Category Archives: Announcements

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!

Timer Bar on Timed Quizzes

FIXED 5/22/15

ISSUE: We have discovered the Question Completion Status/Timer Bar floats on the bottom of the page for students taking timed exams. It may cover parts of the question, radio buttons, and/or answer boxes. This is happening for exams with the settings for “one question at a time” and “all questions on one page.”

SOLUTION: At this time, we are recommending the timer not be used on exams taken in Blackboard. We are working on a fix.

Exam with one question at a time

Exam with one question at a time

Exam is set to show all questions on one page

Exam is set to show all questions on one page

YouTube Mashup

5/18/15

The YouTube Mashup Tool does not work properly in Blackboard. Following are some options for adding a YouTube video to a Blackboard course:

Add a YouTube URL to a content area:

1) Copy the link from YouTube, and use the “Insert/Edit Embedded Media” icon to paste that link/URL address. Please see the first screenshot. 2) If you just want the link highlighted in your text box, see the second screenshot. Highlight your word(s) you want linked to the YouTube video, then click the “Insert/Edit Link” icon and add the hyperlink. We suggest the target link is set to “open in a new window” option. Then click Insert.

Use the embed Video option, add the URL

Use the embed Video option, add the URL

screenshot

Add a link to a YouTube video

 

 

Full Student View, SafeAssign Update in Bb!

One long-awaited instructor feature and one often-used tool are the topics of this post.

  • A full and complete student view in your course, including a view of the gradebook, is now available. At last! Blackboard has a mini-video that we highly recommend watching. It’s a little over one minute in length, and it will provide a demo, plus give some hints. Please go here.
  • SafeAssignment is now included under the Assignment Tool. When you click “Add Assignment,” you will have the option to choose a regular assignment or a SafeAssignment. The change is not huge, but you can learn more here.
  • Anonymous Grading and Delegated Grading are also new features that may be of interest. If so, please go here.
screenshot

Upon leaving full student view, this box will appear. Click this image to enlarge.

Summer Semester 2015 – List of Things to Do

notebookSummer Semester 2015 will be here shortly! 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 Summer course(s):
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 Spring 2015 sites unavailable (same instructions).

screenshot

Course Copy

  • Scenario: You want your Summer 2014 course content copied into your Summer 2015 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. IMPORTANT: Your destination course (SUMMER) will end in 201540, 201550, OR 201560, depending on the session. So, Summer 1 = 201540, Summer 11-week = 201550, Summer 2 = 201560. Please double-check those semester/session codes, to make sure you are copying to the correct semester. NOTES: 1) Do not course copy multiple times for “pieces” or “selections” of the source course. 2) Do not course copy if you want to import one or two or a few exams. Instead, use the export/import feature under Tests, Surveys, Pools. You’ll find instructions on importing/exporting tests on the Faculty Support or DE Faculty Support pages.
  • 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 (please see the screenshot below). Caution: Make sure you merge your sections ending in 201540, 201550, OR 201560, depending on the session/semester. You will be merging sections from the same session/semester. If you make a mistake, do NOT click Remove; choose Modify. Or contact the Bb Support Team.
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. 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, or consider using, LockDown Browser to give online exams in a secure environment in order to deter academic dishonesty in 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:

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:

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 should 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.

For Instructors: As the screenshot (below) displays on the Instructor Settings, 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

 

 

Reminder: 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)

For Students: Student sees one question at a time. Issue has been fixed.

Issue: “Session error:” This is very sporadic, and does not affect submission. Continue to click through. Very few users everyone gets the error; again, it does not affect answering questions or submitting exam. Students should update LDB, if they see a message while in the LDB environment.

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 > 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.
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:

Email Notification Issue in Bb 5/26-28

A Blackboard email issue was identified and resolved on 5/28/13. If you sent an email(s) from your Blackboard course between 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 26, and 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, the emails were not sent. You will need to resend any email messages that were sent during this timeframe. We apologize for any inconvenience.