Blackboard Learn 9.1 - Help for Instructors

Blackboard Learn 9.1 - Help for Instructors
Help for Instructors
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 1
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Contents
Help for Instructors
1
Blackboard Learn Environment
19
About Using Blackboard Learn
19
Keep in Mind
19
The Blackboard Environment
19
Page Header
19
Control Frame
19
Action Bar
19
Menu Area
19
Edit Mode ON/OFF
20
Tabs
20
User Interface Components
20
Navigating the Environment
21
How to Link to a Course
21
Course Menu
21
How to Create Links on the Course Menu
21
Reordering and Managing the Links on the Course Menu
22
How to Set Up Menu Display Options for the Course Menu
23
Course Map
23
Viewing the Map from the Course Menu
23
Viewing the Map from the Performance Dashboard
24
Viewing the Content Map from a Virtual Classroom
24
Using the Map as a Selection Window
24
Control Panel
24
Course Roles
25
Course Builder
25
Grader
26
Guest
26
Instructor
26
Student
27
Teaching Assistant
27
Menu Area
27
Menu Area Components
27
Editing the Menu Area
27
Contextual Menus
27
Common Contextual Menu Options
28
Other Contextual Menu Options
28
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 2
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Paging Options
28
How to Edit Paging Options
28
Language Packs
28
How to Set a Language Pack
29
Course Areas not Impacted by Language Pack Selections
29
Searching for Users in a Course
29
How to Search for a User by First Name, Last Name, Email, or Username
29
How to Search Using a Value Found in the User’s Name
30
How to List All Users in a Course
30
Edit Mode / Student View
30
Running Spell Check in the Text Editor
30
Word Lists
31
Personal Word List and Cookie
31
Using Spell Check
32
Recognized Errors
32
File Attachments
32
Recognized Attachment File Types
33
Sharing and Exchanging Files in Courses
34
Working with Text
35
Entering Text
35
Using the Text Editor
36
Formatting HTML Content
41
Working with Equations
43
Using the Math and Science Notation Tool
43
Creating and Editing Equations
45
Course Options
47
Setting Course Properties
47
How to Access Course Properties
47
Providing a Name and Description
47
Classification
47
Setting Course Availability
47
Setting the Course Duration
47
Categorizing the Course
47
Selecting a Language Pack
48
Setting Course Files Options
48
Setting Course Style Options
48
How to Access the Course Style Options
48
Style Options
48
Setting Enrollment Options
49
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 3
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Find this Page
49
Checking Course Links
49
What Course Areas Are Checked?
49
When Do I Use Check Course Links?
50
How to Enable Check Course Links
50
How to Check Course Links
50
Bulk Deleting Course Information
51
How to Bulk Delete course Information
Notifications
51
51
About The Notifications Dashboard
51
Notifications Dashboard Rules
52
Using the Notifications Dashboard
53
Notifications Dashboard
54
Notifications Dashboard Settings
56
Student Access to Content
58
Making a Course Available or Unavailable
58
How to Make a Course Available
58
How to Make a Course Unavailable
58
Managing Tool Availability
58
How to Access Tool Availability Settings
58
Filtering the Display
59
About Building Blocks
59
Enrolling Users
59
Enrolling Users
59
Other Functions
59
How to Create Users
60
How to Find Users to Enroll
60
How to Batch Enroll Users
61
Guest and Observer Access
61
How to Allow Guest and Observer Access
Adaptive Release
62
62
About Adaptive Release
62
Managing Adaptive Release Rules 64 Adding Adaptive Release Criteria 66 Course Tools 71 Managing
Announcements 71 How to CreateAnnouncements 71 How to ReorderAnnouncements 71 How to Edit
Announcements
72
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 4
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Delete Announcements
About Blackboard Scholar
72
72
How to Register with Blackboard Scholar
72
How to Import External Links into Blackboard Scholar
72
To Learn More
72
Contacts
72
Accessing Contacts
72
How to Create or Edit a Contact
73
How to Create or Edit a Folder
77
How to Add a Contacts Link to the Course Menu
80
Course Calendar
81
Accessing the Course Calendar
81
How to Add a Course Event
82
How to Delete or Edit a Course Event
85
How to Use the Calendar Jump To
87
How to Add a Calendar Link to the Course Menu
89
Email
90
Before You Begin
91
Accessing Email
91
How to Send an Email
92
How to Add an Email Link to the Course Menu
95
Troubleshooting
96
Glossary
97
Accessing the Glossary
97
About Creating a Glossary
98
About Uploading a Glossary File
99
How to Upload a Glossary File
100
How to Create a Glossary Term
103
How to Download a Glossary
105
How to Add a Glossary Link to the Course Menu
108
Messages
109
Accessing Messages
110
How to Send a Message 111 How to Create a Message Folder 113 How to View aMessage 116 How
to Reply to a Message 118 How to Forward a Message 122 How to Move a Message 124 How to
Delete a Message
127
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 5
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Print a Message
129
How to Add a Messages Link to the Course Menu
132
Roster
133
Tasks
133
Accessing Tasks
133
Viewing Tasks
134
How to Create or Edit a Course Task
135
How to Delete a Course Task
138
How to View Task Progress
140
How to Add a Tasks Link to the Course Menu
143
Interactive Tools
145
Blogs
145
About Blogs
145
Creating a Blog
145
Creating Blog Entries
146
Commenting on a Blog
147
Editing and Managing Blogs
147
Grading Blogs and Journals
148
Collaboration Tools
151
About Collaboration Tools
151
About Collaboration Sessions
152
Creating and Editing Collaboration Sessions
153
Recording Sessions
154
Virtual Classroom
156
Chat
159
Course Groups
160
Course Groups and Tools
160
Creating Groups
161
Editing Groups
163
Enrolling Students in Course Groups
163
Removing a User from a Course Group
164
Sending Email to a Course Group
164
Creating GroupAssignments 165 Grading GroupAssignments 166 Discussion Board 168 About the
Discussion Board 168 Creating Forums in the Discussion Board 178 Creating Threads in the Discussion
Board 189 Creating Group Discussions
195
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 6
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Participating in the Discussion Board
201
Managing Discussions
213
Grading Discussion Board Participation
229
Viewing Discussion Board Statistics
240
Journals
242
About Journals
242
Creating a Journal
242
Creating Journal Entries
243
Commenting on a Journal
244
Editing Journals
244
Grading Blogs and Journals
245
Wikis
248
About Course Wikis
249
About Group Wikis
249
How to Create a Wiki
249
How to Create a Wiki Page
250
How to Edit Wiki Content
250
How to Link to Other Wiki Pages
250
How to Add a Comment to a Wiki Page
251
How to View the Participation Summary
251
How to Grade a Course Wiki
252
How to Delete a Gradable Wiki
253
How to Grade Group Wikis
253
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
253
How to Delete a Group
254
Content Creation
255
Creating Course Areas for Content
255
How to Create a Content Area
256
How to Manage Content Area Links
257
How to Create a Content Folder
258
How to Create a Learning Module
260
How to Create a Lesson Plan
263
How to Link a Folder, Lesson Plan, or Learning Module on the Course Menu 268 How to See the Student
View of a Course Area 268 Next Steps 268 Creating Content in a Course Area 269 About Content Types
269 How to Create an Item 270 How to Create a File and Upload Single Files or Zipped Packages
272
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 7
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Create Audio, Image, and Video Links
274
How to Create a URL
277
How to Create Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and Content Folders
279
How to Create a Syllabus
280
How to Create a Course Link
284
How to Create a Blank Page
286
How to Create a Module Page
288
How to Create a Link to a Tool
292
How to Create Mashups
293
How to Add Content Packages (SCORM, IMS, and NLN)
297
How to See Content From the Student View
300
Next Steps
300
Creating Assessments in a Course Area
300
About Assessment Types
301
How to Create a Test or Survey in a Course Area
302
How to Create an Assignment in a Course Area
306
Next Steps
309
Linking to Interactive Tools in a Course Area
309
About Interactive Tool Types
310
How to Add Interactive Tools in a Course Area
311
Next Steps
312
Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area
312
How to Assign a Textbook
312
Next Steps
314
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
314
How to Reorder Content
315
How to Hide Details to Limit Scrolling
316
How to Edit Course Areas and Content Items
316
How to Make Content Unavailable
318
How to Copy and Move Course Areas
318
How to Copy and Move Content Items
319
How to Delete Course Areas and Content Items
320
How to Create Metadata for Content 322 How to Enable Statistics Tracking and View Statistics Reports
324 How toEnable Review Status 326 How to Check User Progress 327 Next Steps 328 Aligning
Content to Standards for K-12 Clients 328 Content Reuse
332
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 8
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Copying Courses
332
Selecting a Course Copy Option
332
How to Copy a Course
332
Behavior of Copied Materials
333
Resolving Course Items
334
Copying Course Cartridge Content
334
Exporting and Archiving Courses
334
How to Access the Export/Archive Course Page
335
Exporting a Course
335
Exporting a Course in Common Cartridge Format
335
Archiving a Course
336
Downloading the Course Package
336
Viewing the Basic or Detailed Log
336
Importing Course Packages
336
How to Import a Package
336
About Content Areas
336
About Discussion Boards
336
About Course Links
337
How to View Import Logs
337
Importing Common Cartridge Packages
337
Importing Course Cartridges
337
How to Import a Course Cartridge
338
About Copy Protected Cartridges
338
Downloading a Course Cartridge
338
How Students Access Course Cartridges
338
About Cartridge Functionality
338
Managing Chalk Titles
339
Prerequisites
339
Installing Chalk Titles
339
Using Chalk Titles with the Grade Center
339
Troubleshooting
339
Configuring Browser Privacy Settings
340
Maintaining User Privacy 340 How toManage Chalk Titles 340 Assignments 341 Creating Assignments
341 How to Create an Assignment 341 Downloading Assignments 341 How to Download Assignments
342
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 9
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Grading Downloaded Assignments
342
Grading Assignments
342
How to Access Submitted Assignments from the Needs Grading Page
343
How to Access Submitted Assignments from the Grade Center
343
About the Grade Assignment Page
343
How to Grade Assignments from the Grade Assignment Page
344
How to Grade Assignments Anonymously
344
Next Steps
345
SafeAssign
345
About SafeAssign
345
Creating SafeAssignments
352
Using DirectSubmit
353
Managing Submissions
354
Running SafeAssign Originality Reports
354
Self and Peer Assessment
355
About the Self and Peer Assessment Building Block
355
Creating a New Assessment
356
Importing an Assessment
357
Exporting an Assessment
357
Adding a Question to an Assessment
358
Adding a Default Question
358
Adding Criteria to a Question
359
Adding Default Criteria
359
Adding a Question from the Library
360
Previewing the Assessment
360
Completing an Assessment
361
Evaluating an Assessment
361
Managing an Assessment
362
Rules for Editing Tests
364
Editing an Assessment
366
Monitoring the Submissions
367
Monitoring the Evaluations
368
Viewing the Results
369
Tests, Surveys, and Pools
371
About Creating Tests and Surveys
371
Before You Begin
371
Creating Tests and Surveys
371
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey from a Content Area Before Attempts are Made
371
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey from a Content Area After Attempts Have Been Made
371
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 10
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Deleting an Assessment from the Test or Survey Manager
Creating and Editing Tests or Surveys
372
372
About the Warning Page
372
How to Build a Test or Survey and Add New Questions
373
How to Edit an Existing Test or Survey
373
How to Change the Order of Questions
373
Test and Survey Options
373
Editing Test or Survey Availability
374
About Unavailable Tests
374
Editing Self-Assessment Options
375
Editing Test Feedback
375
Editing Survey Feedback
375
Editing Test Presentation
375
Using the Test and Survey Canvas
376
Deploying Tests and Surveys
377
About Unavailable Tests
377
Before You Begin
377
How to Add a Test or Survey to a Content Area
377
How to Make a Test or Survey Available
378
How to Control the Presentation of a Test or Survey
378
Test and Survey Status
379
How to View Test or Survey Results
Test and Survey Results
379
380
How to View Test or Survey Results
Changing Question Settings
380
380
Setting a Default Point Value
380
How to Change Question Settings
380
Adding Question Metadata
381
Before You Begin
381
Example
382
How to Add Metadata to a Question
382
How to Manage Question Metadata
382
Question Types 382 Calculated Formula Questions 382 Calculated Numeric AnswerQuestions 384
Either/Or Questions 385 Essay Questions 385 File ResponseQuestions 386 Fill In Multiple Blanks
Questions
386
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 11
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Fill in the Blank Questions
387
Hot Spot Questions
388
Jumbled Sentence Questions
389
Matching Questions
390
Multiple Answer Questions
391
Multiple Choice Questions
391
Opinion Scale/Likert Questions
392
Ordering Questions
393
Quiz Bowl Questions
393
Short Answer Questions
394
True/False Questions
394
Finding Questions
395
How to Browse Criteria
395
Reusing Questions
396
Copying and Linking to Questions
396
Selected Questions
396
How to Find Existing Questions and Add them to a Test or Survey
396
Creating and Editing a Random Block
396
Before You Begin
397
How to Create a Random Block of Questions for a Test
397
How to Edit a Random Block of Questions
397
Creating Question Sets
397
How to Create Question Sets
398
How to Add More Questions
398
More Information
398
Uploading Questions
398
Before You Begin
398
Setting Point Values
399
How to Upload Questions
399
File Structure
399
Using the Pool Canvas
400
Creating and Editing Pools
401
About the WarningPage 401 How to Build a Pool 401 How toEdit Existing Pools 401 Importing Tests,
Surveys, andPools 402 How to Import a Test, Survey, or Pool 402 Troubleshooting 402 Exporting
Tests, Surveys, and Pools
402
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 12
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Export a Test, Survey, or Pool
402
Grading Tests
403
How to Access Test Attempts from the Needs Grading Page
403
How to Access Test Attempts from the Grade Center
403
About the Grade Test Page
404
How to Grade Tests from the Grade Test Page
404
How to Grade Tests Anonymously
405
How to Grade Tests by Question
405
Next Steps
406
Grade Center
407
About the Grade Center
407
The Interface
407
The Needs Grading Page
407
Working Offline
408
Grade Center Interactions With Other Tools and Components
408
Accessing the Grade Center
409
About the Needs Grading Page
409
Next Steps
412
Exploring the Grade Center Interface
412
About the Grade Center Action Bar
414
Accessing Grade Center Menus Using Action Links
416
How to Make the Grade Center Accessible
419
Next Steps
420
Setting Up the Grade Center
420
Customizing the Grade Center
420
About Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
421
How to Create Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
422
How to Edit Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
425
How to Copy or Delete Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
427
How to Associate Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
429
About Categories in the Grade Center
432
How to Create and Manage Categories in the Grade Center
433
How to View a Category and Associate Grade Center Columns
436
How to Create and Manage Grading Periods
441
How to View a Grading Period and Associate Grade Center Columns
445
Grading Periods and Grade Calculations
449
How to Hide and Show Users in the Grade Center
451
How to Color Code the Grade Center
453
How to Manage Grading Color Codes in the Grade Center
456
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 13
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
About Organizing the Grade Center Data
458
Next Steps
462
Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
462
About User Columns in the Grade Center
462
About Grade Columns in the Grade Center
463
Next Steps
464
About Calculated Columns in the Grade Center
464
Next Steps
465
How to Create Grade Columns in the Grade Center
465
Next Steps
469
About Total Columns in the Grade Center
470
How to Create Total Columns in the Grade Center
470
Next Steps
475
About Weighted Columns in the Grade Center
476
How to Create Weighted Columns in the Grade Center
476
Next Steps
482
About Average Columns in the Grade Center
482
How to Create Average Columns in the Grade Center
482
Next Steps
487
About Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center
487
How to Create Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center
488
Next Steps
492
Understanding the External Grade Column in the Grade Center
492
How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns
493
How to Edit Grade Center Columns From External Files
497
About Deleting Grade Center Columns
498
Using the Grade Center
501
Entering Grades
501
Viewing Grade Details
504
Including Comments With a Grade Entry
505
Changing Grades
506
Deleting and Reverting Grades
507
Working with the Grade History 508 Exempting Grades 509 Calculating Grades 510 Sending Email from
the Grade Center 510 ViewingGrade Center Statistics 511 Working with Grade Center Reports 513
Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items for Working Offline
514
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 14
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Smart Views
517
Creating Smart Views in the Grade Center
517
Creating a Custom Smart View in the Grade Center
519
Sharing and Reusing Grade Center Data
523
Sharing Grade Center Data
523
Archiving and Copying Courses
525
Student Performance
527
Rubrics
527
About Rubrics
527
How to Create a Rubric
527
How to Edit the Rubric Grid
527
How to Copy and Edit a Rubric
528
Applying a Rubric in the Grade Center
528
How to Apply a Rubric in the Grade Center
528
How to View a Rubric while Grading
528
Early Warning System
529
About the Early Warning System
529
Managing Early Warning System Rules
529
Reviewing Early Warning System Rule Status and Notifying Users
530
Generating Course Reports
531
Before You Begin
531
How to Generate Course Reports
532
Using the Performance Dashboard
532
Before You Begin
532
View the Performance Dashboard
532
Understanding the Review Status Indicator
533
Link to Adaptive Release
533
Course Files
534
About Course Files
534
Course Files vs. the Content Collection
534
Viewing Files and Folders in Course Files
535
Using List and Thumbnails Views in Course Files
537
Next Steps 538 Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files 538 How to CreateFolders 538 How toEdit
Folder Names 539 How to Delete a Folder 539 Next Steps 540 Adding Files to Course Files
540
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 15
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Methods to Add Files
540
How to Use the Drag-and-Drop Function
541
How to Use the Browse Function
544
How to Use the Browse My Computer Function
547
How to Upload a Zipped File in Course Files
549
How to Create HTML Objects
552
How to Edit HTML Objects
553
How to Create Reusable Content in Your Course
554
How to Edit Reusable Content
556
About Web Folders (WebDAV)
557
How to Set Up a Web Folder for Windows©
557
How to Set Up a Web Folder for the Mac OS©
559
Next Steps
561
About Files Added Automatically to Course Files
561
Linking to Files and Folders in Course Files
562
How to Link a File or Folder in Course Files to a Content Item
563
How to Link an HTML Object to the File Content Type
565
How to View a File's Course Links in Course Files
568
How to Delete Files Linked to Course Files
571
Next Steps
572
Managing Files and Folders in Course Files
572
How to Rename, Copy, and Move Files and Folders
572
How to Overwrite a File in Course Files
574
How to Download Files and Folders from Course Files
576
How to Search for Files and Folders in Course Files
576
Controlling Access to Course Files
578
How to Edit User Permissions
578
About Editing Folder Permissions
580
Moving Files to Course Files
581
About Moving Files to Course Files
581
How to Move Files to Course Files
581
About the Types of Content Moved
582
Content Collection 584 About Content Management and the ContentCollection 584 Adding Portfolios to a
Course 584 How to Create a New Personal Portfolio 584 How to Create a Template-Based Portfolio 585
Sharing a Portfolio 585 How to Share a Portfolio with Users in a Course
585
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 16
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
How to Share a Portfolio with External Users
586
How to Share a Portfolio with Courses or Organizations
586
How to Share a Portfolio with Institution Roles
586
How to Share a Portfolio with All System Accounts
587
Copying Files to the Content Collection
587
Types of Content That Can Be Copied
587
Types of Content that Cannot Be Copied
587
How to Enable Copy Files to Collection
588
How to Copy Files to Collection
588
Running the Tool Multiple Times
588
File Structure in the Content Collection
589
Copying Special File Attachments
589
Copying Files with the Same Name
590
Exporting/Importing and Archiving/Restoring Content Collection Items
590
Items Remaining in the Content Collection
590
Items Restored or Imported to a Course without the Content Collection
590
Copying Courses and Content Collection Items
590
Automatically Updating Permissions for Content Collection Items
591
Item Permissions in the Content Collection
591
Organizing and Managing Content
591
Organizing Content in Folders
591
Using the Library
592
Organizing Folder Permissions
594
Sharing and Finding Content
595
Organizing Course Folders
596
Using Web Folders
597
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 17
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Blackboard Learn Environment > About Using Blackboard Learn
Blackboard Learn Environment
About Using Blackboard Learn
Keep in Mind
The following are some things to keep in mind when using Blackboard Learn:
l
System Administrators have the ability to disable certain tools within the application. If you
encounter tools that you are unable to access contact your System Administrator.
l
The openness of Blackboard Learn allows Instructors and Administrators to be very creative. The
names for items in Blackboard Learn may differ from those in the documentation.
l
Building Blocks allows Institutions to integrate external applications, tools, content, and services into
BlackboardLearn.
The Blackboard Environment
The Blackboard environmentincludes:
l
A page header that displays information about the current screen
l
A control frame that allows quick access to commonareas
l
An action bar to manage the contents of a screen
l
A menu area containing options that can interact withthe screen
l
A view toggle that allows specific users to edit the screen
Page Header
The page header displays information about the current screen. Its purpose is to orient the user.
Control Frame
The Control Frame contains navigation elements that allow the user to access the Institution home page, My
Places, Help, andLogout.
Action Bar
The Action Bar provides actions such as Copy, Move, Delete and any functions relating to the screen. The
Action Bar does not appear on Portal or Tab pages.
Menu Area
The Menu Area contains navigation elements that allow the user to access specific areas of a course or other
parts of Blackboard Learn. The Menu Area changes depending upon where the user is in Blackboard Learn.
Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 - Help for Instructors - Page 18
© 2011 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and Confidential. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138. Additional Patents Pending.
Blackboard Learn Environment > User Interface Components
Edit Mode ON/OFF
The Edit Mode toggle allows a user to change the way they are viewing the content on screen. Switching the
Edit Mode to ON allows users with certain Roles in the system to add, delete, and edit content and tools in the
Course. Switching the Edit Mode to OFF displays the Course as students would see it. The Edit Mode toggle
will only appear to those users who have permission to use it.
Tabs
Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Learn - Basic Edition include two common tabs:
Tab
Description
My
The My Institution tab contains tools and information specific to each user’s preferences. Tools and
Institution information are contained in modules. Users can add and delete modules from their My Institution tab.
The System Administrator may restrict access to or require specific modules.
Courses
Users click a link from the Courses tab to access a Course. and the Course Catalog.
If your school licenses community engagement, you also have access to the following tabs:
Tab
Description
Community The Community tab lists Organizations specific to each user, the Organization Catalog for the
Institution, and Institution Discussion Boards. Users click a link from the Community tab to access an
Organization.
Services
The Services tab contains links to other institutional offerings outside of the Blackboard Learn. The
links are setby the System Administrator.
In addition, community engagement enables the Institution to create custom tabs and present different tabs to
users based on Institution Roles.
User Interface Components
The Blackboard Learn environment is made up of items that allow users to easily navigate, enter data, edit
items, and change options within Blackboard Learn.
Item
Description
Menu Area
The Menu Area contains navigation elements that allow the user to access specific areas of a
course or other parts of Blackboard Learn. The Menu Area changes depending upon where the
user is in BlackboardLearn.
Page Header
The page header displays information about the current screen. Its purpose is to orient the user.
Edit Mode /
Student View
The Edit Mode toggle allows a user to change the way they are viewing the content on screen. Only
certain Roles have access to this feature, such as Instructors and System Administrators.
Action Bar
The Action Bar provides actions such as Copy, Move, Delete and any functions relating to the
screen.
Searching for
Users in a
Course
Helps to locate data in the system.
Paging
Options
Paging Options appear on Inventory Lists when there are more items that are viewed on a single
screen. These options can be edited.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Navigating the Environment
Item
Description
Data
Collection
The Data Collection screen collects data from the user. Fields are grouped together according to
relevance and are presented in procedural order.
Content List
The Content List displays a list of content for presentation in the Course.
Inventory List
The Inventory List screen displays individual items, such as Students or Courses.
Content
Module
The Content Module is a window that displays related data and/or links to other content within
Blackboard Learn
Contextual
Menus
The Contextual Menu is denoted by a double "v" icon that links to flyout or drop-down list selection
for options for a particularitem within Blackboard Learn.
Navigating the Environment
Only the material in the content frame changes when moving to a new area or page. The tabs and header frame
are always available for quick access to those navigation features.
Navigation
Tool
Description
Tab
Click a tab to open it.
Button
Click a button to navigate to a page within Blackboard Learn. Some buttons also lead to areas
outside of Blackboard Learn.Buttons also execute functions.
Link
Click a hypertext link to access another Web page within Blackboard Learn. Links can also open
Web sites outside of Blackboard Learn.
Breadcrumb Click the hypertext links that appear in the navigation path to access that page. Breadcrumbs appear
at the top of pages to go back to the previous pages that led to the current page.
How to Link to a Course
Copy the URL from the address bar in the browser.
Links to Courses are posted inside or outside Blackboard Learn. Users will be prompted for authorization before
accessing theCourse.
Course Menu
The Course Menu appears on the left side of your course window. It is the cornerstone for the organization and
navigation of your course. You create links on the Course Menu to present tools and materials to users. You
can customize its appearance and order the links.
Two views may be made available to users. If available, users can view the Course Menu links in either view:
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List View: Displays only the top-level of course materials. Links can appear as buttons or text.
Folder View: Displays the full course material hierarchy as seen in the Course Map. This includes all
folders and the content within them.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school can restrict options to maintain a consistent style for all
courses. This can include making some tools unavailable or setting permanent course area names.
How to Create Links on the Course Menu
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Menu
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select the type of content to create.
3. Type a Name for the link. Complete any other required boxes, such as URL for External Link.
4. Select the Available to Users check box to enable users to see the link on the Course Menu. You
can create content ahead of time, make it unavailable, and then make it available at the appropriate
time.
5. Click Submit. A link to the new content appears on the Course Menu.
Tip: Create an uncluttered Course Menu to maintain efficient navigation for your users. Limit the number of
links you include in the Course Menu. Use Content Areas to hold related items and give your course
organization andstructure.
The following table lists the types of content and tools you can include on the Course Menu. You can also
include subheaders and divider lines to help visually organize the links for your users.
Type
Description
Content Area
Content Areas are the top-level course areas. They hold all of your course
materials. They are created, linked, and managed on the Course Menu.
Typically, courses contain multiple Content Areas. After creating a Content
Area, you add content to it, such as online lectures, multimedia, tests, and
communication tools. To learn more, see Creating Course Areas forContent.
Blank Page
The Blank Page tool allows you to include files, images, and text as links on the
Course Menu. Include Blank Pages on the Course Menu for critical information,
as too many links on the Course Menu can overwhelm students. Remove Blank
Pages from the Course Menu as soon as the information is no longer needed.
Tool Link
Create a link to an available tool in the course, such as the Calendar or
Journals. You can also create a link to the Toolspage.
Course Link
Create a shortcut to an existing area, tool, or item in a course.
External Link
Create a link to a URL to provide quick access to a resource on the Internet.
Module Page
Create a Module Page and select the individual modules to include. The
modules you select can be tools, such as a calculator, or the modules can
display information, such as grades, alerts, and tasks.
Subheader
A Subheader is unlinked text. You can group related links under a Subheader
to help users find information quickly.
Divider
A Divider is a line that visually divides the Course Menu to help users find
information quickly. After you create it, you can move it to the appropriate
position.
Reordering and Managing the Links on the Course Menu
You can organize and rename the Course Menu links to make them easier for students to use.
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Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder Course Menu links.
Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool (
) to reorder the links.
Click a link’s ActionLink (
) and select Rename to change its title. Select Hide Link to make it
unavailable to students. Click Show Link to make it available to students. If you Delete a Content Area, all
content items within it are also permanently deleted. This action is final.
With Edit Mode set to ON, an unavailable link title appears with a square with a diagonal line through it (
). Students do not see the link on the Course Menu.
How to Set Up Menu Display Options for the Course Menu
You can choose whether only Folder View, only List View, or both are available. To change the default view of
the Course Menu:
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section.
2. Select Style.
3. On the Style page, select the Default Menu View option in the Course Menu Display section.
4. Click Submit.
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls the default style for the Course Menu for the entire
system. This does not limit your ability to make changes within your course.
Course Map
The Course Map is a collapsible tree directory that is used for navigation within a Course. The Map can be
viewed from the Course Menu, Collaboration Sessions, the Performance Dashboard, and as a selection
window.
Viewing the Map from the Course Menu
The Map can be opened from Folder View on the Course Menu. Select Expand All to see all available content,
areas, andtools.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Control Panel
Viewing the Map from the Performance Dashboard
When the Map is viewed from the Performance Dashboard, the availability of items, tools, and Review Status
for the specific user appear.
Select the icon in the Adaptive Release column to view the Map for a specific user. The availability of each item
and the Review Status for the user selected is indicated.
This following table includes a description of the icons used in the Performance Dashboard:
Adaptive Release and Review Status Icons
Visible: This item is visible to thatCourse user.
Invisible: This item is not visible to that Course user.
Reviewed: This item has been marked as Reviewed by the Course user.
Not Reviewed: This item appears as Not Reviewed to the Course user.
Viewing the Content Map from a Virtual Classroom
The Content Map is similar to the Map, except the tree directory only displays available Content Areas; it does
not allow users to navigate to other Course areas, such as tools. To open the Content Map, select Content Map
in the Classroom Tool box of a Virtual Classroom.
Using the Map as a SelectionWindow
Course areas and items can be linked to from different pages within a Course, such as the Create
Announcement page and Create Course Link page. This selection process uses the Map, accessed by clicking
the Browse function. The Map, accessed from these pages, displays all content items within a Course. Click a
link in the Map to select an item or tool.
Control Panel
All Course administration is accessed through links in the Control Panel. This area is only available to users
with one of the following defined Course Roles:
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Instructor
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Teaching Assistant
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Grader
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Course Builder
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System Administrator
The Control Panel is underneath the Course Menu for any Course and is comprised of the areas listed in the
following table.
Area
Function
Files or
Content
Collection
Each Course has its own Course Files area accessed in the Files section of the Control Panel.
With Course Files, an Instructor has access to all files from a central location inside the Course.
Course Files is relative to the Course, so only content for the Course is stored there. Content is not
shared across Courses taught by the same Instructor. Content in Course Files can be used in
multiple places within the Course just by linking to it. If your school licenses content management,
the full functionality of the Content Collection is available through this area. With it, institutions
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Roles
Area
Function
have a common content repository where content can be shared. Therefore, content from other
Courses and from your personal directory can be added to the Course and managed through the
Content Collection. The section heading Content Collection appears instead of Files in the
Control Panel.
Course Tools
Contains all the available tools that are added to a Course. Once added, these tools are
administered from the Control Panel.
Evaluation
Provides links to Course Reports, the Early Warning System, and the Performance Dashboard,
which are used to view information about Student activity and content usage, and to be notified
about performance based on criteria created by the Instructor.
Grade Center
Provides links to the Needs Grading page, the Full Grade Center, default Smart Views of the
Grade Center, and any Smart Views created by the Instructor. Smart Views appear in an indented
list under Full Grade Center.
Users and
Groups
List, enroll, edit, and remove users from the Course. Create and administer formal Groups of
Students to collaborate on work.
Customization Control Enrollment Options, and Guest and Observer Access; change the properties of the Course,
such as its name, availability, and Language Pack; and change the appearance of the Course,
and Tool Availability.
Packages and Import, Export, and Archive the Course; Check Course Links; Copy all or part of the Course; and
Utilities
move selected files to Course Files or the Content Collection,when available.
Help
Offers support contacts and online documentation.
Course Roles
Course Roles control access to the content and tools within a Course. Each user is assigned a role for each
Course in which they participate. For example, a User with a role of Teaching Assistant in one Course can have
a role of Student in another Course.
The Course Role is set when a User is enrolled. It can also be edited after enrollment from the Control Panel.
Course Rolesinclude:
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Course Builder
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Grader
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Guest
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Instructor
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Student
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Teaching Assistant
Note: Administrators may edit the names, capabilities, and privileges associated with existing Course Roles,
as well as create new Course Roles. Therefore, some of the information listed here may not accurately reflect
your available Course Roles.
Course Builder
The Course Builder role has access to most areas of the Control Panel. This role is appropriate for a user to
manage the Course without having access to Student grades. A Course Builder can still access the Course if
the Course is unavailable to Students. A Course Builder cannot delete an Instructor from a Course.
Course Builders have access to the areas of the Control Panel in the following list. The tools and functions
within each area can vary depending on the settings the System Administrator has put into place, including
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Course Roles
enforcing a course template and customizing the role of Course Builder. The Instructor can also limit the
availability of certain tools andfunctions.
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Course Files/Content Collection
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Course Tools
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Users and Groups
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Customization
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Packages and Utilities
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Help
Grader
A Grader assists the Instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of items, such as Tests and
Discussion Board posts. A Grader also assists the Instructor with managing the Grade Center. A Grader
cannot access a Course if it is unavailable to Students.
Graders have access to the areas of the Control Panel in the following list. The tools and functions within each
area can vary depending on the settings the System Administrator has put into place, including enforcing a
course template and customizing the role of Grader. The Instructor can also limit the availability of certain tools
and functions.
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Course Files/Content Collection
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Course Tools
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Evaluation
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Grade Center
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Packages and Utilities, limited
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Help
Guest
Guests have no access to the Control Panel. Areas within the Course are made available to Guests. Visitors,
such as prospective Students, alumni, or parents may be given the role of Guest.
Instructor
Instructors have access to all areas in the Control Panel. This role is generally given to those developing,
teaching, or facilitating the class. Instructors may access a Course that is unavailable to Students.
Administrators can limit Instructor access to the following features of the Control Panel:
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List / Edit Users
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Create User
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Batch Create Users
Delete Users
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Enroll Users
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Settings
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Import
Export
l
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Archive
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Menu Area
Student
Student is the default Course Role. Students have no access to the Control Panel.
Teaching Assistant
The Teaching Assistant role is that of a co-teacher. Teaching Assistants are able to administer all areas of a
course. Their only limitations are those imposed by the Instructor or System Administrator. A Teaching
Assistant cannot delete an Instructor from a Course.
Teaching Assistants have access to most all tools and features in the Control Panel. If the Course is
unavailable to Students, Teaching Assistants still have access to the Course. Teaching Assistants are not
listed in the Course Catalog listing for the Course.
Menu Area
The Menu Area contains navigation elements that allow the user to access specific areas of a course or other
parts of Blackboard Learn. The Menu Area changes depending upon where the user is in Blackboard Learn.
Menu Area Components
Menu Area Component
Description
Plus Button
Click to add items to the Menu Area; available only after clicking Edit Mode.
List View
Click to display the Menu Area items in a list.
Folder View
Click to display the Menu Area items in a tree view.
Display Course Menu in a
Window
Click to display the Menu Area in a separate window.
Refresh
Click to refresh the contents of the Menu Area.
Keyboard Accessible
Reordering
Click to reorder the Menu Area items by using the keyboard; available only after
clicking Edit Mode.
Editing the Menu Area
Edit Mode is ON to display Add button and the Keyboard Accessible Reordering button. Use these to add new
items to the Menu Area and to reorder those items.
Other ways to edit the Menu Area:
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Reorder the Menu Area items by clicking the icon beside the item and dragging and dropping the item
to the desired location or by clicking the Keyboard Accessible Reordering button.
Click the contextual menu beside any Menu Area items toedit its settings.
Contextual Menus
Throughout Blackboard Learn, items that are acted upon by a user have a contextual menu associated with
them. The contextual menu is accessed when the Action Link is clicked. The Action Link appears as two
arrows pointing down. Clicking this icon displays options that are available to the user for that item.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Paging Options
Common Contextual Menu Options
The following options are common to many items in Blackboard Learn. If an option does not appear, the action
cannot be performed on that item.
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Open
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Edit
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Copy
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Move
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Delete
Other Contextual Menu Options
These options will vary depending upon the type of item and the role of the user. The following list is not
comprehensive.
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Adaptive Release options
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Metadata
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Statistics Tracking
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User Progress
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Email
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Manage
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Grade
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Mark as New
Paging Options
Paging Options can be edited to specify how many items appear on a page.
The default is 25 items displayed per page. Clicking Show All displays of all items and makes the other
controls disappear. For performance, the items per page should not be greatly expanded. When selecting all
matching items in a search, results will be selected, no matter which page they are on.
How to Edit Paging Options
1. Click Edit Paging.
2. Type a number in the Items per page field.
If the number entered in the Items per page field is greater than the total number of items then all
items are displayed. If the number entered in the Items per page field is less than one then no items
aredisplayed.
3. Click OK.
Language Packs
Language Packs present Blackboard Learn using language and cultural norms matched to different audiences.
Language Pack preferences are defined at the system level, the Course or Organization level, and finally at the
userlevel.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Searching for Users in a Course
At the system level, the Administrator defines one language pack as the system default. This is the language
pack that appears when no other language pack is specified at the Course level or at the user level.
At the Course level, the Instructor can set a language pack and enforce it. Enforcing a language pack means
that all users will view the language pack. If the language pack is not enforced, and a user has a preferred
language pack associated with their account, the user’s language pack will override the Course language pack.
At the user level, individuals may select their preferred language pack.
Note: The default names in the system are translated and appear differently in each language pack.
Customized names, such as changing the name of a tool, are not changed with the language pack. These
values stay the same through all language packs.
How to Set a Language Pack
1. On the Control Panel, click Customization and then click Properties.
2. Select a language pack from the Language Pack drop-down list.
3. Click Enforce Language Pack to always display this Course in the selected language pack.
4. Click Submit.
If a language pack is not chosen for a Course, the Course will display in the user’s preferred language pack or, if
the user has not set a preferred language pack, the system default language pack.
Course Areas not Impacted by Language Pack Selections
For the most part, the Control Panel appears in the selected language pack of a Course. It does not appear in
the language pack selected for the user. In a few spots within a Course, the page will display using the system
default or the user’s preferred language pack rather than the Course language pack. The following pages will not
display in the selected Course language pack:
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Control Panel > Course Information > Edit Item, Copy Item, Add Item, DeleteItem
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Control Panel > Copy Files to Content Collection
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Control Panel > Discussion Board > Add Forum
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Control Panel > Announcements > Confirmation receipt
Searching for Users in a Course
There are several areas in Blackboard Learn where users can search for other users.
How to Search for a User by First Name, Last Name, Email, or Username
1. On the Control Panel, select Users and Groups.
2. Select Users.
3. Select either a First Name, Last Name, Email, or Username.
4. Select either Contains, Equal to, or Starts with.
5. Type either a First Name, Last Name, Email, or Username.
6. Click Go. All matching entries are displayed.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Edit Mode / Student View
How to Search Using a Value Found in the User’s Name
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Select Users.
3. Type a value in the search field.
4. Click Go. All matching entries are displayed.
How to List All Users in a Course
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Select Users.
3. Click Go. Allusers are displayed.
Tip: Some instructors prefer to download the list in spreadsheet format. That can be done from the Grade
Center.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center.
3. Point to Work Offline and select Download.
4. Select any columns that you want to download. The list of students will be automatically included.
5. Click Submit and save the file.
Edit Mode / Student View
Edit Mode allows Instructors to make changes to content in the Course view instead of navigating through the
Control Panel. Edit Mode toggles On and Off. The toggle appears in the navigation bar in each Course area and
any subfolders. System Administrators may disable thisfeature.
Note: The Edit Mode toggle is displayed to users with a role of Instructor, TA, Course Builder, or System
Administrator. Because of the size of the content editing pages, this method of editing is not recommended with
an 800x600 screen resolution.
To edit content, toggle Edit Mode to On.
To view course content as a student would see it, toggle Edit Mode to Off.
Running Spell Check in the Text Editor
The Spell Check function supports a full English dictionary, a supplemental word list configured by the
Blackboard administrator at your school, and custom word lists that are stored on your local machine. The
Spell Check function is available wherever you can enter blocks of text. It is also available as a module if your
school licenses community engagement.
When Spell Check is launched it will review the text block and sequentially bring up any words it does not
recognize forreview.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Running Spell Check in the Text Editor
Word Lists
Misspelled words are determined by the following three sources:
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Spell Check Dictionary: A full English dictionary that includes words that will not be flagged for
correction. The dictionary is also the only source for suggestions. This dictionary cannot be edited.
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Supplemental Word List: A list of additional terms added by the Blackboard administrator at your
school that do not appear in the default dictionary.
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Personal Word List: This word list is stored on each user’s local machine. Words are added to this
list using the Learn function. The words in the personal word list are not flagged for correction. These
words are not included as suggestions for misspelled words. Extensive personal word lists may slow
performance of theSpell Check tool.
Personal Word List and Cookie
The personal word list is stored as a cookie on the user’s local machine. The cookie is not user or installation
specific. Therefore, a user’s word list will be available to them whenever they are using Spell Check as long as
they are on the same local machine. Also, if another user logs onto the same machine, that user will have the
personal word list stored on that machine applied to Spell Check. For example, if a user creates a personal
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Blackboard Learn Environment > File Attachments
word list on a computer in the computer lab, this word list will be available to all users who use this computer in
the lab. The user may not take this word list with them to a different computer.
Using Spell Check
When Spell Check is launched, it reviews the text block and sequentially brings up any words it does not
recognize forreview.
The following table details the functions available with Spell Check.
Function
Description
Action
Replace the
occurrence of a word
with a correction or
suggestion
Enter a correction in the Replace With field or select a suggestion fromthe
list. Click Replace to change the word in the text to the word in the
Replace With field. If the misspelled word appears later in the text block it
will be flagged again for correction.
Replace every
occurrence of a word
in the text with a
correction or
suggestion
Enter a correction in the Replace With field or select a suggestion fromthe
list. Click Replace All to change every occurrence of the word in the text
with the word in the Replace With field.
Ignore the word and
not make acorrection
Click Ignore. The word will not be changed. If the word appears again in
the text block it will be flagged for correction.
Ignore every
occurrence of the
word in the text block
Click Ignore All. The word will not be changed and Spell Check will not
flag it for correction again in thetext.
Teach Spell Check to
recognize the word as
correct
Click Learn. The word will be added to the personal word list. Whenever
Spell Check is run on the local machine the word will be recognized and
not flagged.
Close the spell check
without finishing
Click Finish.
Recognized Errors
Note how Spell Check handles the following circumstances:
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Double words are recognized as errors.
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Irregular capitalization is not recognized as an error.
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Initial capitalization at the beginning of sentences is not checked.
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Words in ALL CAPS are checked for spellingerrors.
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Words that contain numbers are recognized as errors.
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A word that appears in the supplemental or personal word list must be entered as a correction during a
spell check (these words do not appear as suggestions). The Spell Check tool must be run again to
verify that the word is spelled correctly.
File Attachments
You can add file attachments to different areas in a course, such as to a content item, an assignment, or a
Discussion Board post. Users open a file by clicking a link to the file that appears in the course.
Locate the file to be attached to your course using one of the following options:
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Blackboard Learn Environment > File Attachments
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
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l
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-ORo
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
After selecting a file to attach, you may add a name for the link to the file. This link title appears to users,
instead of the name of the document. For example, add "Biology Syllabus" as the link title instead of leaving the
file namesyllabus_bio_101.doc.
Accepted Characters in File Names
Blackboard allows the use of all characters in file names. However, a user's operating system and browser
may limit the types of characters accepted. For example, some browsers do not accept multi-byte characters.
Recognized Attachment File Types
The following file types are recognized by Blackboard Learn. These files can appear within a content item.
Note: Blackboard Learn can recognize additional file types and associated applications if a MIME extension is
added. Contact your administrator to learn more about adding MIME extensions.
Extension
File Type
Programs associated with the FileType
.aam
Multimedia
Adobe® Authorware® plug-in. Note that the .aam file is the starting point for a series of
files that must be enclosed in a.ZIP file.
.aiff
Audio
Audio program
.asf
Multimedia
Microsoft® .NET™ Show
.au
Audio
Real Audio Player™
.avi
Video
Video player (not Macintosh® compatible)
.doc
Text
Microsoft® Word or other word processor
.exe
Executable
Executable file
.gif
Image
Graphics program or web browser
.html, .htm
Web page
HTML editor or web browser
.jpg, .jpeg
Image
Graphics program or web browser
.jif
Image
Graphics program or web browser
.mp3
Audio
Audio program
.mpe
Audio/Video
Audio program
.mpg, .mpeg
Audio/Video
Audio program
.moov,movie Movie
QuickTime® movie
.mov
Video
Movie or media player
.pdf
Text
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®
.png
Image
Portable Network Graphics
.ppt,.pps
Slideshow
Microsoft® PowerPoint® and PowerPoint® Player®
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Blackboard Learn Environment > File Attachments
Extension
File Type
Programs associated with the FileType
.qt
Movie
QuickTime™
.ra
Audio
Real Audio Player™
.ram
Video
Real Audio Movie™
.rm
Audio
Audio program
.rtf
Text
Rich Text Format
.swf
Multimedia
Adobe® Shockwave® plug-in
.tiff,.tif
Image
Graphics program or web browser
.txt
Text
Text or HTML editor, word processor
.wav
Audio
Audio program
.wma
Audio
Audio program
.wmf
Graphic
Microsoft® Windows®
.wmv
Media/Audio Microsoft® Windows®
.wpd
Text
.xls
Spreadsheet Microsoft® Excel®
.zip
Text
WordPerfect® or other word processor
WinZip®
Sharing and Exchanging Files in Courses
You have several options in Blackboard Learn for sharing and exchanging files with students.
Items and Files
For distributing files to students, you can use Items or Files within a Content Area. The ability to make Items
and Files available for a set period of time or to apply Adaptive Release rules to limit access to students who
have met a set of requirements reduces instructor workload.
You may also use Course Files or, if your school licenses content management, the Content Collection to store
files and link to them in a Content Area.
Assignments
You can create Assignments to receive student files. Again, Assignment availability can be limited by date and
time, or by the application of Adaptive Release Criteria. A major benefit to instructors is the ability to download
all files submitted through an Assignment in a single .ZIP file, rather than a file-by-file workflow.
Group File Exchange
The Course Groups feature allows you to create subsets of students and give them their own workspace to
collaborate within a course. One Groups tool is the File Exchange, which permits group members and
instructors to upload and manage documents in the Group area. As only designated members can access the
Group area, this solution allows for cooperative editing as well as simple file exchange.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Blogs, Journals, and Wikis
The interactive features of Blogs, Journals, and Wikis provide another alternative for file sharing within a
Course.
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Journals, a tool that is private between the instructor and an individual student, can be used to give
feedback on files shared by the student, or to distribute personalized files to students.
The more public nature of the Blogs tool permits students to receive feedback from their peers on
shared documents through the Comments feature, while retaining the instructor's ability to share files
by attaching them to their own Blog entries.
The collaborative space of Wikis is an option for multiple students and instructors to share and
exchange files, or to create a shared document within the Text Editor.
Blogs, Journals, and Wikis can also be created within Group areas.
Discussion Board
Another option for file sharing is the Discussion Board. Threaded posts within the Discussion Board enable
discussions of documents to be tracked easily.
Working with Text
Entering Text
By default, Blackboard Learn will format text to 12-point, left-justified Arial. Any other formatting must be done
with HTML tags or using the Text Editor.
Text boxes may appear using the Text Editor or with the options shown below. To learn more about the Text
Editor, please see Using the Text Editor.
Text Box Options
Smart Text, Plain text, or HTML may be used in the Text Editor. Options at the bottom of the box allow the user
to switch format at anytime.
Format
Option Behavior
Smart
Text
Automatically recognizes a link entered in the text box. Smart text should be used if the intent is to display
the text in the exact way that it is typed. Line breaks, tabbing, and other keyboard formatting will be
retained with Smart text.
Smart text recognizes the ENTER key as a paragraph tag and accepts HTML tags as well. Smart Text will
also prompt to load images if an image source tag appears. Web addresses entered as URLs are
converted to links. The URL must begin with "http://" and there must be a space before the "http://" to
distinguish it from the previous word. If an image tag, <IMG>, is entered in Smart Text, Blackboard Learn
will automatically prompt you to upload the image.
Plain
Text
Displays text as it is written in the text area. Plain text does not render HTML code. HTML code will appear
as text.
Plain text strips any formatting from the text, except for line breaks. The result is completely unformatted
text. This may be useful if the user needs to do a lot of copy and pasting of the content, or if the intent is to
display code information. For example, if the user wants to show how to write something in HTML, Plain
text should be used to retain the HTML tags in the content. Plain text does not work with MathML or the
equation editor. Changing a text box that includes a mathematical formula to Plain text will make the
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Format
Option Behavior
formula unreadable.
HTML
Displays text as coded by the user using Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) tags.
The HTML option should be used if the user knows HTML and opts to type HTML tags into the Text Editor.
The result will be content formatted by the HTML tagsused.
Preview shows the user how the formatted text appears when rendered in the browser.
Note: The Smart Text and Plain Text options are only available if the Administrator has turned off the Text
Editor or if the user does not have a Windows Operating System and Internet Explorer Version 5.x or a later.
Note: It is not possible to display a file in a content item and add a Smart Text or Plain Text description. Add
the description as a separate content item and then add the file in the next content item.
File Names
Blackboard allows the use of all characters in file names. However, the user's operating system and browser
may limit the types characters accepted. For example, some browsers do not accept Multi-byte characters.
Using the Text Editor
The Text Editor presents controls for adding and formatting text, equations, and multimedia files. When it is
enabled, it appears throughout the system as the default editor when adding text through a text box.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school and your instructor control whether this tool is available. If
this tool has been turned off, it will not appear in the interface and will not be available for you to use.
If the Text Editor does not appear, first check the following list of browsers to ensure that the current browser is
compatible. If the Text Editor still does not appear, it has most likely been disabled by the Blackboard
administrator at yourschool.
Users who access the system through assistive technologies should use standard text entry options instead of
the TextEditor.
Administrators can disable the Text Editor and control the availability of the features (Spell Check, WebEQ,
MathML, HTML Validation). It is possible that not all users will see all features.
WARNING! Users have the option to attach different types of files to the Text Editor. Do not copy and
paste a file from one text box to another. This will result in an error.
Entering Text
By default, Blackboard Learn will format text to 12-point, left-justified Arial. Any other formatting must be done
using the Text Editor.
Compatible Browsers
The Text Editor is compatible with all the supported browsers for Blackboard Learn.
Firefox does not permit users toaccess their computer's clipboard.
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To cut, use CTRL-X, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To copy, use CTRL-C, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To paste, use CTRL-V the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Macintosh users can use right-click paste on Firefox no matter where the clipboard content originates.
Macintosh users may find that this does not fully resolve the problem, particularly because Firefox does not
permit pasting text from Microsoft Office files on the Mac. To accomplish this task, paste the text into a basic
text editor, such as TextEdit or Notepad, and then paste the text into the Text Editor.
Safari does not permit users to access their computer's clipboard.
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To cut, use CTRL-X, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To copy, use CTRL-C, the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
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To paste, use CTRL-V the contextual menu or the Edit menu in the browser's toolbar.
Text Editor Features
The Text Editor has three collapsible rows of functions.
The following tables define each function:
Function
Description
Select a style for the text. The options correspond to standard HTML Style types.
Select the size of the text.
Select the font face for thetext.
Make selected text bold.
Make selected text italic.
Underline the selected text.
Display text with a horizontal line through the characters. This font style is not supported by all
browsers.
Display text on the same line, but slightly below the current text.
Display text on the same line, but slightly above the current text.
Align text to the left.
Align text in the center.
Align text to the right.
Begin typing on the left side of the Text box and text typed moves across the screen left to right.
Begin typing on the right side of the Text box and text typed moves across the screen right to
left.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Function
Description
Create an ordered or numbered list or add a numbered list item.
Create an unordered or bulleted list or add a bullet list item.
Move text left.
Move text right.
Function Description
Select the ABC check mark to open Spell Check.
Cut the selected items.
Copy the selected items.
Paste copied or cut content.
Deletes formatting tags that are shown in the Pathfinder at the bottom of the text box. Select the
formatting tag to delete in the Pathfinder and then click Clear Formatting to delete. This is useful when
copying and pasting text from another application yields discrepancies in formatting.
Select the circular arrow pointing to the left to undo the previous action.
Select the circular arrow pointing to the right to redo the previousaction.
Add a hyperlink. Types include: file, ftp, gopher, http, https, mailto, news, telnet, and wais. Please keep in
mind that when creating a hyperlink, the text that appears on the page is separate from the information
about the link. Information about where the link points is stored in a tag that surrounds the text.
Therefore, it is possible to change the link without changing the text that appears to users. Please be
careful when constructing links to ensure that the text is consistent with where users will be taken when
they click the link.
Add a table.
Add a horizontal line.
Add a select color to the selected text.
Click and select a symbol to be used in thetext.
Select text, click the Highlight Text icon, and select a color to use to set off the selected text.
Open the WebEQ Equation Editor icon (vx) to add an equation. Equations cannot be added to a cell in a
table. Instead, create the equation outside the table and then cut and paste the equation into the cell.
Open the MathML Equation Editor icon to add an equation.
Click the opposing chevrons icon (< >) to view and edit the text in the source code that is generated by
the Text Editor. Click the icon again to restore the standard view.
Preview the content as it will be seen by end users.
Opens a new window that reports on the validation of the source coding. Validation of source code is run
against XHTML 1.0 Strict rules. Not all reported errors will cause pages to malfunction; however, errors
can affect the way a page appears, how style sheets are employed, and accessibility. Poorly formed
HTML will be selected and can be corrected.
The third row will only appear where it is possible to attach a file or link to a file.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Function Description
Add a file to the text area. The Insert Content Link page will appear.The system supports the
following file types: .doc, .exe, .html, .htm, .pdf, .ppt, .pps, .txt, .wpd, .xls, .zip.
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Browse My Computer: Select a file from the local machine.
Browse Course: If Course Files is the Course's storage repository, select a file from Course
Files.
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Browse Content Collection: If your school licenses content management, select a file from
the Content Collection.
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Source URL: Type a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system.
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Name of Link to File: Provide a descriptive name of the content is helpful for the user. This
allows the user to read the link in context, rather than simply read the name of the file being
linked to.
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Alt Text: Provide text to describe what this image is for a visually impaired or blind user
using assistive technology such as screen readers. All image and multimedia files should
have alt text associated with them.
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Launch in new window: Select whether to open the file in the current window or open a new
browser window to display the file. Depending on your browser settings, some files may also
open in a new tab.
Add an image to the text area. The Insert Image page appears. The system supports the following file
types: .gif, .jif, .jpg, jpeg, .png, .tiff, .wmf.
Add MPEG/AVI media content to the text area. The Insert MPEG/AVI File page appears. The system
supports the following file types: .avi, .mpg, .mpeg.
Add Apple QuickTime media to the text area. The Insert QuickTime File page appears. The system
supports the following file type: .qt.
Add an audio file, such as .mp3, .midi or .wav to the text area. The Insert Audio File page appears. The
system supports the following file types: .aiff, .asf, .mp3, .midi, .moov, .mov, .mp, .wav, .wma, .wmv.
Add Adobe Flash or Shockwave media to the text area. The Insert Flash/Shockwave File page
appears. The system supports the following file types: .swa,.swf.
Add a Flickr Photo, SlideShare Presentation, or YouTube Video. The Search for page appears. The
system supports any files available on YouTube, SlideShare, or Flickr.
Keyboard Shortcuts for the Text Editor
The Text Editor supports the keyboard shortcuts listed in the following table. Please note that Macintosh users
should use the CMD key instead of the CTRL key.
Note: If the shortcut keys that move selected items one character left, right, up, or down are used, the object
being moved will be absolutely positioned. An absolutely positioned element is determined by pixels, so moving
it up once will move it up one pixel.
Keyboard Shortcut
Description
RIGHT ARROW
Move one character to the right.
LEFT ARROW
Move one character to the left.
DOWN ARROW
Move down one line.
UP ARROW
Move up one line.
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW
MAC: CMD+RGT ARROW
Move right one word.
CTRL+LEFT ARROW
MAC: CMD+LFT ARROW
Move left one word.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Keyboard Shortcut
Description
END
Move to the end of the line.
HOME
Move to the start of theline.
CTRL+DOWN ARROW
MAC: CMD+DWN ARROW
Move down one paragraph.
CTRL+UP ARROW
MAC: CMD+UP ARROW
Move up one paragraph.
PAGE DOWN
Move down one page.
PAGE UP
Move up one page.
CTRL+HOME
MAC: CMD+HOME
Move to the beginning of the text.
CTRL+END
MAC: CMD+END
Move to the end of the text.
Selection
SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
Extend the selection one character to the right.
SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
Extend the selection one character to the left.
CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT
ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+RIGHT
ARROW
Extend the selection right one word.
CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+LEFT
ARROW
Extend the selection left one word.
SHIFT+UP ARROW
Extend the selection up one line.
SHIFT+DOWN ARROW
Extend the selection down one line.
SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the end of the current line.
SHIFT+HOME
Extend the selection to the start of the current line.
SHIFT+PAGE DOWN
Extend the selection down one page.
SHIFT+PAGE UP
Extend the selection up one page.
CTRL+SHIFT+END
Extend the selection to the end of the document.
CTRL+SHIFT+HOME
MAC: CMD+SHIFT+HOME
Extend the selection to the beginning of the document.
CTRL+AMAC: CMD+A
Select all elements in the document.
Editing
BACKSPACE
Delete the selection. Or, if there is no selection, delete the character to the left of the
mouse pointer.
CTRL+BACKSPACE
MAC: CMD+BACKSPACE
Delete all of a word to the left of the mouse pointer.
CTRL+CMAC: CMD+C
Copy the selection.
CTRL+VMAC: CMD+V
Paste cut contents or copied contents.
CTRL+XMAC: CMD+X
Cut theselection.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Keyboard Shortcut
Description
DELETE
Delete the selection.
INSERT
Toggle between inserting and overwriting text.
CTRL+Z
MAC: CMD+Z
Undo the most recent formatting command.
CTRL+Y
MAC: CMD+Y
Redo the most recent undone command.
CTRL+F
MAC: CMD+F
Find text.
SHIFT+F10
Display the context menu. This is the same as a right-click.
Formatting
CTRL+B
MAC: CMD+B
Toggle bold formatting.
CTRL+I
MAC: CMD+I
Toggle italic formatting.
CTRL+U
MAC: CMD+U
Toggle underlining.
Formatting HTML Content
This section provides some basic HTML coding to add simple formatting to Course Content. Additional
resources for learning more about HTML may be found at the end of this section.
What is HTML?
HTML is the set of codes used to format (or "mark up") Web pages. A single piece of HTML code is called a
"tag." HTML tags are surrounded by pointed brackets ("<" and ">"). Tags usually come in pairs.
For example the pair of HTML tags to create bold text looks like this:
<b>This text will be bold.</b>
The <b> tag means "start bold here." The end tag, </b>, means "end bold here." End tags always include the
forward slash("/").
Paragraph Formatting
In HTML, a paragraph break is used to put a single blank line between paragraphs. A hard return inserts no
blank line. The tag is used alone at the end of a paragraph, or as a pair. If used as a pair, the
"align=left|center|right" modifier may be included in the beginning tag to control placement.
For example, the following tag would create a right-aligned paragraph:
<P align=right>Fourscore and seven years ago, our founding father set forth upon this
continent a new nation.</P>
Text Formatting
The following tags are used for basic text formatting:
Bold texttag: <b>text</b>
Italic text tag:<i>text</i>
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Text
Underlined text tag:<u>text</u>
Font format tags: <font>text</font> (Font formats include
face=fontstylecolor=fontcolorsize=fontsize)
The font tag requires at least one of the modifiers (face, color, or size).
The face modifier is set to any font, but the person viewing the page must also have that font installed on their
computer. For that reason, it is best to stick to common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier New.
The color modifier will recognize basic colors, including black, white, gray, red, blue, yellow, green, purple,
orange, cyan, magenta, and so forth.
The size modifier does not refer to typical font point sizes. In HTML fonts are sizes 1 through 7. The default font
size is3.
Note: Because each user may set the default font point at which their browser will display text, these font
sizes are relative. For example, one user might have their browser's default font set to 10-point Times while
another has their browser's default font set to 12-point Times. The HTML tag would create 10-point Times text
on the first computer, and 12-point on the latter, since 3 is the default size.
Users may use plus or minus signs to indicate sizes relative to the default. For example, the following HTML
would create text that is two steps larger than the default font size:
<FONT size=+2>Bigger, Better, Faster!</FONT>
Creating Links with HTML
Links are created using the ‘anchor’ tag.
<a href="URL">Clickable text</a>
In the following example, the words ‘Blackboard Inc.’ will turn into a link that directs the user to the Blackboard
homepage.
<a href="http://www.blackboard.com/">Blackboard Inc.</a>
Creating HTML with Other Tools
Course developers do not have to learn everything about HTML. They may also use Web authoring tools to
generate HTML. There are many applications that may be used for this. Some examples are:
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Word processors: Microsoft© Word™, Corel© WordPerfect™, Apple© AppleWorks™, Sun©
StarOffice™, and almost every other contemporary word processor contains the ability to convert
word processing documents to a Web page coded in HTML. However, the conversion from a word
processing document to an HTML Web page is often not perfect, especially for documents with
complex formatting.
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Web-authoring tools: These tools provide an
environment similar to a word processor for developing Web pages and entire Web sites. There are
many products to choose from, including, Adobe© Dreamweaver™, Adobe© GoLive™, NetObjects©
Fusion, and Microsoft©FrontPage™.
HTML Editors: Applications like BareBones© Software's BBEdit™ provide an editing environment
for HTML documents. While they are not WYSIWYG, HTML editors usually have a "preview" mode
that allows users to switch between viewing the raw HTML codes and previewing how those codes
will look in the browser. These products help write HTML faster and easier, but they presume the user
is already knowledgeable aboutHTML.
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Blackboard Learn Environment > Working with Equations
Incorporating HTML Generated with Other Applications
Instructors may decide to incorporate HTML generated content with other applications into their Course. There
are two options for including this content:
Save the content as an HTML file and upload the HTML file itself into Blackboard Learn. In the Course area,
next to the Special Action field, select Create a link to this file. Blackboard Learn will automatically detect
images in an HTML file and prompt the user to upload the images as well.
Copy and paste the HTML code into a text box.
How to Copy and Paste HTML Code
1. View the HTML code. Most of the tools discussed above will have a mechanism (usually part of a
View menu) to allow the user to see the HTML source.
2. Copy all the HTML tags between but not including the <BODY> and </BODY> tags. Blackboard
Learn dynamically generates the HTML above and below the BODY tags, so this portion of the
HTML source must not be copied.
3. Paste the copied HTML into the text box.
4. Choose the HTML text-formatting option.
5. Submit the form.
6. If there are <IMG> tags in the HTML, Blackboard Learn will automatically detect them when the
page is submitted. Users will receive a second page prompting them to upload the appropriate
images.
Troubleshooting
Blackboard recommends that users do not use the following in a Course:
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Do not use multiple frames.
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Do not use <applet> tags inside the text box. These tags may cause errors in the content.
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Use the Markup Validation tool in the Text Editor to validate and correct badly formed code.
Other HTML Resources
There are many online resources for additional information about HTML. One that users may want to go to is
The World Wide Web Consortium located at http://www.w3.org.
Working with Equations
Using the Math and Science NotationTool
The Math and Science Notation Tool (WebEQ Equation Editor) is a general purpose equation editor. The Math
and Science Notation Tool enables you to use mathematical and scientific notation. You can add equations,
edit existing equations, and move equations within the Equation Editor. All of the Equation Editor symbols are
based on MathML, a markup language for math on the Web. MathML is a subset of XHTML.
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The Java 2 Run Time Environment is required to use the Math and Science Notation Tool.
For best performance on a Windows® operating system use Internet Explorer 6.0.
For best performance on a Macintosh®:
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Mac OS X v 10.2 or later
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Install the MRJ Plug-in from http://homepage.mac.com/pcbeard/MRJPlugin/.
You may receive a pop-up box when launching WebEQ that asks you to trust an applet provided by Design
Science, the maker of WebEQ. If you click Always, the pop-up will no longer appear on that computer when
launching WebEQ.
MathML Equation Editor
The MathML Equation Editor functions in the same way at the Math and Science Notation Tool. Instead of
opening with the symbol buttons, a blank text box will appear where users can enter XML.
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Accessing the Equation Editor
You can access the WebEQ Equation Editor by clicking the Math and Science Notation Tool icon. To insert
XML, you can click the MathML Equation Editor icon.
Tip: If an equation is more than one line or uses a large font size, the equation may be cut off when it appears
on the page. Add an empty line after the final line in the equation to prevent this error.
Creating and Editing Equations
After an equation has been created it is copied and used again or copied and edited using the WebEQ Equation
Editor features.
The table below describes the functions available in the Math and Science Notation Tool.
To . . .
then . . .
create a name for the
equation
enter a name in the Equation Name field. To accept the default name do not make any
changes.
create an equation
use the equation symbols available on the keyboard or in the toolbar to create equations.
edit an existing
equation
select the equation from the Edit Equation drop-down list. The equation will appear in the
Editor. Click Edit to save thechanges.
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To . . .
then . . .
submit the equation
and its name
click Add.
Tip: If an equation is more than one line or uses a large font size, the equation may be cut off when it appears
in a Course. Add an empty line after the final line in the equation to prevent this error.
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Course Options > Setting Course Properties
Course Options
Setting Course Properties
Properties control the functional settings of the Course.
How to Access Course Properties
1. Turn Edit ModeON.
2. On the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Properties.
Providing a Name and Description
Instructors can change the name and description of the Course. This name appears as the Course Name
throughout Blackboard Learn. The description will appear in the Course Catalog.
Classification
These fields can be safely ignored. Course Classification is not part of or related to Course Categorization for
the Course Catalog. A default Classification value is listed when each Course is created. These fields were
used in previous versions but exist now only to ensure backward compatibility with Building Blocks or other
plugins.
Setting Course Availability
Instructors can set Courses to be available or unavailable. If the Course is available, all users participating in
the Course will have access. If the Course is unavailable, access is determined by Course role. Instructors,
Course Builders, Teaching Assistants, and Graders can see and access unavailable Courses from My
Courses and the Course List, but they are marked as unavailable. Students cannot access unavailable
Courses regardless of the Course Duration. Unavailable Courses do not appear in the Course Catalog.
Setting the Course Duration
Course Duration defines the time in which Students may interact with the Course.
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Continuous: The Course is always available.
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Select Dates: The Course is available according to specific dates. Courses may have a start date,
but no end date. After the end date, Courses are not available to students, but are otherwise
unchanged.
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Days from the Date of Enrollment: Use this option to place a time limit on Courses calculated from
the date a student enrolls. This is the best option for self-paced Courses.
Categorizing the Course
Instructors can add their Course to one or more Categories. Courses added to a Category are listed in the
Course Catalog under that Category.
Select a catalog category and use the arrow buttons to move the category to the Selected Items box. More
than one category may be selected. Repeat the process to add another category. The Course appears under
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Course Options > Setting Course Style Options
the selected categories. Invert Selection will highlight any Categories that are not highlighted and unselect
any Categories that are highlighted. This is a useful way to exclude one or two Categories without having to
click on all the other Categories.
Selecting a Language Pack
Language Packs change the language of buttons, titles, and other text supplied by the system. Language Pack
preferences are defined at the system, Course, and user level.
At the system level, the Administrator defines one Language Pack as the system default. This is the Language
Pack that appears when no other Language Pack is specified at the Course level or at the User level.
At the Course level, Instructors can set a Language Pack that is different from the default to make all users in
the Course view the same Language Pack. If the Language Pack is not enforced, users can set a preferred
Language Pack that is different from the Course Language Pack by changing the setting in Tools > Personal
Information > Set Language Pack. Enforcing the Language Pack will override individual users' language
choices.
Note: Customized names for Content Areas and Tools are not changed with the Language Pack. These
values stay the same through all Language Packs. The default names in the system are translated and appear
differently in eachLanguage Pack.
To learn more about Language Packs, see Language Packs.
Setting Course Files Options
The Course Files properties are available only if your school licenses content management.
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Course Files Default Directory: Type or browse for the directory to contain the Course Files for this
course. This is the default location where files are saved for the course and does not conflict with the
Content Collection Home Page setting.
Display: Each item in the Content Collection has a contextual menu that provides access to the
available actions. When working in the Course Files area on the Control Panel, the selected option
configures the menu to display all of the Content Collection options that are available when working
on the Content Collection tab or only the course-specific options.
Setting Course Style Options
Instructors manage the style of the Course Menu and other page elements from the Style page.
How to Access the Course Style Options
On the Control Panel, under Customization, select Style.
Style Options
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Select Menu Style: Select text or buttons for Menu Items and select the color customization options
available.
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Course Menu Display: Select the default view of the Course Menu. Options include Folder View,
List View, or Permit Both Views.
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Default Content View: Select how you want your content to appear within the course. Options
include Icon Only, Text Only, or Icon and Text.
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Course Options > Setting Enrollment Options
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Select Course Entry Point: Select the first page users see when entering the Course from the list
below. If the Course Entry Point is changed, the Instructor must refresh the browser to view the
change.
Note: Setting a new Course entry point takes effect immediately. However, the user that sets the
new Course entry point will not see the effect of the change until the user logs out of Blackboard
Learn and logs back in.
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Select Banner: Optionally, select a banner to display at the top of the course's entry pointpage.
Browse for a file to attach.
Note: A recommended size for banners is approximately 480 by 80 pixels. Keep in mind that users
can resize their browser windows, expand and collapse the Course Menu, and use monitors of
varying sizes and screen resolutions. After uploading a banner, view it under those varying conditions
to ensure that it looks as you intended.
Setting Enrollment Options
Enrollment Options control how Students enroll in the Course.
How to Find this Page
1. Turn Edit ModeON.
2. On the Control Panel under Customization, select Enrollment Options.
3. Select the appropriateEnrollment option.
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Instructor/ System Administrator: This option enables the Instructor or System
Administrator to control the enrollment process. Select the check box to create a link for
Students to email an enrollment request to the Instructor. This link appears in the Course
Catalog.
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Self Enrollment: This option allows Students to enroll themselves in the Course. Use the
date fields to set a Start Date, an End Date, or both to control the time frame that
Students can self-enroll. If no dates are selected, Student may continuously self-enroll
unless the Course is made unavailable or the Course Duration dates have passed. An
Access Code can be used to verify the self-enrollment process.
Checking Course Links
The Check Course Links tool allows Instructors to check the links to Course Files that have been added to a
Course. For example, if an item in Course Files is deleted after the Instructor has created a link to the item in a
Course, the Check Course Links tool detects this and makes the Instructor aware of the broken link.
Depending on the situation, some broken links can be repaired, while others cannot.
When a link to a Course Files item is added to a Course, All Course Users are given Read permission to this
item in Course Files. When Check Course Links is run, the only permission that is checked is Read
permission for All Course Users.
What Course Areas Are Checked?
Items can be added to Courses through the Browse Course option available when adding content on the
Create and Edit pages. The Check Course Links function detects any broken links that appear for content
added through the Browse Course option.
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Course Options > Checking Course Links
The Check Course Link function detects any broken links added to the following areas through the Text
Editor:
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Content Areas (for example, Course Documents, Course Information, and Assignments)
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Learning Modules
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Lesson Plans
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Folders
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Announcements, Calendar Events, and Tasks
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Discussion Board, Journals, and Blogs
Note: Links to Course Files items added to Tests (Surveys and Question Pools) are not checked by Check
Course Links.
When Do I Use Check Course Links?
If links to Course Files items are added to a Course, it is important that Check Course Links is run on a
periodic basis. This is especially true after a Course is copied, restored, or imported. Users with access to the
items in Course Files can move and delete items, or edit the permissions on an item. These actions may
impact the validity of a link to the item in a Course.
How to Enable Check Course Links
Instructors have the option of enabling or disabling Check Course Links for each of their Courses. The tool is
disabled by default when a Course is created. The following steps explain how to enable Check Course Links:
1. On the Control Panel under Customization, select Tool Availability.
2. On the Tool Availability page, select the check box for Check Course Links. Clear the check
box to disable the tool.
3. Click Submit.
Note: The System Administrator can disable Check Course Links for the entire system and then this tool will
not be available within Courses.
For example, when a link to a Course Files item is added to a Course, all Course users are automatically
granted Read permission to the item in Course Files. If this permission is later deleted by a user who has
Manage permission to the item, selecting the link within the Course results in an error message.
How to Check Course Links
Running Check Course Links is a simple operation.
1. On the Control Panel under Packages and Utilities, select Check Course Links.
2. On the Check Course Links page, click OK to start the tool. This operation may take a few
minutes to run; the length of the process depends on the number of links within a Course.
3. Read the results and repair broken links.
4. After Check Course Links is run, a results page appears, explaining the status of each link to a
Course Files item. Some broken links can be fixed by the Instructor, while others cannot.
Legend Description andResolution
Valid Link. These items are linked successfully and do not require any further action.
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Course Options > Bulk Deleting Course Information
Legend Description andResolution
Repairable permissions error. All Course Users do not have Read permission to these
items. When a user attempts to access this link in a Course, a ‘File Not Found’ error appears.
The Instructor has Manage permission to the items and can therefore repair these links.
Select the check boxes next to these items and click Repair. The system grants Read
permission to these items to All Course Users.
Path not found. The specified path to this item is no longer valid. It may have been deleted.
The links are broken and the Instructor should delete them from the Course. If the new
locations or names of the items are known, new links can be created.
Permissions error. The links to the items are valid, but All Course Users do not have Read
permission to these items. The Instructor does not have Manage permission to the items and
cannot repair these links. The Instructor should delete these links from the Course or contact
a user with Manage permissions to these items to add the appropriate permission.
Bulk Deleting Course Information
Bulk Deleting Course information is useful for Instructors at the end of a Course. It allows Instructors to select
information to be deleted from a Course and keeps the rest of the Course areas for use in the future. For
example, delete Students and grades but keep the content.
Bulk Delete deletes all users with a role of Student from the Course. Teaching Assistants, Graders, and Course
Builders will not bedeleted.
Note: Consider archiving the Course first so that it can be restored to its exact state before a bulk delete.
How to Bulk Delete course Information
1. On the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Bulk Delete.
2. In the Select Content Materials to Delete section, select the check boxes for Content Materials
within the Course that will be deleted. For example, if Staff Information is selected all of the data
within Staff Information will be deleted.
3. In the Select Other Materials to Delete section, select the check boxes for content found in other
areas within the Course that will be deleted. For example, if Discussion Board is selected all of
the Discussion Boards in the Course will be deleted.
4. In the Confirmation section, type Delete in the Type 'Delete' to complete this request field to
confirm theBulk Delete.
Notifications
About The Notifications Dashboard
The Notifications Dashboard contains four basic modules that give information to users based on their
enrollment and their role in the system. Which modules are available and what type of notifications are
delivered is set up by the system administrator. Users with multiple enrollments will receive information in
modules for all their classes and organizations. Users with multiple roles will receive information in modules for
all their roles. Users can navigate to individual items to take action.
For all users, each Course contains a Notification Dashboard specific to that Course. If your school licenses
community engagement, this information may be part of a tab on the MyBlackboard page or modules in the
MyBlackboard area and contain information for all Courses in which the user is enrolled.
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Course Options > Notifications
Instructors can customize the notifications that appear on this page, as well as opt to have email notifications
sent totheir account.
The page displays these modules:
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Needs Attention: Displays all items in a course that require some type of interaction. Instructors,
TAs, and Graders see assignments, tests, and surveys that have been submitted.
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Alerts: Displays past due and early warning notifications for all courses. Instructors, TAs, and
Graders see the users in each course that have past due items and who have generated early warning
messages. Links are provided to email students and view early warning system rules. Students see
any assignments, tests, or other items that are past due and any early warning messages received.
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What's New: Displays a list of new items in all relevant courses and organizations. Instructors, TAs,
and Graders see any new assignments that have been submitted, tests that have been submitted,
new discussion board posts. Students see new discussion board posts, new grades posted, new
content that is available.
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To Do: Displays the status (Past Due/Due) of relevant course work and tasks. Students see any
grade items that have listed due dates in two categories, what is past due and what is due in the
future. Links to relevant course items are provided.
Where Is It?
For Blackboard Learn users, by default, the Notifications Dashboard displays as the homepage for a Course.
The user may be able to manage this setting. It only displays information for that Course.
If your school licenses community engagement, the Notification Dashboard can also be accessed through a
tab in the MyBlackboard page or as modules in the MyBlackboard page. The user may be able to manage this
setting. The page displays information and items for all Courses.
Who Can Use It?
The System Administrator controls the ability for users to view the Notifications Dashboard, to configure the
notifications that display in the page, and to receive email notifications. In addition, the System Administrator
can allow or disallow Users to control any or all notifications or email notifications.
How to Turn It On
The Notifications Dashboard is On for the system by default. If it is turned Off by the System Administrator,
then it is not possible for the Instructor to turn it On.
To turn Off the Notification Dashboard, navigate to the Settings page for the Notifications Dashboard. To learn
more, seeNotifications Dashboard Settings.
Email Notifications
Users can select to receive email notifications for updated, impending, or created items.
Notifications Dashboard Rules
Rules for Items to Display as Notifications
Items must follow these rules to be viewed in the Notifications Dashboard area for the user views:
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A notification for that item is set to On in the Notifications Dashboard Settings area.
The item or Discussion Board Forum is madeAvailable.
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Course Options > Notifications
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The Start Date for the item haspassed.
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The Adaptive Release criteria are met by a Student.
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An Early Warning System rule is broken by a Student.
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For an Assessment, Assignment, Survey, or grade item to display in the Alerts area for Instructors,
or the To Do area for Students, there must be a Due Date.
Rules for the Removal of Notifications
A notification will be deleted from the Notifications Dashboard area because of one of the following actions:
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The item is deleted by the user.
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The item is made Unavailable.
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The item's End Date is reached.
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The Adaptive Release rules are no longer met by theuser.
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The Early Warning System Rules are no longer broken by the user.
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The item has passed its duration as determined in Notifications Dashboard Settings page. To learn
more, see Settings for the Notifications Dashboard.
Rules for the Removal of Specific Items as Notifications
The following table clarifies the information for removal of specific items as notifications.
Notification
Module
Action to Automatically Remove
New Student Group
created
What's
New
The Notifications Dashboard duration setting for notifications will delete this
notification. To configure this setting, navigate to the Notifications Dashboard
settings page. To learn more, see the Settings for the Notifications
Dashboard.
Discussion Board posts,
Blog entries, Journal
entries
What's
New
The unread posts or entries are viewed.
Course information
What's
New
If the item contains a Review Status, when it is marked as reviewed it will be
deleted.
Assessment, Assignment,
Announcement, Survey,
Group or Content
Available
What's
New
The Notifications Dashboard's duration setting for notifications will delete this
notification. To configure this setting, navigate to the Notifications Dashboard
settings page. To learn more, see the Settings for the Notifications
Dashboard.
Assessment, Survey, or
Assignment
Alerts
Student submits theitem.
Assessment, Survey, or
Assignment
Needs
The Instructor grades the item.
Attention
Using the Notifications Dashboard
Instructors can navigate to specific areas to take action on notifications and can control the appearance of the
Notifications Dashboard. Community engagement Users can also navigate to Courses within the modules.
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Course Options > Notifications
Notifications in a Module
Notifications appear in modules where they are viewed, deleted and acted upon. Click the Actions contextual
menuto:
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Expand All: Displays all the items in the module.
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Collapse All: Collapses all the items in the module.
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Dismiss All: Removes all the notifications in the module.
To look at each item in a module, click the item. This will expand the notification list. Each notification in the list
will have its own contextual menu. Use this menu to take action on a specific notification. Actions available for
notifications may include:
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View Details: Navigate to the course area such as the Early Warning System, Discussion Board, or
the Grade Center to see the details of the notification.
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Refresh: Refresh an Early Warning System Rule.
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Email: Send email to students.
Note: Removing the notification only deletes the notification, and does not delete the item from the Course. To
learn more about the removal of a notification, see Rules for the Notifications Dashboard area.
Control the Appearance of the Dashboard
To...
Do...
Collapse modules
Click the minimize icon (-).
Open module in a new
window
Click the new window icon.
Move modules
Move the mouse pointer over the module until the crosshair mouse pointer appears.
Click, hold,and drag the module.
Add modules
Click AddModule
Edit module settings
click the Manage Module Settings icon.
change the color theme Click Personalize.
Notifications Dashboard
The Notifications Dashboard displays notifications for changes to items. These notifications are displayed in
three different modules. The following items can generate different notifications:
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Content item
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Course information
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Assignments
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Tests
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Blog entries
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Surveys
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Journal entries
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Discussion Board posts
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Grade changes
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Early Warning System rules
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Course Options > Notifications
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Group information
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Announcements
For Blackboard Learn - Enterprise license users, the Notifications Dashboard area displays in each course, and
displays notifications only for thatCourse.
if your school licenses community engagement, the Notifications Dashboard modules also display in the
MyBlackboard area or My Institution tab and display notifications for all Courses.
Display Modules
Notifications for these items are categorized in three modules. The following table explains each module, its
information, and layout.
Module
Information and Appearance
Needs
Any submitted item by a user for review or grading by the Instructor. Categories of the possible
Attention notification types:
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Grade Tests: The tests and the corresponding users who have submitted the tests.
Grade Assignments: The Assignments and the corresponding users who have submitted the
Assignments.
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Grade Surveys: The Surveys and the corresponding users who have submitted the Surveys.
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Alerts
The Past Due area displays any Assessment, Assignment, or Survey that has past its Due Date with no
submission by the user. The Early Warning System area displays any rule and the list of users who have
violated that rule.
What's
New
The Communication area displays the number of unread Discussion Board posts for each forum, the
unread Blog entries, and the unread Journal entries. The Materials area displays any updated,
submitted, or created Content, Tests, Assignments, and Surveys.
Student Display
The notifications are categorized in two modules. The following table explains each module, its notifications
andlayout.
Module Information and Appearance
ToDo
The What's Past Due area displays any Assessment, Assignment, or Survey that has past its Due Date
with no submission by the user. The What's Due displays information about any Assessment, Assignment,
or Survey that contains a Due Date.
What's The Communication area displays the number of unread Discussion Board posts for each forum, the
New
unread Blog entries, and the unread Journal entries. The Materials area displays any updated, submitted,
or created items, such as, Tests, Assignments, Announcements, Surveys, and so on.
Alerts
The Past Due area displays any Assessment, Assignment, or Survey that has past its Due Date with no
submission by the student The Early Warning System area displays any rule the student has violated.
Be aware that students will have the ability to re-order the courses and organizations in the My Courses and My
Organization modules. They will also be able to select what information within each course or organization that
they want to appear.
Specific Feature or Item Notification Behavior
The following table clarifies the information that displays for specific feature or item notifications.
Item
Important Information
Group
For any Group, submissions by the Group will be viewed by the Instructor as a Group
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Course Options > Notifications
Item
Important Information
submission, and not as notifications of submissions by each individual user in the Group.
Discussion Board
The number of unread posts for a Course is displayed. Clicking on the number will
navigate the user to the Discussion Boards main page.
Blog
The number of unread Blog entries for a Blog is displayed. Clicking on the number will
navigate the user to the Blog.
Journal
The number of unread Journal entries for a Journal is displayed. Clicking on the number
will navigate the user to the Journal.
Tests or Assignments
with Multiple Attempts
The most recent attempt information and link will display.
Notifications Dashboard Settings
WARNING! If the System Administrator has defined the settings for notifications, email notifications, the
duration of a notification, or due date reminders, that will take precedence over the user setting.
If allowed by the System Administrator, the user can decide:
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Which notifications appear on the dashboard
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Which notifications will generate email messages
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Which type of email format notifications will be sent, individual or daily digest
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The number of days before the removal of a notification
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To create Due Date reminders for notifications
How to Access the Edit Notifications Settings Page
Click My Places then Edit Notifications Settings to locate the Edit Notifications Settings page.
This page displays General Notification Settings.
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Edit General Settings: Defines the general notification settings such as email format, deletion
schedule, and reminder schedule for courses and organizations.
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Edit Individual Course Settings: Displays the current notification settings for courses in which a
user is enrolled. Changes to the notification settings for a specific course can be made.
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Bulk Edit Notification Settings: Select a set of courses or organizations to update and change the
notification settings for them in one step.
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Edit Individual Organization Settings: Displays the current notification settings for organizations
in which a user is enrolled. Changes to the notification settings for a specific organization can be
made.
Choose Email Notification Type
A user may elect to receive an email message for each notification, or may elect to receive a daily Digest email
that contains information about all of the Notifications for that day. The user will set the time for the daily
Digest.
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Individual: Email messages are sent for each notification. For Early Warning System details, unread
Discussion Board messages, unread Blog Posts, and unread Journal Entries, however, the Digest
selection is necessary.
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Course Options > Notifications
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Daily Digest: All notifications are collected and sent in a daily digest to that user. Set the time to
Send Daily Email Digest.
Create Duration for Notifications
Set the number of days until a notification is automatically deleted.
Create Due Date Reminders
The user can set Due Date reminders for notifications. This reminder will be emailed to the user.
Set the number of days before the Due Date to send an email.
The email will be sent as a digest email or as individual emails depending upon the option selected by the user.
To learn more about selecting email type, see Choose Email Notification Type in the Settings for the
Notifications Dashboard.
Decide Upon Notifications and Email Notifications
It is possible to decide the notification types and emails to receive.
All Notification Types, by default, are turned On. These notifications are displayed in the Notifications
Dashboard modules.
All Email Notification types, by default, are turned Off, an email will be sent out corresponding to that
notification. Though for the following items, email notifications can only be sent out if Daily Digest email is
selected:
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Early Warning System Rule details
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Unread Discussion Board Messages
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Unread Blog posts
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Unread Journal entries
After choosing the appropriate settings, click Submit to save these settings.
If in a Course's Edit Notification Settings page, it is possible to Save to All, so that the settings will affect all of
the user's Courses.
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Student Access to Content > Making a Course Available or Unavailable
Student Access to Content
Making a Course Available or Unavailable
The Instructor must make a course available before students enrolled in the course will be able to view or
access the course and its content.
If a Course is unavailable, access is determined by Course role. Instructors, Course Builders, Teaching
Assistants, and Graders can see and access unavailable Courses from My Courses and the Course List, but
they are marked as unavailable. Students cannot access unavailable Courses regardless of the Course
Duration. Unavailable Courses do not appear in the Course Catalog.
How to Make a Course Available
1.
Turn Edit ModeON.
2. On the Control Panel, under Customization, select Properties.
3. Under the third section, Set Availability, click Yes to make the Course available to users.
4.
Optionally, under the fourth section, Set Course Duration, choose one of the following
options:
end date
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Continuous (default) to leave the Course available without a specified start or
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Select Dates to choose a Start and/or EndDate
Days from the Date of Enrollment to specify a specific length of time Users have to
access the Course after enrolling. This is the best option for self-paced Courses.
5. Click Submit.
How to Make a Course Unavailable
1. Turn Edit ModeON.
2. On the Control Panel, under Customization, select Properties.
3. Under the third section, Set Availability, click No to make the course unavailable to users.
4. Click Submit.
Related Tutorials
Making Your Course Available (Flash movie | 1m 35s | 790 KB)
Managing Tool Availability
Instructors can control the availability of Tools and also decide which tools Guests and Observers may access.
How to Access Tool Availability Settings
On the Control Panel, under Customization, select Tool Availability. Select or clear the check boxes of the
tools you want to use in your course and which users will have access to these tools.
Available tools are listed alphabetically on the Tool Availability page.
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Available: The tool is available throughout the Course and open to all users that have a role
permitting the use of the tool.
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Student Access to Content > Enrolling Users
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Visible to Guests: The tool is visible (read-only), but not usable to Guests when Guests are
permitted in the Course.
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Visible to Observers: The tool is visible (read-only), but not usable to Observers when Observers
are permitted in the Course.
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Available in Content Areas: The Instructor can place a link to a tool in one or more Content Areas of
the Course.
Tools with a grayed check box in a column have been turned off by the system administrator. Tools with a dash
( - ) in a column do not have availability settings in the system that can be changed.
If tools are made unavailable after a period of being available, either at the Course level by the Instructor or at
the system level by the system administrator, no content is deleted from the system. If the tools are made
available again, the existing content remains and becomes accessible.
Filtering the Display
Click Filter on the action bar to sort the table based on availability status for the tool and for the role users have
in a Course. Filtering makes it easier to see which tools are available and visible, and change settings based on
those criteria.
About Building Blocks
If your Institution has licensed any Building Blocks they will appear in the list of Tools on the Tool Availability
page.
Enrolling Users
The Users page lists all users in a Course and allows the Instructor to manage their setting in the Course. The
Users page enables Instructors to change a user’s role within a Course and edit user Contacts. Instructors can
also send email to a user.
Access the Users page from the Control Panel under Users and Groups.
Enrolling Users
There are three ways to Enroll a User. These options are available from the Enroll User drop-down menu or the
Batch Enroll button on the action bar.
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Create a User: Users created in a Course are automatically enrolled in that Course.
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Find Users to Enroll: Users that have an existing account in the system can be enrolled in the
Course.
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Batch Enroll: Batch Enroll Users will add users to the Course and assign them a Course role.
Other Functions
The following functions are accessed from the contextual menu next to a user's name.
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Edit: Personal Information about a user can be updated from this page.
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Change User's Password: The User will receive an email notification after the password is
changed.
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Student Access to Content > Enrolling Users
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Change User's Role or Availability: Select the role and availability. These options will only affect
the course in which you are teaching. Availability is displayed in the far right column on the Users
page. The column will state either Yes or No depending on the availability.
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Remove User: Select this option and confirm the removal.
Note: Deleting users from a course deletes all of the information associated with the users, such as Grade
Center information, Assessment and Assignment information and Course Statistics. Discussion Board posts
and received messages and email are not deleted. Deleted users and their corresponding information cannot be
restored to the course. However, it is possible to re-enroll the user into the course without any associated data.
How to Create Users
The local Blackboard administrator manages the ability of instructors to create new users. Instructors unable to
create users should contact their Blackboard administrator for more information.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Click Users.
3. On the Users page, point to Enroll User and select Create User.
4. Provide the required information and any other relevant personal information.
5. Select a Role and Availability for the user.
6. Click Submit.
For institutions with multiple information systems, creating users may occur in a different information system
accessed by a link at the top of this page.
Information about users is stored in a User Profile. The System Administrator determines which the fields of
data in the User Profile are displayed to users and which are editable by users.
How to Find Users to Enroll
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Click Users.
3. On the Users page, point to Enroll User and select Find Users to Enroll.
4. Type a username or click Browse to search for users. Only users that are not already enrolled in
the Course will be identified in a search for users.
5. Select or type as many usernames as desired. Separate multiple usernames with commas.
6. Select a Role and Enrollment Availability for the users.
7. Click Submit.
Located Users
The results of a search will display up to 25 names on a page. Searches that result in more than 25 users will
display users on multiple pages. It is not possible to enroll multiple users who appear on different pages.
Instead, select users to enroll from a single page and click Submit. Redo the search to select additional users
to enroll.
Availability
Users who have been made Unavailable by the System Administrator cannot be enrolled in a Course.
Users who have been enrolled in a Course but made Unavailable by the Instructor will not see the Course in My
Courses and do not have access to the Course. These users must be made Available by the Instructor in order
to see that they are enrolled in the Course.
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Student Access to Content > Guest and Observer Access
How to Batch Enroll Users
Batch Enroll Users will add users to the Course and assign them a Course role. Users that do not exist in the
system will be created in the system and added to the Course. User data is defined in a batch file that must be
created outside the system. Common creation tools are text editors and Microsoft Excel.
The local Blackboard administrator manages the ability of instructors to batch enroll users. Instructors unable to
batch enroll users should contact their Blackboard administrator for more information.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section.
2. Click Users.
3. On the Users page, click Batch Enroll Users.
4. Click Browse to locate the batch file, and select a Delimiter Type, if necessary.
5. Click Submit.
Information about Batch Files
Batch files are .txt files that hold large quantities of information to upload to the system. Each batch utility
contains specific instructions on creating the batch file. The following batch file standards are universal.
l
Each file must be one of the supported file types: .txt or .csv.
Note: Microsoft Excel versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes in every field if the
worksheet is saved as a .csv file.
l
l
Each file must be in DOS format. Files in MAC or UNIX format must be converted to DOS.
Each field must be enclosed indouble quotation marks. For example: "John"
l
If quotation marks appear in a field, use an escape character to indicate that the next character does
not mark the end of the field. The escape character is a backslash (). For example: "\"NICKNAME\""
l
Each field must be separated with one of the following delimiters: comma, colon, or tab. When
selecting AUTO, only one type of delimiter may be used in each batch file. For example:
"John","Smith" or " "John":"Smith"
l
Each record must be on a separate line. For example:
"John","Smith"
"Samantha","Baker"
l
l
Do not include blank lines between records. The blank line will be processed and return an error.
Blackboard recommends that each batch file not exceed 500 records because of timeout restrictions
associated with most browsers.
Guest and Observer Access
Instructors can control whether or not Guests and Observers have access to the Course.
Guests in a Course can include Guest Lecturers or other users that are not directly participating in the Course.
A person with an Observer role is assigned to follow specific users in Blackboard Learn without interacting with
the system. Observers are able to view the Course and track Student progress. Also, the Instructor can
communicate Early Warning System notifications to Observers as well as the Student, or just to the Observers
of theStudent.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
How to Allow Guest and Observer Access
1. Turn Edit ModeON.
2. On the Control Panel under Customization, select Guest and ObserverAccess.
3. To allow Guests to view the Course, in the Allow Guests field, select Yes.
4. To allow Observers to view the Course, in the Allow Observers field, select Yes. When set to
Yes, Observers can access content in the Course. Observers cannot access Tests or
Assignments. Observers are restricted from viewing content or tools on an individual basis.
Adaptive Release
About Adaptive Release
Adaptive Release controls the release of content to users based on a set of rules created by the Instructor. The
rules may be related to availability, date and time, individual users, group membership, scores or attempts on
any Grade Center item, calculated columns in Grade Center, or review status of an item in the Course.
The followingoptions are available:
l
l
l
Adaptive Release: Create basic rules for an item. Only one rule per item can be created, but the rule
can have multiple criteria, all of which must be met.
Adaptive Release Advanced: Create sophisticated combinations of release rules by adding multiple
rules with multiple criteria to a single content item. Users must meet all the criteria of one of the rules
togain access.
User Progress: View the details on an item for all users in a Course. This page includes information
about whether the item is visible to the user and whether the user has marked the item as reviewed.
Adaptive Release Rules and Criteria
A Basic Adaptive Release rule consists of a set of criteria that defines the visibility of a content item to users. If
a rule has multiple criteria, the user must meet all criteria before the item is available. Advanced Adaptive
Release enables Instructors to create multiple rules for a single content item, and each rule can consist of
multiple criteria.
For example, the Instructor adds a rule for an assignment to allow users in Group A to view the assignment
after a specific date. This rule would consist of Membership criteria and Date criteria. Another rule for this
assignment can allow all users in Group B to view the assignment once they had completed Homework #1.
This rule would consist of Membership criteria and Grade Center criteria.
Note: Only one Membership criterion and one Date criterion can be created for each rule. Multiple Grade
Center criteria and Review Status criteria can be added to each rule.
Adaptive Release Rules During Course Copy, Archive, and Export
Adaptive Release rules and user progress information are only included during a full Course Copy with users
and during archive and restore operations. Rules and user progress information are not saved during a copy of
Course materials into a new Course or during a copy of Course materials into an existing Course. They are also
not saved during export and import operations.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
Enable and Disable the Adaptive Release Feature
The System Administrator controls the availability of the Adaptive Release feature. If this feature is made
available, Course developers can add basic or advanced Adaptive Release Rules.
If the Adaptive Release tool is disabled by the Administrator, all rules that have been created will disappear.
Also, Adaptive Release related links on the Manage page will no longer appear. If the tool is later re-enabled,
the links on the Manage page will reappear and any data associated with Adaptive Release (such as the rules)
will be saved. Any Adaptive Release rules that had previously been set also re-appear.
Visibility of Items with Adaptive Release Rules
Once any Adaptive Release rules have been established for an item, visibility of that item is restricted to those
users who meet the criteria of those rules.
For example, the Instructor creates a content item called "Introduction" in a Content Area. At this point, all
Course users would be able to see Introduction. The Instructor then creates a rule restricting the item to Group
A users. Now, only members of Group A can see Introduction—all other Course users do not see Introduction.
Next, the Instructor adds another criterion to this rule, restricting it to Group A members who have received at
least 80 points on Test #1. Now, only members of Group A who have also scored 80 or greater on Test #1 will
see Introduction. All other users, including Group A members who scored less than an 80 on the Pre-Test, will
not seeIntroduction.
If no Adaptive Release Rules have been created, the item is available to all users in the Course depending on
the item availability and date restrictions set during item creation or editing.
IMPORTANT! If an adaptive release rule is created, but no criteria for it are defined, the content will
display to all users. This is true even if there are other rules associated with the item. One blank criterion
will allow the content display to all users.
View Availability of an Item on User Progress Page
Instructors can create one or more Adaptive Release rules to narrow the availability of a content item. It may be
difficult to remember which users may access each piece of content. The User progress page displays details
on the visibility of a content item and the Adaptive Release rules pertaining to it on a user-by-user basis. If
Review Status is enabled for the item, an icon is displayed to show if the user has reviewed the item along with
a date and time stamp for when the review was registered for that user.
If no Adaptive Release rules have been created for that item, the visibility column is based simply on
availability of the item itself. For example, if the item is available, the Visible icon is displayed for all users.
Differences Between Basic Adaptive Release and Advanced Adaptive
Release
Basic Adaptive Release enables Instructors to create one rule for a single item. That rule can contain multiple
criteria. Advanced Adaptive Release enables Instructors to create multiple rules for a single item. If an
Instructor wants to create different criteria for different users on the same item, more than one rule is needed.
For example, the Instructor can set up a rule for Group A that enables these users to view Test 1 after
completing Assignment A. The Instructor can set up a separate rule for Group B that enables them to see Test
1 after completing Assignment B.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
Unavailable Items and Adaptive Release Rules
Item availability set on the Add Item page supersedes all Adaptive Release rules. If the item is unavailable, it is
unavailable to all users regardless of any rules established. This allows Course developers to build out their
rules and only make items available when they are finished with rule creation.
View Content with Rules Through the Course
If Instructors view Content Areas through the Course as a student would with Edit Mode set to OFF, their view
is based on item availability and Adaptive Release rules. For example, if Adaptive Release is used to make an
item available to a Group, and they are not a member of the Group, they will not see the item if they access it
through the Course Menu. The same is true for unavailable items. If an item is added to a Course, but is not
made available, the Instructor will not see it when they access the Content Area through the Course Menu.
Managing Adaptive Release Rules
How to Add a Basic Adaptive Release Rule
The Basic Adaptive Release rule allows the Instructor to add and edit one rule for a single piece of content. This
single rule may have multiple criteria. For example, the rule may require the user to meet both date criteria and
review status criteria before the content is available. Advanced Adaptive Release rules can also be used to add
multiple rules to a single piece of content.
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release on the contextual menu for the item.
4. Complete one or more sections of the Adaptive Release page , Date, Membership, Grade, Review
Status.
5. Click Submit.
How to Add an Advanced Adaptive Release Rule
Advanced Adaptive Release allows Instructors to add multiple rules to a single content item. If multiple rules
are created, the content is visible to the user if any of the rules are met. Each rule may have multiple criteria.
For example, one rule may allow users in Group A with a score above an 85 on a Test to view the content item.
Another rule for the same item may allow users in Group B to view the same content item only after a specific
date.
Rules that cannot be satisfied by any user will be noted because they will not provide any access to the
specified contentitem.
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON
3. Click Adaptive Release: Advanced on the contextual menu for the item.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
6. Click Create Criteria and select Date, Grade or Membership and fill in the criteria. Click Submit
when the rule is complete.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
7. Click Review Status to add this type of criteria the Advanced Adaptive Release Rule. Select the
content item for Review.
8. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 to add multiple criteria to an item.
How to Copy an Adaptive Release Rule
Instructors may find it beneficial to copy an Adaptive Release rule, rather than creating a new one from scratch.
Once the rule is copied the name may be changed and the rule edited. Rules may only be copied within a single
content item; a rule from one content item may not be copied to another content item.
Follow the steps below to copy an Adaptive Release Rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode isON.
3. Click Adaptive Release: Advanced on the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive Release:
Advanced pageappears.
4. Click the check box next to the rule you would like to copy and select Copy in the Action Bar.
5. An exact replica of the rule appears at the bottom of the list. It has the same name as the original
rule with ‘Copy of’ in the beginning.
6. Click Edit next to the new rule to make changes to the name or criteria.
How to Edit an Adaptive Release Rule
Rules are managed and edited from the Adaptive Release page. The criteria of a rule and the name of a rule are
managedseparately.
Follow the steps below to change the name of a rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Click Adaptive Release: Advanced on the contextual menu for the item.
4. Select Manage from the contextual menu for the Rule that needs to be edited. The Manage Rule
pageappears.
5. Edit the Rule Name and select Submit.
Follow the steps below to edit the criteria of an advanced rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Click Adaptive Release: Advanced on the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive Release:
Advanced pageappears.
4. Select Edit Criteria next to the Rule that needs to be updated. The Manage Criteria page appears.
Criteria may be added, edited, and deleted. Select OK when the changes are complete.
5. Repeat Step 4 to change any additional criteria related to the content item.
Follow the steps below to edit a basic Adaptive Release Rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Click Adaptive Release on the contextual menu for the item.
4. Makeany necessary changes and select Submit.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
Note: These steps may also be used to edit a rule with one criteria created on the Advanced Adaptive Release
page.
How to Delete an Adaptive Release Rule
Basic Adaptive Release rules can also be deleted from the Adaptive Release: Advanced page.
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Click Adaptive Release: Advanced on the contextual menu for the item.
4. Select the rule to delete. Multiple rules may be selected. Click Delete.
Adding Adaptive Release Criteria
About Adaptive Release Criteria
Criteria are the parts that define an Adaptive Release rule. Instructors can apply one or more criteria to each
rule. For example, one rule may make content available after a specific date, while another rule, with multiple
criteria, may make content available to a Course Group after a specific date.
The following table describes available criteria:
Criteria
Description
Date and Time
Display content based on a date or time. Options include:
l After a specific date
l
Until a specific date
l
Within a time frame
Username
Display content to one or more users.
Course Groups
Display content to members of one or more Groups in a Course.
Grade Center Column
Display content item to users based a grade or a calculated column.
Grade Center: Item
with at least one
attempt
Display content based on a recorded attempt by the user, instead of a required score.
For example, the user has completed the Test or a grade has been entered for an
Assignment.
Grade Center: Item
with a specific score
Display content based on a required score. Options include:
l
Less than or equal to
l
Greater than or equal to
l
Equal to
Grade Center: Item
with a score betweenX
andY
Display content based on a range of scores. For example, if a Student scores between
85 and 100 on an exam.
Review Status an item
Display content to the user only after an associated item has been marked Reviewed by
the user.
About Date Criteria
Date criteria enable content to be displayed according to date and time. Content may be displayed after a
specific date, until a specific date, or within a time frame.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
An Instructor can set date restrictions when creating or editing an item, when adding a Date criterion in an
Adaptive Release Rule, or both. For example, an item is made available during creation from December 1 to
December 30. Adaptive Release is used to extend the availability to a small group of users until January 15.
Note: If the date is changed on the item itself, for example on the Edit Item page, and Adaptive Release date
criteria already exist, a warning message appears. The same is true if the Instructor attempts to add Adaptive
Release date criteria and a date for the item has been set on the Add or Edit item page.
How to Add Date Criteria to a Rule
Date criteria are created with the same information for Basic Adaptive Release rules and Advanced Adaptive
Release rules Instructors may add more criteria to a rule, in addition to date criteria, to further narrow the
availability of anitem.
Follow the steps below to add date criteria to an advanced Adaptive Release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced pageappears.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
-orSelect Edit from the contextual menu for an existing rule on the Adaptive Release page to edit its
criteria.
6. Select Date in contextual menu. The Date page appears.
Date Criteria
Setting
Display an item after a
specific date
Click the check box next to Display After. Select a date and time in the
drop-down lists below. The item will appear to users after this date and
time.
Display an item until a
specific date
Click the check box next to Display Until. Select a date and time in the
drop-down lists below. The item will appear to users until this date and
time.
Display an item after a
specific date and until a
specific date
Click the check box next to Display After and Display Until. Select a date
and time in the drop-down lists below. The item will appear to users
between these dates and times.
About Membership Criteria
Membership criteria allow content to be displayed according to username and Course Group. The Instructor
may set up criteria that use one or both of these options. The Instructor may make this item available to a
Course Group, or the Instructor may make this item available to a Course Group and other specific individuals.
Make Content Available to Specific Users
Membership criteria are useful for making content available to a specific user or set of users. For example, if a
Student requests a way to earn more points for class the Instructor may agree, but decide to not offer this
option to the entire Course. The Instructor creates an extra credit content item and only releases it to the single
Student through the Membershipcriteria.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
Make Content Available to Groups
Membership criteria may be used to manage content for Groups within a Course. For example, a class is
divided into three groups and each group has a different Assignment. They are instructed to learn the topic and
then present the material to the entire class. The Instructor has materials for each Group. The Instructor loads
the material for Group 1 as content items, and releases the material only to Group 1. Then the Instructor loads
the material for Group 2 as content items, and releases that material only to Group 2. This same process is
used for Group 3. When a Group presents the material to the class, the Instructor may then change the release
rule on that material so it becomes available to the entire class. (Alternatively, if the Instructor knows the date
of presentation ahead of time, the Date criteria may be used to make the content available for the rest of the
class.)
How to Add Membership Criteria to a Rule
Membership criteria are created with the same information for Basic Adaptive Release rules and Advanced
Adaptive Release rules. Instructors may add more criteria to a rule, in addition to Membership criteria, to further
narrow the availability of anitem.
Follow the steps below to add a Membership criterion to an advanced Adaptive Release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced pageappears.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
-orSelect Edit from the contextual menu for an existing rule on the Adaptive Release page to edit its
criteria.
6. Select Membership in the contextual menu. The Membership page appears.
Membership
Criteria
Setting
Make
In the Username field enter one or more Usernames, separated by commas or click
content
available to
specific
users
Browse to search the system. Use the Search for Course User window to search for
and select Usernames to add to the field. Selected Usernames appear at the bottom of
the section.
Make
All Groups in the Course appear in Available Course Groups, even those that are
content
available to
Groups
unavailable. Use the arrows to move Groups from the Available Course Groups field to
the Selected Course Groups field. Content is displayed to all of the Groups that appear
in the Selected field.
About Grade Center Criteria
Grade Center criteria can be used to release content based on item attempt, item score, or a calculated column.
A number of different score values may be selected, including the following:
l
A score greater than a set value
l
A score less than a set value
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
l
A score that equals a specific value
l
A score that falls within a range ofvalues
Make Content Available Based on Grade Center Attempt
Grade Center criteria are useful for Instructors who want to make content visibility dependent on attempts
made by Students on Tests or Assignments. For example, an Instructor prepares a pre-test for Students to
complete before review materials are made available. This enables Students to see which topics they should
study more.
End-of-term surveys are another use for attempt-based criterion. Some Institutions require that an end-of-term
survey is attempted at least once before the final exam is made available.
Make Content Available Based on Grade Center Score or Calculated
Column
Grade Center criteria can make content available based on a specific score or a calculated column in the Grade
Center. Many Courses rely on progression, where Students must learn one topic before moving to another. If an
Instructor wants Students to have passed the Assignment on basic verb conjugation before viewing the
material on advanced verb conjugation, the Instructor can create a rule that allows only Students who have
received at least a 70 on the basic verb conjugation Assignment to view the advanced verb conjugation
material.
Instructors can also establish a range of values for content release, such as releasing an extra credit item to
users who scored between 60 and 80, and releasing a different item with more intense remediation for Students
scoring below 60. In this case, the Instructor creates two content items and releases one to users who fall into
the 60-80 range and releases the other to Students who received less than 60.
How to Add Grade Center Criteria to a Rule
Grade Center criteria are created with the same information for Basic Adaptive Release rules and Advanced
Adaptive Release rules. Instructors may add more criteria to a rule, in addition to Grade Center criteria, to
further narrow the availability of an item.
Tip: Only one Grade Center item can be selected for each Grade Center criterion. However, multiple Grade
Center criteria may be added to a single Advanced Adaptive Release rule. For example, within a single rule, an
Instructor may specify a criterion that makes Project A available after Survey #1 is complete and another
criterion that makes Project A available after a score greater than 70 on Test #2 is recorded. In this example,
only Students who have completed Survey #1 and scored higher than 70 on Test #2 may view Project A.
Follow the steps below to add a Grade Center criterion to an advanced Adaptive Release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced pageappears.
4. Click Create Rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. In the Create Criteria drop-down list, select Grade. The Grade page appears.
6. Select the Grade Center item for this criterion in the Select Grade Center Column drop-down list.
Grade Center items are listed by their categories, such as Assignment or Discussion. Possible
points are also included to help Instructors determine the score range.
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Student Access to Content > Adaptive Release
Grade Center Criteria
Setting
Make content available based
on Grade Center attempt
Select the option User has at least one attempt for this item to
release the content based on a submitted attempt rather than the
score achieved.
Make content available based
on less than, greater than, or
equal to score
Use the options in the Score drop-down list to select LessThan,
Greater Than, or Equal To. Type a numeric score in the box for
the score threshold.
Make content available for a
score within a range of values
Select the option Score Betweenor Percent Between. Type the
range of values in theboxes.
About Review Status Criteria
Review Status criteria are used to release content based on the user’s review of a specific content item. For
example, the Instructor may create a criterion that makes Assignment #1 available only after Students have
marked Homework #1 reviewed.
How to Add Review Status Criteria to a Rule
Review Status criteria are created with the same information for Basic Adaptive Release rules and Advanced
Adaptive Release rules. Instructors may add more criteria to a rule, in addition to Review Status, to further
narrow the availability of an item. Review Status may be applied to a Learning Module but may not be applied to
individual files within a Learning Module.
Follow the steps below to add a Review Status criterion to an advanced Adaptive Release rule:
1. Open a Content Area from the Control Panel.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Select Adaptive Release: Advanced from the contextual menu for the item. The Adaptive
Release: Advanced pageappears.
4. Click Create Rule in the Action Bar to add a rule. The Add Rule page appears.
5. Type a name for the rule and click Submit.
-orSelect Edit from the contextual menu for an existing rule on the Adaptive Release page to edit its
criteria.
6. Select Review Status in the Action Bar. The Review Status page appears.
7. Select Browse to open the Course Map. Click an item in the map to select it for Review Status
criteria. Review Status will be turned on for this item. Users must mark the item reviewed before
the content including this rule is available.
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Course Tools > Managing Announcements
Course Tools
Managing Announcements
Announcements post timely information critical to course success. The instructor can add, edit, and delete
announcements from the Announcements page. This is an ideal place to post time-sensitive material including:
l
When Assignments are due
l
Changes to the syllabus
l
Corrections/clarifications of materials
l
Exam schedules
When adding an Announcement, Instructors can also send the announcement as an email to students in the
course. This ensures that students receive the announcement even if they do not log in to the course.
Announcements are accessed from the Control Panel under Course Tools.
How to Create Announcements
Announcements will appear in the order posted, with the most recent announcements appearing first.
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Announcements.
2. From the action bar, click Create Announcement.
3. Provide a Subject and Message.
4. Set the Duration.
Select Not Date Restricted to keep the announcement visible until it is manually removed.
--OR-Select Date Restricted to limit the announcement's visibility by date and time.
5. If the Announcement is Date Restricted, select the Display After and/or Display Until check boxes
and type the dates and times. Alternatively, use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and the popup Time Selection Menu to select dates and times.
6. Select the Override User Notification Settings check box to send students an email containing
the announcement. The email will be sent to all students, even those who choose not to receive
announcement notifications through email.
7. Optionally, link to a course area, tool, or item using the Browse button.
8. Click Submit.
Note: Notifications settings are managed by the local Blackboard administrator. Consult the Blackboard
administrator or computing help desk for assistance with announcement notifications.
How to Reorder Announcements
Announcements appear below the repositionable bar in the order posted, with the most recent announcement
appearingfirst.
To pin an announcement to the top of the list, drag it above the repositionable bar reading, "New
announcements appear below this line". This will keep the announcement at the top of the list and prevent new
announcements from superseding it.
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Course Tools > About Blackboard Scholar
How to Edit Announcements
Click Edit from the contextual menu of the Announcement you wish to edit. Make your changes and Submit.
How to Delete Announcements
To delete an Announcement, click Delete from the contextual menu of the Announcement. Confirm the
deletion. This action is final and cannot be undone.
About Blackboard Scholar
Blackboard Scholar is built right into Blackboard Learn, for easy integration of relevant, reliable resources and
dynamic streams from Scholar, directly into the course. The Blackboard Scholar page offers users to register
with Blackboard Scholar and to turn external links into Blackboard Scholar bookmarks.
How to Register with Blackboard Scholar
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Blackboard Scholar.
2. Click Register/View Scholar Start Page.
3. Type Username andPassword.
4. Click Login.
How to Import External Links into Blackboard Scholar
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Blackboard Scholar.
2. Click Copy External Links to Blackboard Scholar bookmarks.
3. Select the links.
4. Click Submit.
To Learn More
l
The Scholar web site: http://www.scholar.com
l
The Scholar Wiki site: http://wiki.scholar.com
Contacts
Contacts is a place where you can add profile information about yourself and other staff that is distributed to
students. This is a good place to add officer hours, phone numbers, and other links to help students identify
people who have a role in the course.
Accessing Contacts
You can access the Contacts tool from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Contacts
Two Default Options
Access the Contacts tool using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Contacts.
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Contacts.
How to Create or Edit a Contact
You can add or edit Contacts through the Create Contact or Edit Contact page. The fields on the Create
Contact page and Edit Contact page are the same. The Create Contact page opens with empty fields while
the Edit Contact page opens with a profile already populated.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Contacts.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Contacts.
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2. On the Contacts page, click Create Contact.
-ORTo edit a profile, click Edit from the contextual menu.
3. On the Create Contact page, type the necessary Profile Information.
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Course Tools > Contacts
4. Select Yes to make the profile available to students. If No is selected, none of the information
provided on the page will appear to students.
5. Attach a profile image of your contact. Click Browse to search for a file. This image will be included
next to the profile on the Contacts page.
Note: The image size should be 150 x 150 pixels.
6. Type the URL for the contact’s home page. When adding a URL, include the full address and
protocol for example http://www.blackboard.com. This link appears with the profile on the
Contacts page.
7. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Contacts
Result
The Contact's profile appears on the Contacts page.
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Course Tools > Contacts
How to Create or Edit a Folder
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Contacts.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Contacts.
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Course Tools > Contacts
2. On the Contacts page, click Create Folder.
-ORTo edit a profile, click Edit from the contextual menu.
3. On the Create Folder page, select a Name from the drop-down list or enter a new name.
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Course Tools > Contacts
4. Select a color for the folder name.
5. Type a description of the folder in the Text field.
6. Select Yes to make the folderavailable.
7. Click Submit.
Result
The folder appears on the Contacts page.
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Course Tools > Contacts
How to Add a Contacts Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Contacts tool often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click
access to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Contacts.
5. Select the Available to Users checkbox.
6. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students, or permit guests to access the link .
Course Calendar
You can use the Course Calendar to provide students with dates for course related events. Course Calendar
events appear to all members of the course. If students access the calendar while in your course, they will only
see the entries you have added. If they access the calendar from the My Institution tab, it includes the
following:
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Their personal entries
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Entries for all courses in which they are enrolled
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Entries for any organizations in which they are enrolled
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Institution-wide events
Common entries you may include in the Course Calendar are:
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Section meetings
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Assignment due dates
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Exams
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Guest speakers
Accessing the Course Calendar
You can access the Course Calendar from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
Two Default Options
Access the Course Calendar using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Calendar.
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Course Calendar.
How to Add a Course Event
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Calendar.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Course Calendar.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
2. On the Course Calendar page, click Create Course Event on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Course Event page, type the Event Name.
4. Type the Event Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and add
files, images, external links, multimedia, andMashups.
Note: There is a 4,000 character limit to Event Descriptions.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
5. Type the Event Date. Optionally, use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar to select the date.
6. Type the Event Start Time and Event End Time. Optionally, use the pop-up Time Selection
Menu to select the times.
7. Click Submit.
Result
The Event Name appears as link on the Course Calendar. Click the link to display the Event Description.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
How to Delete or Edit a Course Event
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Calendar.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Course Calendar.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
2. To delete a course event, on the Course Calendar page, navigate to the date of the event to
delete. Select Delete from the contextual menu for the event.
-ORTo edit a course event, on the Course Calendar page, navigate to the date of the event to edit.
Select Edit from the contextual menu for the event.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
How to Use the Calendar Jump To
You can view the calendar by day, week, month, year or by specific date. If viewed by month, only the first few
characters of the event title appear on the Calendar. Click the event link for details.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Calendar.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Course Calendar.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
2. On the Course Calendar page, click Jump To.
3. On the Calendar Quick Jump pop-up window, type a date in the Select a Date field (using the
mm/dd/yyyy format) or use the Date Selection Calendar to select a date.
4. Select the Month, Week, or Day options toSelect the type of view.
5. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Course Calendar
How to Add a Calendar Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Course Calendar often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click
access to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Calendar.
5. Select the Available to Users checkbox.
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Course Tools > Email
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students. For example, if you intend to use the Course Calendar after week three, you can create all
the events you need at the beginning of the term and hide the link until it is needed.
Email
You can send email to individuals who participate in your course using the Send Email function. Emails are sent
to individual users or to groups of users within the course, such as all Teaching Assistants. A copy of this email
is sent to the sender by default.
You can send email to the following people in a course:
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All Users: Sends email to all users in the course.
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All Groups: Sends email to all of the groups in a specified course.
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All Student Users: Sends an email to all students in the course.
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All Teaching Assistant Users: Sends email to all of the Teaching Assistants in a specified course.
All Instructor Users: Sends email to all of the instructors for a specified course.
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All Observer Users: Sends email to all of the observers for a specified course.
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Single/ Select Users: Sends email to select users.
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Single/ Select Groups: Sends email to select groups.
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Single/ Select Observer users: Send email to a single observer or select observers in thecourse.
Note: Recipients of each email will not see the email addresses of other recipients.
Instructors cannot send email to others using the internet with the Send Email function.
Before You Begin
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Blackboard Learn keeps no record of sent emails. You will receive a copy of your email in the Inbox of
your external email account. Keep a copy of important messages in case you need them at a later
date.
Blackboard Learn will NOT recognize files or email addresses with spaces or special characters,
such as #, &, %, and $. In general, use only alphanumeric file names and addresses in Blackboard
Learn.
Do not send email through Blackboard Learn without content in the subject line. Leaving the subject
line blank can prevent the message from being delivered.
Accessing Email
You can access the Send Email tool from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Email
Two Default Options
Access the Email tool using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Send
Email.
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Send Email.
How to Send an Email
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Send Email.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Select Email.
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Course Tools > Email
2. On the Send Email page, click one of the options listed to send the email, for example, Single/
Select Users.
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Course Tools > Email
3. For the Single/ Select Users or Single/ Select Groups, select the recipients in the Available to
Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move them into the Selected box. A back arrow is
available to move a user out of the recipient list. Click Invert Selection and highlighted users are
no longer highlighted and those users that are not selected will be highlighted.
4. Type your Subject.
5. Type a Message.
6. Optionally, select the Return Receipt box to send a copy of the message to the sender.
7. Click Attach a file to browse for file from your computer. You can attach multiple files. After you
add one file, the option to attach another file appears.
8. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Email
Note: To select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last names. To
select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed. You can also
select all course members with the Select All function.
Result
A receipt page appears after the message is sent listing all recipients. The receipt page does not confirm that
users received the message. It only confirms that the message was sent.
How to Add an Email Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access their email often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access to
the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Tool Link.
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Course Tools > Email
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Email.
5. Select the Available to Users checkbox.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students.
Troubleshooting
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Your email address is not visible unless you choose to make it visible to course members. Find this
setting in the page header above the tabs at: My Places > Personal Information > Set Privacy
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Course Tools > Glossary
Options. From this page, you can choose the information you want course members to see.
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You can change your external email address used in your course. Change your email address by
going to My Places > Personal Information > Edit Personal Information. Type your preferred
email address and click Submit.
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Email clients, such as Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL may identify email from Blackboard Learn as junk
mail and either automatically delete the email or move it to a junk mail folder. If you have problems,
check your user preferences or options for settings regarding the handling of junk email. You can also
change youremail address.
Glossary
Each course has its own glossary of terms. Each entry consists of the term and an accompanying definition.
Instructors must enable the Glossary before students can view it. When the Glossary is ready for students to
view, make sure the Glossary tool is available.
The Glossary controls all of the entries in the Course Glossary.
Accessing the Glossary
You can access the Glossary from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You may
also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Glossary
Two Default Options
Access the Glossary using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Glossary.
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Glossary.
About Creating a Glossary
If you plan to build a large glossary, you can upload a file containing all, or most of the terms, and then update
the glossary by manually adding more terms. This is the most efficient way to create a large glossary for a
course.
Manually adding Glossary terms is especially useful for a short Glossary consisting of a few terms or for
updating terms in an existing Glossary.
Note: Use the Check Spelling function to make sure there are no misspellings in your terms and definitions.
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Course Tools > Glossary
About Uploading a Glossary File
To create a glossary file for uploading, type the terms and definitions in spreadsheet software, such as
Microsoft® Excel®. Files must have one term and one definition per line, with the term in one column and the
definition in the next column. Save the file as .csv (comma separated values).
Alternatively, you may use a simple text editor to create your glossary file. With one entry per line, separate the
term from the definition by a comma or by a tab. Next, save the file in .csv format or .txt format.
After you have created your glossary file, upload it using the Glossary tool. You have the option to either update
an existing Glossary or replace it altogether. After the Glossary has been uploaded, you can make further
updates by adding terms manually or uploading another file.
Note: If duplicate terms are in the uploaded file, they will replace those in the existing Glossary.
Glossary File Format
Within the CSV file, each entry is separated by a hard return and the term and the definition are separated by a
comma. For example:
"Apple","A red fruit."
"Onion", "A vegetable."
Although it is not always necessary to enclose the term and the definition in quotation marks, Blackboard
strongly recommends this practice to avoid processing errors.
Example:
"Apple","A delicious fruit, usually <b>red</b> in color. Apples are grown all over the
world and are an important religious and mythical symbol to several cultures. The Pacific
Northwest region of the United States, particularly Washington state, is famous for its
apples.<br><br> However, most refined apple lovers agree that the best apples come from
the Hudson River valley area of New York. Perhaps this is why New York City is nicknamed,
""The Big Apple."""
"Onion","Onions are a tasty vegetable with green stalks and a white, yellow, or red bulb.
For the best-tasting Onions, visit the \"Onion Capital of the World\" Pine Island, New
York."
Quotation marks that appear in a definition or a term must be escaped. This means that the quotation mark
must be identified as part of the definition or the mark will be read as the end of the definition. Quotation marks
may be escaped using a backslash (\") or another set of quotation marks ("").
Batch Files
Batch files are .txt files that hold large quantities of information to upload to the system. Each batch utility
contains specific instructions on creating the batch file. The following batch file standards are universal.
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Each file must be one of the supported file types: .txt or .csv.
Note: Microsoft® Excel® versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes in every field if
the worksheet is saved as a .csv file.
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Each file must be in DOS format. Files in MAC or UNIX format must be converted to DOS.
Each field must be enclosed in double quotation marks. For example: "ENG_201"
If quotation marks appear in a field, use an escape character to indicate that the next character does
not mark the end of the field. The escape character is a backslash (\). For example: "\"ENG_201\""
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Each field must be separated with one of the following delimiters: comma, colon, or tab. When
selecting AUTO, only one type of delimiter may be used in each batch file. For example: "ENG_
201","English Literature" or " "ENG_201":"English Literature"
Each record must be on a separate line. For example:
"ENG_201","English Literature" "ENG_201","English
Literature"
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Do not include blank lines between records. The blank line will be processed and return an error.
Blackboard recommends that each batch file not exceed 500 records because of timeout restrictions
associated with most browsers.
How to Upload a Glossary File
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Glossary.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Glossary.
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2. On the Glossary page, click Upload Glossary from the Upload/Download drop-down list.
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3. On the Upload Glossary page, click Browse to locate and upload the file.
4. Select one of the upload file options.
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Add the Terms in this File to the Glossary: Select this option to supplement the
existing Glossary with a list of new terms. If a term appears in both the existing Glossary
and the file, the definition in the file will replace the definition in the existing Glossary. If
the same term appears two or more times in the file, the last definition for the term will
appear in the Glossary.
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Delete all Glossary Terms and Replace with the Terms in this File: Select this
option to delete the existing Glossary and replace it with the terms in the upload file.
5. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Glossary
Note: Turn Edit Mode to OFF and view the Glossary to make sure the terms are correct before the
Glossary is made available to students.
How to Create a Glossary Term
Note: Use the Check Spelling function to make sure there are no misspellings in your terms and definitions.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Glossary.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Glossary.
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2. On the Glossary page, click Create Term.
3. On the Create Term page, type the Term.
4. Type the Definition in the text box.
5. Click Submit.
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Result
The term is added to the Glossary.
How to Download a Glossary
Downloading a Glossary creates a comma delimited data file (.CSV) of the Glossary. Each entry is separated
by a hard return and within each entry the term and the definition are separated by a comma.
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Course Tools > Glossary
Downloading a Glossary is useful for adding terms to another course. The Glossary is edited offline and then
uploaded to another course.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Glossary.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Glossary.
2. On the Glossary page, click Download Glossary from the Upload/Download drop-down list.
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3. On the Download Glossary page, click Download.
4. On the pop-up window, select Save As and click OK to save the glossary file to your computer.
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Course Tools > Glossary
Note: The Glossary may be edited in a spreadsheet program such as Excel or in a text editor like
Notepad and then uploaded to the Glossary. Make sure to keep the formatting of the file intact to
ensure a smooth upload.
How to Add a Glossary Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Glossary often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access
to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Glossary.
5. Select the Available to Users checkbox.
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Course Tools > Messages
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students.
Messages
Messages are private and secure text-based communication that occurs within a course and among course
members. Although similar to email, you must be logged into the course to read and send messages. Using the
Messages tool instead of the Email tool can also be more reliable. Problems with incorrect or out-of-date
student email addresses will not affect coursecommunication.
Students are not notified if they receive a new message, so advise them to make routine checks for new
messages. Both incoming and outgoing messages are saved in the Messages tool.
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Course Tools > Messages
Messages are organized in folders, marked as Read or Unread, moved to other folders, or deleted. The
Messages area has two folders, Inbox and Sent that cannot be deleted or renamed.
Note: The Blackboard administrator can choose to allow or not allow users to create personal folders. By
default, users may not create personalfolders.
Accessing Messages
You can access the Messages tool from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu.
Two Default Options
Access Messages using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Messages.
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Course Tools > Messages
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Messages.
How to Send a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, click Create Message on the Action Bar.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Compose Message page, select To and a list of course members appears.
4. In the Select Recipients: To line box, select the recipients and click the right-pointing arrow to
move them to the Recipients box. You can use the Cc, and Bcc functions to send the message to
those users that may be interested in the message, but are not the primary recipients. When using
Bcc, other recipients do not know that the users listed in the Bcc field are receiving the message.
5. Type theSubject.
6. Type the Body. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files, images,
external links, multimedia, and Mashups. You may only upload from Course Files or the Content
Collection.
7. In the Attachment section, optionally, add an attachment from your computer. You may not see
this function. The Blackboard administrator must enable this function.
8. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Create a Message Folder
You can create personal folders to help organize your messages. Personal folders are only for storing
messages. Messages received always appear in the Inbox folder first and messages sent always appear in the
Sent folder. Once a message appears, it can be moved into a personal folder.
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Course Tools > Messages
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, click Create Folder on the Action Bar.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Add Folder page, type the name of the new personal folder in the Name box.
4. Click Submit.
Result
The new personal folder is created.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to View a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Reply to a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
4. On the View Message page, click Reply to compose a message to the sender or Reply All to
reply to the sender and all other recipients of the message already populated in the To: field.
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5. On the Reply to Message page, compose your message. You can add other users to the
message. The Body of the message is already populated with the text of the original message.
6. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Forward a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
4. On the View Message page, click Forward to send a copy of the message to someone else.
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5. On the Forward Message page, select the recipients in the Select Recipients: To line box and
click the right-pointing arrow to move them to the Recipients box.
6. Click Submit.
Note: To select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last names. To
select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed. You can also
select all course members with the Select All function.
How to Move a Message
You can move messages from any folder to a personal folder. Using personal folders is a good way to organize
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messages so they are easy to find later. Use the Move Message function to move messages from one folder to
another. Messages cannot be moved to the Sent folder or the Inbox folder.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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Course Tools > Messages
3. On the Folder page, select the check box for each message and click Move.
4. On the Move Message page, select a folder from the Select a Personal Folder drop-down list.
This is the folder where you will store your messages. The messages are deleted from the old
folder after they have been moved to the new folder.
5. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Delete a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
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2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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3. On the Folder page, select the check box for each message and click Delete. This action is final
and cannot beundone.
How to Print a Message
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Messages.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Messages.
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2. On the Messages page, select the folder that contains the message.
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3. On the Folder page, click the link in the message's Subject column.
4. On the View Message page, click Print. The message is printed using the Web browser's print
settings.
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Course Tools > Messages
How to Add a Messages Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access Messages often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access to
the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Messages.
5. Select the Available to Users checkbox.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students.
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Course Tools > Roster
Roster
The Roster tool, available to Students in the Course Tools area, allows Users to view a searchable list of
Students enrolled in a Course.
Instructors wishing to access a list of Users enrolled in a course should access the Users page in the Groups
and Users section of the Control Panel.
The Roster pulls information from the system's Personal Information tool. Students can access Personal
Information from the Tools panel of any tab, or from the My Places link in the Blackboard header. Within this
tool, Students can choose which information is available to the User Directory and the Course Roster.
The System Administrator can make the Personal Information, User Directory, or Roster tools unavailable.
Tasks
Instructors use the Tasks tool to organize projects or activities (referred to as tasks) by defining task priority
and tracking task status. A user can create tasks and post them to the Tasks page. Each user can post
personal tasks to their page. Instructors can post tasks to users participating in their courses, and
administrators can post tasks to all users’ Tasks pages. Task information is arranged in columns that display
the priority, task name, status, and due date.
Tasks are also available as a Course Group Tool for tasks that are specific to a smaller group within a course.
Accessing Tasks
You can access Tasks from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You may also add
a customized link to the Course Menu.
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Course Tools > Tasks
Two Default Options
Access Tasks using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Tasks.
Viewing Tasks
By default, tasks are listed from highest priority to lowest—not by date. To view tasks listed by due date, click
the Due Date heading. Use the status columns to view how many students have reported their progress or
completed atask.
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Course Tools > Tasks
How to Create or Edit a Course Task
Instructors can create or edit tasks by accessing the Create Course Task page or Edit Course Task page.
The fields on the Create Course Task page and Edit Course Task page are the same. The Create Course
Task page opens with empty fields where as the Edit Course Task page opens with a task already populated.
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Tasks.
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2. On the Tasks page, click Create Course Tasks on the Action Bar.
-ORTo edit an existing task, click Edit from the contextual menu for a particular task.
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3. On the Create Course Task page, type a Task Name.
4. Type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files,
images, external links, multimedia, andMashups.
5. Type a Due Date, or use the Date Selection Calendar to select the date.
6. Select the level of priority of your task from the Priority drop-down list. You can assign a priority of
Low, Normal, or High.
7. Click Submit.
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Course Tools > Tasks
How to Delete a Course Task
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Tasks.
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2. On the Task page, select Delete from the contextual menu for the appropriate task. This action is
final and cannot be undone.
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Course Tools > Tasks
How to View Task Progress
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Tasks.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Tasks.
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Course Tools > Tasks
2. On the Task page, click a task title to access the View Task page. The View Task page displays
all students' progress for thattask.
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Course Tools > Tasks
How to Add a Tasks Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access Tasks often, you can add a link to the Course Menu for one-click access to the
tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Tasks.
5. Select the Available to Users checkbox.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the
link from students. For example, if you intend to use Tasks after week three, you can create all the tasks you
need at the beginning of the term and hide the link until it is needed.
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Interactive Tools > Blogs
Interactive Tools
Blogs
About Blogs
A Blog—a shorthand term that means Web log—is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and
intended for general public consumption. In Blackboard Learn, only enrolled users can view and author Blogs.
Blogs encourage Students to clearly express their ideas and addresses the need to expand various aspects of
social learning. Blogs are an effective means of gaining insight into Students' activities and provide a way to
share the knowledge and materials collected.
In Blackboard Learn, Blogs consist of two elements:
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Blog entries: Text, images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments added by Curse members
open forcomments.
Comments: Remarks or responses to Blog entries made by other Course members, including the
Instructor.
An Instructor can choose to allow students to participate in Blogs in three ways:
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Course Blogs: Only the Instructor can create a Course Blog and determines the topic to be
addressed. All Course members can add Blog entries and add comments to Blog entries.
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Individual Blogs: Only the Instructor can create a Blog for individual Course members to use. Only
the owner of the Blog is able to add Blog entries. All other Course members can view and add
comments.
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Group Blogs: If the Instructor enables the Blogs tool for the Group, all Group members can add Blog
entries and make comments on Blog entries, building upon one another. Any Course member can
view Group Blogs, but can only add comments. A Group Blog is different from a threaded discussion
as each entry does not need to continue the discussion of the previous entry, but can be a complete
thought on its own.
The Instructor can edit and delete entries in any of the three Blog types and delete user comments.
Creating a Blog
Blog writing assignments are another medium for reflective learning. With this type of assignment, Students are
expected to display their research, analytical, and communication skills through a series of commentaries
meant forpublic consumption and comment.
In the course environment, Blogs are only able to be viewed by enrolled users. Similar to Journals, Blogs can be
used as a graded assignment or ungraded to gather opinions and information.
Instructors can create one or more Blogs for use by Students in their courses. Blog topics must be created
before Students can add their entries.
How to Create a Blog Topic
1. Access theCourse.
2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
3. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
4. Select Blogs.
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5. On the Blogs listing page, click Create Blog on the Action Bar.
6. On the Create Blog page, type a Name for the Blog.
7. Type optional Instructions for the Blog. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
theattachment.
8. Under Blog Availability, select the Yes option to make it available to users.
9. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit the availability of the Blog.
Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date and time
selections.
10. Under Blog Participation, select Individual to All Students or Course. Select Allow
Anonymous Comments for Individual Blogs or Allow Anonymous Entries and Commentsfor
Course and Group Blogs, if needed.
11. Under Blog Settings, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries.
12. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries.
13. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Delete Comments.
14. Select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible
will apply to one or more entries made by the user to the Blog topic. Once a Blog is set to be graded,
a column is created for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable and cannot be set to No
grading.
15. Click Submit.
The Blog topics appear in alphabetical order on the Blogs listing page. Columns can be sorted by clicking the
column title or caret.
Creating Blog Entries
Instructors and users can create Blog entries and other Course members can make comments on the entries.
Instructors can use Blog entries to provide structure for discussions on class topics and other issues.
On the Blogs listing page, under each Blog title, Students can see if the Blog belongs to a Group, the Course, or
to Individual Students. Group Blogs can be read by all Course members, but to make an entry, the user must be
a Group member.
How to Create a Blog Entry
1. On the Blogs listing page, select a Blog title.
2. On the Blog's topic page, click Create Blog Entry on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Blog Entry page, type a Title for the Blog entry.
4. Type text in the Entry Message text box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
theattachment.
5. If enabled, select the check box for Post Entry as Anonymous, if appropriate.
6. Alternatively, under Blog Entry Files, browse for a file to attach to the Blog entry.
7. Click Post Entry to submit the Blog entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.
How to View Drafts
To view or add saved drafts, click View Drafts on the Action Bar on the Blogs listing page.
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Interactive Tools > Blogs
Commenting on a Blog
Because Blogs are meant to be read by others, Students can comment on one another’s Blog entries, whether
they belong to an individual, the Course, or a Group. The Instructor determines if comments can be made
anonymously or deleted. The Instructor can delete any user’s comment by clicking the X. Comments cannot be
edited after they are posted.
How to Comment on a Blog Entry
1. On the Blogs listing page, select a Blog title.
2. On the Blog’s topic page, select a Blog to view by selecting the user’s name in the side panel under
View Entries by. The user’s Blog entries open in the content frame.
3. Click Comment following the user’s entry. The Comment text box appears.
4. Type a comment in the Comment text box.
5. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the Comment text box to check the spelling of the content
before continuing.
6. If enabled, select the check box forComment on Entry as Anonymous, if appropriate.
7. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the entry to view the comment.
Editing and Managing Blogs
Instructors can edit basic properties of a Blog topic, including the name, instructions, availability, and some
settings. Once a Blog topic is designated for individuals or the Course, it cannot be changed to the other.
Instructors can edit any user's Blog entries and can delete Blog topics. Comments can be deleted by the
Instructor, but no user is allowed to edit Comments.
How to Edit a Blog
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Blogs listing page, click a Blog's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Edit .
4. On the Edit Blog page, make changes.
5. Click Submit.
How to Delete a Blog
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Blogs listing page, click a Blog's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Delete.
4. Click OK in the confirmation window. All entries and comments are deleted.
Note: When a graded Blog is selected for deletion, a Delete Confirmation page appears. Select the
appropriate check box or boxes to delete the Blog or the Blog and the Grade Center column.
How to Change the Availability of a Blog
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Blogs listing page, select the check box next to the appropriate Blog.
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Interactive Tools > Blogs
3. Point to Availability on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Make Available or Make Unavailable.
Troubleshooting Blog Management
If
Then
a Blog is deleted
while users are
posting
the Blog and all comments are deleted.
a Blog is made
unavailable while
users are posting
the Blog remains visible to the Instructor in Edit Mode, but does not appear to users.
the Allow Users to
Edit and Delete
Entries setting is
changed
entries remain, but users cannot edit them.
the Allow Users to comments remain and users cannot delete them.
Delete Comments
setting is changed
the Blog is setto
be graded
the setting cannot be changed. The Blog needs to be deleted and the Grade Center column
must be deleted from the Grade Center to remove it. The Grade Center column for the Blog
can also not be included in Grade Center calculations, if the Blog entries are needed, but will
not be graded.
Grading Blogs and Journals
Instructors can grade participation in Blogs and Journals for individuals and Groups. Once a Blog or Journal
topic is set to be graded, a grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center. Then, individual Student
and Group entries can be graded from the Blog or Journal topic page, where all entries and comments can be
referenced, as the grade is determined. An assigned grade can also be edited from the Blog or Journal topic
page and the Grade Center is updated. Students can view their Blog or Journal grades in the My Grades tool.
About Grading Blogs and Journals
Instructors can grade the quality of the discussion, as well as the number of entries and comments that are
made by an individual or a Course Group.
Grades for Blogs and Journals are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade
Center.
Instructors can determine whether or not users can view their own grades and feedback by editing the column
information in the Grade Center. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns.
A graded Blog or Journal topic cannot be changed to ungraded. Delete the graded Blog or Journal topic from the
Blogs or Journals listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded topic. Alternatively, to retain
entries, set the Blog or Journal Grade Center column to not be included in calculations.
The Blog topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and Course Groups. The side
panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
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About this Blog: Includes type, number of entries, and number of comments.
View Entries by: Users who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks, the
needs grading icon. Click a user's name to access the Blog Grade section, where Grades,
Feedback and Grading Notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this
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Interactive Tools > Blogs
section to navigate among users to grade or click a user's name in the list. Click Show Members
without Entries to see all users in the course; users who have not added entries are included in this
list. Click Hide Members without Entries to return to the list of users who have entries needing a
grade.
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Index: For a selected user or all Course members, view a list of entry titles added during the index
span—by month or by week.
The Journal topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and Course Groups. The
side panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
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About this Journal: Includes author, number of entries, and number of comments.
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More Journals: Users who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks, the
needs grading icon. Click a user's name to access the Journal Grade section, where Grades,
Feedback and Grading Notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this
section to navigate among users to grade or click a user's name in the list. Click Show Empty
Journals to see all users in the course; users who have not added entries are included in this list.
Click Hide Empty Journals to return to the list of users who have entries needing a grade.
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Index: For a selected user, view a list of entry titles added during the index span—by month or by
week.
How to Grade Blog Entries for Individuals
1. Access the Blog topic page and select the Blog entry or entries to grade by selecting the user’s
name in the side panel under View Entries by. The user’s Blog entry or entries open in the content
frame.
2. Under Blog Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box.
Note: If a Rubric has been created for this graded Blog, click View Rubric.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the Instructor and
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, andmultimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the Grade, Feedback, and Grading Notes to the Blog Grade section and
to the Grade Center.
6. The Grade, Feedback, or Grading Notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Blog Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the user's Grade Details page.
How to Grade Journal Entries for Individuals
1. Access the Journal topic page and select the Journal entry or entries to grade by selecting the
user's name in the side panel under More Journals. The user’s Journal entry or entries open in the
content frame.
2. Under Journal Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box.
Note: If a Rubric has been created for this graded Journal, click View Rubric.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the Instructor and
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
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Interactive Tools > Blogs
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, andmultimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the Grade, Feedback, and Grading Notes to the Journal Grade section
and to the Grade Center.
6. The Grade, Feedback, or Grading Notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Journal Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the user's Grade Details page.
Note: If a Rubric will be used to grade Blog or Journal entries, it must be created and added to the appropriate
Grade Center column in advance.
How to Delete a Gradable Blog or Journal
If a gradable Blog or Journal is no longer needed, it can be deleted. It is permanently deleted and the action
cannot be undone. On the Blogs or Journals listing page, select Delete from the contextual menu for the item
and the Delete Confirmation page appears.
There are two options on the Delete Confirmation page:
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Do not select check boxes: The Blog or Journal will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and
scores assigned are retained. For example, all Student entries have been graded and you want to
keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If the Blog or Journal is deleted, yet the
Grade Center column is retained, the column can be deleted from the Grade Center at any time.
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Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center AND the Blog or Journal are deleted.
For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the Blog or Journal entries in the final
grade, you can safely delete all.
Click Remove to complete the deletion.
How to Grade a Blog or Journal for all Group Members
A Group Blog or Journal is graded following the same steps as for an individual. When the entries are
submitted, all Group members' names appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading icon. When a
grade is added for a Group Blog or Group Journal, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the
Group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each Group member. All members
are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. The Instructor can read all the entries for the
Group Blog or Group Journal and add one grade on the Group Blog or Group Journal topic page.
Students can view their Group Blog or Group Journal grades in the My Grades tool and on the Group Blog or
Group Journal topic page by selecting their names.
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade
An individual Group member can be assigned a different grade than the Group by selecting his or her name to
access the Grade section. In the content frame, the individual member’s entries and comments appear. After
assigning a new Grade and Feedback for the individual member, the new information appears in the side panel.
The Grade the individual member received and the Grade the Group received are both shown.
If a Group member’s grade is changed, and a new Group grade is given, the new Group grade will not affect the
individual’s new grade. The individual’s new grade will not appear to the other Group members.
The Group grade and the individual Group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center in the column that
was automatically created when the graded Group Blog or Group Journal was enabled. Grayed out cells appear
in the Group Blog or Group Journal column for course members who are not part of the Group. A Group or
individual member's grade can also be edited from the Grade Center.
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Interactive Tools > Collaboration Tools
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
It is possible to revert a member’s edited grade to the original Group grade, which all Group members received.
Alternatively, edit the grade that was changed on the Group Blog or Group Journal page by selecting the user.
1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. After a member’s Group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original Group grade.
4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the main Grade Center page and view the edited grade
column. This grade change also appears on the Group Blog or Group Journal page when the user's
name is selected.
Group Deletion
If a Group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete Confirmation page
appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the Group, such as for a graded Group Blog or Group
Journal, the columns can be retained. On the Delete Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any
columns that need to be preserved.
Collaboration Tools
About Collaboration Tools
The Collaboration Tools allow users to participate in real-time lessons and discussions. Examples of these
sessions include real-time, online classroom discussions, guest speaker led sessions, Teaching Assistant
sessions, and live question-and-answer sessions. Recordings of sessions are created and made available for
review.
Java Plug-in
The Java 2 Run Time Environment is required to use the Collaboration Tools. The plug-in may be downloaded
from the page that appears when a user joins a Collaboration Session, or may be found at
http://java.sun.com/products/plugin/index.html.
Take care to uninstall any existing Java plug-ins before installing a new version.
How to Find this Page
Follow the steps below to open the Collaboration Sessions page.
1. Click Collaboration on the Course Menu or from the Control Panel.
The following table describes the functions available from this page.
To . . .
click . ..
filter the
sessions
listed on the
page
the arrow next to the drop-down list and select the type of session to display. Click Filter.
The filters include:
Show All – The default filter that displays all of the Collaboration Sessions.
Available Sessions – Displays all of the sessions that are in use. Sessions
with Recordings – Displays completed sessions that have an archive.Future
Sessions – Displays sessions that are scheduled to take place in the future.
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Interactive Tools > Collaboration Tools
To . . .
click . ..
search for a
session
the Session Name, Start Date, or End Date option and then enter a value in the field.
Click Search.
enter a
session
Join from the session's contextual menu.
access the
Recording from the contextual menu.
Recording for
a session
add a new
Create Collaboration Session
Collaboration
session
User Roles
There are two roles available for users in Collaboration Sessions: Passive and Active. The Session
Administrator controls user access and functions during a Collaboration session by assigning Passive or
Active roles. For example, Session Administrators determine which users can chat, send private messages, or
ask questions during a session by assigning specific Access Rights to the different roles. The Student icon will
appear in the Role column next to those Students who are Active.
Student roles can change throughout the Collaboration Session. Users who are Passive, but would like Active
rights, can signal the Session Administrator by clicking the hand icon. The Session Administrator then makes
theuser Active.
Macintosh and the Collaboration Tool
For those users that wish to use Safari, be aware that Pop-Up Window Blocking must disabled.
Accessible Collaboration Tool
An accessible version of the Collaboration Tool is available.
A link to this version appears when Join is selected on the Collaboration Sessions page. This link will open the
Accessible version of the Collaboration Tool. Links to items that appear in the Virtual Classroom, such as
items in the Course Map (Course Menu) and Group Browser, will appear in this version. Documents created on
the Whiteboard may be viewed if the Session Administrator takes a snapshot. A link will be created to the
snapshot for users toview.
The sound of a door opening or closing will be audible to all participants when a user enters or leaves a session
through the accessible version.
About Collaboration Sessions
Collaboration Sessions are real-time lessons and discussions. Two Collaboration Tools are available:
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Chat: Chat is an exchange of text messages online.
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Virtual Classroom: Virtual Classroom is a shared online environment where users can view links,
share desktops, exchange files, and chat. Both types of collaboration can be recorded and saved for
futurereview.
The Collaboration Session page is used to manage the Collaboration Tools available in Blackboard Learn. From
this page the Instructor can access all of the Collaboration Sessions for the Course, including those that have
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Interactive Tools > Collaboration Tools
already taken place and are recorded and those that are scheduled for the future. Instructors can also schedule
new Collaboration Sessions and make changes to those already scheduled from this page.
Default Collaboration Sessions
Each Course and Organization begins with two default Collaboration Sessions. The Lecture Hall is the default
Virtual Classroom, and Office Hours is the default Chat. These default sessions can be deleted. Removing a
session is irreversible.
Functions
The following functions are available from the Collaboration Sessions page:
To . . .
click . ..
create a new Collaboration
Session
Create Collaboration Session. The Create Collaboration Session page will
open. To learn more, see Creating and Editing Collaboration Sessions.
filter the sessions listed on the
page
the arrow next to the drop-down list and select the type of session to display.
Click Filter. The filtersinclude:
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Show All: The default filter that displays all of the Collaboration
Sessions.
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Available Sessions: Displays all of the sessions that are currently
being used.
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Sessions with Recordings: Displays completed sessions that have a
Recording.
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Future Sessions: Displays sessions that are scheduled to take place
in the future.
search for a session
the Session Name, Start Date or End Date option and then enter a value in the
field. Click Search.
enter a session
select Join from the contextual menu for the session.The Virtual Classroom or
Chat for that session will open.
access the Recordings for a
session
Recordings next to the session. The Session Recordings page will appear.
change the name, availability, or
tools used during the session
select Edit from the contextual menu for the session. The EditSession
Recordings page will appear.
delete a session
select Delete from the contextual menu for the session. This action is
irreversible.
Creating and Editing Collaboration Sessions
Instructors create new Collaboration Sessions using the Virtual Classroom or the Chat from the Create
Collaboration Session page. Instructors can schedule sessions for specific dates and times. The Create
Collaboration Session page and Edit Collaboration Session page function in a similar manner. The Create
Collaboration Session page opens with empty fields while the Edit Collaboration Session page opens with a
session alreadypopulated.
How to Find this Page
Follow the steps below to open the Create Collaboration Session page or the Edit Collaboration Session page.
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1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration.
2. Click Create Collaboration Session on the Collaboration Sessions page or select Edit from the
contextual menu for a Collaboration Session.
3. Complete the fields as appropriate.
Field
Description
Session Name
Session Name
Type the name of the new session.
Schedule Availability
Select Dates
of Availability
A Start and End date and time for the Collaboration Session is set but is not required.
If these are not selected then the session is always open and available for users.
Available
Select Yes to make the session available.
Collaboration Tool
Choose a Tool
for this
Session
Select Virtual Classroom or Chat.
Recording Sessions
About Recording Sessions
Session Recordings allow users to review Collaboration Sessions. Sessions are archived by date. Sessions
will not appear in the list of saved recording until the Session Administrator has stopped recording.
Note: If an Instructor does not stop the Recording and exit the Collaboration Session, the Recording will not
end and no information will be recorded in the Recording Duration column. Only when the Session
Administrator stops recording or ends the session will the Recording stop and the duration display.
How to Find this Page
Follow the steps below to access the Session Recordings page.
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration.
2. Click Recordings for a session using the contextual menu.
The table below describes the functions available on this page.
To . . .
click . ..
search for a Recording
in the Collaboration
Session
the Recording Name or Creation Date option in the Search by field.Type
the name of the Recording or the date it was created in the field and click
Search.
open a Recording
the Recording name.
change the name or
availability of a
Recording
Edit from the contextual menu. The Recording Properties page will appear.
delete a Recording
Delete. This action is irreversible.
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Interactive Tools > Collaboration Tools
Record Menu
Virtual Classroom and Chat sessions are recorded and saved for future playback. Recordings are started and
stopped, as well as paused and restarted by the Instructor during the session. A session can have more than
one recording. If the Instructor selects End to stop a session, then the recorder will automatically stop
recording thesession.
The table below details the buttons that appear on the Record menu.
Button
Description
Start
Click Start to begin recording a session. The user will be prompted to name theRecording.
Pause
Click Pause to pause a Recording once it has started. Click this button again to restart the recording.
Pause and restart will be marked and time stamped in the Recording.
Stop
Click Stop to end recording the session. When Stop is selected the Recording is completed and a stop
marker and time/date stamp will be included at the end of theRecording.
Bookmark Click Bookmark to insert a bookmark anywhere in the Recording of the session.
Recording the Whiteboard
The Snapshot button (shaped like a camera) on the Whiteboard Tool bar is used to capture the Whiteboard in
the Recording. The Instructor clicks the Snapshot button to capture an image of the Whiteboard. The image of
the Whiteboard in the Recording corresponds with when it was captured. The Snapshot button cannot be
activated unless the session is being recorded.
Session Recordings
The Instructor must make a Recording available before Students can view it. To learn more see Recording
Properties.
Recording Properties
The Recording Properties page allows the Instructor to change the name and availability of a Recording
Session.
Note: Recordings are available toStudents by default.
How to Find this Page
Follow the steps below to open the Recording Properties page.
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration.
2. Click Recordings from the contextual menu of a session.
3. Click Edit from the contextual menu for a Recording.
4. Complete the fields as appropriate.
Field
Description
Edit Recording Name
Recording Name
Type or edit the name of theRecording.
Availability to Students
Permit Participants to
View Recording
Select Yes and participants will be able to view this Recording. Select No and
this Recording will be unavailable to participants.
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Interactive Tools > Collaboration Tools
Virtual Classroom
About Virtual Classroom
The Virtual Classroom environment includes a shared White Board, a Group Browser, a Question and Answer
box, and a Map that can be used to navigate to places in the Course. The Session Administrator establishes
which tools in the Virtual Classroom users can access.
How to Open Virtual Classroom
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Collaboration.
2. Click Join from the contextual menu of a Virtual Classroom session.
Virtual ClassroomAreas
The table below details the areas of the Virtual Classroom.
Part
Function
Menu Bar
Allows the Session Administrator to control the Virtual Classroom. This includes managing
participation, monitoring breakout sessions, and ending the session.
Classroom Includes all of the tools used during the Virtual Classroom session. This includes searching for Web
Tool box
sites, asking and answering questions, utilizing the Whiteboard, and accessing the Course Map
(Course Menu).
Allows users to compose messages, raise their hands to ask questions, and activate private
messages.
Chat
Menu Bar for Virtual Classroom
All users have access to the options on the Menu Bar. The functions available in the Menu Bar include:
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View: Choose an option for viewing Personal Messages in the Virtual Classroom.
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Controls: Grants and deletes access rights to tools
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Clear: Clears the session display.
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End: Ends the session and expels all users.
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Breakouts: Creates a breakout room for a group of users.
View
Select Show in-line to view private messages within the chat area. Select Show in separate frame to view
private messages in a separate window.
Controls
Use the check boxes to grant access to tools for Passive and Active Users. Uncheck to delete access to tools.
Clear
Clear erases the users chat display.
End
Ends the session and expels all users. This action cannot be undone.
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Breakouts
Select the check boxes for the users who will participate in the Breakout session. Users may only join a
Breakout session if they are selected by the creator of the Breakout session.
Users who enter a Breakout session are still active in the main Virtual Classroom Session. If a Breakout
session is closed, users are still active in the main session. Breakout sessions default to the same settings as
the mainsession.
Tool Box
About the Virtual Classroom Tool Box
If granted access to these tools by the Session Administrator, users can use the Whiteboard, access Web
sites, and view the Course Map (Content Menu).
The Classroom Tool box appears on the left side of the Virtual Classroom. To begin using items in the Tool box
click the name of the tool.
The following tools are available in the Classroom Tool box.
Tool
Description
Whiteboard
Enables users to present different types of information as they would on a whiteboard in a
classroom.
Group Browser Enables users to collaboratively browse the Web.
Map
Enables users to browse the Course Contents while they are in a Virtual Classroom.
Ask Question
Enables users to ask questions during thesession.
Question Inbox Enables users to answer questions submitted by other users duringa session.
Whiteboard
The Whiteboard enables users in a Virtual Classroom to present different types of information as they would on
a whiteboard in a classroom. The tools in the Whiteboard Tools palette allow users to draw images, type text,
and present equations. The Session Administrator determines whether this function is made available to users.
The table below details the tools available for use on the Whiteboard.
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To . . .
click . ..
select an
item
the Arrow tool. Then click an item for selection. The following may be performed on selected items:
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Enlarge: Click of the small black boxes that surround the item and drag it to the desired size.
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Move: Click the item and move it to the desired location.
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Cut: Click the Whiteboard item. Then click the Cut icon.
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Copy: Click the Whiteboard item. Then click the Copy icon.
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Paste: Click the Whiteboard item. Then click the Paste icon.
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Delete: Click the Whiteboard item. click the selected object. Then click the Delete icon.
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Group items: Click the Whiteboard items. Then click the Group icon.
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Ungroup: Click a Whiteboard item in a group. Then click the Ungroup icon.
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Bring front: Click the Whiteboard item. click selected object. Then click the Bring to front
icon.
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Bring back: Click the Whiteboard item. click selected object. Then click the Send to back
icon.
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Select all figures on the Whiteboard: Click the Selects all Figures icon.
draw free
hand
the Pen tool. Choose the color of the pen in the Pen Color drop-down list. Next, select the line width.
enter text
using the
keyboard
the text tool (T) then the Whiteboard area. A Whiteboard Text Input box appears. Type the text in the
box and click Insert. Use the options in the Tools palette to select color, font, and size.
draw a
straight
line
the Line tool.
draw a
rectangle
the Rectangle tool. Choose the color of the square from the Fill Color drop-down list to draw a solid
shape. To draw the outline of the shape, select None for the fill color. The outline of the shape will be
the color of the pen tool and have the selected line width.
draw a
oval
the Oval tool. Choose the color of the circle from the Fill Color drop-down list to draw a solid shape. To
draw the outline of the shape, select None for the fill color. The outline of the shape will be the color of
the pen tool and have the selected line width.
input an
equation
The Math and Science Equation Editor icon (?). The Equation Editor will appear. Input the equation
and click Insert Equation.
Group Browser
The Group Browser enables users to collaboratively browse the Web. This tool opens a URL that is viewable
by all users. URLs used in the session will be added to the Recording if one is created. The Session
Administrator will determine whether this function is made available to users.
The table below details the available functions in the Group Browser.
To . . .
click . ..
open a Web site
type the URL in the Type Address field.
choose where to Display To Users to display the window in the Whiteboard or click Preview in New Window to
display the Web open the Web site in a new browser window. The preview window will only be displayed to the
site
user that opened it.
Course Map
The Course Map enables users to browse the Course Menu while in a Virtual Classroom. By default, the
Session Administrator has access to operate the Course Map. Users must have Active privileges to use the
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Course Map in a Virtual Classroom.
The table below details the available functions in the Course Map.
To . . .
click . ..
display an element on the
map to all users
the Course area in the Course Map and select Display To Class in the drop-down
list.
display an element on the
map in a separate window
the Course area in the Course Map and select Preview in New Window in the dropdown list. The new window is only visible to the User who opens it.
refresh the map during a
Collaboration Session
Refresh Tree in the drop-down list. This will update the Course Map to match the
Course Menu.
Ask Questions
Users are able to ask questions during the session. As users submit questions during the session, the Session
Administrator can view and respond to them.
Note: Only users who have an Active role can ask questions.
To ask a question, select Compose in the Ask Question area. Type the question in the text box and click
Send.
Question Inbox
Questions from users are sent to the Question Inbox during the Virtual Classroom session. The Question Inbox
is used to manage and respond to questions during a Collaboration Session.
The table below details the functions available in the Question Inbox Tool.
To . . .
click . ..
respond to a question
the Username in the From list and click the Respond to Question icon. The
Respond to Question pop-up window will appear.
delete a question
the Username in the From list and click the Delete icon.
view only questions thathave
not been answered
the check box next to Show unanswered only.
The table below details the fields on the Respond to Question pop-up window.
Field
Description
Question
Question that was submitted.
Response Type the response to the question.
Private
Select this check box to make the response to the question private. If marked private, the response will
only be sent to the person who submitted the message.
Chat
Chat allows the Course Members to interact with each other using a text-based messaging tool. Chat is part of
the Virtual Classroom. It can also be accessed separately.
How to Find this Page
Follow the steps below to open a Chat:
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Interactive Tools > Course Groups
1. Click Tools on the Course Menu, or click Collaboration from the Course Tools area of the
Control Panel.
2. Select Collaboration.
3. Click Join from the contextual menu of the Chat session.
The table below details the functions available in the Chat.
To . . .
then . . .
enter a
message
for others to
read
type the message in the Compose field. Click Send or press Type. The message will
appear in the chat area. There is a 1000 character limit for chat messages.
become an
Active user
click the hand symbol. A hand appears next to the Username. The Session Administrator
clicks on the hand to make the user Active.
view user
information
Select a Username in the Participant list and then click User Info. A pop-up window
displays personal information about the selected user such as name, email address, and
any other information the user has chosen to add to their profile.
send a
private
message to
a user
Select a Username in the Participant list and then click Private Message. Users can
send private messages to each other if the Session Administrator enables this tool in the
Session Controls. Private messages are notrecorded.
Course Groups
Course Groups and Tools
About Course Groups
Course Groups allow Instructors and Students to create Groups of Students within a Course. These Course
Groups have their own area in Blackboard Learn to collaborate on Course work. These spaces are equipped
with tools that can assist in this collaborative process.
About Course Group Tools
Students access the tools added to the Group Homepage under Group Tools. Only the Instructor and the Group
members can access tools enabled for the Group, with the exception of the Group Blog and Group Wiki tools.
Group Blogs and Wikis appear to all Course members when the tools are accessed on the Tools page.
Available Group Tools include the following:
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Group Blog: Users within the Group can add entries and comments to the Group Blog to share
ideas. Group Blogs can be graded, but once a Group Blog is set to be graded, it cannot be changed.
When a grade is added for a Group Blog, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the
Group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each Group member. All
members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. An individual member’s
grade can be edited to assign a different grade than the Group’s.
Collaboration Tools: Users within the Group can create and attend real-time Chat or Virtual
Classroom sessions.
Group Discussion Board: Users within the Group can communicate as a Group, as well as create
and manage their own forums. The Group Discussion Board is available only to Group members, not
to the entire course.
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Interactive Tools > Course Groups
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File Exchange: Users within the Group and Instructors can use this tool to upload documents to the
Group area. All Group members and the Instructor can add files. They can also delete files,
regardless of who added them. Files appear in the order they were uploaded. This tool is only
available toGroups.
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Group Journal: Users within the Group can share their thoughts with each other and communicate
with the Instructor. Journal entries made in the Group Journal are visible to all Group members and
the Instructor. Group Journals can be graded, but once a Group Journal is set to be graded, it cannot
be changed. When a grade is added for a Group Journal, the grade is automatically given to all the
members of the Group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each
Group member. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. An
individual member’s grade can be edited to assign a different grade than the Group’s.
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Group Tasks: Users within the Group can define and separate the workload into tasks, while
distributing the list to the entire Group. Each task has a status and a due date to help keep members
on track. Group members can view the Group assigned tasks in the Group Tasks tool or in the Course
Tasks tool. Other Course members and the Instructor will not see tasks for Groups they are not
enrolled in when viewing the Course Tasks tool.
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Group Wiki: Wikis are used to create a collaborative space for Group members to view, contribute,
and edit content. By default, Group Wikis can be read by all Course members, but only members of
the Group can make a comment on a Group Wiki page. The Instructor can change the default setting
to allow only Group members to view a Group Wiki. Group Wikis can be graded, but once a Group
Wiki is set to be graded, it cannot be changed. When a grade is added for a Group Wiki, the grade is
automatically given to all the members of the Group and is populated in the corresponding column in
the Grade Center for each Group member. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member
did not contribute. An individual member’s grade can be edited to assign a different grade than the
Group’s.
Creating Groups
Create formal groups of Students to collaborate on work. Groups can be created one at a time or in sets. The
Instructor can manually select Group members or allow Students to self-enroll. Each Group has its own space,
or homepage, with links to tools to help Students collaborate. Only the Instructor and the Group members can
access the Group tools.
Groups are created from the Groups page accessed from the Control Panel under Users and Groups.
There are two Create options available:
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Create a Single Group
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Create a Group Set
About Self-Enroll
Self-enrollment allows Students to add themselves to a Group using a sign-up sheet. Make sign-up sheets
available to Students on the Groups listing page or by adding a link to a course area, such as a Content Area,
folder, Learning Module, or Lesson Plan. When creating a Group using sign-up sheets, the Group can be
immediately available to use or made available after all members have signed up..
About Manual Enroll
For Manual Enroll, the Instructor assigns each Student in the Course to a Group.
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Interactive Tools > Course Groups
About Random Enroll
Random Enroll is available for Group Sets and automatically distributes membership into Groups based on a
designated number of Students per Group or the designated number of Groups. Random distribution applies
only to Students who are currently enrolled in the Course. Additional Students can be enrolled manually.
When naming a Set of Groups, the name of each Group has a number added to it when they are first created.
For example, a Set of Groups named "Research" results in Groups named "Research 1," "Research 2," and
"Research 3," depending upon the number of Groups in the set. The Group names can be edited after they are
created.
How to Create a Single Group
1. On the Control Panel, select Groups in the Users and Groups section. Alternatively, use the
Groups link on the Course Menu, if you have made it available.
2. On the Groups listing page, point to Create Single Group on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
3. Select Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll.
4. On the Create Group page, type a Name and optional Description.
5. Select Yes to make the Group Available or select Sign-up Sheet Only.
6. Select the Tools available to the Group by selecting the appropriate check boxes.
7. Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if Student
submissions will begraded.
8. Select the check box for Allow Personalization to allow individual Group members to add
Personal Modules to the Group Homepage.
9. Select the Sign-up options for Self-Enroll, including titling the Sign-up Sheet. Select the
Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include.
-orIn the Membership section for Manual Enroll, select the Students from the Items to Select box
and click the right-pointing arrow to add the selected names to the Selected Items box.
10. Click Submit.
How to Create a Group Set
1. On the Control Panel, select Groups in the Users and Groups section. Alternatively, use the
Groups link on the Course Menu, if you have made it available.
2. On the Groups listing page, point to Create Group Set on the Action Bar to access the drop-down
list.
3. Select Self-Enroll, Manual Enroll or Random Enroll.
4. On the Create Enrollment Group Set page, type a Name and optional Description.
5. Select Yes to make the Group Available or select Sign-up Sheet Only.
6. Select the Tools available to the Group by selecting the appropriate check boxes.
7. Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if Student
submissions will begraded.
8. Select the check box for Allow Personalization to allow individual Group members to add
Personal Modules to the Group Homepage.
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9. Select the Sign-up options for Self-Enroll, including titling the Sign-up Sheet. Select the
Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include.
-orIn the Group Set Options section for Manual Enroll, type the Number of Groups to create.
-orIn the Membership section for Random Enroll, type the Number of Students per Group to
create or the Number of Groups. Select an option to determine how to enroll any remaining
members in theGroups.
10. Click Submit.
Editing Groups
On the Groups listing page, click a Group's Action Link and select one of the following options from the
contextual menu.
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Open: This option opens the Group Homepage, where Course or Group Modules can be added. Also,
click Customize Page on the Action Bar to change the color theme of the page. If Allow
Personalization was enabled, the Students also have access to these options.
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Edit: This option opens the Edit Group page. Edit any of the initial options chosen when the Group
was created, with the exception of changing the Grade option for graded Blogs, Journals, and Wikis.
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Email: This option allows users to select the entire Group or select members in the Group to send a
messageto.
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Delete: If a Group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete
Confirmation page appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the Group, such as for a
graded Group Blog, Group Journal, or Group Wiki, the columns can be retained. On the Delete
Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any columns that need to be preserved.
About Group Settings
Group Settings are accessed from the Action Bar on the Groups listing page.
Group Settings provide the Instructor with the options to allow Students to create their own Self-Enrollment
Groups from the Groups listing page and to allow Students to edit the name, description, and maximum number
of Students able to join the Student created Group.
Enrolling Students in Course Groups
Instructors can create a single Group or multiple Groups in which Students are enrolled manually,
automatically, or by allowing the Students to enroll themselves. These enrollments can be changed at any time.
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Manual enrollment involves the Instructor selecting each member one at a time from a list of all the
Students inthe Course.
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Random Enrollment is best suited for multiple Groups, where the Instructor allows the system to
divide up all the members of the Course among all the Groups based on criteria chosen by the
Instructor.
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Self Enrollment allows the Students themselves to become members of Groups using Sign-Up
Sheets that Instructors create for each Course Group.
Group Membership Flow Diagram
The following diagram provides an overview of the process of enrolling Students in Course Groups:
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Removing a User from a Course Group
Instructors must remove members from a Course Group . Students cannot remove themselves from a group.
How to Remove a User from a Course Group
1. From the Control Panel, select Users and Groups and then Groups.
2. On the Groups page, click the Action Link for the group.
3. Select Edit.
4. On the Edit Group page, go to Membership.
5. Remove the member by moving the name out of Selected Items box.
6. Click Submit.
To verify that the user has been removed, go to the Group Homepage to check the list of members.
Sending Email to a Course Group
Instructors and Course Group members can send email messages to selected Group members or the entire
Group.
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How to Send an Email Message within a Course Group
1. On the Groups listing page, select a Group.
2. On the Group Homepage, select Send Email in the Group Tools section.
3. On the Send Email page, select the recipients from the Available to Select box and click the
right-pointing arrow to move them to the Selected box.
4. Type aSubject.
5. Type theMessage.
6. Click Submit.
Creating Group Assignments
Instructors can create an Assignment and release it to a specific Group within a Course. Only the Instructor and
the members in the Group have access to the Assignment.
The overall grade for the Assignment can appear to users as a numeric value, letter grade, percentage, text, or
as complete/incomplete, depending upon the Primary Display choice for the column created in the Grade
Center for the Assignment.
Note: A grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center for Group Assignments.
Prerequisites and Warnings
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Course Groups must exist prior to creating GroupAssignments.
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Students enrolled in more than one Group receiving the same Assignment will submit more than one
attempt for this Assignment. It may be necessary to provide these Students with an overall grade for
the Assignment.
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Students that are not enrolled at the time a Group Assignment has been submitted do not have
access to that submission; they can see that the submission occurred.
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Students that are removed from the Group cannot see the Group Assignments. They can access their
submissions from My Grades.
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If the Assignment is edited between creation and the Due Date, the entire Group may lose any work
already in progress.
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If a Group is deleted from the Assignment after they have begun the work and prior to submission,
then they lose access to the Assignment and their work is lost.
How to Create a Group Assignment
1. In Edit Mode, access the course area where the Group Assignment will be created.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
3. Select Assignment.
4. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name. Group members click this name to access the
Assignment.
5. In the Instructions text box, type instructions for the Assignment. Format the text and add images,
links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed.
Attachments added using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text
added to describe the attachment.
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6. Optionally, attach a file using Browse My Computer. Assignment files cannot be attached from
CourseFiles.
7. Type Points Possible.
8. Select the check box to Make the Assignment Available.
9. Select the option for Number of Attempts.
10. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit the availability of the
Assignment. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date
and timeselections.
11. Optionally, select a Due Date.
12. In the Recipients section, select the Groups of Students option.
13. In the Items to Select box, select the Group or Groups. To select multiple Groups in a row, hold
down SHIFT and click each Group. To select Groups out of sequence, hold down the CTRL key
and click each Group.
14. Click the right-pointing arrow to move the selection into the Selected Items box.
15. Click Submit.
Note: Multiple Attempts allow users to submit their work for a Group Assignment more than once and receive
comments and a grade for each submission.
Grading Group Assignments
For information on grading individual assignments, see Grading Assignments.
Group Assignments can be accessed for grading through the Needs Grading page or through the Grade Center.
When a Group Assignment is created, a grade column is automatically created. Group Assignments that have
been submitted, but not graded, are indicated with an exclamation mark—the needs attention icon—in the
Grade Center. All Group members’ cells display the exclamation mark, regardless of who submitted the Group
Assignment.
For general information on entering grades in the Grade Center, see Entering Grades.
When reviewing Group Assignment submissions, Instructors can provide a grade and feedback.
How to Grade a Group Assignment
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Click Assignments.
3. To grade a single Group Assignment, point to any group member's cell to access the Action Link
and click it to access the contextual menu, then select Group Attempt. To grade all submissions,
point to the column header to access the Action Link and click it to access the column's contextual
menu, then select GradeAttempts
On the Grade Group Assignment Page
1. Expand the Assignment Information area to review Assignment name, instructions, associated
dates, and attemptstatus.
2. The submission content can be found under Review Current Attempt. Click the file name to view
any attachedfiles.
3. Type a numerical value in the Group Grade box.
4. Optionally, type feedback in the Feedback to Group area and attach files for the Student to
review.
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5. Optionally, type Instructor Notes and attach files (not viewable by Students).
6. Click Save and Exit to return to the Grade Center.
-orClick Save and Next to display the next Group Attempt.
-orClick View Previous to display the previous Group Attempt.
To return an assignment attempt without a grade (with comments only), follow the preceding steps, but at step
5, click Save as Draft. The attempt remains ungraded and the Student can access feedback.
Note: The full features of the Text Editor may be turned on or off to allow Instructors to format text or include
files as part of the Feedback to Group or GradingNotes.
How to Grade Group Assignments Anonymously
Instructors can grade items without viewing user information. The attempts will be displayed in a random order,
without system identifying information, to the Instructor for grading. Anonymous grading is helpful to reduce
potential bias from the Instructor or TA when grading.
Grade Anonymously is available from the column header contextual menu in the Grade Center.
Anonymous grading is also available from the Grade Assignment page. Click Hide User Names, then OK.
This action will open a new attempt with all system user identification removed. Any unsaved changes to the
current Attempt will belost.
Grading a Group Assignment with Multiple Attempts
If more than one attempt has been submitted by the Group, all attempts appear in the contextual menu for the
grade's cell. After selecting an attempt, type a grade and feedback. Click Save and Next or View Previous to
navigate between attempts. The last attempt’s grade appears in the group members' cells by default. If the last
of the multiple attempts is ungraded, the exclamation mark remains in the cell.
To change the attempt score that displays in the Grade Center cell, access a Grade Center column's
contextual menu, click Edit Column Information and select from the Score attempts using drop-down list:
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Grade of Last Attempt — default
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Grade of First Attempt
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Highest Grade
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Lowest Grade
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Average of Attempt Grades
Note: Previous attempts appear in the Submission History section of the Grade Group Attempt page. To
learn more, see Working with the Grade History.
How to Edit a Group Grade
Follow the same steps for adding a Group grade to change a Group’s grade. Edit the Group Grade and
Feedback to Group, and click Saveand Exit.
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade
Assign an individual Group member a different grade than the Group by editing the grade for the member in the
Grade Center. If a Group member’s grade is changed, and a new Group grade is given, the new Group grade
does not affect the individual’s new grade. The individual’s new grade does not appear to the other Group
members.
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1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. On the Grade Details page, click Edit User Attempt.
3. On the Group member’s Grade Details page, type a new grade in the Current Grade Value.
4. Type optional Feedback to User. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the box to check spelling.
5. Type optional Grading Notes, only available to the Instructor or Grader.
6. Click Save. The new grade for the Group member appears on the member’s Grade Details page
and in the member’s cell in the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
Revert a member’s edited grade to the original Group grade, which all Group members received.
1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. After a member’s Group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original Group grade.
4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the Grade Center page and view the grades.
To learn more, see Changing Grades.
Adding and Deleting Group Members
If a member of a Group is added after a grade is given for a Group Assignment, the new member will not receive
a grade, as they were not part of the process. Even if the Instructor updates the Group grade, the new member
does not receive a grade. A grade can be added for the new member from the member’s Grade Details page,
but there is no submission available to view when grading.
If a member of a Group is removed, and a grade has been added for a Group Assignment, any grading updates
will be applied to that Group member’s cell. To remove a score for a member removed from a Group, click
Delete User Attempt on the member’s Grade Details page.
Discussion Board
About the Discussion Board
Building a sense of community among students is crucial for a successful online experience. The Discussion
Board is an important tool for interpersonal interaction and can replicate the robust discussions that take place
in the traditional classroom. Discussions can serve a range of purposes, such as:
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An online meeting place for social interaction among peers.
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An additional medium for collaboration and the exchangeof ideas.
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A medium to pose questions about homework assignments, readings, and course content.
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A way to demonstrate the understanding or application of course material.
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A record of discussion which can be reviewed at a later point.
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A graded activity that demonstrates understanding or application of course material.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
Once you have determined your pedagogical needs, you can create forums and threads to organize
discussions into units or topics relevant to your course.
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The Discussion Board tool allows for asynchronous interactions occurring over extended periods of time. This
allows for more flexibility, as well as reflective communication.
Asynchronous communication offers convenience and flexibility to all participants. Some benefits include:
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Participants do not need to be in the same location or time zone.
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Participants can carefully consider and reflect on the initial message before responding and,
hopefully, more thoughtful conversations canoccur.
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Different learning styles are accommodated. For example, students who are shy about speaking in
class may feel more comfortable responding to discussion threads.
The Discussion Board is also available as a group tool that is used by smaller groups within a course. Group
Discussion Boards are only available to users who are members course groups. To learn more, see How to
Enable the Group Discussion Board Tool.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
Accessing the Discussion Board
You can access the Discussion Board from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You
may also add a customized link to the Course Menu and to a course area. When you provide a link to the
Discussion Board in a course area, students can access the tool alongside other course content.
Two Default Options
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Interactive Tools > Discussion Board
Access the Discussion Board using the default Tools link on the Course Menu. On the Tools page, select
Discussion Board.
Alternatively, in the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Discussion Board.
From this link, you can access the course Discussion Board and any group Discussion Boards for the groups in
your course.
How to Include a Discussion Link on the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Discussion Board often, you can include a link on the Course Menu for oneclick access to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Discussion Board.
5. Select the Available to Users checkbox.
6. Click Submit.
Result
The new tool link appears last in the Course Menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a
new position. Click the link's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide
the link from students. For example, if you intend to use the Discussion Board after week three, you can create
all the forums you need at the beginning of the term and hide the link until it is needed.
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Understanding Discussion Forums and Threads
Just as it is critical that you plan and structure your course content, you also need to provide structure for online
discussions. Forums allow you to group related discussions and help your students stay on task. You must first
create one or more forums before message threads can be started.
The main Discussion Board page displays a list of forums. A forum is an area where a topic or a group of
related topics are discussed. Within each forum, there can be multiple threads. A thread includes the initial
post and any replies toit.
Viewing the Discussion Board Page
The Discussion Board page contains all the forums you create for your course.
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On the Action Bar, you can create forums or use the Search function to search for Discussion Board content.
The search field is collapsed by default to save screen space.
To sort a column, click the column heading or caret. For example, if you sort the Forum column, the items
appear in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order.
To view the posts, click the forum title. Forums containing unread posts appear in bold type.
For each forum, view the total number of posts, the number of unread posts, and the number of users who
have participated in the forum.
For one-click access to the forum's unread messages, click the link in the Unread Posts column.
Viewing a Discussion Forum
When you access a forum, a list of threads appears. The following columns display information for each thread:
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Date: Displays the date the thread was created.
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Author: Displays the name of user who created thethread.
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Status: Indicates whether the thread is published, hidden, locked, unavailable, or a draft.
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Unread Posts: Displays the number of posts not yet accessed.
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Total Posts: Includes both read and unread posts.
To sort a column, click the column heading or caret.
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Forum Features
Use the breadcrumbs to navigate to a previous page. Do not use the browser navigation controls because
page load errors may occur.
Use the Action Bar functions to perform various actions, including:
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Create Thread: Add a new thread to a forum.
Search: Search for Discussion Board content. The search field is collapsed by default to save screen
space.
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Grade Forum: Grade posts, if you have enabled grading for the forum.
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Thread Actions: Make a selection from the drop-down list. Edit the status of the selected threads
and perform other actions, such as marking threads read or unread and setting or clearing flags. Flags
mark threads for laterattention.
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Delete: Remove selected threads from a forum. Deleted threads cannot be restored. Use the Make
Unavailable function in the Thread Actions drop-down list to completely hide threads from users
without actually deleting thethreads.
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Collect: Gather selected threads onto one page where posts can be sorted, filtered, or printed.
Select one or multiple threads' check boxes or select the check box in the header row to select all threads
for an action, such as deleting.
Click a thread title to read the posts. Forum titles containing unread posts appear in bold type.
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Click Edit Paging to determine the number of items to view per page. Type a number in the box and click
Go. Click the X to close the pop-up box.
Using List View and Tree View in Discussions
After you click a forum title, a page loads displaying all forum threads. You can view the page in either List
View or Tree View. This choice remains in effect until you change it and you may change it at any time. On the
forum page, in the upper-right corner, toggle between the two views.
List View
Click List View to present the threads in a table format. Threads containing any unread posts appear in bold
type.
From the Action Bar, you can create threads, collect, or delete posts.
Note: Depending on the settings you made when creating the forum, different functions appear on the Action
Bar. For example, if you have allowed tagging, a Tags function appears.
To sort a column, click the column heading or caret.
Select the check box next to a thread and make a selection from the Thread Actions drop-down list. You
can select multiple threads or select the check box in the header to select all threads. The actions include:
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Marking threads read or unread.
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Setting or clearing flags. Flags mark threads for later attention.
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Editing the status of the selected threads.
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Subscribing or unsubscribing to threads, if enabled.
Tree View
Click Tree View to show the thread starter messages and their replies. From the Action Bar, you can create
threads, collect, or deleteposts.
You can expand and collapse threads by using the plus and minus icons next to the titles. If a thread starter
message contains unread posts, the thread starter title appears in bold type. On the Action Bar, use the
Collapse All and Expand All functions to hide or see all posts included in all threads.
Select the check box next to a thread and make a selection from the Message Actions drop-down list on the
Action Bar. You can select multiple threads or select the check box in the header to select all threads. Actions
include marking threads read or unread and setting or clearing flags. Flags mark threads for later attention.
Viewing a Discussion Thread
When a user clicks a thread, the Thread Detail page appears. The page is divided into three sections:
Section 1:
The Action Bar contains functions that allow users to select, flag, mark read/unread, and collect posts.
Section 2:
The Message List contains a list of all the posts in a thread, beginning with the initial post. The selected post is
highlighted. Use the plus and minus icons to expand and collapse the posts.
Section 3:
The Current Post contains the text of the selected post and information about the post.
Note: If you allowed email subscription for the thread, Subscribe appears on the Action Bar.
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About the Thread Detail Page
On the Thread Detail page, you can navigate from post to post, adjust your view of the page, view information
about the selected post, and reply to others.
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On the Action Bar, access functions, such as Subscribe, Unsubscribe, or Search. When subscribed to a
thread, users receive an email alert when a post is updated or a reply is posted. You must enable this function
when creating a forum. The search field is hidden by default to save screen space.
Select one or multiple threads' check boxes and make a selection in the Message Actions drop-down list.
Actions include marking threads read or unread and setting or clearing flags. Flags mark threads for later
attention. You can also use the functions for collecting posts and selecting all posts.
Arrange your view using the icons on the Action Bar.
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Swap Up or Down: Moves the selected message up or down on the page.
Hide or Restore: Collapses or displays the list of messages.
Maximize or Minimize: Displays the entire list of messages or the just the top few.
Use the Move to previous message or Move to next message arrows for navigating between messages
inthe thread.
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Click Parent Post to display or hide the parent message in the thread.
Next Steps
To learn about the functions you can perform in the Discussion Board, see these topics:
Creating Forums in the Discussion Board
Creating Threads in the Discussion Board
Creating Group Discussions
Participating in the Discussion Board
Managing Discussions Grading
Discussion Board Participation Viewing
Discussion Board Statistics
Creating Forums in the Discussion Board
A forum is an area where a topic or a group of related topics are discussed. Within each forum, users can create
multiple threads. A thread includes the initial post and any replies to it. You can create forums and threads to
organize discussions into units or topics relevant to your course. To distinguish between forums and threads,
see Understanding Discussion Forums and Threads.
Forum settings allow you to use the Discussion Board in different ways. For example, to control a forum, an
instructor creates all threads, moderates, and grades the posts. For a student-led discussion, allow students to
create new threads with the option of posting anonymously.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
As you create forums, select the appropriate settings based on the pedagogical goals for your course:
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Evaluate student performance by grading forums and threads.
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Use the Moderation Queue and rating features to ensure quality postings and to assist with the
workload.
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Allow anonymous posting and thread editing to encourage forthright discourse and increase student
participation.
To help students stay connected with Discussion Board content, you can enable email alerts and add a
Discussion Board link alongside content in the course.
If you have created groups in your course, you can enable the Group Discussion Board. Group members are
allowed to create their own forums and threads, and apply the settings to fit their needs.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
How to Create Forums in the Discussion Board
1. On the Course Menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Discussion Board.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section, and select Discussion Board. On the
Discussion Board page, click the link to the appropriate Discussion Board.
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2. On the Discussion Board page, click Create Forum on the ActionBar.
3. On the Create Forum page, type a Name. Users click this name to access the forum.
4. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Description box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups.
Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the
top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and
can include alternate text to describe the attachment. The Description appears below the forum
name on the Discussion Board page.
5. Under Forum Availability, select the Yes option to make the forum available to users.
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Tip: You can create forums ahead of time and set the availability to No until the discussion is ready
to start.
6. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set forums to display on a specific date and time
and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until
check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times or type dates and times in the boxes. Display
restrictions do not affect the forum availability, only when it appears.
7. Select the Forum Settings based on your pedagogical requirements. For example, if you are
grading posts and want to retain the posts as they were at the time of grading, do NOT select
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Allow Author to Edit Own Published Posts. To learn more about how you can use forum
settings to meet your requirements, see the Suggestions for Forum Settings in the Discussion
Boardlist.
8. Click Submit.
Result
On the Discussion Board page, the new forum appears at the bottom of the list. To learn how to change the
order of forums, see How to Reorder Discussion Forums.
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Suggestions for Forum Settings in the Discussion Board
The following list describes the settings you can select for various types of forum requirements.
l
If you want to create effective social forums, select the Allow Anonymous Posts and No Grading
in Forum options. Allowing students to post anonymously is important at the beginning of a course
when they are still becoming comfortable with discussions. If quality is a concern, assign a Moderator
to review each post before it is made public. To learn about moderating the Discussion Board, see
How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating).
l
If you want to create forums where students have control of the discussion, allow them to edit, delete,
and rate posts. Also, you can allow students to create new threads and direct the discussion.
l
If you want to have a tightly controlled forum, select the Force Moderation of Posts and Grade
Forum or Grade Threads options. To ensure students focus on the existing threads, do not allow the
creation of new threads.
l
When you want your students to focus on the existing threads, do not select Allow Members to
Create New Threads.
l
If you allow authors to edit their published posts, consider locking the thread. Locked posts cannot be
changed after they are graded.
l
Some settings cannot be selected in combination. For example, if you are grading forums or threads,
anonymous posts are not allowed. Also, if thread grading is enabled, members cannot create new
threads.
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How to Allow Email Alerts for New Discussion Posts
When email subscription is enabled, students can receive email alerts for new posts or replies. You can allow
students to subscribe to an entire forum or to specific threads within a forum.
You select the options for subscriptions to forums or threads when the forum is first created or when the forum
settings areedited.
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1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, under Forum Settings, select the Subscribe options.
l
Allow members to subscribe to threads allows users to select specific threads within
the forum.
l
Allow members to subscribe to forum allows subscription to all threads within the
forum.
l
Include body of post in the email displays the message text and a link to reply tothe
message in the email notification.
l
Include link to post displays a link to the message in the email notification.
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4. Click Submit.
How to Add a Link to the Discussion Board in a Course Area
You can incorporate the Discussion Board into course areas, allowing students to access the tool alongside
content. For example, you can add links to the Discussion Board itself or specific discussion forums to any
Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
Example:
In a Content Area, you can add a forum link following lecture notes to gather questions on the material
presented or after an assignment to gather students' perceptions on how they did. You can add Adaptive
Release or date availability restrictions to limit students' access, allowing them to access content in a specified
order, such as reading a PDF before adding posts to the Discussion Board. To learn about using Adaptive
Release to release content, see About Adaptive Release.
Note: You need to create forums before you can link to them in the course. To learn how to create forums, see
How to Create Forums in the Discussion Board.
1. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder where you want to link to the
Discussion Board or forum. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Add Interactive Tool to access the drop-down list.
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3. Select Discussion Board.
4. On the Create Link: Discussion Board page, select the Link to Discussion Board Page option
to link to the Discussion Board itself.
-ORSelect the Select a Discussion Board Forum option and select a forum from the list.
-ORClick Create New Forum to add a link to a forum you create at this time. You select all forum
settings at the time of creation. The newly created forum appears in the list of forums to choose
from when adding the link in your course.
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5. Click Next.
6. On the next Create Link: Discussion Board page, type a Link Name. The Link Name cannot
exceed 50 characters. Students click the name to access the link to the Discussion Board or
forum.
7. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Text box. You can use the Text Editor functions
to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files
uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level
folder.
8. For the Available option, select Yes to make the link available to users.
9. For the Track Number of Views option, select Yes or No. If you enable tracking, the number of
times the link is viewed, when it is viewed, and by whom is recorded. To learn about tracking, see
How to Enable Statistics Tracking and View Statistics Reports.
10. For Date Restrictions, you can set the link to display on a specific date and time and to stop
displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to
enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date
Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do
not affect the availability of the Discussion Board or forum content, only when it appears.
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11. Click Submit.
Student view of a forum link in a ContentArea
Next Steps
To learn more about the Discussion Board, see these topics:
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Creating Threads in the Discussion Board
Creating GroupDiscussions
Participating in the Discussion Board
ManagingDiscussions
Grading Discussion Board Participation
Viewing Discussion Board Statistics
Creating Threads in the Discussion Board
Once in a forum, you can start new threads to begin a conversation. A thread includes the initial post and any
replies to it. When creating a forum, you have the option of allowing or not allowing members to start threads.
Generally, the purpose of the forum dictates whether or not members can start threads. A moderated, graded
forum used to evaluate student performance is usually tightly controlled, and members cannot create threads.
Other forums are designed for members to share opinions and thoughts on tangential or unrelated topics. In this
case, it is safe to allow members to create threads and spark discussions.
You can change the status of existing threads and determine which threads appear in a forum to help organize
your view.
Note: Creating a thread as an instructor is the same as creating a thread as a student. If grading has been
enabled, instructors can also set the thread to be graded. Grading and rating discussion posts is not available
with a Basic License.
Example:
You create a forum that addresses a broad subject, such as "Addicted to Oil." Next, create two threads
containing the specific issues to be discussed, such as replacing oil usage with nuclear power, and the pros
and cons of conservation. To ensure students post only to existing threads, consider disallowing thread
creation in the forum settings.
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Example:
You create a forum and ask a question or provide the instructions or details in the description, such as "How
can we reduce our reliance on oil?" Then, students create threads for each solution to the problem of oil
addiction. All members post to existing threads to comment on given answers or create new threads to present
new solutions. In the forum settings, ensure you have selected the Allow Members to Create New Threads
option.
Note: If thread grading is enabled, members cannot create newthreads.
How to Create Threads in a Discussion Forum
In the following example, a graded thread is created.
1. Access a Discussion Board forum.
2. On the Action Bar, click Create Thread.
3. On the Create Thread page, type a Subject.
4. Type instructions, a description, or a question in the Message box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups.
Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the
top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and
can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
5. Alternatively, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options:
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
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o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
Note: Files uploaded by students are not saved in the course repository.
6. If you chose to grade threads when you created the forum, you decide on a thread-by-thread basis
whether to grade a thread. In the Grading section, select the check box for Grade Thread and type
Points possible.
7. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to create the thread.
Result
The newly created thread appears in the forum.
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If you enabled grading, two functions appear in the Grade column:
Click Grade Thread to evaluate the posts.
Click Grade to enable grading for a thread and assign a value.
How to Change the Status of a Thread in a Discussion Forum
You can change the status of a thread to keep students focused on relevant discussions and to help organize a
forum containing many threads. When a thread is created and submitted, it is assigned the Published status.
The following table describes which thread status to select to accomplish various objectives.
Status
Goal for Thread
Publish
Make thread available to all users.
Hide
Hide the thread from immediate view, but still allow users the option of reading the threads.
Unneeded content is hidden from view, helping users find relevant content. Users cannot reply to or
edit hidden threads, even if editing has been enabled for the thread.
Users can view hidden threads using the Display drop-down list on the Action Bar.
Make
Hide thread from view of all users except forum Managers.
Unavailable
Lock
Allow users to read the thread, but not edit or add to it. Locking a thread allows grades to be assigned
without users updating or changing posts.
Unlock
Unlock a locked thread to select another status.
Use the following steps to change the status of a thread or multiple threads at one time.
1. Access the forum and toggle to List View, if needed.
2. Select the check box next to each thread requiring a change of status. You can select multiple
threads or select the check box in the header to select all threads.
3. From the Thread Actions drop-down list, select a new status for the selected thread or threads.
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Note: Alternatively, click a thread's Action Link(
threadstatus.
) to access the contextual menu and select a
Result
The status for each thread appears in the Status column. If you save a draft of a thread to edit in the future,
Draft appears in the Status column.
How to Change Which Threads Appear in a Discussion Forum
If you have many threads in a forum and have assigned different statuses to the threads, you can choose which
threads appear in a forum. For example, if you have started several threads and saved them as drafts, you can
choose to show only those drafts and select the threads to edit and publish.
1. Access the forum and toggle to List View, if needed.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Display to access the drop-down list.
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3. Select the type of threads to view in the forum.
Result
The forum page displays only those threads that have the status selected from the Display drop-down list.
Developing Successful Online Discussions
The most common form of interaction in an online course is through the Discussion Board using forums
established by the instructor. Participation and interaction in the Discussion Board does not occur naturally, but
must be intentionally designed into your courses. To encourage engaging, quality discussion, it is important to
craft discussion questions carefully and create inquiry.
If you want to encourage participation, consider allowing students to post anonymously. Also, allow students to
create new threads. This flexibility may encourage members to post their ideas and questions. You can also
provide incentive by grading the discussion or adding exam questions based on discussion content.
You can help your students feel comfortable and provide them with guidelines as they begin to use the
Discussion Board.
The following table lists four steps for developing successful online discussions to help build community and
fulfill assignments.
Steps
Examples
Define participation
requirements
Students need to be aware of your expectations. Create a
forum where students can read about etiquette and
access grading rubrics. Model proper online interaction
and reinforce appropriate behavior with public
recognition.
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Steps
Examples
Craft an effective question
Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or no.
Instead, phrase the question so it provokes thought and
research. Discussion questions need to be open-ended
to promote critical thinking. A carefully worded starter
question can be the most important factor for more
productive discussions.
Incorporate multimedia resources into your questions to
reduce the monotony of purely text based interactions.
With the popularity of services like YouTube™, it is easy
to ask students to view a clip and ask for responses. Use
the Mashups feature to add images, videos, and slide
presentations to your questions. If you add a Mashup toa
forum, it appears in the description on the Discussion
Board page. Students can also add Mashups to their
replies.
Note: Mashups are not available with a Basic License.
Encourage new ideas
If discussion posts contain too much agreement and not
enough questioning of ideas, try assigning studentswith
the last names A–M to support one side and N–Z to
support theother.
Moderate
Establish your presence by asking forclarification,
resources, or input from silent participants.
Next Steps
To learn more about the Discussion Board, see these topics:
Creating Group Discussions Participating in the Discussion
Board Managing Discussions Grading Discussion Board
Participation Viewing Discussion Board Statistics
Creating Group Discussions
You can create formal groups of students to collaborate on course work. Each group has its own group area
with links to tools to help students collaborate and communicate. You can enable a special Group Discussion
Board, available only to a group's members. It is separate from the regular course Discussion Board, which is
available to all course members. Members of the group can create and manage their own forums. To learn
about creating course groups, see Creating Groups.
Example:
You assign students to groups, and each group is provided with a problem or situation for a class presentation.
The groups use the Chat tool and the Group Discussion Board to come to consensus about topic choice. They
use the Group Discussion Board to post Internet source links, and members post replies on their value.
Members also use the Group Discussion Board to divide up tasks and refine the outline. Members post portions
of the presentation, and all members post replies regarding usefulness, grammar, flow, and for agreement on
the finalproduct.
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Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
How to Enable the Group Discussion Board Tool
When you create a course group, you can select the Discussion Board tool to help groups collaborate and
communicate.
1. On the Create Group page, in the Tool Availability section, select the check box for Discussion
Board.
2. Click Submit.
Result
The Group Discussion Board tool appears in the My Groups section and on the group homepage.
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Students access their Group Discussion Boards by expanding the My Groups section following the Course
Menu or on the group homepage. Students click the right-pointing arrows in the My Groups section to access
the grouphomepage.
How to Make a Group Discussion Board Unavailable
You cannot delete a Group Discussion Board without deleting the group, but you can make the tool unavailable.
Any existing posts are not removed—just made unavailable until you make the Group Discussion Board
availableagain.
Note: When you make a graded Group Discussion Board unavailable, the grade column remains in the Grade
Center.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Groups.
2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON. On the Groups page, click the group's Action Link (
contextual menu.
) toaccess the
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3. Select Edit.
4. On the Edit Group page, in the Tool Availability section, clear the check box for Discussion
Board.
5. Click Submit.
Result
When members access the group homepage or the My Groups section, the link to the Group Discussion Board
no longer appears. You may make the tool available again at any time.
How to Edit the Settings for a Group Discussion Board
Each new Group Discussion Board contains a default forum titled with the group's name. Instructors and any
group member can edit the forum name and provide a description.
Note: If you want to grade participation in a Group Discussion Board, you can edit a forum's settings and
enable grading in the forum or threads. You assign individual grades for group member contributions to the
Group Discussion Board. Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Discussion Board.
2. On the Discussion Board page, the course Discussion Board and all Group Discussion Boards
appear. Click a Group Discussion Board link.
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3. On the next Discussion Board page, click the forum's Action Link (
menu.
) to access the contextual
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4. Select Edit.
5. On the Edit Forum page, change the Name, provide a Description, and edit the Forum
Availability and Forum Settings. If you want to grade the group's posts, you can enable grading
for the forum or threads and type the Points possible.
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Result
If you provided a description, it appears in the Description column on the Group Discussion Board page.
You or any group member can create more forums. To learn about creating forums, see How to Create Forums
in the Discussion Board.
Participating in the Discussion Board
In the Discussion Board, threads grow as users respond to the initial and subsequent posts. Replies build on
one another to construct a conversation. As the number of posts grow, users can filter, sort, collect, and tag
posts, if tagging is enabled.
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To help students understand your expectations, establish discussion etiquette immediately. You can model
proper online interaction and reinforce appropriate behavior with public recognition. In addition, you can provide
specific guidelines, such as:
l
Use descriptive subject lines to make threads easy to follow and scan.
l
Keep posts short and use uncomplicated language. Your audience is reading on-screen and may
have several messages to read.
l
Back up your statements when you agree or disagree with others.
l
Use professional language, including proper grammar, in academic-related posts. No slang,
emoticons, or chat acronymsallowed.
l
Use attachments or links to websites for long, detailed information.
l
l
Stay on topic. If you want to introduce a new tangent, find a suitable forum or start a new thread, if it is
allowed.
Be respectful of others’ opinions and remember the golden rule—to treat others as you want to be
treated.
For graded forums and threads, tell students specifically what you expect both in terms of quantity and quality
of posts, and consider sharing some exemplary posts. You can also use rubrics to help students understand
your objectives. By compiling your grading criteria in a rubric, you can provide students with clear performance
standards and gradeconsistently.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
How to Reply to Discussion Posts
Note: Users can reply to published threads, but cannot reply to locked or hidden threads.
1. Access a forum and select a thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, click a post's title. The post appears in the Current Post portion of the
content frame. You can view the text of the post and information about the post, such as the
Author and Posted Date.
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3. Click Reply. Alternatively, click Quote to include the post's text as part of your reply.
4. On the Reply to Post page, click View Original Post on the Action Bar to include the original
message on the page while replying. Click Close Original Post to hide the original post from view.
If needed, edit the Subject.
5. Type a reply in the Message box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your
computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments
uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to
describe theattachment.
6. Alternatively, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options:
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l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
Note: Files uploaded by students are not saved to the course repository.
7. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to publish your reply.
Result
Your reply appears on the Thread Detail page, indented under the parent post. If you attached a file, a paper
clip icon appears in the post's row. Click the title to open the post in the Current Post portion of the content
frame. Use the Move to previous and Move to next arrows to view another post or use the breadcrumbs to
return to the forum or the Discussion Board page.
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How to Rate Discussion Posts
You can use the Discussion Board for peer review. Students start threads and include their work in their initial
posts. Other users review the work, assign a rating to the initial post, and include comments in a response.
Rating posts also allows users to focus on messages considered especially informative or useful by others. If
you enabled rating, users can rate posts using a five star system. Instructors can also rate posts.
Note: To enable rating, select the Allow Members to Rate Posts option when creating or editing the forum.
1. Access the forum and select the thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, click a post's title. The post appears in the Current Post portion of the
content frame.
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3. For Your Rating, select one to five stars. You can add and delete stars at any time.
Your rating is included in the Overall Rating, which is the combined rating of all users. Use the Move to
previous and Move to next arrows to view another post or use the Move to next arrows to view another post
or use the breadcrumbs to return to the forum or the Discussion Board page.
How to Search Discussion Posts
You can search for specific text—a phrase, word, or part of a word—in the Discussion Board. The results
appear on a Search Results page.
1. Access the Discussion Board, a forum, or a thread.
2. On the Action Bar, click Search. The Search field expands.
3. Type a search criterion in the Search box.
4. In the drop-down list, select an area to search:
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l
Current Discussion Board
l
All Forums in Course
l
Current Forum
l
Current Thread
Note: The options in the drop-down list depend on where your search began. All Forums in
Course includes any Group Discussion Boards in your course. Students do not see results from
Group Discussion Boards unless they are members of that group.
5. To further narrow your search results, select the After and Before check boxes to enable the date
and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection
Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times.
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6. Click Go.
Results
On the Search Results page, you can read and print the results. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to
open the page in a new window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To
select which posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the Sort
by and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar.
On this page, you can also reply to posts and mark messages read or unread. Click the Quote function to
include the post's text as part of your reply. To view the responses to a post, click the post's hyperlinked title to
navigate to the Thread Detail page.
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How to Collect Discussion Posts
On the Thread Detail page, you can read one post at a time. To read multiple posts from the same page, use
the Collect function. Once posts are collected, you can filter, sort, print, and tag them. To learn about tagging
posts, see How to Tag Discussion Threads.
The Collect function is also available from the forum page, where you can gather all the posts made to different
threads. Once collected, filter and sort the messages to further organize them.
Example:
A student posts a question to request help and seven classmates reply. The student can collect the initial post
and the replies on one Collection page to read or print.
Use the following steps to collect some or all posts in a thread.
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1. Access a forum and select a thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, select the check boxes of the posts to collect. If a post has replies and
you want them to appear on the Collection page, click the plus sign to expand the post and select
the check boxes for those messages.
Note: To select all the posts in a thread, click Select: All above the Message List. All check boxes
for all the posts are selected whether they are expanded or collapsed.
3. On the Action Bar, click Collect.
Result
On the Collection page, you can read and print the results. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to open the
page in a new window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To select
which posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the Sort by and
Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar.
On this page, you can also reply to posts and mark messages read or unread. Click the Quote function to
include the post's text as part of your reply. To view the responses to a post, click the post's hyperlinked title to
navigate to the Thread Detail page.
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How to Filter Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting
To narrow your search results or sort a collection, you can use the Filter function. If you print the posts after
filtering, they print in the order they appear on the page.
Note: If the author or authors of some posts are no longer enrolled in the course, the posts may appear out of
order.
1. On the Search Results or Collection page, click the Filter function on the Action Bar to expand
the field and select options from the following drop-down lists:
l
Author: Select All or select an author.
l
Status: Show All or select a status.
l
Read Status: Select Show All, Read, or Unread posts.
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l
Tags: Show All tags or select a tag. To learn about tagging posts, see How to Tag
Discussion Threads.
2. Click Go to apply the selections. You can further organize the results using the Sort by and Order
drop-downlists.
3. Click the X to close the Filter field.
How to Sort Discussion Posts After Searching or Collecting
To narrow your search results or sort a collection, you can use the Sort by and Order drop-down lists. If you
print the posts after sorting, the posts print in the order they appear on the page.
Note: If the author or authors of some posts are no longer enrolled in the course, the posts may appear out of
order.
1. On the Search Results or Collection page, point to Sort by on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
2. Select anoption:
l Author's Last Name
l
Author's First Name
l
Subject
l
Date of Last Post
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Thread Order
Note: If you have enabled the rating of posts, you can also sort by Overall Rating.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Order to access the drop-down list.
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4. Sort posts in ascending or descending order.
Managing Discussions
You can perform tasks to manage both the Discussion Board itself and the content within forums and threads.
For example, to keep students focused as the term progresses, edit forum settings or organize forums and
threads to attract attention once again. You can also copy forums to other locations, edit content, and delete
unneeded forums or threads.
You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. For example, to help
control the Discussion Board content that is presented to your students, you can assign a responsible user the
role of Moderator. You can also enable tagging and attach tags to help students locate important posts.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
How to Edit Discussion Forums
As the discussion progresses, you can solve some discussion issues by editing forum settings. For example, if
students are posting to the wrong topic, fine-tune the forum name or description to clarify the forum's purpose.
Tip: You can create all forums at the beginning of the term and make them unavailable. When a forum is
needed, edit the forum to make it available.
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1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, change the forum's name, description, availability, and settings.
4. Click Submit.
How to Edit Discussion Threads
You can edit posts in any thread. If a student has added inappropriate or inaccurate content, you can edit the
post. When you create or edit a forum, you determine whether students are allowed to edit their published
posts.
1. Access a forum and select a thread.
2. On the Thread Detail page, click a post's title. The post appears in the Current Post portion of the
content frame. You can view the text of the post and information about the post, such as the
Author and Posted Date.
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3. Click Edit.
4. On the Edit Post page, make the needed edits.
5. Click Submit. Your edits appear in the post.
How to Delete Discussion Forums and Threads
When you delete a forum or thread, all content is permanently deleted. For a less permanent solution, you can
make a forum unavailable.
When deleting graded discussion content, you determine if the Grade Center column and scores are also
deleted.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum or thread's Action Link (
contextual menu.
) toaccess the
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2. Select Delete to permanently delete the forum or thread's content.
3. Click OK in the pop-up window.
4. On the Delete Confirmation page, you have two options:
l
Do not select check boxes: The graded forum or thread will be deleted, but the Grade
Center column and scores you have assigned are retained. For example, you have graded
all students' posts and want to keep the Grade Center column for the final grade
calculations. If you delete the forum or thread, yet retain the Grade Center column, you
can delete that column from the Grade Center at any time.
l
Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the forum or thread
are deleted. For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the discussion
posts in the final grade, you can safely delete both.
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5. Click Remove.
How to Reorder Discussion Forums
You can help students focus on the most relevant content by reorganizing your Discussion Board. When you
create a forum, it is added to the bottom of the list. You can move the current forum to the top or delete forums
that are no longer relevant.
Reorder forums using the drag-and-drop function—a double-tipped arrow or handle—to move them into place.
Alternatively, reorder forums using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar.
Drag-and-Drop Function
1. Access the Discussion Board and press the arrows next to a forum you want to move. The item is
highlighted.
2. Drag the forum into a new location in the list.
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3. Release the forum to place it in its new location.
Keyboard Accessible Reordering Tool
1. On the Action Bar, click the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon represented by two arrows.
2. In the Reorder box, select a forum title.
3. Below the Reorder box, use the up and down arrows to adjust the order.
4. Click Submit. A pop-up box states: Items have been reordered.
5. Click OK.
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How to Copy Discussion Forums
You can copy discussion forums and add them to the current Discussion Board or to a Group Discussion Board
in the same course. Copying does not delete the content from the original location in a course. You have the
option to copy a forum, the settings, and the posts or to copy just a forum's settings.
Note: To copy Discussion Board forums to another course, use the Course Copy utility. To learn more, see
Copying Courses.
Example: Copy the entire forum
If two distinct topics emerge during a discussion, you can create separate forums for these topics. Copy the
forum and delete the off-topic posts from each forum.
When content is copied, all threads and replies appear in the new location, along with any file attachments.
Example: Copy forum settings only
You can base a new forum on the settings from another forum. If you want students to submit a second
research paper, copy the settings of the first research paper's forum. The forum is added with no threads.
1.Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Copy.
3.On the Copy Forum page, type a Name.
4. Select the option to copy either: Entire forum or Forum settings only.
5. In the Location box, select a Discussion Board to copy to. To select the course's Discussion
Board, select the Course ID.
6. Click Submit. On the Discussion Board page, the copied forum is added to the bottom of the list.
How to Tag Discussion Threads
Tags are text labels that act like bookmarks. You can tag posts to group similar messages together. For
example, if the subject of scientific notation is discussed often, tag each of the posts on this topic. Students
can read, filter, and search messages using these tags, but they cannot create tags.
Note: In a forum's settings, you must enable Allow Post Tagging for tags to be created. To learn how to edit
a forum to change its settings, see How to Edit Discussion Forums.
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Tip: For faster Discussion Board loading, disable tagging during the times forum usage is heavy. When you
enable tagging again, all tags are restored.
1. Access the forum containing the threads to tag .
2. In List View, select the check boxes for the thread or threads to tag. You can select all the threads
in a forum by selecting the check box in the header row.
3. On the Action Bar, click Collect.
4. On the Collection page, you can filter and sort your results.
5. Type a tag name in the Tag Text box.
6. Select the check boxes of the messages to assign the tag name to. To select all the messages,
click Select: All above the list.
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7. Click Add next to the Tag Text box.
Result
On the Collection Page
On the Collection page, the tag you provided appears below each message you selected. If you provide
multiple tags, all appear. You can include more tags following the same steps. To delete a tag, click the red X
next to it.
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Alternatively, add a tag to an individual message. Below the message, type the tag in the Add Tag box and
click OK or click Choose from Existing to choose a tag from a list of tags that occur on the Collection page.
On the Forum Page
On the forum page, all tags appear in the Tags column. The column is only visible in List View.
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On the Action Bar, click Tags to access the drop-down list and select a tag or Show All Tags. Once a
selection is made, only those messages appear on the forum page.
To sort messages by tag, click a tag in the Tags column. The messages with that tag appear on a
Collectionpage.
How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles
In a forum, each user has a forum role and can have only one role per forum. By default, instructors have the
role of Manager and students have the role of Participant. When you are logged in as an instructor, you cannot
change your own forum role.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school determines which course roles are available.
You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. The following table
describes the forum roles and their permissions.
Role
Permissions
Manager
Managers have full control over a forum and can change forum settings, moderate posts, and
assign roles and grades.
Users with a course role of Instructor or Teaching Assistant are granted this role by default.
Builder
Course Builders can edit, copy, and delete forums, but not grade or manage forums. Inside a
forum, the Builder can perform the same actions on posts as the instructor, with the exception of
grading threads.
Course Builders can create new threads in a forum.
Course Builders can enable grading for a thread and type a value.
Users with a course role of Course Builder are granted this forum role by default.
Note: Grading discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
Moderator
Moderators can delete, edit, and lock all posts in any forum, even if the forum does not use the
If a Moderation Queue is used, the Moderator approves or rejects posts in the queue before they
are made available to all users.
Users with a course role of Instructor or Course Builder are granted this forum role by default.
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Role
Permissions
Grader
Graders can read, reply to, and grade posts. The Grader role has some access to the Grade
Center. Graders cannot assign grades to their own work.
Users with a course role of Grader are granted this forum role by default.
Note: Grading discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
Participant
Participants can read and reply toposts.
Users with a course role of Student are granted this role by default.
Reader
Readers can read the contents of a forum, but cannot post responses or add threads.
Blocked
(Block user
from forum
Blocked users cannot access theforum.
Use the following steps to assign a forum role.
1.Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2.Select Manage.
3. On the Manage Forum Users page, a list of users appears. Click a user's Action Link to access
the contextualmenu.
Tip: If you want to show only one role at a time, make a selection in the Display Forum Role
drop-down list on the Action Bar and click Go.
4. Select a new forum role. The new role appears in the Forum Role column for the user.
5. Click OK to return to the Discussion Board. Alternatively, click the forum title in the breadcrumbs to
return to the forum.
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Tip: To change multiple roles at one time, select the users' check boxes and, point to Edit Role on the Action
Bar to access the drop-down list. Select the check box in the header row to select all users.
How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating)
As an online instructor, your role is to facilitate the conversation and exchange of ideas on the Discussion
Board. You need to ensure that students feel comfortable to share, while also monitoring responses and
keeping everyone focused and on track. At the same time, you want to be careful not to dominate or impede the
flow of thediscussion.
Occasionally, students may introduce material to the Discussion Board that is inappropriate for the class
discussion. Depending on the maturity and the sensitivity of the students in your course, it can be important to
review student posts for inappropriate content before sharing posts with the rest of the class.
In a discussion forum, you can assign a user the role of Moderator. A Moderator reviews posts before they are
added to a thread and appear in the Discussion Board. The Moderator can be you or another responsible
participant.
When a moderated forum is created, all posts to the forum are added to a Moderation Queue. The Moderator
reviews each post and does one of the following:
l
Publishes the post.
l
Returns the post to the sender without amessage.
l
Returns the post to the sender with a message.
The Moderator can delete, edit, and lock posts in a forum, even if the forum does not use the Moderation
Queue.
You can choose to moderate a forum when creating it or by editing an existing forum. Only posts added after
enabling forum moderation are available for review in the Moderation Queue.
Note: If a Moderator is not assigned, the Manager must take responsibility for approving posts in a moderated
forum.
Use the following steps to allow the moderation of posts in an existing forum.
1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, under Forum Settings, select the Force Moderation of Posts check
box and click Submit.
Tip: When choosing a moderated forum, do not allow students to edit or delete posts. This
ensures that the post approved is the one viewed by users.
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4. After posts have been submitted, access the forum. In the Moderator view, no posts appear
because the messages are waiting approval. On the Action Bar, click Moderate Forum.
Note: The Moderate Forum function appears only to those users who have a forum role of
Manager or Moderator. In the student view, the author can see the post in Tree View with a
reminder it is in the Moderation Queue.
5. On the Moderation Queue page, the posts appear in alphabetical order by title. Click the column
title or caret to sort by post title, author, or date. To review a post, click Moderate.
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6. On the Moderate Post page, read the post and select the Publish or Return option. Published
messages are immediately posted to the thread.
7. Optionally, type feedback in the text box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text,
link to files in Course Files or the Content Collection, and include external links, multimedia, and
Mashups.
Note: Though feedback is optional, this is an opportunity to provide guidance, ask questions,
redirect a student's focus, and explain why a post was returned.
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8. Click Submit.
Result
Returned posts no longer appear in the Moderation Queue. Students see their returned posts in the forum.
When returned posts are opened, students see an explanation, if feedback was included, and they can create
new threads as needed.
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Grading Discussion Board Participation
In a face-to-face classroom setting, students are expected to participate in class discussions and that
participation is part of the equation when assessing performance. Assessing this participation can be
ambiguous. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate a student who is active, but does not advance the
discussion, from a student who speaks less frequently, but with greater impact.
Student interactions with the Discussion Board create a permanent record of participation. Instructors need to
have reasonable expectations about what can be accomplished in an online discussion. Due to its
asynchronous nature, more time may be needed for well-articulated points to emerge in the online environment.
In addition to providing a practical number of course discussion opportunities, students need timely and
constructive responses regarding the quality of their contributions. Evaluation not only lets them know how they
performed, but shapes theimprovement of future interactions.
You can assign discussion grades within a forum or thread. Students can be graded on their participation, on
the quality of their posts, or a combination of the two. You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading
forums and threads, but the rubrics must be created and added to the appropriate Grade Center columns in
advance. To learn about the Rubrics tool, see Rubrics.
Note: Grading and rating discussion posts is not available with a Basic License.
The following table details the four steps in the discussion grading process.
Activity
Description
Create
When you create a graded forum or thread, a column is created automatically in the Grade
Center. The name of the forum or thread is used as the column title. You can edit the title in the
Grade Center.
Participate
Students participate in the discussion. As the discussion progresses, you can participate and
provide feedback by replying to, rating, and moderating posts.
Grade
You view students' posts and assign grades. Threads can be locked after they are graded.
View Grade
The grades are saved in the Discussion Board and the Grade Center. Students can view their
grades from the My Grades tool.
How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board
You can enable grading options when a forum is created or edited. Once grading has been enabled, a Grade
Center column is created.
The grade settings appear in the Forum Settings section of the Create Forum page and the Edit Forum
page.
l
l
Select Grade Forum and type a point value to evaluate participants on performance throughout a
forum.
Select Grade Threads to evaluate participants on performance in eachthread.
Enable Grading During Forum Creation
1. Access the Discussion Board and click Create Forum on the Action Bar.
2. On the Create Forum page, provide the needed information. In the Forum Settings section,
select Grade Forum or Grade Threads. If you have chosen to grade the forum, type the Points
possible.
3. Click Submit.
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Enable Grading by Editing a Forum
1.Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2.Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, in the Forum Settings section, select Grade Forum or Grade Threads.
If you have chosen to grade the forum, type the Points possible.
4. Click Submit.
Enable Thread Grading During Thread Creation
When the Grade Threads option is selected, you can enable thread grading when a thread is created.
Note: If Grade Threads is selected for a forum, users cannot create new threads.
1. On the Create Thread page, select the Grade Thread check box and type the Points possible.
2. Click Submit.
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3. In the forum, the Grade Thread function appears in the thread's Grade column.
Enable Thread Grading After Thread Creation
When the Grade Threads option is selected, you can enable thread grading directly from the thread list in a
forum.
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1. Click the Grade function in a thread's Grade column.
2. Type the Points possible.
3. Click Submit. The Grade Thread function appears in a thread's Grade column.
Reminder: If a rubric will be used to grade a forum or thread, it must be created and added to the appropriate
Grade Center column in advance.
How to Grade User Participation in a Forum
You can assign discussion grades to evaluate participants on performance throughout a forum. When a forum
is created or edited, you can enable forum grading options and a Grade Center column is created. To learn
about enabling forum grading, see How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board.
Only users with a role of Manager or Grader can assign grades for posts. A Grader cannot view his or her own
work.
Reminder: You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading forums, but the rubrics must be created and
added to the appropriate Grade Center columns in advance.
1. Access the discussion forum where forum grading is enabled and click Grade Forum on the Action
Bar.
2. On the Grade Discussion Forum Users page, click Grade in a user's row with a number in the
Posts column.
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3. On the Grade Discussion Forum page, a collection of the student's posts made to the graded
forum appears. Since a forum grade can be based on multiple threads, all messages posted by the
student are included for review. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to open the page in a new
window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To select which
posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the Sort
by and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar.
The side panel contains three sections:
l
l
l
Forum Statistics: Includes information about the user's posts, such as Date of Last
Post, Average Post Length, and Average Post Position.
Forum Grade: Includes Grade, Grade Date, Feedback, and GradingNotes.
Contributors: Users who have submitted one or more posts appear with exclamation
marks—the Needs Grading icon (
). In this section, use the Previous User and Next
User arrows to navigate among users to grade -OR- click a user's name in the list. Click
Show All to view all users in your course. Users who have not posted to the graded forum
are included in the list. Click Show with Posts Only to return to the list of users who
have posts to grade.
4. In the content frame, evaluate the currently selected user's posts. To assign a grade, click Edit
Grade in the Forum Grade section.
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Note: To collapse or expand a side panel section, click the double arrows icon next to the section
title.
5. Type a numeric value in the Current Grade Value box. Assigning a score here removes any Grade
Center override that may exist for this user for this forum grade.
Note: If a rubric has been created and added for this graded forum, click View Rubric to reference
it while grading.
6. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the forum Manager or
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box.
7. Optionally, click Text Editor to access the Text Editor in a pop-up window. Use the functions to
format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups to your feedback
or notes.
8. Click Save Grade. The information appears in the Forum Grade section.
9. Click Edit Grade to make changes at any time. The changes appear in the Forum Grade section
and in the Grade Center column. The changes are recorded in the Grade Center on the user's
Grade Details page on the Grade History tab.
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10. When grading is complete, click OK to return to the Grade Discussion Forum Users page or use
the breadcrumbs to return to the Discussion Board.
Result
Grades appear in the Grade column on the Grade Discussion Forum Users page and in the Grade Center.
How to Grade User Participation in a Thread
You can assign discussion grades to evaluate participants on performance in each thread. When a forum is
created or edited, you can enable thread grading options and a Grade Center column is created. To learn about
enabling thread grading, see How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board.
Only users with a role of Manager or Grader can assign grades for posts. A Grader cannot view his or her own
work.
Note: Students cannot create new threads in a forum where threads are graded.
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Reminder: You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading threads, but the rubrics must be created and
added to the appropriate Grade Center columns in advance.
1. Access the discussion forum containing a thread you want to grade.
2. On the thread listing page, in List View, click Grade Thread in the thread's row.
3. On the Grade Discussion Thread Users page, click Grade in a user's row with a number in the
Posts column.
4. On the Grade Discussion Thread page, a collection of the student's posts made to the graded
thread appears. Since a thread grade can be based on multiple messages, all messages posted by
the student are included for review. On the Action Bar, click Print Preview to open the page in a
new window in printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To select
which posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the
Sort by and Order drop-down lists on the Action Bar.
The side panel contains three sections:
l
l
l
Thread Statistics: Includes information about the user's posts, such as Date of Last
Post, Average Post Length, and Average Post Position.
Thread Grade: Includes Grade, Grade Date, Feedback, and GradingNotes.
Contributors: Users who have submitted one or more posts appear with exclamation
marks—the Needs Grading icon (
). In this section, use the Previous User and Next
User arrows to navigate among users to grade -OR- click a user's name in the list. Click
Show All to view all users in your course. Users who have not posted to the graded
thread are included in the list. Click Show with Posts Only to return to the list of users
who have posts to grade.
5. In the content frame, evaluate the currently selected user's posts. To assign a grade, click Edit
Grade in the Thread Grade section.
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Note: To collapse or expand a side panel section, click the double arrows icon next to the section
title.
6. Type a numeric value in the Current Grade Value box. Assigning a score here removes any Grade
Center override that may exist for this user for this thread grade.
Note: If a rubric has been created and added for this graded thread, click View Rubric to
reference it whilegrading.
7. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the forum Manager or
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box.
8. Optionally, click Text Editor to access the Text Editor in a pop-up window. Use the functions to
format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups to your feedback
or notes.
9. Click Save Grade. The information appears in the Thread Grade section.
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Interactive Tools > Discussion Board
10. Click Edit Grade to make changes at any time. The changes appear in the Thread Grade section
and in the Grade Center column. The changes are recorded in the Grade Center on the user's
Grade Details page on the Grade History tab.
11. When grading is complete, click OK to return to the Grade Discussion Thread Users page or use
the breadcrumbs to return to the Discussion Board.
Result
Grades appear in the Grade column on the Grade Discussion Thread Users page and in the Grade Center.
How to Email Users While Grading Discussion Participation
While assigning grades, you can use the Email tool in the Discussion Board to quickly contact students. For
example, send a student a question prior to assigning a grade or send feedback after assigning a grade.
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Interactive Tools > Discussion Board
1. Navigate to a forum or thread to assign a grade.
2. On the Grade Discussion Thread Users page or the Grade Discussion Forum Users page,
select one or multiple users' check boxes or select the check box in the header row to select all the
users you want to email.
3. On the Action Bar, click Email.
4. On the Email Forum User page, edit the Subject, ifneeded.
5. Type a question or feedback in the Message box.
6. Click Submit.
How to Disable Grading for a Discussion Forum or Thread
Grading can be disabled for graded forums and threads, even if grades exist.
1.Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2.Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, in the Forum Settings section, change the grading option to No
Grading in Forum.
4. Click Submit. If grades have already been assigned for a forum or its threads, a warning message
appears stating that disabling grading will delete all existing grades. This action is final.
5. Click OK to continue or click Cancel to preserve the Grade Center items.
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Interactive Tools > Discussion Board
As you decide whether to disable grading for a forum, the number in the Points possible box appears grayed
out.
Related Tutorials
Grading Discussion Forums (Flash movie | 2m 15s | 4,576 KB) |
Threads (Flash movie | 3m 24s | 5,910 KB)
GradingDiscussion
Viewing Discussion Board Statistics
The Performance Dashboard is a valuable tool used to monitor student progress throughout your course. A
summary of access and progress for each student appears in a table format. As the term progresses, you can
quickly see if students are accessing the course regularly, reviewing course content, and contributing to the
Discussion Board. This information can help you identify students who are outside the normal range of
participation or needing help and encouragement. To learn more, see Using the Performance Dashboard.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether the Performance Dashboard is available.
If this tool is not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. Your administrator can also
disable the Discussion Board tool, which will affect the information appearing in the Performance Dashboard.
How to View Discussion Board Statistics
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section.
2. Select Performance Dashboard.
3. On the Performance Dashboard page, view how many forums a user posted in. In the
Discussion Board column, click a numbered link to view details.
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Interactive Tools > Discussion Board
4. On the Discussion Board page, view the following information:
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Forum: Lists all the forums a user has posted in.
Total Posts: Click the link to access a page displaying a user's posts in that forum.
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Date of Last Post: View when a user last accessed the forum.
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Average Post Length: Lists number of characters.
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Minimum Post Length: Lists number of characters.
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Maximum Post Length: Lists number of characters.
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Average Post Position: View a representation of a user's participation within the
threads.
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Grade: Click the link in the column to access the Grade Center column (if a grade
appears).
Note: To sort a column, click the column heading or caret.
5. On the Action Bar, click Email User to contact the user. The system populates the Email Forum
User page with the To and From information.
6. In the Forum column, click a forum title to access a Collection page displaying all the user's posts
in thatforum.
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Interactive Tools > Journals
Journals
About Journals
The Journals tool offers Students the opportunity to reflect on course content and communicate privately with
the Instructor. Instructors can use the tool to gauge understanding and guide Students in their knowledge
acquisition. Instructor comments can help students refine their writing and ideas.
The Instructor creates the Journal topics for individual Students to use. Then, Students submit Journal entries
in response to the topic and the Instructor can comment on the individual entries. As the Journal topic is
created, the Instructor determines if the Journal entries will be graded. Students are allowed to create multiple
entries for an individual Journal topic, whether it is graded or not.
The Instructor can choose to make Journal entries public, allowing all Course members to view all entries. For
example, an Instructor may choose to make a Journal public when asking for opinions on how to improve the
evaluation process. Students can read what other students wrote and build upon those ideas. Students cannot
comment on other Students' entries; only the Instructor can add comments.
The Group Journal tool functions differently, as it allows all members of a Group to view all Group Journal
entries. A Group Journal has no Journal topics; it is created by the Journal entries submitted by Group
members. A Group Journal can be edited to add instructions for the members. Group members and the
Instructor can add comments.
Creating a Journal
Journals are a personal space for Students to communicate privately with the Instructor. Students can also use
Journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and
analyze course related materials. Journal assignments can be broad and student-directed as the Students
reflect on the learning process and document changes in their perceptions and attitudes. Students can describe
problems faced and how they solved them. Instructor-directed Journal entries can be more formal in nature and
can narrow the focus by listing topics for discussion.
Journals are ideal for individual projects. For example, in a Creative Writing course, the owner of each Journal
creates entries and the Instructor adds comments. In this manner, the Student can refine a section of a writing
assignment over a period of time, using the Instructor’s guidance and suggestions. The Student can also
comment on his or her entries to continue the conversation with the Instructor.
Journals can be used as a graded assignment or ungraded to gather opinions and information.
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Interactive Tools > Journals
Instructors can create one or more Journals for use by Students in their courses. Journal topics must be
created before Students can add their entries.
How to Create a Journal
1. Access theCourse.
2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
3. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
4. Select Journals.
5. On the Journals listing page, click Create Journal on the Action Bar.
6. On the Create Journal page, type a Name for the Journal.
7. Type optional Instructions for the Journal. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
theattachment.
8. Under Journal Availability, select the Yes option to make it available to users.
9. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit the availability of the Journal.
Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date and time
selections.
10. Under Journal Settings, select Monthlyor Weekly Index Entries.
11. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries.
12. Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Delete Comments.
13. Optionally, select the check box to Permit Course Users to View Journal. Ifselected, the
Journal becomes public. All users can view all Journal entries made to the Journal topic.
14. Select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible
will apply to one or more entries made by the user to the Journal topic. Once a Journal is set to be
graded, a column is created for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable and cannot be set
to No grading.
15. Click Submit.
The Journal topics appear in alphabetical order on the Journals listing page. Columns can be sorted by clicking
the column title or caret.
Creating Journal Entries
Instructors and Students can create Journal entries. Only Instructors can comment on Students' private
entries. Group members and the Instructor can comment on Group entries.
On the Journals listing page, information is provided about each Journal. Students can see if their entries will
be Private—between the Student and the Instructor—or Public.
How to Create a Journal Entry
1. On the Journals listing page, select a Journal title.
2. On the Journal's topic page, click Create Journal Entry on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Journal Entry page, type a Title for the Journal entry.
4. Type text in the Entry Message text box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
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Interactive Tools > Journals
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
theattachment.
5. Alternatively, under Journal Entry Files, browse for a file to attach to the Journal entry.
6. Click Post Entry to submit the Journal entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.
How to View Drafts
To view drafts, click View Drafts on the Action Bar on the Journals listing page.
Commenting on a Journal
Journaling can be essential for interaction between the Student and the Instructor, especially in a Web-based
course. Student entries and Instructor comments can help build rapport and can create a healthy intellectual
exchange.
A Student can make a comment after an Instructor comments on an entry to continue the conversation.
Students cannot make comments on another Student’s Journal entry, even if the Journal has been made
public. Students can only comment on another Student’s entry when they are members of a Group. For Group
Journals, all Group members and the Instructor are allowed to make comments on individual entries.
How to Comment on a Journal Entry
1. On the Journals listing page, select a Journal title.
2. On the Journal's topic page, select the Journal entry to view by selecting the user’s name in the
side panel under More Journals. The Journal entry opens in the content frame.
3. Click Comment following the user’s entry. The Comment text box appears.
4. Type a comment in the Comment text box.
5. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the Comment text box to check the spelling of the content
before continuing.
6. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the entry to view the comment.
Editing Journals
Instructors can edit basic properties of a Journal topic, including the name, instructions, availability, and some
settings. Journal topics can be changed from Private to Public and Public to Private. Instructors can edit any
user's Journal entries and can delete Journal topics. Comments can be deleted by the Instructor.
How to Edit a Journal
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Journals listing page, click a Journal's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Edit.
4. On the Edit Journal page, make changes.
5. Click Submit.
How to Delete a Journal
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Journals listing page, click a Journal's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
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Interactive Tools > Journals
3. Select Delete.
4. Click OK in the confirmation window. All entries and comments are deleted.
Note: When a graded Journal is selected for deletion, a Delete Confirmation page appears. Select the
appropriate check box or boxes to delete the Journal or the Journal and the Grade Center column.
How to Change the Availability of a Journal
1. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
2. On the Journals listing page, select the check box next to the appropriate Journal.
3. Point to Availability on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Make Available or MakeUnavailable.
Troubleshooting Journal Management
If
Then
a Journal is
deleted while
users are posting
the Journal and all comments are deleted.
a Journal is made
unavailable while
users are posting
the Journal remains visible to the Instructor in Edit Mode but is not displayed to users.
the Allow Users
to Edit andDelete
Entries setting is
changed
entries remain, but users cannot edit them.
the Allow Users
comments remain and users cannot delete them.
to Delete
Comments setting
is changed
the Journal is set
to be graded
the setting cannot be changed. The Journal needs to be deleted and the Grade Center column
must be deleted from the Grade Center to remove it. The Grade Center column for the Journal
can also not be included in Grade Center calculations, if the Journal entries are needed, but
will not be graded.
Grading Blogs and Journals
Instructors can grade participation in Blogs and Journals for individuals and Groups. Once a Blog or Journal
topic is set to be graded, a grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center. Then, individual Student
and Group entries can be graded from the Blog or Journal topic page, where all entries and comments can be
referenced, as the grade is determined. An assigned grade can also be edited from the Blog or Journal topic
page and the Grade Center is updated. Students can view their Blog or Journal grades in the My Grades tool.
About Grading Blogs and Journals
Instructors can grade the quality of the discussion, as well as the number of entries and comments that are
made by an individual or a Course Group.
Grades for Blogs and Journals are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade
Center.
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Interactive Tools > Journals
Instructors can determine whether or not users can view their own grades and feedback by editing the column
information in the Grade Center. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns.
A graded Blog or Journal topic cannot be changed to ungraded. Delete the graded Blog or Journal topic from the
Blogs or Journals listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded topic. Alternatively, to retain
entries, set the Blog or Journal Grade Center column to not be included in calculations.
The Blog topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and Course Groups. The side
panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
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About this Blog: Includes type, number of entries, and number of comments.
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View Entries by: Users who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks, the
needs grading icon. Click a user's name to access the Blog Grade section, where Grades,
Feedback and Grading Notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this
section to navigate among users to grade or click a user's name in the list. Click Show Members
without Entries to see all users in the course; users who have not added entries are included in this
list. Click Hide Members without Entries to return to the list of users who have entries needing a
grade.
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Index: For a selected user or all Course members, view a list of entry titles added during the index
span—by month or by week.
The Journal topic page contains a side panel where entries are graded for individuals and Course Groups. The
side panel consists of three sections which expand to four when grading begins:
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About this Journal: Includes author, number of entries, and number of comments.
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More Journals: Users who have submitted one or more entries appear with exclamation marks, the
needs grading icon. Click a user's name to access the Journal Grade section, where Grades,
Feedback and Grading Notes are added. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in this
section to navigate among users to grade or click a user's name in the list. Click Show Empty
Journals to see all users in the course; users who have not added entries are included in this list.
Click Hide Empty Journals to return to the list of users who have entries needing a grade.
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Index: For a selected user, view a list of entry titles added during the index span—by month or by
week.
How to Grade Blog Entries for Individuals
1. Access the Blog topic page and select the Blog entry or entries to grade by selecting the user’s
name in the side panel under View Entries by. The user’s Blog entry or entries open in the content
frame.
2. Under Blog Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box.
Note: If a Rubric has been created for this graded Blog, click View Rubric.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the Instructor and
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, andmultimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the Grade, Feedback, and Grading Notes to the Blog Grade section and
to the Grade Center.
6. The Grade, Feedback, or Grading Notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Blog Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the user's Grade Details page.
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Interactive Tools > Journals
How to Grade Journal Entries for Individuals
1. Access the Journal topic page and select the Journal entry or entries to grade by selecting the
user's name in the side panel under More Journals. The user’s Journal entry or entries open in the
content frame.
2. Under Journal Grade in the side panel, click Edit Grade.
3. Type a point total in the Current Grade Value text box.
Note: If a Rubric has been created for this graded Journal, click View Rubric.
4. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the Instructor and
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, andmultimedia.
5. Click Save Grade to add the Grade, Feedback, and Grading Notes to the Journal Grade section
and to the Grade Center.
6. The Grade, Feedback, or Grading Notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Journal Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes
are documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the user's Grade Details page.
Note: If a Rubric will be used to grade Blog or Journal entries, it must be created and added to the appropriate
Grade Center column in advance.
How to Delete a Gradable Blog or Journal
If a gradable Blog or Journal is no longer needed, it can be deleted. It is permanently deleted and the action
cannot be undone. On the Blogs or Journals listing page, select Delete from the contextual menu for the item
and the Delete Confirmation page appears.
There are two options on the Delete Confirmation page:
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Do not select check boxes: The Blog or Journal will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and
scores assigned are retained. For example, all Student entries have been graded and you want to
keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If the Blog or Journal is deleted, yet the
Grade Center column is retained, the column can be deleted from the Grade Center at any time.
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Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center AND the Blog or Journal are deleted.
For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the Blog or Journal entries in the final
grade, you can safely delete all.
Click Remove to complete the deletion.
How to Grade a Blog or Journal for all Group Members
A Group Blog or Journal is graded following the same steps as for an individual. When the entries are
submitted, all Group members' names appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading icon. When a
grade is added for a Group Blog or Group Journal, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the
Group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each Group member. All members
are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. The Instructor can read all the entries for the
Group Blog or Group Journal and add one grade on the Group Blog or Group Journal topic page.
Students can view their Group Blog or Group Journal grades in the My Grades tool and on the Group Blog or
Group Journal topic page by selecting their names.
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Interactive Tools > Wikis
How to Change an Individual Member’s Group Grade
An individual Group member can be assigned a different grade than the Group by selecting his or her name to
access the Grade section. In the content frame, the individual member’s entries and comments appear. After
assigning a new Grade and Feedback for the individual member, the new information appears in the side panel.
The Grade the individual member received and the Grade the Group received are both shown.
If a Group member’s grade is changed, and a new Group grade is given, the new Group grade will not affect the
individual’s new grade. The individual’s new grade will not appear to the other Group members.
The Group grade and the individual Group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center in the column that
was automatically created when the graded Group Blog or Group Journal was enabled. Grayed out cells appear
in the Group Blog or Group Journal column for course members who are not part of the Group. A Group or
individual member's grade can also be edited from the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
It is possible to revert a member’s edited grade to the original Group grade, which all Group members received.
Alternatively, edit the grade that was changed on the Group Blog or Group Journal page by selecting the user.
1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. After a member’s Group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original Group grade.
4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the main Grade Center page and view the edited grade
column. This grade change also appears on the Group Blog or Group Journal page when the user's
name is selected.
Group Deletion
If a Group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete Confirmation page
appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the Group, such as for a graded Group Blog or Group
Journal, the columns can be retained. On the Delete Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any
columns that need to be preserved.
Wikis
Wikis is a collaborative tool that allows Students to contribute and modify one or more pages of course related
materials, providing a means of sharing and collaboration. Pages can be created and edited quickly, while
tracking changes and additions, allowing for effective collaboration between multiple writers. The Instructor can
create one or more Wikis for all Course members to contribute to and Wikis for specific Groups to use to
collaborate. Wikis can also be used to record information and serve as a repository for course information and
knowledge.
The Instructor has the ability to view all changes to all pages in the Wiki. The Instructor can view the changes
at a high level and then drill down to retrieve information about the development and contributions for any
individual.
The Instructor can choose whether to assign a grade to Student contributions to a Wiki. After a Wiki is set to be
graded, a grade column is created automatically in the Grade Center. Individual Student and Group
contributions then can be graded inside the Wiki tool, where all pages and edits can be referenced as the grade
is determined.
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Interactive Tools > Wikis
An assigned grade can also be edited from inside the Wikis tool and the Grade Center is updated. Grades for
Wikis are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade Center. Students can
view their Wiki grades in the My Grades tool.
About Course Wikis
Course Wikis are created by the Instructor. Any Course member can add pages unless the Instructor intends to
be the sole author and use the Wiki as course content.
About Group Wikis
Group Wikis are enabled by the Instructor. Any Course member can read the Group Wiki, but the user must be
a member of the Group to edit a page or make a comment on a Group Wiki page. The Instructor can change the
default setting to allow only Group members to view a Group Wiki.
How to Create a Wiki
1. Access theCourse.
2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
3. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
4. Select Wikis.
5. On the Wikis listing page, click Create Wiki on the Action Bar.
6. On the Create Wiki page, type a Wiki Name.
7. Type optional Instructions for the Wiki. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia,
Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed. Attachments added
using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe
theattachment.
8. Select the Yes option to make the Wiki available to users.
9. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit availability of the Wiki.
Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date and time
selections. Display restrictions do not affect the content in the Wiki, only the appearance of the
Wiki.
10. Select the Student Access option. Student Access can be changed at any time.
a. Closed to Editing: Select this option when the Instructor will be the only one
contributing pages or to disallow further page editing by users, such as when the Wiki
pages are set to be graded. Wikis can still be viewed when Closed to Editing is
selected.
b. Open to Editing: Allows users to modify any Wiki page. In a Group Wiki, a user must
be a member of the Group to edit a Wiki page.
11. Select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible
will apply to one or more pages added and all edits by the user. Once a Wiki is set to be graded, a
column is created for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable and cannot be set to No
grading.
The Wiki topics appear in alphabetical order on the Wikis listing page. Columns can be sorted by clicking the
column title or caret.
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Interactive Tools > Wikis
How to Create a Wiki Page
Each newly created Course or Group Wiki requires a first page, which is the home page. The Instructor or any
Course or Group member can create the home page. The home page cannot be deleted, but if the Wiki is open
to editing, it can be edited by any Course or Group member. The home page and all subsequent pages are
created following the same steps.
1. On the Wikis listing page, select a Wiki title.
2. On the Wiki’s topic page, click Create Wiki Page on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a Name for the Wiki page.
4. Type text in the Content text box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia, Mashups,
and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor. Attachments added using the Text Editor
can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
5. Click Submit.
How to Edit Wiki Content
Any Course member can edit a Course Wiki page and any Group member can edit a Group Wiki page, unless
the Instructor has disabled this function. An Instructor might disable editing when it is time to grade the Wiki
pages; however, the Instructor will still be able to edit Student pages. All Course members, including the
Instructor, edit in the same way.
When a Wiki page is being edited by one user, it is locked to prevent others from editing the same page. If a
user tries to edit a page someone else is editing, he or she is informed that the page is currently being edited by
anotheruser.
Note: Students do not have the ability to delete Wiki pages.
1. Access the Wiki. The Wiki topic page appears.
2. Select the page to review and edit. The Wiki page opens in the content frame.
3. In the side panel, click the page’s Action Link to access the contextual menu and select Edit
Properties
-orClick Edit Wiki Content next to the page’s title in the content frame.
4. On the Edit Wiki Page, changes can be made to the name and content of the page. Additional
content can be added also. Use the functions in the Text Editor to format existing text or add links,
images, multimedia, Mashups, attachments, and link to other Wiki pages.
5. Click Submit.
Note: Select History from a page’s contextual menu to see how the page has been modified, view any
version, and compare two versions side by side. The Page History page allows the Instructor to retrieve
information about the development of any page and see who contributed content. The most recent version of
the page appears first. The Instructor can delete one or more Wiki page versions from the Page History page,
but Students cannot. Pages may be deleted because of offensive, inaccurate, or flawed content. When a
version is deleted, all participation history for that version is deleted. If the latest version is deleted, then the
version next in line becomes the most current version and is the page viewed in the Wiki.
How to Link to Other Wiki Pages
When Wiki pages are created, users may need to reference another page in the Wiki. If the Wiki consists of
many pages, it can be helpful to insert a link to that page right on the page currently being viewed. When
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Interactive Tools > Wikis
creating or editing a Wiki page, users can use the Link to Wiki page function in the Text Editor to link to
another Wiki page within the current Wiki.
Links to other Wiki pages can be created when at least two pages exist.
1. Access theWiki.
2. On the Wiki topic page, click Create Wiki Page.
3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a Wiki Name and Content.
4. In the Content text box, position the mouse pointer where a link will be added to another Wiki page.
5. Click the Link to Wiki page function in the Text Editor, represented by several sheets of paper. If
there is only one page in the Wiki, this function is disabled.
6. In the pop-up window, select the Wiki page to link to from the drop-down list.
7. Optionally, type a name for the link in the Rename Wiki Page Link text box. If the link is not
renamed, the original page title is used as the link.
8. Click Submit. The link appears in the Text Editor.
9. Click Submit. The new page with the link to the other page is added to the Wiki.
How to Add a Comment to a Wiki Page
Any Course member can add a comment to a Course Wiki page rather than add to or edit a page. Comments
provide a way for an Instructor and Students to offer feedback and suggestions. Comments can be viewed by
all Course members. By default, Group Wikis can be read by all Course members, but a user must be a
member of the Group to make a comment on a Group Wiki page. The Instructor can change the default setting
to allow only Group members to view a Group Wiki.
1. Access theWiki.
2. On the Wiki topic page, select the page to view in the side panel. The Wiki page opens in the
content frame.
3. Click Comment following the user’s contribution. The Comment text box appears.
4. Type a comment in the Comment text box.
5. Click Spell Check at the bottom of the Comment text box to check the spelling of the content
before continuing.
6. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the contribution to view the comment.
How to View the Participation Summary
On the Participation Summary page, Instructors are able to view a list of all Student participation for the
current Wiki being viewed. The information provided can help Instructors understand how Students contributed
to the overall Wiki content. This information can be especially useful when determining individual grades for
gradableWikis.
1. Access theWiki.
2. On the Wiki topic page’s Action Bar, click Participation and Grading for graded Wikis or
Participation Summary for Wikis with no grading.
3. On the Participation Summary page, view participation for the Students who have contributed to
theWiki.
4. In the side panel, view information about the Wiki and select a user to view his or her Participant's
Contribution page.
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Interactive Tools > Wikis
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Page Versions: The Page Version column displays all pages created and edited by the
user. This allows the Instructor to see precisely how and what content the user
contributed and edited. If many pages appear, narrow what is shown using the Display
Pages drop-down list on the Action Bar. A new version is created each time a page is
edited. When versions are compared, the difference between any version and its previous
version are shown on the Page Comparison page. Click the Legend tab to understand
the differences in how one version was changed in comparison to the other version. The
Legend tab provides an explanation of the formatting used to communicate version
differences.
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Words Modified: Tally of any words added, deleted, or edited in all pages and each
page’s version of the Wiki.
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Page Saves: Tally of any time Submit is clicked on the Edit Wiki Page in the Wiki,
regardless of whether or not content has been changed.
How to Grade a Course Wiki
After a Wiki is set to be graded, a column is automatically created in the Grade Center. Then, individual Student
contributions can be accessed from the Wiki’s Participation Summary page. A user’s name can be selected
and all the pages the Student authored and edited can be viewed to determine the grade. The Participation
Summary page allows the Instructor to start at a high level summary and drill down to the changes that an
individual Student made. The grade applies to the Wiki, not an individual Wiki page.
A graded Wiki cannot be set to ungraded. Delete the graded Wiki from the Wikis listing page and the Grade
Center, and create a new ungraded Wiki. Alternatively, do not include the graded Wiki column in Grade Center
calculations, if the Wiki pages need to be retained.
1. Access the Wiki to be graded.
2. On the Wiki topic page, click Participation and Grading on the Action Bar.
3. On the Participation Summary page, select a user’s name in the View Contributions section.
Users with contributions ready for grading appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading
icon.
4. On the Participant’s Contribution page, a list of the user’s pages and page versions open in the
content frame. You can also view information about the contributions. In the Page Version
column, click a page’s title to review it.
5. When ready to grade, in the Grade section in the side panel, click Edit Grade. The grading field
appears in the side panel.
6. Type a numeric grade in the Current Grade Value text box.
Note: If a Rubric has been created for this graded Wiki, click View Rubric.
7. Optionally, type Feedback for the user and Grading Notes, which appear to the Instructor and
Grader only. Optionally, use the Spell Check function in the bottom of each text box. Click Text
Editor to access all the Text Editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments,
images, Mashups, andmultimedia.
8. Click Save Grade to add the Grade, Feedback, and Grading Notes to the Grade section and to the
GradeCenter.
9. The Grade, Feedback, or Grading Notes can be edited by clicking the Edit Grade function again at
any time. The changes appear in the Grade section and in the Grade Center. The changes are
documented in the Grade Center in the Grade History tab on the user's Grade Details page.
Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in the View Contributions section to quickly access other
users’ contributions tograde.
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Interactive Tools > Wikis
Note: If a Rubric will be used to grade Wiki contributions, it must be created and added to the appropriate
Grade Center column in advance.
How to Delete a Gradable Wiki
If a gradable Wiki is no longer needed, it can be deleted. It is permanently deleted and the action cannot be
undone. On the Wikis listing page, select Delete from the contextual menu for the item and the Delete
Confirmation pageappears.
There are two options on the Delete Confirmation page:
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Do not select check boxes: The Wiki will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and scores
assigned are retained. For example, all Student contributions have been graded and you want to keep
the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If the Wiki is deleted, yet the Grade Center
column is retained, the column can be deleted from the Grade Center at any time.
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Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center AND the Wiki are deleted. For
example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the Wiki contributions in the final grade,
you can safely delete all.
Click Remove to complete the deletion.
How to Grade Group Wikis
On the Participation Summary page, the exclamation mark, or needs grading icon, appears in the View
Contributions section for Group members when a Group Wiki needs grading. When a grade is added for a
Group Wiki on the Participation Summary page, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the
Group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each Group member. All members
are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. Students can view their Group Wiki grades in
the My Grades tool and on their My Contribution pages.
An individual Group member can be assigned a different grade than the Group by editing the grade for the
member. If a Group member’s grade is changed, and a new Group grade is given, the new Group grade will not
affect the individual’s new grade. The grade the individual member received and the grade the Group received
are both shown. The individual’s new grade will not appear to the other Group members.
On the Participation Summary page, select the Group member from the View Contributions section. The
Participant’s Contribution page displays the Group member’s contributions and the Group grade for this
member can be changed in the side panel by clicking Edit Grade.
The Group grade and the individual Group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center in the column that
was automatically created when the graded Group Wiki was enabled. Grayed out cells appear in the Group Wiki
column for Course members who are not part of the Group. A grade can also be edited from the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Member’s Edited Grade
It is possible to revert a member’s edited grade to the original Group grade, which all Group members received.
Alternatively, edit the grade that was changed on the Group Wiki page by selecting the user.
1. From the Grade Center, access the member’s Grade Details page.
2. After a member’s Group grade has been edited, the Revert To Group Grade function appears.
Click Revert To Group Grade.
3. Click OK. The member’s grade is changed to the original Group grade.
4. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the main Grade Center page and view the edited grade
column. This grade change also appears on the Group Wiki page when the user's name is selected.
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Interactive Tools > Wikis
How to Delete a Group
If a Group is no longer needed and Delete is selected from the contextual menu, a Delete Confirmation page
appears. If grade columns exist in the Grade Center for the Group, such as for a graded Group Wiki, the
columns can be retained. On the Delete Confirmation page, do not select the check boxes for any columns
that need to be preserved.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
Content Creation
Creating Course Areas for Content
You create course areas to serve as containers for your course material. Course areas enable you to present
various types of content in an organized and engaging way.
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The top-level course areas are called Content Areas, which are created, linked, and managed on the
Course Menu. Typically, courses contain multiple Content Areas.
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The next level of course areas includes folders, Learning Modules, and Lesson Plans. These course
areas must be created within an existing Content Area or other course area.
Once you have created a course area, you create content items within it to present your course material. You
can include content such as text, file attachments, links to websites, tests, assignments, and multimedia.
For example, you can create a Content Area called Units that contains Learning Modules for Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit
3, and so on. Each of the Learning Modules contains reading materials, assessments, and links to interactive
tools to help student accomplish the learning objectives for the unit.
Content Areas are the top-level course area that provides your course structure. They are linked and
created on the Course Menu only. They contain other course areas and content items.
Folders are containers for content.
Learning Modules are containers for content and can include a Table of Contents and can require
sequential viewing of its content.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
Lesson Plans are containers for content and present objectives and other details directly above its list of
content items.
Content is created within course areas by pointing to Build Content, Create Assessment, and Add
Interactive Tool on the Action Bar. To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area, Creating
Assessments in a Course Area, and Linking to Interactive Tools in a Course Area.
How to Create a Content Area
Content Areas are the top-level course areas. They are created and managed on the Course Menu.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON, and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Content Area.
3. Type a Name for the new Content Area.
4. Select the Available to Users check box. Content Areas can be created ahead of time, made
unavailable, and then made available at the appropriate time.
5. Click Submit. A link to the new Content Area appears on the Course Menu.
Result
A newly created Content Area is an empty container. Click the link to the Content Area to access it. Next, point
to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
After creating content, you can set the sequence of items with the drag-and-drop function or the Keyboard
Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. For instructions on reordering and editing content items, see
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
Plan Your Content Areas
Links to the Content Areas you create appear in the Course Menu and provide the overall structure of your
course. Plan how you will organize the entire course and envision how your Course Menu will look and function.
Three common organizational approachesare:
Chronologically
By ContentType
By Subject Area
Each Content Area contains a
week’s worth of readings,
assignments, lecture notes, and
discussion forums.
Similar content types are grouped
together in a Content Area, such as
all the lectures for the entire course.
Each Content Area contains lecture
material and readings on a specific
subject, along with assignments,
discussion forums, and
assessments.
Some questions to consider:
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What is the best way to divide the course material into manageable sections?
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Do you want course materials presented in chronological order, by textbook chapter, or by subject
area?
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Do you want each unit to follow a predictable pattern? For instance, reading materials followed by a
quiz and a Discussion Board wrap-up.
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Do you want students to move through your course material sequentially, non-sequentially, or a
mixture of both?
How to Manage Content Area Links
You can organize and rename the Content Area links on the Course Menu to make them easier for students to
use.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder Content Area links on the Course Menu.
Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool to reorder the links.
Click a link’s ActionLink (
) and select Rename to change its title. Select Hide Link to make it
unavailable to students. Click Show Link to make it available to students. If you Delete the Content Area, all
content items within it are also permanently deleted. This action is final and cannot be undone.
With Edit Mode set to ON, an unavailable link title appears with a square with a diagonal line through it.
Students will not see the link on the Course Menu.
How to Create a Content Folder
Folders are a type of course area used to organize content. They are created in existing course areas, such as
Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, or in other folders. After you create a folder, content and
additional subfolders can be added to it. For example, instructors can create folders for each week of the course
in a Content Area.
Use folders to organize content to make materials easier to find and reduce the amount of scrolling in a course
area. Organize content so that students can access with as few clicks as possible, so limit the number of
nested folders used.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
4. Select Content Folder.
5. On the Create page, type a Name for the folder.
6. Select options for the folder or item. Options vary based on the type of item.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set folders to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect folder
availability, only when it appears.
7. Click Submit. A link to the new folder appears in the course area.
Tip: To create a subfolder, first create a parent folder. Click the name of the parent folder to open it, then point
to Build Content on the Action Bar of the parent folder and select Content Folder.
Result
A newly created folder is an empty container. Click the link to the folder in the course area to access it. Next,
point to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
After creating content in the folder, you can set the sequence of items with the drag-and-drop function or the
Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. For instructions on reordering and editing content items
see Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
How to Create a Learning Module
Learning Modules are course areas that allow you to organize related course materials in a Table of Contents to
provide a rich and interactive learning experience. Students typically access Learning Modules from Content
Areas.
Student view of LearningModule
The Table of Contents displays the items you added to the Learning Module. It can be moved to the bottom,
expanded, collapsed, or removed from view using the icons. Instructors may hide the Table of Contents by
editing Learning Module settings.
Content displays in the content frame.
Click the arrows to scroll through the items in the Learning Module sequentially.
You can set a structured path through the Table of Contents by enforcing sequential viewing or allow users to
explore the content in any order. For instance, a Learning Module presents the concept of magnetic fields
before describing how speakers and microphones work. Understanding the first concept is required for
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
understanding the second concept. Alternatively, you can allow students to explore a Learning Module in any
order for subjects where no particular arrangement is required for understanding the larger concept
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Learning Module.
5. On the Create Learning Module page, type a Name. Students access the Learning Module by
clicking thename.
6. Optionally, type a description in the Text box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the
text. The description appears below the Learning Module Name.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
7. Select the options for Availability, View, and Table of Contents.
8. Click Submit. A link to the new Learning Module appears in the course area.
Learning Module Options
The Learning Module options you select determine how users view the Learning Module as well as its
availability.
Option
Settings
Availability
Permit Users to View this Content: Select No to make the Learning Module
unavailable to users.
Select Date and Time Restrictions: You can set Learning Modules to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time
selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection
Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions
do not affect the Learning Module’s availability, only when it appears.
View
Enforce Sequential Viewing of the Learning Module: SelectYes to force students
to view the pages in order you have determined. Students cannot advance to the
next link in the Table of Contents without viewing the previous link. Although the
If sequential viewing is not enforced, items in the Learning Module can be viewed
in any order by clicking the links in the Table of Contents.
Open in New Window: Select Yes if you want the Learning Module to be viewed in
a separate window instead of in the content frame. This enables students to keep
the Learning Module open in the separate window while navigating to other areas.
Track Number of Views: Select Yes to turn on StaBtliasctikcbsoaTrrdaLcekainrngRaenledarseec9o.1rd-Htheelpfor Instructors - Page 262
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number of times the Learning Module is viewed, when it is viewed, and by whom.
Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
Option
Settings
Table of
Contents
Show Table of Contents to Users: Select Yes to display a Table of Contents to
students when they access the Learning Module.Even when sequential viewing is
enforced, it is still beneficial for students to see the Table of Contents to gain
perspective on the overall concepts being taught. If the Table of Contents is
hidden, students use the navigation arrows to move between pages, but cannot
see the list ofitems in the Learning Module.
Hierarchy Display: Select the way items in the Learning Module are labeled to
denote their relative position in the Table of Contents. Numbers, letters, Roman
Numerals, or mixed can be selected. If None is selected, the items will not be
labeled.
Result
A newly created Learning Module is an empty container. Click the link to the Learning Module in the course area
to access it. Next, point to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
After creating content in your Learning Module, you can organize the content in folders to provide a hierarchical
structure in the Table of Contents. You can set the sequence of Learning Module items by using the drag-anddrop function or the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. After reordering, click the Refresh
button in the Table of Contents. For instructions on reordering and editing content items see Editing and
Managing Course Areas and Content.
Change Edit Mode to OFF to view the Learning Module as students see it.
How to Create a Lesson Plan
A Lesson Plan is a container for content items, similar to a Learning Module, Content Area, or folder. You can
use Lesson Plans to help students understand the intended result of their learning and prepare them for the
content ahead.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
Student view of LessonPlan
The lesson profile and instructional objectives appear in the top portion of the page.
Content appears in the lower portion of the page.
You create Lesson Plans in two steps based on the two tabs appearing on the Create Lesson Plan page:
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Content Information: This tab contains general information, such as Instructor, Objectives, and
Subject Area. This information appears at the top of the Lesson Plan in a gray box when students
access the Lesson Plan or when you view it with Edit Mode turned OFF.
Curriculum Resources: This tab contains the Lesson Plan’s content items. You can create all
content types in a Lesson Plan just as you can in a Content Area, Learning Module, or folder.
You can make Lessons Plans available to students or use them solely as a planning tool. The Lesson Plan tool
is turned on by default, but your Blackboard Administrator can disable the tool.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
4. Select Lesson Plan.
5. On the Create Lesson Plan page, the Content Information tab appears first by default. This tab
enables you to display general information for users at the top of the Lesson Plan in a gray box.
6. Type a Name for the Lesson Plan. This is a required field and appears as the link to the Lesson
Plan in the course area.
7. Type an optional Description. Use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files,
images, links, multimedia, and Mashups. The Description follows the Name in the course area.
8. Type information for the default elements: Instructional Level, Instructor, Objectives, and
Subject Area. A default element’s title can be edited by clicking the existing title to access the
Edit Element Name text box. Delete an element by clicking the X.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
9. Select the check box next to Share with students for each element that you want to appear in the
Lesson Plan when students view it. If information is not added to a default element, it will not
appear in the Lesson Plan and does not require deletion. Clear the check box next to Share with
students for any information that is for instructors only.
Note: Change Edit Mode to OFF to ensure that you reveal only the information you intend to show
to users.
10. To add new elements, point to Add Lesson Plan Section on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
11. Select an element. The new element is added to the bottom of the list on the Create Lesson Plan
page, where you can edit its title and use its Text Editor, if available.
Note: Select Section Headings to organize the elements. After adding a Section Heading, click
the title to edit the name.
12. Select options for the Lesson Plan.
a. Select Yes for Permit Users to View this Content to make it available to students.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set Lesson Plans to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
Lesson Plan availability, only when it appears.
13. Click Save and Exit to save the Lesson Plan shell and return to the course area. You can edit the
Lesson Plan later to create content items.
-ORClick Save and Continue to display the Curriculum Resources tab and create content now.
Result
A newly created Lesson Plan is an empty container. Click the link to the Lesson Plan in the course area to
access it. Next, point to any of the functions in the Action Bar to create content.
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Content Creation > Creating Course Areas for Content
After creating content in the course area, you can set the sequence of items with the drag-and-drop function or
the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar. For instructions on reordering and editing content
items see Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content.
Change Edit Mode to OFF to view the Lesson Plan as students see it. It is substantially different than the view
with Edit Mode set to ON.
How to Link a Folder, Lesson Plan, or Learning Module on the Course
Menu
You cannot create a folder, Lesson Plan, or Learning Module directly on the Course Menu. However, you can
create a Course Link on the Course Menu for an existing folder, Lesson Plan, or Learning Module.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item
drop-down list appears.
2. Select Create Course Link.
3. Browse for the location of the course area you want to link.
4. Type a Name for the Course Link.
5. Select the Available to Users check box to allow students to access it.
6. Click Submit. A link to the course area appears on the Course Menu.
How to See the Student View of a Course Area
You must change Edit Mode to OFF to see course content as students see it. This is especially important for
Lesson Plans and Learning Modules as they look quite different when Edit Mode is ON.
Viewing from the student perspective ensures you reveal only the information you intend to show to users.
Related Tutorials
Building a Learning Module (Flash movie | 3m 00s | 1,445 KB) |
Creating a Lesson Plan
(Flash movie | 4m 51s | 2,403 KB) |
Your Course Environment (Flash movie | 3m 46s | 2,485 KB)
Next Steps
Now that you have created an empty Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder, learn how to
create content in it:
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Content Creation > Creating Content in a Course Area
Creating Content in a Course Area
Creating Assessments in a Course Area
Linking to Interactive Tools in a Course Area
Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area
To learn how to turn options on for course areas and change settings, availability, and content order, see Editing
and Managing Course Areas and Content.
Creating Content in a Course Area
After creating a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder, you create
content in it by pointing to its Action Bar to reveal menus for selecting content items, assessments, and links to
interactivetools.
You can make the content relevant and interactive by including several different types of learning materials and
experiences. For example, you can provide online lectures, class discussions, multimedia, and assessments.
As you create content, you can set its options, such as availability. This enables you to create content and
make it unavailable to users until you are ready for them to view it.
About Content Types
You can create many different content types in your course areas. Advance planning of the items to include in
course areas can save you time and create a more organized final product. Consider your course goals,
objectives, and audience demographics. Review your existing materials to determine what can be used online.
Consider outlining or storyboarding a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder before creating
content to create a logical organization. To learn more, see Plan Your Content Areas.
The following table describes the different content types available in the Build Content drop-down list.
Content
Type
Item
Description
A general piece of content, such as a file, image, text, or link to which a description and other items may
be attached.
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Content Creation > Creating Content in a Course Area
Content
Type
Description
File
An HTML file that can be used in the course. These files can be viewed as a page within the course or
as a separate piece of content in a separate browser window.
Audio
Image
Upload files from your computer and incorporate them in a course area.
Video
URL
Link to an outside website or resource.
Learning A set of content that includes a structured path for progressing through the items.
Module
Lesson
Plan
A special content type that combines information about the lesson itself with the curriculum resources
used to teach it.
Syllabus
Enables you to attach an existing syllabus file or build a course syllabus by walking through a series of
steps.
Course
Link
A shortcut to an item, tool, or area in a course.
Content
Folder
A course area that contains content items. Folders allow content to be structured with a hierarchy or
categories.
Blank
Page
The Blank Page tool allows you to include files, images, and text as a link in a course area. Blank Pages
present content in a different way than items do. There is no description that appears below the title of
the page. Users see your content only after clicking the link.
Module
Page
A page containing dynamic personalized content modules that help users keep track of tasks, tests,
assignments, and new content created in the course.
Tools
Area
A shortcut to a specific tool in the course, such as the Discussion Board orjournals.
Mashups Mashups allow you to include content in a course that is from an external website. Three types of
Mashups are available:
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Flickr Photo: Link to a site for viewing and sharing photographic images
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SlideShare: Link to a site for viewing and sharing PowerPoint presentations, Word documents,
or Adobe PDF Portfolios
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YouTube: Link to a site for viewing and sharing online videos
How to Create an Item
Content items are used to present a variety of course material. The Text Editor enables you to format the item’s
content, as well as incorporate images, multimedia, and links to files.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Item.
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5. On the Create Item page, type a Name for the item.
6. Type instructions, a description, or a question in the Text box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups.
Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the
top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and
can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
7. Alternatively, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options. These files
appear in the item before any Text Editor content.
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
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o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
8. Select Options for the item.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
9. Click Submit.
How to Create a File and Upload Single Files or ZippedPackages
You can use the File content type to create a simple link to a file in a course area. No description appears with
the link. You can choose whether users view it as a page within the course or in a separate browser window.
You can upload a single file or a single zipped package. For example, uploading a zipped package would be an
effective way to provide students a group of images needed for a lab project.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select File.
5. On the Create File page, attach a file using one of the following options.
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-ORo
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
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6. After you have selected a file, you can click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked and
replace it with another.
7. Type a Name for the file. You can overwrite the file name that automatically appears in the box.
This name appears in the course area as a link. You can also select the font color.
8. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window outside of
the course’s contentframe.
9. Select Options for the item.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
10. Click Submit.
Zipped Packages of Content
If you have worked offline to create a lesson with several interrelated HTML pages with navigation, images,
external links, and cascading style sheets (CSS), the best method for presenting the package to users is for
you to unzip the package in Course Files or the Content Collection and provide students a link to the start page.
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This enables students to view the lesson contents in order with all links intact. The start page will open in a new
window or tab and can be closed to return to the course area.
1. Create a package of content offline on your computer.
2. Access Course Files or the Content Collection. Select Upload Package so that the package is
automatically unzipped.
3. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder where you will provide the link to
your lesson.
4. Point to Build Content and select File.
5. On the Create File page, click Browse Course to select the file that is the start page for your
content package. This is the first page users see, and should contain navigation to the other pages
in yourpackage.
6. Set options for the file link in the course area.
7. Click Submit.
If you want the packaged file to remain zipped, simply attach the zipped file in a content item by using the
Attach options or the Text Editor. When a zipped package remains intact, students click the link for the zipped
package in the course area and download the zipped package to their computers where it can be unzipped. This
method is useful if you want to provide students several files to work with or edit on their computers.
Next Steps
To learn more, see Adding Files to Course Files.
How to Create Audio, Image, and Video Links
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Audio, Image, or Video. The Create page appears and is similar for all three content types.
5. Find a file using one of the following options:
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-ORo
l
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
If the Browse Mashups button is available, you can browse for and link to content
available on the Internet, from site such as YouTube and Flickr.
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6. After you have uploaded a file, you can click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked.
7. Type a Name for the file. You can overwrite the file name that automatically appears in the box.
This name appears in the course area as a link. You can also select the font color.
8. Set the Options. Audio, Video, and Image files each have unique options for displaying their
content. These are listed later in this section.
9. Select Standard Options for theitem.
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Select Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
10. Preview the content and click Submit when you are finished.
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Audio Files
An audio file appears as a player in the course. The player has options for play, pause, forward, and rewind. The
system supports the following file types: .aiff, .asf, .mp3, .midi, .moov, .mov, .mp, .wav, .wma, .wmv.
Options for audio files in a course include:
l
Include Transcript: Including a text transcript is a standard web practice and allows users that
cannot hear the audio to get the same information. Browse your computer to attach your own
transcript file. It will appear with the audio file in the course area.
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Autostart: The file will begin playing when the user opens the course area that includes the audio file.
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Loop: The file will play again from the beginning until stopped by the user.
Image Files
The system supports the following file types: .gif, .jif, .jpg, jpeg, .png, .tiff, and .wmf.
Options for image files in a course include:
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Alt Text: Providing a phrase that explains the image and its purpose is a standard web practice and
will allow users that cannot see the image to obtain similar information.
l
Long Description: Provides a similar function to alt text, but the text description is longer and more
detailed.
l
Dimensions: For images, the height and width in pixels should match the original image. If you need
to resize the image, customize the dimensions, but keep the same ratio between height and width.
For example, an image of 640 x 800 pixels can be resized to 320 x 400 pixels. Changing the ratio of
the dimensions will make the image appear stretched.
l
Border: Include a solid black line, from one to four pixels in width, around the picture.
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Target URL: You can make the image a link by providing a target URL. When a user clicks on the
image, a new browser window will open to the URL you provided.
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Open Target in New Window: Display the content in a new browser window outside of the course’s
content frame.
Video Files
Higher quality videos provide better the resolution, but are much bigger files and can take a long time to load
before playing. Consider the balance between resolution and load time and test it to find the right settings for the
video.
Compatible multimedia formatsinclude:
l
MPEG/AVI: MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Groups) files are audio-visual files in a digital compressed
format. AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is Microsoft’s file format for storing audio and video data. These
files have the following extensions: .avi, .mpg, and .mpeg.
l
Quick Time: QuickTime is a video and animation system that supports most formats, including JPG
and MPEG. Users with a PC will require a QuickTime driver to view QuickTime files. Macintosh
users do not require this driver. These files have the following extensions: .mov, .qt.
l
Flash/Shockwave: Adobe Flash and Shockwave files support audio, animation, and video. They are
browser independent. These files have the following extensions: .swa, .swf.
Options for video files in a course include:
l
Dimensions: For video files, the height and width in pixels should match the original settings. If the
size of the video picture is too big, customize the dimensions, but keep the same ratio between height
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and width. For example, and image at 640 x 800 pixels could be resized to 320 x 400. Changing the
ratio of the dimensions will make the picture appear stretched.
l
Transcript: Including a text transcript is standard web practice and allows users that cannot hear the
audio to get the information. Browse your computer to attach your own transcript file. It will appear
with the video file in the course area If the video file is an MPEG file, you can use the Include
Transcript field to attach a SAMI transcript file.
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Autostart: The file will begin playing when the user opens the course area that includes the video file.
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Loop: The file will play again from the beginning until stopped by the user.
How to Create a URL
Create a link to a URL in a course area to provide quick access to a resource on the Internet.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select URL.
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5. On the Create URL page, type a Name for the link that will display in the course area.
6. Type a URL. It must be in the correct format, such as http://www.myschool.edu/.
Tip: Copy the URL from your browser and paste it into this page.
7. Optionally, attach a file using one of the following options.
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
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o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
After you have uploaded a file, you can click Select a Different File to delete the file you linked.
8. Set the Options :
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window
outside of thecourse’s content frame.
c. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
d. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item
availability, only when it appears.
9. Click Submit.
How to Create a URL Link to a Tool Provider
A Tool Provider is a third party tool that implements the Basic LTI protocol. Basic Learning Tools
Interoperability is an initiative managed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium to seamlessly integrate
externally hosted web-based learning tools into courses. If you use external resources that require logins for
activities, such as virtual science experiments, interactive demonstrations, or assessments, you can specify a
URL as a Link to a Tool Provider. Depending on configuration, this can then pass user information to the Tool
Provider, creating a seamless experience for students.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select URL.
5. On the Create URL page, type a Name.
6. Select the This link is to a Tool Provider check box.
7. If the Blackboard administrator at your school has already set up the Tool Provider, type the URL
for the Tool Provider in the URL box. If not, and you have been given an XML tool descriptor by the
Tool Provider, paste it in the Tool Provider Configuration XMLbox.
How to Create Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and Content Folders
Within a course area, you can create containers to further organize your course materials. For example, within a
single Content Area you can create ten folders – one folder for each unit in your textbook.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or Content Folder.
5. On the Create page, type a Name. Specify the settings and options.
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To learn more about Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and folders, including specific instructions for creating
them, see Creating Course Areas for Content.
How to Create a Syllabus
You can create a syllabus in two ways. You can upload an existing file or use the Blackboard Learn Syllabus
Builder. For both options, you create the syllabus in a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module,
Lesson Plan, or folder.
Using an Existing Syllabus File
Uploading an existing file for your syllabus minimizes vertical scrolling because it takes up less space in the
course area. If you have an existing syllabus file or files, this method is the most efficient way to create your
syllabus.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Syllabus.
5. On the Add Syllabus page, type a Syllabus Name.
6. Select the Use Existing Fileoption.
7. Attach a file using one of the following options:
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
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Tip: Additional files can be attached on the next page that appears after submitting. If you want to
remove the file you attached, click the Do not attach link.
8. Click Submit.
9. On the Edit Item page, you can select a color for the Syllabus Name.
10. Optionally, in the Text box, type instructions or a description. You can use the Text Editor functions
to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files
uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level
folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can
include alternate text to describe the attachment.
11. Under Attachments, you can attach additional files. Optionally, type names for the attached files.
If link names are not provided, the file names will be used.
12. Select Options:
a. Select Yes for Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes for Track Number ofViews.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the syllabus to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
syllabus availability, only when it appears.
13. Click Submit.
You can change the syllabus content at any time. From the course area where the syllabus was created, click
its Action Link (
) and select Edit from the contextual menu.
Using the Syllabus Builder
You can use the Syllabus Builder to create a syllabus in a modular format. The Syllabus Builder provides three
sections by default: Description, Learning Objectives, and Required Materials. These section headings
can be edited. Further customize the syllabus by adding Lessons and specifying the design.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Syllabus.
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5. On the Add Syllabus page, type a Syllabus Name.
6. Select the Create New Syllabus option.
7. Click Submit.
8. On the Syllabus Builder page, type instructions or a description in the default Body text boxes.
You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files, images, external links,
multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the
Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be
launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
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9. Under Syllabus Design, select the Styles and Colors for the syllabus.
10. Under Build Lessons, select the Create Specified Number of Lesson Shells option, and type a
number. You type Lesson information in later steps. Alternatively, you can select Do Not Create
Lesson Shells.
11. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the syllabus to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
syllabus availability, only when it appears.
12. Click Submit.
13. If you did not create Lesson Shells, your syllabus is complete. Click OK to return to the course area
and view theSyllabus.
-ORIf you need to provide details for Lessons, continue with the subsequent steps.
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14. Click the Action Link for the Lesson to access the contextual menu and select Edit.
15. On the Edit Lesson page, type the lesson title. Optionally, select a date and time when the lesson
will appear in the syllabus.
16. Type a Lesson Description. You can use the functions to format the text and include files,
images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are
saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded using
the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the
attachment.
17. Click Submit.
18. Click OK to return to the course area and view the Syllabus. Change Edit Mode to OFF to view the
syllabus as users seeit.
You can change the syllabus content at any time. From the course area where the syllabus was created, click
its Action Link and select Edit from the contextual menu.
How to Create a Course Link
A Course Link is a shortcut to an existing area, tool, or item in a course. Course Links can be added to a
Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, folder, the Course Menu, and within some tools. For example, if
you have created all assignments in their own Content Area, you can create Course Links to individual
assignments in other areas of the course, such as in a Unit folder or Learning Module.
If you create a Course Link to a tool that is not turned on, users accessing the Course Link see a message that
the tool is not turned on. The same is true of a Course Link to a content item that has Adaptive Release applied
to it. Users who are not permitted to access the content because of a rule receive a message informing them
that access to the content is not permitted.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
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4. Select Course Link.
5. On the Create Course Link page click Browse to find the course item you want to link to.
6. In the pop-up Course Map, select the item.
7. The Name and Location text boxes are populated automatically on the Create Course Link page.
8. Optionally, edit the Name and select the color of the link. The name appears as a link in the course
area.
9. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Description box. You can use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups.
Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the
top level folder. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and
can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
10. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
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c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the Course Link to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
Course Link availability, only whenit appears.
11. Click Submit.
How to Create a Blank Page
The Blank Page tool allows you to include files, images, and text as a link in a course area. Blank Pages
present content in a different way than items do. There is no description that appears below the title of the page.
Users see your content only after clicking the link. This reduces the amount of scrolling and streamlines the
appearance of the course area. Blank pages can include Mashups, links to course content, and file
attachments.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Blank Page.
5. On the Blank Page, replace the "New Page" title with a descriptive name for the page. This
becomes the link in the course area. No description appears with the link title.
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6. Type your content for the page in the Content box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format
the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded
from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder.
Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include
alternate text to describe the attachment. Files attached in the Text Editor are visible to students
only after they click the Blank Page link.
7. Attach a file using one of the following options. File attachments appear as links with the Blank
Page link in the course area.
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
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8. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the Blank Page to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
Blank Page availability, only when itappears.
9. Click Submit.
When Edit Mode is ON and you click the link to a Blank Page, you see the Edit page. To see the Blank Page
as users do, change Edit Mode to OFF.
Note: A Blank Page can also be created directly on the Course Menu. Include Blank Pages on the Course
Menu for critical information. Remove Blank Pages from the Course Menu as soon as the information is no
longer needed.
How to Create a Module Page
Module Pages contain Course Modules that you select from a list. A Course Module can be a tool, such as a
calculator, or it can display dynamic information such as grades, alerts, and announcements. Course Modules
can be added to Module Pages only. Many instructors create a Module Page called Homepage that contains
the modules that you and your students find most useful.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Module Page.
5. On the Create Module Page, type a Name for the page. This becomes the link in the course area.
Optionally, type a Description that will appear with the link in the course area. It does not appear
on the Module Page.
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6. Select Permit Users to Personalize the Page to allow users to change the color theme, reorder
modules, and add modules to their personal view of the page. Users' customizations affect their
view only.
7. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the Blank Page to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
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Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
Blank Page availability, only when itappears.
8. Click Submit.
Note: Module Pages can also be created on the Course Menu. To learn more, see How to Create Links on the
CourseMenu.
Customize Module Page Banner
You edit a Module Page’s settings and title just as you would any other content item. Click its Action Link (
to access the contextual menu and select Edit. However, changing a Module Page’s banner is done in a
different way.
)
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder where the Module Page is
located.
3. Click the link to the Module Page.
4. On the Module Page, click the title's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
5. Select Page Banner.
6. Type the Page Banner Content in the Text Box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format
the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded
from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder.
Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include
alternate text to describe the attachment.
7. Click Use Custom Page Banner display your banner to users. When Edit Mode is ON, the
Custom Page Banner will appear above the Default Banner. Users see only the Custom Page
Banner.
8. Click Submit.
Note: A recommended size for banners is approximately 480 by 80 pixels. Keep in mind that users
can resize their browser windows, expand and collapse the Course Menu, and use monitors of
varying sizes and screen resolutions. After uploading a banner, view it under those varying
conditions to ensure that it looks as you intended.
Adding Course Modules
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the Module Page.
3. Click Add Course Module.
4. On the Add Module page, select a Module by clicking its Add button. Alternatively, click its
Remove button to delete the module from the Module Page.
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5. Click OK.
Managing Modules
Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder Course Modules.
Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool to reorder the modules.
Collapse to display only the header area.
Remove a module by clicking Close—represented by the X.
Change the display of a module by clicking Personalize. For example, you can select how many days of
announcements will appear in the module.
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How to Create a Link to a Tool
Links to individual tools or the entire Tools Area can be placed in a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson
Plan, or folder. Providing the relevant tools for a lesson within a course area creates a seamless experience for
users. For example, Discussion forums and journals can exist in the same Content Area with Learning
Modules, files, andtests.
When you include a tool in a course area, you can describe what it is used for, provide instructions for the tool,
and attach necessary files. For example, you can link to a blog, attach a file to read, and explain that users need
to post to the blog next week.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls which tools are available. If a tool is not available,
you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. Instructors have the ability to disable tools in a course
by expanding the Customization section of the Control Panel and selecting Tool Availability.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Tools Area.
5. On the Link to Tools Area page, select a tool from the list. If you select Tools Area, you can
create a link to a page that lists all tools.
6. Click Next.
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7. On the Create Link page, type a Link Name.
8. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your
computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments
uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to
describe theattachment.
9. Select Options:
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set the tool link to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect the
tool link's availability, only when it appears.
10. Click Submit.
How to Create Mashups
You can use Mashups to easily integrate content that resides on an external website. For example, you can
encourage discussion about a classic play by creating a Mashup that links to a YouTube video of a scene from
the play and a link to a newspaper review of that production.
There are three default Mashups included in the system. Other Mashup sources can be added as Building
Blocks.
l
Flickr®: This site is for viewing and sharing photographicimages.
l
SlideShare: This site is for viewing and sharing PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, or
Adobe PDF Portfolios.
l
YouTube™: This site is for viewingand sharing online videos.
You can create Mashups as standalone content items in a course area. They can also be created in places
such as test questions, Discussion Board forums, blogs, or assignments by using the Text Editor.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. Mashups are often disabled to comply with
institutional rules that govern online teaching and learning. In addition, Mashups are not available with a Basic
License.
Tip: If a Mashup stops appearing or generates an error, it is possible that the URL changed or the item was
deleted from Flickr, Slideshare, or YouTube.
Creating a Mashup Item as a Content Item
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select one of the available Mashups, Flickr Photo, SlideShare Presentation, or YouTube
Video.
5. On the Search or Search Results page, select a type from the Search drop-down list, type in
Keywords, and select how the keywords should be used in the search. Click More Options to
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further narrow yoursearch.
6. Click Go.
7. In the Search Results, click Select for an item. You have the option to Preview it before selecting
it.
8. On the Create Mashup Item page, type a Name for the link if you do not want to use the title that
automatically appears in thebox.
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9. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your
computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments
uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to
describe theattachment.
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10. Set the Mashup Options. Options vary depending on the type of Mashup.
a. View: Select Embed to display the Mashup directly on the page when a user opens the
item or Thumbnail to display a small picture of the Mashup on the page with controls to
launch it. Text Link with Player displays a link to the Mashup that users click to launch
it.
b. Size: Select the appropriate size.
c. Show URL: Display the source URL.
d. Show Information: Display the information about the content from the external
website.
11. Optionally, under Attachments, attach a file using one of the following options.
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-ORo
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
12. Set theOptions :
a. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
b. Select Yes for Open in New Window to display the content in a new browser window
outside of thecourse’s content frame.
c. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
d. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set Mashups to display on a specific
date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display
After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type
dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time
Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect Mashup
availability, only when it appears.
13. Click Submit.
Creating a Mashup Using the Text Editor
You can create a Mashup in most places where the Text Editor is available. This means that you can put
Mashups in areas such as content descriptions, test questions, Discussion Boards, and blogs.
Note: Mashups are not available in the Text Editor with a basic license.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder and either create a content item or
edit an existingone.
3. In the Text Editor, click Add Mashup on the bottom row of buttons.
4. Select Flickr Photo, Slideshare Presentation, or YouTube Video.
5. In the pop-up Search page, select from the Search drop-down list, type in Keywords, and select
how the keywords should be used in the search. Click More Options to further narrow your search.
6. Click Go.
7. In the Search Results click Select for an item. You have the option to Preview it before selecting
it.
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8. On the Create Mashup Item page, type a Name for the link if you do not want to use the title that
automatically appears in thebox.
9. Set the Mashup Options.
10. Click Submit.
How to Add Content Packages (SCORM, IMS, and NLN)
The Open Standards Content Player Building Block allows you to include content in a course that conforms to
SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), IMS (IMS Global Learning Consortium) or NLN
(National Learning Network) standards. Schools and private companies create this content. Your school may
have policies on which content type it uses.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. You can determine if they are available in
Content Areas by expanding Customization in the Control Panel and selecting Tool Availability.
The content that is created to meet these specifications is called a package because all the files are gathered in
a zipped file. The Content Player unzips the package and accesses components as they are needed. You do
not need to know what type of package you are uploading. The Content Player will make this determination in
order to play the content correctly.
Instructors and users interact with IMS, SCORM, and NLN content just as they would other types of content.
From the users’ perspective, this type of content is accessed in the same way as other content. Once opened,
the package may have internal navigation.
When including SCORM, IMS, or NLN content in a course, you can make selections about navigation and
display. You can assign a grade for the content in the Grade Center as well as view a user’s total viewing time
and completionstatus.
IMS Content
The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports content that conforms to the IMS Content and
Packaging 1.1.2 standard with the web content attribute. When including this content type in a Course, it is
useful to note that most of these types of packages do not track User Attempt Details. Otherwise, no major
differences will beseen.
To learn more about IMS Content, go to http://www.imsproject.org.
SCORM Content
The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports content that conforms to the SCORM 1.2
standard and the SCORM 2004 standard. You do not need to determine ahead of time whether the content is
designed as 1.2 or 2004 compliant, as both types can be played.
To learn more about SCORM Content, go to http://www.adlnet.org.
NLN Content
The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports NLN content, which conforms to SCORM and
IMS standards. The United Kingdom NLN Materials Team is responsible for commissioning and developing elearning materials for the NLN, and offers advice on best practices in integrating the NLN materials into
teachingand learning schemes.
To learn more about NLN Content, go to http://www.nln.ac.uk/.
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How to Add a Content Package
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Content Package (SCORM), Content Package (IMS) or Content Package (NLN).
5. On the Add Content Package page, type a Title.
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6. Attach a file that conforms to the SCORM, IMS, or NLN standards using one of the following
options:.
l
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse MyComputer.
To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
o
If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-OR-
o
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
7. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and
include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your
computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments
uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to
describe theattachment.
8. Select the Interaction Option. Choice enables the viewer can use a left navigation menu to select
content to view. Flow hides the left navigation menu and the viewer must use the Next and
Previous buttons toview content sequentially.
9. For Grade Center options:
a. Select Yes for Add Grade Center Item to add a Grade Center column. The column
name will be the name of the package. This can be edited and managed from the Grade
Center.
b. Select Yes to Track Attempt Details to collect user interaction with the content, such
as total viewing time and question responses. You view the details from the Grade
Center.
c. If Yes is selected for First Attempt Only, attempt details will only display for the first
time the user accesses the content. If the user does not go through the whole package,
subsequent attempts will not be tracked. Leaving this value as No will always show
the last attempt data. This setting is for tracking data only. It does not restrict how
often the content is viewed by the user.
10. Set the Content Options:
a. Select Yes to Make ContentVisible.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
c. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set content packages to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the
Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.
Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and
Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect
content package availability, only when itappears.
11. Click Submit.
How to View Attempt Details
When a Grade Center Item is associated with the SCORM, IMS or NLN content item, you can view Attempt
Details related to the users’ interactions with the content. The details may include the total time the user has
viewed the content, the completion status, responses to any questions contained in the package, and whether
the responses were correct. The attempt data helps you determine a score for the Grade Center item.
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1. From the Control Panel, access the Full GradeCenter.
2. Locate the column for the SCORM, IMS, or NLN content item.
3. Click theuser attempt.
4. On the Edit Grade page click View. The Attempt Details page displays.
Note: Not all packages are designed to track all data. If the package does not provide the information to
Blackboard Learn, the data will show as N/A.
How to See Content From the Student View
It is a good practice to always check your content in the student view. To do this, change Edit Mode to OFF.
Viewing from the student perspective ensures you reveal only the information you intend to show and that it
displays correctly.
Related Tutorials
Using the Text Editor (Flash movie | 3m 17s | 2,744 KB) |
Editing theCourse Homepage
Creating a Tool Link (Flash movie | 3m 09s | 2,133 KB) |
Creating aURL (Flash
movie | 1m 50s | 1,821 KB) |
Creating a Mashup (Flash movie | 3m 15s | 2,216 KB) |
Getting Startedwith Course
Content (PDF file | 6.97 MB)
(Flash movie | 2m 37s | 2,382 KB) |
Next Steps
To learn how to turn options on for items and change settings, availability, and content order, see:
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
Adaptive Release
To learn about creating other types of content and course areas to hold content see:
Creating Assessments in a Course Area Linking to Interactive Tools in a Course
Area Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area Creating Course Areas for
Content
Creating Assessments in a Course Area
You can provide tests, surveys, and assignments in Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, or
folders. You can create a new test, survey, or assignment or link to an existing one.
You create assessments by pointing to Create Assessment in the course area’s Action Bar to select the type
of assessment.
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You can provide relevant assessments with your teaching materials. For example, include a pre-test at the
beginning of a Learning Module and a post-test at the end. Or take a survey of students' background knowledge
in the subject in your course orientation folder.
About Assessment Types
You can create many different types of assessments in your course areas. Include assessments alongside
your other course materials to create a cohesive learning experience for students. You can create assessments
in advance, making them available only as they are needed.
Assessment
Type
Description
Test
You can create tests to assess student knowledge. Numerous question types are available,
including multiple choice, true/false, matching, calculated, and essay. You assign point values to the
questions as you createthem.
The majority of questions are auto-graded, so after students submit their answers for grading, the
results are recorded in the Grade Center. Students can find out their score immediately after
completing it if all questions are auto-graded and you release this information.
To learn more, see Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
Survey
Surveys are ungraded tests. You can use surveys to poll student opinion and conduct class
evaluations. Survey results are anonymous, but you can see whether a student has completed a
survey and view aggregate results for each survey question. Survey creation and deployment is
almost identical to test creation, except for:
l
Survey creation settings do not include options for assigning scoring defaults because
survey questions are notgraded.
l
When questions are added, you do not specify which answers are correct.
l
Random blocks of questions cannot be added to surveys.
To learn more, see Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
Assignment
You can use assignments to present a variety of learning activities to students which they can view
and submit from one location. Assignments can be submitted as:
l
Text students include on the Upload Assignment page
l
Attached files
A combination of both text and attached files Rubrics and examples may be provided as
part of the assignment to let students know how they will be evaluated.
l
To learn more, see Assignments.
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Assessment
Type
Description
Self and
Peer
Assessment
The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block is designed to enhance the reflective learning skills of
students. Students receive constructive feedback from their peers as well as provide it.
Safe
Assignment
The SafeAssign building block enables comparison of submitted assignments against a database of
academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.
You can use Safe Assign to prevent plagiarism and to create opportunities to help students properly
cite sources. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent to plagiarism and an educationaltool.
To learn more, see Self and Peer Assessment.
SafeAssignments and regular assignments are created and graded in similar ways. However, they
are completely separate tools and you cannot change an existing assignment into a
SafeAssignment.
To learn more, see SafeAssign.
Note: Self and Peer Assignments and SafeAssignments are not available with a Basic License
How to Create a Test or Survey in a CourseArea
You can link to an existing test or survey or create a new one in a course area.
Link to an Existing Test or Survey
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Test or Survey.
5. On the Create Test or Create Survey page select an existing test or survey from the list.
6. On the Test Options or Survey Options page, you can change the Name and set the options.
7. The test is unavailable by default, but you can deploy the test to students by selecting Yes for
Make the Link Available.
8. Click Submit. A link to the test or survey appears in the course area.
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Create a New Test or Survey
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Test or Survey.
5. On the Create Test or Create Survey page, click Create to build a new test or survey.
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6. On the Test Information or Survey Information page, provide a Name.
7. Optionally, type Instructions and a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format
the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded
from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder.
Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include
alternate text to describe the attachment.
8. Click Submit.
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9. On the Test Canvas or Survey Canvas page, create questions.
10. Click OK.
11. On the Create Test or Create Survey page, select your newly created test or survey from the list.
12. Click Submit.
13. On the Test Options or Survey Options page, you can change the Name and provide a
Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files.
14. The test is unavailable by default, but you can deploy the test to students by selecting Yes for
Make the Link Available.
15. Set other test and survey options as needed.
16. Click Submit. A link to the test or survey appears in the course area.
Result
When you select an existing test or survey, a link to it is created in the course area. The original test or survey
remains in the Test tool. When you create a new test or survey, it is added to the Test tool and the link is
created in the course area.
If you delete a link to a test in a course area, the test remains in the Test tool and can be linked again in another
coursearea.
Be sure to make sure the test is deployed to students by selecting Yes for Make the Link Available on the
Test Options page. To do this after the test creation process, access the test link in the course area. The link
indicates if it is not available. Click the test’s Action Link to access the contextual menu and select Edit the
Test Options.
Note: Alternatively, you can create tests and surveys by accessing the Control Panel, expanding Course
Tools, and selecting Test, Surveys, and Pools. When tests and surveys are created here, you must create a
link to your test in a course area to deploy it to students as described in this section.
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Next Steps
To learn about creating tests and surveys from the Control Panel as well as question types, options, settings,
and grading, see Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
How to Create an Assignment in a Course Area
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Assignment.
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5. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name.
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6. Type Instructions. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files,
images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are
saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top level folder. Attachments uploaded using
the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the
attachment.
7. You can add files in the Assignment Files section. To upload a file from your computer, click
Browse My Computer. The attached file will display with the assignment link in the course area.
8. Type thePoints Possible.
9. The assignment is available by default, but you can make it unavailable by clearing the check box
for Make the Assignment Available. Select the number of attemptsallowed.
10. Set the Due Date.
11. Select Recipients. Selecting All Students Individually requires each student tosubmit the
assignment. Selecting Groups of Students enables you to select a group to receive one
assignment that they will submit for one collective grade.
12. Click Submit. The assignment appears in the course area.
Result
When you create a new assignment, it resides only in the course area where you created it. If you delete an
assignment from a course area, it is permanently removed from the system.
Next Steps
This section provided basic information on assignment creation. To learn more about assignment options,
settings, and grading, seeAssignments.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Test (Flash movie |3m 50s | 2,960 KB) |
Getting Started with Assignments (PDF
file | 19.7 MB)
Next Steps
To learn how to turn options on for items and change settings, availability, and content order, see:
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
Adaptive Release
To learn about creating other types of content and course areas to hold content see:
Creating Content in a Course Area
Linking to Interactive Tools in a Course Area
Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area
Creating Course Areas for Content
Linking to Interactive Tools in a Course Area
You can provide links to the following interactive tools in course areas: Discussion Board, Blogs, Journals,
Group pages, Chat, and Virtual Classroom. You may specify a link to a specific area of a tool, such as a
particular Discussion Board forum.
You create links to interactive tools by pointing to Add Interactive Tool in the course area’s Action Bar
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About Interactive Tool Types
Learn about the types of interactive tools to choose the ones that help students meet your learning objectives.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls which tools are available. If a tool is not available,
you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
Interactive Tool Type
Description
Discussion Board
The Discussion Board is an asynchronous tool for sharing thoughts
and ideas about class materials. The Discussion Board is made up of
Forums that may appear anywhere in the course but are also all
centrally located in the Discussion Board tool.
To learn more, see Discussion Board.
Blog
A blog is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and
intended for public viewing. Each blog entry can include any
combination of text, images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and
attachments.
To learn more, see Blogs.
Journal
Journals provide a personal space for students to communicate
privately with you, the instructor. Students can also use Journals as a
self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about
the course, or discuss and analyze course materials.
To learn more, see Journals.
Wikis
A wiki is a collaborative tool that enables multiple writers to
collaboratively contribute and modify one or more pages of content.
Pages can be created and edited quickly, while tracking changes and
additions.
To learn more, see Wikis.
Groups
You can link to the Groups tool for links to all groups, or link to a
specific group page.
To learn more, see Course Groups.
Chat
Chat allows users to interact with each other using a text-based
messaging tool in real time.
To learn more, see Chat.
Virtual Classroom
The Virtual Classroom includes a shared whiteboard, chat, group
browser, and a map that can be used to navigate to places in the
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Interactive Tool Type
Description
course.
To learn more, see Managing Virtual Classroom.
Note: Wikis are not available with a Basic License
How to Add Interactive Tools in a Course Area
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Add Interactive Tool to access the drop-down list.
4. Select one of the tools, such as Journal. The following steps refer to adding a Journal. The steps
are similar for the other interactive tools..
5. On the Create Link: Journal page:
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Select Link to Journal Page to link to the full Journal tool.
-OR-
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Select Link to a Journal and select a specific journal from the list.
-OR-
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Click Create New Journal to add a link to a journal you create at this time. On the Create
Journal page, type a Name and select settings for the new journal. After clicking Submit,
the newly created journal appears in the list of journals to choose from when adding a link
in your course
6. Click Next.
7. On the Create Link page, type a Link Name and optional description in the Text box.
8. Select Options.
a. Select Yes for Available to make the link visible to users.
b. Select Yes toTrack Number of Views.
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Content Creation > Providing Textbook Information in a CourseArea
c. For Date Restrictions, you can set items to display on a specific date and time and to
stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display
Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the
boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to
select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect item availability, only when it
appears.
9. Click Submit.
Related Tutorials
Creating a Journal (Flash movie |3m 25s | 1,840 KB) | Creating a Blog (Flash movie | 2m 19s |
1,175 KB) | Creating a Wiki (Flash movie | 2m 01s | 1,044 KB)
Next Steps
To learn how to turn options on for items and change settings, availability, and content order, see:
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
Adaptive Release
To learn about creating other types of content and course areas to hold content see:
Creating Content in a Course Area
Creating Assessments in a Course Area
Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area
Creating Course Areas for Content
Providing Textbook Information in a Course Area
Information about the textbooks used in your course can be included in a course area. When you use the
Assign Textbook tool, the textbook information is also included in the Course Catalog where prospective
students can access this information prior to enrollment. The Course Catalog is accessed on the logon page or
on the Courses tab after logging in.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. In addition, this tool is not available with a
Basic License.
How to Assign a Textbook
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Assign Textbook to access the drop-down list.
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4. Select Search for Textbook.
5. On the Search for Textbook page, select a Search category from the drop-down list: ISBN, Title,
Author, orSubject.
6. Type Keywords, such as an author's name or title.
7. To further narrow the search, select the Type of book: Digital, Print, or All. You can also select a
Currency.
8. Click Go when you have provided all necessary information.
9. From the list of search results, click Select for a textbook to assign it to your course.
10. On the Create Textbook page, select Required or Recommended for the textbook.
11. Optionally, provide a Description.
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12. In the Options section:
a. Select Yes for Permit Users to View this Content so that students can see it.
b. Select Yes for Track Number of Views to record the number of times the item is
viewed, when it is viewed, and by whom.
c. Select Date and Time Restrictions to display the textbook on a specific date and
time and to stop displaying it on a specific date and time.
13. Click Submit to add the textbook information as a content item to the course area.
If your search does not return the needed result, point to Assign Textbook on the Action Bar and select
Manual Entry Textbook from the drop-downlist.
Related Tutorials
Adding Textbook Information to Your Course (Flash movie | 2m 21s | 1,381 KB)
Next Steps
To learn how to turn options on for items and change settings, availability, and content order, see:
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
Adaptive Release
To learn about creating other types of content and course areas to hold content see:
Creating Content in a Course Area
Creating Assessments in a Course Area
Linking to Interactive Tools in a Course Area
Creating Course Areas for Content
Editing and Managing Course Areas and Content
After you build course areas, such as Content Areas, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and folders, you create
content within them. All of the items and course areas, except Content Areas, are edited and managed in the
same way. By clicking a content item’s Action Link and accessing the Contextual Menu, you can change
settings, modify availability, create metadata, and turn on options such as review status, adaptive release, and
statistics tracking. You can also copy, move, and delete content. You can drag content to new positions in the
page and hide content details to save screen space.
Note: To learn how to reorder, rename, delete, and change the availability of Content Area links in the Course
Menu, see How to Manage Content Area Links.
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Click an item's Action Link to access the Contextual Menu. You can change settings, modify availability,
create metadata, and turn on options such as review status, adaptive release, and statistics tracking. You can
also copy, move, and delete content.
Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder links in the course area.
Alternatively, use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool in the Action Bar to reorder the links.
Click Hide Details to collapse the description and save screen space.
Click Show Details to expand the item’s description.
How to Reorder Content
Content appears in the course area in the order it was added, but you can rearrange items for logical
presentation.
Reorder items using the drag-and-drop function—a double-tipped arrow or handle—to move them into place.
Alternatively, reorder items using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool on the Action Bar.
Drag-and-Drop Function
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder and press the arrows next to an
item you want to move. The item is highlighted.
3. Drag the item to a new location in the list.
4. Release the item to place it in its new location.
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Keyboard Accessible Reordering Tool
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the Action Bar, click the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon represented by two arrows.
3. In the Items box, select an item title.
4. Click the up and down arrows to change the order.
5. Click Submit. A pop-up window states: Items have been reordered.
6. Click OK.
How to Hide Details to Limit Scrolling
In a course area with several items and descriptions, you have to scroll to see the entire page. Each
assignment, test, folder, and content item can have a text description and attached files which make the page
longer. You can use the Hide Details function to collapse the descriptions and save screen space. A collapsed
description remains collapsed even after logging out and logging in again.
The student view of the course area is not affected. Students do not have the ability to collapse descriptions.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan Curriculum Resources tab, or folder.
3. Click the Hide Details icon for an item. The item’s description is collapsed.
4. Click Show Details to expand the description.
How to Edit Course Areas and Content Items
To change the name, description, appearance, options, or availability for a folder, Learning Module, Lesson
Plan, or content item, you need to edit the item. Most course areas and items are edited in the same way.
Note: Content Areas are edited with a different method. See How to Manage Content Area Links.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the course area that contains the Learning Module, Lesson Plan, folder, or content item
that you want to edit.
3. Click an item's Action Link to access its contextual menu.
4. Select Edit.
5. On the Edit page, make changes to the title, description, file attachments, options, or settings. For
example, to make an item unavailable to students, select No for Permit Users to View this
Content. Options vary depending on the item type.
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6. Click Submit.
Alternatively,while viewing a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan Curriculum Resources tab, or folder,
you can click the Action Link next to the title at the top of the page to access the contextual menu.
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How to Make Content Unavailable
You can edit an item’s settings to make it unavailable to students or to apply Date and Time Restrictions to
control when it appears. You can also apply Adaptive Release to an item to control which users can access it
and when they can access it.
Availability of items is set on an item-by-item basis. Entire course areas can also be made unavailable. For
example, if you edit a Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder and select No for Permit Users to View this
Content, the course area is no longer visible to users. This means that all items within the unavailable course
area are also unavailable to users, regardless of their individual availability settings. Therefore, the display of an
item to users is contingent upon the availability of its parent folder.
Items in an unavailable course area are not visible to users in that location. However, users are able to access
those items if additional links to them exist in different course areas. For example, if you have an available URL
in course area A that you copied to course area B, the link exists in both locations. If you make course area A
unavailable, users can still access the URL in course area B. Links to tools behave in the same way. If you link
to a Discussion Board forum in course area A and make course area A unavailable, users can still access the
Discussion forum by going directly to the Discussion Board by using a link in a different course area or the
CourseMenu.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
3. Click an item's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Edit and change the setting for Permit Users to View this Content to No to make the item
unavailable. Alternatively, Select Date and Time Restrictions to set items to display on a
specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time.
-ORSelect Adaptive Release and set criteria that must be met for the item to be released to users. To
learn more, see Adaptive Release.
5. Click Submit.
Note: Content Areas are made unavailable with a different method. See How to Manage Content Area Links.
How to Copy and Move Course Areas
You can copy and move course areas such as folders, Learning Modules, and Lesson Plans from one area or
course to another area or course. If copying or moving between courses, the instructor must be enrolled in both
courses.
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Copying a course area does not remove it from the original location in the course.
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Moving a course area removes it from its original location in the course.
Note: Content Areas are copied with a different method. To learn how to copy Content Areas materials into a
new or existing course, see Copying Courses.
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1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the course area containing the Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder to
copy.
3. For the course area you want to copy or move, click its Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Copy or Move.
5. On the Copy page or Move page, select the Destination Course from the drop-down list. The
default setting is the current course. Only courses where the instructor has a role permitting content
copying appear in the list.
6. Click Browse to select the Destination Folder. For copying only, select Yes or No for Create
links for items which cannot be copied.
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If a course area contains items that cannot be copied, such as a test, survey, or
assignment, a link is created to it instead. After the Copy action is complete, a message
appears: "Some items copied. The following items were created as links." The specific
items arelisted.
If a course area contains items that cannot be moved to another course, such as a test, a
message appears: "The move operation has completed but the following items could not
be successfully moved." The specific items are listed.
7. Click Submit.
Result
A copied course area is not removed from the original location in the course. A moved course area is removed it
from its original location.
How to Copy and Move Content Items
You can copy and move content to organize and rearrange your course material. For example, if your course
area contains a large number of items, organize them with folders to help users navigate your content. If you
create folders after the items, you can move items to the new folders.
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Note: See How to Move and Copy Course Areas for information specific to Content Areas, Learning Modules,
LessonPlans, and folders.
Some content items have copy and move restrictions. For example, Course Links can only be copied or moved
to another area within the same course. Assignments, Tests, and Surveys cannot be copied, but can be moved
within the same course.
Copying content does not delete it from the original location in the course.
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Moving content removes it from its original location in thecourse.
For items that cannot be copied, such as a test, survey, or assignment, the Copy option does not appear in the
item’s contextual menu.
If a course area contains items that cannot be moved to another course, such as a Test, the option to move it to
another course does not appear on the Move page.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item to copy or
move.
3. For the item you want to copy or move, click its Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. 4. Select Copy or Move. If Copy or Move is not available for the item, it will not appear in the
contextual menu.
5. On the Copy page or Move page, select the Destination Course from the drop-down list. The
default setting is the current course. Only courses where the instructor has a role permitting content
copying appear in the list. For items that cannot be moved out of the current course, Destination
Course is already listed as the current course and the drop-down list does not appear.
6. Click Browse to select the Destination Folder.
7. Click Submit.
Result
A copied content item is not removed from the original location in the course. A moved content item is removed
it from its originallocation.
How to Delete Course Areas and Content Items
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Folders, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, and content items are deleted in the same way. Be aware that
sometimes this means the content is permanently removed from the system.
Note: To delete a Content Area, see How to Manage Content Area Links.
WARNING! Deleting a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder
permanently removes that container. For example, deleting a Learning Module permanently removes the
Learning Module container as well as its Table of Contents. Items within the container may not be
permanently deleted, depending on the item type:
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Files that have been added to a course area from Course Files remain in Course Files and are not
deleted from the system.
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Any files uploaded from your computer to the course area are automatically stored in Course Files
and can be linked again.
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Items created within the course area by pointing to Build Content are permanently deleted. The
exceptions are links to tool areas, such as Announcements or the Calendar. In those cases, the links
are deleted but the tools themselves are not deleted.
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Test or survey links are deleted but the test or survey remains available in the Test tool and can be
added to a course area again.
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An assignment created in a course area and all of its submissions are permanently deleted. The
assignment grades are not removed from the Grade Center.
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Links to interactive tools, such as the Discussion Board, blogs, or journals are deleted, but the tools
themselves are notdeleted.
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Links to assigned textbooks are permanently deleted.
Note: The Assign Textbook tool is not available with a Basic License.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access the course area containing the Learning Module, Lesson Plan, folder, or content item to
delete.
3. Click its Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Delete.
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5. Click OK to confirm the deletion. This action is final and cannot be undone.
Tip: You can make a course area or item unavailable instead of deleting it. If there are items in a
course area that will be permanently deleted that you want to retain, consider moving them to a
different course area that is not available to students before deleting the course area.
How to Create Metadata for Content
Metadata stores information about a content item, including bibliographic, lifecycle, and copyright information.
Metadata allows content to be imported from and exported to other applications that use IMS (Instructional
Management Systems) standards, creating interoperability for learning content.
The information provided in Metadata cannot be tracked or reported on. It can only be viewed on the Content
Metadata page as reference information for the content item. Instructors can view and edit metadata for a
content item.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
There are four types of metadata that can be added to an item:
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General Information: Includes the title, catalog entry, source, entry, language, and a description of
the item.
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Lifecycle Information: Includes the creation date and time, contributors, name and role of author or
editor, organization, and date of latest changes or updates.
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Technical Information: Includes the format of the content item and its location.
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Rights Management Information: Displays copyright restrictions and a description of any
conditions on itemusage.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item to delete.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Metadata.
5. On the Course Item Metadata page, type a New Catalog Entry.
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Type a Source: The name of the catalog or source of the content.
Type an Entry: The number or version of the catalog.
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Click Add Catalog Entry to implement your changes.
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Click Mark for Removal to delete the catalog entry.
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6. Select a Language from the drop-down list to indicate the language used in the content item.
7. Type aDescription.
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8. Type information for a New Contributor. List the name, role, organization, and date a person
contributed to this content item. Click Add Contributor. The contributor information is now listed.
Click Mark for Removal to remove a contributor when you submit the page.
9. Select the Resource Format from the drop-down list.
10. Under Rights Management Information click Yes for Free Resource to indicate that the content
was free. For Copyright/Restriction, indicate whether or not the content is copyrighted or has
restrictions for use. Use the Description box to comment on conditions for use of this item.
11. Click Submit.
Note: When instructors attach items from the Content Collection to a Course, they can select associated
metadata from the Content Collection to display with the linked item in the Content Area. The Content
Collection metadata cannot be modified.
How to Enable Statistics Tracking and View Statistics Reports
Item statistics provide you detailed usage information about your content, such as how many times the item
was viewed and when it was accessed. Statistics Tracking can be enabled at any time, and will begin
collecting data from the moment it is enabled. If users access an item before Statistics Tracking is turned on,
their access isnot recorded.
Note: If users are unenrolled, their data will be deleted from all Course Statistics. To retain their statistics,
change their availability to No rather than unenrolling them.
Statistics Tracking is a type of Course Report for individual content items. To obtain Course Reports on overall
user activity as well as activity in Content Areas, forums, and groups, go to the Control Panel, expand
Evaluation, and select Course Reports.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Statistics Tracking.
5. Select On to enable Statistics Tracking for the item.
6. Click Submit. In the course area, Enabled: Statistics Tracking appears below the item name.
Viewing Statistics Reports
The report displays three sections of data: Access by Date, Access by Hour of the Day, and Access by Day of
the Week. The Access by Date section displays information for all enrolled users. Access information for
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system guests and unenrolled users (previously enrolled users who were deleted from the Course) is displayed
under the Guest user. Observer access to content items is not tracked.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select View Statistics Report. This link is not displayed if Statistics Tracking is not enabled for
the contentitem.
5. On the Course Reports page, click the Action Link for Content Usage Statistics and select Run
from the contextual menu.
6. On the Run Reports page, select a format for the generated report from the drop-down list.
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7. Type dates in the Select a Start Date and Select an End Date boxes or use the pop-up Date
Selection Calendar to selectdates.
8. If you do not select users, the report will automatically run the report with all users. Alternatively,
you can specify users in the Select Users list. Press and hold CTRL to select more than one user
from thelist.
9. Click Submit to run the report.
10. On the Successful Run: Content Usage Statistics page, click Download Report to view the
results. Depending on the format you selected, you may be prompted by your browser to open or
save the file. Use your browser’s print function to print the report. Alternatively, click Run a New
Report to change the parameters for the report and run it again.
How to Enable Review Status
When Review Status is enabled for an item, there are benefits for you and your students. You can check who
has reviewed the item, and you can use Review Status as Adaptive Release criteria. Students can use Review
Status to keep track of their progress, especially if students review content in a non-linear fashion.
A Mark Reviewed button appears on the item when users access the course area. After reviewing the item,
users select this button to mark it Reviewed. You can check the item's Review Status on the User Progress
page.
If the Review Status tool is disabled by you or an administrator, the Mark Reviewed buttons on the items are
no longer shown. If Review Status is enabled again, the Mark Reviewed buttons reappear and any data
associated with Review Status, such as an individual’s progress, is restored.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status. In addition, this tool is not available with a
Basic License.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Set Review Status.
5. On the Review Status page, select Enable. To turn off Review Status, select Disable.
6. Click Submit. Enabled: Review appears under the content item’s title.
Note: Review Status settings and information are included during a full Course Copy with users and during
archive and restore operations. Review Status settings and information are not saved during a copy of course
materials into a new course or existing course or for exporting and importing.
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How to Check User Progress
You can check whether students can access your content items. If you have made a content item unavailable,
the User Progress page indicates that the item is not visible to users. The User Progress page also lists
Adaptive Release rules that affect the visibility of an item. If Review Status is enabled for an item, you can
check which students have reviewed it and when they reviewed it.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether the Adaptive Release and Review Status
tools are available. If these tools are not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss the tools’
status. In addition, these tools are not available with a Basic License.
1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. Access a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder containing the item.
3. Click the Action Link for the item to access the contextual menu.
4. Select User Progress.
5. The User Progress page displays. You can sort a column by clicking its title. For example, you
can sort the reviewed column to see which students have not yet reviewed the item.
6. When you have finished the review, use the breadcrumbs to navigate to a previous page.
The User Progress Page
An open eye icon in the Visibility column indicates the item is visible to users. An eye with a slash icon
indicates the item is not visible to users because of an Adaptive Release rule or the item’s availability settings.
The existing Adaptive Release rule that affects visibility of the item is listed under the page title. They type
of rule is listed in parentheses. Click the Rule name to edit it. To learn about rules, see About Adaptive
Release.
A check mark in the Reviewed column indicates the item has been reviewed and the student has clicked
the item’s Mark Reviewed link. An unselected circle indicates the item has not been reviewed. The Review
Status tool is not available with a Basic License, so this column does not appear in that case.
The date and time of the review are listed in the Date Reviewed column.
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Content Creation > Aligning Content to Standards for K-12 Clients
How to Check User Progress from the Performance Dashboard
Review Status is also available in the Performance Dashboard. To learn more, see Using the Performance
Dashboard.
Note: The Performance Dashboard is not available with a Basic License.
1. On the Control Panel, expand Evaluation, and select Performance Dashboard.
2. For any user, click the number in the Review Status column. The Review Status page displays.
3. Alternatively, click the Adaptive Release icon for any user to open a course map that shows which
course content is available to that user as well as which items have been reviewed.
Related Tutorials
Turning On Statistics Tracking for an Item (Flash movie | 1m 43s | 1,368 KB)
Next Steps
To learn how to release content to users based upon criteria you set, see:
Adaptive Release
To learn about creating content and course areas see:
Creating Content in a Course Area Creating
Assessments in a Course Area Linking to
Interactive Tools in a Course Area Providing
Textbook Information in a Course Area Creating
Course Areas for Content
Aligning Content to Standards for K-12 Clients
School districts, school administrators, and Teachers continually strive to demonstrate student performance
effectiveness based on curriculum resource alignment with state standards. These resources can include
Lesson Plans, textbooks, multimedia, Web-based courses, assessments, and Teacher-created materials.
Learning standards from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., can be added to the system and made
available within Blackboard Learn courses. Teachers and curriculum specialists can then align course items to
standards to produce standards coverage data reports. The data contained in these reports assist Teachers,
curriculum specialists, and district administrators in the task of focusing curriculum development efforts. By
showing where standards are covered by course content and by identifying gaps in coverage, programs and
course content can be adjusted.
Teachers can browse and search for standards that have been imported and made available to them. All
content items within courses or organizations, including Discussion Topics and Threads, Learning Modules,
Lesson Plans, folders, Blogs, Journals, and Test Questions can be specifically aligned to one or multiple
standards. Users can also align individual Grade Center columns to standards.
Aligning standards to content enables Teachers to produce Course Coverage reports that present data on how
a course covers standards and where there are gaps in standards coverage.
How to Align a Content Item to Standards
The same steps are used to align standards to course containers, such as Learning Modules, Lesson Plans,
and folders. Standards can be aligned to the entire container or to one or more content items inside.
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Content Creation > Aligning Content to Standards for K-12 Clients
1. Within a course, select a content item and click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Add Alignments. The Standards Discovery window opens. If standards from more than
one state or Learning Level have been associated with the course, the user must select which set
will appearfirst.
3. Locate specific standards using the Browse Criteria options in the left side panel. Also, users can
type key words in the top text box and use any of the other filtering options including:
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State: Only one U.S. state can appear at atime.
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Document Type: The name of the Standard Set.
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Discipline: The branch of learning or subject of the standard.
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Grades: The Learning Level.
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Standards Type: The classification of the standard, such as Benchmark or Content
Standard.
4. Standards that fit the criteria appear. Select the standards to align to the content item using the
associated checkboxes.
5. View the selected standards by expanding the Selected Standards area at the bottom of the
Standards Discovery window. Selected standards can be removed by clicking the X icon.
6. Click Submit.
7. The selected standards appear under the content item, where they can be made visible to students
by clicking the Student Visibility icon. Standards can be removed by clicking the X icon.
How to Align Discussion Board Topics or Threads to Standards
The Teacher can add alignments to standards for a Topic or a Thread. The options for aligning are dependent on
the Grade option chosen when the Topic is created.
On the Create or Edit Topic page, under Topic Settings:
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If No Grading in Topic is selected for the Grade option, the Teacher can choose to align either
Topics or Threads.
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If Grade Topic is selected for the Grade option, the Alignments option is automatically set to Topic
alignments and cannot be changed. The Alignments options appear grayed out.
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If Grade Threads is selected for the Grade option, the Alignments option is automatically set to
Thread alignments and cannot be changed. The Alignments options appear grayed out.
How to Add Alignments
1. Access the Topic or Thread.
2. Select Alignments on the Action Bar.
3. Click Add Alignments to open the Standards Discovery window. If standards from more than one
state or Learning Level have been associated with the course, the user must select which set will
appearfirst.
4. Locate specific standards using the Browse Criteria options in the left side panel. Also, users can
type key words in the top text box.
5. Standards that fit the criteria appear. Select the standards to align to the Topic or Thread using the
associated checkboxes.
6. View the selected standards by expanding the Selected Standards area at the bottom of the
Standards Discovery window. Selected standards can be removed by clicking the X icon.
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Content Creation > Aligning Content to Standards for K-12 Clients
7. Click Submit. The selected standards appear. They can be made visible to students by clicking
the Student Visibility icon. Standards can be removed by clicking the X icon.
8. Click Alignments on the Action Bar to view the selected standards at any time. Students also
view standards that are visible by clicking Alignments on the Action Bar.
9. Click the X to close the Alignments table.
How to Align a Grade Center Column to Standards
1. From the Grade Center, click a column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select View and Add Alignments. Any existing alignments appear in a table.
3. Click Add Alignments to open the Standards Discovery window. If standards from more than one
state or Learning Level have been associated with the course, the user must select which set will
appearfirst.
4. Locate specific standards using the Browse Criteria options in the left side panel. Also, users can
type key words in the top text box.
5. Standards that fit the criteria appear. Select the standards to align to the column using their
associated checkboxes.
6. View the selected standards by expanding the Selected Standards area at the bottom of the
Standards Discovery window. Selected standards can be removed by clicking the X icon.
7. Click Submit.
8. To view the selected alignments, select View and Add Alignments from the column's contextual
menu. The selected standards appear in a table, where they can be made visible in the course to
students by clicking the Student Visibility icon. Standards can be removed by clicking the X icon.
How to View a Test Question's Alignment to Standards from the Grade Center
The standards aligned to individual test questions can be viewed from the Grade Center.
1. In the Grade Center, click the test column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Attempts Statistics.
3. On the Test Statistics page, the standard or standards aligned to each test question appear in the
Active Standards section following each test question.
How To Run and Save a Standards Report
Teachers can run a Course Coverage Details report from their courses. This report shows detailed coverage
information for a single Blackboard Learn course. Data includes both covered and gap values for all curricular
areas that the course is associated with, as well as a breakdown of course items that have been aligned to
standards or course objectives.
1. From the Course Control Panel, click Evaluation.
2. Click Tracking Reports to open Course Reports in the main frame.
3. Access the Course Coverage Report contextual menu and click Run.
4. Set the report specifications by selecting one or more standards types to include in the report.
5. Click Submit. A new window will open and display the report in HTML.
6. Click Report Options to print the report from a PDF file or download it in Microsoft® Excel®.
7. Save reports by downloading, or in the Content Collection when available.
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Content Creation > Aligning Content to Standards for K-12 Clients
Reading Standards Reports
All standards reports default to HTML and open in a new window. Reports contain clickable areas that drill
down into the supporting data, and then drill back up. In the Course Coverage Details Report the following
areas can be used to access addition data:
Report Area
Supporting Data Report
Standards Comparison Bars
Not Used
A list of standards that are not used
Covered
A list of standards that are covered, and aligned content types
Not Covered
A list of standards that are not covered
Standards Column Numbers
Not Used
A list of standards that are not used
Covered
A list of standards that are covered, and aligned content types
Not Covered
A list of standards that are not covered
Discipline Column
Name of thediscipline
Discipline Coverage Overview
Learning LevelColumn
Name of the Learning Level Learning Level Coverage Details
Courses Column
Name of thecourse
Course Coverage Report
The name of a standard
Standard Coverage Detail
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Content Reuse > Copying Courses
Content Reuse
Copying Courses
Selecting a Course Copy Option
Courses can be copied using any of the following Course Copy options:
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Copy Course Materials into a New Course: Copying Course materials into a new Course creates
a Course in the system and populates it with content from a Course already on the system. The Menu
specified in the source Course will replace the default Menu in the new Course.
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Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course: Copying Course Materials into an Existing
Course will add content to a Course, but it will not remove existing content. A user can only copy
materials into a Course where the user has a role of Instructor, Teaching Assistant, or Course
Builder.
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Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy): This is the only Copy option that copies user records, such
as Grades and Discussion Board posts, to the new Course. This option copies everything in the
Course to the new Course exactly as it appears in the existing Course. This option is useful if a
Course is split into multiple sections. The Instructor may perform an exact copy and then un-enroll
specific Students to create two sections of the same Course.
How to Copy a Course
1. On the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Course Copy.
2. Select theappropriate option:
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Copy Course Materials into a New Course
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Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course
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Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy)
3. In the Destination Course ID field, type a Course ID for the new Course that will be created and
populated with content from the current Course. Please make sure that the new Course ID
matches the naming convention used at the Institution. Also, the Course ID should not have any
spaces or characters other than numbers and letters (A-Z), dash (-), underscore (_), and period (.).
The Course ID must be unique and remain static. It cannot be edited.
4. If you selected Copy Course Materials into a New Course or Copy Materials into an Existing
Course, select the Course Materials that you want to copy over to the new or existing course.
Note: A Course Copy operation cannot be completed if the user does not select at least one of the
following areas: Content, Staff Information or Settings. If none of these options is selected a
warning will appear.
5. Select the option to Copy links to Course Files or Include all Course Files.
Note: There are permissions constraints. You will need Manage permissions on an item to include
copies of those files. If you do not have this permission, you may be missing some files after the
copy.
6. Select the Folder for Content Collection Files (if applicable).
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Content Reuse > Copying Courses
7. Select Enrollments to copy the list of users in the Course. User records, such as discussion board
posts, grades, and assessment attempts will not be copied. User records are only copied if the
Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option is selected.
8. Click Submit.
Behavior of Copied Materials
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Content: Course materials, including uploaded files, Learning Modules, and links are copied. Course
Information, Course documents, Assignments and URLs are optional.
Note: Assignments created inside Lesson Plans will not copy properly. Be sure to copy your
assignments separately to ensure that everything is correct.
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Announcements: All Announcements are copied.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools: All Assessments and Surveys, including questions and options for
deploying them are copied. All Pools are copied.
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Calendar: All Calendar items are copied to the newCourse.
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Discussion Board: Discussion Board Forums, including the initial message in the forum, are copied.
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Grade Center Items and Settings: Items in the Grade Center, and their settings, such as type,
categories, and display options, arecopied.
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Group Settings: Settings include the names of the Groups, the settings for tool availability, and the
Discussion Board Forum names.
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Contacts: All Contacts are copied.
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Course Settings: When you select Settings, the following settings are copied:
o Course Name
o
Course Description
o
Course Entry Point
o
Course Design
o
Course Banner
o
Blackboard Tools
o
Building Block Tools
o
Content Tools
o
CourseID
o
Course Availability
o
Guest Access
o
Observer Access
o
Course Duration
o
Enrollment Options
Note: While copying, the Course Availability of the source course will be applied to the destination course. If
the destination course's availability is set to unavailable, but the original course is available, the destination
course's availability will bechanged.
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Links: Links to parts of a Course that are not included in the copy will break when the links appear in
the destination Course. For example, if there is a link to a Test in a Course area and Assessments are
not copied, the link to the test will break.
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Content Reuse
>
Exporting and Archiving Courses
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Course Cartridge Materials: The Course Cartridge Materials option is only successful if the source
Course includes Copy Protected cartridge content and the destination Course does not have a
CartridgeID.
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Content Areas: Content from Course Menu content areas that have the same name in each course
will be added in the same content area. Nothing will be removed from the destination course and
replaced with content from the source course.
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Enrollments: If Enrollment is selected, the list of users in the Course will be copied. User records,
such as discussion board posts, grades, and assessment attempts will not be copied.
Note: User records are only copied if the Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option is
selected.
Resolving Course Items
When copying content and tools from one Course to an existing Course, the Course Menu must resolve itself in
the destination Course. The table below describes the how Course Menu items are resolved.
If . ..
then . . .
a Course area in the source Course does notexist
in the destination Course
the area will be added to the Course Menu in the destination
Course.
the Course area in the source Course and the
the content from the source Course will be added, but will not
Course area in the destination Course have the
replace, the content in the area within the destination Course.
same name and are of the same type (for example,
External Links, Staff Information, or content)
the Course area in the source Course and the
Course area in the destination Course have the
same name but are of different types
the Course area from the source Course will be added to the
destination Course under a different name.The new name will
append an incremental numeral to the name (for example,
Course Materials will become Course Materials1.
Copying Course Cartridge Content
Copy Protected Cartridge content is only copied if the Course Cartridge Materials option is selected. This
option only appears if there is Copy Protected Cartridge content in the Course. The destination Course
maintains the availability settings for the source Course.
If the destination Course already has a Cartridge ID (meaning it already includes Copy Protected cartridge
content), neither the cartridge content nor the Cartridge ID may be copied from the source Course to the
destination Course. If the Course Cartridge Materials option is selected, the copy operation will be
successful, but a note in the receipt states that the Course Cartridge Materials will not be copied.
If the source Course and the destination Course have the same Cartridge ID, the content may be copied
successfully.
Exporting and Archiving Courses
The Export/Archive Course page organizes all export and archive packages that are created from the Course.
When the Course is exported or archived, a link to the package appears on this page. The Instructor may
download the package to a local computer, and then use it in the future for import or restore operations.
When a package is exported or archived, it does not appear on this page immediately. An email is sent to the
user once the system has created the package; the user may then open this page to find the package and
download it.
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Content Reuse
>
Exporting and Archiving Courses
Note: It is recommended that packages be deleted from this page once they are downloaded. Each package
counts against the Course quota; so keeping packages on this page may result in limited space to add
additional content to the Course.
How to Access the Export/Archive Course Page
On the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Export/Archive Course.
Exporting a Course
The Export Course feature creates a package of the Course content that can later be imported and used to
teach another Course with the same content. It is important to note that, unlike the Archive Course feature,
Export Course does not include any user interactions with the Course—it only includes the content and the
tools.
Export packages are downloaded as compressed .ZIP files and are imported in the same format. Do not unzip
an Export package or delete files from the package, otherwise the package will not be imported correctly.
Exporting a Course in Common CartridgeFormat
Common Cartridge is an initiative, led by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, to support course packages that
can be used across learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard Learn.
In order to enable re-use in a broad number of LMS, the package is limited to widely available features. Types of
content not supported by Common Cartridge will not be included when a course is exported in Common
Cartridgeformat.
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Files, Items, Discussion Forums, Web Links, and Assessments will be exported, but certain
components may be excluded (for instance, topics in Discussion Forums are exported, but grading,
which is not supported by other LMS, is not).
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The IMS Common Cartridge standards do not currently support all assessment question types or
attributes, so exported Tests and Pools will not include incompatible questions.
Common Cartridge exports a course into a single folder of content. Each Content Area is then exported as a
sub-folder inside the main Course folder. As an example, if a Common Cartridge package were exported from a
Blackboard Learn Course and then re-imported, the result would be a Course with a single Content Area
containing a folder for each original Content Area, and a WebLinks Content Area containing all the External
Links.
Please consult the local Blackboard System Administrator or computing help desk for detailed information on
Common Cartridgespecifications.
How to Export a Course in Common Cartridge Format
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Export/Archive
Course.
2. Click Export Common Cartridge.
Note: To export the package in Common Cartridge 1.1 format, select the check box. If the check
box is not selected, the course will export in Common Cartridge 1.0 format. The preferred version
will depend on whether the system where the package will be imported supports version 1.0 or 1.1
3. Click Submit.
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Content Reuse > Importing Course Packages
Archiving a Course
Archive Course creates a permanent record of a Course including all the content and user interactions.
Archived Courses are saved as .zip files. Archiving a Course does not delete it from the system.
When archiving a course, choose to Include the Grade Center History and to Copy links to Course Files or
Copy links and copies of the content.
Downloading the Course Package
After the Archive or Export Course page is submitted the system creates the Course package. When the
package is complete, the Instructor who initiated the operation receives an email. After the email is received,
the Instructors may open the Export /Archive page and download the Course package to the local computer.
Viewing the Basic or Detailed Log
These options are available from the contextual menu of the Archived Course.
Importing Course Packages
An Import package is a .ZIP file of exported Course content. Importing a package into an existing Course
copies the content of the package into the existing Course. Import packages do not include user enrollments or
records, such as discussion board posts and assessment attempts.
Note: Never upload an Exported Course package that has been edited since it was created and downloaded.
Opening the .ZIP file and changing any of the files in the Exported Course package will result in unstable and
unpredictable behavior when the Course is imported.
How to Import a Package
1. From the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Import Package / View Logs.
2. Click Import Package.
3. Provide the path to the Course package or click Browse to search for the package.
4. Select the Course Materials to include.
5. Click Submit.
About Content Areas
Content from Menu Content Areas that have the same name in the package as in the existing Course will be
added in the same Content Area. Nothing will be removed from the Course and replaced with Content from the
package. Imported Content is appended to existing content in the same Content Area.
About Discussion Boards
Forums are copied, but only the initial thread in each forum is included.
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Content Reuse > Importing Course Cartridges
About Course Links
Links to parts of a Course that are not imported will break when the links appear in the destination Course. For
example, if there is a link to a Test in a Content Area and Assessments are not imported, the link to the Test is
broken.
How to View Import Logs
1. From the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Import Package / View Logs.
2. In the Import Log Name column, click the package link.
Options to Email and Download the log are available. You can also expand each log detail to view more
information.
Importing Common Cartridge Packages
Blackboard supports the IMS Global Learning Consortium's Common Cartridge project to encourage the
sharing of content across learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard Learn.
Course Packages in Common Cartridge format can be imported into Blackboard Learn in the same way as
other course packages. In order to enable re-use in a broad number of LMS, the package is limited to widely
available features. Types of content not supported by Common Cartridge will not be included when a course is
exported and imported in Common Cartridge format.
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Files, Items, Discussion Forums, Web Links, and Assessments will be included, but certain
components may be excluded (for instance, topics in Discussion Forums are exported, but grading,
which is not supported by other LMS, is not).
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The IMS Common Cartridge standards do not currently support all assessment question types or
attributes, so exported Tests and Pools will not include incompatible questions.
Common Cartridge imports a course into a single folder of content. Each Content Area is then imported as a
sub-folder inside the main Course folder. As an example, if a Common Cartridge package were exported from a
Blackboard Learn Course and then re-imported, the result would be a Course with a single Content Area
containing a folder for each original Content Area, and a WebLinks Content Area containing all the External
Links.
Please consult the local Blackboard System Administrator or computing help desk for detailed information on
Common Cartridgespecifications.
Importing Course Cartridges
Course Cartridges are pre-made materials produced by professional authors, editors, and publishers that can
be downloaded and added to a Course.
Course Cartridges enable Instructors to gain access to complete sets of teaching tools provided by academic
publishers. In one central location, Instructors can find relevant, publisher-created materials. Once the
materials are downloaded to a Blackboard Learn Course, Instructors are free to customize the content by
adding and deleting materials as needed to correlate with specific topics covered in the classroom.
Course Cartridges can serve as supplements to existing online Courses, or provide an excellent start for
faculty who are just beginning to develop online teaching strategies. Instructors will benefit from the ease of
use, variety, and professional quality of the materials available on Course Cartridges.
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Content Reuse > Importing Course Cartridges
Instructors download Course Cartridges from the Course Cartridge Repository and install cartridges into
Courses.
How to Import a Course Cartridge
1. On the Control Panel under Packages and Utilities, click Import Course Cartridge.
2. Type the Course Cartridge Download Key in the field provided. Course Cartridge content will be
added to Course materials.
3. Click Submit.
Note: The Download Key is obtained from the publisher. Without a Download Key, it is not possible to add
Course Cartridge content.
About Copy Protected Cartridges
Cartridges may be designated as Copy Protected or Open Access. Content in Copy Protected Cartridges is not
included in a Course Copy or Export. Only one Copy Protected cartridge may exist in a Course. Multiple Open
Access cartridges may be added to a Course, including a Course that already contains a Copy Protected
cartridge.
Open Access cartridge content added to a Course may be included in Course Copy, Export, and Import.
Downloading a Course Cartridge
1. Select a textbook with a companion Course Cartridge by browsing the Course Cartridge Catalog,
which is located at http://cartridgecatalog.blackboard.com/catalog/.
2. Obtain the Instructor Download Key from the textbook publisher.
3. Begin the Course creation process.
4. During the Course creation process, enter the Instructor Download Key obtained in Step 2.
5. Click Submit to create the Course.
6. An email will arrive when the Course Cartridge has finished loading into your new Course.
How Students Access Course Cartridges
1. Enroll Students in the Course.
2. Instruct Students to purchase required textbook or other publisher provided materials that contain
the Access Key.
3. When first accessing the Course content, Students will be required to enter an Access Key. Once
validated, Students will no longer need the Access Key.
About Cartridge Functionality
There are no restrictions on Open Access cartridge content during import, export, archive, restore or copy
operations. This content is treated like other content in the Course
Copy Protected cartridge content functions in the following ways:
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Archive: When a Course is archived all cartridge content in the Course is saved with the archive.
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Restore: When an archived Course is restored by the System Administrator, the cartridge content is
included in the restored Course.
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Content Reuse > Managing Chalk Titles
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Export: When a Course is exported, cartridge content is notincluded.
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Import: The only time cartridge content is included during a Course import is if the package was
created as an archive. Cartridge content is not included in exported packages.
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Copy: Cartridge content is always included in a Course Copy with Users (exact copy) operation. The
user has the option to include cartridge content as part of a Copy Course Materials into a New Course
operation or a Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course operation.
Note: Content from only one Copy Protected cartridge may be copied into a Course.
Managing Chalk Titles
Chalk Titles are Course Cartridges that are integrated with external applications and content from publishers.
Chalk Titles include both content and tools. Tools included in a Chalk Title connect to an outside source to run
eachtool.
Important features in Chalk Titlesinclude:
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Integration with the Course: Chalk Titles link Courses to applications running on the publisher's
servers. These applications are often popular tools that are familiar to Instructors. Please contact the
publisher To learn more about the applications included with a Chalk Title.
Single Sign-on: Users that are logged into the Course are logged into the publisher applications
linked to the Course. Users pass between the Course and the publisher application seamlessly.
Roster synchronization: Users enrolled in the Course are automatically enrolled in the publisher
application.
Grade passing: grades from the publisher application are passed to the Course.
Prerequisites
This tool must be made available by your Administrator. By default, Instructors can use Chalk Title tools in
Courses.
Chalk Title tools appear in the Tools area of the Control Panel after a Chalk Title is added to a Course.
Instructors can restrict availability to Chalk Title tools in the same way that they can restrict availability to other
tools.
Installing Chalk Titles
Chalk Titles are installed in the same way as other Course Cartridges. Like other Course Cartridges, Chalk
Titles require a download key and Student access keys.
Using Chalk Titles with the Grade Center
Chalk Title Tools can synch with the Grade Center in a Course to report Student performance. Note that
Student attempts are stored on the server that runs the tool, not within the Course. Therefore, Student attempts
are not included when the Course is archived. The reported grade is the only recorded information about a
Student attempt.
Troubleshooting
It is important to remember when reporting problems with a Chalk Title that Chalk Title tools and content are
linked to outside servers hosted by publishers. In many cases, the problem may be with the publisher server.
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Content Reuse > Managing Chalk Titles
Make sure to let the System Administrator know that a problem is related to Chalk Title tool.
Chalk Title tools will not work if a Course that contains Chalk Title tools is exported or archived and later added
to system that does not support ChalkTitles.
Configuring Browser Privacy Settings
To fully use links added to a Course by a Chalk Title, the user's browser settings must be set to Accept All
Cookies or to be set to accept cookies from Chalk provider’s server.
If the browser privacy settings are set on Medium or High, cookies from third party content, including Chalk
applications, are silently blocked. Users will receive an error message when attempting to access some of the
links for a Chalk Title.
The privacy settings are maintained at Medium or High if the user specifically sets the browser to accept
cookies from the Chalk provider’s server. Contact the Chalk Title publisher for additional information.
Maintaining User Privacy
It is important to consider user privacy when making a Chalk Title available to Students. Outside servers use
personal information, such as name and email address to provide the tool and link the tool with the Grade
Center.
Instructors receive a privacy notice when they first access a Chalk Title. This message is set to display each
time an Instructor accesses a Chalk Title. It is a good idea to display this message each time if more than one
user is responsible for teaching a Course.
Instructors can require Students to fill out an authorization form before accessing a Chalk Title.
How to Manage Chalk Titles
1. From the Control Panel, under Packages and Utilities, click Manage ChalkTitle.
2. Complete the following fields.
Field
Description
Student Authorization
Does each Student need to provide online
authorization before that Student's personal
information can be displayed to thePublisher?
Select Yes to require authorization from
Students to release their personal
information to the publisher's server.
Instructor Notice
Show privacy notice to Instructors each time they
request a Publisher Resource?
Select Yes to display the privacy notice
each time an Instructor accesses a Chalk
Title tool.
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Assignments > Creating Assignments
Assignments
Creating Assignments
Assignments allow Instructors to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each Student
separately. Instructors may create an assignment that lists the name, point value and description of the
assignment. Files may be attached the Assignments. After an Assignment is added to a Content Area,
Students may access the assignment, complete it in a separate file, and send it back to the Instructor. The
Instructor may respond to each student separately, sending comments about their individual assignment and
attaching files, ifnecessary.
Assignments may also be distributed to Course Groups. To learn more, see Creating Group Assignments.
Note: After a student completes and submits an Assignment, the Instructor may access this file in the Grade
Center.
How to Create an Assignment
1. In Edit Mode, access the course area where the Assignment will be created.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
3. Select Assignment.
4. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name. Students click this name to access the
Assignment.
5. In the Instructions text box, type instructions for the Assignment. Format the text and add images,
links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the Text Editor, if needed.
Attachments added using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text
added to describe the attachment.
6. Optionally, attach a file using Browse My Computer. Assignment files cannot be attached from
CourseFiles.
7. Type Points Possible.
8. Select the check box to Make the Assignment Available.
9. Select the option for Number of Attempts. Multiple Attempts allow students to submit work for an
Assignment more than once and receive comments and a grade for each submission.
10. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit the availability of the
Assignment. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes in order to enable the date
and timeselections.
11. Optionally, select a Due Date.
12. In the Recipients section, select the All Students Individually option.
13. Click Submit.
Downloading Assignments
For information about grading Assignments, see Grading Assignments.
Download assignment submissions to review offline instead of reviewing them online in the Grade Center.
Choose to download all or only selected submissions as a single zipped file. Unzip the file to view the
contents, where each submission is saved as a separate file.
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Assignments > Grading Assignments
How to Download Assignments
1. In the Grade Center, locate the column for the assignment you want to download.
2. Click the assignment column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Assignment File Download.
4. On the Download Assignment page, select the student submissions to download, or select the
check box in the header bar to choose all available submissions.
5. Click Submit.
6. On the next Download Assignment page, click the Download assignments now link.
7. In the pop-up window, select Save File and click OK.
8. Browse to the location where you want to download the file, and then click Save.
9. To return to the Grade Center, click OK on the Download Assignment page.
When using the Assignment File Download function, Usernames are included automatically in the file names
for easy identification. However, files downloaded one by one from the Grade Assignment page will not include
the usernames. To avoid confusion, Instructors should specify that Students use a detailed file name that
includes their last name or Username when submitting assignments.
If a Student has added an attachment, the downloaded zipped file may contain two files for each student: the
attached file as well as a file produced by the Grade Center that contains information about the submission and
any information that the Student provided in the Text Editor or Comment areas of the assignment. Both files will
have the Student's Username included in the file name for easy identification.
Note: The Assignment File Cleanup function allows Instructors to select students and delete files
associated with their submissions. This function is available from the assignment column's contextual menu,
which you access by clicking the column's Action Link.
Grading Downloaded Assignments
For general information about working and grading offline, see Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items
for WorkingOffline.
After reviewing submissions offline and determining grades, you can provide grades and comments in the
Grade Center. Click the assignment cell's Action Link to access the contextual menu, and then select View
Grade Details. On the Grade Details page, click Edit Grade. If you want to attach files or add comments,
click View Attempt instead of Edit Grade.
Alternatively, grades can be typed directly into the Grade Center cells. A grade entered this way is referred to
as an Override. Because an overridden grade supersedes all other grades, use this method only if students will
not be submitting additional attempts. To override a grade, click the exclamation mark in the assignment's cell,
type the grade, and press Enter to save the grade. To add feedback or grading notes to an overridden grade,
click the assignment cell's Action Link to access the contextual menu, and then select Quick Comment.
When finished, click Submit.
Grading Assignments
When an assignment is created, a column is added automatically to the Grade Center. An assignment that has
been submitted, but not graded, is indicated with an exclamation mark—the needs grading icon.
Assignments that need grading can be accessed from the Needs Grading page or from the Grade Center.
Instructors have the option to grade assignments anonymously.
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Assignments > Grading Assignments
How to Access Submitted Assignments from the Needs Grading Page
For Courses with many enrolled Students and gradable items, the Needs Grading page can help you
determine which assignments need grading first. For example, you can sort by the date submitted to provide
feedback tothe earliest submitters first.
To access the Needs Grading page:
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Needs Grading. The total number of items to grade appears on the Needs Grading page.
To filter and sort attempts:
1. Use the Filter drop-down lists to narrow the list of items to grade by Category, Item, User, and
Date Submitted. For example, make selections in both the Category and User drop-down lists to
display assignments submitted by a particular user.
2. Click Go. The filtered items appear on the Needs Grading page.
3. Click any column heading or the caret to sort the assignments. For example, sort the assignments
by Item Name.
4. Click Grade All on the Action Bar to begin grading the assignment attempts.
5. The filtered assignment attempts appear on the Grade Assignment page in the order they were
sorted and filtered on the Needs Grading page.
How to Access Submitted Assignments from the Grade Center
The Grade Center shows all gradable items and is not limited to tests and assignments like the Needs Grading
page. Other items to grade appear with exclamation marks, such as graded Journal entries or Discussion Board
posts. The number of items may influence how you organize your time for grading tasks. You may also find it
beneficial to view a Student's previous grades as items are graded.
To access the Grade Center:
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center or the Assignments Smart View to access assignment attempts.
To grade a single assignment attempt:
1. Locate the cell for a Student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
2. Move the mouse pointer over the cell to see the Action Link.
3. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Attempt. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade all submissions for an assignment:
1. In the assignment's column header, click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Attempts. The Grade Assignment page appears.
About the Grade Assignment Page
The Grade Assignment page is accessed from the Needs Grading page or the Grade Center. Instructors can
navigate among users and attempts, view rubrics, grade anonymously, and view information about an
assignment.
On the Action Bar, the following actions can be performed:
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Assignments > Grading Assignments
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Click Hide User Names to grade attempts anonymously, if needed. Click Show User Names to
display user information.
Click View Rubric to view the rubrics that are associated with an assignment's column in the Grade
Center.
Click Jump to and select another attempt to view or grade.
Expand the Assignment Information link to view the following information:
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Instructions
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Due Date
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Submitted Date
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Status: Needs Grading, In Progress, Completed
Note: If an assignment is In Progress, the Instructor must submit the assignment so it can be graded.
How to Grade Assignments from the Grade Assignment Page
The Grade Assignment page is accessed from the Needs Grading page or the Grade Center.
1. On the Grade Assignment page, view the submission text, attached files, and comments.
2. Type a Grade for the assignment.
3. Optionally, type comments in Feedback to User box and attach a file. Use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and add files, images, links, multimedia, and Mashups.
4. Optionally, type comments in the Instructor Notes box. This text is not seen by Students.
5. Click Save and Exit to return to the Full Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, or the Grade
Details page, depending on where grading began.
-ORClick Save and Next to display the next user, when available.
-ORClick View Previous to display the previous user, when available.
If multiple attempts for an assignment have been allowed, a Student's grade is not released until all of the
attempts have beengraded.
How to Grade Assignments Anonymously
You may choose to grade assignments anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of Student work. For
example, an opinion-based assignment that is graded anonymously may offer Students a higher level of
comfort when expressingthemselves.
In anonymous grading, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each Student
is assigned a number, such as Student 8.
To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:
1. Click an assignment attempt’s Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Center:
1. Click an assignment's Action Link in the column header to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Assignment page:
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Assignments > SafeAssign
1. On the Action Bar, click Hide User Names.
2. Click OK in the pop-up window to verify the action. If grading was in progress, any unsaved
changes to the open attempt are lost. The Grade Assignment page refreshes and all identifying
information is hidden.
Next Steps
To learn more about other grading functions in the Grade Center, see these topics:
Grading GroupAssignments
Entering Grades Including Comments
With a Grade Entry Changing Grades
Deleting and Reverting Grades
SafeAssign
About SafeAssign
SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap
between the submitted assignment and existing works. Safe Assign is used to prevent plagiarism and to create
opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is
effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.
How SafeAssignments Work
SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching
between a paper and source material. SafeAssignments are compared against several different databases,
including:
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Internet: Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the Internet
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ProQuest ABI/Inform database: More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles
from 1990s to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access)
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Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their
respectiveinstitutions
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Global Reference Database: Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard
client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism
Global Reference Database
Blackboard’s Global Reference Database is a separate database where students voluntarily donate copies of
their papers to help prevent plagiarism. It is separated from each institution’s internal database, where all
papers are stored by each corresponding institution, and students are free to select the option to check their
papers without submitting them to the Global Reference Database. Students submit their papers to the
database voluntarily and agree not to delete papers in the future. Submissions to the Global Reference
Database are extra copies that are given voluntarily for the purpose of helping with plagiarism prevention.
Blackboard does not claim ownership of submitted papers.
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Assignments > SafeAssign
SafeAssign Originality Reports
After a paper has been processed, a report will be available detailing the percentage of text in the submitted
paper that matches existing sources. It also shows the suspected sources of each section of the submitted
paper that returns a match. Instructors can delete matching sources from the report and process it again. This
may be useful if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student.
Because SafeAssign identifies all matching blocks of text, it is important to read the report carefully and
investigate whether or not the block of text is properly attributed.
Interpreting SafeAssign Scores
Sentence matching scores represent the percentage probability that two phrases have the same meaning. This
number can also be interpreted as the reciprocal to the probability that these two phrases are similar by chance.
For example, a score of 90 percent means that there is a 90 percent probability that these two phrases are the
same and a 10 percent probability that they are similar by chance and not because the submitted paper includes
content from the existing source (whether or not it is appropriately attributed).
Overall score is an indicator of what percentage of the submitted paper matches existing sources. This score is
a warning indicator only and papers should be reviewed to see if the matches are properly attributed.
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Scores below 15 percent: These papers typical include some quotes and few common phrases or
blocks of text that match other documents. These papers typically do not require further analysis, as
there is no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism in these papers.
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Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or
paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism. These papers should be reviewed to determine
if the matching content is properly attributed.
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Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other
sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and should be reviewed for
plagiarism.
Grade Center Integration
SafeAssignments are created with associated Grade Center items. The score is then recorded in the Grade
Center.
How to Submit a SafeAssignment
1. On the Course Menu, select the Content Area that holds the SafeAssignment, for example, the
Assignments Content Area.
2. On the Assignments page, look for the SafeAssignment and click View/Complete.
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Assignments > SafeAssign
3. On the Upload SafeAssignment page, optionally, type your comment in the Comment box.
4. Click Browse to select a file to attach as your submission.
5. Optionally, select the Global Reference Database check box to upload your paper to the Global
ReferenceDatabase.
Note: Submitting to the SafeAssign Global Reference Database allows papers from other
institutions to be checked against your paper to protect the originality of your work across
institutions.
6. Click Submit.
Note: After you submit SafeAssignments, there is a slight delay between the upload and the
availability of the SafeAssign report. Results are normally available within 10-15 minutes.
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Assignments > SafeAssign
How to View SafeAssignment Submissions
Your submissions and the SafeAssign reports associated with submissions are viewable by accessing the
SafeAssignment after submitting yourpaper.
Note: This option is only available if allowed by your instructor.
Viewing a SafeAssign Submission
1. Return to the assignment link in the Content Area that holds the SafeAssignment, for example, the
Assignments Content Area.
2. On the Assignments page, look for the SafeAssignment and click View/Complete. The View
SafeAssignment page appears. This pageincludes:
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Assignment Information: This section displays the name of the SafeAssignment and its
description.
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Submitted Work: This section provides link to the following :
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Text: Select this option to view your paper and comments.
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File: Select this option to download the submission.
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Assignments > SafeAssign
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Matching: The percentage listed is the percentage of your paper that matches
other sources. Read the full report to determine if the matching is properly
attributed.
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SA Report: Select this option to view the full SafeAssign report.
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View Grade: This section lists the grade given by your instructor.
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Instructor's Feedback: This section lists any feedback, and provides links to open or
download any files attached by your instructor..
Viewing a SafeAssign Report
SafeAssign Report provides detailed information about the matches found between your submitted paper and
existing sources. The SafeAssign Report identifies all matching blocks of text. It is your and your instructor's
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Assignments > SafeAssign
responsibility to investigate whether the matching text is properly referenced or not. Detailing every match
prevents detection errors due to differences in citing standards.
1. Return to the View SafeAssignment page.
2. On the View SafeAssignment page, click the green check mark link under SA Report. The SA
Report provides extensive information to help you determine whether you are appropriately citing
your works. This pageincludes:
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Paper Information: This section lists data about the paper, such as the author, percent
matching, and when it was submitted. This section also includes options for downloading
the report, emailing the report, or viewing a printable version. Note that the printable
version may be the most effective view of the report for those users that rely on assistive
technologies toaccess Blackboard Learn.
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Suspected Sources: This section lists the original sources that match sections of the
submitted paper.
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To display the original work, click on the source title.
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To display the related phrase within your paper, click the magnifying glass.
Paper Text: This section shows the submitted paper. All matching blocks of text are
identified and numbered. Click a phrase to display the Source Comparison Window which
provides a direct comparison between your paper’s phrase and the source document it
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Assignments > SafeAssign
Interpreting the Overall SafeAssign Score
The overall SafeAssign score indicates the percentage of the submitted paper that matches existing sources.
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Scores below 15 percent: These papers typically include some quotes and few common phrases or
blocks of text matching other documents.
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Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or
paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism.
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Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from other
sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess.
Creating SafeAssignments
SafeAssignments appear in courses as a new content type and are added to any course content area. Please
note that SafeAssignments are different from Assignments and there is no connection between the content
types. It is not possible to make an existing Assignment a SafeAssignment without starting from the beginning.
Like regular Assignments, however, SafeAssignments are integrated with the Grade Center.
How to Create a SafeAssignment
1. From a content area within a course, select the SafeAssignment content type from the Select
drop-down list and click Go. The Add SafeAssignment page appears.
2. Complete the page using the table below as a guide and click Submit.
Field
Description
Title
Type a title for the SafeAssignment.
Points
Type the points possible for the SafeAssignment. This value will be shared with the
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Assignments > SafeAssign
Field
Description
Possible
Grade Center Item created for the Safe Assignment.
Text
Type instructions for completing the SafeAssignment.
Available
Select whether or not the SafeAssignment should be visible to Students.
Availability Use these controls to set the date range when Students can interact with the
Dates
SafeAssignment. It is possible to set only a Start date or only an End date.
Drafts
Allows Students to validate their paper without submitting it to the institutional database.
Useful as an instructive tool to help Students learn how to attribute papers properly.
Students
Viewable
Determines whether or not Students can see the report generated when their papers
are submitted.
Urgent
Checking
Sets papers to a high priority in the queue.
OptionalAnnouncement
Create
Select Yes to create an Announcement about the SafeAssignment.
Subject
Type a subject for theAnnouncement.
Message
Type a message for the Announcement.
Using DirectSubmit
DirectSubmit generates SafeAssign reports on papers submitted outside of a SafeAssignment and it may also
be used to add papers to the institutional database. Because DirectSubmit is not integrated with the Grade
Center, Instructors should use SafeAssignments to collect submissions whenever possible.
DirectSubmit allows Instructors to submit papers one at a time or several at once by including them in a .ZIP
file. Note that .ZIP packages should contain no more than 100 papers and submitting more than 300 papers in a
session is not recommended.
As well, papers with over 5000 phrases or that are more than 10 MB in size cannot be submitted.
How to Submit Papers through DirectSubmit
1. From the Control Panel, under Course Tools, click SafeAssign.
2. Click DirectSubmit. A list of folders and papers will appear. This list includes papers already
uploaded through DirectSubmit. Blackboard recommends that files not be deleted from
DirectSubmit as this will delete them from the institutional database of existing materials.
3. Navigate to a folder where the paper or papers will be uploaded.
4. Click Submit Papers.
5. Select Upload File and browse for the file. Individual papers as well as papers that are grouped in
a .ZIP package are accepted. Alternatively, select Copy/Paste Document and add the document
text in the field.
6. Select the uploadoptions:
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Submit as Draft: A SafeAssign report will be generated however the paper will not be
added to the institutional database and will not be used to check other papers.
Skip Plagiarism Checking: Adds the papers to the institutional database without
checking for content copied from other sources. This is useful if an Instructor wants to
upload papers from an earlier course to ensure that current students are not reusing work.
7. Click Submit.
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Assignments > SafeAssign
Shared Folders and Private Folders
Direct Submit Shared Folders are viewable by anyone with access to the Direct Submit tool through the course.
Multiple Instructors and Teaching Assistants can view submissions related to a course in Shared Folders
Private folders can be used to manage papers for an individual instructors. These folders follow the instructor
and are available in any course where that user has Instructor level privileges.
Supported File Types
Direct Submit supports the following file types:
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Microsoft Word document (.doc)
Rich Text Format (.rtf)
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HTML (.htm or .html)
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Text (.txt)
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Zip-compressed multiple files (.ZIP)
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Managing Submissions
Student submissions and the Safe Assign reports associated with submissions are viewed from the
SafeAssign link on the Control Panel, found under the Course Tools heading. The SafeAssign area lists the
SafeAssignments in the course. Click a SafeAssignment to view and grade submissions.
How to View Submissions
1. From the Control Panel, under Course Tools, click SafeAssign.
2. Locate the specific SafeAssignment in the list and click View. A list of Student submissions will
appear with the following columns appear for each SafeAssignment:
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Text: Select this option to view the Student’s paper and any comments from theStudent.
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File: Select this option to download the Student Submission.
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Matching: The percentage listed is the percentage of the paper that matches other
sources. Please read the full report to determine if the matching is properly attributed.
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SA Report: Select this option to view the full Safe Assignment report.
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Clear Attempt: Select this option to delete the submission from the database, for
example, if the Student uploaded the wrong file.
Grading a Submission
SafeAssignments are integrated into the Grade Center and may be accessed and graded directly from the
Grade Center like other Assignments. SafeAssignments are not automatically graded; like existing manually
graded Assignments they will display with a ‘!’ indicating action required by the instructor.
Running SafeAssign Originality Reports
SafeAssign Originality Reports provide detailed information about the matches found between a submitted
paper and existing sources. The SafeAssign report identifies all matching blocks of text. It is the responsibility
of the instructor and student to investigate whether the matching text is properly referenced or not. Detailing
every match prevents detection errors due to differences in citing standards.
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Assignments > Self and Peer Assessment
Report Layout
SafeAssign reports are divided into three sections:
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Report Information: This section lists data about the paper, such as the author, percent Matching,
and when it was submitted. This section also includes options for downloading the report, emailing
the report, or viewing a printable version. Note that the printable version may be the most effective
view of the report for those users that rely on assistive technologies to access Blackboard Learn.
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Suspected Sources: This section lists the sources that have text that matches the text of the
submitted paper. Users may select sources, exclude them from the review, and process the paper
again. This is useful if a source is a previous work from the same student for the same assignment, or
if there is some reason that lengthy sections of a particular source appear in the paper. Processing the
paper again will generate a new value for the percent matching without using the excluded sources.
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Manuscript Text: This section shows the submitted paper. All matching blocks of text are identified.
Clicking a matching block of text will display information about the original source and the probability
that the block or sentence was copied from the source.
Self and Peer Assessment
About the Self and Peer Assessment Building Block
The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block allows an Instructor to create an exercise composed of one or
more Questions, each with one or more Criteria, to be presented to their Students for completion and
evaluation. These Tests, along with their Questions and Criteria, are exported and then imported for later use.
Questions provide structure and content to the Assessment. They are simple ("What is 2 plus 2?") or complex
("Describe the main reason for the fall of the Roman Empire.").
The Criteria that accompany each Question provide the means to evaluate the responses to those Questions.
The number or Criteria can also range from one ("Did the answer = 4?") to many:
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Does the response place the issue within the broader context of the subject?
l
Is the response well organized and clearly laid out?
l
Was the response proofread carefully? Was it free of significant grammatical, spelling, or
typographical errors?
The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block is a tool designed to facilitate the objective, analytical, and
learning comprehension skills of students. Reviewing the work of fellow students through criteria-based
reference evaluation allows constructive feedback. The constructive feedback that students give to and
receive from their peers can enhance their comprehension of the subject material and provide valuable insights
into their own efforts.
Features and Functions
The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block is a tool designed to enhance the reflective learning skills of
students. Reviewing the work of colleagues through criterion-based reference evaluation promotes
constructive feedback. The constructive feedback that students receive from their peers can provide valuable
insights into their own efforts.
Large classes can benefit from the Self and Peer Assessment Building Block by distributing the administrative
workload; quality feedback is provided from several different individuals, instead of relying upon a single
Instructor.
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Tests are precisely scheduled to allow the proper time for the submission and evaluation process to be
completed; including the time to access any content items associated with the assessment.
Instructors have the option of using Self and Anonymous evaluations. These options may provide a comfort
level that can result in more candid Tests and evaluations. They may also impact the integrity of the
assessment process; care must be exercised in their use.
How to Enable the Self and Peer Assessment Building Block
The Self and Peer building block is included in the Blackboard Learning System. By default, it is turned on and
available for use immediately.
Creating a New Assessment
The Self and Peer Assessment process begins by creating a new Assessment. Tests are created from any of
the content areas within a Course.
Note: Use the Instructions field to provide clear instructions and other information that may be helpful in
completing theAssessment.
Date Ranges
There are three date ranges that are necessary to the successful creation and deployment of an Assessment:
Display After/Until, Submission Start/End and Evaluation Start/End. They are described in the following table.
Date Range
Description
Display
After/Until
The date range which the Assessment is available to Students.
Submission
Start/End
The date range which Students can submit answers to an Assessment.
Evaluation
Start/End
The date range which Students can submit evaluations of their peers' work on the Assessment as
well as their own (if Self Evaluations are enabled).
How to Create a New Assessment
1. Click Control Panel within a Course.
2. Click any of the links within the Content Areas section.
3. Select Self and Peer from the Select drop-down list.
4. Click Go.
5. Type a name for the Assessment in the Name field.
Note: At this point, a new column in the Grade Center is created with the same name.
6. Type instructions for the Assessment in the Instructions Text Editor.
Note: Beneath the Text Editor there is an option to save these Instructions as a Reusable Object.
If selected, these Instructions will be available to Content Collection Users. The Content
Collection must be available to use this option.
7. (Optional) Use the Text Editor to reference any Content Collection files.
8. Set the Submission Start Date and Submission End Date by using the date and time fields.
9. Set the Start Date and End Date for the peer evaluations by using the date and time fields.
10. Allow Anonymous Evaluations by clicking the Yes radio button. Click No to disallow.
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11. Allow Self Evaluations by clicking the Yes radio button. Click No to disallow.
12. Allow Submitters to view their own Evaluation Results by clicking the Yes radio button next to
Show Evaluation Results to Submitter. Click No to disallow.
13. In the Number of Submissions to Evaluate field, define how many of their peers's Tests each
student is expected to evaluate
Note: The number entered in the Number of Submissions to Evaluate field does not include the
creator of the Assessment. Type zero (0) in this field if Self Evaluations are the only kind desired for
anAssessment.
14. Make the Assessment available by selecting Yes. Select No to make it unavailable.
15. Track the number of views by selecting Yes. Select No to disable tracking.
16. Select Display After and/or Display Until to control when the content is available.
17. Set the date and time restrictions for the attached content by using the date and time fields under
Display After or DisplayUntil.
18. Click Submit.
Importing an Assessment
Tests are saved outside of the Blackboard Learning System by exporting them. These Tests can then be
imported for later use. Tests are imported from a variety of locations: Course Documents, the Content
Collection, or from a local hard drive.
Note: If the Start Date of the imported Assessment is in the past then the system resets it to 24 hours from the
time it is imported. All other dates are adjusted forward in time while maintaining the same relationships that
were established in the original Assessment.
How to Import an Assessment
1. Click Control Panel within a Course.
2. Click any of the links within the Content Areas section.
3. Select Self and Peer from the Select drop-down list.
4. Click Go.
5. Click the Import radio button.
6. Click Go.
7. Click Browse to locate the Assessment File.
8. Type a Name for the imported Assessment. If this field is left blank, the imported Assessment
name is used.
9. Click Submit.
Exporting an Assessment
Tests are exported to a network or local drive so they are imported at a later time. The Assessment file is
packaged in a ZIP file so it is easily accessed by the Blackboard Learning System. Only the Assessment (with
its Questions and Criteria) is exported, none of the Submissions are.
How to Export an Assessment
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate Assessment.
2. Click Export Assessment.
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3. Click Save.
4. Click OK.
Adding a Question to an Assessment
Questions are the basic component of any Assessment. Questions provide both the structure and content of
the Assessment. Questions are simple or complex:
l
What year did Queen Elizabeth I die?
l
What is the square root of 144?
l
Explain why Napoleon's armies were defeated at the battle of Waterloo.
There are two important options that must be considered when creating Questions:
l
Content Management items are added by using their Permanent URLs.
l
A Model Response, an example of a correct response to a Question, is provided. The Model
Response allows Evaluators to compare submitted answers to an example. It is not displayed to
students taking the Assessment, only to the Evaluators after the Assessment has been submitted.
Note: Beneath the Question and Model Response Text Editors there is an option to save this Question or
Model Response as a Reusable Object. If selected, the question or answer will be available to Content
Collection Users. The Content Collection must be available to use this option.
How to Add a Question to an Assessment
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate Assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Click Add Question.
4. Type the question in the Question Text Editor.
5. Type a Model Response in the Text Editor.
6. Click Yes to make the Model Response Available.
7. Click Submit.
Adding a Default Question
Adding a Default Question is a quick and easy way to construct an effective Assessment. The Self and Peer
Assessment Building Block comes with a set of Default Questions that Instructors can use to build their Tests.
How Add a Default Question
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate Assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Type search text in the Search for Question field and click Go. Or leave the field blank and click
Go to display a list of all Default Questions.
4. Click Expand next to the appropriate Question to view all the details.
5. Click the check box next to the Questions to add.
6. Click OK.
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Adding Criteria to a Question
The Criteria that accompany each Question provide the means to evaluate the responses to those Questions.
The number or Criteria can also range from one ("Did the answer =4") to many:
l
Does the response place the issue within the broader context of the subject?
l
Is the response well organized and clearly laid out?
l
Was the response proofread carefully? Was it free of significant grammatical, spelling, or
typographical errors?
In general, essay questions may require many criteria per question while shorter questions may only require
one or two criteria.
How to Add Criteria to a Question
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate Assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Click Criteria next to the appropriate question.
4. Click Add Criteria.
5. Type criteria text in the Criteria Text Editor.
Note: Beneath the Text Editor there is an option to save this criterion as a Reusable Object. If
selected the criterion will be available to Content Collection Users. The Content Collection must be
available to use this option.
6. Type the number of points possible for this question in the Points Possible field.
7. Click All or Nothing or Partial Credit to decide how to Assign Points.
8. Click Yes or No to decide whether or not to Allow Feedback to User.
9. Click Submit.
How to Add Word Count Criteria
If an Instructor wants to evaluate the length of an answer, it is possible to add a Word Count Criteria to a
question. An Instructor may specify that an answer should be around 200 words. The Word Count Criteria
enables points to be awarded based on the length of an answer (for example, points awarded if the answer is
within 20 words of the 200 word maximum).
1. Select Edit next to the created Self and Peer Assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Click Criteria next to the desired Question.
4. Click Add Word Count Criteria.
5. Type the number of Points Possible.
6. Type the Maximum Word Count.
7. Type the AllowedVariation.
8. Click Submit.
Adding Default Criteria
Adding Default Criteria is a quick and easy way to construct an effective Assessment. The Self and Peer
Assessment Building Block comes with a set of Default Criteria that Instructors can use to build their Tests.
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How to Add Default Criteria
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate Assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Click Criteria next to the appropriate Question.
4. Type search text in the Search for Criteria field and click Go. This field is left blank to display a
list of all storedCriteria.
5. Click Expand next to the appropriate Criteria to view all the details.
6. Click the check box next to the Criteria to add.
7. Click OK.
Adding a Question from the Library
Questions and Criteria are stored and reused in other Tests. Adding Questions from the Library is a quick and
easy way to construct an effective assessment. Reusing Questions and Criteria also insures consistency
across courses and departments. Once an assessment has been created, Questions and Criteria are added
from acentral location.
How to Add a Question from the Library
1. Click Edit next to the appropriate Assessment.
2. Click Assessment Canvas.
3. Type search text in the Search for Question field and click Go. This field is left blank to display a
list of all storedQuestions.
4. Click Expand next to the appropriate Question to view all the details.
5. Click the check box next to the Question to add.
6. Click OK.
Previewing the Assessment
There are two ways to preview the Assessment once it has been created, by Submission and Evaluation.
These options provide the Instructor a chance to see the Tests as their Students will. Instructors can use these
preview options to fine tune the Assessment.
The Preview option is available from the Assessment Canvas for the appropriate Assessment. Select either
Submission or Evaluation from the drop-down list and click Go.
Submission Preview Page
This page offers a complete view of the Assessment. Each question is previewed in turn by clicking its name.
These pages are read only.
Evaluation Preview Page
This page offers a view of all of the evaluations, regardless of their status. The features of this page are
described in the following table:
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Function
Description
Evaluator Click the Evaluator user name to display their Evaluation page. Each question is displayed in a
links
grouping of tabs. Navigate through the tabs to display the submitted response for that question. Click
Model Response to display the Model Response for that question in a separate window. This is only
available if the Question contains a Model Response and was made available.
Status
Displays the status of the evaluation. In Preview Mode the status is always NotStarted.
Points
Displays the number of points given out of how many points are possible. In Preview Mode it is
Allocated displayed as 0 / xxx.
Completing an Assessment
Completing an Assessment allows the Student to interact with their Instructor by providing answers to a series
of Questions. These answers are evaluated by their fellow Students. Their feedback can assist in their overall
comprehension of the material.
Students who have an Assessment assigned to them can access them in appropriate Course Content area.
The Submission and Evaluation date ranges are visible under the Assessment listing. In addition to
submitting answers directly on the question page, Students can also submit a local file or copy an item from the
Content Collection to support their answer.
How to Complete an Assessment
1. Click the View/Complete Assessment link to begin the Assessment.
2. Click a question link.
3. Type a response in the Response Text Editor.
Note: Beneath the Text Editor there is an option to save this response as a Reusable Object. If
selected, the response will be available to Content Collection Users. The Content Collection must
be available to use this option.
4. Click Browse to Attach local file.
-orClick Browse to Copy file from Content Collection.
Note: Only one file is attached to an Assessment. If a second file is attached the first one is
deleted. To attach multiple files, use the Text Editor.
5. Type a Name of Link to File to give a name to the attachment link.
6. Click Submit.
7. Click Next.
8. Repeat the preceding steps as necessary until all of the questions have been answered.
9. Click OK when the Assessment is complete.
Evaluating an Assessment
Evaluating an Assessment allows Students to provide their peers valuable feedback on the answers they have
submitted. This feedback can provide improved comprehension of the material.
Users can access the Assessment using the same link they used to complete it and begin the evaluation. The
Evaluation Overview page lists the number of submissions the Student needs to evaluate (including their own),
with the Evaluators own name at the top of the list.
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If Anonymous evaluations are enabled, the evaluator does not see the name of the Student whose Assessment
they are evaluating.
IMPORTANT! Do not enroll or un-enroll Students after the evaluation Start Date.
Note: Tests can only be evaluated during the evaluation period designated during the Assessment creation.
How to Evaluate an Assessment
1. Click the View/Complete Assessment link to begin the evaluation.
2. Click the appropriate Evaluator name link.
3. Review the text in the Submission field.
4. Type the number of points to award that submission in the Points possible field.
5. Type text in the Feedback field (if requested).
6. Click the Allocate Pointscheck box.
7. Click Save and Next to move to the next criteria.
8. Click OK.
Managing an Assessment
The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block provides many tools to assist the management of an
Assessment. These include three Adaptive Release options, Review Status, Statistics Tracking and
Metadata.
How to Manage an Assessment
1. Click Manage next to the appropriate Assessment.
2. Click any of the following links:
l
Adaptive Release
l
Adaptive Release: Advanced
l
Review Status
l
Adaptive Release and Review Status: User Progress
l
Statistics Tracking
l
Metadata
How to Create Adaptive Release Rules for an Assessment
Use the Adaptive Release tool to create and edit basic Adaptive Release rules for this Assessment.
1. Set the Display After and Display Until dates using the check boxes and date and time fields.
2. Type the username of any specific user to assign Membership to this Assessment in the
Usernamefield.
3. Click Browse to select specific users.
4. Use the right and left arrow buttons to assign Membership to specific Course Groups.
5. Use the Select a Grade Center Column drop-down list to assign a Grade Center column for this
Assessment.
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6. Click one of the Select Condition radio buttons:
l
User has at least one attempt for this item.
l
Choose between Score Less than or equal to, Greater than or equal to, or Equal to
and then enter a number in the field.
l
Define a scoring range by entering numbers in the fields after Score Between.
7. Click Browse and select the Assessment to enable Review Status. Click the Clear button to
delete theprevious entry.
8. Click Submit.
About Adaptive Release: Advanced
Use the Adaptive Release: Advanced tool to create and edit rules that determine the visibility of this
Assessment to users. To learn more about the use of Advanced Adaptive Release rules, see About Adaptive
Release.
How to Review Status
Use the Review Status tool to provide users the ability to mark the Assessment as Reviewed.
1. Click the Enable radio button.
2. Click Submit.
How to View the Availability and Review Status of an Assessment
Use the User Progress tool to view the availability and Review Status of this Assessment for all users.
1. Click Adaptive Release and Review Status: User Progress.
2. View the information described in the following table:
Function
Description
Rule
Click the Rule link to display the Criteria information for the Adaptive Release rule that
governs this Assessment.
Last Name
Displays the last name of theuser.
First Name
Displays the first name of the user.
Username
Displays the username.
Course Role Displays the Course Role of theuser.
Visibility
Displays an icon indicating whether or not the Assessment is visible to the user.
Navigation
Links
Click the number links, Next,or Previous to navigate through the user information.
3. Click OK when finished.
About Statistics Tracking
Use the Statistics Tracking tool to enable or disable tracking and to view system tracking information for this
Assessment.
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How to Enable or Disable Tracking
1. Click Enable/Disable Tracking.
2. Click the Enable or Disable radio button.
3. Click Submit.
How to View System Tracking Statistics
1. Click View Statistics.
2. Use the Start Date and End Date check boxes and the date and time fields to define the Time
Period for the statistics report.
3. Click the All Users radio button to include the statistics for all users.
-or4. Click the Selected Users radio button and select the statistics of a specific student or students by
using holding down the CTRL key and clicking each username with the mouse.
5. Click Submit.
About Metadata
Use the Metadata tool to apply metadata information for this Assessment.
How to View and Apply Metadata to this Assessment
1. Click Metadata.
2. Click Edit next to the appropriate Metadata.
3. Type the appropriate information in the appropriate fields.
4. Click Submit.
Rules for Editing Tests
Once an Assessment has been created, it is edited in a number of ways. However, there are specific rules that
govern what is edited and when that modification can take place.
These rules are presented to help prevent problems such as this: Setting the dates incorrectly and rendering the
assessment unusable. This occurs when the assessment is saved with the Submission End Date in the past or
the Submission Start and End Dates matching each other. In this case, the only remedy is to export the
assessment, import it, fix the dates, and then delete the original assessment. All submissions for the original
are lost in this process.
Assessment Timeline
An Assessment is defined by the following timeline:
Timeline
Period
Description
Create &
Deploy
Before any participant has submitted anything, even after the submission start date.
Submit
After the submission start date and something has been submitted and before the submission
end date.
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Timeline
Period
Description
Complete
After the submission end date but before the evaluation startdate.
Evaluate
After the evaluation start date and before the evaluation end date.
Results
After the evaluation end date.
Assessment Rules
The rules that govern the modification of Assessment elements are defined in the following table. These
changes are made without system warnings, except when noted.
Timeline
Period
What Can be Edited (System Warning)
What Cannot Be Edited
Create &
Deploy
Any element can be changed with no restrictions or warnings.
Submit
Name
Instructions (Users who have already submitted this assessment might
not come back to see instructions changes.)
Submission End Date
Evaluation Start/End Date
Anonymous Evaluation
Self Evaluation
# of Peers
Available Flag
Tracking
Date Restrictions
Add Questions (Users who have already submitted this assessment
might not come backto see question changes.)
Add/Edit/Delete/Re-order Criteria
Edit Question text (Users who have already submitted thisassessment
might not come backto see question changes
Edit Model Response
Delete Questions
Order of Questions
Submission Start Date
Complete Name
Instructions (The submission process for this assessment hasended.)
Evaluation Start/End Date
Anonymous Evaluation
Self Evaluation
# of Peers
Available Flag
Tracking
Date Restrictions
Add/Edit/Delete/Re-order Criteria
Edit Model Response
Add/Edit/Delete/Re-order
Questions
Submission Start Date
Evaluate
# of peers
Add/Edit/Delete/Re-order
Questions
Anonymous Evaluation
Delete/Re-order Criteria
Edit Criteria Points Possible,
Assign Points
Evaluation Start Date
Self Evaluation
Submission End Date
Submission Start Date
Name
Instructions (The submission process for this assessment hasended.)
Evaluation End Date
Available Flag
Tracking
Date Restrictions
Add Criteria (Users who have already completed the evaluation might
not come back to see criteria changes.)
Edit Criteria text (Users who have already completed the evaluation
might not come back to see criteria changes.)
Edit Criteria Allow feedback to user (Users who have already
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Timeline
Period
What Can be Edited (System Warning)
What Cannot Be Edited
completed the evaluation might not come backto see criteria changes.)
Edit Model Response (Users who have already completed the
evaluation might not come back to see criteria changes.)
Results
Name
Instructions (The submission process for this assessment hasended.)
Evaluation End Date
Available Flag
Tracking
Date Restrictions
# of Peers
Add Criteria
Allow Feedback
Anonymous Evaluation
Delete/Re-order Criteria
Edit Criteria
Edit Criteria Points Possible,
Assign Points
Edit Criteria text
Edit Model Response
Evaluation Start Date
Add/Edit/Delete/Re-order
questions
Self Evaluation
Submission End Date
Submission Start Date
Editing an Assessment
From the Edit Assessment page, Instructors can access the Assessment Canvas to change Questions or
Criteria, change the Properties of an Assessment or Export it for later use. For detailed information about what
can and cannot be edited, see Rules for Editing Tests.
How to Edit an Assessment
1.
2.
Click Edit next to the appropriate Assessment.
Click any of the following
links:
l
Canvas
l
Assessment
l
Properties
Export Assessment
Assessment Canvas
Instructors can use the Assessment Canvas to add Questions and Criteria and reorder them. For information
about adding Questions, see Adding a Question to an Assessment. For information about adding Criteria, see
Adding Criteria to a Question.
How to Reorder Questions
1. Click the number drop down list next to the appropriate Question and select a new number for that
Question. The Questions are reordered automatically.
2. Click OK when finished.
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How to Reorder Criteria
1. Click Criteria next to the appropriate Question.
2. Click the number drop down list next to the appropriate Criteria and select a new number for the
Criteria. The Criteria are reordered automatically.
3. Click OK when finished.
Properties
Clicking the Properties link displays the Properties page for the Assessment. For details on the fields and
functions of the Properties page, see Creating a New Assessment.
Fields that cannot be edited are grayed out.
Note: The Update Grade Center Column Name check box appears beside the Assessment Name if the
user has permission to update the Grade Center. If this is checked and a change is made to the Assessment
Name then the name of the Grade Center column is also changed. If this is not checked, or if the user does not
have Grade Center permissions, then the name of the Assessment can still be changed but the change is not
reflected in the Grade Center.
Monitoring the Submissions
Assessment Submissions are monitored and reviewed during the Assessment process. Submissions are
downloaded as a collection or on an individual basis so they can be reviewed later. The Submissions are
bundled in a .zip file that contains an HTML file for each Submission. The Submissions are opened and read in
any web browser.
How to Monitor the Submissions for an Assessment
1. Click the Control Panel menu item within the Course.
2. Click the Self and Peer Assessment link underCourse Tools.
3. Click the name of the appropriate Assessment.
4. Click Submissions.
Features and Functions
The Submissions page contains the following features and functions:
Feature
Description
Assessment
Displays the name of the Assessment.
Submission
Dates
Displays the submission date range.
EvaluationDates
Displays the evaluation date range.
DownloadAll
Click to download all submissions as a .zip file.
Filter by
Select an option to filter the submission list and click Go to apply the filter.
Completed
Displays an icon showing whether or not a submission is complete.
Name
Displays the name of the Student.
Username
Displays the username of the Student.
Question
Displays the number of question responses that have been recorded so far and the total
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Feature
Description
Responses
number of questions.
Submission
View
Click to view a specific submission.
Download
Click to download a specific submission as a .zip file.
Submission Page
The Submission page is displayed by clicking View next to a Submission on the Submissions page. The page
contains the following features:
Feature
Description
Assessment Name
Displays the name of the Assessment.
Questions
Displays the number of Questions in thisAssessment.
Instructions
Displays the Instructions for this Assessment.
Evaluations to Complete Displays the number of Evaluations that need to be completed.
Submission EndDate
Displays the Submission End Date.
Last SubmittedDate
Displays the date that the last Submission was received.
Question 1
Displays the Question text.
Submission
Displays the Submission text for the Question.
Monitoring the Evaluations
Assessment Evaluations are monitored and reviewed during the Assessment process. Evaluations are
downloaded as a collection or on an individual basis so they can be reviewed later. The Evaluations are bundled
in a .zip file that contains an HTML file for each Evaluation. The Evaluations are opened and read in any web
browser.
How to Monitor the Evaluations for an Assessment
1. Click the Control Panel menu item within the Course.
2. Click the Self and Peer Assessment link underCourse Tools.
3. Click the name of the appropriate Assessment.
4. Click Evaluations.
Features and Functions
The Evaluations page contains the following features and functions:
Feature
Description
Assessment
Displays the name of the Assessment.
Submission Dates
Displays the submission date range.
EvaluationDates
Displays the evaluation date range.
DownloadAll
Click to download all evaluations as a tab delimited file (CSV).
Filter by:
Select an option to filter the submission list and click Go to apply the filter.
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Feature
Description
Completed
Displays an icon showing whether or not an evaluation is complete.
Evaluator
Displays the name of the Evaluator.
Evaluator Username
Displays the username of the Evaluator.
Submissions
Evaluated
Displays the names of Students whose submissions have been assigned to this
Evaluator.
Percentages
Displays the points given to this Student in a percentage format.
Points
Displays the points allocated by a specific Evaluator.
Average
Displays the average ofall the percentages that have been submitted.
Evaluated Self
Displays an icon showing whether or not a self-evaluation has been submitted.
Evaluation
View
Click to view a specific Evaluation.
Download
Click to download a specific evaluation as a .zip file.
View Evaluation
The View Evaluation page is displayed by clicking View next to an Evaluation on the Evaluations page. The
page contains the following features:
Feature
Description
Assessment Name
Displays the name of the Assessment.
Questions
Displays the number of Questions for thisAssessment.
Instructions
Displays the Instructions for this Assessment.
Evaluations to Complete Displays the number of Evaluations that need to be completed.
Evaluation EndDate
Displays the Evaluation End Date.
Current Time
Displays the time this page was accessed.
Evaluator Header
Displays the Name of the Evaluator.
Submission
Displays the Name of a Submitter (their username appears in parentheses).
Criteria
Question Header
Displays the Question text.
Points Allocated
Displays the number of points allocated for thiscriteria.
Points Possible
Displays the number of points that are possiblefor the criteria.
Feedback to User
Displays any Feedback text that the Submitter hasentered.
Viewing the Results
Assessment Results are monitored and reviewed once the submission phase has ended. Results are
downloaded as a collection or on an individual basis.
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Assignments > Self and Peer Assessment
How to Monitor the Results for an Assessment
1. Click the Control Panel menu item within the course.
2. Click the Self and Peer Assessment link underCourse Tools.
3. Click the name of the appropriate assessment.
4. Click Results.
Features and Functions
The Results page contains the following features and functions.
Feature
Description
Assessment
Displays the name of the assessment.
Submission EndDate
Displays the submission end date.
Evaluation EndDate
Displays the evaluation end date.
Download
Click to download all evaluations as a tab-delimited file (.CSV).
Update column total in Grade
Center when updatinggrades
Check this box to update the Grade Center with the results from this
assessment.
Send to GradeCenter
Click to send the Results to the Grade Center.
Evaluated
Displays an icon showing whether or not a user has completed an evaluation.
Name
Displays the name of the Student.
Username
Displays the username of the Student.
Average Percentage
Displays the average of all points the Evaluators of this student gave for the
student's submission as a percentage of total points possible.
Average Score
Displays the average of all points the Evaluators of this student gave for the
student's submission.
Results Sent
Indicates whether or not the results for this Student have been sent to the
Grade Center.
Evaluated Self
Displays an icon showing whether or nota self-evaluation has been
submitted.
Peer Markers
Displays how many peers have completed the evaluation of this Student.
View
Click to view a specific submission.
Download
Click to download a specific submission as a .ZIPfile.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > About Creating Tests and Surveys
Tests, Surveys, and Pools
About Creating Tests and Surveys
Instructors use Tests to test Student knowledge, measure Student progress, and gather information from
Students. You can create Tests and Surveys and then deploy them in a course area.
Before You Begin
When creating a Test there are a number of things the Instructor should consider:
l
Are special instructions needed for this Test?
l
How many questions?
l
What type of questions?
l
What is the point value associated with eachquestion?
l
Will partial credit be acceptable for some or allquestions?
l
Are some questions very difficult and may count as extra credit?
Creating Tests and Surveys
Tests and Surveys are on-line Tests that are used to measure a Student’s understanding of the Course. Test
and Surveys are deployed to students in the Course by adding them to a Content Area. Once added to a
Content Area, Test and Survey properties, such as availability and presentation options, are managed there. To
learn more, see Creating and EditingTests or Surveys.
After a Test or Survey is added to a Content Area, the Test Options or Survey Options page appears. To learn
more, see Deploying Tests and Surveys.
Note: Instructors may view and grade Tests submitted by Students in the Grade Center. Tests and surveys
submitted by Students may not be viewed or graded from the Content Area where they are posted.
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey from a Content Area Before Attempts
are Made
When a Test or Survey is deleted from a Content Area, it is deleted from that Content Area. However, the
assessment itself is not deleted. It is still available on the Tests or Surveys page and can be edited,
redeployed, or deleted from the system. If students have not attempted to take the assessment, it may be
safely deleted from the Content Area without any loss of data.
If the Assessment is deployed again, it is presented as a new Assessment. There is no connection or shared
data between the first and second deployments and the Grade Center will treat each deployment as separate
Grade CenterItems.
Deleting a Deployed Test or Survey from a Content Area After Attempts
Have Been Made
If any users have already taken an Assessment be cautious and consider the consequences before deleting the
Assessment. It is recommended that an Assessment first be made Unavailable before considering the more
drastic step of deleting the Assessment.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Creating and Editing Tests or Surveys
If one or more users have attempted the Assessment, deleting it from the Content Area has consequences. A
warning will appear with options to consider.
l
Preserve scores in the Grade Center for this Test, but all attempts for this Test will be deleted.
This option deletes the Assessment from the Content Area. Any grades in the Grade Center related
to this Assessment will remain but the attempt itself will be deleted. In this instance, the grade stays
but the Assessment and any attempts are deleted. It will not be possible to view any of the Student’s
responses to questions. This can have serious consequences, for example, if an essay question still
needs to be graded, it will not be possible to do so after deleting the Assessment because the details
of the attempt were deleted.
l
Remove this content item, the Grade Center item for this Test, all grades for this Test, and
all attempts for this Test. This option deletes the Assessment from the Content Area and erases
any record of the Assessment from the Grade Center. This will destroy all record of Student
performance on the Assessment.
Follow the steps below to delete an Assessment from a Content Area:
1. Open the Content Area where the Assessment is located.
2. Edit Mode isON.
3. Select Delete from the contextual menu for the Assessment.
4. Click OK on the dialog box.
5. Select Preserve scores in the Grade Center for this Test, but delete all attempts for this Test
or Delete this content item, the Grade Center item for this Test, all grades for this Test, and
all attempts for this Test. (See above for definitions.)
6. Click Submit.
Deleting an Assessment from the Test or Survey Manager
Tests are deleted by selecting the Delete option from the contextual menu for the Assessment located in the
Tests orSurvey Manager pages.
If a Remove button does not appear for an Assessment in the Test or Survey Manager, follow the instructions
for deleting a deployed Assessment before trying to delete the Assessment from the Test or Survey Manager.
Removing an Assessment from the Test or Survey Manager destroys the Assessment but does not have any
impact on the Grade Center.
Creating and Editing Tests or Surveys
Once a Test or Survey is built, questions are created or added from existing questions from Tests, Surveys,
andPools.
About the Warning Page
A warning page appears if any Students are in the process of taking the Test or have already taken the Test
when Edit is selected. Certain areas of the Test are not available to edit if the Test has already been taken by
Students.
If an Instructor edits a Test after Students have submitted it, Students see the new, edited Test when they view
their grades and feedback. They do not see their original Test attempts.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Options
How to Build a Test or Survey and Add New Questions
In the following example, a Test is created and new questions are added. Follow the same steps to create a
Survey and add new questions; however, you do not assign points to Survey questions.
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
2. Select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
3. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, select Tests.
4. On the Tests page, click Build Test on the Action Bar.
5. Type a name, description, and instructions.
6. Click Submit.
7. On the Text Canvas page, point to Create Question on the Action Bar to access the drop-down
list.
8. Select a questiontype.
9. On the Create/Edit page, add the necessary information to create a question.
10. Click Submit.
11. On the Test Canvas page, type the Points for the question.
12. Repeat Step 7 through Step 11 until all of your questions are added to the Test.
13. Click OK. The Test is added to the list on the Tests page. The Test is ready to be deployed in the
Course.
How to Edit an Existing Test or Survey
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
2. Select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
3. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, select Tests orSurveys.
4. On the Tests or Surveys page, click the Test or Survey's Action Link to access the contextual
menu.
5. Select Edit.
6. Make changes to the Test or Survey.
7. Click OK.
How to Change the Order of Questions
New questions are added to the end of the Test or Survey. Reorder items by pressing and dragging the
question's double arrow icon or use the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool.
Questions are numbered automatically in the order they are added. The question numbers update when items
are reordered or randomly ordered. For this reason, use caution when referring to specific question numbers. If
the option to Randomize Questions is selected when the Test or Survey is deployed, do not refer to specific
question numbers, as the random ordering changes the numbering each time.
Test and Survey Options
Test and Survey Options allow the Instructor to edit the name and description of a Test or Survey, (commonly
referred to as Tests). Options control the availability, presentation, and feedback for an assessment. These
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Options
options are only available once an assessment is added to a Content Area. Tests added to a Content Area are
said to be deployed.
After a Test or Survey is deployed, the Test Options or Survey Options page appears. To edit an existing
assessment, select Edit the Test Options or Edit the Survey Options from the contextualmenu.
Editing Test or Survey Availability
Test and Survey availability is set after the assessment is added to a Content Area. Availability is managed on
the options page. When an assessment is unavailable, it is deployed to a Content Area but a link does not
appear to Students. Unavailable Tests are seen when the Edit Mode is ON.
The following are descriptions of the Test and Survey Availability options:
Option
Description
Make the Link
Available
Select Yes to make a link to the Assessment appear to Students. If this option is set to No, it will
not appear to Students. Instructors may make the link available, then use the Display After and
Display Until fields to limit the amount of time the link appears.
Add a New
Select Yes to create an Announcement for the Test or Survey. The Announcement will include the
Announcement date and state "an Assessment has been made available in [Course area that includes the link to
for this
the Assessment]". This Announcement will appear in the Course Announcements.
Test/Survey
Multiple
Attempts
This option allows Students to take the assessment multiple times. The status of multiple attempts
is displayed to Students at the top of the assessment. Select Allow Unlimited Attempts for
Students to take the assessment as many times as they wish. Select Number of Attempts and
enter a numeral to indicate a specific number of attempts that is allowed.
Force
Completion
Students must complete the assessment the first time it is launched if Force Completion is
selected. Students may not exit the assessment and continue working on it at a later date. The
Save button is available for Students to save the assessment as they work through it, but they may
not exit and re-enter the Assessment. If the Force Completion option is enabled, it is noted and
explained to Students at the top of the assessment. If Force Completion is not enabled, Students
may save their progress and complete the assessment at another time.
Set Timer
Select this check box to set a time limit for finishing the assessment. If this option is selected, enter
the amount of time to allow for the Test or Survey in the hours and minutes boxes. The time
elapsed is displayed to the Student during the assessment. A one-minute warning is also
displayed as Students approach the time limit.
Display After
Select the date and time when the Test or Survey will become available to Students. This field is
optional; the Instructor may control availability through the Make the Link Available option without
setting specific dates.
Display Until
Select the date and time the Test will be made unavailable to Students. This field may be left
blank.
Password
Select this check box to require a password for Students to access the assessment. If this check
box is selected, enter a password in the field below. Passwords cannot be longer than 15
characters. Passwords are case sensitive.
About Unavailable Tests
There is a difference between unavailable Tests and deleted Tests. Deleted Tests have been deleted from the
Course. Unavailable Tests are deployed to a Content Area but a link does not appear to Students. Instructors
can access the assessment when Edit Mode is ON and through the Control Panel under Course Tools >
Tests, Surveys, andPools.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Options
Assessment availability is managed on the Test Options page. Assessment availability is limited to a specific
time period by setting the Display After and Display Until fields. The availability can also be open ended by
setting only a start date or only an end date. If the link to an assessment is available, but neither date is set, the
assessment is immediately and always available.
Editing Self-Assessment Options
The following are descriptions of the Self-Assessment options:
Option
Description
Include this Test in Grade
Center Score
Calculations
Select this option to include this test in Grade Center calculations. If the test is not
included, the score will not affect any Grade Center calculations.
Hide Results for this Test
Completely from
Instructor and the Grade
Center
Selectthis option to hide this test score from the Instructor and in the Grade Center. If
selected, this item behaves as a survey. The display in the Grade Center will read
Complete / Incomplete and N/A or zero appears on the grade details pages.
Editing Test Feedback
When a Test is deployed, four options for Test Feedback appear on the Test Options page. The Test feedback
options determine the type of results users receive after a Test is submitted. One or more options may be
selected.
Feedback Mode
Description
Score
Present the final score to Students.
SubmittedAnswers Present the Student’s answers.
Correct answers
Present the correct answers to the questions.
Feedback
Present the question feedback to the Student.
Editing Survey Feedback
When a Survey is deployed, two feedback options appear on the Survey Options page. The Survey feedback
options determine the type of results users receive after a Survey is submitted. One or both options may be
selected.
Feedback Mode
Description
Status
Students see whether the Survey is complete or incomplete.
SubmittedAnswers Students see the answers they submitted.
Editing Test Presentation
There are a number of options for presenting questions on Tests and Surveys. The following are descriptions of
eachoption:
Option
Description
All at Once
Present the entire assessment on one screen. Students scroll through all the questions and can
move up and down from question to question. If this is selected, Prohibit Backtracking cannot be
selected.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Using the Test and Survey Canvas
Option
Description
One at a
Time
Displays one question at a time. The screen includes navigation tools to move between questions.
The Submit button will only appear on the last page of the assessment. Prohibit Backtracking may
be selected. Randomize Questions may also be selected.
Prohibit
Prevents Students from going back to questions they have already answered. If backtracking is
Backtracking prohibited, questions will be presented one at a time and the buttons <<, <, or >> do not appear to
Students during the assessment. These buttons will appear if backtracking is not prohibited.
Randomize
Questions
Display questions in a random order each time the Assessment is taken. If questions have been
written to include references to the question numbers as displayed in the Test Canvas, do not use
this option because the random order will change question numbering.
Using the Test and Survey Canvas
A Test or Survey's Canvas page allows Instructors to edit the name and instructions, add and edit questions,
and change question settings. Instructors can use the check boxes to select any or all questions and then
delete them or change the points for them.
With the exception of minor text changes, such as correcting a typographical error, Tests or Surveys should not
be edited if they have already been deployed.
Instructors can create a Random Block, which is a randomly distributed number of questions, from the Test
Canvas. The Instructor determines the questions, the number to display, the order, and the points per question.
To learn more, see Creating and Editing a Random Block.
Note: Random Blocks are not available in Surveys.
Here are the tasks that are performed on the Canvas page:
To . . .
Click . ..
add a new
question
the Create Question drop-down list in the and select a type of question.
change the Default
Point Value for
questions in the
Test
Question Settings and enter a number in the Default point value field. This option is not
available for Surveys.
change the name,
description, or
instructions for the
Test or Survey
Edit from the contextual menu next to the first header.
change the order
of thequestions
the double arrow upper left corner of the question and drag and drop the question to the
appropriate position.
Questions are automatically numbered in the order that they are added, and the question
numbers will update when items are reordered or randomized. For this reason, use caution
when referring to specific question numbers.
change the
settings for this
Test
Question Settings. The Test Question Settings page appears. Question Settings enable the
Instructor to adjust the default point value, options for question feedback and the inclusion of
images. To learn more, see Changing Question Settings.
copy a question
Copy in the contextual menu of the question header. The Create/Edit Multiple Choice
Question page is displayed, where changes are made to the copied question. Copied
questions retain all of the settings of the original question.
edit a question
Edit in the contextual menu of the question header. Instructors can edit linked questions from
the Canvas. Changes made to linked question are reflected everywhere there is a link to that
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Deploying Tests and Surveys
To . . .
Click . ..
question. Tests that are in progress will not display the changes to a linked question. To learn
more, see Reusing Questions .
delete a question
Remove in the contextual menu of the question header. A confirmation box appears.
Removing a question is irreversible.
reuse a question
from another Test
or Survey
the Reuse Question drop-down list and select Find Questions. To learn more, see Finding
Questions.
create a Random
Block
the Reuse Question drop-down list and select Create Random Block. To learn more, see
Creating and Editing a Random Block. This option is not available for Surveys.
preview a question
in the Random
Block
the preview button next to the question text. The question appears in a separate window. This
option is not available forSurveys.
show or hide the
questions within
the Random Block
the Questions in the Block link. This option is not available for Surveys.
Deploying Tests and Surveys
Once a Test or a Survey has been created, the next step is to deploy it to users. This is a two step process:
adding the Test or Survey to a Content area and then making it available.
About Unavailable Tests
There is a difference between unavailable Tests and deleted Tests. Deleted Tests have been deleted from the
Course. Unavailable Tests are added to a Content Area but a link does not appear to Students. Instructors can
access the assessment when Edit Mode is ON and through the Control Panel under Course Tools > Tests,
Surveys, andPools.
Assessment availability is managed on the Test Options page. Assessment availability is limited to a specific
time period by setting the Display After and Display Until fields. The availability can also be open ended by
setting only a start date or only an end date. If the link to an assessment is available, but neither date is set, the
assessment is immediately and always available.
Before You Begin
Create the Test or Survey. Create new questions or use Find Questions to copy or link existing questions to the
Test or Survey.
How to Add a Test or Survey to a ContentArea
1. Navigate to a Content area of the Course.
2. Point to the Create Assessment drop-down list and select Test or Survey.
3. Select a Test or Survey from the Add Test or Add Survey list.
4. Click Submit. The Test Options page appears.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Deploying Tests and Surveys
How to Make a Test or SurveyAvailable
Test and Survey availability is set after the assessment is added to a Content Area. Availability is managed on
the Test Options page.
1. On the Test Options page, click Yes to Make the Link Available to Users. If this option is set to
No, it will not appear to Students. Instructors may make the link available, then use the Display
After and Display Until fields to limit the amount of time the link appears.
2. Set the following options for the Test:
Option
Function
Add a New
The Announcement will include the date and state "an Assessment has been made
Announcement available in [Course area that includes the link to the Assessment]". This
for this Test or Announcement will appear in the Course Announcements.
Survey
Multiple
Attempts
Click the check box and select from the followingoptions:
l Select Allow Unlimited Attempts for Students to take the assessment as
many times as theywish.
l
Select Number of Attempts and enter a number to indicate a specific
number of attempts that is allowed.
Force
Completion
Click the Force Completion check box to force users to complete the Test orSurvey
once it has been launched. Students may not exit the assessment and continue
working on it at a later date. The Save button is available for Students to save the
assessment as they work through it, but they may not exit and re-enter the
Assessment.
Set Timer
Click the Set Timer check box to set a time limit for completing the Test or Survey.
Display After
and Display
Until
Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to define the availability
of the Test or Survey. Click both the Display After and Display Until check boxes in
order to enable the date and time selections.
Password
Click the Password check box to require a password to access the Test or Survey.
3. Click Submit.
How to Control the Presentation of a Test or Survey
The remaining options control the presentation and feedback for an assessment.
Option
Function
Include this
Test results can be used in Grade Center calculations by selecting this option. Test scores do
Test inGrade
Center Score
Calculations
not need to be revealed to Students to be used in Grade Center calculation. Self-Assessment
Tests are generally not included in Grade Center calculations. If the test is not included, the
score will not affect any Grade Center calculations. This Test is also excluded from weighting.
Hide Results for If selected, this Test behaves as a Survey. The display in the Grade Center will read Complete /
this Test
Completely
from Instructor
and Grade
Center
Incomplete and N/A or zero appears on the Grade Details page. The Instructor will not be able to
see any student grades, view answers, aggregate results, or download result details. To protect
student privacy, this choice cannot be reversed later without deleting all attempts. This is only
available for Tests.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Status
Option
Function
Test or Survey
Feedback
Determine the kind of Feedback that is displayed upon completion:
l
Score: Presents the final score to Students. This is only available for Tests.
l
Status: Presents the completion status to Students.
l
l
l
Presentation
Mode
Submitted Answers: Presents the Student’s answers.
Correct Answers: Presents the correct answers to the questions. This is only
available for Tests.
Feedback : Presents the question feedback to the Student. This is only available for
Tests.
All at Once: Present the entire assessment on one screen. Students scroll through all the
questions and can move up and down from question to question. If this is selected, Prohibit
Backtracking cannot be selected.
One at a Time: Displays one question at a time. The screen includes navigation tools to move
between questions. The Submit button will only appear on the last page of the assessment.
Prohibit Backtracking and Randomize Questions may be selected.
Prohibit
Backtracking
Click the check box to prevent Users from going back to questions they have already answered.
If backtracking is prohibited, questions will be presented one at a time and the buttons <<, <, or
>> do not appear to Users during the Test or Survey.
Randomize
Questions
Click to display questions in a random order each time the Test or Survey is taken.
Test and Survey Status
The Test/Survey Status Indicator is a tool to provide users with a quick up-to-date look at their progress
(complete or incomplete questions) in an assessment at all times.
The Save Answer button next to each question provides a visual reminder to Students to save their work
periodically.
Completion status of assessment questions is displayed at the top of the page when a Student is taking an
assessment. The status of which questions have been answered is displayed at the top of the page, just below
the Instructions box. The Test/Survey Status indicator remains at the top of the page while the user scrolls
down through the assessment.
When the user answers a question and moves on to the next question in a question-by-question assessment,
the status box is updated to show that the previous question was answered. If the user does not answer a
question and moves on to the next question, the status box shows that the previous question was not
answered. The user can navigate between questions by clicking on the question number in the status indicator.
This is applicable only to Tests deployed all at once or question by question where backtracking is permitted.
While taking an all-at-once assessment, the user will be able to use a Save button to the right of each question
to save this specific question without scrolling to the bottom of the page to save.
Saving either a single question or all of the questions that have been answered (with the Save button at the
bottom of the page) changes the status indicator to show which questions have been completed.
How to View Test or Survey Results
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center.
3. On the Grade Center: Full Grade Center page, navigate to the Test or Survey’s column.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Test and Survey Results
4. Click the Test or Survey column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
5. Select Attempts Statistics. The results display on the Statistics page.
Note: Because Surveys are anonymous, the results are delivered only as statistics, and it is not possible to
view individual answers. If an open-ended essay question was included in the Survey, all responses will be
listed.
Test and Survey Results
How to View Test or Survey Results
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center.
3. On the Grade Center: Full Grade Center page, navigate to the Test or Survey’s column.
4. Click the Test or Survey column's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
5. Select Attempts Statistics. The results display on the Statistics page.
Note: Because Surveys are anonymous, the results are delivered only as statistics, and it is not possible to
view individual answers. If an open-ended essay question was included in the Survey, all responses will be
listed.
Changing Question Settings
The Question Settings page allows Instructors to adjust settings for a Test, Survey or Pool. The Specify default
point values for questions option is not available for Pools or Surveys and the Add Categories to questions
option is not available for Surveys.
Setting a Default Point Value
Instructors must set the Default Point Value before creating questions for it to be effective. If the default point
value is changed, only questions created after the change will have the new point value. Questions created
before the modification will have the old point value.
How to Change Question Settings
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Click Tests or Surveys, or Pools.
3. Select Edit from the contextual menu of an existing Test, Survey, or Pool.
4. Click Question Settings.
5. Make changes to the following fields:
Field
Description
Provide feedback
for individual
answers
Select this check box to include the option to enter feedback for individual
answers rather than just one set of feedback for correct or incorrect answers.
Individual feedback cannot be provided for answers to True/False questions,
Multiple Answer questions, Ordering and Matching questions.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Adding Question Metadata
Field
Description
Add images, files,
Select this check box to include the option to attach images, files, and URLs to
and external linksto questions.
questions
Add images, files,
Select this check box to include the option to attach images and files to
and external linksto answers.
answers
Add categories,
topics, levels of
difficulty, keywords
and instructor notes
to questions
Select this check box to include the option to create categories for questions.
This option also enables Instructors to add keywords to questions. When
searching for questions from a Question Pool or other Tests, Instructors may
search for questions by category and keyword. This option is not available for
Surveys.
Specify default
points when
creating questions
Select this option and all questions will automatically have the same point
value. Type the point value in the Default point value field. This only sets a
default. This is not available for Surveys or Pools.
Specify partial
credit options for
answers
Select this option to make partial credit available for questions included in this
Assessment. If selected, an option to give partial credit appears when questions
are created.
Provide option to
assign questions as
extra credit
Select this option to make extra credit available for questions included in this
Assessment. If selected, an extra credit option appears when each question is
created. If this option is selected points are added to the score ifthe question is
answered correctly; no points are taken away if the questions are answered
incorrectly.
Specify random
ordering of answers
Select this option to include the option for display answers in random order.
Specify the
horizontal or
vertical display of
answers
Select this option to include the option to display answers horizontallyor
vertically.
Specify numbering
options for answers
Select this option to include the option for numbering the answers.
6. Click Submit.
Adding Question Metadata
Instructors can create Metadata values for questions to help organize them for future use. The Metadata values
created in one question can be used when creating other questions in the same Course. These Metadata
values are used to help search for questions to reuse on the Find Questions page. Questions can have the
following metadata values added to them:
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Categories
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Topics
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Levels of Difficulty
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Keywords
Before You Begin
The Question Metadata options are only available if Add categories, topics, levels of difficulty, and
keywords to questions are selected in Question Settings.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Example
An Instructor creates the following True/False question: The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana.
The following metadata can be applied to the question:
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Category: Geography
Topic: Former Yugoslavia
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Levels of Difficulty: Low
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Keywords: World Capitals
This question appears in the Active Filter on the Find Questions page when Geography, Former Yugoslavia, or
Low is selected. To learn more, see Finding Questions.
How to Add Metadata to a Question
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Create a new Test or select Edit from the contextual menu for an existing Test.
3. Create a new question by using the Create Question drop-down list or select Edit next to an
existingquestion.
4. In section 5, click Add.
5. Type a new category, topic, level of difficulty, or keyword in the field and click OK.
6. Click Choose from Existing to select an existing category, topic, level of difficulty, or keyword.
7. Click Submit when finished.
How to Manage Question Metadata
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Create a new Test or select Edit from the contextual menu for an existing Test.
3. Select a new question from the Create Question drop-down list, or select Edit from the contextual
menu for an existing question.
4. To delete a category, topic, level of difficulty, or keyword, click the X icon next to the metadata
element.
5. To add another category, topic, level of difficulty, or keyword, click Add. Type a new category,
topic, level of difficulty, or keyword in the field and click OK.
6. Click Submit when finished.
Question Types
Calculated Formula Questions
A Calculated Formula question contains a formula, the variables of which are set to change for each user. The
variable range is created by specifying a minimum value and a maximum value for each variable. Answer sets
are randomly generated. The correct answer is a specific value or a range of values. Partial credit may be
granted for answers falling within a range.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Before You Begin
Adding a calculated question to an Assessment is a three step process:
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Create the question and formula
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Define the values for the variables
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Confirm the variables and answers.
Since this question allows the Instructor to randomize the value of variables in an equation it may be useful
when creating math drills to when giving a test when Students are seated close together.
How to Create the Question and Formula
The question is the information presented to Students. The formula is the mathematical expression used to find
the answer. Remember to enclose variables in square brackets.
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Calculated Formula from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the information that will display to Students in the Question Text box. Surround any variables
with square brackets, for example, [x]. The value for this variable will be populated based on the
formula. In the example [x] + [y] = z, [x] and [y] will be replaced by values when shown to
Students. Students would be asked to define z. Variables should be composed of alphabets, digits
(0-9), periods (.), underscores (_) and hyphens (-). All other occurrences of the opening rectangular
brace ("[") character should be preceded by the back-slash ("\") character. Variable names must be
unique and cannot be reused.
4. Define the formula used to answer the question in the Answer Formula box. For example, x + y.
Operations are chosen from the buttons across the top of the Answer Formula box.
5. Set the Answer Range. This defines which submitted answers will be marked correct. If the exact
value must be entered, enter 0 and select Numeric from the drop-down list. If the answer can vary,
enter a value and select Numeric or Percent. Numeric will mark every answer as correct that falls
within a range of plus or minus the Answer Range from the exact answer. Percent will mark every
answer as correct that falls within a percentage of plus or minus the Answer Range from the exact
answer.
6. Click the Allow Partial Credit check box to allow partial credit for answers that fall outside the
correct Answer Range.
7. Set the range for partial credit by entering a value and selecting Numeric or Percent for the Partial
Credit Range. Answers falling within this range will receive a portion of the total points possible for
the question equal to the Partial Credit Points Percentage.
8. Type a value for the Partial Credit Points Percentage.
9. Click the Units Required check box to require that correct answers must include the correct unit
of measurement, for example, Seconds orGrams.
10. Type the correct unit of measurement in the Answer Units field.
11. Click the Units Case Sensitive check box to require that correct answers are case sensitive. The
answer may still receive partial credit if the unit of measurement is not correct.
12. Type a percentage in Unit Points Percentage. The unit of measurement will account for that
percentage of thetotal credit.
13. When finished with the question, click Next to proceed.
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How to Define the Variables
The next page in the three step process defines the variables in the formula.
1. Type a Minimum Value and a Maximum Value for each variable.
2. Select a decimal place using the Decimal Places drop-down list.
3. Under Answer Set Options, select the Decimal places for answer from the drop-down list.
Users must provide the correct answer to this decimal place.
4. Type the Number of Answer Sets. The Answer Sets will be randomized so that different Students
will be presented with a different set of variables.
5. Click Calculate to reset the variables after making a change or click Go Back to return to the
previous page.
How to Confirm the Variables and Answers
The last step in the process displays the Answer Sets in a table. Advanced features for questions, such as
Feedback and Categories and Keywords are defined by the Creation Settings of the Test.
1. Edit or delete any unwanted answer sets and click Calculate.
2. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
3. Add Question Metadata in the Categories and Keywords section.
4. Click Submit to add the question to the test.
Example
If a small glass contains 8 ounces of water, and a large glass contains 12 ounces of water, what is the total
number of ounces in 4 large and 3 small glasses of water?
Calculated Numeric Answer Questions
A Calculated Numeric question asks the user to submit a numeric answer to a question. It resembles a fill-inthe-blank question where the correct answer is a number. The correct answer is a specific number or within a
range of numbers. Please note that the answer must be numeric, not alphanumeric.
How to Create a Calculated Numeric Response Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Calculated Numeric from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Type the Correct Answer. This value must be a number.
5. Type the Answer Range. If the answer must be exact for Students to receive credit, enter 0. Any
value that is less than or more than the Correct Answer by less than the Answer Range value will
be marked as correct.
6. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
7. Click Submit.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Example
If the average human body temperature under normal conditions ranges between 35.5 and 36.5 degrees
Celsius, what is the average human body temperature in degrees Fahrenheit?
Either/Or Questions
Users are presented with a statement and asked to respond using a selection of pre-defined two-choice
answers, suchas:
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Yes/No
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Agree/Disagree
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Right/Wrong
This question type is very useful in Surveys to gauge user's opinions. It is a slight variation on the True/False
question type, except more descriptive and meaningful answers may be used.
How to Create an Either/Or Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Either/Or from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select a pair of Answer Choices from the drop-down list.
5. Select the Correct Answer.
6. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
7. Click Submit.
Example
Hamlet's famous monologue, "To be or not to be...," is a meditation on suicide.
Agree/Disagree
Essay Questions
Essay questions require the Instructor to provide Students with a question or statement. Students are given the
opportunity to type an answer into a text field. Sample answers are added for users or Graders to use as a
reference. These types of questions must be graded manually in the Grade Center. Essay questions may use
the Math and Science Notation Tool.
A Short Answer question type allows the Instructor to limit the length of the response. Like Essay questions,
Short Answer questions are manually graded. Other Question types that allow user input are File Response
Questions, Fill in the Blank Questions, and Fill In Multiple Blanks Questions.
How to Create an Essay Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for an assessment.
2. Select Essay from the Create Question type drop-down.
3. Type the Question Text and assign a Point Value.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
4. Type a sample Answer for users to view with the question.
5. Click Submit.
Example
Explain what a "tombolo" is and where you might find one.
File Response Questions
Users upload a file from the local drive or from the Content Collection as the answer to the question. This type
of question is graded manually. This question type enables Students to work on something before a test and
submit it with a test, particularly if it requires a large amount of text. Submitting the answer this way allows the
Instructor to read and grade the question without worrying that the browser will time out.
Short Answer and Essay questions may also be used for questions that may require a shorter answer from a
Student. These questions types must also be manually graded. Other Question types that allow user input are
Fill in the Blank Questions and Fill In Multiple Blanks Questions.
How to Create a File Response Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select File Response from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
5. Click Submit.
Example
Create a diagram of a simple relational database. Upload this file in JPEG format.
Fill In Multiple Blanks Questions
This question type builds on fill-in-the-blank questions with multiple fill in the blank responses that are inserted
into a sentence or paragraph. Separate sets of answers are defined for each blank. This question type may be
used if there are multiple variables, such as "What color is the Italian flag?" This question type is also useful in
foreign language classes. In this case the identifier and adjective may be left blank in a sentence, so as not to
give away the gender of an object.
How to Create a Multiple Fill-in-the-Blanks Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Fill In Multiple Blanks from theCreate Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text. Type each blank as a variable surrounded by square brackets. For
example, William [blank_1] wrote Romeo and [blank_2].Variables should be composed of
alphabets, digits (0-9), periods (.), underscores (_) and hyphens (-). All other occurrences of the
opening rectangular brace ("[") character should be preceded by the back-slash ("\") character.
Variable names must be unique and cannot be reused.
4. Click Next.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
5. Select the Number of Answers for each variable.
6. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
7. Click Next.
8. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
9. Add Question Metadata in the Categories and Keywords section.
10. Click Submit.
Example
In first aid, the mnemonic ABC stands for
,
, and
.
Fill in the Blank Questions
Fill in the Blank answers are evaluated based on an exact text match. Accordingly, it is important to keep the
answers simple and limited to as few words as possible. Answers are not case sensitive, but are evaluated
based on spelling. Consider the following tips when creating Fill in the Blank questions and answers:
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Provide answers that allow for common spelling errors.
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Provide answers that allow for abbreviations or partial answers.
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Create the question that indicates to Students the best way to answer the question.
Phrase the question sothere is only one answer
Try to keep answers limited to one word to avoid mismatched answers due to extra spaces or order of answer
terms. If the answer may be more than one word, list all possibilities as answers. For example, if Benjamin
Franklin is the answer, include Benjamin Franklin, Franklin, and Ben Franklin as correct answers.
Note: Use the Fill In Multiple Blanks question type to create a question with multiple answers.
How to Create a Fill in the Blank Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Fill in the Blank from theCreate Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select a Number of Answers from the drop-down list.
5. Type an answer for each Answer field.
6. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
7. Click Submit.
Example
is the silicate mineral with the lowest melting temperature and the greatest resistance to weathering,
and as a result, it makes up the great bulk of sand-sized particles.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Hot Spot Questions
Users indicate the answer by marking a specific point on an image. A range of pixel coordinates is used to
define the correct answer. Hot Spot refers to the area of an image that, when selected, yields a correct answer.
The following are some examples of uses for this type of question:
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Anatomy: To locate different parts of the body.
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Geography: To locate areas on a map.
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Foreign Language: To select different articles of clothing.
How to Create a Hot Spot Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for an assessment.
2. Select Hot Spot from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. In the Upload Image section, locate the appropriate file using one of the following options:
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To upload a file from a local drive, click Browse My Computer.
To upload a file from the Course's storage repository:
o If Course Files is the Course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-ORo
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
5. Make sure to upload the image in the correct field. Remember that Creation Settings allows
uploading a file as part of the Question Text.
6. Click Next. The uploaded image will appear.
7. Click the mouse and drag it to create a rectangle over the correct answer. When Students select a
point within the rectangle they will receive credit for a correct answer. The area of the hot spot is
defined by pixels.
8. Click Clear to delete the hot spot and define a new hot spot.
9. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
10. Click Submit.
Example
Click on the esophagus.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Jumbled Sentence Questions
Users are shown a sentence with parts of the sentence as variables. The user selects the proper answer for
each variable from drop-down lists to assemble the sentence. Only one set of answers is used for all of the
drop-down lists. For example, this type of question may be useful when teaching about proper grammatical
order in a sentence, such as the location of a noun, verb, or adjective,
How to Create a Jumbled Sentence Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Jumbled Sentence from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text. Type each blank as a variable surrounded by square brackets. Variables
should be composed of alphabets, digits (0-9), periods (.), underscores (_) and hyphens (-). All other
occurrences of the opening rectangular brace ("[") character should be preceded by the back-slash
("\") character. Variable names must be unique and cannot be reused.
4. Select the Number of Answers and enter a value for each. These values will appear in a dropdown list for each variable when users view the question. Type the answers in the order they
should display to Students in the drop-down.
5. Click Next.
6. The question will appear with the drop-down lists in place of the variables. Select the correct
answers.
7. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
8. Click Submit.
Example
An essential tenet of first aid, is that when you find an unconscious person, you first
finally
.
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make them aware of your presence by shaking theirhand
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ensure their airway is clear
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check their breathing
, then
, and
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
l
move the person so that their head is sitting on their knees
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check their circulation
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check for awareness by asking their name and today's date
Matching Questions
Matching questions allow Students to pair items in one column to items in another column. Instructors may
include a different numbers of questions and answers in a Matching question. For example, the question may
include a list of animals and a list of food they eat (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore). The users would match
each animal with their diet.
Students are granted partial credit for matching questions if they answer part of the question correctly. For
example, if the question is worth eight points and the Student gives the correct answers for half of the matches,
they will receive four points.
How to Create a Matching Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for an assessment.
2. Select Matching from theCreate Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select options for question layout and partial credit.
5. Select the Number of Questions and enter the text for each question. The number of questions
and answers may be uneven. For example, the Instructor may include extra answers to make the
question moredifficult.
6. Select the Number of Answers and enter the text for each answer.
7. Click Next.
8. Match each Question with the correct Answer.
9. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
10. Add Question Metadata in the Categories and Keywords section.
11. Click Submit.
Example
Match each term with its definition.
Deposition
Erosion
Lithification
Weathering
a. The chemical alteration and breakdown of rock
b. The conversion of sediment to rock
c. The dropping of sediment into a long-term reservoir
d. The picking up and carrying away of sediment
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Multiple Answer Questions
Multiple answer questions allow users to choose more than one answer. The number of answer choices is
limited to 20. This type of question may be used when more than one answer is correct. For example, in the
medical field, this type of question may be used to select symptoms associated with a medical condition.
How to Create a Multiple Answer Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Multiple Answer from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select the Number of Answers from the drop-down list.
5. Complete the Answer text box for each answer.
6. Select the correct answers by clicking the Correct check box for each answer.
7. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
8. Click Submit.
Example
Which of the following are viable methods for traveling from London to Paris?
1. air
2. ferry
3. walk
4. rail
Multiple Choice Questions
Multiple-choice questions allow the users a multitude of choices with only one correct answer. In multiplechoice questions, users indicate the correct answer by selecting a radio button. The number of answer choices
is limited to 20.
Note: Use the Multiple Answer question type to create multiple choice questions with more than one answer.
How to Create a Multiple Choice Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a Test.
2. Select Multiple Choice from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select the Number of Answers from the drop-down list.
5. Type an Answer in each field.
6. Select the Correct answer by clicking the appropriate option. Only one correct answer is selected.
7. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
8. Click Submit.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Example
Which ocean basin is a remnant of the universal ocean Panthalassa?
1. Arctic
2. Atlantic
3. Indian
4. Pacific
Opinion Scale/Likert Questions
This question type is based on a rating scale designed to measure attitudes or reactions. It is popular to use in
surveys in order to get a comparable scale of opinion. Users indicate the multiple choice answer that represents
their attitude or reaction. When the Instructor creates an opinion scale question, six answer fields are prepopulated with the following answers, which can be modified:
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l
l
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Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree nor Disagree
Disagree
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Strongly Disagree
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Not Applicable
How to Create an Opinion Scale/Likert Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for an assessment.
2. Select Opinion Scale/Likert from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select the Number of Answers from the drop-down list. The number six is selected by default.
The Answer fields are pre-populated with six values on a Likert scale.
5. Type an Answer in each field in order to change the default answers.
6. Select a Correct answer by clicking the appropriate radio button.
7. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer. In a Survey, the correct
answer is ignored.
8. Click Submit.
Example
How concerned are you about the need for first aid on the water?
1. Very Concerned
2. Concerned
3. Neither Concerned or Unconcerned
4. Not really concerned
5. Not concerned atall
6. Not applicable
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
Ordering Questions
Ordering questions require users to provide an answer by selecting the correct order of a series of items. For
example, an Instructor may give users a list of historical events and ask them to place these events in
chronological order.
Users will be granted partial credit for ordering questions if they answer part of the question correctly. For
example, if the question is worth eight points and the Student gives the correct order for half of the items, they
will receive four points.
How to Create an Ordering Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for an assessment.
2. Select Ordering from the Create Question drop-downlist.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select the Number of Answers from the drop-down list.
5. Type an Answer in each field.
6. Click Next.
7. Drag and drop the answers in the Display Order column to determine how they are displayed.
8. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
9. Add Question Metadata in the Categories and Keywords section.
10. Click Submit.
Example
Order the four oceans in size, with the largest first.
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Pacific
l
Indian
Atlantic
l
l
Arctic
Quiz Bowl Questions
Quiz Bowl questions are a way to add fun and creativity to tests, such as self Tests or in-class contests. The
user is shown the answer and responds by entering the correct question into a text box. An answer must
include a phrase and a question word, such as whom, what, or where, to be marked as correct. For example,
the question may be "The person who invented the cotton gin", with the answer being "Who is Eli Whitney?"
Partial credit may be given if the question word is not included in the answer.
How to Create a Quiz Bowl Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Quiz Bowl from the Create Question drop-downlist.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Select the Number of Interrogatives.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Question Types
5. Type each acceptable Interrogative word. One of these words must appear in the response for the
Student to receive full credit.
6. Select the Number of Answer Phrases.
7. Type each Answer Phrase. One of these phrases must appear in the response for the Student to
receive anycredit.
8. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
9. Click Submit.
Example
It is the only country that is a continent.
Your answer must be in the form of a question, such as What is
?
Use a question mark at the end of your question.
Short Answer Questions
Short Answer questions are similar to essay questions. The length of the answer is limited to a specified
number of rows in the text box. Essay questions and Short Answer questions must be graded manually.
The number of rows is meant as a guideline when entering an answer, it does not impose an absolute limit on
answer length.
How to Create a Short Answer Question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select Short Answer from the Create Question drop-down list.
3. Type the Question Text.
4. Determine the Number of Rows to Display in the Answer Field by selecting a number from the
drop-downlist.
5. Type an example of a correct answer in the Answer Text field.
6. Click Submit.
Example
Explain what CCD (carbonate compensation depth) is, and how it governs the distribution of calcium carbonate
on the sea floor.
True/False Questions
True/False questions allow the user to choose either true or false. True and False answer options are limited to
the words True and False.
How to Create a True/False question
1. Open the Test Canvas for a test.
2. Select True/False from the Create Question drop-down list.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Finding Questions
3. Type the Question Text. This should be in the form of a statement that users will mark either True
orFalse.
4. Select the correct Answer by clicking True or False.
5. Type the Correct Response Feedback that appears in response to a correct answer and the
Incorrect Response Feedback for an incorrect answer. If partial credit is allowed, answers that
are partially correct will receive the feedback for an incorrect answer.
6. Click Submit.
Example
Oceanic crust is made out of basalt and gabbro.
True
False
Finding Questions
Instructors can use the Find Questions page to filter and select questions when adding individual questions or a
Random Block to a test. The page is comprised of the Active Filter and the Shopping List. The Active Filter is a
dynamic list that changes automatically as criteria are selected or deselected. The Shopping List displays all of
the selected questions in one place, eliminating the need to scroll up and down long lists of questions.
How to Browse Criteria
1. Point toReuse Question and select Find Questions.
2. Click the criteria links to display all the questions associated with that criteria.
3. Select questions from thecriteria.
4. Click Submit.
As criteria are selected from the Browse Criteria section, the relevant questions are displayed in the Active
Filter. The selected criteria are displayed above the Active Filter as a reference. Use the following criteria links
to search for questions:
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Pools: All the pools that the Instructor can access.
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Tests: All the tests that the Instructor can access.
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Question types: All of the questions that are created through the Test Canvas.
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Categories: All of the categories that Instructors create.
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Topics: All of the topics that Instructors create.
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Levels of Difficulty: All the Levels of Difficulty that Instructors create.
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Keywords: All the Keywords that Instructors create.
Questions that are selected through this process are displayed in the Shopping List at the bottom of the page.
Click Show List to view all the questions that have been selected. Click Hide List to minimize the list.
Questions are deleted from the Shopping List by clicking the red X link next to the question. This action does
not delete the question.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Reusing Questions
Reusing Questions
Instructors can reuse questions by using the Find Questions page, which contains every question from all
existing tests, surveys, and pools in the Course.
Copying and Linking to Questions
When using the Find Questions page, Instructors can choose to Copy a Question from an existing test to a
new test, or Link to the original question in the new test. The difference is that if a linked question is
changed, those changes are reflected everywhere a link to that question occurs. Questions that are linked
display an icon that indicates they are used in other tests. Alternatively, when the question is copied, changes
made to one instance of the question are not reflected in the other instances. Copy is the default selection.
Selected Questions
Questions that are selected through this process are displayed at the bottom of the page. Click Show List to
view all the questions that have been selected. Click Hide List to minimize the Selected Questions. Questions
are deleted from the Selected Questions list by clicking the red X link next to the question. This action does not
delete the question.
How to Find Existing Questions and Add them to a Test or Survey
1. Point to the Reuse Question drop-down list and select Find Questions. The Find Questions
pop-up window appears.
2. Choose a method for adding questions, Copying or Linking. The difference between the two is
that if a linked question is changed, those changes are reflected in every test and survey where that
question appears. Once you have selected a question, you can change this option before adding
the question to a test or survey.
Note: The option to change the method is located above the table of questions. Select the correct
option before you add the questions to the test.
3. Expand one or all of the following criteria: Pools, Tests, Question Types, Categories, Topics,
Levels of Difficulty, or Keywords.
4. Use the Search Current Results field to narrow the search.
5. Select the questions to add using the check boxes.
6. Click Submit. The Question will be added to your Test or Survey as a Copy or a Link.
Creating and Editing a Random Block
Random Blocks are groups of questions that can be presented in a random fashion determined by the
Instructor. Random Blocks are created by finding and selecting questions, deciding on the number of points per
question, and then determining the number of questions to display to the user.
Questions that are selected through this process are displayed in the Shopping List at the bottom of the
window. Click Show List to view all the questions that have been selected. Click Hide List to minimize the
Shopping List. Questions are deleted from the Shopping List by clicking the red X link next to the question. This
action does not delete the question.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Creating Question Sets
Before You Begin
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a Random Block:
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If the number of questions to display are less than the list of questions, 3 of the 50 used, the
questions are randomly distributed, so each student may be looking at a different set of 3 questions.
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The Instructor can choose to have the same number of questions to display as there are selected, 50
of the 50, in which the Students all view the same questions.
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It is not possible to add a Random Block of questions from another Test or Survey.
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Random Blocks cannot be included in a Survey or a Pool.
How to Create a Random Block of Questions for a Test
1. Select Create Random Blockfrom the Reuse Question drop-down list.
2. Expand one or all of the following criteria: Pools, Tests, Question Types, Categories, Topics,
and Levels of Difficulty.
3. Use the Search Current Results field to narrow the search.
4. Select the questions to add using the check boxes.
5. Click Submit.
How to Edit a Random Block of Questions
Random Blocks are edited from the Test Canvas once they have been added to a test.
To...
Click...
delete the Random Block
Delete from the Contextual Menu for the Random Block heading. This action
does not delete the questions themselves.
show or hide the questions within
the Random Block
the Questions in the Block link.
delete questions from the Random
Block
the check box for the question and click Remove Question.
add questions to the Random Block
Add Questions. Select questions from the Create Random Blockpage.
preview a question in the Random
Block
the preview button next to the question text. The question appears in a
separate window.
change the number of questionsto
display in the Random Block
the number next to Number of Questions to display. Type a number in the
Questions to display in the block field and click Submit.
change the point value of the
questions in the Random Block
the number next to Points per question.Type a number in the Update points
field and click Submit.
Creating Question Sets
A Question Set is a collection of questions retrieved from selected Tests and Pools. From this set, you specify
how many questions to display. The specific questions displayed are randomly chosen each time the test is
taken.
For each question set, you can specify:
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Uploading Questions
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The pools and tests from which it will bedrawn
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The type of questions to be drawn
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The number of questions to be drawn
If the number of questions to be displayed is less than the list of questions (example: 3 out of 50), then the
questions are randomly distributed so that each user may be viewing a different set of three questions. The
Instructor can choose to display the same questions to all users by selecting all the questions listed.
How to Create Question Sets
1. Create or access the test.
2. On the Test Canvas page, point to Reuse Question.
3. Select Create Question Set.
4. On the Create Question Set page, search for questions using the Browse Criteria.
5. Select the questions to include in the test. Select the check box in the header row to select all
questions.
6. Review your selectedquestions.
7. Click Submit.
How to Add More Questions
To add more questions after the initial submission, expand the Questions in the Set and click Add Questions.
More Information
Enter the total number of questions to display to students. To ensure students are presented with a question set
each time, enter a number less than the total number of questions.
Enter a point value per question. The point value you enter will be assigned to every question in the set. You
cannot assign separate point values for individual questions in the same question set.
Due to the randomized format of Question Sets, use caution when referring to specific question content or
numbering, as the questions displayed will change with each Attempt.
Note: When you add questions to a test using the Question Set feature, each question is linked. The questions
do not exist in the test. Therefore, if you change an original question, the revised version of the question will be
displayed. Once the test with the linked question is deployed, the questions will no longer reflect revisions
made to the original.
Uploading Questions
Instructors may upload files containing questions into a Test, Survey, or Pool.
Before You Begin
The following information is important to note when uploading questions:
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Once uploaded, questions are manipulated like other questions created within the Assessment.
Questions that contain an error will fail to upload. Questions without errors will upload successfully.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Uploading Questions
The system does not check for duplicate questions. It is up to the Instructor to manage this aspect of
the Assessment questions.
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The questions in the uploaded file must match the file structure explained in this topic. The file may include
Essay, Ordering, Matching, Fill in the Blank, Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, and True/False questions.
Note: This feature is not available in Blackboard Learn - Basic Edition.
Setting Point Values
When questions are uploaded they automatically default to the point value they were assigned when exported.
If a default value has not been chosen in Question Settings questions will automatically have a point value of ‘0’
and Instructors must then enter a point value for each question.
How to Upload Questions
1. Click Upload Questions on the Test Canvas or Survey Canvas page.
2. Click Browse and locate the file.
3. Type a number in the Points per question field.
4. Click Submit.
File Structure
Questions in the file must conform to a specific structure to be uploaded to an Assessment successfully. Each
field in the file is separated by a tab and each row is a separate question.
Note: When uploaded to a Survey, the correct/incorrect answer Assignment is ignored, but the file must follow
the same format as described for Tests and Pools.
Question
Type
Structure
Multiple
Choice
‘MC’ TAB question text (TAB answer text TAB ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’) Text within () may be repeated
for each of the answers that are part of the Multiple Choice question. The maximum number of
answers is 20.
Multiple
Answer
‘MA’ TAB question text (TAB answer text TAB ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’) Text within () may be repeated
for each of the answers that are part of the Multiple Answer question. The maximum number of
answers is 20.
True/False
‘TF’ TAB question text TAB ‘true’ or ‘false’
Essay
‘ESS’ TAB question text TAB [example] Text within [ ] is optional. The Instructor may choose to add a
sample essay question or leave this blank.
Ordering
‘ORD’ TAB question text (TAB answer text) Text within () may be repeated for each of the answers
that are part of the Ordering question. The maximum number of answers is 20. The order entered in
the file is the correct order. The system will randomly order the answers.
Matching
‘MAT’ TAB question text (TAB answer text TAB matching text) Text within () may be repeated for
each of the answers that are part of the Matching question. The maximum number of answers is 20.
The system will randomly order the answers and their question. When uploading a matching
question, there must be a one-to-one relationship between questions and answers. If not, correct
answers may be marked incorrect if more than one answer has the same value.
Fill in the
Blank
‘FIB’ TAB question text (TAB answer text) Text within () may be repeated for each of the answers that
are part of the Fill in the Blank question. The maximum number of answers is 20.
File
Response
'FIL' TAB question
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Using the Pool Canvas
Question
Type
Structure
Numeric
Response
'NUM' TAB question TAB answer TAB [optional]tolerance
Short
Response
'SR' TAB question TAB sample_answer
Opinion/Likert OP TAB question
Scale
Multiple Fillin-the-Blank
FIB_PLUS TAB question TAB variable1 TAB answer1 TAB answer2 TAB variable2 TAB answer3
The format consists of a list of variable-answers where each variable- answer is composed of the
variable name and a list of correct answers for that variable. variable-answers are delimited by an
empty field.
Jumbled
Sentence
JUMBLED_SENTENCE TAB question TAB choice1 TAB variable1 TAB choice2 TAB TAB choice3
TAB variable2 The format consists of a list of choices-answers where each choice-answer consists
of the choice followed by the list of variables for which that choice is the correct answer. An empty
field indicates the end of a choice answer. A choice immediately followed by an empty field
indicates that choice is not the correct answer for any variable.
Quiz Bowl
QUIZ_BOWL TAB question TAB question_word1 TAB question_word2 TAB phrase1 TAB phrase2
The format consists of a list of valid question words followed by an empty field and a list of valid
answer phrases.
Using the Pool Canvas
The Pool Canvas page presents an inventory of questions. Instructors can edit the Pool name and instructions,
create or edit questions, and upload questions. Instructors can use the check boxes to select any or all
questions and then delete them or change the point values.
When Instructors are creating Pool questions that are intended for use in Surveys, correct answers must be
added during question creation. These answers will be ignored once the question is added to a Survey. This
function enables the questions to be used in Tests as well as Surveys at a later time.
Here are the tasks that are performed on the Pool Canvas page:
To . . .
click . ..
create a new
question
the Create Question drop-down list in the and select a type of question.
change the
Default Point
Value for
questions in the
Pool
the appropriate field in the Default Points column and type a new point value. Press TYPE or
click the check mark icon.
change the name,
description, or
instructions for the
Pool
Edit from the contextual menu next to the first header.
change the order
of thequestions
the double arrow in the upper left corner of the question and drag and drop the question to the
appropriate position.
change the
settings for this
Pool
Question Settings. Question Settings enable the Instructor to adjust the default point value,
options for question feedback and the inclusion of images. To learn more, see Changing
Question Settings.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Creating and Editing Pools
To . . .
click . ..
copy a question
Copy in the contextual menu of the question header. The Create/Edit Multiple Choice
Question page is displayed, where changes are made to the copied question. Copied
questions retain all of the settings of the original question.
edit a question
Edit in the contextual menu of the question header. Instructors can edit linked questions from
the Pool Canvas. Changes made to linked question are reflected everywhere there is a link to
that question. Tests that are in progress will not display the changes to a linked question.
preview a
question
Preview in the contextual menu of the question header. The question appears in a separate
window.
delete a question
Delete in the contextual menu of the question header. A confirmation box appears. Removing
a question is irreversible.
reuse a question
Find Questions. To learn more, see Reusing Questions.
Creating and Editing Pools
The Pool Canvas page presents an inventory of questions. Instructors can edit the Pool name and instructions,
create or edit questions, and upload questions. Instructors can use the check boxes to select any or all
questions and then delete them or change the point values.
When Instructors are creating Pool questions that are intended for use in Surveys, correct answers must be
added during question creation. These answers will be ignored once the question is added to a Survey. This
function enables the questions to be used in Tests as well as Surveys at a later time.
About the Warning Page
A warning appears when Edit is selected for a Pool if any Students are in the process of taking a Test or have
already taken a Test that includes questions from that Pool. Certain areas of the questions will not be available
for modification if the Test has already been taken by Students.
When questions are selected from a Pool to be included in a Test links are created between the Test and the
Pool for those questions. Instructors should not make changes to Pool questions that have been deployed in a
Test once Students have begun taking the Test. If the Instructor edits a Pool question after a Student has
submitted a Test it was included on, the Student will view the new, modified question when they view their
grade and feedback. They will not view the original question.
How to Build a Pool
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools .
2. Click Pools.
3. Click Build Pool.
4. Complete the Pool Information page and click Submit.
5. Add questions to the pool.
6. Click OK when finished.
How to Edit Existing Pools
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Click Pools.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Importing Tests, Surveys, and Pools
3. Click Edit in the Contextual Menu for an existing Pool.
4. Add or delete questions.
5. Click OK when finished.
Importing Tests, Surveys, and Pools
Instructors may import Tests, Surveys, and Pools. This is an effective way to share Tests, Surveys, or Pools
with other Instructors. Tests, Surveys, and Pools are exported from the system and then imported by another
Instructor for use in his or her Course. Tests, Surveys, and Pools are exported from Blackboard Learn and
imported as .ZIP packages.
How to Import a Test, Survey, or Pool
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Click Tests, Surveys, or Pools.
3. Click Import.
4. Locate the appropriate file using one of the following options:
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To upload a file from a local drive, click Browse My Computer.
To upload a file from the Course's storage repository:
o If Course Files is the Course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
-ORo
If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content
Collection.
5. Click Submit.
For information on exporting Tests, Surveys, or Pools, see Exporting Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
Troubleshooting
Only Test, Survey, and Pool packages exported from Blackboard Learn may be imported. Tests and Surveys
created by others, at other institutions, or created with older versions of Blackboard Learn are imported as long
as they are in the proper format. For information about formatting the different types of questions that make up
Tests, Surveys, and Pools, see Uploading Questions.
Exporting Tests, Surveys, and Pools
Instructors may export Tests, Surveys, and Pools. This is an effective way to share Tests, Surveys, or Pools
with other Instructors. Tests, Surveys, and Pools are exported from the system and then imported by another
Instructor for use in his or her Course. Tests, Surveys, and Pools are exported from Blackboard Learn as .ZIP
packages.
How to Export a Test, Survey, or Pool
1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Click Tests, Surveys, or Pools.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Grading Tests
3. From the contextual menu next to an item name, click Export.
4. Click OK in the pop-up window to save the file.
Note: If your school licenses content management, two export options will appear in the contextual menu. To
save the file to a local drive, choose Export to Local Computer. To save the file within content management,
choose Export to Content Collection.
To learn more about importing Tests, Surveys, or Pools, see Importing Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
Grading Tests
A Grade Center column is created automatically for each test created and linked in the Course. A test that has
been submitted, but not graded, is indicated with an exclamation mark—the needs grading icon. Though the
system scores many question types, some questions need to be graded manually, such as essays.
Tests that need grading can be accessed from the Needs Grading page or from the Grade Center. Instructors
have the option to grade tests anonymously or to grade all responses to a specific question.
How to Access Test Attempts from the Needs Grading Page
For Courses with many enrolled Students and gradable items, the Needs Grading page can help you
determine which tests need grading first. For example, you can sort by the due date to ensure your final tests
are graded before your school's deadline.
For Instructors who have a designated turnaround time set for all gradable items, the Needs Grading page
allows them to customize the view of items with a needs grading status. The list can be sorted and filtered so
the most urgent tests can be graded first.
To access the Needs Grading page:
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Needs Grading. The total number of items to grade appears on the Needs Grading page.
To filter and sort attempts:
1. Use the Filter drop-down lists to narrow the list of items to grade by Category, Item, User, and
Date Submitted. For example, make selections in both the Category and User drop-down lists to
display tests submitted by a particular user.
2. Click Go. The filtered items appear on the Needs Grading page.
3. Click any column heading or the caret to sort the tests. For example, sort the tests by Item Name.
4. Click Grade All on the Action Bar to begin grading test attempts.
5. The filtered test attempts are placed in a queue for easy navigation among items. Test attempts
appear on the Grade Test page in the order they were sorted and filtered on the Needs Grading
page.
How to Access Test Attempts from the Grade Center
The Grade Center shows all gradable items and is not limited to only assignments and tests like the Needs
Grading page. Other items to grade appear with exclamation marks, such as graded Journal entries or
Discussion Board posts. The number of items may influence how you organize your time for grading tasks. You
may also find it beneficial to view a Student's previous grades as items are graded.
To access the Grade Center:
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Grading Tests
1. In the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
2. Select Full Grade Center or the Tests Smart View, if available, to access test attempts.
To grade a single test:
1. Locate the cell for a Student’s test containing an exclamation mark.
2. Move the mouse pointer over the cell to see the Action Link.
3. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Attempt. The Grade Test page appears.
To grade all attempts for a particular test:
1. In the test's column heading, click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Attempts. The Grade Test pageappears.
About the Grade Test Page
The Grade Test page is accessed from the Needs Grading page or the Grade Center. Instructors can navigate
among users and attempts, view rubrics, grade anonymously, and view information about a test.
On the Action Bar, the following actions can be performed:
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l
l
Click Hide User Names to grade attempts anonymously, if needed. Click Show User Names to
display user information.
Click View Rubric to view the rubrics that are associated with a test's column in the Grade Center.
Click Jump to and select another attempt to view or grade.
Expand the Test Information link to view the following information:
l
Status: Needs Grading, In Progress, Completed
l
Score
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Instructions
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Clear Attempt or Submit Attempt functions
Note: If a test is In Progress, the Instructor must submit the test so it can be graded.
How to Grade Tests from the Grade Test Page
The Grade Test page is accessed from the Needs Grading page or the Grade Center.
1. On the Grade Test page, type a score for each question. Scores for questions graded
automatically can be overridden.
2. Optionally, add Response Feedback specific to the individual question. The Response Feedback
box only appears for certain question types, such as essays.
3. Optionally, type comments in the Feedback to User box. Use the Text Editor functions to format
the text and add files, images, links, multimedia, and Mashups.
4. Optionally, type comments in the Grading Notes box. This text is not seen by Students.
5. Click Save and Exit to return to the Full Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, or the Grade
Details page, depending on where grading began.
-ORClick Save and Next to display the next user, when available.
-OR-
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Grading Tests
Click View Previous to display the previous user, when available.
Note: If multiple attempts for a test have been allowed, a Student's grade is not released until all of the
attempts have beengraded.
How to Grade Tests Anonymously
You may choose to grade tests anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of student work. Grading
anonymously allows you to remain objective and not unduly influenced by a Student's behavior or previous
performance. Grading anonymously can contribute to the student-faculty relationship because Students are
assured that grading was unbiased.
When grading anonymously, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each
Student is assigned a number, such as Student 8.
To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:
1. Click a test attempt's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Anonymously. TheGrade Test page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Center:
1. In the test's column heading, click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Anonymously. TheGrade Test page appears.
To grade anonymously from the Grade Test page:
1. On the Action Bar, click Hide User Names.
2. Click OK. If grading was in progress, any unsaved changes to the open attempt are lost. The
Grade Test page refreshes and all identifying information is hidden.
How to Grade Tests by Question
For each test, you can choose to grade all responses to a specific question. This allows you to move from test
to test, viewing and scoring the same question for each Student. Grading this way can save time as you
concentrate only on the answers for a single question. You can see how all Students responded, providing
immediate feedback about how the group performed on that particular question. Also, grading by question is
useful when you want to revisit a question that requires a score adjustment for all or many Students.
At the same time, questions can be graded anonymously. All test attempts remain in needs grading status until
all of the responses for all questions have been graded.
1. In the Grade Center, click a test's Action Link in the column heading to access the contextual menu
and select Grade Questions.
–OROn the Needs Grading page, click a test's Action Link to access the contextual menu and select
Grade by Question.
2. On the Grade Questions page, you can filter the questions by status: Graded, Needs Grading, or
In Progress. You may also select the check box for Grade Responses Anonymously, if needed.
3. For each question, click the number in the Responses column.
4. On the Grade Responses page, expand the Question Information link to view the question. If
anonymous grading was not previously selected, click Hide User Names on the Action Bar. Click
OK in the pop-up window to verify the action.
5. Click Edit next to the score for a user.
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Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Grading Tests
6. Type a grade in the Score box. Optionally, add Response Feedback specific to the individual
question. The Response Feedback box only appears for certain question types, such as essays.
Use the Text Editor functions to format the text and add files, images, links, multimedia, and
Mashups. Click Submit.
7. Click Back to Questions to return to the Grade Questions page when all student responses are
graded.
Next Steps
To learn more about other grading functions in the Grade Center, see these topics:
EnteringGrades
Including Comments With a Grade Entry
Changing Grades Deleting and
Reverting Grades
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Grade Center
>
About the Grade Center
Grade Center
About the Grade Center
The Grade Center in Blackboard Learn is more than just a way to record students' grades. It is a dynamic and
interactive tool, allowing you to record data, calculate grades, and monitor student progress. You can generate
reports to communicate information to parents, administrators, and other stakeholders. You can determine
which assigned grades to show to your students on their My Grades pages, including columns displaying
performanceresults.
In the Grade Center, you can provide and manage your students' grades for assignments, tests, discussion
posts, journals, blogs, and wikis, and for ungraded items, such as surveys or self tests. You can also create
grade columns for any activities or requirements you want to grade, such as special projects, participation, or
attendance.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
The Interface
The Grade Center resembles a spreadsheet. Each row is populated by a user in your course and each column
includes information for an item, such as an assignment, test, graded blog entry, or survey. You can also use
columns to calculate grades. You can provide grades and comments directly on the Grade Center page, on the
Grade Details page, and from a tool, such as the Discussion Board.
You are able to customize your view of the Grade Center and create grading schemas, Grading Periods,
categories, and columns to present and gather the information you need. To learn more, see Setting Up the
GradeCenter.
The Needs Grading Page
If you have a heavy grading load, the Needs Grading page can help you determine what needs attention first
and allows you to access it quickly. You can view assignment and test attempts ready for grading or review on
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Grade Center
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About the Grade Center
the Needs Grading page, where you can begin grading and reviewing or sort and filter columns to narrow the
list. Attempts are placed in a queue for easy navigation among items. To learn more, see About the Needs
GradingPage.
Working Offline
You can download and work with Grade Center data outside of the system. Then, you can upload the edited
data to the Grade Center. To learn more, see Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items for Working
Offline.
Grade Center Interactions With Other Tools and Components
The Grade Center interacts with several tools and components in Blackboard Learn. Understanding how and
where these interactions happen provides a comprehensive view of the Grade Center and helps users take full
advantage of this tool.
The following table explains how the Grade Center interacts with other tools and components.
Tool/Component Interaction
Course Content
When you create gradable items in your course, such as gradable journals, blogs, wikis,
discussion posts, tests, and assignments, a grade column is created automatically in the Grade
Center.
For example, when you create a journal, you can select the grading option. A grade column is
created automatically in the Grade Center with the name of the journal.
Early Warning
System
The Early Warning System is a rule-driven communication tool that can help you identify
student performance problems or achievement. You create rules that are based on a test score,
calculated column, due date, or course access. When criteria of the rule are met, a warning is
generated, and you can send email messages to students and their observers.
For example, you create a rule to list students who score below 60 percent on an exam. Then,
you send an email to each student to offer help or set a meeting time.
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is
not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
To learn more, see About the Early Warning System.
Observers
Observers can log in and access their observed students' releasedgrades.
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls Observer access. If allowed school-wide,
you can determine Observer access on a course-by-course basis.
Note: The Observer role is not available with a Basic License.
To learn more, see Guest and Observer Access.
My Grades tool
Students view their course grades on their My Grades pages. Grades are available by default,
but you may choose to make a grade or grades unavailable in the settings for each column.
To learn more, see How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns.
Report Card
module
Students can include the Report Card module on their My Institution tabs. The module displays
each course's External Grade in the Grade Center. The External Grade is the grade column
chosen by an instructor to use for the final grade, such as the Total column. External Grades are
shared with your school to report students' grades for your course. To learn more, see
Understanding the External Grade Column in the Grade Center.
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls which modules are available to select from.
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Tool/Component Interaction
Performance
Dashboard
The Performance Dashboard tool provides an up-to-date report with pertinent information about
all users and their progress and activity in your course.
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is
not available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
To learn more, see Using the Performance Dashboard.
Email tool
You can use the Email tool in the Grade Center to send messages to students and their
Observers.
Note: The Observer role is not available with a Basic License.
External data
from other
grading systems
You can export and import data to the Grade Center by uploading and downloading delimited
files. To learn more, see Formatting External Files for Uploading.
Accessing the Grade Center
You access the Grade Center from the Control Panel. Expand the Grade Center section to display the links to
the Needs Grading page, the Full Grade Center, and the Smart Views. Click the right-pointing arrows next to
the Grade Center heading to go directly to the Full Grade Center.
The Needs Grading link displays a page listing all test and assignment attempts ready for grading or review.
To learn more, see About the Needs Grading Page.
The Full Grade Center link displays all columns and rows in the Grade Center and is the default view of the
GradeCenter.
The Smart View links appear as an indented list under Full Grade Center. A Smart View is a focused look at
the Grade Center and shows only the data that matches a set of criteria. You can use Smart Views to quickly
find data when the Grade Center includes a great number of students and columns. For example, the default
Tests Smart View displays only test columns. You can create customized Smart Views and remove unneeded
Smart Views. Click a Smart View link to open the Grade Center using that view. To learn more, see Smart
Views.
About the Needs Grading Page
You can view individual assignment, group assignment, and test attempts, as well as blog and journal entries,
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About the GradeCenter
wiki page saves, and discussion posts ready for grading or review on the Needs Grading page. For courses
with many enrolled students and gradable items, you can use the information and functions on the Needs
Grading page to determine and organize your grading tasks. If you have a designated turnaround time set for all
gradable items, the Needs Grading page allows you to customize the view of items with a needs grading
status. You can sort and filter the list, allowing you to grade the most urgent items first. For example, you can
sort by due date to ensure your final tests are graded by your school's deadline.
Note: If the Blackboard administrator at your school has made the SafeAssign tool available, the Needs
Grading page also displays attempts for SafeAssignments.
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About the GradeCenter
The Needs Grading Page
Access the Needs Grading page in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel.
Click Grade All on the Action Bar to begin grading and reviewing immediately. The Grade All function
places all attempts in a queue for easy navigation among items. The items in the queue appear in the order they
appear on the Needs Grading page.
Note: Tests with a grading status of Attempt in Progress do not appear on the Needs Grading page.
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Sort columns to organize your list. To sort a column, click the column heading or caret. The sorted list
remains in effect until you change it or log out. The following columns appear on the Needs Grading page:
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Category: Sort attempts to group all assignments or tests together.
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Item Name: Sort attempts by alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order.
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User Attempt: Sort attempts by a student's name. The number of attempts for the item is listed in
parentheses. For example: "Mary Johnson (Attempt 1 of 2)." Click a user's name to go directly to the
attempt.
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Date Submitted: Sort attempts by the date and time students submitted the attempts. You may find
this useful when a large number of attempts must be graded by a specific deadline.
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Due Date: If you provided a due date when the item was created, sort attempts by due date and
grade items that are due first.
Apply filters to narrow the list by Category, Item, User, and Date Submitted. If a filter is applied, only the
filtered items appear in the list and in the queue. For example, make selections in both the Category and User
drop-down lists to display tests submitted by a particular user. Click Go to display the filtered items on the
Needs Grading page. The filtered list remains in effect until you edit the filter choices or log out. Click the X to
collapse the Filter field.
The total number of items to grade appears above the list of items. Once attempts have been graded, they
do not appear on the Needs Grading page and the number of items updates to reflect the current number that
needs to be graded. If the list is filtered, the number reflects how many items match the current filter settings.
For example, "12 of 17 total items match current filter."
Click an item's ActionLink (
) to access the contextual menu and make a selection. For assignments,
you can select Grade All Users or Grade Anonymously. For tests, you can also select Grade by Question
and View Attempts. Interactive items such as blogs, journals, wikis, and discussion posts, which can be set
to go into Needs Grading status after a certain number of activities, also have the option to Reset All, which
clears that activity counter and moves the item out of Needs Grading status. A total number of attempts for the
selected item is listed in parentheses.
Click Show All to display up to 1,000 items on one page. Click Edit Paging to change the number of
items to view per page.
Next Steps
To learn about grading tests and assignments accessed from the Needs Grading page, see Grading Tests and
GradingAssignments.
Exploring the Grade Center Interface
The Grade Center consists of rows and columns of student information and gradable items. Cells in the grid
contain data specific to corresponding students.
The appearance of the Grade Center is completely configurable. To learn more, see Setting Up the Grade
Center.
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The Grade Center Interface
Action Bar: Rows preceding the grid information containing functions and drop-down lists specific to the
current page, such as Create Column, Manage, Filter, Email, Sort Columns By, andOrder.
Grade Information Bar: Information about a selected column, such as type of grade and points possible.
Point to a Grade Center column title and details appear in the area preceding the grid and following the Action
Bar. In this same row, you can view when data was last saved.
Grid/spreadsheet: Columns, rows, and cells that make up the current view of the Grade Center data.
Scroll bars: The horizontal and vertical scroll bars are used to navigate through the Grade Center columns
and rows. When you navigate to another course area and return to the Grade Center, you will see the same
rows and columns on the page from the last visit. The view remains in effect until you use the scroll bars again
or log out.
Icon Legend: Explanation of the symbols used in the columns and cells.
Edit Rows Displayed: The number of rows appearing in the grid can be changed. In the box, type a
number between 5 and 50, and click Go.
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About the Grade Center Action Bar
You can perform many actions in the Grade Center using the functions appearing in two rows on the Action Bar.
The following functions appear in the first row of the Action Bar.
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Create Column: Click to create a gradecolumn.
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Create Calculated Column: Access a drop-down list with options for creating calculated columns.
To learn more about the types of calculated columns, see About Calculated Columns in the Grade
Center.
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Manage: Access the drop-down list with options for managing the Grade Center. The options include:
o
Grading Periods: A set of Grade Center columns that have been grouped based on a shared
characteristic, such as a period of time.
o
Grading Schemas: A grading schema takes the actual points scored on a graded item and
compares it to the total points possible for that item to derive a percentage. This percentage
is mapped to a range of scores for grade displays, such as A, B, and C or Pass/Fail.
o
Grading Color Codes: User-defined rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid,
either by grade or status. Color coding the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help
you interpret informationquickly.
o
Categories: Classifications of columns containing similar items, such as "Tests" or
"Assignments," used to organize and view Grade Center data.
o
Smart Views: Custom made views of Grade Center data created by instructors and saved
for continued use.
o
Column Organization: Table view of the Grade Center with functions to change the order
and visibility of columns. From this page, you can also assign columns to Grading Periods
and categories. Changes made on this page are for your view of the Grade Center only and
does not change which columns appear to students on their My Grades pages.
o
Row Visibility: You can hide user rows to reduce the number of rows in the Grade Center
grid and help you focus on specific data.
o
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Send Email: The Send Email pageappears.
Reports: Create reports from Grade Center data and access the grade history for all students. To
learn more, see Working with Grade Center Reports.
Filter: To narrow your view of the Grade Center data, click Filter to expand the field and select an
option from the following drop-down lists:
o
Current View: Includes the Full Grade Center view, Smart Views, and Grading
Periods. You can select one of the views to use as the default view by clicking Set
Current View as Default (
) next to the Current View drop-down list. When you log out
and return to your course later, the view you selected as the default appears in the grid. You
can select other views from the Current View drop-down list at any time.
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Category: Includes all default categories and any you have created.
o
Status: Includes the following grading statuses:
n
All Statuses
n
Completed
n
Edited Manually
n
Exempt
n
In progress
n
Needs Grading
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About the GradeCenter
n
Not attempted
In some instances, you can make another selection in an additional drop-down list to further narrow
the columns and users that appear in the grid. For example, after selecting the Assignment category,
you can select the Needs Grading status and only view the columns and users containing
assignments that need to be graded. The category or status you choose to view in the grid remains in
effect until you change it or log out.
Click the X to close the Filter field.
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Work Offline: Access features that allow you to work with Grade Center data outside of Blackboard
Learn. To learn more, Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items for Working Offline.
The following functions appear in the second row of the Action Bar.
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Move to Top: Select one or multiple check boxes for users and click Move to Top to move the rows
to the first positions in the grid.
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Email: Select one or multiple check boxes for users and click Email to display the options of sending
to users, observers, or users and observers. After selecting an option, the Send Email page appears.
Note: The Observer role is not available with a Basic License.
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Sort Columns By: Access a drop-down list that allows you to sort the Grade Center items. You can
sort by:
o
Layout Position (default)
o
Categories
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o
Due Date
o
Date Created
o
Points Possible
o
Display Name
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About the GradeCenter
Order: Sort the data in Ascending or Descending order.
Note: The view remains in effect until you sort columns again or log out.
Accessing Grade Center Menus Using Action Links
Throughout Blackboard Learn, items that are acted upon by users have contextual menus associated with
them. A contextual menu displays options that are available and specific for that item. To access a contextual
menu, you must click the Action Link (
) appearing with an item's title. The Action Link icon consists of two
downward pointing arrows.
In the Grade Center, all cells and column headers have an Action Link. For example, a contextual menu for a
test column includes options for Column Statistics and Grade Questions. For a non-grade column, such as
First Name, you only have the options of hiding the column and sorting the cells. If an option does not appear in
the contextual menu, you cannot perform the action on that column, row, or cell.
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About the GradeCenter
Contextual Menu Options for Columns
Each column's contextual menu displays options that are available and specific for that column. The following
options may be available.
Option
Description
Quick
Column
Information
Displays information about the column in a pop-up window.
View andAdd
Rubrics
Displays the available rubrics that provide guidelines for grading this item. To learn more, see
Rubrics.
Grade
Attempts
Provide a grade for an attempt made for this item. To learn more, see Entering Grades.
Grade
Provide grades for this item without knowing the identity of each user. To learn more, see Entering
Anonymously Grades.
Attempts
Statistics
Displays the Statistics page for tests and surveys. Each question for a test or survey appears,
along with its score information for tests or percent answered for surveys. On the Survey Statistics
page, you can view the survey results. The percentage of students who selected each answer
appears. You cannotview individual results for surveys.
Download
Results
Allows you to download Grade Center data for this column as a delimited file that is used in other
applications, such as spreadsheet programs or statistical analysis programs. To learn more, How to
Download Grades from the Grade Center.
View All
Attempts
Displays the View All Attempts page for tests. From this page, you can grade the attempts, grade
them anonymously, or grade by question.
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Option
Description
Grade
Questions
Provide grades for all of the responses for a specific question at one time. To learn more, see
Entering Grades.
Assignment
Allows you to select and download files students have attached to their assignments.
File Download
Assignment
File Cleanup
Allows you to select and delete the files attached to an assignment.
Edit Column
Information
Displays the Edit Column page for this column. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select Options
for Grade Center Columns.
Column
Statistics
Displays the Column Statistics page for this column. The following appears: Column Details,
Status Distribution, Grade Distribution, and basic statistics, such as range, average, median, and
variance.
Set as
External
Grade
The results in the External Grade column are shared with your school as your students’ grades for
your course. You decide which column is set as the External Grade. In new courses, the default
Total column is the default External Grade column, and the External Grade icon (
) appears in
the column header. To learn more, see Understanding the External Grade Column in the Grade
Center.
Show/Hide to
Users
Show or hide this column from users. If you hide the column, the column remains in the Grade
Center grid, but your students will not see it on the My Grades pages. In the grid, the Column Not
Visible to Users icon (
) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students. To
learn more, see How to Hide and Show Users in the Grade Center.
Clear
Attempts for
All Users
Displays a separate window for clearing attempts for all users. You can clear attempts based on
criteria or a date range.
Sort
Ascending
Display the items in the column in an ascending order.
Sort
Descending
Display the items in the column in a descending order.
Hide Column
Hides the column from view in the Grade Center. To show the column, point to Manage on the
Action Bar to access the drop-down list and select Column Organization. To learn more, see About
Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Contextual Menu Options for Cells
To see the Action Link for a cell in the Grade Center grid, move your mouse pointer over the cell. Click the
Action Link to access the contextual menu.
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About the GradeCenter
When you access the contextual menu for a user's name cell, you have options to hide a user's row, hide other
rows to focus your attention on one row, or email a user. You can view which items are visible to a user based
on availability and Adaptive Release rules or which items a user marked reviewed. You can also view the User
Statistics page which provides statistical information related to a user's performance.
Note: Adaptive Release and Review Status are not available with a Basic License.
How to Make the Grade Center Accessible
To make the Grade Center accessible to as many people as possible, the Grade Center has two different
modes, Interactive and Screen Reader.
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Interactive Mode: Grade Center default setting. You can freeze columns and type grades directly in
the cells—called inline editing.
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Screen Reader Mode: Grade Center data appears in a simplified grid. The table is static and you
type grades on the Grade Details page accessed from the cell’s contextual menu. You cannot freeze
columns or edit inline, making it easier to navigate by keystroke and accommodate screen readers.
When the Grade Center is first accessed by users with screen readers, users are immediately given a
choice whether to use this non-interactive view before progressing any further.
In both modes, you can do the following:
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Move the mouse pointer from column to column using the tab key.
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Navigate the cells using the up, down, left, and right arrow keys on a standard keyboard.
Use the following steps to change to Screen Reader Mode.
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Setting Up the Grade Center
1. Access the Grade Center.
2. Click the Action Link (
) for the Grade Center heading to access the contextual menu.
3. Click Turn Screen Reader Mode on.
This setting is not is not saved across sessions. It lasts only as long as the current session. Once you log out,
the view defaults back toInteractive Mode.
Next Steps
To learn more about the Grade Center, see these topics:
Setting Up the Grade Center Creating and Managing
Grade Center Columns Entering Grades Including
Comments With a Grade Entry Changing Grades
Deleting and Reverting Grades
Exempting Grades Viewing
Grade Details Sharing Grade
Center Data ViewingGrade
Center Statistics
Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items for Working Offline
Setting Up the Grade Center
Instructors invest a great deal of time planning and creating lessons, matching lessons with learning objectives,
and then assessing whether those objectives have been met. Assessing learning objectives is accomplished in
many different ways—through exams, projects, papers, group work, participation, and more. Assigning value to
student work and configuring a grading schema to display grades to students is unique for every instructor and
for every course.
Customizing the Grade Center
You initiate all Grade Center functions on the Grade Center page. This view is customizable, allowing you to
sort items in ways to maximize efficiency and to view student information with a minimum of scrolling. You can
also create rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status. Color rules
provide visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly.
You can customize your view using Grading Periods, creating additional categories and moving columns to
them, and showing or hiding columns in the Grade Center to reduce scrolling. You also can customize a grading
schema to interpret Grade Center scores.
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By default, the columns for students’ first and last names appear first. Columns for gradable items and
calculations of those items appear across the page. You decide which columns appear and in what order. Icons
appear in cells and headings to signify the availability of students, the visibility of items to students, and the
status of gradableitems.
The Grade Center is populated with students when they are enrolled in your course or section. To learn more,
see EnrollingUsers.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
About Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
In the Grade Center, when an item is graded, a numeric score appears in the students' cells by default. You can
choose to display grades in other ways by using grading schemas. A grading schema takes the actual points
scored on a graded item and compares it to the total points possible for that item to derive a percentage. This
percentage is mapped to a range of scores and displays a grade, such as a letter (A, B, C) or Pass/Fail. This
information is presented in a table format.
The Grade Center includes a copy of a default grading schema based on assigning letters to the percentages.
The Blackboard administrator at your school may edit this schema to reflect a general grading schema used at
your school.
You can associate the default grading schema with an individual column or multiple columns in the Grade
Center. When items are graded, the grade values (letters) appear in the cells in the Grade Center grid and to
students on their My Grades pages.
You can edit an existing grading schema and save the changes within your course. For example, you can lower
the percentages needed to achieve an A, B, C, and so on. You can also create additional schemas to reflect the
multiple ways you want to grade throughout your course. New schemas and any edits to existing schemas only
appear in the course you are in. You can create as many schemas as needed.
Note: If the Blackboard administrator at your school makes changes after you have edited the default grading
schema, your administrator’s changes will not be reflected in your course.
Upon creation, a grading schema is included as an option in the Primary and Secondary Display drop-down
lists when creating and editing columns in the Grade Center. Default grading schemas in the drop-down lists
include: Score, Letter (A, B, C), and Percentage. To learn more about the default grading schemas, see How
to Associate Grading Schemas in the Grade Center.
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Example: Letter Grading Schema
For a quiz, a student’s raw numeric score is 88 out of 100 points possible. In a grading schema in which a
percentage of 87 to less than 90 equals a B+, a student’s score of 88 results in a B+. In the quiz’s Grade
Center column, a B+ is displayed. If you release the column’s grades to students, letter grades appear on their
My Gradespages.
Example: Text Grading Schema
For a quiz, a student’s raw numeric score is 78 out of 100 points possible. You create a grading schema based
on text terms, such as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor. A student’s score of 78 results in Good. In
the quiz’s Grade Center column, the term Good appears. If you release the column’s grades to students, the
text terms appear on their My Grades pages.
Example: Test Curve Grading Schema
You have created a test grading schema and have associated it with all test columns. In the test grading
schema, you require at least 94% for an A. However, for one particular test, you want to make an adjustment
because of low scores. You can associate another custom grading schema with that test's column to reflect a
curve you want to apply to those lower scores. In this test curve schema, an A can equal grades scored
between 90% and 100%. You can create as many test curve schemas as needed to fulfill your grading
requirements and associate them with the appropriate columns in the Grade Center.
How to Create Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
Each new course has a default Letter grading schema. You can create additional grading schemas to reflect the
multiple ways you want to grade throughout your course. You can create as many schemas as needed. Any
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schemas you create in your course can only be used in the course you create them in.
Example:
For group projects, you can create a grading schema that differs from the grading schema for assignments
submitted by individuals. You can use lower percentages for the same letter grade as other assignments.
Use the following steps to create a customized grading schema in your course.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Grading Schemas.
3. On the Grading Schemas page, click Create Grading Schema on the Action Bar.
4. On the Create Grading Schema page, type a Name. The name appears on the Grading
Schemas page and in the drop-down lists for Primary Display and Secondary Display when
creating or editing columns in the Grade Center.
5. Optionally, provide a Description. The description appears on the Grading Schema page and can
assist with identifying the schema.
6. In the Schema Mapping section, two default rows appear with ranges of percentages. You can
edit the two ranges to customize a Pass/Fail schema.
Example: Pass/Fail
Grades Scored Between Will Equal Grades Manually Entered as Will Calculate as
50% and 100%
Pass
Pass
75%
0% and less than 50%
Fail
Fail
25%
To create other types of grading schemas:
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Click Insert New Row Here—represented by a left-pointing arrow—to insert more rows
for additional values. For example, if you are using A, B, C, D, and F for your grades, you
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need five rows in the table.
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Click Delete Row to remove a row from the table. At least one row must remain.
In the Grades Scored Between boxes, type percentage ranges for the grade values. The
percentage range for each grade value must be unique and begin with the lesser value
listed first. Also, the values must overlap to avoid gaps that occur when a score falls
between two numbers in a range. The range of 80 – 90% includes all grades up to, but not
including 90%. The top range does include 100%.
Note: You cannot use the dash symbol as an entry. The dash represents a null value.
Example:
A = 90 – 100%
B = 80 – 90%
C = 70 – 80%
D = 60 – 70%
F = 0 – 60%
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In the Will Equal boxes, type the grade values, suchas:
o
A, B, C, D, and F
o
1, 2, 3, 4, and5
o
Pass andFail
o
Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory
o
Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, andPoor
Note: Duplicate grade values are not allowed.
In the Will Calculate as boxes, type the percentage values to use if you provide a grade
manually. The percentages must fall between the corresponding range of percentages in
the first column. For example, grades you score manually as A (90 – 100%) will be
calculated as 95%. For an item with 100 points possible, if you change the grading
schema from letter grades to numeric scores, 95 is displayed as the grade in the cell
instead ofA.
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7. Click Submit.
Result
You can associate the new grading schema with an individual column or multiple columns in the Grade Center.
To learn more, see How to Associate Grading Schemas in the Grade Center.
How to Edit Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
You can edit existing grading schemas in your course. The Grade Center includes a copy of a default grading
schema based on assigning letters to percentages. The Blackboard administrator at your school may edit this
schema to reflect a general grading schema used at your school. If you choose to display students’ scores as
letter grades, you can edit the default letter schema. The edits you make to a grading schema only appear in the
course you make the edits in.
Note: If the Blackboard administrator at your school makes changes after you have edited the default grading
schema, your administrator’s changes will not be reflected in your course.
If you want to retain the default grading schema, you can copy it and edit the values. To learn more, see How to
Copy or Delete Grading Schemas in the Grade Center.
Use the following steps to edit a grading schema in your course.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Grading Schemas.
3. On the Grading Schemas page, click a schema’s Action Link (
menu.
) to access the contextual
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4. Select Edit.
5. On the Edit Grading Schema page, type a new Name and optional Description. The name
appears on the Grading Schemas page and in the drop-down lists for Primary Display and
Secondary Display when creating and editing columns in the Grade Center. The description
appears on the Grading Schema page and can assist with identifying the grading schema.
6. In the Schema Mapping section:
Tip: Start from the top and edit the values for the first grade value and move to the next row. Then,
delete or insert rows needed. If you navigate to another course area without saving a grading
schema, any unsavedchanges are lost.
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Click Insert New Row Here—represented by a left-pointing arrow—to insert more rows
for additional values.
Click Delete Row to remove a row from the table. At least one row must remain.
In the Grades Scored Between boxes, type the new percentage ranges for the grade
values. The percentage range for each grade value must be unique and begin with the
lesser value listed first. Also, the values must overlap to avoid gaps that occur when a
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score falls between two numbers in a range. The range of 80 – 90% includes all grades up
to, but not including 90%. The top range does include 100%.
Note: You cannot use the dash symbol as an entry. The dash represents a null value.
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In the Will Equal boxes, type the new gradevalues.
Note: Duplicate grade values are not allowed.
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In the Will Calculate as boxes, type the new percentage values to use if you provide a
grade manually. The percentages must fall between the corresponding range of
percentages in the first column. For example, grades you score manually as A (90 –
100%) will be calculated as 95%. For an item with 100 points possible, if you change the
grading schema from letter grades to numeric scores, 95 is displayed as the grade in the
cell insteadof A.
7. Click Submit.
Result
You can associate the edited grading schema with an individual column or multiple columns in the Grade
Center. To learn more, see How to Associate Grading Schemas in the Grade Center.
If you have associated a grading schema with columns in the Grade Center and edit the schema, the changes
appear automatically in the Grade Center. For example, you can edit a text grading schema and change
Excellent to Superior. In the Grade Center column, any instances of Excellent now appear as Superior.
How to Copy or Delete Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
You can copy or delete existing grading schemas in the Grade Center. For example, if you want to make minor
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changes to the default Letter grading schema, you can retain it by copying it and editing it. To learn more, see
How to Edit Grading Schemas in the Grade Center.
How to Copy Grading Schemas
1.In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2.Select Grading Schemas.
3. On the Grading Schemas page, click a schema’s Action Link (
menu.
) to access the contextual
4. Select Copy.
5. The copied schema appears in the list with a number appended to the name, such as Letter
(2).
How to Delete Grading Schemas
Note: You can delete the default Letter grading schema only if you have edited it and it is not currently
associated with a Grade Center column. If no Letter grading schema exists, Letter will not be an option in the
Primary or Secondary Display drop-down lists when associating schemas to columns.
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1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Grading Schemas.
3. On the Grading Schemas page, select one or multiple schemas' check boxes.
Note: If no check box exists for a schema, you have associated it with a Grade Center column, or
you have not edited the default Letter grading schema.
4. On the Action Bar, click Delete. Alternatively, select Delete from a schema’s contextual menu.
5. A warning appears stating: This action is final and cannot be undone. Click OK to delete the
schema.
How to Associate Grading Schemas in the Grade Center
When creating or editing grade columns, you select a grading schema in the Primary and Secondary Display
drop-down lists. The schema you select as the Primary Display displays the grade value in the Grade Center
and to students on their My Grades pages. The Secondary Display grade value appears in parentheses only
in the Grade Center, next to the Primary Display. The secondary grade value does not appear to students.
1. Access the Grade Center.
2. To associate a schema, click the Action Link (
menu.
) in the column header to access the contextual
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3. Select Edit Column Information.
4. On the Edit Column page, make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. If you create a
customized grading schema, it appears in the list. Five default options appear:
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Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not
make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign
letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
Text: Text appears in the column when a text grading schema is created. Examples of
text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor –OR- Satisfactory and
Unsatisfactory. If no text grading schema is created, and the Text option is selected, you
are allowed to type text in the column’s cells. If you choose to share the column results
with students on their My Grades pages, they will see the text values for their grades.
Note: When you convert a numeric score to text without defining a text grading schema,
and then return to numeric scoring, values that cannot be converted display a zero after
conversion. Therefore, if you want to include text as grades, Blackboard recommends
creating a text grading schema and associating it with the appropriate columns.
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Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 equals
70%.
Complete/Incomplete: When an item is submitted, a check mark (
) appearsin the
column, regardless of the score achieved.
Note: If you use this grading schema for an assessment column, when a student starts
an assessment, a check mark appears in the column with the Attempt in Progress icon (
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). The Attempt in Progress icon is removed when a student submits the
assessment.
5. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is
None. The same options appear in this list with the exception of the option chosen as the Primary
Display and Text. The default Text option does not appear for grade columns as you cannot edit a
secondary value from a grade column’s cell. If you create a customized grading schema based on
text and have not used it as the Primary Display, it appears in the list. In the Grade Center
column, the secondary grade value appears in parentheses. The secondary grade value does not
appear tostudents.
Note: For self-assessments, you cannot define a Secondary Display because the Primary
Display is Complete/Incomplete.
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6. Click Submit.
Result
In the Grade Center grid, you see the chosen grade displays. If you do not choose a grade display for a column,
only the default score appears.
About Categories in the Grade Center
In the Grade Center, you can use categories to group related columns together and organize the data.
With categories, you can:
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Filter your view of the Grade Center. For example, you can filter using the Assignment category and
view only assignment columns in the Grade Center grid. To learn more about filtering, see About the
Grade Center Action Bar.
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Calculate grades. For example, you can assign a weight to a category when calculating final grades
using a Weighted column. To learn more, see About Calculated Columns in the Grade Center.
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Create a Smart View. Smart Views are views of the Grade Center based on a variety of student
criteria. For example, you can generate a Smart View that only displays columns associated with the
Test category. To learn more about Smart Views, see Creating Smart Views in the Grade Center.
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Create a report. You can create a printable report that displays statistics of performance for all of the
columns in a certain category. To learn more, see Working with Grade Center Reports.
By default, the following categories are created in the Grade Center:
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Assignment
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Blog
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Discussion
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Journal
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SafeAssignment (when the tool is available and a SafeAssignment has been created)
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Self and Peer
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Survey
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Test
Note: The Self and Peer Assessment and SafeAssign tools are not available with a Basic License.
When you create a gradable item from the preceding list, a grade column is created automatically for the item in
the Grade Center and the column is associated automatically to the appropriate category.
Example:
You create a gradable discussion forum titled “Week 1 Discussion.” A grade column with that name is included
in the Grade Center and the column is associated automatically to the Discussion category.
You cannot edit or delete the default categories themselves, but you can move a column from one category to
another category. You can also create an unlimited number of categories to organize grades. You manually
associate columns to categories on the Column Organization page or by editing an individual column's
settings. To learn more, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data and How to Edit or Select Options for
Grade CenterColumns.
How to Create and Manage Categories in the Grade Center
You can create as many categories as needed to organize your Grade Center data. The Categories page in the
Grade Center displays the default categories and any you create. Each category’s row displays an optional
description and the grade columns associated with that particular category.
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Tip: When you create a grade column, you can associate it with a category. If you do not, it defaults to No
Category. You can also create custom categories before manually creating grade columns. Then, when you
create a grade column, you can select the appropriate custom category. For example, you can create a Group
category and associate the group participation and attendance grade columns to it.
Once you have created a new category, you can do the following:
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Associate new columns to the category when creating thecolumns.
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Move existing columns to the category.
Use the following steps to create a category.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Categories.
3. On the Categories page, click Create Category on the Action Bar.
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4. On the Create Category page, type the category Name and an optional Description. The
description can help differentiate categories and explain a category’s purpose.
5. Click Submit.
Result
In the Grade Center, the new category appears in the list on the Categories page.
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Sorting, Editing, and Deleting Categories
On the Categories page, you can sort the list, and edit and delete categories you created. You cannot edit or
delete thedefault categories.
To sort the Title column, click the column heading or caret. If many categories exist, click Show All to display
all categories on one page. Click Edit Paging to change the number of items to view per page.
To edit or delete a category you created, click its Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu and select
Edit or Delete. Alternatively, select one or multiple check boxes or select the check box in the header row and
click Delete on the Action Bar. You cannot delete a category that has columns associated with it.
How to View a Category and Associate Grade Center Columns
In the Grade Center, you can view the columns associated with a category in two ways. You can filter the view
of the Grade Center and select a category, or you can view all categories and associated columns on the
Column Organization page. If columns were not associated with a category when created, you can manually
associate columns on the Column Organization page or when editing a column’s settings. For example, you
can create a category for a group project and associate the columns that pertain.
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How to Use the Filter Function
1. In the Grade Center, click Filter on the Action Bar to expand the Filter field.
2. In the Category drop-down list, select a category. The columns associated with the category
appear in the grid. The view remains in the Grade Center until you change it or close your browser.
3. Click the X to collapse the Filter field.
How to Use the Column Organization Page
On the Column Organization page, youcan:
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Move one or more columns to a category, a different category, or no category.
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Show and hide columns in the Grade Center grid.
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Change the order of Grading Period tables andcolumns.
To learn more, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Use the following steps to view and associate columns with your categories.
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1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Column Organization.
3. On the Column Organization page, view each column’s association in the Category column. To
sort a column, click the column’s Action Link (
) and set an ascending or descending order.
4. To move a column to a category, a different category, or no category, select its check box. For
example, you can move a column from the Discussions category to a category named Extra
Credit. Select multiple check boxes to move multiple columns to a category in one action.
5. On the Action Bar, point to the Change Category to… drop-down list and make a selection.
6. Click Submit. If you try to navigate away from this page without clicking Submit, a pop-up window
warns you to save the changes.
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Result
After submitting, the column is associated with the new category or no category, and the change appears in the
Categorycolumn.
IMPORTANT! Changes you make on this page do not affect what students see on their My Grades
pages. For example, if you choose to hide a column using the Show/Hide drop-down list on the Action Bar,
the column is only hidden from your view in the Grade Center grid. You must edit an existing column’s
settings to hide a column from students on their My Grades pages or select Show/Hide to Users in a
column’s contextual menu. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon (
) appears
in the column header for any column hidden from students. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select
Options for Grade Center Columns.
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How to Associate Columns Manually
You can also associate a column with a category, a different category, or no category by editing the column's
settings from the Grade Center grid.
1. In the Grade Center, click the Action Link in the column header.
2. Select Edit Column Information.
3. On the Edit Column page, make a selection from the Category drop-down list in the Column
Information section.
4. Click Submit.
Result
After submitting, the column is associated with the new category or no category, and the change appears in the
Category column on the Column Organization page.
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How to Create and Manage Grading Periods
Grading Periods are user-created segments that help you manage the Grade Center. Defining Grading Periods
and associating Grade Center columns with them allows you to effectively organize and report on Grade Center
data. You can filter the Grade Center by Grading Periods to display only the columns in the segment. For
example, you can configure the Grade Center to display only the first quarter’s columns, reducing searching
andscrolling.
You can create Grading Periods to group Grade Center columns together by a period of time, such as terms,
semesters, or quarters. You can also create Grading Periods to group columns together by a shared
characteristic, such as all the gradable columns for a group project or a research paper. When creating Grading
Periods based on a date range, you can select a setting to automatically associate all existing columns with
due dates that occur in the date range. You can also manually associate one or multiple columns to a Grading
Period.
By default, the Grade Center has no Grading Periods established. You can associate any column with a
Grading Period except user columns. You cannot associate a column with more than one Grading Period
simultaneously.
You can use Grading Periods to:
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Filter your view of the Grade Center. For example, you can filter using the first quarter Grading Period
and view only the pertaining columns in the Grade Center grid. To learn more about filtering, see
About the Grade Center Action Bar.
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Calculate grades. For example, you can create a Total column that calculates a grade for the columns
in the first quarter. To learn more, see About Calculated Columns in the Grade Center.
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Create a report. You can create a report that displays statistics of performance for all of the columns
in a Grading Period. To learn more, see Working with Grade Center Reports.
You can create an unlimited number of Grading Periods to organize your columns. Once you have created a
Grading Period, you can do the following:
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Associate a new column with a Grading Period during or after column creation, if at least one Grading
Period exists.
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Associate existing columns with due dates that occur in a date range with a new Grading Period.
Use the following steps to create a Grading Period.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Grading Periods.
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3. On the Grading Periods page, click Create Grading Period on the Action Bar.
4. On the Create Grading Period page, type a Name.
5. Optionally, provide a Description. The description can assist with identifying the Grading Period.
6. Select the Grading Period Dates.
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Select None to manually associate columns with the Grading Period. For example, you
can create a Grading Period named "Group Project." Later, you can manually associate
the columns for the project. To learn more, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
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Select Range and type a date range that is used to associate columns that have a due
date within that range. Alternatively, use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar to select
dates. Each Grading Period must have unique dates.
Note: This only applies to existing columns that you have assigned due dates to. New
columns must be associated with the Grading Period during or after column creation, if at
least one Grading Period exists.
7. Optionally, select the check box for Associate Columns to associate all existing columns with a
due date within the assigned date range.
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8. Click Submit.
WARNING! You cannot associate Grade Center columns with more than one Grading Period. A newly
created Grading Period with the same or overlapping date range will override the settings of an existing
Grading Period. All columns associated with the existing Grading Period will become associated with the
new one.
Result
Grading Periods appear in the list on the Grading Periods page and on the Column Organization page. If you
chose to automatically associate columns with due dates with the Grading Period, the columns appear in the
Grading Period table on the Column Organization page.
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Sorting, Editing, and Deleting Grading Periods
On the Grading Periods page, you can sort, edit, and delete Grading Periods. To sort the Title column, click
the column heading or caret. If many Grading Periods exist, click Show All to display all on one page. Click
Edit Paging to change the number of items to view per page.
To edit or delete a Grading Period, click its Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu and select Edit or
Delete. Alternatively, select one or multiple check boxes or select the check box in the header row and click
Delete on the Action Bar. All Grade Center columns associated with a deleted Grading Period are reset and will
not be associated with a Grading Period.
If you change the date range for a Grading Period and select the Associate Columns check box, all of the
existing columns with due dates that match the new date range will be associated with the Grading Period.
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How to View a Grading Period and Associate Grade Center Columns
In the Grade Center, you can view the columns associated with a Grading Period in two ways. You can filter the
view of the Grade Center and select a Grading Period, or you can view all Grading Periods and associated
columns on the Column Organization page. If columns were not associated automatically with a Grading
Period based on due dates, you can manually associate columns on the Column Organization page or when
editing a column’s settings. For example, you can create a Grading Period for a group project and associate the
columns that pertain.
How to Use the Filter Function
1. In the Grade Center, click Filter on the Action Bar to expand the Filter field.
2. In the Current View drop-down list, select a Grading Period. The columns associated with the
Grading Period appear in the grid.
) to lock the view. In the grid, you will see the
3. Optionally, click Set Current View as Default (
Grading Period’s columns each time you access the Grade Center. You can change the default
view as often as you want. For example, when the second quarter begins, change the default view
from the first quarter Grading Period to the second quarter Grading Period.
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4. Click the X to collapse the Filter field.
How to Use the Column Organization Page
On the Column Organization page, you can:
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Move one or more columns to a Grading Period, a different Grading Period, or no Grading Period.
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Show and hide columns in the Grade Center grid.
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Change the order of Grading Period tables andcolumns.
To learn more, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Use the following steps to view and associate columns with your Grading Periods.
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1. On the Action Bar, point to Manage to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Column Organization.
3. On the Column Organization page, any Grading Periods you created and their associated
columns appear in the corresponding table, such as Quarter 3. To sort a column, click the column’s
Action Link (
) and set an ascending or descending order.
Note: If no Grading Periods exist, columns not associated with a Grading Period appear in the Not
in a Grading Period table. If Grading Periods exist, the last table is named Shown in Selected
Views Only and columns not associated with a Grading Period appear in the list.
4. To move a column to a Grading Period, a different Grading Period, or no Grading Period, select its
check box. Select multiple check boxes to move multiple columns to a Grading Period in one
action.
5. On the Action Bar, point to the Change Grading Period to… drop-down list and make a selection.
6. Click Submit. If you try to navigate away from this page without clicking Submit, a pop-up window
warns you to save the changes.
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Result
After submitting, the column is associated with the new Grading Period or no Grading Period and appears in the
appropriatetable.
IMPORTANT! Changes you make on this page do not affect what students see on their My Grades
pages. For example, if you choose to hide a column using the Show/Hide drop-down list on the Action Bar,
the column is only hidden from your view in the Grade Center grid. You must edit an existing column’s
settings to hide a column from students on their My Grades pages or select Show/Hide to Users in a
column’s contextual menu. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon (
) appears
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in the column header for any column hidden from students. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select
Options for Grade Center Columns.
How to Associate Columns Manually
You can also associate a column with a Grading Period, a different Grading Period, or no Grading Period by
editing the column's settings from the Grade Center grid.
1. In the Grade Center, click the Action Link in the column header.
2. Select Edit Column Information.
3. On the Edit Column page, make a selection in the Grading Period drop-down list in the Dates
section.
4. Click Submit.
Result
After submitting, the Grading Period appears in the appropriate table on the Column Organization page.
Grading Periods and Grade Calculations
When creating calculated columns, you can use Grading Periods to display a variety of calculations, such as
the average grade for a time period or the total points earned on a project consisting of several grades.
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Before You Begin
Ensure the columns needed for grade calculations are included in the appropriate Grading Periods.
Example: Create an average column for a Grading Period
To calculate an average grade for all columns in the first quarter Grading Period, you create an average grade
column named “Quarter 1 Average.” Columns associated with the Grading Period are included automatically in
the averagecalculation.
Example: Calculate a grade based on all columns in a Grading Period
For the first quarter Grading Period, you create a calculated column named “Quarter 1 Total” using a total points
calculation that includes all the grade columns for the first quarter. This column calculates a grade based on the
relationship between the first quarter’s total points possible and each student’s points earned.
Example: Calculate a grade based on select columns in a Grading Period
For the first quarter Grading Period, you create a calculated column for the research paper assignments named
“Quarter 1 Research Total.” This column calculates a grade based on the relationship between the total points
possible for the research assignments and each student’s points earned.
Example: Calculate a grade based on more than one Grading Period
You have created Grading Periods for the first two quarters and associated columns with them. Therefore, you
cannot create a semester Grading Period and associate the same columns that are associated with the first
two quarters. However, you can create a column that calculates a semester grade quickly and easily. If you
create two calculated columns for the first and second quarters that display the grades for their respective
Grading Periods, you can create a calculated column for the semester using the two quarter calculated columns
in its grade calculation.
Next Steps
To learn about calculated columns, see these topics: About
Calculated Columns in the Grade Center About Total Columns
in the Grade Center How to Create Total Columns in the Grade
Center About Weighted Columns in the Grade Center How to
Create Weighted Columns in the Grade Center About Average
Columns in the Grade Center How to Create Average Columns
in the Grade Center About Minimum/Maximum Columns in the
Grade Center How to Create Minimum/Maximum Columns in the
Grade Center
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How to Hide and Show Users in the Grade Center
You can hide user rows to reduce the number of rows in the Grade Center grid and help you focus on specific
data. When you hide user rows, the data is retained and you can show them at any time. You can hide user
rows using the hide functions in a user's contextual menu or from the Row Visibility page. On the Row
Visibility page, you can also show hidden user rows.
Note: If you have made a user unavailable on the Users page, the User Unavailable icon (
) appearsin the
user’s first cell in the Grade Center. However, the row is not hidden in the grid. Unavailable users cannot
access your course.
How to Hide User Rows Using the Contextual Menu
1. In the Grade Center, move your mouse pointer over a student's name cell to see the Action Link (
). Click it to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Hide Other Rows to remove all but the user’s row from view.
-ORSelect Hide Row to hide the user's row.
3. When hiding one user’s row, a message appears stating that the row has been successfully
hidden.
If you have chosen to hide all but one user’s row, show all rows again by selecting Show All Rows
in the user’s contextual menu.
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How to Show/Hide Users on the Row Visibility Page
On the Row Visibility page, you can show one or more hidden user rows. You can also hide multiple user rows
simultaneously. Hiding or showing rows on this page only affects your view of the Grade Center grid and does
not affect student availability.
To sort a column, click the column heading. For example, click the Status column heading to sort the column
so all hidden users appear first in the list.
1. On the Action Bar, point to Manage to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Row Visibility.
3. On the Row Visibility page, select the check boxes for the users to show or hide. Select the
check box in the header row to select all users.
4. On the Action Bar, click Hide Users or Show Users.
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5. Click Submit.
Result
User rows that are hidden appear in italic text and do not appear in the Grade Center grid.
How to Color Code the Grade Center
You are able to create rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status.
Creating color rules in the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly. For
example, you can use yellow to highlight graded items with failing scores so students and columns that require
attention are prominent. Also, you can assign colors to the following grading statuses: In Progress, Needs
Grading, orExempt.
By default, color coding is not enabled in the Grade Center and must be enabled by instructors. You can enable
color coding in any Grade Center view. Once you define and save the color rules, the color coding applies to all
views. This setting persists when the course is copied and restored.
Note: If you create a rule that contains some of the same information as another rule, the system generates a
warning, allowing you to edit your criteria.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section and select a view.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Manage to access the drop-down list.
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3. Select Grading Color Codes.
4. On the Grading Color Codes page, select the check box for Enable Grading Color Codes.
5. In the Color Coding Options section:
For each Grading Status, click the Action Link (
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to access the Swatch Color box.
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) in the Background Color column
In the Swatch Color box, select a color and click Apply to save it.
6. In the Grade Ranges section:
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Click Add Criteria to create a color rule.
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In the Criteria drop-down, select Between, More Than, or Less Than.
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Type a percentage in the box orboxes.
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For Background Color and Text, click the Action Link to access the Swatch Color box.
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Select a color and click Apply to save it.
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Click Add Criteria to create an additional Grade Ranges field.
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7. Click Submit.
Note: The Grade Ranges section allows you to preview your color choices in the Indicator
Preview column. If you do not approve of a color choice, click the Reset icon (
)—representedby
two circling arrows—next to the Action Link.
Result
The Grade Center page appears with a success message stating that the color coding is updated. Colors based
on your rules appear in the affected cells.
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How to Manage Grading Color Codes in the Grade Center
You can choose to turn color coding on and off or edit the color rules you have created. Once you have enabled
color coding, the Hide/Show Color Coding function appears on the Action Bar in the Grade Center.
How to Turn Color Coding On and Off
In any view of the Grade Center, click Hide Color Coding on the Action Bar to remove all defined colors from
the cells. The color rules are retained.
Click Show Color Coding on the Action Bar to reapply the defined color to the affected cells.
How to Edit Grading Color Codes
At any time, you can edit the colors chosen or delete existing criteria. You can also create additional criteria.
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1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Grading Color Codes.
3. On the Grading Color Codes page, clear the check box for Enable Grading Color Codes to
remove all defined color from the cells in the Grade Center. The color rules you created remain on
the Grading Color Codes page and you can reapply them at any time by selecting this check box
again.
Note: When color coding has been disabled, no function for showing or hiding color coding
appears on the Grade Center Action Bar.
4. Click any Action Link to select a new color or click the Reset icon (
circling arrows—to remove a color rule.
)—represented by two
5. Edit existing Grade Rangescriteria.
Note: You can preview your color choices in the Indicator Preview column.
6. Click Delete Criteria to remove existing criteria. Removing criteria is final. Click OK in the pop-up
window to verify the deletion.
7. Click Add Criteria to create an additional Grade Ranges field.
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8. Click Submit.
About Organizing the Grade Center Data
The Column Organization page allows you to view all the columns in the Grade Center on one page. You can
quickly reorder the columns, and the changes you make appear in the Grade Center grid.
On this page, each column in the Grade Center grid becomes a row. For example, the Last Name column in the
grid becomes the Last Name row on the Column Organization page. The first column in the grid is the first
row on this page. The order of rows on this page is the same as the order of columns in the grid.
From this page, you can organize the Grade Center columns in the following ways:
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Reorder columns quickly using the drag-and-drop function.
Freeze or unfreeze columns in the first table. If a column is frozen, it remains stationary when
scrolling through the Grade Center view.
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Hide or show multiple columns.
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Change a grade column's category or Grading Period.
IMPORTANT! Changes you make on this page do not affect what students see on their My Grades
pages. For example, if you choose to hide a column on this page, the column is only hidden from your view
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in the Grade Center grid. You must edit an existing column’s settings to hide a column from students on
their My Grades pages or select Show/Hide to Users in a column’s contextual menu. In the Grade Center
grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon (
) appears in the column header for any column hidden
from students. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns.
How to Access the Column Organization Page
1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Column Organization.
Understanding the Column Organization Page
On the Column Organization page, the rows are organized in tables. You can move most rows to any table,
and you can reorder Grading Period tables.
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The first table holds rows that pertain to user information, and you cannot move them into another
table. This table is always first and cannot be moved, but you can reorder the rows in this table.
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The last table holds rows that are not associated with a Grading Period. This table is always last and
cannot be moved, but you can reorder the rows in this table.
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Other tables appear when you create Grading Periods. The tables display the Grading Period names,
such as Quarter 1 or First Term. You can move most rows—except user rows—to Grading Period
tables and reorder existing rows. If you have more than one Grading Period table, you can reorder
them, but they cannot appear first or last on the page. To learn more about Grading Periods, see How
to Create and Manage Grading Periods.
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Use the functions on the Action Bar to show or hide columns, move columns to categories and Grading
Periods, remove columns from categories and Grading Periods, or move columns into the first and last tables.
Select one or multiple columns’ check boxes and make a selection from a drop-down list. Hidden columns do
not appear in the Grade Center grid, but all data is retained. You can show hidden columns at any time.
Note: From the Grade Center grid, you can also hide a column using its contextual menu and selecting Hide
Column. The column is only hidden from your view, not from students on their My Grades pages.
The first table, Shown in All Grade Center Views, is always first and cannot be moved. The columns in
this table pertain to user information, and you cannot move them into another table. If shown, these columns
always appear on the left side of the grid. You can also freeze columns in the first table. To change which
columns are frozen and remain stationary when scrolling in the Grade Center view, drag the bar that states:
Everything above this bar is a frozen column. Alternatively, drag a column above the bar to freeze it.
Columns in gray are frozen in place on the left side of the Grade Center. Use this feature to easily match up
individual students with their data across the Grade Center.
Note: If you freeze more columns than fit on the Grade Center grid, the number of frozen columns is reduced
automatically so at least one non-frozen column appears in the Grade Center view.
You can reorder the columns in the first table or move columns from other tables to this table. If you move a
column to the first table, it appears in all views of the Grade Center. For example, you can move the Total
column to the first table. Then, if you change your Grade Center view to only show a single Grading Period, the
Total column appears also. Carefully consider which rows you move to the first table. For example, if you filter
your view to show only the Assignment category, but you moved a test column to the first table, it will appear
with the assignment columns in the grid after the filter is applied.
Reorder Grading Period tables using the move icon (
)—represented by a double-headed arrow or a
handle. Expand and collapse the contents of a table using the plus and minus icons.
Drag a column to a new location using the move icon (
)—represented by fourarrows. Alternatively,
select one or more columns’ check boxes and make a selection in one of the drop-down lists on the Action Bar.
Reorder the Grading Period tables -OR- columns in a table using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering tool (
)—represented by two arrows. In the Reorder box, make a selection and use the up and down arrows to
adjust the order. Click Apply.
Sort columns. Click the column’s Action Link (
descending order.
) to access the contextual menu and set an ascending or
The last table is named either Shown in Selected Views Only and columns not associated with an
existing Grading Period appear in the table -OR- if no Grading Periods exist, the table is named Not in a
Grading Period and all grade and calculated columns appear in the table.
IMPORTANT! Click Submit to save changes. If you try to navigate away from this page without clicking
Submit, a pop-up window warns you to save the changes.
Result
After submitting your changes, you are returned to the Grade Center grid. Columns now:
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Appear in the order you set.
Are associated with the categories, Grading Periods, no category, or no Grading Period as chosen.
Are shown, hidden, or frozen as chosen.
After you make your changes, all new columns created in the Grade Center appear last in the grid and in the last
table on the Column Organization page. However, if you associate a new column with a particular Grading
Period while creating it, then the new column appears in the Grade Center grid with the other Grading Period
columns and in the appropriate Grading Period table on this page. If you create a gradable group item from the
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group home page, such as a gradable discussion forum or blog, the new column appears with the other group
columns in the grid. However, if group columns are rearranged and moved to other tables and then a new group
column is created, the new group column appears first in the last table.
Note: If two users (an instructor and a grader) are editing the Column Organization page at the same time,
the changes made and saved by the first user are overwritten when the second user saves his or her changes.
Next Steps
After you use the Column Organization page to determine how the Grade Center data will appear, you can
further sort and filter the data to customize your view using functions on the Grade Center Action Bar. For
example, you can use the Filter function and only view test columns in the grid. You can use the Sort
Columns By drop-down list to sort columns by due date. To learn more, see About the Grade Center Action
Bar.
To learn about categories and Grading Periods, see these topics:
About Categories in the Grade Center How to Create and Manage
Categories in the Grade Center How to View a Category and
Associate Grade Center Columns How to Create and Manage
Grading Periods How to View a Grading Period and Associate Grade
Center Columns Grading Periods and Grade Calculations
Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
In the Grade Center, three types of columns appear: user, grade and calculated. Each column has a
contextual menu with options. The options that appear vary depending on the type of column. When you create
or edit grade and calculated columns, you can select the appropriate settings to configure the Grade Center to
calculate and display the data most useful to you. You also have the abilities to hide and show columns,
associate columns with categories and Grading Periods, and view columns in any order. To learn more, see
About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Grade Center columns are utilized by course functions outside of the Grade Center. For example, when you
create Adaptive Release and Early Warning System rules, you can select Grade Center grade and calculated
columns as rule criteria.
Note: The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not
available, you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
About User Columns in the Grade Center
In a new course, six default user columns appear in the Grade Center grid:
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Last Name
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First Name
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Username
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Student ID
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Last Access
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Availability
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You cannot delete or edit default user columns. You can hide all but the first user column in the grid. If you
need to hide the first column, you can rearrange the user columns on the Column Organization page, but at
least one user column must show. You can also freeze user columns so they remain in place as you scroll in
the grid. To learn more about the Column Organization page and freezing columns, see About Organizing the
Grade CenterData.
On the Users page, you can make a user unavailable. In the Grade Center, the User Unavailable icon ( )
appears in an unavailable user's column. However, the user's row is not hidden in the grid. Unavailable users
cannot access your course.
To sort any column, click the column heading or caret. For example, you can sort the Last Access column so
users who accessed the course most recently appear first in the list. The sorted list remains in effect until you
change it or log out.
About Grade Columns in the Grade Center
When you create gradable items in your course, grade columns are created automatically in the Grade Center.
You can edit a grade column to rename it, associate it with a different category or Grading Period, change the
grading schema, determine if students will see the results on their My Grades pages, and include or exclude
the column in calculations. The grade columns created automatically include:
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Assignments: You can deliver assignments to individuals or groups. When an assignment is ready
to grade, the Needs Gradingicon (
) appears in a student’s cell in the Grade Center, and you must
grade theattempt manually.
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Surveys: Surveys are scored automatically by the system. When a student completes a survey, a
check mark ( ) appears in the student’s cell in the Grade Center. To view survey results, access
the column’s contextual menu and select Attempts Statistics. On the Survey Statistics page, you
can view the percentage of students who selected each answer. You cannot view individual results.
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Tests: Most test questions are scored automatically by the system. If you create a test that is
comprised only of questions scored automatically, the grades appear in the students' cells in the
Grade Center. If you create a test that contains questions that need to be scored manually, such as
essay or short answer questions, the Needs Grading icon appears in students' cells for completed
tests. You must grade those questions before the test results appear in the students' cells.
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Discussion Board: If you have enabled grading for forums or threads, you must manually grade
submitted posts. After a student submits a post, the Needs Grading icon does not appear in the
student’s cell in the Grade Center. If you start the grading process in the Discussion Board tool, you
can view who has posts that require grading. On the Grade Discussion Forum and Grade
Discussion Thread pages, the Needs Grading icon appears next to users who have submitted one
or moreposts.
Note: When a group member submits a post in a graded Group Discussion Board, the grade you
assign is only for the individual member.
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Blogs, Journals, and Wikis: If you have enabled grading, you must manually grade submitted
entries and wiki contributions. After a student submits work, the Needs Grading icon does not
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appear in the student’s cell in the Grade Center. If you start the grading process in the appropriate
tool, you can view who has work that requires grading. On the topic page in the side panel, the Needs
Grading icon appears next to users who have submitted work.
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
Next Steps
You can also create grade columns manually or by uploading columns from external data. To learn more, see
these topics:
How to Create Grade Columns in the Grade Center
How to Edit Grade Center Columns From External Files
About Calculated Columns in the Grade Center
In the Grade Center, you can calculate grades using calculated columns. Calculated columns combine data
from multiple columns to attain performance results. You can share these results with students and your
school.
You can use calculated columns to do the following:
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Calculate the total grade.
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Weight grades by column, category, or both.
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Calculate the average grade.
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Calculate a minimum or maximum grade.
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Set criteria when creating Adaptive Release rules and Early Warning System rules.
You can include a calculated column when creating another calculated column. For example, if you created a
calculated column that weighs quiz grades, you can include the column when creating a final grade column.
Two calculated columns are created by default and appear in new courses—the Total and Weighted Total
columns. You can rename, change the settings, determine which columns are included, or delete these default
columns. To learn how to edit existing columns, see How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns.
Default Total Column
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Sum of all grade columns.
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Calculated columns are not included.
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Ungraded items are not included. You can change this by editing the column and selecting No for
Calculate as Running Total.
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Included in Smart Views > Final Grade View. To learn more, see Creating Smart Views in the Grade
Center.
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Set as the External Grade column. This is the column used for the final grade. It is shared with the
school as the student's grade for the course. Set any column as the External Grade column by
clicking the Action Link (
) in the column header and selecting Set as External Grade. You must
set another column as the External Grade before you can delete the Total column.
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Default Weighted Total Column
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No default settings. You must edit the column to select the columns to include in the weight
calculation.
Included in Smart Views > Final Grade View.
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
Next Steps
You can also create calculated columns manually. To learn more about calculated columns and the types you
can create, see these topics:
About Total Columns in the Grade Center How to Create Total
Columns in the Grade Center About Weighted Columns in the
Grade Center How to Create Weighted Columns in the Grade
Center About Average Columns in the Grade Center How to
Create Average Columns in the Grade Center About
Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center How to
Create Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center
How to Create Grade Columns in the Grade Center
If a grade column is not created automatically, you can create grade columns for any student work you want to
grade. For example, you can create a column to record participation grades.
Example:
In the preceding image, two grade columns are shown:
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Participation: Created manually by an instructor to record participation grades.
Chapter 1 Test: Created automatically by the system when an instructor created and deployed the
test.
The data in the "Participation" column is populated when an instructor manually assigns the grades. The data in
the "Chapter 1 Test" column is populated when students complete their tests and the test is scored
automatically by the system. If the test includes questions that need to be graded by an instructor, such as an
essay or short answer question, the Needs Grading icon (
) appears in the students’ cells after the tests are
submitted.
When creating Grade Center columns, you can do the following:
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Choose how the grade appears. You can display the grades in the Grade Center grid and on students’
My Grades pages as a score, letter, text, percentage, or as complete/incomplete.
Associate it with a category and GradingPeriod.
Exclude or include the column in any potential Grade Center calculations, such as when creating a
calculated column.
Determine whether the column’s results appear on students’ My Gradespages.
Use the following steps to create a grade column.
1. In the Grade Center, click Create Column on the Action Bar.
2. On the Create Grade Column page, type a brief, descriptive Column Name. This name becomes
the column name in the Grade Center and on students’ My Grades pages unless you provide a
different name in the Grade Center Display Name box. If you provide an alternative name,
students need to understand it as this is the name they see on their My Grades pages.
Note: Only the first 14-15 characters typed in either name box appear in the column heading in the
Grade Center grid. If you point to the column heading, you can see its full name in the Grade
Information Bar. The entire name appears on students' My Grades pages.
3. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text.
Information provided here appears to students when they click the Details function on their My
Gradespages.
4. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in
the Grade Center and to students on their My Grades pages. If you created any custom grading
schemas, they appear in the list. Five default options appear:
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Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not
make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
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Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign
letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
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Text: Text appears in the column when a custom text grading schema is created.
Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor –ORSatisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If no custom text grading schema is created, and the
Text option is selected, you are allowed to type text in the column’s cells. If you choose to
share the column results with students on their My Grades pages, they will see the text
values for their grades. To learn how to create a custom grading schema, see How to
Create Grading Schemas in the Grade Center.
Note: When you convert a numeric score to text without creating a custom text grading
schema, and then return to numeric scoring, values that cannot be converted display a
zero after conversion. Therefore, if you want to include text as grades, Blackboard
recommends creating a custom text grading schema and associating it with the columns.
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Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears
as 70%.
Complete/Incomplete: When an item is submitted, a check mark (
) appearsin the
column, regardless of the score achieved.
5. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is
None. The same options appear except for the option chosen as the Primary Display and Text.
The default Text option does not appear as you cannot edit a secondary value from a column’s cell.
If you create a customized grading schema based on text and have not used it as the Primary
Display, it appears in the list. In the Grade Center column, the secondary value appears in
parentheses. The secondary value does not appear to students.
Tip: If you choose Percentage as the Primary Display and type the achieved numeric score into
the Grade Center grid directly, the number you type is interpreted as a percentage and not the
score. Therefore, if you want the system to calculate percentages when you type a score, select
Score as the Primary Display and select Percentage as the Secondary Display. Scores you
type directly in the grid will display a percentage in parentheses.
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6. Optionally, you can associate the column with a category by making a selection in the Category
drop-down list. The default setting is No Category. You can use categories to filter Grade Center
data, create Smart Views that focus the view of the Grade Center data, and create calculated
columns. To learn more, see How to Create and Manage Categories in the Grade Center.
7. In the Points Possible box, type the total points. Entries must be numeric.
8. If Grading Periods exist, you can associate the column with a Grading Period by making a selection
in the Grading Period drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the drop-down list
does not appear. You can use Grading Periods to filter Grade Center data and create calculated
columns. To learn more, see How to Create and Manage Grading Periods.
9. Optionally, select the option next to Due Date and type a date (mm/dd/yyyy) or use the pop-up
Date Selection Calendar. Columns that are assigned a due date are associated automatically
with a Grading Period if the due date falls within the date range of the Grading Period. The option to
automatically associate columns with a Grading Period is set when creating or editing the Grading
Period. You can use due dates with the Early Warning System to generate an alert if a test or
assignment is not submitted on time.
10. Select the Options.
l
Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Select Yes to make the column
available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
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Show this Column to Students: Select Yes to display the column to students ontheir
My Gradespages.
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Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades:
Select Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to
students.
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11. Click Submit.
Result
Once you have created the grade column, you can:
l
Associate a rubric with it to make grading easier and less subjective.
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Assign grades.
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Include the column when creating calculated columns.
Next Steps
To learn more about how to use and manage grade columns, see these topics:
How to Edit Grading Schemas in the Grade Center How to Edit or Select
Options for Grade Center Columns About Deleting Grade Center Columns
Rubrics
EnteringGrades
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
About Total Columns in the Grade Center
The Total column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the cumulative points earned,
related to the points allowed. You can select which columns and categories are included in a Total column's
calculation. When creating a Total column, you can include other calculated columns.
A Total column is created by default and appears in new courses. You can rename, change the settings,
change which columns are included, or delete this default column. The following list includes the settings for
the default Totalcolumn.
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All grade columns are included in thecalculation.
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Calculated columns are not included.
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Ungraded items are not included. You can change this by editing the column and selecting No for
Calculate as Running Total.
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Included in Smart Views > Final Grade View. To learn more, see Creating Smart Views in the Grade
Center.
l
Set as the External Grade column, which is the grade reported to your school. You cannot delete the
default Total column until you set another column as the External Grade. Set any column as the
External Grade column by clicking the Action Link (
) in the column header and selecting Set as
External Grade.
Note: Columns with text as the grade display are not included in a Total column's calculation. For example, if
you set a column to display text, such as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you cannot use it in grade calculations.
Total Points Formula
Add the points possible of all selected columns to find the total points. Then, add a student’s earned scores for
all selected columns. This is the total earned out of the total points possible. Exempted items are ignored. The
results display according to the Primary and Secondary Display options.
Column 1 points earned + Column 2 points earned + Column 3 points earned + Column 4 points earned = Total
Points Earned out of Total Points Possible
Example: Student A
Eight values: 8/10, 3/5, 2/2, 3/7, 47/50, 20/25, 88/100
Earned Points Value: 171
Points Possible Value: 199
Total Points: 171/199
Example: Student B
Eight values: 9/10, X (exempt), 1/2, 5/7, 45/50, X, 22/25, 90/100
Earned Points Value: 172
Points Possible Value: 194
Total Points: 172/194
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
How to Create Total Columns in the Grade Center
The Total column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the cumulative points earned,
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
related to the points allowed. You can select which columns, Grading Periods, and categories are used in the
calculation for a Total column. You can change your selections at any time and the calculation updates
automatically.
Note: A Total column is created by default and appears in new courses. You can rename, change the settings,
change which columns are included, or delete this default column.
When creating a Total column, you can include:
l
All Grade Columns: Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
l
All Grade Columns in Grading Period: If Grading Periods exist, include only the grade columns
associated with a Grading Period.
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Selected Columns and Categories: Include specific grade columns and categories (and the
associatedcolumns).
Note: Columns with text as the grade display are not included in a Total column's calculation. For example, if
you set a grade column to display text, such as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you cannot use it in calculations.
Example: Selected Columns
You create a Total column to determine the final grade for the first quarter that includes all of the columns in the
first quarter Grading Period.
Example: Selected Columns and Categories
You want to provide students with a percentage score showing their effort on assignments and participation.
When creating a Total column, you select the Assignment category and two participation columns. Students
can view their percentage scores on their My Grades pages.
Use the following steps to create a Total column.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Create Calculated Column on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
2. Select Total Column.
3. On the Create Total Column page, type a brief, descriptive Column Name. This name becomes
the column name in the Grade Center and on students’ My Grades pages unless you provide a
different name in the Grade Center Display Name box. If you provide an alternative name,
students need to understand it as this is the name they see on their My Grades pages.
Note: Only the first 14-15 characters typed in either name box appear in the column heading in the
Grade Center grid. If you point to the column heading, you can see its full name in the Grade
Information Bar. The entire name appears on students' My Grades pages.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
4. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text.
Information provided here appears to students when they click the Details function on their My
Gradespages.
5. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in
the Grade Center and to students on their My Grades pages. If you created any custom grading
schemas, they appear in the list. Five default options appear:
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Score: A numeric grade appears in the column. This is the default setting. If you do not
make a selection, the score appears in the grid.
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Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign
letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
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Text: This default display option does not display text for a Total column or allow you to
type directly in the column's cell to edit it. If you select Text, the numeric score appears in
the column. If you want to display text values, you must create a custom text grading
schema. Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor OR- Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If you choose to share the column results with
students on their My Grades pages, they will see the text values for their grades. To learn
how to create a custom grading schema, see How to Create Grading Schemas in the
GradeCenter.
l
Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears
as 70%.
l
Complete/Incomplete: When an item is submitted, a check mark (
column, regardless of the score achieved.
) appearsin the
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
6. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is
None. The same options appear in this drop-down list except for the option chosen as the Primary
Display. In the Grade Center column, the secondary value appears in parentheses. The secondary
value does not appear to students, and you cannot manually edit the secondary value from a
column’s cell.
Note: If you select the default Text option, text will not appear. If you want text values to appear,
create a custom text grading schema.
7. If Grading Periods exist, you can associate the Total column with a Grading Period by making a
selection in the Grading Period drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the dropdown list does not appear. You can use Grading Periods to filter Grade Center data and create
calculated columns. To learn more, see How to Create and Manage Grading Periods.
8. In the Select Columns section, select what you want to include in the Total column's calculation.
l
All Grade Columns: Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
l
All Grade Columns in Grading Period: Select a Grading Period from the drop-down
list to include only those columns associated with the Grading Period in the calculation. If
no Grading Periods have been created, the drop-down list does not appear.
l
Selected Columns and Categories: Select grade columns and categories individually.
o Select the columns in the Columns to Select box and click the right-pointing
arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When you select
a column, you can view information about the column in the Column
Information area below the Columns to Select box.
Note: A column that is set to No for Include this Column in Grade Center
Calculations does not appear in the selection list.
Tip: To select multiple items in a row, hold down SHIFT and click. To select
multiple items out of sequence, hold down CTRL and click.
o
Select the categories in the Categories to Select box and click the rightpointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When
you select a category, you can view which columns are included in the
category in the Category Information area below the Categories to Select
box. Other options appear after you move the category to the Selected
Columns box:
n
If Grading Periods exist, make a selection in the Grading Period
drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the dropdown list does not appear. If you have selected a category for the
calculation, you can limit the columns used by selecting a particular
GradingPeriod.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
n
Drop Grades removes a number of either the highest or lowest
grades for each category from the calculation. If you do not type
numbers in the boxes, no grades are dropped.
n
Use only the Lowest or Highest Value to Calculate removes all
grades from the calculation except for the best or worst score.
To delete a selection in the Selected Columns box, click the red X.
9. Calculate as Running Total: Select Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt
cells that do not contain data. Select No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a
value of 0 if no grade exists. This can make grades appear artificially low.
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10. Select the Options.
l
Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Select Yes to make the column
available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
l
Show this Column to Students: Select Yes to display the column to students ontheir
My Gradespages.
l
Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades:
Select Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to
students.
11. Click Submit.
Note: If a column is deleted from the Grade Center that is included in a Total calculation, it is also
removed from the calculation.
Result
The new Total column appears last in the Grade Center grid unless you associated it with a Grading Period. All
Grading Period columns appear together in the grid until you reorder them.
You can change the column's settings at any time and change which columns are included. Once edited, the
calculation updates automatically.
You are not allowed to type directly in a Total column's cell to edit the calculated grade. Therefore, no Action
Link (
) appears when you move your mouse pointer over an individual cell in a Total column.
To keep a Total column in view, despite the addition of other columns, move the column and freeze it. To learn
how, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
Next Steps
To learn how to set the new Total column as the External Grade, see Understanding the External Grade
Column in the Grade Center.
You can delete a Total column at any time if it is not set as the External Grade column. You can also rename,
change the settings, and change which columns are included in calculated column calculations. To learn more,
see How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
About Weighted Columns in the Grade Center
The Weighted column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the result of selected
columns and categories, and their respective percentages. When creating a Weighted column, you can include
other calculated columns or other Weighted columns.
A Weighted Total column is created by default and appears in new courses. You can rename, change the
settings, change which columns and categories are included, or delete this default column. The default
Weighted Total column displays no results until you select the columns and categories to include in the
calculation.
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
Example: Weighted Quarter Final Grade
You can create a Weighted column that calculates a grade for one quarter of the year in which the Test
category, the Assignment category, and the participation grade column are each given a certain percentage of
the quarter's final grade for your course.
(Tests = 40%) + (Assignments = 40%) + (Participation = 20%) = (Quarter Final Grade)
Example: Weighted Final Grade for the Year
You can create any number of Weighted columns, including Weighted columns that include other Weighted
columns. You can create a Weighted column that uses the quarters’ Weighted columns and the final test grade
columns to calculate the final grade for your course.
(Quarter 1 = 15%) + (Quarter 2 = 20%) + (Quarter 3 = 15%) + (Quarter 4 = 20%) + (2 Semester Tests = 30%) =
(Year Final Grade)
Note: Columns with text as the grade display are not included in a Weighted column’s calculation. For
example, if you set a column to display text, such as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you cannot use it in grade
calculations.
In a new course, the default Total column is the default External Grade column, but you can set any column as
the External Grade. The External Grade is the grade reported to your school. To learn more, see Understanding
the External Grade Column in the Grade Center.
How to Create Weighted Columns in the Grade Center
The Weighted column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the result of selected
columns and categories, and their respective percentages. When creating a Weighted column, you can include
other calculated columns or other Weighted columns. You can change your selections at any time and the
calculation updates automatically.
Note: A Weighted Total column is created by default and appears in new courses. You can rename, change
the settings, or delete this default column. The default Weighted Total column displays no results until you
select the columns and categories to include in the calculation.
When creating a Weighted column, you can include:
l
All Grade Columns: Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
l
Selected Columns and Categories: Include specific grade columns and categories (and the
associatedcolumns).
l
Selected Columns from a Grading Period: If Grading Periods exist and you have chosen a
category, include only the grade columns that have been associated with a specific Grading Period.
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Note: Columns with text as the grade display are not included in a Weighted column’s calculation. For
example, if you set a grade column to display text, such as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you cannot use it in
calculations.
Example: Simple Weighted Column for First Quarter
You create a Weighted column based on two columns and two categories:
l
Assignments Category = 25%
l
Chapter Quizzes Category = 25%
l
Midterm Test = 20%
l
Final Test = 30%
Use the following steps to create a Weighted column.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Create Calculated Column on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
2. Select Weighted Column.
3. On the Create Weighted Column page, type a brief, descriptive Column Name. This name
becomes the column name in the Grade Center and on students’ My Grades pages unless you
provide a different name in the Grade Center Display Name box. If you provide an alternative
name, students need to understand it as this is the name they see on their My Grades pages.
Note: Only the first 14-15 characters typed in either name box appear in the column heading in the
Grade Center grid. If you point to the column heading, you can see its full name in the Grade
Information Bar. The entire name appears on students' My Grades pages.
4. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text.
Information provided here appears to students when they click the Details function on their My
Gradespages.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
5. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in
the Grade Center and to students on their My Grades pages. The default setting is Percentage. If
you created any custom grading schemas, they appear in the list. Five default options appear:
l
Score: A numeric grade appears in the column.
l
Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign
letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
l
Text: This default display option does not display text for a Weighted column or allow you
to type directly in the column's cell to edit it. If you select Text, the numeric score appears
in the column. If you want to display text values, you must create a custom text grading
schema. Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor OR- Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If you choose to share the column results with
students on their My Grades pages, they will see the text values for their grades. To learn
how to create a custom grading schema, see How to Create Grading Schemas in the
GradeCenter.
l
Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears
as 70%. If you do not make a selection, the percentage appears in the grid.
l
Complete/Incomplete: When an item is submitted, a check mark (
column, regardless of the score achieved.
) appearsin the
6. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is
None. The same options appear in this drop-down list except for the option chosen as the Primary
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Display. In the Grade Center column, the secondary value appears in parentheses. The secondary
value does not appear to students, and you cannot manually edit the secondary value from a
column’s cell.
Note: If you select the default Text option, text will not appear. If you want text values to appear,
create a custom text grading schema.
7. If Grading Periods exist, you can associate the Weighted column with a Grading Period by making
a selection in the Grading Period drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the
drop-down list does not appear. You can use Grading Periods to filter Grade Center data and create
calculated columns. To learn more, see How to Create and Manage Grading Periods.
8. In the Select Columns section, select what you want to include in the Weighted column's
calculation and assign percentages for each column or category.
l
Select the columns in the Columns to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to
move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When you select a column, you can
view information about the column in the Column Information area below the Columns
to Select box.
Note: A column that is set to No for Include this Column in Grade Center
Calculations does not appear in the selection list.
Tip: To select multiple items in a row, hold down SHIFT and click. To select multiple
items out of sequence, hold down CTRL and click.
l
Select the categories in the Categories to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow
to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When you select a category, you
can view which columns are included in the category in the Category Information area
below the Categories to Select box. Other options appear after you move the category
to the Selected Columns box:
o
If Grading Periods exist, make a selection in the Grading Period drop-down
list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the drop-down list does not
appear. If you have selected a category for the calculation, you can limit the
columns used by selecting a particular Grading Period.
o
Weight Columns allows you to select how to weigh columns within the
category.
n
n
o
Select Equally to apply equal value to all columns within a category.
Select Proportionally to apply the appropriate value to a column
based on its points compared to other columns in the category.
Drop Grades removes a number of either the highest or lowest grades for each
category from the calculation. If you do not type numbers in the boxes, no
grades aredropped.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
Use only the Lowest or Highest Value to Calculate removes all grades
from the calculation except for the best or worst score.
To delete a selection in the Selected Columns box, click the red X.
9. Type a percentage for each selection. The percentages of all columns added together must equal
100 percent. After assigning the last percentage, click anywhere in the box to update the
percentage below the Selected Columns box in the Total Weight field.
10. Calculate as Running Total: Select Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt
cells that do not contain data. Select No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a
value of 0 if no grade exists. This can make grades appear artificially low.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
11. Select the Options.
l
Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Select Yes to make the column
available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
l
Show this Column to Students: Select Yes to display the column to students ontheir
My Gradespages.
l
Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades:
Select Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to
students.
12. Click Submit.
Result
The new Weighted column appears last in the Grade Center grid unless you associated it with a Grading
Period. All Grading Period columns appear together in the grid until you reorder them.
You can change the column's settings at any time and change which columns are included. Ensure the
percentages total 100%. Once edited, the calculationupdates automatically.
You are not allowed to type directly in a Weighted column's cell to edit the calculated grade. Therefore, no
Action Link (
) appears when you move your mouse pointer over an individual cell in a Weighted column.
IMPORTANT! If you delete a column that is included in the calculation for a Weighted column, the
percentage assigned to the deleted column is removed. In the Selected Columns box, the Total Weight
will no longer equal 100%. The calculation does balance itself, but it will not necessarily be based on the
percentages you assigned because a column is missing. The system does not update percentages in the
Selected Columns box, but the grade that appears in the Weighted column in the Grade Center is based
on100%.
To keep a Weighted column in view, despite the addition of other columns, move the column and freeze it. To
learn how, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
Next Steps
To learn how to set the new Weighted column as the External Grade, see Understanding the External Grade
Column in the Grade Center.
You can delete a Weighted column at any time if it is not set as the External Grade column. You can also
rename, change the settings, and change which columns are included in calculated column calculations. To
learn more, see How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns.
About Average Columns in the Grade Center
The Average column is a type of calculated column that displays the average for a selected number of columns.
For example, you can display the average for all tests or display the average grade for each student for a
GradingPeriod.
Simple Average Formula
To find the average of all selected columns, the percentage is calculated to four decimal places. The
percentage values for all selected columns are added together. The result is divided by the number of columns
included in the calculation. The results display according to the Primary and Secondary Display options.
(Column 1%) + (Column 2%) + (Column 3%) + (Column 4%) = % earned divided by 4 columns = Average
percentagescore
Example:
Three values: 8/10, 3/5,2/2
Percentage equivalents: 80.0000%, 60.0000%, 100.0000%
Total of the values:240.0000
Number of items:3
Total value divided by number of columns: 240.0000/3 = 80.00%
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
How to Create Average Columns in the Grade Center
The Average column is a type of calculated column that displays the average for a selected number of columns.
You can select which columns and categories are used in the calculation for an Average column. For example,
you can display the average for all assignments. You can change your selections at any time and the
calculation updates automatically.
When creating an Average column, you can include:
l
All Grade Columns: Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
l
All Grade Columns in Grading Period: If Grading Periods exist, include only the grade columns
associated with a Grading Period.
l
Selected Columns and Categories: Include specific grade columns and categories (and the
associatedcolumns).
Note: Columns with text as the grade display are not included in an Average column’s calculation. For
example, if you set a grade column to display text, such as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you cannot use it in
calculations.
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
Use the following steps to create an Average column.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Create Calculated Column on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
2. Select Average Column.
3. On the Create Average Column page, type a brief, descriptive Column Name. This name
becomes the column name in the Grade Center and on students’ My Grades pages unless you
provide a different name in the Grade Center Display Name box. If you provide an alternative
name, students need to understand it as this is the name they see on their My Grades pages.
Note: Only the first 14-15 characters typed in either name box appear in the column heading in the
Grade Center grid. If you point to the column heading, you can see its full name in the Grade
Information Bar. The entire name appears on students' My Grades pages.
4. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text.
Information provided here appears to students when they click the Details function on their My
Gradespages.
5. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in
the Grade Center and to students on their My Grades pages. The default setting is Percentage. If
you created any custom grading schemas, they appear in the list. Five default options appear:
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Score: A numeric grade appears in the column.
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Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign
letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
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Text: This default display option does not display text for an Average column or allow you
to type directly in the column's cell to edit it. If you select Text, the numeric score appears
in the column. If you want to display text values, you must create a custom text grading
schema. Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor OR- Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If you choose to share the column results with
students on their My Grades pages, they will see the text values for their grades. To learn
how to create a custom grading schema, see How to Create Grading Schemas in the
GradeCenter.
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Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears
as 70%. If you do not make a selection, the percentage appears in the grid.
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Complete/Incomplete: When an item is submitted, a check mark (
column, regardless of the score achieved.
) appearsin the
6. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is
None. The same options appear in this drop-down list except for the option chosen as the Primary
Display. In the Grade Center column, the secondary value appears in parentheses. The secondary
value does not appear to students, and you cannot manually edit the secondary value from a
column’s cell.
Note: If you select the default Text option, text will not appear. If you want text values to appear,
create a customized text grading schema.
7. If Grading Periods exist, you can associate the Average column with a Grading Period by making a
selection in the Grading Period drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the dropdown list does not appear. You can use Grading Periods to filter Grade Center data and create
calculated columns. To learn more, see How to Create and Manage Grading Periods.
8. In the Select Columns section, select what you want to include in the Average column's
calculation.
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All Grade Columns: Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
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All Grade Columns in Grading Period: Select a Grading Period from the drop-down
list to include only those columns associated to the Grading Period in the calculation. If
no Grading Periods have been created, the drop-down list does not appear.
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Selected Columns and Categories: Select grade columns and categories individually.
o
Select the columns in the Columns to Select box and click the right-pointing
arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When you select
a column, you can view information about the column in the Column
Information area below the Columns to Select box.
Note: A column that is set to No for Include this Column in Grade Center
Calculations does not appear in the selection list.
Tip: To select multiple items in a row, hold down SHIFT and click. To select
multiple items out of sequence, hold down CTRL and click.
o
o
Select the categories in the Categories to Select box and click the rightpointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When
you select a category, you can view which columns are included in the
category in the Category Information area below the Categories to Select
box. Other options appear after you move the category to the Selected
Columns box:
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If Grading Periods exist, make a selection in the Grading Period
drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the dropdown list does not appear. If you have selected a category for the
calculation, you can limit the columns used by selecting a particular
GradingPeriod.
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Weight Columns allows you to select how to weigh columns within
the category.
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Select Equally to apply equal value to all columns within a
category.
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Select Proportionally to apply the appropriate value to a
column based on its points compared to other columns in
the category.
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Drop Grades removes a number of either the highest or lowest
grades for each category from the calculation. If you do not type
numbers in the boxes, no grades are dropped.
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Use only the Lowest or Highest Value to Calculate removes all
grades from the calculation except for the best or worst score.
To delete a selection in the Selected Columns box, click the red X.
9. Calculate as Running Total: Select Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt
cells that do not contain data. Select No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a
value of 0 if no grade exists. This can make grades appear artificially low.
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10. Select the Options.
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Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Select Yes to make the column
available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
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Show this Column to Students: Select Yes to display the column to students ontheir
My Gradespages.
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Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades:
Select Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to
students.
11. Click Submit.
Result
The new Average column appears last in the Grade Center grid unless you associated it with a Grading Period.
All Grading Period columns appear together in the grid until you reorder them.
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You can change the column's settings at any time and change which columns are included. Once edited, the
calculation updates automatically.
You are not allowed to type directly in an Average column's cell to edit the calculated grade. Therefore, no
Action Link (
) appears when you move your mouse pointer over an individual cell in an Average column.
To keep an Average column in view, despite the addition of other columns, move the column and freeze it. To
learn how, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
Next Steps
You can delete Average columns at any time. You can also rename, change the settings, and change which
columns are included in calculated column calculations. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select Options for
Grade CenterColumns.
About Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center
The Minimum/Maximum column is a type of calculated column that displays either the minimum or maximum
grade for a selection of columns. For example, you can find the minimum score on all tests, but only show it in
the Grade Center grid and not to your students on their My Grades pages.
Minimum/Maximum Formula
Minimum: The percentage value for each column included in the calculation is compared up to four decimal
places and the lowest value is displayed. The result displays up to two decimal places.
Maximum: The percentage value for each column included in the calculation is compared up to four decimal
places and the highest value is displayed. The result displays up to two decimal places.
Example:
Three values: 8/10, 3/5,2/2
Percentage equivalents: 80.0000%, 60.0000%, 100.0000%
Minimum: 60.00%
Maximum: 100.00%
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Note: If two values are exactly the same for a Minimum/Maximum column, that is the value that appears in the
Grade Centergrid.
How to Create Minimum/Maximum Columns in the Grade Center
The Minimum/Maximum column is a type of calculated column that displays either the minimum or maximum
grade for a selection of columns. You can select which columns and categories are used for displaying a
minimum or maximum value. For example, you can display the minimum score for a Grading Period to help you
determine what content your students may be struggling with. You can change your selections at any time and
the calculation updatesautomatically.
When creating a Minimum/Maximum column, you can include:
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All Grade Columns: Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
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All Grade Columns in Grading Period: If Grading Periods exist, include only the grade columns
associated with a Grading Period.
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Selected Columns and Categories: Include specific grade columns and categories (and the
associatedcolumns).
Note: Columns with text as the grade display are not included in a Minimum/Maximum column’s calculation.
For example, if you set a grade column to display text, such as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, you cannot use it
in calculations.
Use the following steps to create a Minimum/Maximum column.
1. In the Grade Center, point to Create Calculated Column on the Action Bar to access the dropdown list.
2. Select Minimum/Maximum Column.
3. On the Create Minimum/Maximum Column page, type a brief, descriptive Column Name. This
name becomes the column name in the Grade Center and on students’ My Grades pages unless
you provide a different name in the Grade Center Display Name box. If you provide an alternative
name, students need to understand it as this is the name they see on their My Grades pages.
Note: Only the first 14-15 characters typed in either name box appear in the column heading in the
Grade Center grid. If you point to the column heading, you can see its full name in the Grade
Information Bar. The entire name appears on students' My Grades pages.
4. Optionally, type a Description. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text.
Information provided here appears to students when they click the Details function on their My
Gradespages.
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5. Make a selection in the Primary Display drop-down list. The selection is the grade format shown in
the Grade Center and to students on their My Grades pages. The default setting is Percentage. If
you created any custom grading schemas, they appear in the list. Five default options appear:
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Score: A numeric grade appears in the column.
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Letter: A letter grade appears in the column. The default grading schema is used to assign
letter grades. For example, a score of 21/30 equals 70% and appears as a C.
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Text: This default display option does not display text for a Minimum/Maximum column or
allow you to type directly in the column's cell to edit it. If you select Text, the numeric
score appears in the column. If you want to display text values, you must create a custom
text grading schema. Examples of text values include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair,
and Poor -OR- Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory. If you choose to share the column results
with students on their My Grades pages, they will see the text values for their grades. To
learn how to create a custom grading schema, see How to Create Grading Schemas in
theGrade Center.
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Percentage: A percentage appears in the column. For example, a score of 21/30 appears
as 70%. If you do not make a selection, the percentage appears in the grid.
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Complete/Incomplete: When an item is submitted, a check mark (
column, regardless of the score achieved.
) appearsin the
6. Optionally, make a selection in the Secondary Display drop-down list. The default setting is
None. The same options appear in this drop-down list except for the option chosen as the Primary
Display. In the Grade Center column, the secondary value appears in parentheses. The secondary
value does not appear to students, and you cannot manually edit the secondary value from a
column’s cell.
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Note: If you select the default Text option, text will not appear. If you want text values to appear,
create a custom text grading schema.
7. If Grading Periods exist, you can associate the Minimum/Maximum column with a Grading Period
by making a selection in the Grading Period drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been
created, the drop-down list does not appear. You can use Grading Periods to filter Grade Center
data and create calculated columns. To learn more, see How to Create and Manage Grading
Periods.
8. In the Select Columns section, select Calculation Type: Minimum or Maximum.
9. Select what you want to include in the Minimum/Maximum column's calculation.
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All Grade Columns: Include all individual grade columns in the Grade Center.
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All Grade Columns in Grading Period: Select a Grading Period from the drop-down
list to include only those columns associated to the Grading Period in the calculation. If
no Grading Periods have been created, the drop-down list does not appear.
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Selected Columns and Categories: Select grade columns and categories individually.
o Select the columns in the Columns to Select box and click the right-pointing
arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When you select
a column, you can view information about the column in the Column
Information area below the Columns to Select box.
Note: A column that is set to No for Include this Column in Grade Center
Calculations does not appear in the selection list.
Tip: To select multiple items in a row, hold down SHIFT and click. To select
multiple items out of sequence, hold down CTRL and click.
o
Select the categories in the Categories to Select box and click the rightpointing arrow to move the selections to the Selected Columns box. When
you select a category, you can view which columns are included in the
category in the Category Information area below the Categories to Select
box.
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If Grading Periods exist, make a selection in the Grading Period
drop-down list. If no Grading Periods have been created, the dropdown list does not appear. If you have selected a category for the
calculation, you can limit the columns used by selecting a particular
GradingPeriod.
o
To delete a selection in the Selected Columns box, click the red X.
10. Calculate as Running Total: Select Yes to calculate as a running total. Running totals exempt
cells that do not contain data. Select No to include all selected columns in the calculation, using a
value of 0 if no grade exists. This can make grades appear artificially low.
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11. Select the Options.
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Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations: Select Yes to make the column
available for potential inclusion when creating calculated columns.
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Show this Column to Students: Select Yes to display the column to students ontheir
My Gradespages.
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Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades:
Select Yes to include statistical information with the grade value when shown to
students.
12. Click Submit.
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Result
The new Minimum/Maximum column appears last in the Grade Center grid unless you associated it with a
Grading Period. All Grading Period columns appear together in the grid until you reorder them.
You can change the column's settings at any time and change which columns are included. Once edited, the
calculation updates automatically.
You are not allowed to type directly in a Minimum/Maximum column's cell to edit the calculated grade.
Therefore, no Action Link ( ) appears when you move your mouse pointer over an individual cell in a
Minimum/Maximum column.
To keep a Minimum/Maximum column in view, despite the addition of other columns, move the column and
freeze it. To learn how, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Note: You can assign a grade to a maximum of four decimal places, but the Grade Center displays only to a
maximum of two decimal places. Grades to three or four decimal places are rounded up. For example, 45.4357
is rounded up to 45.44. Calculated columns also display to a maximum of two decimal places.
Next Steps
You can delete Minimum/Maximum columns at any time. You can also rename, change the settings, and
change which columns are included in calculated column calculations. To learn more, see How to Edit or Select
Options for Grade Center Columns.
Understanding the External Grade Column in the Grade Center
The results in the External Grade column are shared with your school as your students’ grades for your course.
You decide which column is set as the External Grade. In new courses, the default Total column is the default
External Grade column, and the External Grade icon (
) appears in the column header. You cannot delete the
default Total column until you set another column as the External Grade.
Click the Action Link (
) in the column header for the column you want to set as the External Grade column
and select Set as External Grade. The check mark appears in the column header you chose and no check
mark appears in the default Total column header.
If you copy or restore a course, the External Grade column you chose remains as the External Grade column.
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How to Edit or Select Options for Grade Center Columns
You can edit most Grade Center columns and change the column's name, settings, grading schema, what is
included in a calculated column's calculation, and whether students can see the column results on their My
Grades pages. You can also use the options in a column's contextual menu to perform a variety of actions,
such as viewing information about the column, sorting the contents, or downloading results.
You cannot edit or delete the default user columns:
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Last Name
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First Name
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Username
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Student ID
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Last Access
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Availability
You can hide all but the first user column in the grid. If you need to hide the first column, you can rearrange the
user columns on the Column Organization page, but at least one user column must show. To learn about
organizing your columns, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.
Each column's contextual menu displays options that are available and specific for that column. For example, a
test column's contextual menu includes options for Column Statistics and Grade Questions. For a default
user column, such as First Name, you only have the options of hiding the column and sorting the items. If an
option does not appear in the contextual menu, you cannot perform the action on that column. To learn more
about the options available in a column’s contextual menu, see Accessing Grade Center Menus Using Action
Links.
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Use the following steps to edit a column.
1. In the Grade Center, click the Action Link (
menu.
) in the column header to access the contextual
2. Select an option. Depending on the option:
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A change occurs automatically. For example, if you select Set as External Grade for a
Weighted column, the column immediately becomes the External Grade column. The
External Grade icon (
) appears in the column header.
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You can make necessary changes or selections. For example, if you select Edit
Column Information for a grade or calculated column, you can change the column’s
name, settings, grading schema, and whether students can see the column results on
their My Grades pages. You can also choose which columns are included in a calculated
column's calculation.
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You can assign grades, provide feedback to students, and include grading notes for
yourself. For example, if you select Grade Attempts for a test column, you can begin the
gradingprocess.
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You can review information. For example, if you select Quick Column Information or
Column Statistics, you can view basic information or statistics, such as range,
average, median, variance, and gradedistribution.
3. As needed, click Submit -OR- click OK to return to the Grade Center.
Example: Change whether students see the column results on their My Grades pages
If you want to hide column results from students on their My Grades pages, you can select Edit Column
Information in the column's contextual menu. On the Edit Column page, select No for Show this Column to
Students. You can edit the column again at any time to show the results to your students. Alternatively, you
can select Show/Hide to Users in a column's contextual menu. When you want to show the column to
students, select Show/Hide to Users again. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon
(
) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students.
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Example: Change the grading schema
For each column, you can choose how grades appear to students on their My Grades pages and in the Grade
Center grid. Select Edit Column Information in the column's contextual menu. On the Edit Column page,
you can change the grade display in the Primary and Secondary Display drop-down lists. If you choose to
share the column results with students, they see grade values based on what you select in the Primary
Display drop-down list, such as Score, Letter, or Percentage. The Secondary Display selection is optional
and only appears in the Grade Center.
At any time, you can also change the grading schema to display grades based on new grading schemas you
create. For example, for a particular test, you want to make an adjustment because of low scores. You can
associate a custom grading schema with that test's column to reflect a curve you want to apply to those lower
scores. You can create as many test grading schemas as needed to fulfill your grading requirements and
associate them with the appropriate columns in the Grade Center.
Example: Change which attempt is used as the score in the Grade Center
When multiple attempts are allowed for an assignment or test, you can edit columns to change which attempt is
used as the score in the Grade Center. For example, if you have allowed students to submit an assignment
more than once, you can select Edit Column Information in the assignment column's contextual menu. On
the Edit Column page, select which attempt to use for the score. The default is Grade of Last Attempt. If you
do not edit the column, the Grade Center automatically uses the grade of the last attempt when more than one
attempt is allowed. You can choose from the following options in the Score attempts using drop-down list on
the Edit Column page:
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Grade of Last Attempt
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Highest Grade
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Lowest Grade
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Grade of First Attempt
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Average of Attempt Grades
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Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns
Example: Editing column names
While in the Grade Center, you cannot change the Item Name of columns created automatically for gradable
items, such as tests, assignments, discussion posts, journal and blog entries, and wiki contributions. You can
edit the name of a gradable item in your course and the name will change in the Grade Center. For example, to
change an assignment name, you must go to the Content Area containing the assignment and edit the name
there. The name change is applied automatically in the Grade Center.
WARNING! On the Edit Column page for auto-created columns, you can provide a different name by
typing a Grade Center Display Name. The name you provide appears on students' My Grades pages and
in the Grade Center grid, but does not overwrite the name of the item in your course. This could cause
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confusion for students when the names they see on their My Grades pages and the names they see for
gradable items in the course do not match.
How to Edit Grade Center Columns From External Files
When you upload grade columns to the Grade Center from an external file, they appear as text columns with
points possible equaling zero (0). You may see numbers in the cells, but they are just placeholders. You must
edit these columns to include the scores in Grade Center calculations.
1. In the Grade Center, click the Action Link (
menu.
) in the column header to access the contextual
2. Select Edit Column Information.
3. On the Edit Column page, change the Primary Display to Score and provide the Points
Possible.
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4. Click Submit. The assigned scores appear in the column's cells.
To learn more about external data, see Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items for Working Offline.
About Deleting Grade Center Columns
Before deleting gradable content in your course, you must carefully consider what the ramifications may be.
Student work, such as test and assignment submissions, is deleted along with the deletion of the content item
in your course. Each type of gradable content has its own options and consequences for deletions.
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When you create gradable items in your course, grade columns are created automatically in the Grade Center,
including columnsfor:
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Tests, surveys, and Self and Peer Assessments
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Assignments and SafeAssignments
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Discussion posts
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Journal and blog entries
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Wiki contributions
The only way to delete these auto-created grade columns is to first delete the gradable items in your course. For
some, if no student submissions exist when you delete the item, the Grade Center column is deleted
automatically or you are allowed to decide whether to delete the column. However, when you delete an
assignment or SafeAssignment in your course, you must also delete the corresponding column in the Grade
Center.
You are not allowed to delete the default user columns and the External Grade column. If a grade or calculated
column is set as the External Grade column, you must select another column as the External Grade column
before you can delete the first one.
How to Delete a Gradable Item in Your Course
WARNING! Once you delete a gradable item in your course, it is permanently deleted and all the student
submissions are deleted also. The action is final. In some cases, you can choose to save the grades
assigned in the Grade Center. Even if you retain grade columns in the Grade Center, you cannot access the
student submissions because they were deleted with the item in your course. Alternatively, you can
preserve the submissions and the scores in the Grade Center by making a gradable item in your course
unavailable.
1. Access the gradable item in your course, such as an assignment, discussion post, journal topic, or
test.
2. Click its Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Delete. Click OK in the pop-up window to confirm the deletion.
4. If no student submissions exist, the item and the Grade Center column is deleted automatically or
you are allowed to decide whether to delete the column.
-ORFor some items, if grades have been assigned, a page appears so you can confirm your deletion or
decide what is deleted. No confirmation page appears for SafeAssignments and Self and Peer
Assessments with gradedsubmissions.
Deleting an Assignment in Your Course
When you delete an assignment that has student submissions, the Delete Assignment page appears stating
that the assignment and all its submissions will be deleted , but the scores will remain in the Grade Center
column. Click Submit to confirm the deletion. You can delete the assignment column in the Grade Center at
any time, but you cannot access the students' submissions again.
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Deleting Gradable Discussion Posts, Journal and Blog Entries, and Wiki
Contributions in Your Course
When you delete a gradable interactive tool item that has an auto-created Grade Center column, you have two
options on the Delete Confirmation page:
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Do not select check boxes: The item will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and scores you
have assigned are retained. For example, all student entries have been graded and you want to keep
the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If you delete the item, yet retain the Grade
Center column, you can delete that column from the Grade Center at any time. However, you cannot
access the students' submissions again.
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Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the item are deleted. For
example, you can delete both if no student submissions exist or you do not want to include the grade
column for the item in the final grade.
Click Remove to confirm the deletion.
Deleting Tests in Your Course
If a test has no submissions, you can delete it in your course and the auto-created column is deleted from the
GradeCenter.
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Using the Grade Center
When you delete a test in your course that has student submissions, you are also deleting all the submissions.
You have two options available:
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Preserve the scores in the Grade Center, but delete all test attempts. Though the scores remain in the
Grade Center, you cannot access the students' submissions again.
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Delete the test, the Grade Center column and assigned grades, and all test attempts.
Click Remove to confirm the deletion.
Using the Grade Center
Entering Grades
Grades are entered into the Grade Center in a variety of ways. Scores from items that have been added to the
content of a course such as online tests, exams, and surveys are automatically entered into the Grade Center.
Grades from an external source, such as a Comma-separated Value File or an Excel spreadsheet, are uploaded
to the Grade Center, eliminating the need for double entry. Other grades are manually entered into the Grade
Center using any of the views of the Grade Center.
Grading Multiple Attempts
If you are grading multiple attempts, the graded item must have been set to allow multiple attempts when it was
created. If the option for multiple attempts was selected, the option for grading will appear on the Grade Details
page. Grades for all attempts are tracked in the Grade History.
Automatically Entered Grades
Tests that are added to the content of a Course and are scored online, automatically record the grade for that
assessment in the corresponding Grade Center column. Grades that are automatically scored can be edited
manually.
To edit grades see Changing Grades.
Manually Entered Grades
Tests that are added to the content of a Course can be edited to allow students to have multiple attempts to
take the assessment. These attempts are graded manually in the Grade Center.
There are many ways to manually enter these grades:
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From the main Grade Center page
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Anonymously from the main Grade Center page
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From the Grade Details page
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Anonymously from the Grade Details page
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Overriding a grade from the Grade Details page
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Grading Tests by Question
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Instructors can enter grades for certain tools without having to navigate to the Grade Center. Grading can be
done within the tool if the item has been set to be graded. Once these grades have been entered, they can be
changed in the Grade Center.
Comments can be added while using any method of entering grades. To learn more about comments, see
Including Comments With a Grade Entry.
Uploading Grades from External Sources
To eliminate repeated entry of Grade Center data in several tools, Instructors can work offline and then upload
grades into Grade Center. Instructors can upload grades from external sources such as a Commas-separated
Value or an Excel spreadsheet. Data must be formatted specifically to upload correctly and be synched with
existing Grade Center data. For in depth information about uploading grades see Uploading or Downloading
Grade Center Items for Working Offline.
How to Enter Grades from the Grade Center Page
Grades are entered in any cell in the Grade Center or any Smart View of the Grade Center or from the Grade
Detail page.
1. Click within the cell to be graded.
2. Type thevalue.
3. Press ENTER. If ENTER is not pressed, and the user attempts to exit the entry cell or Grade Center,
a dialog box asks if the user would like to save the grade entry. Select OK to save the grade.
How to Enter Grades Anonymously from the Grade Center Page
Instructors can grade items in the Grade Center without viewing user information. The users will be displayed in
a random order, without any identifying information, to the Instructor for grading. Anonymous Grading is helpful
to reduce bias from the Instructor or TA when grading. This option is available in the column header contextual
menu on the Grade Center page.
1. From the desired column header click Grade Anonymously.
2. Type a grade in the text box for each question.
3. Click Save and Exit to return to the Grade Center page.
-ORClick Save and Next to show the next user.
-ORClick View Previous to show the previous user.
How to Enter an Attempt Grade from the Grade Details Page
1. From the contextual menu next to a grade, select View Grade Details.
2. Click Grade Attempts.
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3. Type a grade in the Grade field.
4. Click Save and Exit to return to the Grade Center page.
-ORClick Save and Next todisplay the next attempt.
How to Enter an Attempt Grade Anonymously from the Grade Details Page
Instructors can hide user information from the Grade Details Page. Once an attempt has been selected, the
Instructor can hide the user information before grading the attempt.
1. From the contextual menu next to a graded item, click the Attempt link.
2. Click Hide User Names.
3. Click OK. This action will open a new attempt with all user identification removed. Any unsaved
changes to the current Attempt will be lost.
4. Type a grade in the Grade field.
5. Click Save and Exit to return to the Grade Center page.
-ORClick Save and Next to display the next user.
-ORClick View Previous to show the previous user.
How to Override a Grade from the Grade Details Page
The latest or only Override grade takes precedence over all other grade entries, including grades entered for
multiple attempts, and will display in the Grade Center. Any grade entered into the Grade Center for an
automatically generated Grade Column, such as an Assessment, Assignment or Discussion Board grade, will
be considered an Override grade.
1. From the contextual menu next to a graded item, click View Grade Details.
2. Click the Manually Overridetab.
3. Type a new grade in the Override Grade text box.
4. Add any Feedback to User or Grading Notes. The full features of the Text Editor can be turned on
or off to allow Instructors to format text or include files as part of the comment.
5. Click Save.
6. Click Return to Grade Center to go back to the Grade Center page.
How to Grade Tests by Question
Instructors can grade all of the responses for a specific question at one time by using the Grade Questions
option. This procedure is used for entering new grades or changing grades. Grades can be given anonymously
by clicking Hide User Names on the Grade Responses page.
The test remains in Needs Grading status until all of the responses for all of the questions have been graded.
1. From the contextual menu of the column header, click Grade Questions. The Grade Questions
page opens. You can select the option to grade responses anonymously.
2. Click the number in the Responses column to access the question.
3. Click Edit next to the score for the user.
4. Type a new grade in the Score box.
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5. Click Submit.
6. Click Back to Questions to return to the Grade Questions page to select the next question to
grade.
Viewing Grade Details
Access the Grade Details Page from the contextual menu for any graded item listed in the Grade Center.
Note: To view the Grade Details page, a grade must be entered in the cell. If there is no grade, the option to
view Grade Details will not appear.
This page also serves as the main location for users with assistive technology such as Screen Readers. All of
the information associated with an item is viewed on the Grade Details page. Changes are made where
appropriate.
Navigation
The current User and Column are displayed at the top of the page. Use the left and right arrow buttons to scroll
through all of the users in the Course or all of the columns in the Grade Center.
Click the Jump to button to use Column and User drop-down lists.
Click Return to Grade Center, located at the bottom of the page, to display the Grade Center page.
Grading Tests by Question
The User and Column navigation features on the Grade Details page is useful when entering or changing
grades question by question. Instructors can examine and grade all the responses to a single question for a test
using thismethod.
To learn more about this method of grading, see Entering Grades and Changing Grades.
Current Grade
Current Grade displays the current score. Click Grade Attempts to edit the current grade or grade another
attempt.
Instructors can access all the attempts associated with this grade by clicking Grade Attempts. To learn more,
seeEntering Grades.
Edit Tab
View date submitted or saved, feedback and grading notes.
Use the View Attempt, Clear Attempt, and Edit Grade buttons to change grade and grading information. Use
the Delete drop-down menu to delete attempts.
Manually Override Tab
Use this tab to enter a new grade for the item. Type a new grade in the Override Grade field.
Feedback to User and Grading Notes may also be entered here. The full features of the Text Editor may be
turned on or off to allow Instructors to format text or include files as part of the comment.
The grade can be exempted from this tab by selecting the Exempt user from this item check box.
View Column Details Tab
This tab presents information about the Grade Center column where this grade resides:
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Column Name
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Column Description
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Primary Display
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Show to Users
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Included in Calculations
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Average Score
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Median Score
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Grade History Tab
The Grade History tab displays all of the changes that have been made to this item. A message is displayed if
there is no Grade History information available.
Icon Legend
Click Icon Legend to display the definition of the icons viewed in the Grade Center cells.
Including Comments With a Grade Entry
You can include comments with a grade to give additional feedback to students on their performances. You can
also use comments to expand on grading decisions, take notes for future reference, or to share with other
instructors, Teaching Assistants, orGraders.
You can include comments with any grade entry. Provide comments during grading, after grading, or while
working offline with a downloaded column. To learn more, see Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items
for WorkingOffline.
Comments provided in the Feedback to User section are visible to students when a grade is made available.
Comments provided in the Grading Notes section cannot be accessed by students or observers.
How to Provide or Edit an Attempt Comment from the Grade Center
Attempt comments relate to individual attempts and you can provide them without including a grade. If you
have permitted multiple attempts, you can provide a comment to share feedback with a student before
assigning a grade to the assessment.
1. To see the Action Link (
) for a cell in the grid, move your mouse pointer over the cell.
2. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Attempt.
4. Type comments in the Feedback to User or Grading Notes sections. Use the Text Editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, links, multimedia, and Mashups.
5. Click Save and Exit to return to the Grade Center or use the Save and Next and View Previous
functions to navigate through the attempts in the queue.
Note: You can also provide comments on the Grade Details page by clicking View Attempt or Edit Grade.
How to Provide or Edit a Grade Comment from the Grade Center
A grade comment is provided after the item has been graded or while the grade is being manually overwritten,
and relates to the assessment grade, rather than an attempt grade.
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1. To see the Action Link for a cell in the grid, move your mouse pointer over the cell.
2. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
3. Select Quick Comment.
4. In the pop-up window, type text-only comments in the Feedback to User or Grading Notes
sections -OR- click the Text Editor function to access all the features of the Text Editor.
5. Click Submit.
Note: You can also provide comments on the Manually Override tab on the Grade Details page.
Changing Grades
Any grade recorded in the Grade Center may be changed by the Instructor, TA, or Grader of the course due to
the fluid nature of instruction and the different variables that can influence student performance on assessment.
When grades are changed, the new data is automatically factored in to existing weighted, total points, or
calculated grade columns, updating the information immediately. Grades that have been edited are denoted in
the Grade Center by a triangular icon. Every time a grade is changed, an entry is made into the Grade History.
Override Grade Versus Edit Attempt
The Override Grade function is designed to ignore the results of all attempts and display the grade as entered.
For automatically graded tests, this is useful in a worst-case scenario, such as if a Student is caught cheating.
The grade is entered to reflect the incident regardless of student performance on any attempt. This is also why
changing an automatically calculated grade on the page results in an override.
The edit attempt option is useful if a small error occurs. The Instructor mistakenly identified the correct answer
and wants to give Students that took the test before she caught the mistake an extra 4 points. If multiple
attempts are allowed and the Student takes the test again, they can do so and the change to the previous
attempt does not apply.
Override Grade in the Grade Center
Changing grades in the Grade Center was designed with the following scenario in mind:
An attempt is logged each time a student takes a test. Since the item is automatically graded each time an
attempt occurs, a manual change to an automatic grade is most likely an override. The Instructor wants the
Grade to be X no matter what.
With a manual grade, the only time an attempt is logged is when the Instructor enters the grade. Take a paper
and a rewrite, for example. The Instructor enters a grade in the page for the original submission. The Instructor
thinks a rewrite is appropriate and gives the student a chance to resubmit the paper. When the Instructor enters
that new grade, the modified grade is entered as an attempt. This creates a history and shows that the user
resubmitted, not that the Instructor gave a different grade to the same attempt.
How to Override a Grade in the Grade Center
The latest or only Override grade takes precedence over all other grade entries, including grades entered for
multiple attempts, and will display in the Grade Center. Any grade entered into the Grade Center for an
automatically generated Grade Column such as an Assessment, Assignment, or Discussion Board grade, will
be considered an Override grade.
1. From the contextual menu next to a graded item, click View Grade Details.
2. Click the Manually Overridetab.
3. Type a new grade in the Override Grade box.
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4. Add any Feedback to User or Grading Notes. The full features of the Text Editor can be turned on
or off to allow Instructors to format text or include files as part of the comment.
5. Click Save.
6. Click Return to Grade Center to go back to the Grade Center page.
To add a comment to a grade that has already been overridden, see Including Comments With a Grade Entry.
Grade History
Every time a grade is changed, whether the score is overridden or new comments are added, an entry is made
to the Grade History. The Grade History acts like a log file that keeps track of all the changes made to each
grade entry. Grades that have been edited are denoted in the Grade Center by a green triangular icon.
Deleting and Reverting Grades
In a course, an Instructor may need to delete a grade or revert a grade back to its previous state, such as
resetting a test to give a student who experienced technical problems another chance. The Instructor may
accomplish these tasks through the Grade Center. Grades that have been deleted have the Override Grade and
associated commentsdeleted.
How to Delete a Grade from the Grade Center Page
Grades can also be set to null by typing the NULL character in the cell.
1. Click within the graded cell.
2. Press DELETE or BACKSPACE to delete the grade.
3. Press ENTER. If ENTER is not pressed, and the user attempts to exit the entry cell or Grade Center,
a dialog box is shown asking if the user would like to save the grade entry. If so, in the dialog box,
select OK to save the grade.
4. Click OK to null the Grade Value. Grades that are set to NULL display a dash ( - )
How to Delete a Grade through the Grade Details Page
1. From the contextual menu next to a graded item, select View Grade Details.
2. Click Clear Attempt on the Edit tab.
3. Click OK.
4. Click Return to the Grade Center.
How to Revert a Grade
Grades that have been overridden are reverted to clear a previously entered override, and then display the
appropriate attempt grade if one exists.
1. From the contextual menu next to a graded item, select View Grade Details.
2. Click Revert. A warning message appears asking the user to confirm the action.
3. Click OK.
4. Click Return to the Grade Center.
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Working with the Grade History
The Grade History page acts like a log file that records all of the changes that occur to grades within a Course.
The Grade History page displays all the data for grade submissions for the Course within a set date range. It is
possible to manipulate the view and export the information.
The Grade History page is accessed from the Reports drop-down list on the Action Bar. Select View Grade
History to display the page.
The Grade History page displays the following columns:
Column
Description
Date
The date that the Grade Item was graded or had the grade changed.
Column
The type of columns associated with this grade.
Last
Edited By
The name of the last user to edit the grade. When clicked, the name will display the Username and
Role of the person who edited the grade. If the score is entered from an online assessment, the
modifier is listed as Automatic.
User
The name of the user who is receiving thisgrade.
Value
The value of the Grade as viewed in the Grade Center as well as the type of value and entry type,
such as Attempt Grade, Override Grade, and others.
Attempt
Submitted
The date and time when the grade was edited.
Comments Any comments added to the grade.
How to Disable Grade History
The Grade History feature may be disabled, so that no data is kept in the Grade History report. From the action
bar, click Disable Grade History. To enable the Grade History, click Enable Grade History.
This is a System Administrator setting as well, and may not be made available to Instructors.
How to Change the View of Grade History
The Grade History page is filtered to display entries within a date range. It can also be sorted to display items
by column name, score, or date.
1. In the Grade Center, on the action bar, point to Reports and select View Grade History.
2. Select the data parameter from the drop-down list Show Entries from Past, including the
following:
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1 Day
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7 Days
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14 Days
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30 Days
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6 Months
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All
3. Click Go.
4. Click OK to return to the Grade Center page.
To sort items to display by order of a column, click a column heading. The column will display in descending
alphabetic, score, or date order, depending upon the column chosen.
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How to Download the Grade History File
The Grade History is exported as a delimited file and downloaded to local machine.
1. On the action bar of the Grade History page, click Download.
2. Select the Delimiter Type for the file, either Comma or Tab.
3. Select Yes to Include Comments or No to exclude them from the download.
4. Click Submit.
5. Click Download the save the file to a local machine.
6. Click OK to return to the Grade Center page.
How to Clear Grade History
A Grade History is cleared, flushing all the data, by clicking Clear Grade History. This action is final and
cannot be reversed. To ensure that data is not lost, download the Grade History before clearing it.
Exempting Grades
Instructors can Exempt students from any grade item in the Grade Center to take into consideration students
that transfer to a school, add a course late, drop a course, or require other accommodations. Exempted items
are not added into any statistical or total grade calculations.
Existing grades that have been Exempted are not deleted but are ignored in all total and statistical calculations.
No secondary display value is shown for items that are Exempt.
Exemptions entered for system-generated column are saved as the Override grade. Exemptions entered for
manually created columns are saved as the grade for the column when no Override grade exists.
How to Exempt a Grade from the Grade Center Page
Students are Exempted from a grade from the Grade Center page or the Grade Details page. When a grade has
been Exempted, it will display an Exempted icon in the cell of the exempted grade. Comments are added to any
exemptedgrade.
From the contextual menu for the item, select Exempt Grade.
How to Exempt a Grade from the Grade Detail Page
1. From the contextual menu next to the item, select View Grade Details.
2. Move to the Manually Override tab.
3. Select Exempt user from this item. Enter any feedback or grading notes.
4. Click Save.
How to Clear the Exemption
From the contextual menu next to the Exempted item, select Clear Exemption.
How to Add Comments to an Exemption
1. From the contextual menu next to the Exempted item, select Quick Comment.
2. Type in the comments in the Feedback to User and Grading Notes fields.
3. Click Submit.
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Calculating Grades
In the Grade Center, you can calculate grades by combining multiple columns to attain performance results,
such as class averages, final grades that are based on a weighted scale, or total points. These are called
calculated columns. You can display these columns to students so they can view performance results, or you
can display them only in the Grade Center for your use. The available calculated columns include the following:
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Total
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Weighted
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Average
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Minimum/Maximum
New courses contain two created columns: a Total column and a Weighted Total column. To learn more, see
About Calculated Columns in the Grade Center.
Next Steps
To learn more about the types of calculated columns, see these topics:
About Total Columns in the Grade Center How to Create Total
Columns in the Grade Center About Weighted Columns in the Grade
Center How to Create Weighted Columns in the Grade Center About
Average Columns in the Grade Center How to Create Average
Columns in the Grade Center About Minimum/Maximum Columns in
the Grade Center How to Create Minimum/Maximum Columns in the
Grade Center
Sending Email from the Grade Center
Instructors can communicate using Email with Students, their Observers, and others in the Grade Center. This
form of direct contact allows Instructors to actively communicate with relevant parties while engaged in grading
in the Grade Center. Such immediate feedback can quickly lead to intervention if required, promoting positive
outcomes for students.
Email is sent from the Grade Center in two different ways, depending on whom the Instructor would like to
contact.
How to Send Email to Multiple Users from the Grade Center Page
1. From the Grade Center page, select the Students you want to Email.
2. On the action bar, point to Email and select the type of recipients: Email Selected Users, Email
Selected Users and their Observers, or Email Observers for Selected Users.
3. Fill in the Subject and Message fields on the Send Mail page.
4. Select Include list of recipients to show the names of every user who will receive this email.
5. Click Attach a file to include an attachment to the message.
6. Click Submit.
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Note: Although an email is sent to the selected group, each individual recipient is not aware of any other
recipients.
How to Send Email to Individual Users in the Grade Center
1. From the contextual menu next to a user's first or last name select Email User.
2. Fill in the Subject and Message fields on the Send Mail page.
3. Select Include list of recipients to show the names of every user who will receive this email.
4. Click Attach a file to include an attachment to the message.
5. Click Submit.
Viewing Grade Center Statistics
Instructors have the ability to view various statistical information related to a column and any User. The
Column Statistics page displays numerous statistics for a Grade Item, including average, median, standard
deviation, and so on. The User Statistics page displays a User’s statistics in the Categories.
Note: The Statistics pages are read-only, and grades or other information cannot be edited from this area.
User Statistics
The following Student Details are displayed:
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User: First name, Last name, and Username
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Student ID: The Student ID number
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Contact: Contact information including address, home and work phone numbers, and email address.
This information is generated from the student's User Properties.
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Items Completed: The percentage and total number of Items completed in the Course as of the
present timeand date.
The following Category Statistics are displayed in a table on the User Statistics page:
Column
Description
Category
All the possible Categories in the Grade Center, both created and default.
Average
The percentage value average of a particular Category.
Graded
The number of graded Items ofa particular Category.
In Progress
The number of graded Items that are in progress, or incomplete.
Needs Grading The number of graded Items that have not been graded.
Exempt
The number of Items that are exempt from grading.
How to View Statistics by User
The User Statistics page displays a User’s statistics in the various Categories.
Within the Grade Center, open the contextual menu next to the User's first name, last name or username and
select View User Statistics.
How to Change the User Statistics Page
To view another student's data while on the User Statistics page, select the desired Student Name from the
drop-down list, and click Go. Left and right arrow buttons advance alphabetically to the previous or following
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student.
To change the statistics that are viewed on this page, select a view from the Show Statistics For drop-down
list and then click Refresh. By default, the full view of the Grade Center is shown, but if a particular view is
selected, then those statistics are shown. To learn more about Smart Views, see Creating Smart Views in the
GradeCenter.
How to Email a User in the User Statistics Page
To send an email to the User, click the email address of the User.
Column Statistics
The Column Statistics page displays numerous statistics for a Grade Item, including average, median,
standard deviation, and others that are defined on the following table:
Name
Description
Column
The column in the Grade Center currently being viewed.
Points Possible
The points possible for this column.
Description
The description of the column entered when the column was defined.
Statistics
Count
Number of graded items in thecalculations.
Minimum Value
The lowest value of all graded columns in the Grade Center.
Maximum Value
The highest value of all graded columns in the Grade Center.
Range
The numeric range between the highest grade and the lowest gradefor an item.
Average
The statistical average of the Item.
Median
The midpoint score of theItems.
Standard Deviation The difference between the values of the item and the average ofthe item.
Variance
A statistical measure of the spread or variation of theItems.
Status Distribution
Null
The number of null Student Grade Columns or Calculated Columns.
In Progress
The number of Student items inprogress.
Needs Grading
The number of Student items that need grading.
Exempt
The number of Student items that have been exempted.
Grade Distribution
A table that displays the statistics for the Grading Schema ranges of theitems.
How to View Statistics by Column
Within the Grade Center, open the contextual menu next to the User's first name, last name or username and
select Column Statistics.
How to Include Unavailable Students in the Column Statistics Page
1. From the Show Statistics For drop-down list select All Users.
2. Click Refresh.
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How to Change Columns from the Column Statistics Page
From the Column Statistics page, the current column displaying statistics can be changed to any other Column
in the Grade Center. To view another column, select the desired column from the Column drop-down list, and
click Go. Left and right arrow buttons advance to the previous or following column.
Working with Grade Center Reports
Instructors can create printable Reports for their Courses and Students. An Instructor can create a Progress
Report that contains all of the grades from a particular Grading Period for a defined group of Students in a class,
such as special-needs students or transfer students. This Report can then be printed, and handed out to each
Student, Parent, or Guardian.
Prerequisites and Warnings
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Reports can display all or a number of Students, Groups; and Grade Columns or Calculated
Columns, a Grading Period, or all of the columns in a Category.
Reports are customized in a variety of ways, including Report header and footer information. Reports
can also include a signature line, date, Course Information, and so on.
Reports print one Student per page.
Instructors can only choose students within the section being used to appear in the Report. If there is
more than one section of a course, a separate Report must be run for each section.
How to Create a Report
1. Point to Reports in the action bar and select Create Report.
2. Select information to be included in the Header Information of the Report and type in the
appropriatefields.
3. Select the Users to be included in the Report:
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All Users: This will include all students in the Course on the Report.
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All Users in Group: Select a Group to be included in the report. A Group must be created
before it is chosen when creating a Report.
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Selected Users: Select one or more students in the course. To choose more than one
student, press and hold the Ctrl key and select the names with the mouse.
4. Select the check box if you want to Include Hidden Users in Reports.
5. Select the User Information to be included in the report.
6. Select the Columns to be included in the Report:
Column
Description
All Columns
Select to include all ofthe Grade Center columns in the Report.
All Columns inGrading
Period
Select to display all of the columns of a particular Grading Period in the
Report.
All Columns in
Category
Select to display all of the columns of a particular Category. Select a
Category to display the Category’s columns.
Selected Columns
Select the desired columns to be displayed in the Report.
Include Hidden
Columns in Reports
Click this check box to display any column that was hidden from the Grade
Center view.
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7. Select the Column Information to be included in the Report. The Column Name and Current
Grade will display automatically in the Report, and these cannot be deleted.
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Description: Select to display the column’s description in the Report.
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Due Date: Select to display the column’s Due Datein the Report.
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Statistics: Click and then select to display the class Average, Median, or Both for each
Calculated Column of Grade Column included in the Report.
8. Select the Footer Information to be included in the footer of the report. It includes the following:
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Custom Text: Select and then enter any desired text to be displayed in the footer section
of theReport
Signature Line: Select to display a signature line on thereport.
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Date: Select to display the Report creation date on the Report. This can be edited.
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Course Information: Select to display the Course Name and Course ID on the Report.
9. Click Preview to open the Report in a new browser window, leaving the Report creation browser
open.
10. Click Submit. This will display the report in a new browser window, but the Report creation
browser window will return to the Grade Center page.
How to Save a Report
1. Point to File on the browser's menu and select Save As.
2. Choose the save location. The Report will be saved as an Internet file.
How to Print a Report
1. Point to File on the browser's menu and select Print.
2. Select the appropriate options and print the Report.
Uploading or Downloading Grade Center Items for Working Offline
To eliminate double entry of Grade Center data in several tools, Instructors can do offline grading, and then
import grades into Grade Center. Instructors can upload grades from external sources such as an Excel
spreadsheet or a Comma-separated Value file. Data must be formatted very specifically to upload correctly and
be synched with existing Grade Center data.
Formatting External Files for Uploading
To synch external data to Grade Center data, unique identifiers are necessary for each Student and for each
column in the Grade Center. The unique identifier used for each Student is the Student's User Name. The
unique identifier for each column is a Column ID number. Column ID numbers are generated by the system and
should not be changed or deleted. Columns that do not have Column ID numbers in an uploaded file will create
new columns in the Grade Center.
IMPORTANT! Columns that are added to the Grade Center from an external file are added as text
columns with points possible equaling zero (0). Text columns cannot be included in Calculated Columns,
such as Weighted, Total, Average, and Minimum/Maximum. To learn more, see Calculating Grades.
Convert text columns to other columns types and add points possible by editing the column after the
upload. To learn more about editing columns, see How to Edit Grade Center Columns From External Files.
Each data file uploaded to the Grade Center requires a header row with one record per line subsequently.
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The format of the data file uploaded to the Grade Center is determined by the type of delimiter that is used to
parse the data into separate columns. Data files are tab delimited with a file extension of .xls, or comma
delimited with a file extension of .CSV.
Data in each column of comma-delimited files (file extension of .CSV) must be contained within a quote
character, the most common being quotation marks ( " " ). Data in each column of tab-delimited files does not
require a quote character.
Tips for Working with External Data
Blackboard recommends using tab-delimited files for uploading onto the Grade Center to avoid having to use
quote characters and because tab-delimited files open directly in Microsoft Excel. Tab-delimited files will also
open directly in MicrosoftExcel.
To obtain a file that is formatted correctly for uploading, download the full Grade Center first and open it in a text
editor or spreadsheet application. Existing columns will have Column ID numbers that must be included in
futureuploads.
Batch File Standards
Batch files are .txt files that hold large quantities of information to upload to the system. Each batch utility
contains specific instructions on creating the batch file. The following batch file standards are universal.
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Each file must be one of the supported file types: .txt or .csv.
Note: Microsoft Excel versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes in every field if the
worksheet is saved as a .csv file.
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Each file must be in DOS format. Files in MAC or UNIX format must be converted to DOS.
Each field must be enclosed in double quotation marks. For example: "ENG_201"
If quotation marks appear in a field, use an escape character to indicate that the next character does
not mark the end of the field. The escape character is a backslash (\). For example: "\"ENG_201\""
Each field must be separated with one of the following delimiters: comma, colon, or tab. When
selecting AUTO, only one type of delimiter may be used in each batch file. For example: "ENG_
201","English Literature" or " "ENG_201":"English Literature"
Each record must be on a separate line. For example:
"ENG_201","English Literature" "ENG_201","English
Literature"
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Do not include blank lines between records. The blank line will be processed and return an error.
Blackboard recommends that each batch file not exceed 500 records because of timeout restrictions
associated with most browsers.
How to Upload a File to the Grade Center
1. From the action bar of the Grade Center, point to Work Offline and select Upload.
2. Browse for the file. Files are uploaded from a local computer or if available, from the Content
Collection.
3. Select the Delimiter Type, Comma, Tab, or Auto. Auto will attempt to automatically detect the
delimiter used in the selected file.
4. Click Submit to upload the selected file.
5. Review the list of data from the file to be uploaded on the Upload Grades Confirmation page.
Use the check boxes to de-select any data to be excluded from the upload. Using this method, it is
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Using the Grade Center
possible to upload only the desired columns of data from the file.
Review the Data Preview Column to ensure the correct data is being uploaded. Data that appears
incorrect can denote an improperly formatted file. The Data Preview will only show a sample of the
data in each column in the file.
6. Large files take significant time to process and a warning message will be displayed for any files
that need extra time to process. To avoid long processing times, break up large files into separate
uploads.
7. Click Submit to confirm and upload the file.
Note: Any file uploaded that contains Incomplete for a grade entry will be set to null, with no grade or text
displayed. Any file uploaded that contains Complete for a grade entry will be set to an Override Grade of the
maximum points possible (100% for a Grade Item) in a column that has the Primary Display of
Complete/Incomplete. Any file uploaded that contains a numeric entry will be a numeric entry.
How to Download Grades from the Grade Center
Full or partial data can be downloaded from the Grade Center. Once downloaded, Grades and comments
accessed through the Quick Comment feature or Manually Override page can be changed and added offline and
later uploaded to the Grade Center.
1. From the action bar of the Grade Center, point to Work Offline and select Download.
2. Select the data to download:
Option
Description
Full Grade
Center
Contains all columns and associated data. Comments will not be included and cannot be
added offline.
Selected
Grading
Period
From the drop-down list, select a Grading Period. Grading Periods must be created before
they are chosen. To learn more, see How to Create and Manage Grading Periods.
Selected
Column
Using the drop-down list, select one column and its data. Select the check box to Include
comments for this Column, which will download comments from the Quick Comment
feature or Manually Override page. Included comment text can be edited offline.
User
Columns containing student data such as User Name are included.
information
3. Select the file delimiter, Comma or Tab.
4. Select whether to Include Hidden Information in the downloaded data. Hidden information
includes columns and students that have been hidden from the view in the downloaded file.
5. Select the location for the download. Click Browse to select the folder in the Content Collection.
6. Click Submit.
7. On the next Download Grades page, click DOWNLOAD and save the file. Do not change the file
name while saving, as the Grade Center needs the information it contains to deliver it to the
appropriate column when uploading.
How to Download Grade History Data
1. Point to Reports in the Action Bar and select View Grade History.
2. Click Download from the Grade History page.
3. Select the Delimiter Type for the file.
4. Select Yes to Include Comments or No to exclude them from the download.
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5. Click Submit.
6. Click Download to save the file to your computer.
How to Work Offline
After the file is downloaded and opened in the appropriate editing software, changes may be made. If the Full
Grade Center has been downloaded, Grades can be added or changed, and the file saved for uploading. If a
single column has been downloaded, Grades and comments can be added or changed, and the file saved for
uploading.
Editing Comments
Comments will be downloaded only when a single Grade Center item and the option to include its associated
comments are selected. The comments downloaded and uploaded will be for the grade (accessed in the Quick
Comment feature or Manually Override page) and not the attempt (accessed in the View Attempt or grading
pages).
Four comment-related columns will be included in the downloaded file. If comments have been added online,
those will be included in the download. Otherwise, comments may be added offline and uploaded to the Full
Grade Center to appear in the Manually Override or Quick Comments screens.
Add or edit comments in the Grading Notes or Feedback to User column.
Links within comments to rich media, such as images or sound files, should be inserted and edited online.
When editing to grades and comments is complete, save the file, return to the Full Grade Center, and click
Work Offline >Upload.
Comment-Related Columns
ColumnName
Description
Grading Notes
Grade Center column-specific comments visible only to the Instructor or TA.
Notes Format
Smart Text, Plain Text, or HTML.
Feedback to User
Grade Center column-specific comments visible to students.
Feedback Format
Smart Text, Plain Text, or HTML.
Feedback Format Options
Format
Type
Description
Smart Text Automatically recognizes a link, the ENTER key as a paragraph tag, and accepts HTML tags.
Plain Text
Displays text as it is written in the text area. Plain text does not render HTML code. HTML code will
appear as text.
HTML
Displays text as coded by the user using Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) tags.
Smart Views
Creating Smart Views in the Grade Center
A Smart View is a focused look at the Grade Center. It shows only the data that matches a set of criteria. Smart
Views are useful to quickly find data when the Grade Center includes a great number of students and columns.
With Smart Views, you can view the progress of the following:
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An existing group
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Student performance for a particular item
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Individual students
You can also perform a query to select students using a combination of attributes.
Default and Favorite Smart Views appear in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel as an indented list
under Full Grade Center. You can tag Smart Views as Favorites so they appear in this list and can be
accessedeasily.
Example:
Create a Smart View to track students who are struggling. By creating a view that is based on low scores, you
can quickly see which students need help.
Before You Begin
If course groups will be used to create Smart Views, they must be created first.
How to Create a Smart View
1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Smart Views.
3. On the Smart Views page, click Create Smart View on the Action Bar.
4. On the Create Smart Views page, type a Name for the Smart View and add an optional
Description.
5. Select the Add as Favorite check box to make the Smart View a Favorite. The Favorite Smart
View will appear in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel in the indented list under Full
Grade Center.
6. Select the Type of View:
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Course Group: Subsections of students. Course groups must be created before they
can be used as selection criteria.
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Performance: Student performance on a single item, such as amid-term exam.
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User: Individual students.
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Category and Status: Based on a category, such as Assignment or Test, useror
users, and grade status, such as Completed or Not Attempted.
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Custom: A query for selecting students using a combinationof attributes.
7. Select the appropriate criteria to help refine the Type of View selected. The Type of View selected
determines what shows in the Select Criteria section.
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Under User Criteria, select the grade column from the drop-downlist.
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Under Condition, select the criteria, such as Less than or Equal to from the drop-down
list.
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In the Value box, select a value, such as a Group Name or type the score or percentage
against which the criteria and condition will be assessed.
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Under Users, select All Users from the drop-down list to include results for all students.
Select Selected Users from the drop-down list and select the individual students
needed. Hold down the CRTL key to select multiple users.
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Under Categories, select a category from the drop-down list, such as Assignment or
Test.
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Select the Filter Results from the drop-down list by selecting the columns or grade
status, such as Completed or Not Attempted.
8. Click Submit.
The Formula Editor
When building a Smart View using the Custom Type of View, multiple user criteria can be used. Criteria are
added as AND statements. As each criterion is added, it is assigned a number. This number is reflected in the
Formula Editor box, which appears below the criteria. Each criterion that is added can have a condition, such
as Equal to, Greater than, and Less than. Each condition requires a value to compare with the condition.
After all the criteria have been added, the formula for the query is represented by 1 AND 2 AND 3, and so on.
Use the Manually Edit function below the Formula Editor box to edit the formula to change the operators and
to insert parentheses to change the way the formula is completed.
Favorites
You can select Smart Views as Favorites so they can be accessed easily.
In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list. Select Smart Views. On
the Smart Views page, all current Smart Views appear and more can be created.
To add a Smart View as a Favorite, click the star icon in the Add as Favorite column. In the Grade Center
section of the Control Panel, Favorite Smart Views appear as an indented list under Full Grade Center with
the default Smart Views.
Clear the star for any Smart View that is not needed in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel.
How to Edit or Delete a Smart View
1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
2. Select Smart Views.
3. On the Smart Views page, click the Smart View's Action Link to access the contextual menu.
4. Select Edit to make changes to the Smart View and Delete to remove the Smart View. Removing
a Smart View does not delete any data from the system.
Note: Default Smart Views cannot be deleted and Delete will not appear in the contextual menu.
Next Step
See Creating a Custom Smart View for specific information about the various Types of View and selection
criteria. Also, learn more about the Formula Editor and view examples.
Creating a Custom Smart View in the Grade Center
Smart Views can be created for the four Types of View: Course Group, Performance, User, and Category and
Status. Custom Smart Views can be created to select Students using a combination of attributes.
Information to select the criteria needed for each Type of View is listed below.
How to Create a Course Group Smart View
Smart Views of Grade Center data are based on Groups that have been created in a Course. Course Groups
must be made before they are selected for a Smart View.
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1. For Type of View, select Course Group.
2. Select the Criteria for the Group. For Condition, selections include: Equal to or Not Equal to.
3. Select the Value of the Group, which is the Group Name.
4. Select the Filter Results from the drop-down list. The following choices are possible:
Columns to Display
Description
All Columns
Select all Grade Center columns.
None
Do not select any Grade Center columns.
All columns shownto
users
Select all columns that are shown to users. Columns that have been
hidden are not shown.
All columns hiddenfrom
users
Select all columns that have been hidden from users.
Selected Columns Only
Select columns from the list of columns that appears.
Selected Categories
Only
Select the categories from the list of categories that appears.
Selected Grading
Periods Only
Select Grading Periods from the list of Grading Periods that appears.
5. To include hidden columns, select the check box for Include Hidden Information.
6. Click Submit to save the Smart View.
How to Create a Performance Smart View
A Performance Smart View is a view of the Grade Center based on Students' performance on a single item,
such as a mid-term exam.
1. For Type of View, selectPerformance.
2. Select the User Criteria (columns from the Grade Center) from the drop-down list.
3. Select the Condition for the criteria. Possible conditions include the following:
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Equal to
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Greater than
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Greater than or Equal to
Less than
Less than or Equal to
Between
Status Equals
4. Type or select the Value for the Condition. All Conditions require a number except Between, which
requires two numbers, and Status Equals, which requires a selection for the status of the grade.
5. Select the Filter Results from the drop-down list. The following choices are possible:
Columns to Display
Description
All Columns
Select all Grade Center columns.
None
Do not select any Grade Center columns.
All columns shownto
users
Select all columns that are shown to users. Columns that have been
hidden are not shown.
All columns hiddenfrom
Select all columns that have been hidden from users.
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Columns to Display
Description
users
Selected Columns Only
Select columns from the list of columns that appears.
Selected Categories
Only
Select categories from the list of categories that appears.
Selected Grading
Periods Only
Select Grading Periods from the list of Grading Periods that appears.
6. To include hidden columns, select the check box for Include Hidden Information.
7. Click Submit to save the Smart View.
How to Create a User Smart View
Smart Views of Grade Center data are based on a simple selection of Students and columns of gradable items.
1. For Type of View, selectUser.
2. Select All Users from the Users drop-down list to include results for all Students. Select Selected
Users from the drop-down list and select the individual Students needed. Hold down the CRTL key
to select multiple users.
3. Select the Filter Results from the drop-down list. The following choices are possible:
Columns to Display
Description
All Columns
Select all Grade Center columns.
None
Do not select any Grade Center columns.
All columns shownto
users
Select all columns that are shown to users. Columns that have been
hidden are not shown.
All columns hiddenfrom
users
Select all columns that have been hidden from users.
Selected Columns Only
Select columns from the list of columns that appears.
Selected Categories
Only
Select categories from the list of categories that appears
Selected Grading
Periods Only
Select Grading Periods from the list of Grading Periods that appears.
4. To include hidden columns, select the check box for Include Hidden Information.
5. Click Submit to save the Smart View.
How to Create a Category and Status Smart View
Smart Views of Grade Center data are based on Category, user, and grade Status.
1. For Type of View, select Category and Status.
2. Under Categories, select a Category from the drop-down list, such as Assignment or Test.
3. Under Users, select All Users from the drop-down list to include results for all Students. Select
Selected Users from the drop-down list and select the individual Students needed. Hold down the
CRTL key to select multiple users.
4. Select the Filter Results from the drop-down list. The following choices are possible:
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All Statuses
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Completed
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Edited Manually
Exempt
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In progress
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Needs Grading
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Not Attempted
5. Click Submit to save the Smart View.
Example of a Custom Smart View Search Criteria
The following example illustrates the creation of Custom Smart Views with multiple search criteria. Detailed
Smart Views can help Instructors build a comprehensive organization of Grade Center data. That information
can be used to improve Student performance.
An Instructor is teaching a Course with two items that account for the major proportion of the semester’s grade,
a Mid-term Exam, and a Final Exam. In the Course, the Instructor has two Groups of Students, Majors and
Non-majors, as well as select Students in a group named At Risk Students. This translates into five criteria:
Group
Value
Description
1
Mid-term Exam grade less than 60 (failure cut off)
2
Final Exam grade less than 60 (failure cut off)
3
Major group (Students who have a declared major in the subject the Course isrelated to.)
4
Non-major group (Students who have a declared major that is not the subject the Course is related to or
who have not declared any major.)
5
At Risk Students group (Students who have been identified by student services as at risk for dropping
out ofthe program.)
The Instructor is interested in seeing which Students scored below a 60 on either exam, what group the
Students are in, and if they are at risk. This data gives the Instructor information about whether there is a
difference in the failure rates of Majors, Non-majors and At Risk Students. To add a complex formula, the
Instructor must manually edit the formula in the Formula Editor box.
The first formula the Instructor adds is this:
([1 or 2] AND [3 or 4]) AND 5
This displays all Students from the At Risk group (5) with scores less than 60 on the Mid-term Exam (1) or Final
Exam (2) with the group Majors (3) or Non-majors (4).
The second formula the Instructor adds is this:
(1 or 2) AND (3 or 4 or 5)
This displays all Students with scores less than 60 on the Mid-term Exam (1) or the Final Exam (2) and are
either in the group Majors (3) or Non-majors (4) or At Risk (5).
Looking at the Smart Views that these formulas generate gives the Instructor information about who has failed
either test, who in each group has failed one of the exams, and who among the Students who failed is at risk.
More comparisons are made to see if Majors or Non-majors have a greater failure rate, and the if At Risk
Students fail at the same or a different rate as Majors and Mon-majors. All of this data may help the Instructor
decide that next semester the Course should only be open to Majors and those who have specific prerequisites.
The Instructor can also follow up with the student services department with information about the At Risk
students.
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Sharing and Reusing Grade Center Data
How to Add or Edit Criteria for Formulas
To build complex search queries in order to create Smart Views of Grade Center data, Instructors can edit the
selection formula in the Formula Editor box.
1. For Type of View, selectCustom.
2. Select User Criteria from the drop-down list. Available criteria appear in the following table.
3. Select a Condition from the drop-down list. Available conditions appear in the following table.
4. Type a Value for the condition. Allowed entries appear in the following table.
5. As data is selected, a query formula is built in the Formula Editor box. The first set of criteria is
labeled"1."
6. To add a second set of criteria, click Add User Criteria, and make additional selections. The
second set of criteria is labeled "2." Continue to add more criteria as needed.
7. Click Manually Edit to change the operators and insert parentheses to edit the formula.
8. Filter Results in order to display only the required information and columns.
9. Click Submit to save the Smart View.
The following table provides some guidelines for building these formulas.
Criteria
Conditions
Allowed Entries
Last Access
Before, After, Equal to
Date entries
First Name
Begins with, Contains,Equal to
Text entries
Last Name
Begins with, Contains,Equal to
Text entries
Student ID
Begins with, Contains,Equal to
Text entries
Username
Begins with, Contains,Equal to
Text entries
Availability
Equal to
Select Available or Unavailable
Shown/Hidden
Equal to
Select Shown orHidden
Group
Equal to, NotEqual to
Choose from all created Groups
Grade on Item (Text)
Equal to, Not Equal to, Status Equals
Text Entries OR select a gradingStatus
Grade on Item
Equal to, StatusEquals
(Complete/Incomplete)
Select Completed or Incomplete OR a grading
Status
Grade on Item (all
other display types)
Values in the Primary Display of the column, such
as Scores or Percentages; numeric, letter, or
symbol entries based on Grading Schema
Equal to, Greater than, Greater than or
Equal to, Less than, Less than or
Equal to, Between, StatusEquals
Sharing and Reusing Grade Center Data
Sharing Grade Center Data
Instructors cannot only record assessment data through the Grade Center, but they may share this data and
other information with Teaching Assistants (TAs), Graders, Students, Observers, and other stakeholders. The
role of these users will determine what access they have to the Grade Center and Grade Center data.
To share Grade Center data with other users, the other users must first be added to the Blackboard Learn. In
addition to being added to the system, some users will be required to be added to the course, and some course
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Sharing and Reusing Grade Center Data
settings will need to be adjusted. The sections below provide basic information about how to share Grade
Center data with other users.
Sharing the Grade Center with Teaching Assistants and Graders
Once added to a Course, Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Graders have the same access to features and tools
in the Grade Center as Instructors. TAs and Graders can view the Grade Center data in many ways by sorting
and filtering. To learn more about editing the way data is viewed, see About the Grade Center Action Bar.
TAs and Graders can create unlimited Smart Views of their data that are saved and reused. To learn more about
creating and saving Smart Views, see Creating Smart Views in the Grade Center.
WARNING! If multiple users are working in the Grade Center at the same time there is a risk that one
user's changes will be over written by another. To help avoid this situation, each user working in the Grade
Center can create and save Smart Views of their students.
Sharing the Grade Center with Students
Instructors control what Grade Center data is released to Students and when it is released. Any Grade Center
column can be shown or not shown to Students. Columns that are available are displayed in the View Grades
tool, the My Grades course tool, and can be displayed individually in the Report Card module. Columns that are
not available will not display in any of these places.
Grade Center statistics can also be made available to users or unavailable to users. If statistics are available
with a column, they will be displayed when the column is displayed.
There are multiple ways to make Grade Center columns available or unavailable to users depending on the task
or workflow the Instructor is engaged in. Follow any of these sets of these steps below to control the availability
of Grade Centercolumns.
When adding a new Grade Center column:
1. To Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations, select Yes.
2. To Show this Column to Students, select Yes to allow students to view the column on their My
Grades pages, or No to make the column unavailable.
3. To Show Statistics (average and median) for this column to Students in My Grades, select
Yes or No to hide statistics from Students.
4. Click Submit to save selections.
When viewing the Grade Center page:
1. Click the Action Link in the appropriate column header to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit Column Information.
3. Change the availability Options for the Column.
4. Click Submit to save changes.
Sharing the Grade Center with Observers
In order to share Grade Center data with Observers, Observers must first have user accounts created on the
system with a system role of Observer. Next Observers must be associated with Students enrolled in the
course, and finally be granted access to the course.
Once granted access to the course, Observers can view available Grade Center data from their associated
Students. Grades are viewed by accessing the Observer Dashboard or using Observer Tools within the course.
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WARNING! To protect student privacy and comply with international, national and regional laws and
regulations, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in the United States, review
institutional policy and guidelines before releasing student information to Observers or other users.
Archiving and Copying Courses
It is important for the continued development of quality teaching and learning to preserve Course material
generated over the length of a Course to review, reuse, and improve upon. Grade Center settings and data is
saved within a Course in various ways depending on the method of saving the Course.
Preserving Grade Center Settings and Data
Course material is copied with or without users. Copied material is added into a new Course or into an existing
Course. To copy the corresponding Grade Center columns for Assignments, Discussion Board, Tests, and
Surveys, they must be selected along with Grade Center Items and Settings.
The table below describes the different ways that Course information and data is saved and reused with
respect to Grade Center settings and data.
Function How Grade Center Data and Settings are Handled
Archive
Archive creates a complete copy of a Course in a zipped file format. All cumulative grade columns,
Student grades and associated settings in the archived source Course are included in the Course
package.
Restore
Restore uses an archived Course to create a new Course. All Calculated Grade columns, Student
grades and associated settings in the selected archived Course are restored to the destination Course
as part of a Restore operation. The default Final Total Points and Final Weighted Grade columns in the
new Course are overridden with the cumulative grade columns in the archived Course package.
Copy
Course
Materials
into a
New
Course
Select material from an existing Course to be copied into a new Course. Grade Center settings from the
original Course are copied into the new Course. All Calculated Grade columns and associated settings
in the source Course are copied to the destination Course when the Grade Center is selected as part of
the copy. The default Final Total Points and Final Weighted Grade Columns in the new Course are
overridden with the cumulative grade columns in the source Course.
Copy
Course
Materials
into an
Existing
Course
Select material from an existing Course to copy into another existing Course. Grade Center columns
from the copied Course are added to any existing Columns in the destination Course. All Calculated
Grade columns and associated settings in the source Course are copied into the destination Course
when the Grade Center is selected as part of the copy. The source and destination Courses are merged
and nothing in the destination is overridden. The destination Course contains all Calculated Grade
columns from both Courses. This may result in duplication of the Final Total Points and Final Weighted
Grade columns.
Copy
Course
with
Users
(Exact
Copy)
Makes an exact duplicate of an existing Course including all users and their data. All Calculated Grade
columns, Student grades, and associated settings in the source Course are copied to the destination
Course. The default Final Total Points and Final Weighted Grade Columns in the new Course are
overridden with the Calculated Grade columns in the source Course.
Export
Select all or parts of an existing Course to add to a zipped file. Does not include Student data. All
Calculated Grade columns and associated settings in the source Course are included in the Course
package when the Grade Center is selected as part of an export.
Import
Import Package is used to upload selected Course materials from an exported zipped file into a Course.
Package Either the entire zipped file is uploaded or selected parts of the zipped file are uploaded. All Calculated
Grade columns and associated settings in the exported Course package are imported to the destination
Course when the Grade Center is selected as part of an import operation. The Course package and
destination Courses are merged and nothing in the destination is overridden. The destination Course
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Grade Center
>
Sharing and Reusing Grade Center Data
Function How Grade Center Data and Settings are Handled
contains all Calculated Grade columns from both Courses. This may result in duplication of the Final
Total Points and Final Weighted Grade columns which is allowed.
How to Archive Courses
An archived Course is an exact copy of all of the content and data in the Course, captured at the moment the
archive is created. Archived Courses are saved as zip files. Archived Courses are downloaded and saved on a
local computer or saved in the Content Collection. Archived Courses are reactivated using the Restore
function on the Courses page, accessed from the System Administrator panel.
1. From the Control Panel of the Course, click Export/Archive Course.
2. Click Archive to create a new zip file.
3. Check the box Include Grade Center History to add this file to the archive. If the Grade Center
History is extensive, the file size of the archive increases as well as the processing time.
4. Choose one of the following options to include copies of Content Collection items linked to in the
Course:
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Copy links to Course Files: Select this option to copy the only the links.
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Copy links and copies of the content: Select this option to copy the links and the
content.
5. Click the check box to Include all Course Files (linked and nonlinked content).
6. Click Submit.
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Student Performance > Rubrics
Student Performance
Rubrics
A Rubric is a tool that lists evaluation criteria for an assignment. Rubrics can help students organize their
efforts to meet the requirements of an assignment. Instructors can use Rubrics to explain their evaluations to
students.
The Blackboard administrator at your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not available,
you can contact your administrator to discuss its status.
About Rubrics
Rubrics are made up of rows and columns. The rows correspond to the various criteria of an assignment. The
columns correspond to the level of achievement expressed for each criterion. A description and point value for
each cell in the rubric defines the evaluation and score of an assignment. There is no limit to the number of
Rubrics that can be created.
The following actions are available when working with Rubrics:
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Creating a Rubric
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Editing the Rubric Grid
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Copying a Rubric
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Applying a Rubric in the GradeCenter
How to Create a Rubric
New rubrics default to three rows and three columns.
1. Access Tools and select Rubrics.
2. On the Rubrics page, click Create Rubric.
3. Type a Name for the Rubric. The name is the title text that identifies the rubric.
4. Enter a description of the rubric to make it easier to associate it to relevant assignments.
5. Edit the RubricGrid.
6. Click Submit.
How to Edit the Rubric Grid
Edit the Rubric Grid so it corresponds to the type of feedback and scoring desired.
1. Click Add Row to add a new criterion at the bottom of the grid.
2. Click Add Column to add a new level of achievement to the grid.
3. Select Show Points to enter a single point value for each Level of Achievement.
4. Select Show Point Range to enter a high and low value to create a point range for each Level of
Achievement. Only one option can be selected.
5. Click Edit from the contextual menu of the labels identifying rows and columns to change their
names.
6. Enter a point value or range of values for each cell.
7. Enter a description defining the criteria and the associated Level of Achievement.
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Student Performance > Rubrics
Note: There is a 1000 character limit for each cell. Rows and columns can be reordered by clicking the
reorderingicon.
How to Copy and Edit a Rubric
Copying a Rubric is helpful best practice if you have similar assignments for your students that will follow the
same criteria. This will allow you to keep the settings and simply re-name the Rubric.
Rubrics can be duplicated by selecting the Copy option from the contextual menu. A copy will automatically be
created with the name of the rubric in parentheses followed by the number one. For example, "Introductory
Speech" will be copied to create "(Introductory Speech)(1)".
The Rubric name can then be edited to a new name by selecting Edit from the contextual menu. The Edit
Rubric page will allow you to edit all the settings for the Rubric.
Applying a Rubric in the Grade Center
From the Grade Center, Rubrics can be associated to any column. Rubrics can be viewed from the Grade
Center during the grading process.
Rubrics can also be viewed from the Grade Details page within the Grade Center.
Rubrics are not displayed to students and as an Instructor, your interaction is limited to a Read Only copy when
viewing the Rubric in the Grade Center or within a grading widget for Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion
Boards.
How to Apply a Rubric in the Grade Center
1. Access the Grade Center.
2. Find the column you would like to associate your Rubric with. From the contextual menu of that
column, select View and Add Rubrics. A pop-up will open.
3. Click Add Rubric.
4. Select the Rubric you want to add.
5. Click Submit. You will be returned to the pop-up page. There are two icons under the Actions
column, View Rubric or Remove Rubric Association. When you click View Rubric, the Rubric
will open in a new window for you to view while you are grading your student's assignments.
How to View a Rubric while Grading
A Rubric will need to be added to the assignment in the Grade Center prior to grading within the course tool. You
will only be able to view the Rubric from this area. Adding Rubrics is only available through the Grade Center.
1. Access the Blog, Wiki, Journal, or Discussion Board that you need to grade.
2. Click Edit Grade on the right hand side of the page.
Note: Grading must be enabled for the assignment for this option to appear.
3. Click View Rubric to view any associated Rubrics with that assignment. The associated Rubrics
will open in a pop-up window for you to select.
4. Provide a grade in the Current Grade Value text box.
5. Provide any Feedback to the Student or any Grading Notes for the Instructor.
6. Click Save Grade when you are finished.
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Student Performance
>
Early Warning System
Early Warning System
About the Early Warning System
The Early Warning System helps Instructors recognize when a performance problem is emerging or becoming
more serious. Instructors use this rule-driven communication tool to send email messages to Students and their
Observers when Early Warning System rule criteria are met. Rules are created by Instructors and can be based
on a test score, calculated column, due date, or Course access.
The Instructor can communicate a warning in an email message to the Student only, to a parent or advisor that
is assigned as an Observer, or both. The Instructor can use the default message or edit it. The Notification
History creates a record for each Early Warning message sent.
When using the Early Warning System, keep the following in mind:
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The Early Warning System does not continuously monitor the course. The Instructor must refresh the
Early Warning System rules periodically to discover incidents that trigger a warning. The Early
Warning System does not automatically notify Students and Observers; notification email messages
are sent by the Instructor from the Review Rule Status page.
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The System Administrator may turn off access to the Early Warning System based on policies at the
institution. If the Early Warning System is on at the system level, the Instructor may still turn it off
withinthe course.
Using the Early Warning System with the Performance Dashboard
In the Performance Dashboard, the Early Warning Column shows the number of warnings for a student and the
total number of rules that may trigger a warning. Clicking on the data in this column will open the Early Warning
System. The Early Warning System column displays only if the tool is turned on in the course.
Managing Early Warning System Rules
Instructors create rules that determine when the Early Warning System generates a warning for a student's
performance. An Instructor can create three types of rules:
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Grade Rule: Based on a score for a grade or calculated column in the Grade Center. Students who
surpass the defined threshold for a specific grade trigger a warning.
Due Date Rule: Based on a defined due date for an Assignment, Test, or Survey. Due Date Rules
cannot be created for manually graded items. Students who do not complete an Assignment, Test, or
Survey by the due date trigger a warning.
Last Access Rule: Based on the date users last accessed the Course. Students who have not
logged in for a defined number of days trigger a warning.
How to Create a Rule
1. On the Control Panel, click Early Warning System under the Evaluation section.
2. On the Early Warning System page, click Create Rule to access the drop-down list, and select
Grade Rule, Due Date Rule, or Last Access Rule.
3. On the Add Early Warning System Rule page, enter a name for the rule.
4. Next to Availability, select the radio node next to Yes to activate the rule.
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Student Performance
>
Early Warning System
5. Under Rule Criteria, enter or select the information for the rule.
6. Click Submit.
Tip: When creating Grade Rules, Grade Center items are listed by their categories, such as Assignment or
Discussion. Possible points are also included to help Instructors determine the threshold value for the rule.
How to Edit a Rule
1. On the Control Panel, click Early Warning System under the Evaluation section.
2. Select Edit from the contextual menu for a rule.
3. Change the rule information and criteria.
4. Click Submit.
Tip: You can change the availability of rules by selecting one or more rules from the list on the Early Warning
System page and then choosing Set Available or Set Unavailable from the Actions drop-down list.
How to Remove a Rule
1. On the Control Panel, click Early Warning System under the Evaluation section.
2. Select one or more rules from the list.
3. Click Delete. In the pop-up window, confirm that the selected rules should be deleted.
How to Refresh Rules
The Early Warning System does not continuously monitor the course. The Instructor must refresh the Early
Warning System rules periodically to discover incidents that trigger a warning. The Last Refresh column on the
Early Warning System page indicates the most recent refresh of a rule.
1. On the Control Panel, click Early Warning System under the Evaluation section.
2. Select one or more rules from the list.
3. Click Refresh from the action bar. The selected rules run and any events that trigger the rule create
awarning.
Tip: You may refresh a single rule while viewing its Review Rule Status page.
Reviewing Early Warning System Rule Status and Notifying Users
The Early Warning System helps Instructors notify Students and Observers when students' performance
meets rule criteria. Instructors can view the status of a rule to see which students generated warnings and send
email notifications to them. The Early Warning System does not automatically notify Students and Observers.
It is up to the Instructor to communicate the warning to the user by sending an email message from the Review
Rule Statuspage.
How to Review Rule Status
The Review Rule Status page lists all users in the course and identifies whether or not their performance meets
the criteria for the rule. For example, if the Instructor set a Grade rule to trigger an alert for users with a score
less than 65, those users with a score with less than 65 would show Yes in the Meets Criteria column. The
page also displays when the user was last notified regarding their performance. The Instructor can access the
contextual menu for a user to review that user's status against all rules.
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Student Performance
>
Generating Course Reports
1. On the Control Panel, click Early Warning System under the Evaluation section.
2. On the Early Warning System page, click the Action Link for a rule to access the contextual
menu and select Review Rule Status.
3. The Review Rule Status page appears.
4. Click Display to filter the results.
How to Send Email Notifications
Communicating alerts to users does not happen automatically. The Instructor selects which users to notify and
can customize the email message.
1. On the Review Rule Status page, select the users that require notification email messages.
2. From the Notify drop-down list, choose the roles that will receive email notifications associated
with the selected users:
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Student Only: Notification messages are sent to the selected Studentsonly.
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Observer Only: Notification messages are sent only to users assigned as Observers for
the selected Students.
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Student and Observer: Notification messages are sent to the Student and any assigned
Observers.
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Other: This option allows the sender to enter email addresses for the recipients of the
notification.
3. Edit the Subject and Message. The notification may include attachments. Selecting Include list
of recipients delivers a copy to the sender and includes a list of recipients.
4. Click Submit to send the notification.
How to View the Notification History
The Notification History serves as a record of Early Warning System communications and is used to confirm
that Students were made aware of performance problems. The Notification History lists each notification by
individual user. It includes a search function for narrowing the results.
1. On the Control Panel, click Early Warning System under the Evaluation section.
2. Click Notification History in the action bar. Use Search or sort by column to find specific
notifications.
Generating Course Reports
Instructors can use the Tracking Reports area to generate reports on the Course usage and activity. Instructors
can view specific Student’s usage to determine if Students are actively using the Course. The report appears in
the form of graphicalcharts.
Before You Begin
Please note that, when viewing reports that include hit or access statistics, a hit is tracked every time a request
is sent to Blackboard Learn. For example, when tracking use of the Communication Area: a Student accesses
the Communication area (1 hit), clicks Discussion Boards (2 hits), clicks a Forum (3 hits), and clicks a
message to read (4 hits).
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Student Performance
>
Using the Performance Dashboard
How to Generate Course Reports
1. Select a Course you are teaching.
2. Click Evaluation.
3. Click Tracking Reports.
4. Click Run from the contextual menu for one of the following reports:
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User Activity in Content Areas: Presents the number of hits each Content Collection
folder has received and by the date received for each user.
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User Activity in Forums: Presents the number of posts each user made in each forum
and by the date they were made.
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User Activity in Groups: Presents the number of hits each Group has received and by
the date received for each user.
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Overall Summary of User Activity: Presents the number of hits each Course area has
received and by the date received for each user.
5. Choose an output format from the Select Format drop-down list.
6. Select users from the Select Users field. Press the CTRL key and the mouse to select multiple
users.
7. Define a time period for the report by using the Select a Start Date and Select an End Date fields.
8. Click Submit.
9. Click one of the following options:
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Save to Content Management: Save the report to a folder in theContent Collection.
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Download Report: Save the report to a local computer.
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Run a New Report: Save to the Run Reports page to run the report again with different
criteria.
10. Click OK when finished.
Using the Performance Dashboard
The Performance Dashboard provides Instructors with a window into all types of user activity in a Course or
Organization. All users enrolled in the Course are listed, with pertinent information about that user’s progress
and activity in the Course.
Before You Begin
The System Administrator must enable the tool and make it available. When enabled by the Administrator, the
Performance Dashboard will be on by default in all Courses.
View the Performance Dashboard
The Performance Dashboard is accessed through the Evaluation area of the Control Panel. This page shows
the followinginformation
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Last Name
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First Name
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Username
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Student Performance
>
Using the Performance Dashboard
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Role
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Last Course Access
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Days Since Last Course Access
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Review Status: Displayed only if this tool is enabled. Displays how many items have been reviewed;
a detailed view of items may be opened in a new window.
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Adaptive Release: Displayed only if this tool is enabled. An overview of the Student path may be
opened in a new window.
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Discussion Board: Displayed only if this tool is enabled. Provides links to the Discussion Board
comments.
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Early Warning System: Shows the number of warnings and the number of total rules that may trigger a
warning. Clicking on the data in this column will open the Early Warning System. The Early Warning
System column will only display if the tool is turned on in the Course.
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View Grades: Displayed only if the Grade Center is enabled. Provides links to the Grade Center:
User grade List page for that user.
Users can click Print to open the page in a new window in a printer-friendly format. All applicable columns may
besorted.
Understanding the Review Status Indicator
The numbers provided in the Review Status column of the Performance Dashboard indicate the number of
items that the Student has marked as Reviewed.
Using Adaptive Release rules in a Course creates multiple tracks for Students to progress through. This allows
for the possibility that each Student will have a different requirement for marking certain items in a Course as
Reviewed. At any time in a Course, items in a Student’s track may or may not be visible to them. The
Performance Dashboard provides an at-this-moment view of the item availability and the Student’s progress on
reviewing items.
The Review Status indicator links to a list of the items that the user sees as Reviewed and Mark Reviewed in
the Course.
The Review Status column is only visible if Review Status has been enabled for the Course.
Link to Adaptive Release
The Adaptive Release indicator in the Performance Dashboard for each user opens the Course Menu, showing
every possible item in the Course. Icons beside each item in the Course Map indicate the visibility of an item to
that Course user, and the review status of any items with a review requirement, if applicable.
Adaptive Release and Review Status icons:
Visible: This item is visible to thatCourse user.
Invisible: This item is not visible to that Course user.
Reviewed: This item has been marked as Reviewed by the Course user.
Mark Reviewed: This item is displayed as Mark Reviewed to the Course user.
The Adaptive Release column is visible only if Adaptive Release has been enabled for the Course.
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Course Files > About Course Files
Course Files
About Course Files
Creating and maintaining a repository of materials is an important part of developing an online course. With
Course Files, instructors have access to all of their files for a specific course. They can organize, view,
manage, and link to those files as suits their needs.
Course Files provides file storage on the Blackboard server for a single course. Course Files within each
course displays content for that specific course, not for other courses taught by an instructor. Instructors can
create folders and subfolders in Course Files to organize their content in a way that is logical to them.
Instructors can move a large amount of content from their computers or network drives to Course Files in one
action or upload files while creating content. Once content is in Course Files, you can link it to any place in your
course where attaching files is available. Course Files has support for WebDAV to allow direct upload, editing,
and management of files in the Course Files area from your computer desktop or through WebDAV capable
applications.
Content in the repository is considered content for reuse. Therefore, you can delete links to files in your course,
yet the files themselves remain in Course Files, where you can link to them again. Also, if you modify or move a
file to another Course Files folder after it is linked in your course, the link will not be broken.
Students cannot upload files to Course Files. They may only browse for and attach files from their computers
when participating in a course, and those files are not saved in Course Files. They can view files in a course
that are linked from Course Files. These links are automatically assigned Read permission. To learn more
about permissions assigned to files and folders in Course Files, see Controlling Access to Course Files.
Course Files vs. the Content Collection
Course Files is the file repository available with all Blackboard Learn courses. However, if your school licenses
content management, the Content Collection is the file repository.
The first section in the Control Panel shows where an instructor's files are stored. Click Files to expand the
section and click the Course ID to open Course Files in the content frame.
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Course Files > About Course Files
Course Files
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Content is stored for a single course.
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Content cannot be shared across courses.
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Students do not have access to store orshare files.
Content Collection
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Content can be stored for multiple courses taught by aninstructor.
Content can be shared across courses and with other users.
Students may have access to store or sharefiles.
Viewing Files and Folders in Course Files
The Course ID is the title of the top level folder that contains the folders and files you uploaded to your course.
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Course Files > About Course Files
Course Files Features
Perform an action on one file or multiple files and folders at one time. Select an item's check box and click a
function on the Action Bar, such as Download Package, Copy, Move, or Delete.
Click a folder's name to view its contents.
Click an item's ActionLink (
Move, orDelete.
) to access the contextual menu and select an option, such as Edit, Copy,
Sort a column by clicking the column title or the caret.
In the Permissions column, click the icon to view and change who can see, edit, delete, and manage a file
orfolder.
Switch from View List—the default view—to View Thumbnails.
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Course Files > About Course Files
Using List and Thumbnails Views in Course Files
You can view files and folders in Course Files as a list of file names or as thumbnail icons. Click the links at the
top of the page to switch views.
View List: The default view in Course Files is a list of file names with standard small icons in the File Type
column.
View Thumbnails: In this view, each file and folder is represented by a larger icon. Use the slider at the top of
the page to change the size of the thumbnails.
The thumbnails view displays the image of an item for image file types, such as PNG and JPEG. Click an icon
to preview an image. For all other file types, a standard icon representing the file type is shown. Folder icons
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Course Files > Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files
include information about how many items are in a folder and the size. You can view a folder's contents by
clicking an icon or folder title.
You can perform the same actions on files and folders in either view.
Note: The system remembers which view was chosen and it remains until it is changed.
Related Tutorials
Course Files Tour (Flash movie | 7m 10s | 3,846 KB)
Next Steps
To learn more about basic Course Files functions, see these topics:
Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files Adding Files to
Course Files Linking to Files and Folders in Course Files
Managing Files and Folders in Course Files Controlling Access to
Course Files
Moving Files to Course Files
Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files
You can create Course Files folders and subfolders needed to organize your files. Creating a logical filing
system makes it easy to locate and link to files when creating content in your course. The folder structure in
Course Files is separate from folders in a Content Area of a course and has no impact on the presentation of
content.
How to Create Folders
You can create folders in the top level folder of Course Files or inside another folder.
1. In Course Files, click Create Folder on the Action Bar.
2. Type aFolder Name.
3. Click Submit.
Result
The folder appears in the list. Click the folder's title to create one or more subfolders to further organize content.
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Course Files > Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files
How to Edit Folder Names
You can edit the name of any folder except the top level Course ID folder. Changing a folder's name does not
break any links to content in your course.
1. Click a folder's ActionLink (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit page, change the Folder Name.
4. Click Submit. The new name appears in the list.
How to Delete a Folder
You can delete any folder except the top level Course ID folder. If you delete a folder, the contents of the folder
are permanently deleted and the links to that content in your course are broken. You are notified that the Delete
action will result in broken links. In your course, the broken links appear with an "Invalid File" statement next to
them.
1. Click a folder's ActionLink (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Delete. Alternatively, you can delete items by selecting their check boxes and clicking
Delete on the Action Bar.
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Course Files > Adding Files to Course Files
3. A warning appears. Click OK to verify the deletion.
4. Click Submit.
Next Steps
To learn more about basic Course Files functions, see these topics:
Adding Files to Course Files Linking to Files and Folders in Course
Files Managing Files and Folders in Course Files Controlling
Access to Course Files
Adding Files to Course Files
You can add files and folders to Course Files in multiple ways, including when course content is created. All
Recognized Attachment File Types can be saved to Course Files.
Note: Students cannot upload files to Course Files. They may only browse for and attach files from their
computers when participating in a course, and those files are not saved in Course Files.
Methods to Add Files
You can add content in four ways:
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Upload files and folders into Course Files, either one at a time or in batches, using the drag-and-drop
function or the browse function.
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Course Files > Adding Files to Course Files
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Upload files when content is created in your course. Files uploaded from your computer using the
Browse My Computer function are saved automatically in the top level folder in Course Files.
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Create content using the Text Editor and save it as an HTML Object.
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Use WebDAV for direct upload, editing, and management of files in Course Files from your computer
desktop or through WebDAV capable applications.
How to Use the Drag-and-Drop Function
You can use the drag-and-drop function to upload a single file, multiple files, or one or more folders to Course
Files. After uploading, you can move files and folders to other folders as needed.
Uploading multiple files and folders in one action and using the drag-and-drop function require a Java plug-in. If
the plug-in is not available or an accessible option is needed, select Single File at the top of the page to browse
for and upload files one at a time.
1. Click the Course Files folder where the files will be uploaded or upload files to the top level folder.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Upload to access the drop-down list.
3. Select Upload Files.
4. Select Multiple Files at the top of the page, if needed. The Upload Multiple Files and Folders
pageappears.
5. On your computer, open the folder containing the files and folders to upload. Position the folder next
to the Upload Multiple Files and Folderspage.
6. To select multiple files and folders in a list, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last items.
To select files and folders out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each item needed.
7. Press the files and drag them into the upload box on the Upload Multiple Files and Folders page.
Attempting to upload a file with the same name as an existing file generates a prompt to overwrite
the current file when the files are uploading.
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8. The files and folders appear in the upload box. Continue to upload files and folders from your
computer, if needed. View the total size of the files ready to upload at the bottom of the Size
column. To delete a file in the list, click the X in the Remove column.
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Note: The contents of folders appear individually in the upload list, but after they are uploaded, they
are contained in their parent folders.
9. Click Submit. A status bar displays the progress of the upload.
10. A message appears stating that the Upload completed successfully and a check mark appears
in each file's Status column. After a moment, the files and folders appear in the selected folder in
CourseFiles.
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How to Use the Browse Function
You can use the browse function to upload a single file, multiple files, or one or more folders to Course Files.
After uploading, you can move files and folders to other folders as needed.
Uploading multiple files and folders in one action and using the browse function require a Java plug-in. If the
plug-in is not available or an accessible option is needed, select Single File at the top of the page to browse for
and upload files one at a time.
1. Click the Course Files folder where the files will be uploaded or upload files to the top level folder.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Upload to access the drop-down list.
3. Select Upload Files.
4. Select Multiple Files at the top of the page, if needed. The Upload Multiple Files and Folders
pageappears.
5. On the Upload Multiple Files and Folders page, click Browse and open the folder on your
computer containing the files and folders to upload.
6. To select multiple files and folders in a list, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last items.
To select files and folders out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each item needed. Click
Open. Attempting to upload a file with the same name as an existing file generates a prompt to
overwrite the current file when the files are uploading.
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7. The files and folders appear in the upload box. Continue to upload files and folders from your
computer, if needed. View the total size of the files ready to upload at the bottom of the Size
column. To delete a file in the list, click the X in the Remove column.
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Note: The contents of folders appear individually in the upload list, but after they are uploaded, they
are contained in their parent folders.
8. Click Submit. A status bar displays the progress of the upload.
9. A message appears stating that the Upload completed successfully and a check mark appears
in each file's Status column. After a moment, the files and folders appear in the selected folder in
CourseFiles.
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How to Use the Browse My Computer Function
When you create content in your course, you can browse for a file on your computer and link to it. Files
uploaded using the Browse My Computer function are saved in the top level folder in Course Files. You do not
have the option to select a different folder when uploading the file. By default, files uploaded to your course in
this way are assigned the Read permission and all enrolled users can view them. When students upload files
from their computers, the files are not saved in Course Files.
If an uploaded file has the same name as a file already in the top level folder, the new file is saved with a
number appended to the name. For example, course_assignment.doc becomes course_
assignment(1).doc.
Note: Some files uploaded to your course are not saved in Course Files, such as when creating assignments,
test questions, and wiki pages. For a complete list, see About Files Added Automatically to Course Files.
In the following steps, a file is uploaded to a content item in a Content Area. The Browse My Computer steps
are similar when used in other course areas or with tools, such as the Discussion Board or Announcements.
1. On the Create Item page in the Attachments section, click Browse My Computer to search for a
file on your computer. The file name is shown in the File Name column.
2. Type a Link Title so the file name does not appear in your course.
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Note: Click Do not attach to remove the selected file.
Attaching Files Using the Text Editor Functions
Alternatively, you can use the Text Editor functions to create links to files. Files uploaded using the Text Editor
are saved in Course Files in the top level folder. Creating a link to a file using the Text Editor offers more control
over where a file's link appears in relationship to other text. Also, you can select the Launch in a new window
option and provide Alt Text. For example, if an image is attached, you may want the image to open in a new
window so it can be viewed alongside other course content. Alternative text appears when a user moves the
mouse pointer over a link and it is read by screen readers. These selections are not available in the
Attachments section of the Create Item page.
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Result
The file uploaded to the content item appears as a link in the Content Area and has been saved in Course Files
in the top level folder. You can move the file to a different folder in Course Files and the link in your course will
not bebroken.
How to Upload a Zipped File in Course Files
You can zip files and folders into a package and upload it into Course Files. You can choose to upload the
zipped file and unzip its contents, keeping the folder structure and links intact, or keep the file zipped.
Before You Begin
A collection of files or an entire lesson, including cascading style sheets (CSS), can be developed offline and
uploaded into Course Files from your computer.
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Unzip file
You create a lesson with several interrelated pages with navigation, images, external links, and documents.
You zip the contents into a package and upload the zipped package to Course Files using the Upload Package
option. When a zipped package is uploaded in this way, the system unzips its contents. When you create
content in your course, you can create a link to the unzipped package by selecting a starting page. In your
course, students click the starting page link and view the lesson. You can edit any part of the lesson's content
and overwrite just the edited file or files without removing and uploading a new zipped file. All links remain intact
inyour course.
File remains intact
You want to include several images for students to use in a presentation and use the Upload Files option to
upload the zipped package to Course Files. The file remains zipped. When you create content in your course,
you can create a link to the zipped file. In your course, students click the link to the zipped file, download it to
their computers, unzip the package, and are able to use the contents.
1. Create a folder in Course Files for the contents of the unzipped package, if needed. When
unzipping a package with many files and folders, it can be helpful to contain the contents in a folder.
2. Click the name of the new folder.
3. On the Action Bar, point to Upload to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Upload Package. Select Upload Files to keep the file zipped.
5. Click Browse to locate the file on your computer.
6. Click Submit. The zipped package unzips in the selected folder.
In the following example, the zipped package contents were unzipped in the "lesson_1" folder. The zipped
package contained three folders.
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Next Steps
In a course area, from the Build Content drop-down list, select File and use the Browse Course function to
search for the start page for the unzipped content. Students click the link for the lesson's start page and can
view the lesson contents in order with all links intact. You can rename the start page link and manage
permissions for the files and folders in the unpackaged zip.
Note: If a description or instructions are necessary and a title cannot convey that meaning, you can create an
Item content type instead of a File. When creating an Item, use the Attach File function in the Text Editor to
select the starting page so the Launch in new window option can be selected.
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As needed, one or more files can be edited and you do not need to upload a new zipped file and select a starting
page. Edit the individual file that needs updating and overwrite it in Course Files. The changes show in the
course area and no links are broken. To learn more, see How to Overwrite a File in Course Files.
How to Create HTML Objects
Within Course Files, you can create new items using the Text Editor. These items are called HTML Objects.
An HTML Object is a type of reusable content. If your school licenses content management, you can create
other types of reusable content also.
HTML Objects are created in Course Files using the Create HTML Object function on the Action Bar. You can
use the Text Editor functions to format text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups
to an HTML Object. You can link an HTML Object to one or more locations in your course as a file attachment.
As needed, you can make a change to an HTML Object stored in Course Files and the change is reflected in all
instances where the HTML Object is linked in your course.
Note: If this feature is not available, the Blackboard administrator at your school may have disabled the
feature.
1. Click the Course Files folder where the HTML Object will be created or create it in the top level
folder.
2. Click Create HTML Object on the Action Bar.
3. On the Create Reusable Object page, type a Name. This will be the file name in Course Files.
4. Type information in the Content box. Optionally, use the Text Editor functions to format the text
and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and Mashups. Any files uploaded from your
computer are saved in Course Files in the top level folder.
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5. Click Submit. The HTML Object appears in the selected folder in Course Files. The system adds
the .html extension to the HTML Object file name in Course Files.
If an HTML Object is deleted from your course where it is linked, it is not deleted from Course Files. The link to
the HTML Object in your course is deleted. To delete an HTML Object from your course completely, it must be
deleted from Course Files. If the file is linked in your course, a warning message appears alerting you that the
deletion will introduce broken links. You may cancel the deletion and view the 360° View report to see where
the file is linked before continuing the deletion. To learn more, see How to View a File's Course Links in Course
Files.
How to Edit HTML Objects
You can make a change to an HTML Object stored in Course Files and the change is reflected in all instances
where the HTML Object is linked in your course.
1. In Course Files, click the HTML Object's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Overwrite Reusable Object Content.
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3. On the Edit Reusable Object page, make the changes needed.
4. Click Submit.
How to Create Reusable Content in Your Course
When you create content in your course using the Text Editor, you can save the content as an HTML Object in
Course Files folder. An HTML Object is a type of reusable content. If your school licenses content
management, you can create other types of reusable content also.
An HTML Object can be reused in your course as a file attachment by linking to it in Course Files. The same
content can appear in multiple course areas where students may need it as they progress through a course.
Note: If this feature is not available, the Blackboard administrator at your school may have disabled the
feature.
Example:
You create a content item in the Getting Started Content Area named "Group Guidelines" and save it in Course
Files as an HTML Object. Next, in the Assignments Content Area, you create a new content item and link to
the Group Guidelines file in Course Files. By providing the same information in the Assignments Content Area,
students have easy access to the guidelines when they are working on a group assignment.
In the following steps, a content item is created in a Content Area and saved in Course Files as an HTML
Object.
1. Access a ContentArea.
2. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
3. Select Item.
4. On the Create Item page, type a Name. The Name will be the file name in Course Files.
5. Type information in the Text box. Optionally, use the Text Editor functions to format the text.
6. Under Attachments, locate the appropriate file using one of the following options:
l
To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer. To learn more, see
How to Use the Browse My Computer Function.
l
To upload a file from Course Files, click Browse Course. To learn more, see Linking to
Files and Folders in Course Files.
Note: Alternatively, you can use the Text Editor functions to upload files. Files uploaded using the
Text Editor are saved in Course Files in the top level folder. Uploading a file using the Text Editor
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offers more control over where a file's link appears in relationship to other text. Also, you can select
the Launch in a new window option and provide Alt Text. For example, if an image is attached,
you may want the image to open in a new window so it can be viewed alongside other course
content. Alternative text appears when a user moves the mouse pointer over a link and it is read by
screen readers. These selections are not available in the Attachments section of the Create Item
page.
7. At the bottom of the Text Editor, select the Save as HTML Object check box.
8. Click Browse to select a Course Files folder to save the file to. By default, the top level folder is
chosen if another folder is not selected.
9. On the Select Folder page, select a folder. Create a new folder from this page, if needed.
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10. Click Submit.
11. On the Create Item page, select the Options for availability, tracking, and date and time
restrictions.
12. Click Submit. The new content item appears in the Content Area and is also saved in Course Files
in the selected folder as an HTML Object. The system adds the .html extension to the HTML
Object file name in Course Files.
How to Edit Reusable Content
You can make a change to an HTML Object stored in Course Files and the change is reflected in all instances
where the HTML Object is linked in your course.
1. In Course Files, click the HTML Object's Action Link (
) to access the contextual menu.
2. Select Overwrite Reusable Object Content.
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3. On the Edit Reusable Object page, make the changes needed.
4. Click Submit.
Note: You can edit the content in its original location in your course and the changes will show in the file in
Course Files and in all instances where the HTML Object is linked in your course.
About Web Folders (WebDAV)
WebDAV is used for sharing files over the Internet and is compatible with most operating systems. When used
with Blackboard Learn, WebDAV is a means for users upload to and access content in Course Files, as if it
were any other network drive or folder on their computers.
When WebDAV—or a Web Folder—is set up, you can manage all the files for your course from your computer,
dragging in content from multiple drives and folders and organizing it as needed. You can perform other actions
on the files and folders in a Web Folder because the folder structure is visible and can be navigated. Also, it is
possible to edit a file directly in a Web Folder, without downloading it, editing it, and uploading it again. For
users who have moved pre-9.1 content containing HTML files, they can use a Web Folder to access their files
for editing in the program of their choice.
Many users are accustomed to using WebDAV and prefer to continue to use this method for file management.
Note: If this feature is not available, the Blackboard administrator at your school may have disabled the
feature.
Web Folder Actions
You can perform the following actions on files and folders using WebDAV with Course Files:
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Upload files and folders.
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Browse the contents of folders in Course Files.
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Open, view, and edit files, such as a Microsoft® Word file.
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Create folders.
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Move, copy, rename, and remove files and folders.
How to Set Up a Web Folder for Windows©
To connect to a Web Folder, use the web address of the Course Files folder and a valid username and
password.
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1. In Course Files, click Set Up Web Folder on the Action Bar of the top level folder. Starting from
this location ensures WebDAV access to all folders contained in Course Files. Any folder may be
selected inside Course Files, but the Web Folder path must be less than 240 characters. Each
folder selected has a different address.
2. On the Using Web Folders page, right-click and copy the URL that appears for Current Web
address. You will paste the address in later steps.
3. From the Start Menu in Windows, select Documents > My Documents. Select My Network
Places in the left frame.
4. Select Add a network place from the Network Tasks menu.
5. In the Add Network Place Wizard, select Choose another network location to create a
shortcut.
6. Paste the URL for the Web Folder you copied earlier and click Next.
7. If prompted, type your Blackboard Learn username and password. Type a name for the network
place and click Next. Click Finish to close the wizard. You may be prompted again for a username
andpassword.
8. The Web Folder opens and displays the files and folders in your Course Files folder. Locate the
appropriate folder to upload the files or folders to. Locate the folder on your computer containing the
files and folders you want to transfer.
9. With your folder and the Web Folder open, move one or more files and folders between them using
the drag-and-drop function. Click a file and press, then drag it to the destination folder. Release the
mouse button and it is dropped in the folder. Files and folders dragged to the Web Folder are copied
to Course Files. Also, files and folders from the Web Folder can be copied to your computer.
Alternatively, use copy and paste rather than the drag-and-drop function.
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10. In Course Files, click Refresh on the Action Bar to view the uploaded files.
After all files and folder have been copied, disconnect from the Web Folder. If you do not disconnect, the server
connection remains open until your computer is shut down. If you use a computer that others use, they will
have access to everything in your Course Files.
When you need to use the Web Folder in the future, access My Network Places and select the Web Folder
shortcut you created.
How to Set Up a Web Folder for the MacOS©
To connect to a Web Folder, use the web address of the Course Files folder and a valid username and
password.
1. In Course Files, click Set Up Web Folder on the Action Bar of the top level folder. Starting from
this location ensures WebDAV access to all folders contained in Course Files. Any folder may be
selected inside Course Files, but the Web Folder path must be less than 240 characters. Each
folder selected has a different address.
2. On the Using Web Folders page, copy the URL that appears for Current Web address. You will
paste the address in later steps.
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3. On the Finder bar, select Go > Connect to Server.
4. In the Connect to Server window, paste the URL you copied into the Server Address box. Click
Connect.
Tip: Click the plus sign next to the pasted address to include it in the Favorite Servers box. You
can select the address and not copy it each time. In the future, start with step 3 to connect to this
WebFolder.
5. If the WebDAV File System Authentication window appears, type your Blackboard Learn login
username and password. Click OK.
6. Once you are connected to the Web Folder, a Mac network icon appears on your desktop. Doubleclick the icon to open the Web Folder. The Web Folder displays the files and folders in your Course
Files folder. Locate the appropriate folder to upload the files or folders to.
7. Locate the folder on your computer containing the files and folders you want to transfer.
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8. With your folder and the Web Folder open, move one or more files and folders between them using
the drag-and-drop function. Click a file and press, then drag it to the destination folder. Release the
mouse button and it is dropped in the folder. Files and folders dragged to the Web Folder are copied
to Course Files. Also, files and folders from the Web Folder can be copied to your computer.
Alternatively, use copy and paste rather than the drag-and-drop function.
9. In Course Files, click Refresh on the Action Bar to view the uploaded files.
Note: After using the Web Folder, some files may appear with duplicate file names that begin with "._" or ".DS
Store." You can safely delete them from Course Files.
When all files and folders have been copied, close the window and drag the Mac network icon to the trash to
disconnect from the Web Folder. If you do not disconnect, the icon and server connection remain open until
your computer is shut down. If you use a computer that others use, they will have access to everything in your
CourseFiles.
Next Steps
You can link to the uploaded files in one or more locations in your course. To learn more, see Linking to Files
and Folders in Course Files. You can rename, copy, move, overwrite, and download files and folders uploaded
to Course Files. To learn more, see Managing Files and Folders in Course Files.
About Files Added Automatically to Course Files
You can upload files to Course Files in two ways:
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Files are uploaded directly into Course Files. The files are then linked in your course when content is
created.
l
Files are uploaded when creating content in your course and those files are saved automatically in
CourseFiles.
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When you use Browse My Computer to upload files from your computer, most files are saved automatically in
Course Files. If they have been uploaded into a course area, you do not need to upload the same files directly to
CourseFiles.
Example:
In a Content Area, you create a content item named "Course Schedule" and click Browse My Computer to
upload a file from your computer that details the due dates for all assignments and tests. The file appears as a
link in the content item and is also saved automatically in Course Files in the top level folder. You can link to the
file again in one or more course areas.
Most files are saved automatically in Course Files when creating content. Examples include:
l
Files uploaded to content types from the Build Content drop-down list, such as Item, File, URL,
Image, Audio, Video, Syllabus, and CourseLink
l
Files uploaded when creating announcements
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Files uploaded to descriptions and instructions in tests
l
Course banner files uploaded to the courseentry point
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Files uploaded using the functions in the Text Editor for journals and blogs, and when creating a wiki
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Files uploaded to the Discussion Board using the Text Editor or the Attachments section
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Files uploaded when creating HTML Objects
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Imported course packages; attached files must fit requirements above
Some files are NOT saved automatically in Course Files when creating content because of potential privacy
issues or the type of file. Examples include:
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Test question files
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Assignment files
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Self and Peer Assessment files
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Files uploaded to journals and blog entries in the Journal/Blog Entry Filessection
l
Files uploaded to wiki pages and the wiki HomePage
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Course Cartridge files
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SCORM files
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Glossary files
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Student files uploaded when participating in course activities, such as uploading an assignment
document or attaching files when creating journal entries
Linking to Files and Folders in Course Files
After files are uploaded to Course Files, you can link to them when creating content in your course. For
example, you can link to a file in Course Files when creating content items, a syllabus, calendar events, tasks,
and announcements. Also, you can link an HTML Object in Course Files to the File content type.
Once files are linked, they are assigned the Read permission by default and can be viewed by all enrolled
users. You can delete the links to files in your course, yet the files themselves remain in Course Files, where
they can be linked to again.
Note: Files do not need to be in Course Files before content is created in your course. Wherever attaching files
is available, click Browse My Computer to select a file. To learn more, see How to Use the Browse My
ComputerFunction.
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