Author Archives: Cynthia Bowers

Notice: Purging Old Courses | How to Archive Your Course(s)

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 Summer 2009 and Spring 2010. The purge date is October 5th, 2012.

To save any courses from Summer 2009 or Spring 2010, please fill out the following survey – please do this before 10/05/12:

https://ecu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bdSRsefePVe5YzO

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

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

longm@ecu.edu or bowersc@ecu.edu or dennisa@ecu.edu

Blackboard Support Email: ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Browser Compatibility

Compatible Browsers (as of 4/9/2012): Blackboard 9 (service pack 7) is best viewed in Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is recommended for the Mac as well. Also, Google Chrome is now a certified browser. Reported and frequent problems with the use of IE: Students may not be able to download Word documents, view images, and they may experience issues with test taking and submission of tests. Instructors may have issues with the interface or functionality of tools and features (including the Grade Center) with Internet Explorer.

Click HERE to see a list of officially supported browser. This page is maintained by Blackboard.

Known Issues

See below for some known errors and work-arounds, which may affect your Blackboard course(s):

  • Chat/Collaboration Tools in Blackboard are not working properly: We are working with advanced support/Blackboard in D.C.  This tool has been down since mid-March and we apologize for the delay and inconvenience. Please consider using another web conferencing tool as an alternative, such as Centra.
  • Error messages when grading through the Blackboard Grade Center: If you are getting error messages when grading assessments through the Grade Center, it likely a browser issue. This behavior is consistent with Internet Explorer. Please switch to Firefox as your browser (the latest version is fine). Send an email to Blackboard Support with any questions at all.
  • See the blog post about browser compatibility.
  • Grade Center Scroll Bar is Missing in Firefox:  See the PDF for simple instructions.

 

FERPA – Student Records > Blackboard Gradebook > Downloading to Spreadsheet

From the Office of East Carolina University’s IT Security, please read the following scenario and solution(s):

  • Activity: Download Gradebook from Blackboard to a spreadsheet
  • Issue: Student (Course) Gradebook is downloaded from Blackboard onto desktops, laptops, personal home computers, and other unencrypted devices. A lost or compromised device could result in unauthorized release of student records.
  • Solution: Users should change the default location when downloading the gradebook to Excel or other formats. Select Save Target As or Save As and change the location to your personal or departmental Pirate Drive. To further minimize the threat of release of student records, delete downloaded course gradebook once the information is no longer needed.

Chat / Collaboration Tools Not Working

The Chat / Collaboration tools in Blackboard are not working properly. We are working with advanced support with Blackboard Support in D.C.  We will post another announcement as soon as the tools are working correctly. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

Update: 3/23/2012: Chat Tool still not working, but this issue is a priority and we are still working with Bb Support in D.C. on the problem. If you would like to consider using Centra as a secondary plan, please look here.

Wiki Tool Availability

2/6/12… If you are in a content area and want to add a Wiki assignment, click “Add Interactive.” If Wiki is not one of the choices, you simply need to make that tool available. You can accomplish that by going to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability > scroll down to Wiki and check the box in the last column, all the way to the right, which will make it available in the content areas of your course.

Mashups in Content Area of Blackboard

We noticed the Mashup selections in the build content area are not there by default in your spring courses, but there’s a quick work-around. Go to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability, then click the boxes in the far right column for Flickr, YouTube Video, and Slideshare if you want the tools available.

screenshot of toolstools

Blackboard Catalyst Awards

If you believe your Blackboard course is innovative, well-organized, and promotes engagement among your students — and is worthy of exemplary status — consider submitting your course to Blackboard, Inc. for their Catalyst Award nominations. On their website, you can also access past winners/courses. Submissions begin December 1, 2011. Categories are: Community Collaboration, Exemplary Courses, Innovative Development, Mobile Innovation, Staff Development, and Communications Strategy. You may also nominate a fellow instructor. Spread the word!

Downtime for Maintenance

Blackboard and Pirate Drive will be unavailable for a short period of time while we performance maintenance to the systems. The downtime dates are:

  • Saturday, October 8, 2011, 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 9, 2011, 9:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.