB.

Is LockDown Browser Mac friendly?

Yes indeed.

Do the computer labs on campus have LockDown Browser installed on the computers?

Yes they do. Here is the list of labs that have computers with LDB:

LDB_table_labs

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I have questions or issues with LockDown Browser, who do I call?

Contact the Help Desk @ 252-328-9866, or submit a Help Ticket @ https://ithelp.ecu.edu/Default.asp . Or, send an email to ecublacboard@ecu.edu

FOR INSTRUCTORS:

Why are instructors using Respondus LockDown Browser for giving exams in Blackboard?

Respondus LockDown Browser is a customized browser that increases the security of online testing in Blackboard. When students use Respondus LockDownBrowser to take a Blackboard test, they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, access other applications, or close a test until is it submitted for grading.

Do I have to install LockDown Browser?

No. It is a building block/tool in your Blackboard course. (Students do an LDB install.)

How do I find LDB in my Blackboard course?

Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser. [If you do not see it there at the beginning of the semester, to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability > Respondus LockDown Browser > check the box to make it available in your Tools.]

How do I associate my exams with LDB?

  • Go to Course Tools in the Control Panel.
  • Click Respondus LockDown Browser.
  • You will see your list of exams; choose the exam
  • Click Modify Settings, then “Require LockDown Browser…”

Should I provide a link to students to install LDB?

Yes; please add it to a content area or an announcement. Here’s the link:

http://www.respondus.com/lockdown/information.pl?ID=745639734

Should I create a practice quiz for students to try LDB?

Great idea! Contact the Blackboard Administrators. We have a generic 5-question quiz we created for this very purpose. Contact Matt Long, Cindy Bowers, or Allen Dennis

General questions? Send a note to ecublackboard@ecu.edu

 

Taste of Technology

We want to get the word out on some of the training sessions we have available, so we’re offering a “Taste of Technology” hour-long session consisting of three 15-minute summaries of tools and features and 15 minutes of Q&A. We will come to your department or college for a small or large group session! You choose which three topics you want covered, e.g. Blackboard topics, web conferencing, lecture capture, clickers, test creation solutions/integrations with Blackboard.

Please see the Taste of Technology Flyer PDF!