UST Blackboard Training Manual

UST Blackboard Training Manual
UST Blackboard Training Manual
Blackboard 9.1 – SP 11
Updated – June 2013
Bb training Schedule & Registration: http://www.stthom.edu/bbtraining *
Self-Help Tutorials: http://www.stthom.edu/bbtutorials
Training Questions: [email protected]
Blackboard Support: http://www.stthom.edu or [email protected]
Login / Password Problems: [email protected] or 713-525-6900
*You can also download an up to date electronic copy of this manual at
http://www.stthom.edu/bbtraining
These manual and associated contents are the property of
the University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston, Tx. 77006
Copyright University of St. Thomas, 2013
Table of Contents
Introduction to Blackboard ........................................................................................................................ 1-4
Blackboard Home Page Interface .......................................................................................................... 1-4
Global Navigation................................................................................................................................... 1-5
Modules ................................................................................................................................................. 1-6
Adding/Removing Modules ................................................................................................................... 1-6
Managing Modules ................................................................................................................................ 1-7
Theme Personalization........................................................................................................................... 1-7
Blackboard Course Home Page Interface .............................................................................................. 1-8
Edit Mode ............................................................................................................................................... 1-9
Accessing the Quick Edit Feature ....................................................................................................... 1-9
Drag‐n‐Drop ......................................................................................................................................... 1-10
Control Panel........................................................................................................................................ 1-10
Course Menu ........................................................................................................................................ 1-11
Managing Course Menu ................................................................................................................... 1-11
Contextual Menus ............................................................................................................................ 1-11
Announcements ................................................................................................................................... 1-12
Posting Announcements .................................................................................................................. 1-12
Announcement Information ............................................................................................................ 1-13
Options ............................................................................................................................................. 1-13
Linking the announcement to Other Locations ............................................................................... 1-14
Modifying/Deleting Announcements .............................................................................................. 1-15
Email..................................................................................................................................................... 1-16
Content ................................................................................................................................................ 1-17
Adding Course Content ........................................................................................................................ 1-18
Build Content ....................................................................................................................................... 1-19
Create, New Page, and Mashups ......................................................................................................... 1-20
Text Box Editor (Visual Editor) ............................................................................................................. 1-21
Features: .......................................................................................................................................... 1-21
Second Row Additional Basic Actions .............................................................................................. 1-22
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Third row file attachment actions and special options.................................................................... 1-24
Adding Course Content: (Items, Files, Folders & URL’s) ...................................................................... 1-26
Creating Content Items ........................................................................................................................ 1-26
How to Create an Item in a Course Area ............................................................................................. 1-26
Attach a File to an Item .................................................................................................................... 1-28
Creating Files ........................................................................................................................................ 1-30
How to Add a File ............................................................................................................................. 1-30
Hide Details .......................................................................................................................................... 1-32
Content Folders.................................................................................................................................... 1-33
How to Create a Folder .................................................................................................................... 1-33
Folder Content Availability............................................................................................................... 1-35
Adding Links to External Websites ....................................................................................................... 1-35
How to Edit Content Items/Files/Links ................................................................................................ 1-38
How to Delete Content Items/Files/Links ............................................................................................ 1-39
Adding Course Menu Items ................................................................................................................. 1-40
Create Content Area ............................................................................................................................ 1-41
Create Tool Link ................................................................................................................................... 1-41
Create Course Link ............................................................................................................................... 1-42
Create Web Link ................................................................................................................................... 1-42
Create Module Page ............................................................................................................................ 1-43
Create Sub-header ............................................................................................................................... 1-43
Create Divider ...................................................................................................................................... 1-44
Content Availability .............................................................................................................................. 1-44
Content Options ................................................................................................................................... 1-44
Create Assessment............................................................................................................................... 1-45
Add Interactive Tool............................................................................................................................. 1-45
Setting Tool Availability ....................................................................................................................... 1-47
Browser Tester ..................................................................................................................................... 1-49
Using Browser Tester ....................................................................................................................... 1-49
Copying a Course to an Existing Course ............................................................................................... 1-51
How to copy content from a selected course to an existing course................................................ 1-51
My Messages Module .......................................................................................................................... 1-53
1-2
How to add the My Messages module ............................................................................................ 1-53
Enrolling a User .................................................................................................................................... 1-55
Modifying Users ................................................................................................................................... 1-56
How to View Student Enrollments....................................................................................................... 1-57
Listing Users ..................................................................................................................................... 1-58
Making a Student Unavailable from a Course .................................................................................. 1-59
Adding Test Student Tool ..................................................................................................................... 1-60
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University of St. Thomas – Training Manual
Introduction to Blackboard
Blackboard SP11, is a maintenance service pack that includes some new features along with a number of
fixes and improvements. It is important to note that there are some cosmetic differences with previous
versions of Blackboard.
Blackboard Home Page Interface
Ex. Blackboard 9.1
Ex. Blackboard 9.1 SP 11
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Global Navigation
This menu is always present in the top right corner and provides one-click access to all your courses,
settings, and Blackboard Help. Additionally, the menu will tell you how many items are new or need
your attention at a glance.
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Modules
Modules are items that include content, links, or tools that can be added to personalize a page. Users
can browse for a module by category or search module titles and descriptions by keyword. Select a
module More link or the Show/Hide toggle to preview that module. Select modules to appear on the
page: My Institution.
Adding/Removing Modules
You can add or remove modules by clicking “Add Module.” You will get a “Add Modules” page with a
list of all available modules.
Click the Add button next to any modules you want to add.
Click the Remove button next to any modules want to remove.
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Managing Modules
You can use the icons in the upper left or right corner to manage your modules. Use the drag‐n‐drop
functionality to organize your modules.
Theme Personalization
You can change the color of your home page by clicking the “Personalize Page” button and using various
color themes.
Choose a color palette for all the elements on the page. Changes made to the page are displayed only to
the user making the change. Blackboard has a color palette library of different color themes that you
can choose from. Click the on the theme that you would like, and then click submit. You will see the
new color theme on your landing page.
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Notifications Dashboard
The Notification Dashboard is a new feature that can help users keep track of course deadlines (past,
current, and future due dates), alerts, items needing attention and any new content that has been
added to the course. The information for all courses in which a student is enrolled will be funneled to
this page. For instructors, the information funneled to this page pertains to the courses they are
teaching.
Blackboard Course Home Page Interface
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Edit Mode
Edit Mode is a Blackboard feature that allows an instructor to make changes to content from within the
Course view instead of navigating through the Control Panel. The Edit Mode toggles On and Off. The
toggle appears in the navigation bar in each Course area and any subfolders.
Accessing the Quick Edit Feature
1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.
2. In the top right corner of the BB course shell screen, you will see an Edit Mode toggle button.
3. To edit content, toggle Edit Mode to “On”.
4. To view course content as a student would see it, toggle Edit Mode to “Off”.
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Drag‐n‐Drop – an easy editing feature that allows for quick rearranging of content. Simply hover over
the vertical, double‐sided arrow and drag the item to the new location indicated by the dotted line. For
modules, drag using the heading.
Control Panel
The Control Panel is the location of the primary course tools within a Blackboard course. Only
Instructors, TAs, Graders and Course Builders have access to this area. The Control Panel is no longer a
separate area within Blackboard. It is now located on the course’s main page under the course menu,
enabling editors to see the changes as they are made.
A) Collapse/Expand Control Panel – the entire Control Panel menu can be collapsed or
expanded by clicking expand/collapse icon.
B) Expand menu – to access the various tools, simply click Expand icon (two downward facing
arrows).
C) Go to Overview Page – the arrows facing right display the overview page for the tool in
the content window.
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Course Menu
The Course Menu has been designed for easy management.
Managing Course Menu – managing the course menu is conveniently achieved directly on the
course menu using a variety of functionalities described below:
Blackboard 9
A
Add Link
B
Change Order
C
Refresh
D
Modify/Delete
Click + icon to access choice list for adding links to the menu
Click and drag vertical, two‐side arrow to change menu order
Refreshes the current page without leaving the page
Contextual menu contains options to rename, hide/show and delete link
Contextual Menus – expandable menus containing options for each item and are visually represented
by one download facing arrow. Each menu may contain different options depending on the item or its
current status. You must be in Edit Mode to see the contextual menus.
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Announcements
Announcements are used to inform students of upcoming lectures or meetings, exams, or any
other information you want them to view in a timely manner.
Posting Announcements
1. Log onto Blackboard and select your course.
2. Navigate to the Course Management area on the left of your course.
3. Expand the Course Tools drop down menu in the Control Panel section.
4. Click on the Announcements link.
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5. Click Create Announcement to add a new announcement.
Announcement Information
1. Enter the subject of your announcement in the Subject field and then enter the text of
the announcement in the Message field.
Options
The Announcement Options allows you to specify whether the announcement will display on the main
page of the course as well as the length of time the message will appear.
1. In the Date Restriction section, you may apply adaptive release to the announcement. To specify the
first date/last date and time on which the announcement will appear, click on the Display After and the
Display Until checkboxes and use the pull‐down menus to select a date and time. If you want the
announcement to always be visible select “Not Date Restricted”. Select the box next to Email
announcement if you want to send a copy of the announcement immediately to students.
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2. You may add a Course Link by clicking Browse to attach a course link to the announcement.
3. Click Submit to complete.
Linking the announcement to Other Locations
1. If you want to link the announcement to another section of the course, click on the Browse
button.
2. When the Course Map appears:
Click on the plus (+) sign to the left of a location to expand the menu.
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3. Select the area you want to add.
4. Click on Submit to complete.
Modifying/Deleting Announcements
Announcements can be later modified and/or deleted by accessing the control panel of the course.
1. Click on the drop down menu next to the announcement title to edit or delete your
announcement.
2. After making your changes, click Submit to complete.
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Email
1.
Log into Blackboard and select your course.
2. Click Send Email in the Course Tools of the Control Panel.
3. Select whether you wish to send email to all users, groups, teaching assistants, certain users, or
certain groups by clicking on the appropriate hyperlink.
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4. Depending on which option you choose, you will receive a window in which you will enter
Subject, Message, Select Recipients, as well as Attach a file to the Email.
Content
File Size Guidelines
In an attempt to ensure that Blackboard operates as efficiently as possible for all users there are a
handful of restrictions imposed on file sizes for content uploaded into Blackboard. Be aware that there
are no governing systems in Blackboard that will prevent files over a certain size from being uploaded, it
is the users responsibility to be aware of the size of files they are uploading; these restrictions. The sizes
and restrictions listed below are meant to be a tool to help determine optimal Blackboard performance
in your course and ease of accessibility for the student and a best practice measure meant to benefit all
users.
Here are a few simple file size conversions for your consideration when evaluating the size guidelines:



Kb means kilobyte: 1024kb = 1mb
Mb means megabyte: 1024mb = 1gb
GB means gigabyte: 1024gb = 1tb (terabyte)
Example File Sizes:





1-5 page web optimized PDF or Word Document => 200kb
Standard PowerPoint presentation 20-30 slides => 5mb
PowerPoint presentation with voiceovers 20-30 slides => 30-50mb
5 minute web quality video => 20-30mb
5 minute HD video => 300mb
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*File sizes are educated estimates. Export and quality settings may greatly impact final file size.

As a rule files over 50Mb are considered “large” files and should not be loaded into a Blackboard
course. These large media files in such formats as .MOV, .AVI, Mpeg, etc should either loaded
on the university media server and linked to inside the Blackboard course or loaded to YouTube
and included in a mashup.
*Note: copyrighted materials should generally not be loaded to YouTube, please be familiar
with St. Thomas’ copyright policy before using any material that may be copyright protected.

Adobe PDF files should be about 100Kb per page. To reduce the size of your PDF files open
them and save them in the “web optimized” format.

Image/Graphic files such as .GIF, .PNG, Jpeg, etc should be about 100Kb per image.
Standard PowerPoint (.PPT) files should generally be no more than 10Mb depending on the length and
number of images in the file. PPT files with voice over narration should be no more than 40Mb. To
reduce the size of .PPT files open and save them in a new .PPT file or print the PowerPoint file to PDF
file.
Adding Course Content
Content is added in the same way for all content areas within Blackboard.
When Edit Mode is turned “ON” in each content area you will find the menu bar below. Each of
these drop‐down menus reveals how to add content to your course site.
Adding course content is still done in content areas using content types available in the action bar at
the top of the page. The main difference is that the content types are now organized under choice
lists.
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Each menu is shown below:
Build Content
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Create, New Page, and Mashups
Create
Item
A general piece of content, such as a file, image, text, or link to which a
description and other items may be attached.
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
Add an audio file to a content area.
Image
Add an image to a content area.
Video
Add a video to a content area.
Web Link
Link to an outside Web site or resource.
Learning Module
A set of content that includes a structured path for progressing through the items.
Lesson Plan
A Lesson Plan is special content type that combines information about the lesson itself
with the curriculum resources used to teach it.
Syllabus
Content item that enables an Instructor to build a Course Syllabus by walking
through a series of steps.
Course Link
A shortcut to an item, tool, or area in a Course.
New Page
Content Folder
An organizational element that contains Content Items. Folders allow content to be
structured with a hierarchy or categories.
Blank Page
Add a Blank Page and customize it to fit your Course.
Module Page
A page containing dynamic personalized content modules that help users keep track
of tasks, Tests, assignments, and new content added to the course.
Tools Area
A shortcut to a specific tool in the Course, such as the Discussion Board or
Messages.
Mashups
Flickr Photo
A Mashup that includes a link to a site for viewing and sharing photographic
images.
Slideshare
Presentation
A Mashup that includes a link to a site for viewing and sharing PowerPoint
presentations, Word documents, or Adobe PDF Portfolios.
YouTube Video
A Mashup that includes a link to a site for viewing and sharing online videos.
Wimba Voice
Authoring
A Mashup that incorporates audio recordings alongside course content.
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Text Box Editor (Visual Editor)
The Text Box Editor: Presents controls for entering 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.
Features: The Text Box Editor has three collapsible rows of buttons. The lists below define the
functions of each button.
First Row: Basic Actions
Bold: Bold the selected text.
Italicize: Italicize the selected text.
Underline: Underline the selected text.
Strikethrough: Display the text with a horizontal line through the letters. (This font style is not
supported by all browsers.)
Select a paragraph style for the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current style to
select from a list of available styles.
Select the font face for the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current font to select
from a list of all available fonts.
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Select the size of the text. Click the down arrow next to the displayed current font size to select
from a list of all available font sizes.
Create a bulleted list.
Create a numbered list.
Set the text color. Click the down arrow to select a different text color.
Set the text highlight (background) color. Click the down arrow to select a different highlight color.
Remove all formatting, leaving only the plain text.
Opens a preview window showing how the content will appear after submitting.
Opens the context editor help window.
Expand the content editor window to fill the entire browser frame.
Collapse functions to one row of the most used text formatting functions.
Second Row Additional Basic Actions
Cut: Cut the selected items.
Copy: Copy the selected items.
Paste: Paste Copied or cut content.
Search: Search for and replace text.
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Undo: Select the circular arrow pointing to the left to undo the previous action.
Redo: Select the circular arrow pointing to the right to redo the previous action.
Align Left: Align text to the left margin.
Align Center: Align text in the center.
Align Right: Align text to the right.
Align Left and Right: Align text to both the left and right margins.
Indent: Move the text or object to the right (indent). Click again to indent further.
Outdent: Move the text or object to the left (outdent). Click again to outdent further. You cannot
outdent text beyond the left margin.
Superscript: Make the text into a superscript.
Subscript: Make the text into a subscript.
Hyperlink: Add a new or edit an existing 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.
Remove Hyperlink: Remove a hyperlink from the selected text or object.
Enter Text Right: Enter text to the right of the current mouse pointer location (default).
Enter Text Left: Enter text to the left of the current mouse pointer location.
Horizontal Line: Add a thin horizontal line to the current mouse pointer position, spanning the
entire width of the text area.
Center Line: Add a thin centered line, setting width, height relative to the current mouse pointer
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position, and whether to use shadows.
Nonbreaking space: Insert a nonbreaking space character at the current mouse pointer position.
Spell Check: Select the ABC checkmark to open Spell Check.
Third row file attachment actions and special options
Video Everywhere: Record video and upload it directly to YouTube. Users must have a Google®
account that is registered on YouTube. A YouTube channel is required to process and save your webcam
videos.
Attach file: Add a link to a file in the text box. The Insert Content Link window appears. You can
link to the following file types: DOC, DOCX, EXE, HTML, HTM, PDF, PPT, PPTX, PPS, PPSX, TXT, WPD, .XLS,
XLSX, and ZIP. You can link to a file from your computer, from Course Files, the Content Collection, or a
URL.
Attach image: Embed an image in the text box or edit an existing selected image. The Insert/Edit
Image window appears. You can add the following file types: GIF, JPG, JPEG, BMP, PNG, and TIF. You can
add images from your computer, from Course Files or the Content Collection, or a URL.
Add Media: Embed a media clip in the text box or edit an existing selected media object.
TheInsert/Edit Media window appears. From the Type drop-down list, select the type of media you
want to add: Flash (default), HTML 5 video, QuickTime, Shockwave, Windows Media, Real Media,
lframe, and Embedded Audio. You can add media files from your computer, from Course Files or the
Content Collection, or a URL.
Math Equation Editor: Opens the WIRIS Formula Editor page—the visual math equation editor
page.
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Add Mash Up: A drop down menu appears to insert Flickr Photo, SlideShare Presentation, or
YouTube Video.
Nonprinting Characters: Click to show all nonprinting characters. Click again to hide them from
view.
Blockquote: Format the text as a blockquote.
Add symbol: Opens the Select Special Character window. Select a symbol to insert at the current
mouse pointer position.
Anchors: Position the mouse pointer where you want the anchor to appear and click to open
the Insert/Edit Anchor window. Use anchors to position (anchor) other items and objects, such as
images.
Preview: Opens a preview window so you can see how the content will appear after publishing.
Create Table: Click to open the Insert/Edit Table window.
Table Row Properties: Click to open the Table Row Properties window.
Table Cell Properties: Click to open the Table Cell Properties window.
Insert Blank Row Above: Insert a blank row in the table above the current mouse pointer position.
Insert Blank Row After: Insert a blank row in the table after the current mouse pointer position.
Delete Row: Delete the current row from the table. If you select multiple rows, all are deleted.
Insert Blank Column Left: Insert a blank column in the table to the left of the current mouse
pointer position.
Insert Blank Column Right: Insert a blank column in the table to the right of the current mouse
pointer position.
Delete Column: Delete the current column from the table. If you select multiple columns, all are
deleted.
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Merge Cells: Merge two or more selected table cells into a single cell.
Split Cells: Split previously merged table cells. If the cell or cells are not ones that were merged,
nothing happens.
HTML View: Toggle to view the source code that is generated by the Text Editor. Users may also
edit the source code in this view. Click HTML View again to toggle back to the standard view. This
feature is intended for experienced web developers.
CSS View: Edit the cascading style sheet (CSS). This feature is included for experienced web
developers.
Adding Course Content: (Items, Files, Folders & URL’s)
Creating Content Items
Content Items are general pieces of content added to a Course to which items may be attached.
Below are instructions on how to add items, files, and folders.
How to Create an Item in a Course Area
1. Open a course area, such as a Content Area, Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
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3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list.
4. Select Item from the Create column.
5. On the Create Item page, type the item’s “Name” and optionally, select a color for the name.
6. Type instructions or a description in the Text box. Format the text using the Text Editor
functions, if needed.
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7. Determine the Options.
1. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.
2. Select Yes or No for Track Number of Views.

Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit availability of the
content. 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, only the
appearance of the content.
8. Click Submit.
Attach a File to an Item
Files added to a Content Item are shown as links under the title text of the Content Item and before any
content or text added using the Text Editor. Multiple files can be added to a Content Item. Files can
originate from a local drive and from Course Files.
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Follow the steps below to attach a file to an Item from the Create Item page:
1. On the Create Item page, type the item’s Name and optionally, select a color for the name.
2. Under Attachments, click Browse My Computer. Select the file.
3. Type a name for the file in the Link Title box. This name appears to users. They click this link to
open the attached file. If no Link Title is added, users see the file name in the course.
4. Determine the Options.

Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content.

Select Yes or No for Track Number of Views.

Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to limit availability of the
content. 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, only the
appearance of the content. “Permit Users” must be put to “Yes” in order for the
content to display properly.
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5. Click Submit.
Creating Files
How to Add a File
1. Open a Course Content Area.
2. Edit Mode is ON.
3. Point to Build Content.
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4. Select File.
5. Click Browse My Computer to locate the file.
6. Type a Name for the file. This is used as the link name for the file and is shown to users. Select a
Color of Name. Click Yes to force the file to Open in New Window.
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7. Click Yes to Permit Users to View this Content. Click Yes to Track Number of Views. Select the
Date and Time Restrictions.
8. Click Submit.
Hide Details
A new feature in Blackboard is the Hide Details icon. It is a feature that will allow the instructor to
temporarily hide details, information, and attached files associated with course content from view on
the computer screen. By doing this, you are only hiding this from your view and not your students
view. To get the details, information, and attached files to be viewable again, click the Hide Details
icon again. All details, information, and attached files will now be visible on the screen.
Please see examples below:
Example 1 ‐ Folder
1. To hide the details of the content folder, click the Hide Details icon to the right of the
content folder.
2. This will hide any information, details, or attached files associated with the content folder
from view on the computer screen.
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3.
Click the Hide Details icon to make the information, details, or attached files to be
viewable again.
Example 2 – Items or Files
1. To hide the details of a file or item click the Hide Details icon to the right of the file or item.
2. This will hide any information, details, or attached files associated with the file or item
from view on the computer screen.
3. Click the Hide Details icon to make the information, details, or attached files to be
viewable again.
Content Folders
Folders are useful for organizing and structuring content in a Content Area. For example, Instructors
may add folders for each week of the Course to a Content Area, or organize the Content Area by topic,
such as separate folder for Assignments, Tests, and Group Projects.
Once a folder is created, content and additional subfolders may be added to it. All of the Content Types
available in Content Areas may be added to a folder.
How to Create a Folder
1. Open a Course Content Area.
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2. Edit Mode is ON
3. Point to Build Content.
4. Click Content Folder.
5. Type Folder Information and Folder Options.
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6. Click Submit.
Folder Content Availability
Availability of items in a Content Area is established on an item-by-item basis, but the actual display of
items to users is contingent upon the availability of any parent folder on up to the root of the content
area. If any parent folder is unavailable, the items within it are unavailable. For example, if a folder is set
to Unavailable, but items within the folder are set to Available, users would be unable to view the items
within the folder.
This is also true for items with Adaptive Release rules. If a folder has a rule that makes it unavailable to a
Student, all content within that folder is also unavailable to the user.
Adding Links to External Websites
Links to websites on the Internet can be placed on Content Areas of a Blackboard course. This task is
accomplished using the URL tool.
1. In the desired Content Area, click on Build Content.
2. Select URL from the expanded menu.
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3. In the Name field, type the name or phrase that will be used to refer to the hyperlink. In the
URL field, type (or copy and paste from your browser) the URL for the external website. For
example, to create a link to the University of St. Thomas website, type http://www.stthom.edu
in the URL field.
4. If desired, type a description for the URL. This might include a synopsis of what students will
find at the target website when they click on the hyperlink. Using the text editor, as shown
below, the description may be formatted using different fonts and colors.
5. If desired, a file may be included in the Blackboard course next to the hyperlink. This file might
be a supplement to the content on the targeted website or instructions for using the website in
the course. Click on Browse My Computer to select a file that has been saved to the computer
hard drive or an external storage devise such as a CD or a flash drive. Alternately, click on
Browse Content Collection to attach a file that has been previously uploaded to the Blackboard
course.
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6. Several choices regarding the new hyperlink can be chosen from the list of Options. It is
generally good practice for URLs to Open in New Window. The instructor may decided whether
or not to track the number of students who view the URL and may place date and time
restrictions on when the URL will be available to students.
7. Finally, click the Submit button to create the URL in the Content Area.
The new hyperlink will appear in the Content Area as shown below.
To edit any of the information that was used in creating the URL, click on the Chevron next to the name
of the URL and choose Edit from the expanded menu.
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How to Edit Content Items/Files/Links
If you need to edit a content item/file/link use the following steps:
1. Click the down arrow next to the content item/file/link that you need to edit. Then click “Edit”.
2. Make the appropriate changes. To add a file, click on “Browse My Computer.” To remove a file,
click on “mark for removal” next to the file you want to delete/replace.
3. Click “Submit” for the changes to take effect.
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How to Delete Content Items/Files/Links
If you need to delete a content item/file/link that is missing content or if you no longer want a particular
piece of content you will need to do the following:
1.
Click the down arrow next to the content item/file/link and then click delete.
2. You will see a message box pop up asking if it is ok to delete. Click OK.
3. Your content item/file/link will be deleted from your course.
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Adding Course Menu Items
You can add Course Menu Items by clicking the + sign at the top of the course menu.
Choose from the menu categories listed.
Create Content Area – place to put documents and other files.
Create Tool Link – Access other areas of Blackboard content such as Email, Blogs, Wikis, or
Announcements.
Create Course Link – Point students to specific content areas of the course.
Create Web Link – Point students to web sites external to Blackboard.
Create Module Page – Add a page in Blackboard where you can insert modules such as Alerts,
Calculator, Dictionary, and so forth.
Create Subheader – You can organize course menu items into groups and use subheaders to identify the
groups.
Create Divider – Like subheaders, dividers can be used to organize course menu items into groups.
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Create Content Area
1. Type in a Name for the new content area.
2. Select Available to Users so your students will be able to see it.
3. Click Submit.
Create Tool Link
1. Type in a Name for the tool you are linking.
2. Select Type from the dropdown list.
NOTE: Some tools may not be available due to system-wide policies set by the campus Blackboard
Administrators.
3. Select Available to Users so your students will be able to see it.
4. Click Submit.
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Create Course Link
1. Type in a Name for the course link.
2. Click Browse to navigate to a location within your course. This is where the button will point to when
it is created.
3. Select Available to Users so your students will be able to see it.
4. Click Submit
Create Web Link
1. Type in a Name for the external link.
2. Type in the URL (or copy and paste from your browsers address bar). You will need the full URL
including http:// or https://.
3. Select Available to Users so your students will be able to see it.
4. Click Submit.
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Create Module Page
1. Type in a Name for the module page.
2. Select Available to Users so your students will be able to see it.
3. Click Submit.
4. Click the newly created button to go to the Module page.
5. Click Add Course Module to add modules to the Module page. Modules include items such as a
Calculator, Dictionary, and Thesaurus.
Create Sub-header
1. Type in a Name for the sub-header.
2. Click Submit.
3. The sub-header will show up at the bottom of the course menu. You will need to rearrange the course
menu in order to put the sub-header in the right place in your course menu.
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Create Divider
a. Simply select Create Divider from the Create Item menu.
b. The divider will appear at the bottom of the course menu. You will need to rearrange the course
menu in order to move the divider to the right place in your course menu.
Content Availability
When a content item is added to a Course, it is not automatically available. An availability option on
the Add and Edit pages allows the user to set the content to available or unavailable. This allows the
Instructor to create content and save it in a draft format before it is made available within a Course.
This availability setting is separate from Adaptive Release. If an item is not available, users cannot
access it regardless of the Adaptive Release rules.
Content Options
When an item is added to a Content Area, a number of options are available on the Add page. The
options available depend on the Content Type; not all options are always available. These options are
used to set availability, date restrictions, and tracking. The following is a description of all of the
options that may be available:
Co n te n t Ty p e
De sc r i p t io n
Permit users to
view the content
item
Select Yes to make the content available to users. If No is selected, this content is
unavailable, regardless of Adaptive Release rules.
Open in new
window
Select Yes to open the item in a separate browser window. This is helpful as users
may continue viewing the Content Area along with the item.
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Select date and
time restrictions
Select the range of dates for when this item appears. Select the Display After check
box for the item to appear after a specific date. If this option is selected, add the
corresponding date and time. Select the Display Until check box for the item to
appear until a specific date. If this option is selected, add the corresponding date
and time.
Track number of
views
Select Yes to turn on Tracking Reports. This generates usage reports for the item.
Create Assessment
Create Assessment opens assessment items.
*See Assessment Tools Tutorials for instructions on how to create tests, surveys, and assignments.



Create or Add a Test
Create or Add a Survey
Create an Assignment link for students to submit work
Add Interactive Tool
Tools opens the Communications Features and Wimba Voice Tools
*See Discussion Board and Communication Tools Tutorials for instructions on adding Discussion Boards,
Blogs, Journals and Wikis. See “Group Management Tutorial” for instructions on adding and using
groups within Blackboard.


Create a link to a Forum on the Discussion Board.
Sets a link where students can access the class Blog. Also allows the creation of new Blogs.
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








Sets a link where students can access their Journal. Also allows the creation of new journals.
Sets a link where students can access the class Wiki. Also allows the creation of new Wikis.
Sets a link where students can access an assigned group. Also allows the creation of new groups.
Create a Chat room for students.
Sets up A Virtual Classroom where users may engage in a real-time discussion with other users.
Add the Voice Email tool.
Add the Voice Board tool.
Add the Voice Presentation tool.
Add the Voice Podcaster tool.
If you need to edit a content item/file/link use the following steps:
1. Click the down arrow next to the content item/file/link that you need to edit. Then click “Edit”.
2. Make the appropriate changes. To add a file, click on “Browse My Computer.” To remove a file,
click on “mark for removal” next to the file you want to delete/replace.
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3. Click “Submit” for the changes to take effect.
Setting Tool Availability
The Tool Availability page is used to control what tools can be used in the course, as well as which users
have access to those tools. Available tools are listed alphabetically in the Tool Availability table. The
table is divided into columns:




Available – The tool is available throughout the Course and open to all users that have a role
permitting the use of the tool.
Visible to Guests – The tool is visible (read-only), but not usable to Guests when Guests are
permitted in the course.
Visible to Observers – The tool is visible (read-only), but not usable to Observers when
Observers are permitted in the course.
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 check box in a column can be made available by selecting the check box and made
unavailable by clearing the check box. Tools with a grayed checkbox 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.
In the Tool Availability table, you will only need to make tools available for “Available in Content
Area”. It is suggested that you make all of the tools available so that you have the opportunity to
use all of the tools offered.
To set all tools to be available in the “Available in Content Area”:
1. From the Control Panel, click Customization.
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2. Click Tool Availability from the drop down under Customization.
3. You now see the Tool Availability page. You will use this page to control what tools can be used.
It is best to make all tools available in the “Available in Content Area” section. To make the
tools available, select the check box. You should have a check mark in all check boxes listed
under “Available in Content Area”. Once you have finished making your selections, click Submit.
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After clicking Submit, you will see a “Success: Tool Setting Saved” message at the top of the
page in green.
Browser Tester
Browser Tester is a tool which performs a series of diagnostic tests to help the user identify and/or a
resolve common configuration problems. This building block is simple to use and provides ample data.
Using Browser Tester
1. Click on the Help & Support tab on UST Blackboard homepage.
2 . Click on the Test Browser button.
3. The test results appear in the standard Blackboard page layout and broken into five
components:


Your Computer ‐ this section of information contains your user string and other data you may be
asked for when describing your setup to another person.
Required Components – this section verifies you have enabled/installed the required minimum
components to allow Blackboard’s core components to operate properly and providing the user
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


feedback with a simple
for yes
for no.
Optional Components – this section checks if you have enabled/installed the non‐essential
components for Blackboard that you may or may not use and providing the user feedback with
a simple
for yes
for no.
Pop‐ups – this section allows you to send a practice popup to yourself to make sure you
have permission and pop‐up blockers set accordingly.
Common Third Party File Types – this section provides a selection of common file types used
in blackboard by instructors and sample downloads of them so users can verify their systems
compatibility with those file types.
If you have any questions or concerns about this tutorial or any other instructional technology please feel
free to submit a ticket to us at www.stthom.edu/bbhelp.
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Copying a Course to an Existing Course
How to copy content from a selected course to an existing course
1. Log into Blackboard and select the course that you want to copy.
2. Click Course Copy in the Packages and Utilities of the Control Panel.
3. Select on Copy Course materials into an Existing Course option from the dropdown.
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4. Click the Browse button to locate the existing course that you want to copy the content to.
5. Select the course by clicking the radio button located next to the Course ID.
6. Click Submit.
7. Select ALL of the Course Materials.
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8. Modify the options in File Attachments to Copy links and include copies of the files in the
course default directory & Copy links and include copies of the files outside of the course
default directory.
9. Click Submit.
10. An email will be sent to confirm the course copy process was completed.
My Messages Module
The My Messages module allows you to add a module to your UST Blackboard homepage to list all
new messages in all of your courses. In addition, the module gives you direct access to the new
message(s).
How to add the My Messages module
1. Log into Blackboard.
2. Click Add Module button on the UST Blackboard homepage.
3. Locate the My Messages module on the page. Click the Add button.
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4. Click the Ok button located at the bottom of the page.
5. You will return to the UST Blackboard homepage. The My Messages module will be
visible.
(In this example, course #1 is highlighted in green and course #2 is highlighted in yellow.)
Below are the results after clicking the links in My Messages module.
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Enrolling a User
An instructor may want to enroll a user in their course for many reasons, such as assigning a TA, coinstructor or allow another instructor to copy the course to their own course shell. To enroll users in a
course access the course Control Panel.
1. In the Control Panel select the Course Tools button.
2. Select the Manage Users option.
3. At the Manage users screen select Add Users by Role.
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4. The Add Users by Role screen allows searching for a specific user name and assigning that user a
specific role in the course when you enroll.
A. Search box used to locate proper user ID’s .
B. Username field enter the user ID to add here.
C. Course Role selection is the role you want to assign the user being enrolled.
5. Click Submit.
Modifying Users
At the Manage Users screen you can modify a user’s assigned role to your course.
1. Click List/Modify Users button.
2. At the Unfiltered List screen users enrollment status and course role can be modified as needed.
*Note that changes made are instant and do not require you to submit them to take effect.
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How to View Student Enrollments
Access the Users Feature
1. Log onto Blackboard and select your course.
2. Navigate to the Course Management area on the left of your course.
3. Expand the Users and Groups drop down menu in the Control Panel section.
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4. Click on the Users link.
Listing Users
1. In the second drop down menu, select Not Blank and click “Go”.
2. This will list all the students in the course.
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Making a Student Unavailable from a Course
1. Click on Users and Groups from the Control Panel.
2. Click Users.
3. Click the drop down arrow to the left of the student’s name that you want to make unavailable in
the course.
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4. Select “Change User’s Availability in the Course”.
5. On the next page, select no from the drop down arrow next to Available (this course only).
6. Click Submit. The student is no longer available in the course.
Adding Test Student Tool
The following steps can be used to add or remove the Test Student account for Blackboard 9.1 courses
in which you are the Instructor, Course Builder, or Teaching Assistant.
1. Log into your course. Under the Control Panel, click Course Tools and then click Add Test
Student.
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2. If your Test Student account hasn’t already been created, the Create Test Student Account screen
appears. Enter a password to be used with the account and click Submit.
3. You should see the following screen after the account is created.
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4. If your Test Student account has already been created, the Modify Test Student Account screen
appears and you should click the Enroll Test Student in Course button to grant the account access
to the current course.
5. You can verify by going to the Control Panel and click on Users and Groups, and then Users.
5. Enter the information and click Go.
The search should display your Test Student’s information.
6. To remove the test account, select Add Test Student from the control panel. The Modify Test
Student
Account screen appears. Click the Yes, Unenroll Test Student button to remove the account.
NOTE: un-enrolling the test student will DELETE all work done while using this account.
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Table of Contents
Discussion Board and Communication Tools ........................................................................................... 2 - 5
Accessing the Discussion Board ........................................................................................................... 2 - 5
Adding a Discussion Link on the Course Menu .................................................................................... 2 - 6
Viewing the Discussion Board Page ..................................................................................................... 2 - 8
Viewing a Discussion Forum ................................................................................................................ 2 - 8
Forum Features .................................................................................................................................... 2 - 9
Using List View and Tree View in Discussions .................................................................................... 2 - 10
List View ............................................................................................................................................. 2 - 10
Tree View ........................................................................................................................................... 2 - 11
About the Thread Detail Page ............................................................................................................ 2 - 11
How to Create Forums in the Discussion Board ................................................................................ 2 - 12
Suggestions for Forum Settings in the Discussion Board ................................................................... 2 - 15
How to Add a Link to the Discussion Board in a Course Area............................................................ 2 - 15
How to Enable the Group Discussion Board Tool .............................................................................. 2 - 19
How to Make a Group Discussion Board Unavailable ....................................................................... 2 - 20
How to Edit the Settings for a Group Discussion Board .................................................................... 2 - 21
How to Create Threads in a Discussion Forum .................................................................................. 2 - 23
How to Change the Status of a Thread in a Discussion Forum .......................................................... 2 - 24
How to Change Which Threads Appear in a Discussion Forum ......................................................... 2 - 25
How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board................................................................................ 2 - 26
Enable Grading During Forum Creation ............................................................................................. 2 - 27
Enable Grading by Editing a Forum.................................................................................................... 2 - 28
Enable Thread Grading During Thread Creation ................................................................................ 2 - 29
Enable Thread Grading After Thread Creation .................................................................................. 2 - 30
How to Grade User Participation in a Forum ..................................................................................... 2 - 31
How to Grade User Participation in a Thread .................................................................................... 2 - 34
How to Email Users While Grading Discussion Participation............................................................. 2 - 37
How to Disable Grading for a Discussion Forum or Thread ............................................................... 2 - 38
How to Edit Discussion Forums.......................................................................................................... 2 - 38
2-2
How to Edit Discussion Threads ......................................................................................................... 2 - 39
How to Delete Discussion Forums and Threads ................................................................................ 2 - 41
How to Reorder Discussion Forums ................................................................................................... 2 - 42
Drag-and-Drop Function .................................................................................................................... 2 - 42
Moderating Discussions ..................................................................................................................... 2 - 43
How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles ............................................................................................. 2 - 43
How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating) .................................................................. 2 - 45
How to Reply to Discussion Posts ...................................................................................................... 2 - 48
How to Collect Discussion Posts ........................................................................................................ 2 - 50
How to Filter Discussion Posts after Searching or Collecting ............................................................ 2 - 51
How to Sort Discussion Posts after Searching or Collecting .............................................................. 2 - 52
How to View Discussion Board Statistics ........................................................................................... 2 - 53
Course Calendar ..................................................................................................................................... 2 - 54
Accessing the Course Calendar .......................................................................................................... 2 - 56
Adding an Event ................................................................................................................................. 2 - 57
Recurring Events ................................................................................................................................ 2 - 59
Specifics on Repeating Events and Limitations .................................................................................. 2 - 59
Editing an Event ................................................................................................................................. 2 - 60
Deleting an Event ............................................................................................................................... 2 - 62
Course Items with Due Dates............................................................................................................. 2 - 63
Adding a Calendar Link to the Course Menu ..................................................................................... 2 - 63
Journals .................................................................................................................................................. 2 - 65
A Journal consists of: ......................................................................................................................... 2 - 65
How to Create a Journal..................................................................................................................... 2 - 65
How to Create a Journal Entry ........................................................................................................... 2 - 67
How to Comment on a Journal Entry ................................................................................................. 2 - 69
Editing and Managing Journals .......................................................................................................... 2 - 70
How to Edit a Journal ......................................................................................................................... 2 - 70
How to Delete a Journal..................................................................................................................... 2 - 72
How to Change the Availability of a Journal ...................................................................................... 2 - 73
Creating a Blog ....................................................................................................................................... 2 - 74
Editing a Blog ..................................................................................................................................... 2 - 77
2-3
How to Create a Blog Post ................................................................................................................. 2 - 78
Viewing Drafts .................................................................................................................................... 2 - 79
How to Comment on a Blog Post ....................................................................................................... 2 - 79
Creating a Wiki ....................................................................................................................................... 2 - 80
How to Create a Wiki Page ................................................................................................................ 2 - 83
Creating Mashup Items (Flickr Photo, SlidShare Presentaiton, Wimba Voice Authoring or Youtube Video)
............................................................................................................................................................... 2 - 84
Create a Mashup Item ....................................................................................................................... 2 - 85
Video Everywhere .................................................................................................................................. 2 - 88
Recording and Sharing Video ............................................................................................................. 2 - 88
How to Record and Share Video Using the Content Editor ............................................................... 2 - 88
2-4
Discussion Board and Communication Tools
Accessing the Discussion Board
The main discussion board page displays a list of forums. A forum is an area where participants discuss a
topic or a group of related topics. Within each forum, participants can create multiple threads. A thread
includes the initial post and all replies to it.
You can access the discussion board in several ways. You can 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.
On the course menu, create a tool link to the discussion board.
-OROn the course menu, click the default Tools link. On the Tools page, select Discussion Board.
-OROn the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Discussion Board. From this link,
access the course discussion board and the group discussion boards for the groups in your course.
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Adding 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
one-click access to the tool. You can also customize the name of the link.
1. Point to the plus sign above the course menu. The Add Menu Item drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
3. Type a Name for the link.
4. From the Type drop-down list, select Discussion Board.
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5. Select the Available to Users check box.
6. Click Submit.
7. 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.
8. Access the link's contextual menu to rename, delete, or hide the link from students.
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Viewing the Discussion Board Page
The Discussion Board page contains all the forums you have created for your course.
Create forums and use the search function to search for discussion board content from the action bar.
By default, the search field appears collapsed to save screen space.
A. 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.
B. To view the posts, click the forum title. Forums containing unread posts appear in bold type.
C. 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:
•
•
•
•
•
Date: Displays the date the thread was created.
Author: Displays the name of the user who created the thread.
Status: Indicates whether the thread is published, hidden, locked, unavailable, or a draft.
Unread Posts: Displays the number of posts not yet accessed.
Total Posts: Displays the total number of posts, including both read and unread posts.
To sort a column, click the column heading or drop down arrow.
2-8
Forum Features
A. Use the breadcrumbs to navigate to a previous page. Do not use the browser navigation
controls because page load errors may occur.
B. Use the action bar functions to perform various actions, including:
o Create Thread: Add a new thread to a forum.
o Search: Search for discussion board content. By default, the search field appears
collapsed to save screen space.
o Grade Forum: Grade posts, if you have enabled grading for the forum.
o 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 later attention.
o Delete: Remove selected threads from a forum. You cannot restore deleted threads. Use
the Make Unavailable function in the Thread Actions drop-down list to completely hide
threads from users without actually deleting the threads.
o Collect: Gather selected threads onto one page where you can sort, filter, and print
them.
C. Select multiple threads' check boxes or select the check box in the header row to select all
threads for an action, such as deleting.
D. Click a thread title to read the posts. Forum titles containing unread posts appear in bold type.
E. 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.
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Using List View and Tree View in Discussions
After you click a forum title, a page loads displaying all forum threads. View the page in either list view
or tree view. This choice remains in effect until you change it. You may change it at any time. Change the
view on the forum page, in the upper-right corner.
List View
Click List View to present the threads in a table format. Threads containing any unread posts appear in
bold type.
A. From the action bar, you can create threads, collect, or delete posts.
Depending on the settings you made when creating the forum, different functions appear on
the action bar. For example, if you allowed tagging, a Tags function appears.
B. To sort a column, click the column heading or drop down arrow.
C. 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:
o Marking threads read or unread.
o Setting or clearing flags. Flags mark threads for later attention.
o Editing the status of the selected threads.
o Subscribing or unsubscribing for email alerts to threads, if enabled.
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Tree View
Click Tree View to show the thread starter messages and their replies. From the action bar, you can
create threads, collect, or delete posts.
Expand and collapse threads with 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.
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.
A. By hovering over the action bar, you can access functions such as Subscribe, Unsubscribe, or
Search. When subscribed to a thread, you receive an email alert when a post is updated or a
reply is posted. Your instructor must enable this function when creating a forum. The search
field is hidden by default to save screen space.
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B. Select one or more threads 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.
C. Collapse or Expand Thread: Collapses or displays the message.
How to Create Forums in the Discussion Board
1. On the course menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Discussion Board.
-OR-
On 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.
2 - 12
2. On the Discussion Board page, click Create Forum on the action bar.
3. On the Create Forum page, type a Name. Choose a descriptive and unique name because users
click this name to access the forum.
4. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Description box. You can use the content
editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and
mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content
Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the content 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. In the Forum Availability section, select Yes to make the forum available to users.
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.
2 - 13
7. Select the Forum Settings based on your specific needs. For example, if you are grading posts
and want to retain the posts as they were at the time of grading, clear the check box for Allow
Author to Edit Own Published Posts. To learn more about how you can use forum settings to
meet your requirements, see the following bulleted list.
8. Click Submit.
On the Discussion Board page, the new forum appears at the bottom of the list.
2 - 14
Suggestions for Forum Settings in the Discussion Board
The following list includes some of the ways you can control the behavior of forums in a discussion
board.
•
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 and behavior
monitoring is a concern, assign a moderator to review each post before making it public.
•
If you want to create forums where students have control of the discussion, allow them to edit,
delete, and rate posts.
•
If you want to have a tightly controlled forum and use it for evaluating student performance,
select the Force Moderation of Posts and Grade Forum or Grade Threads options. To be sure
students focus on the existing threads, do not allow the creation of new threads.
•
When you want your students to focus on the existing threads, clear the check box for Allow
Members to Create New Threads.
•
If you allow authors to edit their published posts, consider locking the thread after grading.
Users cannot change locked posts.
•
You cannot select some settings 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.
•
If you select Grade Forum or Grade Threads, you can choose the number of posts that will place
the activity in needs grading status. You might want to grade students only when they have
made a certain number of posts, rather than grading each time they make a single post.
•
When the Grade Forum option is selected, you can associate rubrics with a forum. If the Grade
Threads option is selected, you can associate rubrics when creating or editing a thread.
•
If you want to force students to post original ideas before allowing them to see and reply to
what other students have posted, consider selecting the Participants must create a thread in
order to view other threads in this forum option.
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.
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
2 - 15
release rules or date availability restrictions to limit students' access. This allows them to access content
in a specified order, such as reading a PDF before adding posts to 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. Change Edit Mode to ON.
2. On the action bar, point to Tools to access the drop-down list.
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 discussion board or forum.
7. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Text box. You can use the content editor
functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Files
uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the toplevel 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.
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 content area
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How to Enable the Group Discussion Board Tool
When you create a course group, 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.
The Group Discussion Board tool appears in the My Groups section and on the group homepage.
Students access their group discussion boards by expanding the My Groups course menu or on the
group homepage. Students click the right-pointing arrows in the My Groups section to access the group
homepage.
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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 available again.
When you make a graded group discussion board unavailable, the grade column associated with that
group discussion board remains in the Grade Center.
1. On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Groups.
2. On the Groups page, access the group's contextual menu.
3. Select Edit.
4. On the Edit Group page, in the Tool Availability section, clear the check box for Discussion
Board.
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5. Click Submit.
When members access their 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. You and all
assigned group members can edit the forum name and provide a description.
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.
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, access the forum's contextual menu.
4. Select Edit.
5. On the Edit Forum page, change the Name, provide a Description, and edit the Forum
Availability.
6. Edit the 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.
7. Click Submit when done.
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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.
How to Create Threads in a Discussion Forum
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. Optionally, you can use the
content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and
mashups. Any files you upload form your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content
Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the content editor can be
launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
5. Alternatively, in the Attachments section, attach a file using one of the following options:
o To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
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6. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to create the thread.
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 user creates and submits a thread, it is assigned the
Published status.
The following table describes which thread status to select to accomplish various objectives.
Publish
Hide
Status
Make Unavailable
Lock
Unlock
Thread Status in the Discussion Board
Goal for Thread
Make thread available to all users.
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 is enabled for the thread.
Users can view hidden threads using the Display drop-down list on
the action bar. When you do not want the thread hidden, change the
status to Publish. Hide thread from view of all users except forum
managers.
Allow users to read the thread, but not edit or add to it. Locking a
thread allows you to assign grades without users updating or
changing posts.
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.
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Alternatively, access a thread's contextual menu and select a thread status.
1. Access the forum and change 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.
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 assign different statuses to the threads, you can choose which
threads appear in a forum. For example, if you start several threads and save them as drafts, you can
choose to show only those drafts and select the threads to edit and publish.
1. Access the forum and change 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.
The forum page displays only those threads that have the status selected from the Display drop-down
list.
How to Enable Grading in the Discussion Board
When you create or edit a forum, you can enable grading options. After grading is enabled, a Grade
Center column is created automatically.
The grade settings appear in the Forum Settings section of the Create Forum page and the Edit Forum
page.
•
•
•
Select Grade Discussion Forum and type a point value to evaluate participants on performance
throughout a forum.
Select Grade Threads to evaluate participants on performance in each thread.
Optionally, select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and the number of
posts required to show participants in needs grading status. Applying this setting will show the
needs grading icon ( ) in the Grade Center. The posts are placed in the queue on the Needs
Grading page after the specified number of posts are made by each user. If you select a grading
option and do NOT select the check box, the needs grading icon does not appear in the Grade
Center and posts do not appear on the Needs Grading page.
If you choose three posts from the drop-down list and a user submits two, the in progress icon (
) appears in the Grade Center cell and the discussion board until the specified number of
posts is met.
•
Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric. This option appears in the Forum
Settings section when Grade Forum is selected and in the Grading section of the Create Thread
page when Grade Threads is selected.
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Enable Grading During Forum Creation
1. Access the discussion board and click on the action bar.
2. On the Create Forum page, provide the appropriate information. In the Forum Settings section,
select Grade Discussion Forum or Grade Threads. If you chose to grade the forum, type the
Points possible. Optionally, select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status
and select the number of posts from the drop-down list.
3. Click Submit.
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Enable Grading by Editing a Forum
1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, in the Forum Settings section, select Grade Discussion Forum or Grade
Threads. If you chose to grade the forum, type the Points possible. Optionally, select the check
box for Show participants in needs grading status and select the number of posts from the dropdown list.
4. Click Submit.
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Enable Thread Grading During Thread Creation
If you chose to grade threads when you created a forum, you decide on a thread-by-thread basis
whether to grade a thread.
If you select the Grade Threads option, users cannot create new threads.
1. Click on the Create Thread button.
2. On the Create Thread page, type in a message for the thread.
3. Select the Grade Thread check box and type the Points possible. You can determine when posts
go into needs grading status by selecting the check box for Show participants in needs grading
status and selecting the number of posts from the drop-down list.
4. Click Submit.
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5. In the forum, the Grade Thread function appears in the thread's Grade column.
Enable Thread Grading After Thread Creation
When you select the Grade Threads option, you can enable thread grading directly from the thread list
in a forum.
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.
If you want to use a rubric to grade a forum or thread, you must create it and associate it in advance.
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How to Grade User Participation in a Forum
You can assign discussion grades to evaluate participants on performance throughout a forum. When
you create or edit a forum, you can enable forum grading options and a Grade Center column is created
automatically.
Only users with a role of manager or grader can assign grades for posts. However, a grader cannot view
his or hers own work.
You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading forums, but you must create and associate the
rubrics in advance.
1. Access the discussion forum where you enabled forum grading and click Grade Discussion 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.
3. On the Grade Discussion Forum page, a collection of the student's posts made to the graded
forum appears. Since you can assign a forum grade based on multiple threads, all messages
posted by a student are included for review. On the action bar, click Print Preview to open the
page in a new window in a 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.
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The side panel contains three sections:
o
o
o
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 Grading Notes.
Contributors: Users who have submitted the required number of posts appear with
exclamation marks—the needs grading icon ( ) or, if they have not yet reached the
required number, the in progress 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.
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.
If you created and added a rubric for this graded forum, click View Rubric to reference it while
grading.
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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 content editor in a pop-up window. Use the functions
to format the text and include files, images, web 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.
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.
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How to Grade User Participation in a Thread
You can assign discussion grades to evaluate participants on performance in each thread. When you
create or edit a forum, you can enable thread grading options and a Grade Center column is created
automatically.
Only users with a role of manager or grader can assign grades for posts. However, a grader cannot view
his or hers own work.
Students cannot create new threads in a forum where threads are graded.
You can create rubrics and refer to them while grading threads, but you must create and associate the
rubrics 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.
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4. On the Grade Discussion Thread page, a collection of the student's posts made to the graded
thread appears. Since you can assign a thread grade based on multiple messages, all messages
posted by a student are included for review. On the action bar, click Print Preview to open the
page in a new window in a 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:
o
Thread Statistics: Includes information about the user's posts, such as Date of Last Post,
Average Post Length, and Average Post Position.
o
Thread Grade: Includes Grade, Grade Date, Feedback, and Grading Notes.
o
Contributors: Users who have submitted the required number of posts appear with
exclamation marks—the needs grading icon ( ) or, if they have not yet reached the
required number, the in progress 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, click Edit Grade in the Thread Grade section.
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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.
If you created and added a rubric for this graded thread, click View Rubric to reference it while
grading.
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 content editor in a pop-up window. Use the functions
to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups to your
feedback or notes.
9. Click Save Grade. The information appears in the Thread Grade section.
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.
Grades appear in the Grade column on the Grade Discussion Thread Users page and in the
Grade Center.
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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.
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, if needed.
5. Type a question or feedback in the Message box.
6. Click Submit.
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How to Disable Grading for a Discussion Forum or Thread
Even if grades exist, you can disable grading for graded forums and threads.
1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's 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 you already assigned grades 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.
As you decide whether to disable grading for a forum, the number in the Points possible box appears
grayed out.
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, you can fine-tune the forum name or description to
clarify the forum's purpose.
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.
1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
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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 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.
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2. On the Thread Detail page the posts appear in the Current Post content frame. You can view the
text of the posts and information about the posts, such as the authors and posted dates.
3. Click Edit.
Note: In order to see the reply, quote, edit, and delete buttons, you must hover over the area
under the reply.
4. On the Edit Post page, make the edits.
5. Click Submit. Your edits appear in the post.
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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.
Note: It is suggested that you make the forum or threads unavailable over deleting them.
When deleting graded discussion content, you determine if the Grade Center column and scores are also
deleted.
1. Access the discussion board and access a forum or thread's contextual menu.
2. Select Delete to permanently delete the forum or thread's content.
3. Click OK in the pop-up window to continue deleting
4. On the Delete Confirmation page, you have two options:
o
Do not select check boxes: The graded forum or thread will be deleted, but the Grade
Center column and scores you assigned are retained. For example, you 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.
o
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.
3. Release the forum to place it in its new location.
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Moderating Discussions
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.
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.
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.
Forum Roles and Permissions
Role
Manager
Permissions
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.
Course builders can edit, copy, and delete forums, but not grade or manage
forums. Inside a forum, a course builder can perform the same actions on
posts as an instructor, with the exception of grading threads.
Builder
Course builders can also create new threads in a forum, and 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.
Moderators can delete, edit, and lock all posts in any forum, even if the forum
does not use the moderation queue.
Moderator
If you use a moderation queue, 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.
Grader
Graders can read, reply to, and grade posts. The grader role has some access
to the Grade Center, but cannot assign grades to their own work.
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Forum Roles and Permissions
Role
Permissions
Users with a course role of grader are granted this forum role by default.
Participant
Participants can read and reply to posts.
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
Blocked users cannot access the forum.
Use the following steps to assign a forum role.
1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's contextual menu.
2. Select Manage.
3. On the Manage Forum Users page, a list of users appears. Access a user's contextual menu.
If you want to show only one role at a time, make a selection in the Display Forum Role dropdown 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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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 the discussion.
Occasionally, students may introduce inappropriate material for the class discussion. Depending on the
maturity and sensitivity of the students in your course, you may need 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.
When you create a moderated forum, all posts to the forum are added to a moderation queue. The
moderator reviews each post and does one of the following:
•
•
•
Publishes the post.
Returns the post to the sender without a message.
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.
*If you do not assign a moderator, 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 access a forum's contextual menu.
2. Select Edit.
3. On the Edit Forum page, in the Forum Settings section, select the Force Moderation of Posts
check box and click Submit.
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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.
4. After posts are submitted, access the forum. In the moderator view, no posts appear because
the messages are waiting approval. On the action bar, click Moderate Forum.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
8. Click Submit.
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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.
How to Reply to Discussion Posts
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, the posts appear in the Current Post portion of the content frame.
You can view the text of the posts and information about the posts, such as the authors and
posted dates.
3. Click Reply. Alternatively, click Quote to include the post's text as part of your reply.
Note: In order to see the reply, quote, edit, and delete buttons, you must hover over the area
under the reply.
4. Type a reply in the Message box.
5. Alternatively, in the Attachments section, attach a file using the following option:
o To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
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6. Click Submit to publish your reply.
Your reply appears on the Thread Detail page under the parent post. If you attached a file, a paper clip
icon appears in the post's row. Use the breadcrumbs to return to the forum or the Discussion Board
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.
The collect function is also available from the forum page where you can gather all the posts made to
different threads. After collecting posts, filter and sort the messages to further organize them.
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.
Follow these steps to collect some or all posts in a thread:
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.
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 a collection page, click the plus sign to expand the post and
select the check boxes for those messages.
3. On the action bar, click Collect.
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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 a 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.
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.
If the author or authors of some posts are no longer enrolled in your 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. Select options from the following drop-down lists:
o Author: Select All or select an author.
o Status: Show All or select a status.
o Read Status: Select Show All, Read, or Unread posts.
o Tags: Show All tags or select a tag.
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2. Click Go to apply the selections. You can further organize the results using the Filter function
and the Sort By and Order drop-down lists on the action bar.
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.
If the author or authors of some posts are no longer enrolled in your 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 an option:
If you enabled the rating of posts, you can also sort by Overall Rating.
o
o
o
o
o
Author's Last Name
Author's First Name
Subject
Date of Last Post
Thread Order
3. On the action bar, point to Order to access the drop-down list.
4. Sort posts in ascending or descending order.
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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, you can view how many forums a user posted in. In the
Discussion Board column, click a numbered link to view details.
4. On the Discussion Board page, you can view the following information:
To sort a column, click the column heading or caret.
o
o
o
o
o
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.
Date of Last Post: View when a user last accessed the forum.
Average Post Length: Lists the average post length, in number of characters.
Minimum Post Length: Lists the minimum post length, in number of characters.
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o
o
o
Maximum Post Length: Lists the maximum post length, in number of characters.
Average Post Position: View a representation of a user's participation within the
threads.
Grade: Click the link in the column to access the Grade Center column (if a grade
appears).
5. On the action bar, click Email User to contact a 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 a user's posts in
that forum.
Course Calendar
The Course Calendar feature can be used to indicate important course related events. All Students
registered in the course can view the dates and events that appear on the Course Calendar.
Typical items Instructors may include in the calendar are:
1. Meetings
2. Assignment due dates
3. Exams
4. Guest Speakers
5. Instructor Office Hours
The calendar displays a consolidated view of all institution, course, organization, and personal calendar
events for a user. You can view events by day, week, or month. You can also view and organize
upcoming and past events into categories.
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Course calendar events appear to all members of the course. Common entries include upcoming tests,
due dates for assignments, or special lectures. Course items with due dates automatically appear in the
course calendar. Only instructors may create additional course calendar events.
You can access the calendar from your course, from the Tools panel on the My Institution tab or from
the Global Navigation.
A. View events by day, week, or month.
B. Navigate between months.
C. Click the plus (+) to create a new event. You can also click inside a date to create an event.
Assign the event to the appropriate calendar, select the date and time and add a description.
Students cannot create an event on a course and institution calendar. Instructors cannot create
an event for institution unless they have administrator privileges.
D. Click an event to manage it. You can also drag and drop an event to change the date.
E. Select the calendars you want to show, such as institution, personal, or course. By default all
calendars are visible. Optionally, change the color of each calendar to suit your preference.
Using a distinct color for each calendar displays at-a-glance which calendar the event is
associated to without opening the event.
All institution events appear in the Institution calendar. All course events, such as assignments
due, appear in the course calendar.
F. Receive a link to import your selected calendar content into external calendar applications.
Register the Learn iCal URL with the external calendar application. Once the Learn iCal URL is set
up in an external calendar application it is updated dynamically. You do not need to re-export or
register a new URL to get new events.
You cannot import external calendars into this calendar.
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Accessing the Course Calendar
1. On the course menu, click Tools.
2. On the Tools page, select Calendar.
-OROn the My Institution tab, select Calendar in the Tools panel.
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-ORFrom the Global Navigation, select Calendar.
-ORExpand the Course Tools drop down menu in the Control Panel section.
Click on the Course Calendar link.
Adding an Event
1. On the calendar, click the plus (+) to create a new event. You can also click inside a date to
create an event.
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2. Type the New Event Name.
3. Select a Calendar to associate the event to, such as your personal calendar.
Only instructors and administrators can add events to the course and institution calendars.
4. Select the Start and End times.
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5. Type the Event Description. There is a 4,000 character limit for event descriptions.
6. Click Save.
Recurring Events
Optionally make events repeat by selecting the Repeat checkbox. Additional options appear that allow
you to create multiple events based on a repeating pattern.
Specifics on Repeating Events and Limitations
Recurring Events Supported
Repeat Options
Daily, Weekly and Monthly Supported
Daily
End after X number of times or on a particular day
Weekly Report
Day of the week supported. End after X number of
times or on a particular date
Monthly Report
Day of the month (1-31) or day of week (first
Sunday, Second Monday etc.) supported. End after
X number of times or on a particular date
Bulk Add (Series)
You can create a series with the Repeat Options
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Bulk Add (Series)
You can delete the entire series created via Repeat
Options
Edit and Instance
You can edit an instance of the series. If date/time
of the instance is changed, that particular instance
has a “broken” icon to indicate that it no longer
conforms with the original series rules.
Changing the name or description of an instance DOES NOT
break the instance from the series.
Editing Series (Known Limitation)
At this time you CANNOT edit the series. Once the
series has been created, you can bulk delete or
make changes to individual instance.
Editing an Event
On the Calendar, navigate to the date of the event in the main view.
1. Click on the event you wish to edit.
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2. Make need edits and then click the Save button.
3. Drag an event to another date in the main view to change the date of the event. The time of the
event and calendar it is associated with remain the same.
4. Drag an event from the main view to another date on the smaller monthly view to change the
date.
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Deleting an Event
1. Click on the event you wish to delete.
2. Click Delete under the event description.
3. You will receive a delete notification. Click Ok to delete.
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Course Items with Due Dates
When you create items, such as tests or assignments, in the course with due dates, the calendar event
automatically appears on the course calendar for that day.
For calendar events associated to content items, all adaptive release and availability rules are handled,
ensuring that the release of an item is in sync with the calendar.
Adding a Calendar Link to the Course Menu
If you want students to access the Course Calendar from the course, you can add a link to the Course
Menu for one-click access to the tool. You can also customize the name of the link.
1. Point to the plus sign above the Course Menu. The Add Menu Item drop-down list appears.
2. Select Tool Link.
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3. Type a Name for the link. From the Type drop-down list, select Calendar.
4. Select the Available to Users check box.
5. Click Submit.
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Journals
The Journal is a self‐reflective tool for students. Only the student and the Instructor are able to
Comment on Journal Entries. Journals can be made public by the Instructor to allow other enrolled users
read the entries.
A Journal consists of:
Journal Entries: Text, images, links and attachments posted by individual students.
Comments: Remarks or responses to a Journal Entry made by the Instructor.
Instructors can assign a journal to each user in a group that is accessible by only them and the user in
order to communicate privately with the Instructor about the group experience. Users can post
messages to the Instructor and the Instructor, in turn, can comment.
How to Create a Journal
1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.
2. Click Journals from the Course Tools area.
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3. Click Edit Mode ON.
4. Click Create Journal.
5. Enter a Name and Instructions for the Journal.
6. Click “Yes” to make the Journal available.
7. Use the “Display After” and “Display Until” date and time fields to Limit Availability of the Journal.
Click both the “Display After” and “Display Until” checkboxes in order to enable the date and time
selections.
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8. Choose between Monthly or Weekly index entries.
9. Click the checkbox to Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries, Allow Users to Remove Comments, and
Permit Course Users to View Journal.
10. Choose “No Grading” or “Grade”. If you choose to grade the journal, you will need to provide the
points possible.
11. Click Submit.
How to Create a Journal Entry
1. Open a Journal.
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2. Click Create Journal Entry.
3. Enter an Entry Title.
4. Enter the text in the Entry Message Text Box.
5. Click Browse My Computer for Local File or Browse for Course Files to attach a file to the Journal
entry.
6. Click Post entry to post the Journal entry or click Save Entry as Draft to post the entry later.
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How to Comment on a Journal Entry
1. Open a Journal.
2. Click Comment for the appropriate entry.
3. Enter a comment in the Comment field.
4. Click Add.
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Editing and Managing Journals
How to Edit a Journal
1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.
2. Click Journals from the Course Tools menu.
3. Click Edit Mode ON.
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4. Select Edit from the contextual menu for the Journal.
5. Make changes.
6. Click Submit.
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How to Delete a Journal
1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.
2. Click Journals from the Course Tools menu.
3. Click Edit Mode On.
4. Select Delete from the contextual menu for the Journal.
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How to Change the Availability of a Journal
1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.
2. Click Journals from the Course Tools menu.
3. Click Edit Mode ON.
4. Click the checkbox next to the appropriate Journal.
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5. Select Make Available or Make Unavailable from the Availability drop‐down list.
Creating a Blog
1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.
2. Click on the Edit Mode button on the right top area of your course. This will switch your view from
preview to edit mode.
3. Navigate to the Course Management area on the left of your course.
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4. Expand the Course Tools drop down menu in the Control Panel section.
5. Click on the Blogs link.
6. Click on Create Blog.
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7. Enter a Name and Instructions for the Blog.
8. Click “Yes” you make the Blog available. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields
to Limit Availability of the Blog. Click both the Display After and Display Until checkboxes in order to
enable the date and time selections.
9. Under Blog Participation, select Individual to All Students or Course and click the checkbox next to
Allow Anonymous Comments if you want users to have that permission.
10. Choose between Monthly or Weekly index entries. Click the checkbox to Allow Users to Edit and
Delete Entries and Allow Users to Delete Comments. To grade the blog, select Grade and assign points
possible.
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11. Click Submit.
Editing a Blog
1. On the Control Panel, click on Blogs.
2. Click on the drop down menu next to the blog you wish to edit. Select Edit.
3. Make your edits.
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4. Click Submit to complete.
How to Create a Blog Post
1. Click Blogs on the Course Tools menu.
2. Click the appropriate blog.
3. Click Create Blog Entry.
4. Enter an Entry Title.
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5. Enter the text in the Entry Message text box.
6. Click Post Messages as Anonymous if appropriate.
7. Click Browse for Local File to attach a file to the entry.
8. Click Post Entry or click Save Entry as Draft to save the entry for later posting.
Viewing Drafts
Blog entries can be saved for later posting by clicking Save Entry as Draft. These drafts can be viewed by
clicking View Drafts from the main blog page.
How to Comment on a Blog Post
1. Open a blog.
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2. Click Comment for the appropriate post.
3. Enter a comment in the Comment field.
4. Click Comment on Entry as Anonymous if appropriate.
5. Click Add.
Creating a Wiki
A wiki is a website of one or more pages that allows people to add and edit content collectively. The wiki
starts out with one page (homepage). You can add new pages at any time and link them together.
1. Log into Blackboard and select your course.
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2. Click on the Edit Mode button on the right top area of your course. This will switch your view from
preview to edit mode.
3. Navigate to the Course Management area on the left of your course.
4. Expand the Course Tools drop down menu in the Control Panel section.
5. Click on the Wikis link.
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6. Click on Create Wiki.
7. Enter a Name and Instructions for the Wiki.
8. Click “Yes” you make the Wiki available. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to
Limit Availability of the Wiki.
9. Under Wiki Participation, select Closed to Editing or Open to Editing.
10. To grade the Wiki, select Grade and assign points possible.
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11. Click Submit.
How to Create a Wiki Page
1. Open a Wiki.
2. Type a name for the Wiki page. Type the content for your wiki page in the text box under Content.
3. Click Submit.
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4. Once you click submit you will be taken to that wiki page. You can click Edit Wiki Content to edit the
current content or click comment to make comments on the wiki.
Creating Mashup Items (Flickr Photo, SlidShare Presentaiton, Wimba Voice Authoring or Youtube
Video)
Mashups allow Instructors to add content to a Course that is from an external Web site. This content is
used in a variety of ways within a Course: a standalone piece of Course Content, part of a test question,
a topic on a Discussion Board, or as part of an assignment. The content displayed in a course will still
reside on the external Web site.
Mashups are added as a Content Item in a folder or added through the Text Editor. Adding a Mashup as
a Content Item makes it a part of the information that you present to users for them to view. Adding a
Mashup using the Text Editor means that you can put Mashups in places where users can interact with
the content, such as in Test Questions, Discussion Boards, and Blogs.
Mashups are displayed in the following ways:
Embed: The Mashup displays directly on the page when a student opens the item.
Thumbnail View with Player: A small picture of the Mashup displays on the page with controls to launch
it.
Text Link with Player: A link to the Mashup is displayed on the page. Students click the link to launch the
Mashup.
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Create a Mashup Item
1. Navigate to the Content area of your Course that you want to add a mashup to.
2. Click Build Content from the action bar menu, Select Flickr Photo, Slideshare Presentation, or
YouTube Video from the drop down list below under mashups.
3. Search for content by typing keywords for the topic you are looking for the text box next to
Keywords and then click Go.
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4. Click Preview to examine the items.
5. Click Select for the appropriate item.
6. Change the Name of the item. This is a required field. Type a Description of the Mashup in the
textbox under Description.
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7. Set the Mashup Options.
8. Attach additional content items to the Mashup by clicking Browse My Computer or Browse Course
Files.
9. Click Yes to Permit Users to View this Content. Click “Yes” to Track Number of Views.
10. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to restrict the availability of the Mashup.
Click both the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time settings.
11. Click Preview to examine the Mashup.
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12. Click Submit.
Video Everywhere
Using the content edtior, you can record video everywhere. Once installed and activated, a new icon is
added to the content editor that controls your webcam. You can record video from the content editor
and upload it directly to YouTube™. You must have a Google® account that is registered on YouTube. A
YouTube channel is required to process and save your webcam videos.
Video everywhere is not available when the content editor only allows limited text formatting, such as
when sending email or creating groups.
Recording and Sharing Video
How to Record and Share Video Using the Content Editor
1. Click Recorder and select Record from Webcam.
2. When prompted, click Sign in to YouTube.
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3. Sign in to YouTube using your Google account. Click Grant Access to allow your Blackboard
server to upload video on your behalf.
If your Google account has not yet been enabled for YouTube access, you will receive a prompt
to open a new browser tab and log in to YouTube. Once logged in to YouTube, create your
YouTube channel to upload and store your videos. Navigate back to the video everywhere
window and click Sign in to YouTube. Click Grant Access.
4. Click Record from webcam.
5. When you are prompted by Adobe Flash to enable the player settings, accept or agree.
6. Agree to allow the recorder to upload videos to YouTube.
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7. Click Start Recording. When you are finished, click Stop Recording.
8. Click Upload to save your video on YouTube.
9. Click Insert to add the video to the content editor. A placeholder appears in the content editor
where your video will play for viewers.
10. Your video appears in your content item. It takes a few minutes to encode the video so it may
not play immediately. You might even receive a "This video is unavailable" message. Wait a few
minutes and try again.
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Table of Contents
Assignment Tool....................................................................................................................................... 3 - 2
Creating Assignments .......................................................................................................................... 3 - 2
Manual Assignments ............................................................................................................................ 3 - 4
Add a Manual Assignment ............................................................................................................... 3 - 4
Viewing Individual Assignments ...................................................................................................... 3 - 6
Viewing Group Assignments ............................................................................................................ 3 - 8
Downloading Assignments for Manual Grading ................................................................................ 3 - 10
Grading Assignments ......................................................................................................................... 3 - 12
Grading Individual Assignments..................................................................................................... 3 - 12
Grading Group Assignments .............................................................................................................. 3 - 14
Sending Graded Assignments Back to Students ............................................................................ 3 - 16
Needs Grading Feature .......................................................................................................................... 3 - 19
Grading Using Grade All ..................................................................................................................... 3 - 20
Grading Using Contextual Menus ...................................................................................................... 3 - 21
3- 1
Assignment Tool
You can use the Assignments Tool to create assignments in Content Areas, learning modules, or folders.
An Assignment lists the name, point value, due date, and instructions for the assignment. You can also
attach files to an assignment and control when the assignment is available to students. You can create
an Assignments content area and place all assignments in that content area or you can create individual
assignments in the different content areas that you create for a course. When an assignment is created
a corresponding item is automatically added to the Grade Center.
Creating Assignments
1. Select a Content Area link in which you want to create an assignment.
2. Click Create Assessment on the action bar and select Assignment.
3. In section 1, fill out the Name and Instructions for the assignment.
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4. In Section 2, you have the option of attaching a file such as a Rubric or Assignment Sheet by clicking
Browse and choosing the file. In Section 3, assign a point value for grading purposes in the Points
Possible field. You may also add a rubric (see Rubric Tutorial for detailed information on adding rubrics).
5. In Section 4, select the assignment availability options (The assignment cannot be made available
until it is assigned to an individual or group of students).
Make the Assignment Available: instructors can choose to leave the assignment unavailable by removing
the checkmark from the checkbox.
Number of Attempts: instructors can allow single or multiple attempts for an assignment.
Allowing multiple attempts while the assignment is available eliminates the need for instructors to Clear
Attempt when students submit the wrong assignment or document.
Limit Availability: this optional feature allows instructors to choose assignment availability based on date
restriction, including date and time. Note: If this feature is used, instructors must use both Display After
and Display Until.
Track Number of Views: this optional feature allows instructors to track each student’s click on this
single item. A statistics report can be generated to show how many times each student accessed the
item each day up to two weeks prior to the current date.
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6. In Section 5, select a due date for the assignment (Submissions are accepted after this date, but are
marked Late).
7. In Section 6, determine the Recipients for the Assignment by selecting All Students Individually
option.
8. In Section 8, click Submit.
Manual Assignments
Manual assignments are used for those assignments that are physical items turned in such as a paper
that is in written form. If you choose to create a manual assignment you will also need to manually add a
Grade Center Column to record the grade. Remember that all Assignments created using the
Assignment tool will automatically be populated with a column in the Grade Center but manual
assignments are not.
Add a Manual Assignment
1. Click on a Content Area link in which you want to create the assignment. In this example an item will
be added to Course Documents.
3- 4
2. Click Build Content on the action bar and select Item.
3. Enter the assignment information.
4. In Section 2, you can attach files for your assignment (i.e. – instructions or rubric).
5. In the Options section you can set availability options.
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6. Click Submit.
Viewing Individual Assignments
1. Under the Control Panel, click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
2. Hover over a cell, click the contextual menu icon | click View Grade Details from the list.
3. From the Grade Details page, click the View Attempts button.
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4. The page will display the Assignment Information, the User's Work (or submission) and Feedback to
User.
5. To access the assignment, click on the file located to the right of Attached Files. You will be prompted
to Open or Save the file. If you are simply reading the paper, click Open. If you will be commenting on
the file (electronically), click Save and edit it in the word processing program.
6. Click Save and Exit (see Grading Assignments section for grading assignments).
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Viewing Group Assignments
1. Under the Control Panel, click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
2. Hover over a cell, click the contextual menu icon | click View Grade Details from the list.
3. From the Grade Details page, click the View Attempts button or the Grade Group Attempt button.
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4. The page will display the Assignment Information, the User's Work (or submission) and Feedback to
User.
5. To access the assignment, click on the file located to the right of Attached Files. You will be
prompted to Open or Save the file. If you are simply reading the paper, click Open. If you will be
commenting on the file (electronically), click Save and edit it in the word processing program.
3- 9
6. Click Save and Exit or Save and Next to move onto the next student (see Grading Assignments
section for grading assignments).
Downloading Assignments for Manual Grading
Downloading assignment submissions to your computer enables you to review them offline instead of
reviewing them online from the Grade Center.
1. Under the Control Panel, click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
2. Click the Contextual Menu Icon next to column name to access the menu.
3. Choose Assignment File Download from the list.
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4. There are a couple of options for choosing papers from the list.
5. Click Submit to create the zip file.
6. Click the Download assignment now link.
7. Click Save in the File Download window.
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8. Choose the location to store the .zip files and click Save.
9. Click OK when finished with download.
Grading Assignments
Grading assignments allows the instructor to evaluate the performance of the students and provide
feedback.
Grading Individual Assignments
1. Under the Control Panel, click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
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2. Hover over a cell for a student’s assignment, click the contextual menu icon | click View Grade Details
from the list.
3. From the Grade Details page, click the View Attempt button.
4. In the Grade Current Attempt section, fill in the following:
Grade: Assuming the grade was already entered, the grade can be modified simply by changing score in
the Grade field (see Grade an Assignment for more details).
Comments: Type comments to the student in the Comments field located in the Feedback to User
section. Call attention to the attached file by telling the student to refer to the attached file for
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comments on his or her paper.
Attach File: To upload the digital file, click Browse for local file | select file | click Open | click Attach File
to embed the file onto the page and make the Browse button available to attach more files. (This is
optional)
Attached Files: This is a chart of all the files uploaded by the instructor. Each will have a Link Title box
where it can be renamed. This is also where the instructor can remove a file by clicking “Do not attach”.
5. The Grading Notes area is a place for Instructors, TAs and Graders to add confidential grading notes
that are not visible to users.
6. Click Save and Exit or Save and Next to go to the next student’s assignment.
Grading Group Assignments
1. Under the Control Panel, click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
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2. Hover over a cell for a group’s assignment, click the contextual menu icon | click View Grade Details
from the list.
3. From the Grade Details page, click the View Attempts button or the Grade Group Attempt button.
4. In the Grade Current Attempt section, fill in the following:
Grade: Assuming the grade was already entered, the grade can be modified simply by changing score in
the Grade field (see Grade an Assignment for more details).
Comments: Type comments to the student in the Comments field located in the Feedback to User
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section. Call attention to the attached file by telling the student to refer to the attached file for
comments on his or her paper.
Attach File: To upload the digital file, click Browse for local file | select file | click Open | click Attach File
to embed the file onto the page and make the Browse button available to attach more files. (This is
optional)
Attached Files: This is a chart of all the files uploaded by the instructor. Each will have a Link Title box
where it can be renamed. This is also where the instructor can remove a file by clicking “Do not attach”.
5. The Grading Notes area is a place for Instructors, TAs and Graders to add confidential grading notes
that are not visible to users.
6. Click Save and Exit or Save and Next to go to the next student’s assignment.
Sending Graded Assignments Back to Students
1. Under the Control Panel, click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
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2. Hover over a cell for a student’s assignment, click the contextual menu icon | click View Grade
Details from the list.
3. From the Grade Details Page, click the View Attempt button.
4. In the Grade Current Attempt section, fill in the following:
Grade: Assuming the grade was already entered, the grade can be modified simply by changing score in
the Grade field (see Grade an Assignment for more details).
Comments: Type comments to the student in the Comments field located in the Feedback to User
section. Call attention to the attached file by telling the student to refer to the attached file for
comments on his or her paper.
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Attach File: To upload the digital file, click Browse for local file | select file | click Open | click Attach File
to embed the file onto the page and make the Browse button available to attach more files. (This is
optional)
Attached Files: This is a chart of all the files uploaded by the instructor. Each will have a Link Title box
where it can be renamed. This is also where the instructor can remove a file by clicking “Do not attach”.
5. In the Attach File Section, you will click Browse My Computer to attach the graded assignment. By
attaching the graded assignment, you will be sending it back to the student when you click Save and
Exit.
6. Click Save and Exit to exit grading or click Save and Next to go to the next student’s assignment.
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Needs Grading Feature
A new feature to Blackboard 9 is the Needs Grading Feature for assignments and tests submitted by
students.
When a student turns in an assignment that you created via the assignment tool or a test that
Blackboard does not automatically grade for you, it will appear in the “Needs Graded” section under
Grade Center in the Control Panel.
To grade the assignments in the “Needs Grading” section:
1. Click on “Needs Grading” in the Control Panel under Grade Center.
2. Instructors can view attempts ready for grading or review on the Needs Grading page. There are two
ways to go about grading. You can do a Grade All or grade using the Contextual Menus.
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Grading Using Grade All
1. Click Grade All to begin grading and reviewing. Attempts appear in the order they were sorted
on the Needs Grading page. 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.
2. In the Grade Current Attempt section, assign a grade and feedback for the current assignment
attempt. When available, click Save and Next (to go to the next student) or View Previous to
navigate through or grade the attempts in the queue one at a time. If no grade is assigned for
the attempt, clicking Save and Next will not change the status of the attempt. If multiple
attempts have been allowed, a Student’s grade is not released until all of the attempts have
been graded.
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Grading Using Contextual Menus
Use an assignment’s contextual menu to Grade All Users or Grade Anonymously. For tests, the
contextual menu also includes Grade Tests by Questions and View All Attempts. A total number of
attempts for the selected items are listed in parentheses.
1.
Click the contextual icon (down arrow) next to an uploaded assignment or test to begin grading
and reviewing. Click Grade All Users. A total number of uploaded assignments for that
particular assignment will be listed in parentheses.
In the Grade Current Attempt section, assign a grade and feedback for the current assignment attempt.
When available, click Save and Next (to go to the next student) or View Previous to navigate through or
grade the attempts in the queue one at a time. If no grade is assigned for the attempt, clicking Save and
Next will not change the status of the attempt. If multiple attempts have been allowed, a Student’s
grade is not released until all of the attempts have been graded.
*Note: When you have grade everything in the Needs Graded section for a particular assignment you
will not be able to do a Save and Next. You will have to do a Save and Exit to get back to the Needs
Grading screen. When you have finished grading all submitted assignments there will no longer be any
items listed on the Needs Grading screen.
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Table of Contents
Assessment Tools........................................................................................................................... 4 -3
Creating Tests, Pools and Surveys......................................................................................................... 4 -3
Creating a Test (Test Manager) ............................................................................................................. 4 -3
Adding Questions to a Test ................................................................................................................... 4 -5
Create Questions............................................................................................................................... 4 -5
Reuse Questions – Question Set ....................................................................................................... 4 -8
Uploading Questions ......................................................................................................................... 4 -9
Test Options .................................................................................................................................... 4 -10
Making a Test Available (Deployment) ........................................................................................... 4 -10
Using the Pool Manager...................................................................................................................... 4 -14
Adding Questions to a Pool............................................................................................................. 4 -16
Creating Questions, in the same manner you created a test using a test manager....................... 4 -16
Find Questions, from an already existing pool or an existing assessment ..................................... 4 -16
Upload Questions from a text file ................................................................................................... 4 -17
Using the Survey Manager .................................................................................................................. 4 -17
Adding Questions to a Survey ............................................................................................................. 4 -18
Create Questions............................................................................................................................. 4 -19
Find Questions from an already existing pool or an existing assessment. ..................................... 4 -21
Upload Questions, from a text file .................................................................................................. 4 -23
Making a Survey Available (Deployment) ....................................................................................... 4 -23
Viewing and Grading Tests, Surveys and Assignments ....................................................................... 4 -25
Viewing/Grading Test Attempts ......................................................................................................... 4 -26
Viewing Attempts Statistics ............................................................................................................ 4 -27
Item Analysis ....................................................................................................................................... 4 -29
Viewing/ Grading Assignment Attempts ............................................................................................ 4 -30
How to Grade Assignments Anonymously.......................................................................................... 4 -32
Inline Assignment Grading .................................................................................................................. 4 -34
How to Annotate Inline ................................................................................................................... 4 -35
How to Grade a Submission Inline ................................................................................................. 4 - 36
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How to Allow Additional Attempts ..................................................................................................... 4 -38
Rubrics................................................................................................................................................. 4 -40
Create Rubric................................................................................................................................... 4 -40
Editing the Rubric Grid .................................................................................................................... 4 -41
Copying and Editing a Rubric .......................................................................................................... 4 -42
Applying a Rubric in the Grade Center ............................................................................................... 4 -43
How to Apply a Rubric in the Grade Center .................................................................................... 4 -43
How to View a Rubric while Grading .............................................................................................. 4 -45
Grading using Rubrics ..................................................................................................................... 4 -46
How to View Associated Content ................................................................................................... 4 -48
How to Run a Rubric Evaluation Report.......................................................................................... 4 -49
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Assessment Tools
Creating Tests, Pools and Surveys
Blackboard Tests are online evaluations that can be used to measure a Student’s understanding of the
Course. Tests are created in 3 steps:
Pool Manager: a repository of questions to be used in one or more tests.
Test Manager: location where tests are created by either selecting specific questions or using Random
Blocks
Deploy Test in Content Area: location where test is made available, and specific test options and settings
are chosen.
Creating a Test (Test Manager)
*There are two ways in which a test can be added.
One is directly creating it in Blackboard (using the “Add Test” option) and the other is to import it from a
file (using the “Import File” option). For now, we are going to create the test in blackboard.
1. Click on Control Panel | Course Tools | Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Click on Tests.
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3. Click on Build Test.
4. Enter a name for the test. You can also add a description and instructions. When you are finished,
click the Submit button.
5. The newly created test is displayed in your list of tests. When you are ready for students to take the
test you will need to make it available.
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Adding Questions to a Test
There are three ways by which questions could be added to a test.



Creating questions, in the same manner you created a test using a test manager.
Reuse questions from an existing pool or an existing assessment.
Uploading questions from a text file.
Create Questions
1. To add a question to the test, select a question type from the Create Question pull down menu. The
types of questions that can be used in assessments are listed below. All assessments created in
Blackboard will be automatically graded and put in the Grade Center. The only question type that is not
automatically graded is the essay, which has to be graded by the instructor manually. If there is an essay
question in an assessment, the student’s grade in the Grade Center for that assessment will appear as a
green “!” until it is graded.
2. A True/False question will be created for demonstration purposes.
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3. Type a Question Title and then type the question text in the space provided.
4. Under Options, you can specify the orientation of the answers as the students will see them.
5. Under Answers, select the radio button that corresponds to the correct answer.
6. You may type in a Correct Response and Incorrect Response (this is optional). Your students will only
see this if you enable feedback when you deploy the test.
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7. You can click Add to add a Category, Topic, Level of Difficulty, or Keyword.
8. You can make notes in the Text box under Instructor notes. These notes will only be viewed by the
Instructor.
9. Click Submit to save your question.
10. To continue adding more questions, select a question type from the Create Question pull down
menu.
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11. Once you have entered all questions scroll to the bottom of the page and click the OK button.
12. The newly created test is displayed in your list of tests. When you are ready for students to take the
test you will need to make it available.
Reuse Questions – Question Set
1. To reuse a question select create question set from the Reuse Question action bar. You can use the
currently assigned point values or you can assign new point values for the questions.
2. Once you have searched for questions you must select the ones that you would like to use.
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3. Click Submit.
4. A Question Set Saved message is displayed at the top of the page.
5. Click OK when you are finished adding questions.
Uploading Questions
1. To upload a question, select Upload Questions from the action bar. You can use the currently
assigned point values or you can assign new point values for the questions.
2. Click the browse button and find the text file containing your questions and enter the points per
question in the text box.
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3. Click Submit.
Test Options
After creating the test, its settings can be modified as described below.
1. Select the Question Settings link.
2. Choose the creation setting options that will provide you the most functionality then click Submit.
Making a Test Available (Deployment)
Once you have created a test, you will need to make it available (deploy) in order for your students to
take it.
There are two overall steps in deploying a test:


Add the test to a Content Area
Make the test available to students by selecting test options.
1. Click on a Content Area link in which you want to create the test.
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2. Click the Assessments action bar and select Test.
3. Select an existing Test and click the Submit button to add it to this content area or click the Create
button to start a new Test (for this lesson we are selecting an existing test).
4. A test added message is displayed at the top of the page.
5. The Test options are displayed. Here you find the link to select Availability, Feedback, and
Presentation options for the test. Modify the test is an option available prior to students having
access to the test, after that point no changes should be made.
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6. Choose from the following Test Availability Options that best suit your needs. You will need to select
the radio button “Yes” next to Make the Link Available in order for students to see the test.
Make the Link Available: Select “Yes” to make the link to this assessment visible. Select “No” and the link
to this assessment will not be visible.
Multiple Attempts: Select this option to allow students to take as many attempts at the quiz as you wish.
This option only tracks the last score of the multiple attempts the student took. It will not average the
scores.
Note: When an exam is deployed with the Force Completion option checked, it forces a student to
complete the test within the initial launch of the exam. If a student closes their browser, experiences a
computer crash, their network/browser times out, or their Internet provider boots them, they will not be
able to resume the exam. The instructor must then choose whether or not to clear the student’s exam
attempt. This forces the student to start over.
Set Timer: Select this option to time the quiz. This option provides students with a running clock and a
warning when time is up. The student will be allowed to finish the quiz past the time allotment. There
will be a notation in the Grade Center for the student that exceeds the time.
Display After: Select the date and time for this assessment to be available to students in the date and
time area below or clicking the calendar icon and selecting the date and time.
Display Until: Click the “Display Until” check box to stop displaying the link on a specific date. Select the
date and time for this to occur in the date and time area below or by clicking the calendar icon and
selecting the date and time.
Password protect: Select this option to require a password to access the test. Students will need to get
the password from the instructor in order to access the test. It is not required to have a password.
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7. Choose from the following Feedback Options:
Score: Select this option to present only the final score to students. This is the default.
Submitted Answers: Select this option to present the student’s answers.
Correct Answers: Select this option to present the correct answers.
Feedback: Select this option to present any feedback to the student.
8. Choose from the following Test Presentation options. In this example the questions will be given at
once and randomized.
All at Once: Select this option to present the entire assessment on one screen to the Student.
One at a Time: Select this option to display one question at a time. Students will be given navigation
tools to move between questions.
Prohibit Backtracking: Select this option to prevent students from returning to questions they have
already answered.
Randomize Questions: Select this option to display questions in a random order each time the
assessment is taken.
9. Click Submit.
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10. A success message is displayed.
11. The Test is now available in the Assignments area of the course.
Using the Pool Manager
A Pool is a repository of questions to be used in one or more tests. The process is very similar to creating
a test. It is also possible to import a pool with questions generated elsewhere with a pool creation tool.
Create a pool using the pool manager option as follows:
1. Click on the Control Panel | Course Tools | Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
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2. Click on Pools.
3. Click Build Pool.
4. Enter a name for the pool. You can also add a description about the pool and instructions on how to
complete the pool as required in the following fields.
5. Click Submit.
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6. A success message is displayed.
Adding Questions to a Pool
There are three ways by which questions could be added to this pool.



Creating questions, in the same manner you created a test using a test manager.
Add questions from an already existing pool or an existing assessment.
Upload questions from a text file.
Creating Questions, in the same manner you created a test using a test manager.
You can create a pool with different types of questions such as Multiple Choice, True/False, Multiple
Answer, Ordering, Matching, Fill in the Blank and Essay.
See “Creating a Test” for instructions.
Find Questions, from an already existing pool or an existing assessment.
Select the pool you wish to edit by selecting the drop-down arrow, then Edit.
The list of assessments and pools that already exists is displayed, and you can select the ones that you
would like to add the questions from.
You also have an option to select the type of questions that you would like to add.
The pool canvas with the questions you searched and added is displayed. You can continue to keep
adding questions to the pool.
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Upload Questions from a text file
Clicking the Upload Questions button will open a window for you to click on the browse button and find
the text file containing your pool, then click Submit.
Using the Survey Manager
Create a survey in your course by following these directions:
1. Log in to your course. Go to the Control Panel | Course Tools | Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
2. Click on Surveys.
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3. Click the Build Survey button.
4. Enter a name for the survey. You can also add a description and instructions. When you are finished,
click the Submit button.
Adding Questions to a Survey
There are three ways by which questions can be added to a Survey.



Creating questions, in the same manner you created a test using a test manager.
Finding questions from an already existing pool or an existing assessment.
Upload questions from a text file.
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Create Questions
1. To add a question to the survey, select a question type from the pull down menu. The types of
questions that can be used in surveys are listed below. All assessments created in Blackboard will be
automatically put in the grade center.
2. A True/False question will be created for demonstration purposes.
3. Type a Question Title and then type the question text in the space provided.
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4. Under Options, you can specify the orientation of the answers as the students will see them.
5. You can click Add to add a Category, Topic, Level of Difficulty, or Keyword or question.
6. You can make notes in the Text box under Instructor notes.
7. Click Submit to create the question.
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8. To continue adding more questions, select a question type from the pull down menu from the
Create Question action bar.
9. Once you have entered all questions scroll to the bottom of the page and click the OK button.
10. The newly created survey is displayed in your list of surveys. When you are ready for students to
take the survey you will need to make it available.
Find Questions from an already existing pool or an existing assessment.
Select the pool you wish to edit by selecting the drop-down arrow, then Edit.
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The list of assessments and pools that already exists is displayed, and you can select the ones that you
would like to add the questions from.
You also have an option to select the type of questions that you would like to add.
The pool canvas with the questions you searched and added is displayed. You can continue to keep
adding questions to the pool.
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Upload Questions, from a text file
Clicking the Upload Questions button will open a window for you to click on the browse button and find
the text file containing your pool. Once you have uploaded your questions, click Submit.
In summary, the Survey Manager functions in the same way as the Test Manager and offers most of the
same options for creating and managing questions with the following exceptions.




Questions on Surveys cannot be assigned points.
Surveys cannot include Random Blocks of questions.
Instructors cannot give Students feedback.
Survey questions cannot be categorized.
Making a Survey Available (Deployment)
You can add a survey to any content area.
1. In the Control Panel, click the desired link under Content Areas (Assignments, Course Documents,
etc.) where you want the survey to be deployed.
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2. Click on Assessments | Survey.
3. You have two options: You can deploy a survey that you have already created by clicking on it from
the Add Survey list OR you can click the Create button to create a new survey.
4. Click Submit.
*Note: The survey will be placed under the selected Content Area. (If you click Create in the previous
step, you will be taken to the survey creation area)
5. After submitting, you will be automatically redirected to the Survey Options.
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Under #2, Survey Availability, find "Do you want to make the link visible?" and select Yes.
Choose any other options you need (these options are similar to the Test Options).
6. Click Submit.
7. The survey is now active and deployed for the users.
Viewing and Grading Tests, Surveys and Assignments
Some types of questions, such as True/False and Multiple Choice, are graded automatically, while
others, such as Essay questions, must be graded manually.
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Viewing/Grading Test Attempts
To view test results:
1. Go to the Control Panel | Click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
2. Click the contextual menu for the column.
3. Choose Grade Attempts.
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4. The test is displayed showing answers for each question.
5. When you are finished Grading/Viewing the test, click Submit.
Viewing Attempts Statistics
To view/grade survey results:
1. Go to the Control Panel | Click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
2. Click the contextual menu for the column.
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3. Choose Attempts Statistics.
4. A table is displayed for each question showing percentages for each answer.
Additionally Students who have completed the survey will have a green check mark in the corresponding
Grade Center entry.
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Item Analysis
Test results statistics are found in the Full Grade Center. Using this feature will allow you to get
statistical analysis for each item in the test.
1. Go to the Control Panel | Click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
2. Click on the arrow to see the contextual menu for that test or item. Select Item Analysis.
3. Select the test for which you would like statistics, and click Run.
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4. The analysis will be listed under the “Available Analysis” section. Click on the link to view the report.
Viewing/ Grading Assignment Attempts
To view/grade assignment results:
1. Go to the Control Panel | Click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
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2. In Grade Center, locate the cell for a student’s assignment that contains an exclamation mark, which
indicates that the assignment requires grading.
3. Hover over the cell to see the Action Link.
4. Click the Action Link to access the contextual menu.
5. Select Attempt at the bottom of the list.
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6. On the Grade Assignment page, review the student’s submission, enter a grade, and type Feedback
(if necessary). Click Submit when grading is completed.
7. Click Save and Exit. You are returned to the Grade Center. Click Save and Next and go to the next
Assignment.
Warning: Due to the unpredictable nature of mobile device internet connections and capabilities, tasks
such as submitting graded assignments, posting files, or taking tests/quizzes should be completed
through a standard internet connection (desktop or laptop). We cannot recover lost data from mobile
devices.
How to Grade Assignments Anonymously
You can grade assignments anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of student work. For example,
an opinion-based assignment that you grade anonymously may offer students a higher level of comfort.
In anonymous grading, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each
student is assigned a number, such as Student 8.
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To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:
1. Access an assignment attempt’s contextual menu.
2. Select Grade Anonymously.
3. The Grade Assignment page appears.
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To grade anonymously from the Grade Assignment page:
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.
Inline Assignment Grading
Inline grading for Assignments allows you to view, comment, and grade student submitted student
assignment files without leaving the Grade Assignment page.
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A. Review and comment directly in the document.
B. From the inline viewer toolbar you can zoom the contents of the document in or out, open the
annotation tools menu to comment in the document, download the document and move from page
to page.
C. Grade the submission from the inline grading sidebar. From here you can view the assignment
details, the grading rubric and each attempt. You can type an overall grade and grades for each
attempt as well as provide feedback to your students without leaving the page.
How to Annotate Inline
Files that have been uploaded and converted for display in the inline viewer can be annotated directly
within the browser.
Click Comment in the inline viewer toolbar to expand the annotation tools. Select an annotation tool
and comment, edit, highlight and draw in the document.
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How to Grade a Submission Inline
From the Inline grading sidebar you can:
1. Expand assignment details to show the information from the assignment content item.
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2. Type a grade for the attempt.
3. Show grading notes displays where you can add private notes, not visible to the student as
feedback.
4. Download the originally submitted file. If more than one file was submitted for the attempt, all files
are available here.
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5. Type feedback for the student to see. Files can be attached to the feedback, and the Feedback field
can be expanded to take advantage of the full Content Editor capabilities.
A. Allows you to run spell check.
B. Allows you to access text editor.
C. Allows you to attach a file.
How to Allow Additional Attempts
If a student has submitted the maximum number of attempts for an assignment, but you want to give
them another opportunity, you can invite them to submit again.
The Allow Additional Attempt function only appears if the student has already submitted the maximum
number of attempts allowed for that assignment. You can continue to offer opportunities to resubmit
attempts each time the student reaches that maximum number. You do not have to grade previous
attempts to allow a student to submit again.
Alternatively, click Ignore Attempt to ignore the attempt’s score in grade calculations and not count it
against the maximum number of attempts.
To allow an additional attempt:
1. Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
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2. Access the cell's contextual menu.
3. Select View Grade Details. The Grade Details page appears.
4. Click Allow Additional Attempt and confirm.
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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.
Create Rubric
New rubrics default to three rows and three columns.
1. Select Rubrics from Course Tools under the Control Panel.
2. Click on Create Rubric.
3. Type a Name and description for the Rubric.
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Editing 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. Enter a point value or range of values for each cell.
4. Enter a description defining the criteria and the associated Level of Achievement.
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5. Click Submit when done.
Note: There is a 1000 character limit for each cell. Rows and columns can be reordered by clicking the
reordering icon.
Copying and Editing 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.
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.
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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 with which you would like to associate your Rubric. From the contextual menu of
that column, select Edit Column Information.
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3. Click Add Rubric.
4. Select the Rubric you want to add.
5. Click Submit. You will be returned to the Edit Column page.
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6. Click Submit in the Edit Column page to apply your rubric to the column.
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 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 Rubric(s) with that assignment. The associated Rubric(s)
will open in a pop-up window for you to select.
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Grading using Rubrics
1. Access the item to be graded through the Grade Center or the Needs Grading page.
2. Click View Rubric to review or begin grading with the associated rubric.
3. In Grid View, click a cell to apply that point value to the grade. If a rubric with point ranges has been
used, select the desired value from the drop-down list. To change the selection, click another cell in
the same row. Optionally, type Feedback to the student in the text box that appears when a cell is
selected.
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4. Optionally, click List View to switch displays, and select a radio button for each criterion to apply
that point value to the grade. Optionally, select the boxes to Show Descriptions for criteria and to
Show Feedback text boxes.
5. A running Raw Total score will be displayed as point selections are made. Optionally, you can type a
score in the Change the number of points box to override the selected score, and type overall
Feedback to the student using the text editor.
A. This field shows a running Raw Total score, which is displayed as point selections are made.
B. This field allows you to optionally type a score. Entering a number in this field will override the
selected score,
C. This field allows you to type overall Feedback to the student.
Note: The Raw Total displays the score rounded to two decimal places.
6. When grading is complete, click Exit to leave the rubric without saving any selections, or Save to
save the score and feedback and return to the attempt. Click Save and Next to use another
associated rubric for evaluation.
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How to View Associated Content
A single rubric can be associated with multiple assessments. A report listing all items associated to the
rubric is available from the rubrics tool.
1. In the Control Panel, click Course Tools.
2. Click Rubrics.
3. Access the contextual menu next to the name of a rubric and click View Associated Content.
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4. On the View All Items page, click an item name to edit the association, or click OK to return to the
main rubrics page. If an item has been used for grading, a rubric evaluation report will be available
in the item's contextual menu. This report provides statistics for an item that was graded with a
rubric.
How to Run a Rubric Evaluation Report
A rubric evaluation report provides a comprehensive report of statistics for an item that was graded
with a rubric. If you want to evaluate a rubric or its use in a course, you can run the report at any point
in the grading process.
1.
In the Control Panel, click Course Tools.
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2. Click Rubrics.
3. Access the contextual menu next to the name of a rubric and click View Associated Content.
4. If an item has been used for grading, a contextual menu is available next to the item's name on the
View All Items page. Point to the item's contextual menu and click Rubric Evaluation Report.
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5. On the Run Reports page, select a Format, Start Date, and End Date.
6. Click Submit.
7. You may choose to Save to Content Collection, Download Report to save the report to your
computer, or Run a new Report to change the format or date criteria. Click OK to return to the main
Rubrics page.
The Rubric Evaluation Report delivers three statistics about the rubric's use in grading the item:



Average Rubric Performance shows the average total score of all attempts scored using the
rubric.
Average Rubric Criteria shows average scores, compared against the possible points, for each
criterion.
Frequency Distribution shows the distribution of scores across each level of achievement.
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Table of Contents
Group Management................................................................................................................................. 5 - 2
Creating Groups ....................................................................................................................................... 5 - 3
Create a Single Group with Self-Enroll ................................................................................................. 5 - 4
Create a Single Group with Manual Enroll ........................................................................................... 5 - 6
Create a Group Set with Self-Enroll ..................................................................................................... 5 - 9
Create a Group Set with Manual Enroll ............................................................................................. 5 - 11
Create a Group Set with Random Enroll ............................................................................................ 5 - 15
Group Home Page and Group Tools ...................................................................................................... 5 - 17
Group Assignments ................................................................................................................................ 5 - 18
Creating a Group Assignment ............................................................................................................ 5 - 18
5- 1
Group Management
The Groups feature allows Instructors to create groups of students within a Course. These Course
Groups have their own area in the Course to collaborate. These spaces are equipped with tools that can
assist in this collaborative process: Blogs, Journals, Wikis, file sharing, discussions and Group
Assignments. Groups can be created in a couple of different ways:
Single Groups - Instructors can create a single group with the option of manually enrolling members or
allowing self-enrollment where students can enroll themselves using a sign-up sheet.
Group Sets - Instructors can easily create multiple groups with the same settings with the creation of
one group. Like Single Group, this tool allows for manual or self-enroll, and has an additional option of
random enroll where Blackboard chooses and enrolls members randomly.
Group Settings is another feature available for groups where the instructor can permit students to
create their own-self-enrolled groups, and also permit them to edit their student-created groups. Both
are defaulted enabled, but can be disabled by the instructor.
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Creating Groups
In Blackboard 9, Groups are created by first clicking on the “Groups” menu item found under “Users and
Groups” in the expandable Control Panel Menu located on the left side of your screen.
Students can see what group they are in by viewing the My Groups menu located below the Navigation
Menu on the left side of the screen.
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Create a Single Group with Self-Enroll
1. From the Control Panel, click Users and Groups | Groups.
2. Then click on Create Single Group | Self Enroll.
3. In Section 1, Fill out the Name and check availability.
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4. In Section 2, check the boxes of the tools you want available in the group.
5. In Section 3, check the box if you want users to be able to personalize their group space.
6. In Section 4, set up the Sign-up Options for users.
(A) Name of Sign-Up Sheet - type the name of the sign-up sheet.
(B) Sign-Up Sheet Instructions - type optional instructions in this text box.
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(C) Maximum Number of Members - enter the maximum number of members for the group
(D) Show Members - this option allows instructors to show or hide the list of group members already
signed up for the group. Hiding the members helps keep the group sign-up more anonymous.
(E) Allow Students to sign-up from the Groups Area - this option allows students to access the group
through Tools | Groups. If the instructor wishes to control access through a content area or assignment,
leave it unchecked. This means that the instructor will need to add a Tool Link to Groups or a Course
Link to a specific group for students within a content area.
7. Click Submit.
Create a Single Group with Manual Enroll
1. From the Control Panel, click Users and Groups | Groups.
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2. Then Add Group, click on Create Single Group | Manual Enroll.
3. In Section 1, Fill out the Name and check availability.
4. In Section 2, check the boxes of the tools you want available in the group.
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5. In Section 3, check the box if you want users to be able to personalize their group space.
6. In Section 4, select the members of the group from the list and click the arrow to move them into the
group.
7. Click Submit when all users have been moved to the list.
The group has now been created.
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Create a Group Set with Self-Enroll
1. From the Control Panel, click Users and Groups | Groups.
2. Then click on Create Group Set | click Self-Enroll.
3. In Section 1, Fill out the Name and check availability.
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4. In Section 2, check the boxes of the tools you want available in the group.
5. In Section 3, check the box if you want users to be able to personalize their group space.
6. Set up the Sign-up Options for users in Section 4.
(A) Name of Sign-Up Sheet - type the name of the sign-up sheet.
(B) Sign-Up Sheet Instructions - type optional instructions in this text box.
(C) Maximum Number of Members - enter the maximum number of members for the group
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(D) Show Members - this option allows instructors to show or hide the list of group members already
signed up for the group. Hiding the members helps keep the group sign-up more anonymous.
(E) Allow Students to sign-up from the Groups Area - this option allows students to access the group
through Tools | Groups. If the instructor wishes to control access through a content area or assignment,
leave it unchecked. This means that the instructor will need to add a Tool Link to Groups or a Course
Link to a specific group for students within a content area.
7. In Section 5, enter the desired number of groups | click Submit.
8. For the example above, 5 groups will be created with a limit of 4 students each. It is important to
know how many students are in your class so there are enough slots for each student.
9. Click Submit.
Create a Group Set with Manual Enroll
1. From the Control Panel, click Users and Groups | Groups.
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2. Then Add Group, click on Create Group Set | click Manual-Enroll.
3. In Section 1, fill out the Name, Description and check availability.
4. In Section 2, check the boxes of the tools you want available in the group.
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5. In Section 3, check the box if you want users to be able to personalize their group space.
6. In Section 5, enter the desired number of groups | click Submit.
7. The Edit Group Set Enrollments page will be displayed. This is where you can enroll your users.
First, choose your filter options:
Show all Course Roles in the Available Members List – this displays all users enrolled in the course
including students, instructors and TAs, and displays their role next to their name in parenthesis. This is
defaulted unchecked.
Remove Members already in a Group from the Available Members List – removes anyone that might be
enrolled in the groups so instructors can start with an empty group. This is defaulted checked.
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8. All of the Group Sets will be listed under Group Set Enrollments. See the information below about
each item:
(A) Randomize Enrollments – this chooses the members for you, essentially creating a random enroll
group.
(B) Expand All – this button expands all of the group sets below so users can be added. Instructor can
choose to manually click the plus icon left of the group set name one-at-a-time if preferred.
(C) Group Set Name – instructors have the option of changing the group set name.
(D) Items to Select – to add users to the group, click once on the user’s name in the left box
(Items to Select) and click the right-facing arrow to move the name to the Selected Items list.
(E) Delete Group – instructors can choose to delete the group. Please note that when you click Delete
Group, it will be immediately removed – there is no confirmation.
(F) Add Group – instructors can add a group to the set.
9. Click Submit.
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Create a Group Set with Random Enroll
1. From the Control Panel, click Users and Groups | Groups.
2. Then Add Group, click on Create Group Set | click Random-Enroll:
3. In Section 1, fill out the Name, Description and check availability.
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4. In Section 2, check the boxes of the tools you want available in the group.
5. In Section 3, check the box if you want users to be able to personalize their group space.
6. Membership is set up in Section 4. The options are explained below:
Determine Number of Groups by - choose Number of Students and Blackboard will randomly enroll the
students in the groups evenly. Choose Number of Groups and Blackboard will create a set of groups and
randomly enroll the students equally.
Determine How to Enroll any Remaining Members - instructors can choose how to enroll the left over
users into the groups:
* Distribute the remaining members amongst the groups (randomly)
* Put the remaining members in their own group (creates an additional group and enrolls them into it)
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* Manually add the remaining members to groups (allows the instructor to manually enroll the extra
users into the groups of their choice)
7. Click Submit.
Group Home Page and Group Tools
A Group Homepage is the hub for a group activity and can contain a description of the Group, a list of
members, tools, and assignments. Students can customize the page by adding Personal Modules, such
as My Calendar or Report Card, which are visible only to the member who added the modules.
Students Access Groups in several ways:
Group listing page link – appears on the Course Menu or in a course area, such as a Content Area. The
Groups listing page lists all available Groups and Sign‐up sheets for Self‐Enroll Groups.
My Groups – appears following the Course Menu. If a student is enrolled in a Group, the area appears
automatically.
Group Link – a link to a single Group, sign –up sheet, or the Groups listing page made available in a
course area.
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A) The Groups listing page lists all Groups a student is enrolled in and any available sign‐up sheets. A link
to the Groups listing page can appear on the Course Menu or in a course area, such as a Content Area,
folder, Learning Module, or Lesson Plan.
B) Use the arrow to expand or collapse the My Groups area found following the Course Menu. The My
Groups area only appears if the instructor has added Groups to the course and the student is a member
of one or more Groups.
C) Expand the Group to the right using the right‐pointing arrow to view the Group Homepage in the
content frame.
D) The Group Homepage is specifically tailored for each Group.
Group Assignments
The Assignment Tool allows unlimited or multiple attempts for an Assignment. This is useful for multiple
drafts of a paper or submission of project components at different times. All attempts are accessible
through the Grade Center. A grade for all members of a group can now be set for automatic entry.
Students will click on the link to view or complete the assignment.
Creating a Group Assignment
1. Select a Content Area within the course.
2. Click Create Assessment on the Action Bar and select Assignment.
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3. In Section 1, fill out the Name and Assignment Instructions.
4. In Section 2, click Browse My Computer to upload an Assignment file. In Section 3, type the points
possible for the assignment.
5. In Section 4, select the assignment availability (The assignment cannot be made available until it is
assigned to an individual or group of students).
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6. In Section 5, select a due date for the assignment (Submissions are accepted after this date, but are
marked Late).
7. In Section 6, determine the Recipients for the Assignment by selecting the Groups of Students
option. Select the desired Groups moving them from the Items to Select box to the Selected Items box
using the right‐pointing arrow.
8. Click Submit.
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Table of Contents
Grade Center .............................................................................................................................................. 6-3
General Overview ...................................................................................................................................... 6-3
Accessing the Grade Center ....................................................................................................... 6-4
Needs Grading Feature ........................................................................................................................... 6-5
Grading Using Grade All .......................................................................................................................... 6-6
Grading Using Contextual Menus ........................................................................................................... 6-7
Creating Grade Columns ......................................................................................................................... 6-8
Creating Calculated Columns ................................................................................................................ 6-10
Average Calculated Column ..................................................................................................... 6-10
Minimum/Maximum Column .................................................................................................. 6-13
Total Column ............................................................................................................................ 6-15
Creating a Weighted Column ................................................................................................... 6-16
Organizing the Grade Center ................................................................................................................ 6-18
Moving Columns in the Grade Center ..................................................................................... 6-19
Freezing Columns in the Grade Center .................................................................................... 6-20
Hiding and Showing Grade Center Columns ......................................................................................... 6-20
Hiding a Column ....................................................................................................................... 6-20
Showing a Column ................................................................................................................... 6-21
Emailing within the Grade Center......................................................................................................... 6-22
Creating Reports ................................................................................................................................... 6-24
Grade History ........................................................................................................................................ 6-28
View Grade History .................................................................................................................. 6-28
Entering Grades in the Grade Center.................................................................................................... 6-29
Manually Entering Grades ....................................................................................................... 6-29
Manually Change/Override a Grade ........................................................................................ 6-30
Entering Grades from the View Grade Detail Page ................................................................. 6-31
Change/Override Grades from the View Grade Detail Page ................................................... 6-32
Upload Grade Center Spreadsheet ....................................................................................................... 6-34
Download Grade Center Spreadsheet .................................................................................................. 6-36
6-1
Rubrics................................................................................................................................................... 6-37
How to create a Rubric ............................................................................................................ 6-37
How to import a Rubric............................................................................................................ 6-43
6-2
Grade Center
General Overview
The Grade Center posts all Student Grades associated with Tests and Assignments. The Grade Center
also accommodates scores Grades for work completed outside of the Blackboard Learning System.
Instructors may also view the results of Surveys through the Grade Center.
The Grade Center opens to the View Spreadsheet page. The Spreadsheet lists Students in rows and
graded items in columns. All features of the Grade Center can be accessed through the Spreadsheet.
The following functions are available from the View Spreadsheet page:
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Add a Grade Center item
Manage items
Change spreadsheet display and options
Manage Grade weighting
Download grades
Upload grades
Modify a grade
View and modify the details for an Assessment
View and modify the details for an Assignment
View statistics for a user
Sort items
View a specific category of Grade Center items
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Accessing the Grade Center
1. Log onto Blackboard and select your course.
2. Navigate to the Course Management area on the left of your course.
3. Expand the Grade Center drop down menu in the Control Panel section.
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4. Click on the Full Grade Center link.
Needs Grading Feature
When a student turns in an assignment that you created via the assignment tool, or a test that
Blackboard does not automatically grade for you, it will appear in the “Needs Graded” section under
Grade Center in the Control Panel.
To grade the assignments in the “Needs Grading” section, click on “Needs Grading” in the Control Panel
under Grade Center.
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Instructors can view attempts ready for grading or review on the Needs Grading page. There are two
ways to go about grading. You can do a Grade All or grade using the Contextual Menus.
Grading Using Grade All
Click Grade All to begin grading and reviewing. Attempts appear in the order they were sorted on the
Needs Grading page. 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.
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In the Grade Current Attempt section, assign a grade and feedback for the current assignment attempt.
When available, click Save and Next (to go to the next student) or View Previous to navigate through or
grade the attempts in the queue one at a time. If no grade is assigned for the attempt, clicking Save and
Next will not change the status of the attempt. If multiple attempts have been allowed, a Student’s
grade is not released until all of the attempts have been graded.
Grading Using Contextual Menus
Use an assignment’s contextual menu to Grade All Users or Grade Anonymously. For tests, the
contextual menu also includes Grade Tests by Questions and View All Attempts. A total number of
attempts for the selected items are listed in parentheses.
Click the contextual icon (down arrow) next to an uploaded assignment or test to begin grading and
reviewing. Click Grade All Users. A total number of uploaded assignments for that particular
assignment will be listed in parentheses.
In the Grade Current Attempt section, assign a grade and feedback for the current assignment attempt.
When available, click Save and Next (to go to the next student) or View Previous to navigate through or
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grade the attempts in the queue one at a time. If no grade is assigned for the attempt, clicking Save and
Next will not change the status of the attempt. If multiple attempts have been allowed, a Student’s
grade is not released until all of the attempts have been graded.
*Note: When you have graded everything in the Needs Graded section for a particular assignment you
will not be able to do a Save and Next. You will have to do a Save and Exit to get back to the Needs
Grading screen. When you have finished grading all submitted assignments there will no longer be any
items listed on the Needs Grading screen.
Creating Grade Columns
Add Grade Column allows the instructor to create an assessment column.
1. On the Grade Center page, on the top left, click on the Create Column link.
2. In the Column Information area, enter a Column Name, Grade Center Display Name (optional) and a
Description (optional).
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3. Select the Primary Display area. The Secondary Display area is optional and may be left blank. Select
a Category and assign the number of Points Possible.
4. In the Dates area, indicate the Due Date.
5. Choose your Options for the column. This will determine what data will be displayed for your
students.
6. Click Submit to complete.
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Creating Calculated Columns
In the Grade Center, an Instructor 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, and so on. These are called Calculated Columns.
On the Grade Center page, on the top left, click on the Create Calculated Column link.
Average Calculated Column
An Average Grade column displays the average for any number of quantities. An Average Grade Column
can include any of the following non‐text columns:
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All Grade Columns: All individual Grade columns added to the Grade Center.
Grade Columns in a Grading Period: All Grade columns that have been added to a Grading
Period.
Selected Gradable Columns and Categories: Any Grade columns and any or all Categories.
For example, you can display the average for all Tests, or display the average grade for each student for
a grading period.
Any categories that contain items that are set to No for the Include in Grade Center calculations setting
will ignore those items when figuring the Average Grade.
Creating an Average Calculated Column
1. Access the Grade Center from the Control Panel Menu, click Grade Center | click Full Grade Center.
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2. Hover over the Create Calculated Column button in the Action Bar of the Grade Center | click
Average Column from the menu.
3. In Section 1, enter the Column Information as follows:
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Column Name - A required field, Column Name is formal name for the Item, and is displayed in
the Grade Center and My Grades (student view). This field displays a maximum of 15 characters
in the column header.
Grade Center Display Name - The purpose of this field is to allow you to shorten the Column
Name without editing the original name. This field replaces the Column Name in the Grade
Center and in My Grades (student view). This field displays a maximum of 15 characters in the
column header.
Description - A description is an optional field. It can help Instructors and other graders identify
the Column. The description is visible to students in My Grades; they access it by clicking the
Details button.
Primary Display - This is the format of the grade displayed in both the Grade Center and My
Grades (student view). This field defaults to Percentage for the Average column, but you can
choose from Score, Letter, Text, Percentage or Complete/Incomplete. Additional letter schemas
can be added; see Add a Grade Schema.
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Secondary Display - This selection displays a secondary format for a column in the Grade Center.
The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses and is only visible by Instructors.
4. In Section 2, the Creation Date of the column is displayed. If Grading Periods have been created, you
will have the option to choose a Grading Period from a drop‐down list which will designate to what
Grading Period the column is associated. Using a Grading Period is optional.
5. Section 3 is where you Select Columns that will be included in the Average column. Possible
selections include the following:
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All Grade Columns - This selection will automatically include all gradable columns that are set
to” Yes” for Include this column in Grade Center calculations. Please note that this option will
ignore all columns set to zero possible points (i.e. - Extra Credit). See Extra Credit for more
information.
All Gradable Columns in a Grading Period (not shown) - This field will not display unless a
Grading Period has been created. Select a Grading Period from the drop-down menu.
Selected Columns and Categories - You have the option to choose individual columns or
categories to calculate the total grade. A combination of individual columns and categories can
be used as well. Note: if you use categories, any assignments that have been submitted but not
graded will result in a zero in the calculation. To avoid this issue, use All Grade Columns or
individual columns in the calculation.
Calculate as a running total – Select “Yes” to calculate the weight as a running total to include
only the Columns that have been submitted and/or graded. Select No to include all items, which
will place a zero for any items not completed yet; this results in a low grade.
When a Category has been selected, several other options appear:
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Select a Grading Period for the Category using the drop-down menu. This will only be available if
a Grading Period has been created.
Select how to weigh Columns within the Category “Equally” or “Proportionally”. Choosing
“Equally” applies equal value to all gradable items within a Category. Choosing “Proportionally”
applies the appropriate value to a Grade Item based on its points compared to other Columns in
the Category.
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Decide whether to drop high or low grades within the Category or use the lowest or highest
value in the category.
To remove a selected item from consideration, click the red “x”.
6. Section 4, Options, is where you choose access for users:
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Include this column in Grade Center calculations – Makes the column available for use in other
calculations. Important: Please note that choosing Yes to this option does not duplicate scores.
It simply makes the item visible in the Columns to Select box.
Show this column to Students – Shows/Hides the column in the student view.
Show Statistics (average and median) for this column in My Grades – Shows the Total Points
column statistics in My Grades. Note: Instructors with small enrollment (i.e. - 4 Graduate
students) may not wish to enable statistics as students may be able to deduce who received
what grade.
7. Click Submit to Save.
Minimum/Maximum Column
A Minimum or Maximum Grade column displays either the minimum or maximum grade for a selection
of Columns. This column can be displayed to the students or just to the instructor.
In creating a Minimum/Maximum Grade column, you can select from the following:
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All Grade Columns: All individual Grade Columns added to the Grade Center.
Grade Columns in a Grading Period: All Grade Columns that have been added to a Grading
Period.
Selected Columns and Categories: Any Grade Columns and any or all Categories. For instance,
you may choose to find the minimum scores of all the tests from a grading period.
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Creating a Minimum/Maximum Column
1. Access the Grade Center: from the Control Panel menu, click Grade Center | Full Grade Center.
2. Hover over the Create Calculated Column icon in the Action Bar of the Grade Center | click
Minimum/Maximum Column from the menu.
3. In Section 1, enter the Column Information:
a. Column Name: A required field, Column Name is formal name for the Item, and is displayed in
the Grade Center and My Grades (student view). For this type of calculated column, you should
indicate if the column is a Maximum or a Minimum column. This field displays a maximum of 15
characters in the column header.
b. Grade Center Display Name: The purpose of this field is to allow you to shorten the Column
Name without editing the original name. This field replaces the Column Name in the Grade
Center and in My Grades (student view). This field displays a maximum of 15 characters in the
column header.
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c. Description: A description is an optional field. It can help Instructors and other graders identify
the Column. The description is visible to students in My Grades; they access it by clicking the
Details button.
d. Primary Display: This is the format of the grade displayed in both the Grade Center and My
Grades (student view). The default format for a Minimum/Maximum column is Percentage. You
can choose the format you prefer from the list: Score, Letter, Text, Percentage or
Complete/Incomplete. Additional letter schemas can be added; see Add a Grade Schema.
e. Secondary Display: This selection displays a secondary format for a column in the Grade Center.
The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses and is only visible by Instructors.
4. Section 4, Options, is where you choose access for users:

Include this column in Grade Center calculations – Makes the column available for use in other
calculations.
Important: Please note that choosing Yes to this option does not duplicate scores. It simply
makes the item visible in the Columns to Select box.
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Show this column in My Grades – Shows the column in the student Grade view
Show Statistics (average and median) for this column in My Grades – Shows the Total Points
column statistics in My Grades. Note: Instructors with small enrollment (i.e. – 4 Graduate
students) may not wish to enable statistics as students may be able to deduce who received
what grade.
5. Click Submit to Save.
Total Column
A Grade Center Total Column calculates total points based on the total number of points allowed. Total
Columns are useful for generating a final score.
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All Grade Columns – All individual Grade Columns added to the Grade Center.
Grade Columns in a Grading Period – All Grade Columns that have been added to a Grading
Period.
Selected Gradable Columns and Categories – Any grade Columns and any or all Categories.
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Examples of Total columns:
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Grade Period – an Instructor may create a column to determine the grade for the first half of the
semester by creating a Grade Center Total Points column that includes all of the columns in the
first half of the semester Grading Period.
Categories – an Instructor can create a Grade Center Total Points column that displays the
percentages of a single Category or multiple Categories.
Creating a Weighted Column
1. Access the Grade Center from the Control Panel menu. Click on Grade Center, and then click on Full
Grade Center.
2. Once in the Grade Center, hover over the Create Calculated Column icon in the Action Bar of the
Grade Center | click Weighted Column from the menu.
3. In Section 1, enter the Column Information as follows:
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a. Column Name - A required field, Column Name is formal name for the Item, and is displayed in
the Grade Center and My Grades (student view). This field displays a maximum of 15 characters
in the column header.
b. Grade Center Display Name - The purpose of this field is to allow you to shorten the Column
Name without editing the original name. This field replaces the Column Name in the Grade
Center and in My Grades (student view). This field displays a maximum of 15 characters in the
column header.
c. Description - A description is an optional field. It can help Instructors and other graders identify
the Column. The description is visible to students in My Grades; they access it by clicking the
Details button.
d. Primary Display - This is the format of the grade displayed in both the Grade Center and My
Grades (student view). You can choose from Score, Letter, Text, Percentage or
Complete/Incomplete. Additional letter schemas can be added; see Add a Grade Schema.
e. Secondary Display - This selection displays a secondary format for a column in the Grade Center.
The Secondary Display is denoted by parentheses and is only visible by Instructors.
4. In Section 2, the Creation Date of the column is displayed. If Grading Periods have been created, you
will have the option to choose a Grading Period from a drop‐down list which will designate to what
Grading Period the column is associated. Using a Grading Period is optional.
5. Section 3 is where you Select Columns that will be included in the Weighted column. Possible
selections include the following:
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a. Selected Columns and Categories - You have the option to choose individual columns or
categories to calculate the weighted grade. A combination of individual columns and categories
can be used as well. Once you make a selection, click the arrow to the right to move the
selection over. You will need to provide the percentage weight for that selection. The total
weight for all selections must equal 100%. To remove a selected item from consideration, click
the red “x”.
b. Calculate as a running total – Select “Yes” to calculate the weight as a running total to include
only the Columns that have been submitted and/or graded. Select No to include all items, which
will place a zero for any items not completed yet; this results in a low grade.
6. Section 4, Options, is where you choose access for users:
a. Include this column in Grade Center calculations – Makes the column available for use in other
calculations. Important: Please note that choosing Yes to this option does not duplicate scores.
It simply makes the item visible in the Columns to Select box.
b. Show this column in My Grades – Shows/Hides the column in the student view.
c. Show Statistics (average and median) for this column in My Grades – Shows the Total Points
column statistics in My Grades. Note: Instructors with small enrollment (i.e. -4 Graduate
students) may not wish to enable statistics as students may be able to deduce who received
what grade.
7. Click Submit to save.
Organizing the Grade Center
The Organize Grade Center page contains each column displayed as a row. Each row can be arranged in
a specific order by dragging and dropping the row to another location. The order or the rows from top to
bottom is the order that the student will see in My Grades.
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Moving Columns in the Grade Center
1. Access the Grade Center from the Control Panel menu. Click on Grade Center, and then click on Full
Grade Center.
2. Once in the Grade Center, hover over the Manage icon in the Action Bar of the Grade Center and
then click Column Organization from the menu.
3. On the Column Organization page, click and drag the cell name up or down in the list.
4. Click Submit to view your changes in the Grade Center.
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Freezing Columns in the Grade Center
1. On the Column Organization page, under Shown in All Grade Center Views, click and drag the gray
bar below any column you want to freeze.
2. Click Submit to view your changes in the Grade Center.
Hiding and Showing Grade Center Columns
Instructors have the ability to hide any columns within the Grade Center (instructor view). Hiding a
column maintains all existing information associated with the column, but prevents it from being seen
within the Grade Center. Hiding a column does not hide it from the student, only from the instructor.
Hiding a Column
1. Click Manage in the Action Bar of the Grade Center. Select Column Organization from the Action
Link menu.
2. Select the check boxes of the Grade Center columns to be hidden.
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3. Click Show/Hide. Select Hide Selected Columns from the Action Link menu. Hidden columns will
appear grayed out in the Grade Center view. (Hidden) will also appear next to the column name.
4. Click Submit to save changes. Instructors are able to reveal hidden columns along with all the
associated data, restoring the display in the Grade Center by completing steps 1‐2 and then
selecting Show Selected Columns.
Showing a Column
1. Click Manage in the Action Bar of the Grade Center. Select Column Organization from the Action
Link menu.
2. Select the check boxes of the Grade Center columns to be revealed.
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3. Click Show/Hide. Select Show Selected Columns from the Action Link menu.
4. Click Submit to save changes.
Emailing within the Grade Center
The email feature allows the instructor access to email within the Grade Center. Use this feature to send
email to selected users or to other people within or outside the system. This allows instructors to
actively communicate with students while engaged in grading in the Grade Center.
To email within the Grade Center:
1. Go to the Control Panel |under Grade Center | click Full Grade Center.
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2. Click inside of the box located to the left of the Last Name column.
Note: An instructor can choose individual or specific users rather than all by simply clicking the
checkboxes next to each user.
3. Hover over the Email icon on the top action bar | click Email Selected Users.
4. Fill in the fields:
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Additional Recipients (Bcc): this is an optional blind copy opportunity.
Subject: type subject or email title
Message: type message in this box. A copy of the email will be sent to the sender's email.
Include List of Recipients: checking this box will show the names of every user who will receive
this email.
Attachments: click the link to reveal a Browse button to upload an optional file.
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5. Click Submit.
Creating Reports
This feature provides a summarized view of the grades and can be set for individual students or all
students. This report is printable.
To create a report within the Grade Center:
1. Go to the Control Panel |under Grade Center | click Full Grade Center.
2. Once in the Grade Center, hover over the Reports icon in the Action Bar of the Grade Center | click
Create Report from the menu.
3. Select from the following possibilities to be included in the Header Information of the Report:
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Report Name: Displays a title for the Report.
Date: Displays the Date of the Report creation; this can be edited.
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Institution Name: Displays the Institution’s name; this can be edited.
Course Information: Displays the Course Name and the Course ID; this can be edited.
Names of Users by Role: Displays the names of the users for the role selected.
Custom Text: Entered any desired text into the textbox; this will be displayed on the Report.
4. Select the Students to be included in the Report:



All Users: This will include all students in the Course on the Report.
All Users in Group: Select a Group to be included in the report. A Group must be created before
it can be chosen when creating a Report.
Selected Users: Select on one or more students in the course. To choose more than one student,
press and hold Ctrl + click the names.
5. Select from the following possibilities for the User Information to be included in the report:





First Name: This information is included by default. Select to display the Student’s first name on
the Report.
Last Name: This information is included by default. Select to display the Student’s last name on
the Report.
Username: Select to display the Username on the report.
Student ID: Select to display the Student’s ID on the report.
Last Access: Select to display the most recent Course access date of the Student on the Report.
6-25
6. Select the Grade Column or Calculated Column to be included in the Report. The following selections
are possible:





All Columns: Select to include all of the Grade Center columns in the Report.
All Columns in Grading 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 Report: This displays any column that was hidden from the
Grade Center view.
7. Select the column information to be included in the Report. This is the information that is associated
with a particular Grade Column or Calculated Column. This information was created during the
creation of a column.
The Column Name and current grade will display automatically in the Report, and these cannot be
removed.



Description: Select to display the column’s Due Date in the Report.
Due Date: Select to display the column’s Due Date in the Report.
Statistics: Click and then select to display the Class Average, Median, or Both for each
Calculated Column of Grade Column included in the Report.
6-26
8. Select the Footer Information to be included in the footer of the report. It includes the following:




Custom Text: Select and then enter any desired text to be displayed in the footer section of
the Report.
Signature Line: Select to display a signature line on the report.
Date: Select to display the Report creation date on the Report. This can be edited.
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 as well.
10. Click Submit. This will display the report in a new browser window, but the Report creation browser
will return to the Grade Center page.
11. Print the report using the browser window’s print function.
6-27
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 modified are denoted in the Grade Center by a green
triangular icon.
This feature enables the instructor to track grade changes.
View Grade History
1. Go to the Control Panel |under Grade Center | click Full Grade Center.
2. Once in the Grade Center, hover over the Reports icon in the Action Bar of the Grade Center |
Click View Grade History from the menu.
Example of Grade History Page:
6-28
3. Click Disable Grade History to stop tracking grade changes.
4. Click Download to download your grade history reports.
Entering Grades in the Grade Center
Grades can be entered in any Grade Center cell in the Grade Center or any Smart View of the Grade
Center or from the Grade Detail page.
Manually Entering Grades
1. Move the cursor over the desired cell and click in the cell.
2. Type the value, and then hit Enter. The grade will appear in the column.
6-29
Manually Change/Override a Grade
Grades can be overridden manually from the Grade Center or from the View Grade Details page, or they
can be overridden by uploading an external file containing new data.
To change or override a grade from the Grade Center, follow these steps:
1. Place the cursor in the cell where the grade is to be changed and click.
2. Enter the new value.
3. Press enter on your keyboard. The new grade will appear in the column.
6-30
Entering Grades from the View Grade Detail Page
To enter Grades from the View Grade Detail page, follow these steps:
1. Move the cursor over the desired cell.
2. Click the Action Link to activate the menu.
3. Click View Grade Details.
4. Click the Edit Grade button in the bottom right corner of the Actions section.
6-31
5. Enter the value in the Current Grade Value textbox. Add Feedback to User or Grading Notes.
6. Click Save to complete.
7. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the Grade Center page.
Change/Override Grades from the View Grade Detail Page
To change a grade from the View Grade Detail page, follow these steps:
1. Move the cursor over the desired cell.
6-32
2. Click the Action Link to the right of the cell to activate the contextual menu.
3.
Click View Grade Details.
4. Click Manual Override.
5. Enter the value in the Override Grade Value textbox. Add Feedback to User or Grading Notes.
6-33
6. Click Save to complete.
7. Click Return to Grade Center to return to the Grade Center page.
Upload Grade Center Spreadsheet
In Blackboard, the Grade Center for each course can be downloaded, edited in a spreadsheet program,
and uploaded with the new information.
*PC Users: The process works best if you save the file in Excel as .csv (comma‐separated values) and use
Internet Explorer to upload the file.
1. In the Control Panel area, click on Grade Center and the Full Grade Center.
2. On the View Spreadsheet page, click on the Work Offline button on the far right and then click
Upload.
6-34
3. On the Upload Grades page, in the Choose File section, click the Browse My Computer button. In the
File Upload dialogue box select your grade book file, and click the Open button.
4. Click the Submit button.
5. On the Upload Grades Confirmation page, click on the radio button to the left to choose the grade
column you wish to upload from the file.
6. Click Submit.
6-35
Download Grade Center Spreadsheet
In Blackboard, the Grade Center for each course can be downloaded, edited in a spreadsheet program,
and uploaded with the new information.
1. In the Control Panel area, click on Grade Center and the Full Grade Center.
2. On the View Spreadsheet page, click on the Offline button on the far right and then click Download.
3. On the Download Grades page, click Submit to download the full Grade Center spreadsheet as a tab‐
delimited file.
6-36
4. Click the Download button. When the Save As dialogue box opens, name the file, and click the Save
button to finish downloading your grade center.
Rubrics
How to create a Rubric
1. Click Rubrics in the Course Tools section of the Control Panel.
2. Click on Create Rubric.
3. On the Create Rubric page, enter a Name for the rubric. (Adding a Description is optional)
4. Complete the Rubric Details.
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5. Determine the Rubric Type by selecting an option from the dropdown.
6. By default, three Levels of Achievement columns are created. To create additional columns, click
Add Column.
7. By default, three Criteria rows are created. To create additional rows, click Add Row.
8. Enter the Criteria for each Level of Achievement including the points and performance
characteristics.
9. To change the name of the Level of Achievement, click the dropdown menu next to the Level of
Achievement and select Edit.
6-38
10. Type a new name.
11. Click Save.
12. To change the name of the Criteria, click the dropdown menu next to the Criteria and select Edit.
13. Type a new name.
14. Click Save.
15. Click Submit.
How to import a Rubric
1. Click Rubric in the Course Tools of the Control Panel.
6-39
2. Click on Import Rubric.
3. Under Rubric Definition File, click Browse My Computer. Select the .zip file.
4. Click Submit.
5. Review the details of the rubric import on the Rubric Import Result page. Click OK.
6-40
6. View the imported rubric on the Rubric Tools page.
6-41
Table of Contents
Retention Center........................................................................................................................................ 7-2
Access the Retention Center.................................................................................................................. 7-2
The Retention Center Page .................................................................................................................... 7-4
At-Risk Table ...................................................................................................................................... 7-4
Right Side Panel.................................................................................................................................. 7-6
Your Course Activity ........................................................................................................................... 7-6
Customize the Retention Center............................................................................................................ 7-7
Creating Rules .................................................................................................................................... 7-7
Deleting Rules and Restoring Default Rules....................................................................................... 7-8
The Transition from the Early Warning System ..................................................................................... 7-9
7-1
Retention Center
The Retention Center is an instructor-only tool that enables you to give focused attention to students
who need it. It replaces the Early Warning System feature with easy workflows, while retaining all
existing Early Warning System data and rules.
From the Retention Center, you can communicate with struggling students and help them take
immediate action for improvement.
Tailor the default rules to suit your teaching methodologies. For example, you can:



Change the threshold for due dates to be more lenient.
Create two or three new rules to track specific items that are good indicators of risk.
Create rules to let you know which students are in the top five percent of your class and reward
their work. You can use this information to discover student mentors, assign group membership,
or find teaching assistants.
Access the Retention Center
The Retention Center is automatically on and immediately visible in your My Blackboard menu, and also
accessible in the Evaluation section of a course's Control Panel. The information in the Retention Center
is for instructors only and is not seen by your students.
7-2
You can turn the Retention Center on or off in an individual course from the Control Panel >
Customization > Tool Availability.
-ORYou can stop or start tracking individual courses from My Blackboard. On the Retention Center page,
click a course link in the left panel and use the tracking link in the right panel following the course name.
Once disabled, warnings will no longer be refreshed, and Retention Center is hidden in the Evaluation
section of the Control Panel in the course.
7-3
The Retention Center Page
Click the colored bar preceding the table to display a summary of the at-risk students in your course.
Click a colored section to access more information. You can drill in further by clicking links in the pop-up
boxes. For example, in a grade alert box, you can click the displayed number to access a list of students
triggering the alert.
Note that you can access students and their observers from the Notify drop-down list from more than
one spot in the tool. Observers are typically assigned to follow specific users in Blackboard Learn
without interacting with the system, such as parents or counselors. Observers are able to view the
course and track student progress.
Email notifications you send have a default subject and message that you can edit. If you are sending an
email to more than one recipient, the list is not revealed to the group.
At-Risk Table
The main table displays which students are at risk in one or more of four categories:




Missed Deadlines
Grades
Course Activity
Course Access
You can create as many rules as you need in each category.
7-4
When you access the Retention Center, the data is refreshed. However, the data for the course activity
rule is recorded once a day. Your school can change when and how often the data is collected for this
rule.
Sort columns by clicking the heading title. The table is sorted by most at-risk students and then
alphabetically.
Click the red dot indicator in a student's cell for more information, to include the student in the
monitoring section in the right panel, or to send an email.
Click students' names to access their Retention Status pages. View their risk factors and the notification
emails you have sent, along with your private notes about an individual student, such as:






Remedial activities or accelerated materials offered.
Special accommodations for disabilities or language barriers.
One-on-one meetings.
Extra attempts allowed on assignments or tests.
Who you assigned to help the student.
Possible teaching assistant or student mentor opportunites.
You can create new rules, edit existing rules, and delete rules by clicking Customize on the action bar.
You can create as many rules as you need.
7-5
Right Side Panel
In the right side panel, you can view two types of information:


Students you are monitoring: Click a red dot indicator in the risk table to view a student's
specific alert information. Then, click the star icon to place the student's information in this
panel. This list allows you to easily check on the students who are most at risk in your course.
Other information you are monitoring: All rules you exclude from the risk table appear here. For
example, you can create a rule to display those users doing well in your course, for activity that
does not relate to risk, or for participation that you only need to monitor occasionally.
When your system is updated to include the Retention Center, all existing Early Warning System rules
are retained. These rules appear in the Other information you are monitoring section. You can edit these
rules and determine whether or not to include them in your risk table.
IMPORTANT!
When your system is updated to include the Retention Center, all existing Early
Warning System rules are retained. These rules appear in the Other information you
are monitoring section. You can edit these rules and determine whether or not to
include them in your risk table.
Your Course Activity
The section following the risk table provides a one-stop collection of your activity, engagement, and
participation in your course. This data helps you become more aware of how your behaviors are (or are
not) contributing to student success. The information provided includes:





Your last login
Time lag for grading student submissions
Your participation in the interactive components of your course. For example, the numbers
appearing for blogs shows how many times you have posted, not your students.
Recent announcements
Fresh course content
7-6
This information is only for you, and other users cannot access it. Each time you enter your course, you
can use it to determine which course areas require your attention.
The links in this section allow you to quickly take appropriate action to further engage your students. For
example, click an assignment link to begin grading and provide feedback. You can easily access
communication tools to interact with students, or post an announcement.
Customize the Retention Center
You can use the four default rules to begin receiving alerts about how your students are doing in your
course. Edit the rules as necessary to customize them for your content and expectations. When you
create or edit rules, you determine which appear in the risk table on the Retention Center page.


Include in Risk Table: The rule appears in the risk table which displays an alert for each student
meeting the rule's criteria.
Exclude From Risk Table: The rule appears in the right panel in the Other information you are
monitoring section. Return to the Customize page if you want to include the rule in the risk
table.
Creating Rules
You can create as many rules as you want. For example, you can create individual grade rules that alert
you when students score below a certain point value on each test. Next, you can create a grade rule that
alerts you if a student's total grade for your course falls to a certain percentage.
On the Retention Center page, click Customize on the action bar. On the Customize Retention Center
page, point to Create Rule on the action bar and select one of the four rule types described in the
following table.
Rule
Type
Description
Alert is based on students' overall activity within your course. Students who are below a
defined level of activity trigger the alert.
Blackboard measures the time a student works in a course using the data generated from his
"clicks." A student is assumed to be working with a course from the time he clicks on
Course something in the course until the time he clicks something outside the course or logs out. If a
Activity login session is timed out, Blackboard only counts the time until the last click within the
course. The time is not counted between the last click within the course and the timeout.
No weighting of clicks is assigned to any areas.
Grade
Adaptive rules are not taken into account.
Alert is based on a defined score for any grade or calculated column in the Grade Center.
Students who score above or below the defined threshold for a specific grade item trigger an
alert. Determine when a grade triggers an alert:
7-7
Rule
Type
Description


Course
Access
Set Grade Value: Use the drop-down lists to select above or below -AND- points or
percentage. Type a value in the field.
Use Average Grades: Type the percentage in the field and select above or below the
average grade from the drop-down list.
Alert is based on the date users last accessed your course. Students who have not logged in for
a defined number of days trigger an alert.
Alert is based on a defined due date for an assignment, test, or survey. Students who do not
complete an assignment, test, or survey by the due date trigger an alert based on the option
you choose:

Missed
Deadline

Monitor all course deadlines: Determine how many deadlines must be missed and by
how many days before an alert is triggered. From the drop-down list, select More Than
or Less Than the number of days you chose.
Monitor Specific Deadline: Make a selection in the Select Course Item drop-down list.
The due date for each item appears in parentheses. Then, select More Than or Less
Than from the drop-down list and type the number of days to trigger an alert.
Note: If you enter zero (0) for how many days, you are asking to be alerted if an item
was not submitted before or on the deadline. No lateness is acceptable.
IMPORTANT:
You can create missed deadline rules for Grade Center columns you create manually,
but if you do not grade properly submitted items by the due date, a "false" alert is
triggered. For manually created columns, students can submit items by the due date,
but you must also grade them by the due date.
Deleting Rules and Restoring Default Rules
When you delete a rule, all your course content and data remains intact. If no rules exist in a category,
return to the main Retention Center page and click Use Defaults in the appropriate column heading. The
default rule and criteria are added. You can use the rule as is or edit it.
7-8
The Transition from the Early Warning System
All existing Early Warning System rules are retained when your system is updated to include the
Retention Center. These rules appear in the “Other” information you are monitoring section. Instructors
can edit these rules and determine whether or not to include them in their risk tables.
The transition from the Early Warning System to the Retention Center includes the prior notifications
history that might need to be retained as part of course records. Note that the Early Warning System
included less information in the notification history than what is included in the Retention Center, but
records that are transitioned include notification date, sender, and student recipient.
7-9
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