Author Archives: longm

New Lockdown Browser Feature – How Students are Locked out of Exams

A change has been made to how LockDown Browser locks students into an exam. Students were previously locked into an exam until they submitted it for grading. This will now be an optional exam setting for LockDown Browser, with the default set to “off”. The new default setting will require students to submit a reason for exiting the exam early, which can then be viewed by the instructor. Here is how it works.

Go to the LockDown Browser Dashboard and select “Modify Settings” for the exam.  Take a look at the link listed below for more details and screenshots.  This is a nice little feature addition.

>>>>>> http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/studentexit.shtml <<<<<<

 

Blackboard Refresh – New Features in May 2014

March 4, 2014
Hello Everyone -
We are hard at work getting ready for the May 12th 2014 upgrade to Bb SP15. The core features are still going to be in the same place and work the same way so no need to stress. :-) The new features that will be in place are meant to enhance how you use Bb.  We are excited about this upgrade and plan to make this as painless as possible.  Take a look at some of the new features you will see after the May upgrade.

New Features

FOR INSTRUCTORS
New Features for May 2014
SP 12 & 13 Help Page

N E W   V I D E O S from the Blackboard Team:

(Our upgrade to Service Pack 15 includes feature updates/patches/bug fixes from service packs 10-15; do not let the SP numbers confuse you.)

FOR STUDENTS
SP 10 & 11 Help Page
SP 12 & 13 Help Page

Take a look at Allen’s Student Intro/Overview Video (3 min)

FOR ALL USERS
What’s New in Blackboard Learn? - Short Video and Slides
Blackboard On Demand Learning 

Training Information

We are going to be offering training sessions on the new features. The sessions on the training calendar (“Blackboard New Features”) are March 18th, April 2nd, and April 30th. To sign up for one of these session please to go http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/cornerstone/ .  Then, do the following

  1. Sign into CORNERSTONE
  2. Click on the Learning tab at the top and choose Events Calendar
  3. Find the Bb New Features training by date (dates listed above)
  4. Click on the Request button (Cornerstone lingo for “enroll”)

***Another option is to simply type Blackboard in the search button (top right) and find the appropriate session.***

FAQ’s

  1. What should I do to prep for the May 2014 upgrade ?  Nothing unique.  Set your course up as you normally would. All course content will migrate over during the upgrade process. Once the upgrade is complete, the new features will be available for you to use.
  2. Should I build/develop my site before the upgrade or wait? DON’T WAIT.  Again, build your site in Blackboard like you normally would.
  3. What is the exact date of the May 2014 upgrade/downtime?  May 12th. (Spring semester grades will be submitted by that date.) Bb will be down 2-3 days.
  4. What do I need to do to prepare for the upgrade?  We suggest that you attend a group training, or at the very least review some of our web resources. (See information above about the training dates in Cornerstone.
  5. Will you be offering  a demo or training within my unit on the new SP15 features? Yes. Please coordinate this training through your unit ITC.
  6. Who do I contact if I have any questions about the upgrade? Send a note to either Matt, Cindy, or Allen:  longm@ecu.edu, bowersc@ecu.edu or dennisa@ecu.edu

Bb Course Purge – Spring 2012 sites

Blackboard Course Purge – Spring 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  March 14th, 2014  <<<<<

  • 2012 Spring Course Sites

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.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_39FlLJTxKpWM40l

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

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

Blackboard Chat workaround

Chat Problems in Blackboard

Java was recently updated to version 1.7.51.  This update is causing the chat program in Blackboard to break.  The fix is the remove that version of Java and do one of the following things.

1 – Remove the 1.7.51 version of Java and use an older version of Java that is ALREADY installed on your computer.  For some of you this will not be an option.  If this is an option make sure you uninstall the 1.7.51 version and disregard all Java update attempts this semester.   (directions below on how to remove programs on both PC’s and Mac’s)

2 – Remove the 1.7.51 version of Java and install an older version.
(links below for both PC and Mac)

How to unistall a program on a PC -
 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uninstall-change-program#uninstall-change-program=windows-vista
or…
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uninstall-change-program#uninstall-change-program=windows-7
How to unistall a program on a MAC -

http://www.wikihow.com/Uninstall-Programs-on-Mac-Computers

 Java Version 6 - download and install this version after removing the 1.7.51 version of Java from your PC or Mac. You will need to create an Oracle account before the download will be available.
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/java-archive-downloads-javase6-419409.html#jre-6u45-oth-JP

 

2014 Spring Semester Checklist

Hello Everyone -

Welcome back from the summer break!  Below you will find all of the different tutorials to make the start of your Spring 2014 a smashing success.  Good luck and please let us know if we help you with your Blackboard needs.

Blackboard SP13 Pilot Information

12/16/13
This blog post is for members of the Blackboard Service Pack 13 Pilot Group for Spring 2014.

In anticipation of your Spring ’14 course(s) having a home on the SP13 pilot server, you may be wondering  how you will notify your students of their course site(s). We have a couple of choices for you, which are quick and easy!

  • Create a permanent announcement in your course shell on the regular production server (https://blackboard.ecu.edu/). Write a sentence or two explaining that students need to click a link to the pilot server (https://bbpilot.ecu.edu/) for the entire semester. Make this course available!
  • Send an email to your students, explaining that they need to click a link to “go here” (https://bbpilot.ecu.edu/) for the entire semester.
  • Or, do both … it won’t take long for your students to get in the groove of SP13.

Reminder: Make your course available on the SP13 pilot server – when you want students to enter your course site. How? Control Panel > Customization > Properties > Course Availability > Click Yes > Submit.
We have created a Resource List for the SP13 Pilot. Many of the new features and tools are listed. You will find tutorials in either PDFs, quick videos, or Blackboard’s On-Demand web pages. We will add more tutorials to this blog post, so check back often.

Matt Long longm@ecu.edu, Cindy Bowers bowersc@ecu.edu, Allen Dennis dennisa@ecu.edu

FOR INSTRUCTORS

SP 10 & 11 Help Page

SP 12 & 13 Help Page

Take a look at Allen’s Faculty Intro/Overview Video (6 min)

What’s new for SP13:

FOR STUDENTS

SP 10 & 11 Help Page

SP 12 & 13 Help Page

Take a look at Allen’s Student Intro/Overview Video (3 min)

FOR ALL USERS

What’s New in Blackboard Learn? – Short Video and Slides

Blackboard On Demand Learning Center – Bookmark this page

Blackboard course purge – 2011 Summer and 2011 Fall courses

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  October 23rd, 2013  <<<<< 

  • 2011 Summer #1 semester 2011 Summer #2 semester
  • 2011 Full Term Summer semester
  • 2011 Fall semester

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.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6fDLG6V2h2F9lLD  <<<——–

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

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

9/20 Emergency Downtime: Blackboard

Emergency Downtime: Blackboard

When: Friday, Sept. 20 / 3:00pm

Blackboard will be unavailable beginning at 3:00pm today, Friday Sept 20, while we perform emergency maintenance to address an issue with the system. We expect the downtime to be brief, and will notify campus when service is restored.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank for your patience as we work to resolve the issue.


 

Firefox 23 Mixed Content Blocking

Bulletin/Advisory Information: Mozilla introduced Mixed Content Blocking in the latest version of Firefox (23).  Intended as a security response to “man in the middle” attacks, this feature blocks mixed content by default unless  specifically allowed during each page visit.  This specifically impacts non-https content loaded into a https page.  For more information about this security feature, please visit following Mozilla support article:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-does-content-isnt-secure-affect-my-safety?as=u&utm_source=inproduct

While other browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer implement Mixed Content Blocking in similar fashions, in most cases they allow the user to add exceptions or permanently allow access to mixed content from a particular page.  Firefox 23 requires this content to be allowed on each page visit without a method to permanently allow content within that page only.

In Bb , content “link” types load within an Bb frame (even when set to open in a new window).  Bb  does this purposely so that when user tracking is enabled, it is possible to run activity reports on which students access those links, as opposed to a straight href external link where Bb cannot track any of that.  Therefore, Bb customers using SSL and linking to non-SSL content will see this manifested most often in blank frames with the “grey shield” icon represented in the browser’s address bar as described in the Mozilla post, although this could impact other application areas as well.

The solution if you are linking to non SSL content from within Bb is to add the link and ask Bb to “open in a new window”.

Course Copy Slowness

Update: Blackboard Course Copy delays
When: Friday, Aug 23rd / 3:30pm

As reported yesterday, the course copy process in Blackboard is still experiencing a long delay between submission and completion.  Our Blackboard administrators are working diligently with the company to resolve this issue, but currently the lag time is approximately 9 hours.

If you have already gone through the content copy process and are still waiting for the content to show up please just check your email inbox.  Blackboard automatically sends an email out once a course copy is complete.

The confirmation email will contain the following message:

  • The following Course Copy process has completed: Source XXXXXXXXXX  | Destination XXXXXXXXXXX
  • The results of the process are shown below.
  • Operation successful.