Blackboard Support – Step-by-step Document

Blackboard Support – Step-by-step Document
Blackboard Support – Step-by-step Document
Browser Recommendations and Plugins
To take full advantage of all the features in Blackboard, you will need an up-to-date Web browser and
appropriate plug-ins.
* Supported Browsers for Blackboard 7.2
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or Above
- Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or Above
- Safari
For more information, download the End User Configuration Matrix.
* Other recommendations:
- Download and install Java 1.4.2 (http://www.java.com/en/)
- Disable any "pop-up blocker" software that you have installed on your computer.
- Keep your virus software updated in order to scan for the latest viruses.
- Clear Your Browser's Cache. You may want to clear out the files stored in your cache to free up
some space on your computer. This is called clearing the cache.
Clearing the Cache in Internet Explorer
- Click Tools and select Internet Options.
- Click the General tab.
- In the Temporary Internet Files section, click the Delete Files button.
- Click Ok.
- Exit and re-launch the browser.
Clearing the Cache in Firefox
- Click Tools and select Options.
- Click the Privacy Icon.
- Click Clear across from the Cache option.
- Click Ok.
- Exit and relaunch the browser.
Clearing the Cache in Safari
- Select Safari from the top menu.
- Select Empty Cache from the drop down list.
- A confirmation window will appear asking if you are certain you wish to empty your cache. Select
Empty. Your Safari cache has now been cleared.
* Plug-ins and Players
Browsers also use plug-ins and other helper applications to help them display Web documents. If you
encounter an element (such as video or animation) that requires one of these helpers, you may see a
message that your browser isn't equipped for that content type.
Clicking on the plug-in name below will take you to the Web site where you can download the desired
plug-in.
- PowerPoint Viewer
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Flash Player
- Macromedia Shockwave Player
- QuickTime
- Java
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I. Course Creation
Before instructors get started using Blackboard, they must first get a Miami User Account
and get a Blackboard Course Shell, which is usually done when the administration of their
department enter their courses in the Banner system.
To create a separate or combine course site:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Go to myMiami, log in using your Miami UniqueID and MUnet password, and click
the "Faculty" tab.
While on the "Faculty" tab, click "Create Blackboard course sites or practice sites"
under "My Courses".
Choose the intended semester.
Click the "Course" link.
Select the courses to be combined, select "Combine the selected courses" or
“Separate site” and click "Submit".
II. Course Setup
1. Manage Course Menu
The Course Menu appears on the left side of a course website. This frame holds buttons or text
links to areas within a course and is visible on each page within the course website. The
Instructor can customize the appearance of the Course Menu as well as the content and tools
available to students.
1.1. Create New Navigation Item
1) Click “Manage Course Menu” (under Course Options) on the Control Panel
2) Click the area (Content Area, Tool Area, Course Link, or External Link) where you would like to
lead the student
3) Select a name from the pull-down list or type one of your own choosing
4) Change access for guest/observer and availability if desired
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
1.2. Rename Navigation Item
1) Click “Manage Course Menu” (under Course Options) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Modify” button
3) Select a name from the pull-down list or type one of your own choice
4) Change access for guest/observer and availability, if desired
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
1.3. Reorder Navigation Item
1)
2)
Click Manage Course Menu (under Course Options) on the Control Panel
Select an appropriate number from the pull-down menu on the left
1.4. Remove Navigation Item
1) Click “Manage Course Menu” (under Course Options) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Remove” button
3) Click “OK” in the warning box.
2. Manage Course Tools
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2.1. Enable/Disable Tools
1) Click “Manage Tools” (under Course Options) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Tool Availability”
3) To enable a course tool, put a check mark in the box; to disable a course tool, click to remove
the check mark
4) Click the appropriate boxes to enable/disable guest/observer access to course tools
5) Click Submit, then OK
3. Select Course Settings
1) Click “Settings” (under Course Options) on the Control Panel.
2) Click on the settings you want to adjust such as:
3.1. Set Course Availability
There is one option in this area, to either make the course available to the students or not.
1) Click Course Availability
2) Click “Yes”
3) Click “Submit” to make course viewable to students
To make the course unavailable to students:
1) Select “No”
2) Click “Submit”.
3.2. Set Course Entry Point
In order to set the first page students will view upon entering the course site, do the following:
1) Select the course area from the pull down menu
2) Click "Submit".
3.3 Set Course Locale
The user interface can be changed to another language. Languages available include German,
Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. English is the System Default. Language changes are
called "Set Locale" in Blackboard.
1) Click the “Set Locale” link
2) Select “Set Language Pack in Bb 7.2
3.3. Insert/Remove Course Banner
You can choose a banner image to display on your course Announcements page. You can also
use this area to remove any banners you add. The banner images should be prepared as 72 dpi
resolution, gif, jpeg or jpg file formats, and 600X100 as banner dimension.
To insert a banner:
1) Click Course Banner
2) Browse and select your image-banner you want to use.
3) Click the “Submit” button
To remove a banner:
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1) Check “Remove this banner”
2) Click “Submit”
3.5. Change Course Design
1) Click Course Design to personalize your course
2) Click Course Design again
3) Select Buttons (follow the instructions from 5 - 10) or Text (follow the instructions from 11 - 14)
To use buttons for navigation:
5) Select “Buttons” to view the button designs in the pop-up window
6) Select Button Type and Button Shape
7) Ignore the Button Name box
8) Scroll through the gallery to view the button choices
9) Choose an appropriate button
10) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
To use text for navigation, do the following:
11) Select “Text”
12) Click Pick button and select background color
13) Click Pick button and select text color
14) Click “Submit”
III. Course Content
1. Add Content
1.1. Add Items/Folders
An item can be a word-processing document, spreadsheet file, graph, PowerPoint slideshow,
picture, or any other file you may have on your computer. Keep in mind, however, that if the file
was created with specialized software, your students will need to have that program on their
computer to view the file.
An item can be added to a Content Area in one of two ways:
Add Item
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add content.
OR
1) Click an appropriate Content Area under “Content Areas” of the Control Panel
2) Click “Add Item” button
3) Type item name or choose a name from the drop-down box
4) Type a description or instructions in the textbox
5) Click the “Browse” button to find the file on your computer that you would like to upload
6) Select the file and then click open (or double click the file)
7) Type a description of the file in the slot “Name of Link to File”, otherwise, the filename will
appear as the link.
8) Select “Create a link to this file” in the “Special Action” field
The other options;
• “Display media file within the page” will show the contents of the file within the
page. This is not a good option if you have lengthy files; the page can become
quite long.
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•
“Unpackage this file” can be used for HTML pages that are zipped with images
included.
9) The “Options” area gives the following Yes/No options:
• “Make the content available” Content can be added but not available to students until the
instructor makes it available.
• “Add offline content” Can be used to point to files on CD-ROMs.
• “Track number of views” Tracks how many times this content is viewed.
• “Add metadata” Metadata can be added to make the content searchable.
• “Choose date restrictions” Checking the “Display After” and “Display Until” boxes will
activate this feature. The small calendar to the right of each date display can be used to
choose dates. Content will only be available to students during the specified time frame.
If this feature is not activated, the content will be available at all times.
10) Click Submit button, then “O.K”
Folders can be used to logically organize related materials within a content area. Once a folder is
created the Instructor can add, move, or copy items (i.e. documents, presentations, etc.),
additional folders, external websites, course links, exams, assignments, etc. within it.
A folder can be added one of two ways:
Add Folder
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add a folder
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas of the Control Panel
2) Click “Add Folder” button
3) Type folder name
4) Type description or special instructions in the textbox
5) You can change some options if desired
6) Click 'Submit' button, then click “OK”
7) To put an item in the folder, open it by clicking the folder name. Then select “Add Item” (or
other option) to add materials.
Add Passes to Content
Passes allow specific users controlled access to designated items or folders. Access can be
granted for the life of the file or for a specific length of time.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Click the Content System tab.
Select the folder or item to be shared.
Click on the "Modify" button next to the item.
Click "Passes" from the Modify page.
Click the "Add Pass" button.
Select “No expiration” to share the file indefinitely; Select “Lifetime” to enter a specific
length of time to share the file.
7. Select the permissions for the pass.
8. Click "Submit".
Instructors are also able to copy or move content (single item or an entire folder) and place it in
another area within the same course or in another course. Instructors can choose whether to
delete an item after it is copied or to also keep it in its original place.
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Items and folders can be moved or copied one of two ways:
1.2. Copy/Move Items/Folders
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to copy or move items and/or folders
OR
1) Click an appropriate Content Area of the Control Panel
2) Click “Copy” button on the right of item you would like to copy or move
3) From the pull-down menu of Destination Courses, select the course you would like to
copy/move the item (Content can only be copied to courses where you are in the instructor role.)
4) Click the “Browse” button.
5) From the pop-up box, select the folder to which you would like to copy/move the item, and then
click the “Submit” button in that window
6) If you would like to move the item instead of copying it, click “Yes” to delete the item after
copying
7) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
2. Adding Links
Instructors can add links to external websites that are related to the course content. This allows
students to access additional materials quickly and easily without typing the web address or URL
themselves.
2.1. Add External Link (URL)
External Links can be added in one of two ways:
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add an external link to a website.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas of the Control Panel
2) Click “Add URL” button
3) Type the name of Web site
4) Type the address of the site (or cut and paste it into the box)
5) Type a description or special instructions about the site in the textbox
6) You can change some options if desired
7) Click “Submit” button, then “OK”
Instructors have the ability to link internally to other items or areas within their courses. All items
that appear in the Course Map can be linked.
2. 2. Add Course Link (Internal Link)
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add an internal link within the course site.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas on the Control Panel
2) Click Add “Course Link”
3) Type a name or choose one from the drop-down menu
4) Type a description or instructions in the textbox
5) Click the “Browse” button.
6) Choose the area to link to in pop-up window; to open the folders, click the “+” sign next to the
folder. You may also choose to “Open All” using the link at the top of the Course Map. Choose
the tool or folder with the radio button, then click “Submit”
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7) You can change some options, if desired
8) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
Instructors can add tests to a Content Area. The test must be created before it can be made
available to students. Tests might be exams or quizzes. Tests are automatically graded by
Blackboard and provide immediate feedback to the instructor. Essay questions in tests must be
graded by the instructor. To learn how to create a test, please see the “Create a Test” area under
“Assessment”
2. 3. Add Test
Tests can be added to a Content Area in one of two ways:
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add a test.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas on the Control Panel
2) Select a test from the list of tests
3) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
Create a test using the “Create” button if no tests are available (see “Create a Test” for detailed
instructions on how to create tests in Blackboard)
2.4. Adding Other Content Types (“Select” drop-down menu)
Learning Unit
Used to guide a student thru a series of materials in sequential order. A learning unit can be used
when it is important for students to complete assignments, readings, and assessments in a
prescribed order. This is important when readings, URLs, and homework assignments build on
previous ones. This can significantly impact the learning process and should be used under the
appropriate circumstances.
To create a Learning Unit, first decide how you would like to structure the information. Then you
will be ready to begin construction of the Learning Unit.
A Learning Unit can be added to Content Area in one of two ways:
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add a Learning Unit.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas on the Control Panel
2) Choose “Learning Unit” from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
3) Click “Go”
4) Select a name for the Learning Unit from the drop-down menu, (i.e., tutorial, demonstration,
lab, lesson plan, etc.) or specify your own name
5) Enter a description or instructions about the Learning Unit in the text window.
6) Choose relevant options. The “Options” area gives the following Yes/No options:
• “Make the Learning Unit available” A Learning Unit can be created but not available to
students until the instructor makes it available.
• “Do you want to enforce sequential viewing of the Learning Unit?” Can be used to point to
files on CD-ROMs.
• “Do you want the Learning Unit to open in a new window?” If “Yes” is chosen, the
Learning Unit will open in a new browser window.
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•
•
“Track number of views” Tracks how many times this content is viewed.
“Add metadata” Metadata can be added to make the content searchable. A librarian is
helpful in adding the metadata.
• “Choose date restrictions” Checking the “Display After” and “Display Until” boxes will
activate this feature. The small calendar to the right of each date display can be used to
choose dates. Content will only be available to students during the specified time frame.
If this feature is not activated, the Learning Unit will be available at all times.
7) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
Survey
Surveys can be added to a Content Area in one of two ways:
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add a survey.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas on the Control Panel
2) Choose “Survey” from the “Select” drop-down menu on the right side of the page.
3) Click “Go”
4) Select a survey from the list of surveys
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
Create a survey using the “Create” button if no surveys are available (see “Create a Survey” for
detailed instructions on how to create surveys in Blackboard)
Assignment
The Assignment Tool is used to send students documents like homework instructions and/or an
attached file to complete. When the Assignment is created, a column is automatically created in
the Gradebook. Students can download files and submit essays and homework assignments
through the Assignment Tool. Instructors can download all of the submitted assignments at once,
or view each one individually.
Instructors can provide feedback to students and have the option of returning the file(s) to
students. Instructors can make comments to themselves within the assignment area regarding
the assignment that students will not see.
An assignment can be added to a Content Area in one of two ways:
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add a survey.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas on the Control Panel
2) Select “Assignment” from the pull-down menu to the right next to “Select” and click “Go”
3) Type the name of the Assignment
4) Enter the points possible
5) Type the instructions in the text box
6) Choose the desired options
• “Make the assignment available” Assignments can be created but not available to
students until the instructor makes them available.
• “Track number of views” Tracks how many times this assignment is viewed.
•
“Choose date restrictions” Checking the “Display After” and “Display Until” boxes will
activate this feature. The small calendar to the right of each date display can be used to
choose dates. The assignment will only be available to students during the specified time
frame. If this feature is not activated, the assignment will be available at all times.
7) Click “Browse” to find the file on your computer, select the file, and click “Open”
8) Type a description of the file in the slot “Name of Link to File”, otherwise, the filename will
appear as the link.
9) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
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Content System Content
Content must be uploaded and stored in the Content System. To link to content in the Content
System, follow these steps:
A Content System Content document can be added to a Content Area in one of two ways:
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add content from the Content System.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas on the Control Panel
2) Choose “Content System Content” from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the
screen.
3) Click “Go”
4) Enter a name for the Content System Content file
5) Type a description or instructions in the Text box.
6) Click the “Browse” button to browse the Content System.
7) Select the file or the folder to add to the Content Area.
8) Click “Submit” and enter a descriptive name as the link to the Content System Content
9) Select relevant “Options”
• “Make the content visible?” Content can be linked but not available to students until the
instructor makes it available.
• “Launch link in new window?” If “Yes” is chosen, the Content System Content will open in
a new browser window.
• “Track number of views” Tracks how many times this content is viewed.
• “Add metadata” Metadata can be added to make the content searchable. A librarian is
helpful in adding the metadata.
• “Choose date restrictions” Checking the “Display After” and “Display Until” boxes will
activate this feature. The small calendar to the right of each date display can be used to
choose dates. The assignment will only be available to students during the specified time
frame. If this feature is not activated, the assignment will be available at all times.
10) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
2.5. Copy Content
Content items can be copied from one course to another. This includes documents, PowerPoint
presentations, tests, discussion postings and more. If Assignments are exported, the Gradebook
must also be exported with it, otherwise the Assignments will not export.
To export content from a Blackboard site into an existing Blackboard site, you could do ONE the
following:
Course Copy: This function allows copying of specific course materials into an existing course.
You will have had to create your new Blackboard course site before using this feature. Course
materials may only be copied to courses in which you are in the instructor role.
To copy course materials using the Course Copy feature:
1)
2)
3)
4)
Go to the Control Panel
Choose “Course Copy” under “Course Options” in the Control Panel
Click the link “Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course”
Click the “Browse” button to find the course to which you will copy materials (You may
search by Course ID, Instructor, Title/Description, or you can click the “Search” button to
see all courses in which you are the instructor)
5) Click the “Select” button to the right of the course to which the materials should be copied
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6) Check the checkboxes next to the course materials to be copied
7) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
8) An email will be sent to you when the process has been completed
Export Course/Import Package: Content can be exported from your course, downloaded, and
imported into another course in the Blackboard system. This can be used when sharing select
content with a colleague.
To export course content using the Export Course feature:
1) Go to the Control Panel
2) Click “Export Course” under “Course Options”
3) Choose the content to export by clicking the boxes next to each course material type and
tool
4) Click “Submit”
5) For PC users: Right click the link on the Receipt page and choose “Save Target As” from
the pop-up menu to download the export file (To find the file easily, download it to your
desktop.)
For Mac users: Hold the “ctrl” key and click the link simultaneously; choose “Download
Link to Disk” to save the export file (To find the file easily, download it to your desktop.)
6) Click “OK”
To import the course content exported from a Blackboard course into a new Blackboard course,
the following steps should be completed:
1)
2)
3)
4)
Go to the new course where the content will be imported
From the Control Panel, select "Import Package" from the "Course Options" area.
Your Destination Course ID will already be determined
Select the course package to import by selecting "Browse" and searching your hard drive
for the exported file; this is a .zip file.
5) Select which course materials you would like to import, such as Announcements,
Discussion Board, Tests, etc. (These should be the same as the ones chosen during
export) Choose all when in doubt
6) Select "Submit".
7) Click “OK”
IV. Users and Groups
1. Manage Users
1.1. List/Modify users
User Management enables the Instructor to manage the users in their course Web site. A listing
of users provides information on name, user name, email, and role. Instructors can change a
user's role through the Properties page but should not modify other fields as they are
automatically updated.
Steps 1-2 for list only; steps 1-5 for modify
1) Click “List/Modify Users” (under User Management) on the Control Panel
2) Type student's last name and click Search button
3) Click “Properties” button
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4) Select an appropriate user role
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
Special Note: A Graduate Teaching Assistant should not be given an Instructor role unless they
are solely responsible for the course. The Teaching Assistant role has the same access as
Instructor within the Control Panel.
The Grader role has access to the Assessment Tools only and the Course Builder role has rights
to all content areas and course tools within the Control Panel.
1.2. Enroll Users
Students are automatically enrolled into Blackboard courses through the Banner system
overnight. Occasionally, instructors may want to add a guest lecturer or a student who is
completing an Incomplete grade from a previous semester.
Any users who are added must have a Miami Unique ID to be added to a Blackboard course.
1) Click “Enroll User” (under User Management) on the Control Panel
2) Type student's last name and click Search button
3) Click the “Add” box to the left of the student’s name on the list (You may need the student’s
Unique ID to identify him/her when you find multiple identical names)
4) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
1.3. Remove Users
Students are NOT automatically deleted from Blackboard courses. Instructors will need to
manually remove students who dropped the course. Otherwise students may continue to access
quizzes and other course materials. Keep in mind that most items such as grades and
assignments associated with the student will also be deleted so you should save them offline
before removing them. Another strategy is to keep the student in the course and make the course
unavailable to that student through “List/Modify Users” function. “Modify User Properties”
Special Note: At Miami University, students who drop a course will need to be deleted from
Banner first before they can be removed in Blackboard. If they have not dropped through the
Registrar’s office, or they have not been updated in Banner, they will re-appear the next day in
the course.
1) Click “Remove Users from the Course” (under “User Management”) on the Control Panel
2) Type student's last name and click the “Search” button
3) Click the “Remove” box to the left of student's name
4) Type the word “Yes” in the indicated box. Do not use quotation marks, just capital ‘Y’ and lower
case ‘es’
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK” in the warning box, then “OK” again
2. Manage Groups
When a group is created, members of the group can have their own Discussion Board, Virtual
Classroom, File Exchange function, and Email distribution separate from the overall class. This
can be an effective tool for creating community in an online environment. Students can work on
group projects in a private area online. Asynchronous communication can take place, freeing
students from meeting in person.
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Special Note: Instructors must create the initial Discussion Forum for students if the Discussion
Board is being used.
2.1. Create Group
1) Click “Manage Groups” (under User Management) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Add Group” button
3) Type a name for the group
4) Type a description of the group or the names of the students in the group
5) Select appropriate options for the group
Group Options include:
Group Discussion Board Available: a private Discussion Board for students to interact
Group Virtual Classroom Available: allows students to interact online simultaneously in a chat
room
Group File Exchange Available: allows for all students in a group to work on one document; can
be used for collaborative paper-writing. Each version of the document is tracked.
Group Email Available: allows students to email one another within the group environment
Group Available: allows the instructor to create the group but not make it available until the
appropriate time in the course
6) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
2.2. Add Users to Group
Once you have created a group, you can add members to it.
1) Click “Manage Groups” (under “User Management”) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Modify” button to the right of the group to which you will add members
3) Click “Add Users To Group”
4) Click “List All” tab
5) Click “List All” button
6) Select the group members by clicking the check box to the left of the student name. Note: the
instructor should be added to each group to be able to monitor the discussions and interactions of
the group
7) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
V. Assessment Tools
1. Set Up the Gradebook
The Gradebook enables instructors to manage all aspects of student grades. Items may be
added that are not Assignments, Tests, or Surveys in the Blackboard Learning System. For
example, if students are graded on their participation in discussion; the instructor may add
“Participation” as a column in the Gradebook and add the grades for participation. Students can
view only their own grades.
1.1. Add Items
1)Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the Control Panel
2) Click ”Add Item” button
3) Type a name for the item in the “Item Name” field
4) Select “Category” (If you cannot find an appropriate category on the menu, you can create
your own category in the Manage Gradebook Categories section of Gradebook Settings)
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Categories are used when grades are weighted or to organize the items in the Gradebook
5) Add a description for the item
6) The date is automatically generated with the current date and time
7) Enter points possible (otherwise Blackboard automatically defaults to "0").
8) Select “Display” option (Display As) for grades
• Score; displays point total
• Complete/Incomplete; choice of one
• Letter; allows for letter grades
• Percentage; shows a percentage of the points attained versus points possible
• Text; allows entry of text in the grade field
9) Select appropriate options in the “Options” section
Options include:
• ”Make item available to users.” Choose “Yes” to make item available and “No” to
make the item unavailable to students
• ”Include item in Gradebook score calculations.” Choose “Yes” to include in the
calculation of the “Total” column and “No” to exclude the item from this calculation.
10) Click “Submit’, then OK
1.2. Remove Items
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Manage Items”
3) Click “Remove” button next to the item you want to remove.
The “Remove” button will not appear next to Tests, Surveys, or Assignments. These items must
be removed from the area in which they were created. Tests must be removed from the Test
Manager, Surveys removed from the Survey Manager, and Assignments should be removed from
the area in which it was deployed.
1.3. Item Order
Manage Items allows you to order the items that are in your gradebook. You can change the
order and you can also re-name or re-categorize the items in this view. To re-order items, do the
following:
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment)
2) Click “Manage Items”
3) Choose the number next to the title of each item to move it up or down in the order.
2. Use Gradebook Features
2.1 Enter Grades
Instructors may enter a value for each student for every Gradebook item or in some cases such
as an online assessment a score may be entered automatically. If a value is not entered, one of
the following symbols will appear:
• Padlock: In Progress;
• Dash: No Information;
• Exclamation Point: Needs Grading;
• Question Mark: Gradebook Error.
Instructors may enter scores by item for all students, by student for all items, or by single
item/score.
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To add many scores:
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the Control Panel
2) Click the name of the item on the top of the column
3) Click “Item Grade List”
4) Type each student's score into the corresponding box (Use Tab key to move from cell to cell)
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
To add one score:
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the Control Panel
2) Click on the appropriate cell in the Gradebook
3) Type the grade in the “Grade” box
4) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
2.2. Hide columns
Instructors can hide or reveal grades for individual assignments through the Gradebook. If one
particular grade is not displayed to students, enter the Gradebook and check the availability of
that assignment. Grades that are hidden will have an asterisk (*) next to the item name. To hide a
specific column from students:
1) Click the underlined title of the desired item
2) Click “Item Information”
3) Under “Options”, “Make item visible to students”, select “No”
4) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
5) Return to the Gradebook and observe “ * “ next to the title
2.3. Weight Grades
Weight Grades gives instructors the ability to weight their grades with percentages. Instructors
can either weigh grades by categories, for example, all assignments, or by individual item. Each
item within a category is weighted evenly. Items that have more weight may be more important
than items with a lower percentage weight. In either case, weighting by category or percentage,
all items should add up to 100%.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click “'Weight Grades”
3) Select either “'Weight by Category” or “Weight by Item”
Choose “Weight by Category” to weigh all of one category, all assignments for example. (New
categories can be created if needed.) Choose “Weight by Item” to give each item a weight.
4) Put a percentage in the slot you would like to weight (The total of all percentages should equal
100%.)
5) Click “Submit”
Note: When weighting is used, it is good practice to hide the Weighted Total column from
students at the beginning of the course. Since the grades accumulate over time; a student’s most
recent submission is not in the column, just the percentage of 100% earned to date is displayed.
At the beginning of the semester, a student may have only 5% which can be disconcerting to a
student.
2.4. Change Gradebook Settings.
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Gradebook Settings gives instructors options to change the way names are displayed, create
new categories for various gradebook items, and create new grading schemes. These
settings allow instructors to use other grading structures other than a points system.
2.4.1. Spreadsheet Settings
Spreadsheet Settings allows instructors to list students in the Gradebook by first name, last
name, or user ID.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment)
2) Click “Gradebook Settings” button
3) Click “Spreadsheet Settings” link
4) Click “Column Settings”
5) Select “Spreadsheet Display Options”
6) Select “My Grades Display Options”
2.4.2. Manage Gradebook Categories
Manage Gradebook Categories allows instructors to create their own categories in the
Gradebook. Instructors may have other projects or specific projects that need their own
categories. Categories are used when weighting grades and can be used to sort Gradebook
items, for example, if you want to have all Assignments listed first, then all Exams. Each item will
need to have a category assigned in order to do this.
To add a category:
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment)
2) Click “Gradebook Settings” button
3) Click “Manage Gradebook Categories” link
4) Click “Add Category” to add a new category
5) Name the new category and complete a description, if desired. (The description can be
used to add more information to the category that will not fit within the column.)
6) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
To remove a created category: (Blackboard categories cannot be removed)
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment)
2) Click “Gradebook Settings” button
3) Click “Manage Gradebook Categories” link
4) Click “Remove” button to the right of the category to remove
5) Click “OK” in the warning dialogue box
6) Click “OK” and “OK” again to return to the Gradebook
2.5. Sort by Items or Scores
Instructors have the option to sort Gradebook items by Category, Date, Original Position, Title, or
Weight. Instructors can sort scores or student names in ascending order.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Pull down the menu for “Sort Items by”
3) Select an item, such as date or category, you would like to sort by (The “Position” choice will
return the items and scores to their original entry order)
4) Click “Go”
Alternative method:
1) Click the triangle button above the column heading to sort the scores in ascending order
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2.6. Change Letter Grade Ranges
Instructors can modify Grade Display Options in the Gradebook. Instructors can select a range of
numeric grades to be associated with a letter grade. With the exception of Letter Grade, other
default display options included within the Blackboard Learning System cannot be modified or
removed.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click “Gradebook Settings”
3) Click “Manage Display Options”
4) Click the “Modify” button to the right of “Letter” grade
5) Modify the grading scale to reflect the one used in your course
6) Click 'Submit', then click “OK” three times to return to the Gradebook
2.7. Download Gradebook
Instructors can download and save the Gradebook for use in a spreadsheet program like
Microsoft Excel. Some instructors like to manage their gradebook in Excel or keep a copy of
grades backed up on their own computer to access without logging into Blackboard. It is a good
idea to download the Gradebook at the end of a semester for your own records.
If an instructor prefers to enter grades in Excel, the Gradebook should be downloaded before
grades are entered.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click “Download Grades”
3) Choose “Comma” as the delimiter type
4) Click the “Submit” button
5) Click the “Download” button
6) Click “Save”
7) Save the file to your Desktop so that you can find it easily
8) Do not change the file name or file type
9) Click the “Save” button and download is completed
10) Click “OK” to return to the Blackboard Gradebook
8) Close or minimize Blackboard to locate the downloaded file on your desktop
9) Double click the file to open with Excel
2.8. Upload Gradebook
Instructors may upload gradebook information into Blackboard provided the original commadelimited spreadsheet file that was previously downloaded is the source file and saved with a .csv
extension(that is, as a comma delimited file). Instructors can select specific gradebook items,
such as an assignment or specific student grades, to upload.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click “Upload Grades”
3) Click “Browse” button to find the spreadsheet file to upload
4) Click “Submit”
5) Select the column you would like to upload (You can only upload one column at a time)
6) Choose the destination column (usually the same name as the one you will upload) or “Create
New Gradebook Item”
7) Click “Submit”
8) Select student(s); (You may use the “Select All” link in the upper left corner to select all
students)
9) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
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3. Manage an Assignment
Instructors can add an Assignment to any Content Area. Assignments list the name, point value,
and a description for various course work. Instructors can also add attachments to an Assignment
for students to download. Students can complete the assignment either in a separate file or an
original file and submit it back to the instructor. When an instructor creates an Assignment, it is
automatically added to the Gradebook. After a student submits a completed Assignment, the
instructor may access this file in the Gradebook. Instructors can then send Comments to the
student along with additional attachments (these may or may not be the submitted assignment)
and may also make “Notes” to himself or herself that the student will not see.
3.1. Create Assignment (already created; Anne, do not re-create; Shanti, please
link to the previous case in the KB re: Create Assignment)
An assignment can be added to a “Content Area” in one of two ways:
1) Click “Edit View” in the upper right corner of the screen in the Content Area where you would
like to add a survey.
OR
1) Click an appropriate link under Content Areas on the Control Panel
2) Select “Assignment” from the pull-down menu to the right next to “Select” and click “Go”
3) Type the name of the Assignment
4) Enter the points possible
5) Type the instructions in the text box
6) Choose the desired options
• “Make the assignment available” Assignments can be created but not available to
students until the instructor makes them available.
• “Track number of views” Tracks how many times this assignment is viewed.
•
“Choose date restrictions” Checking the “Display After” and “Display Until” boxes will
activate this feature. The small calendar to the right of each date display can be used to
choose dates. The assignment will only be available to students during the specified time
frame. If this feature is not activated, the assignment will be available at all times.
7) Click “Browse” to find the file on your computer, select the file, and click “Open”
8) Type a description of the file in the slot “Name of Link to File”, otherwise, the filename will
appear as the link.
9) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
3.2. View and Submit Assignments
When a Student submits a completed Assignment it will appear in the Gradebook, where
Instructors can access it and grade it. Instructors may also add comments and send another file
as an attachment back to the student.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click "!" in the spreadsheet cell (An exclamation point indicates an item to be graded)
3) Click the “View” button
4) Click the link next to “Student's Files” to open the student’s file
5) Enter the grade
6) Type comments for the students; this is your opportunity to give feedback to the student
7) Return the corrected or annotated assignment, if desired, by using the “Browse” button; locate
the file, select it, click “Open”
8) Enter “Notes” for yourself if desired
9) Attach a file for yourself; this may be the corrected or annotated file you returned to the student
10) Click “Submit”
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3.3. Bulk Download Assignments
Instructors can export and save all submitted assignments to a location on the hard drive at one
time. The file name will automatically include the username of the Student who submitted the file.
To bulk download assignments
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click the assignment name at the top of the column
3) Click “Item Download”
4) Click “Check All”
5) Click “Download assignments now”
6) Click “Save” and browse to a location on your computer where you can find the assignments,
like the Desktop
7) Click “Save” again
5) Click “OK”
Note: The completed assignments are compressed in a zipped file.
4. Manage Tests
Tests are one way to measure a student's understanding of the course content. Students take the
test online and the test is automatically graded (with the exception of essay questions).
Surveys are created through the Survey Manager in the same way that tests are created through
the Test Manager. Survey questions do not include point values or correct and incorrect answers.
4.1. Create Tests
Tests may consist of the following types of questions:
Calculated Formula
Calculated Numeric
Either/Or
Essay
File Upload
Fill in Multiple Blanks
Fill in the Blank
Hotspot
Jumbled Sentence
Matching
Multiple answers
Multiple choice
Opinion Scale/Likert
Ordering
Short Answer
True/false
To create tests:
1) Click “Test Manager” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click “Add Test”
3) Type the name of test
4) Type the description
5) Type the instructions for completing the test Include any important information here like time
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limits, or that they may only take the test once.
6) Click “Submit”
7) Click “Creation Settings” to set the options that will apply to the entire test
These options include:
• “Provide feedback for individual answers.” This option creates a feedback box for each
answer in your test. An opportunity exists here for detailed feedback as to why a question
is correct or incorrect.
• “Add images, files, and URLs to questions.” This option allows for music files, images,
documents, and links to be attached to each question in the test.
• “Add images, files, and URLs to answers.” Allows for music files, images, documents,
and links to be added to the answer choices throughout the test.
• “Add categories and keywords to questions.” Allows for categories and keywords to be
added to each question. Categories can be applied to search for different topic questions
and keywords make the question searchable.
• “Specify default point values for questions.” Allows for the specified point value to be
added to each question in the test. The point value must be specified and the checkbox
must also be checked for this feature to work.
8) Click “Submit” to save the specified settings.
9) Select a question type from the pull-down menu
10) Click “Go”
11) Type the text of the question
12) Enter or change the point value for that question if needed
13) Attach any needed files (like music, images, documents, etc.) if you enabled this option under
the “Creation Settings” Note: The “Name” field does not need to be filled in unless you are adding
a URL and would like it to display as something other than the URL.
14) Type answer(s), indicating the correct response, when necessary (The number of answer
choices is up to you.)
15) If you will be giving feedback for individual answers, type constructive, specific feedback for
each response
16) Click “Submit”
Your test, thus far, will be displayed. You may add more questions (of any type), or click “OK”
when complete. You may return to the test later to continue working or to edit it by selecting it
from the list of tests presented when you click on “Test Manager”.
To make the test available to students, it must be added to a Content Area or to the Course
Menu. See “Add Test” or “Deploy Tests”
4.2. Modify and Remove Questions
From the "Test Canvas":
1) Select "Modify" button next to the question you wish to edit.
2) Select "Remove" button next to the question you wish to remove.
4.3. Deploy Tests
Tests must be made available through the appropriate Content Area.
1) Determine where the test should appear and click the Content Area on the “Control Panel”
2) Click “Add Test” button
3) Select the test from the list displayed
4) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
5) Click “Modify the Test options”
6) Click “Yes” to "Launch Item in External Window" in the “Test Information” area
7) Click “Yes” to "Make the link available" in “Test Availability”
8) “Create an announcement for this Test” will create an announcement in the Announcements
area. However, this announcement will not tell students where the test is located. It is a good idea
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to add an additional Announcement with the location information and any timeframe imposed on
completion of the test.
9) You may choose to utilize the other options (multiple attempts, force completion, set timer, time
frame, and password), if desired; These options will allow you to have some control over who
takes the test and when.
10) Select “Test Feedback Mode” Read these selections carefully to decide which results you
want students to see after they have completed the test
11) Select Test Presentation options
• ”All at Once” will show the test all at once on the same screen. This can be
problematic if the students’ browser “times out” during the test. One way around
this is to have the student open http://www.cnn.com in another browser window
before going into the course site to take the test. CNN.com refreshes itself every
few seconds, so it would keep the browser active.
• “One at a Time” will show each question one at a time. This option also has the
option of “Prohibit Backtracking” where students cannot revisit questions they
have answered.
• “Randomize Questions” randomizes each question for each test attempt.
12) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
4.4. Reset an Attempt
If a grading error has occurred or a technical glitch causes an incomplete attempt, the test will
have to be reset for that individual student.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click student's score (or other symbol) in the cell to be reset
3) Click the “View” button on the right
4) Click the “Clear Attempt” button
5) Click “OK” to the warning message
6) Click “OK” again to exit the Gradebook
4.5. View Assessment Attempt Details
This feature allows Instructors to view the statistics for a specific Assessment and questions.
Statistics include the average score students who took the test received on the Assessment and
the percentage of selected answers on a question by question basis.
1) Click “Gradebook” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
To view an individual student's results:
2) Click student's score that you would like to view in detail
3) Click the “View” button on the right to see the student response to each test question
To view the overall (entire class) results:
2) Click the name of assessment item in the Gradebook
3) Click “Assessment Attempt Details” to view the overall class results. (These results are based
on all respondents taking the test as 100%; 100% does not refer to all students in the class.)
4) Click “OK” twice to return to the Gradebook
5. Pool Manager
The Pool Manager allows the instructor to create and search collections of questions. Questions
can be grouped by any number of criteria including topic, subject matter, question type or
difficulty of question. A pool can be drawn from to generate an assessment with randomized
questions selected by the instructor. Pools can be created from (1) new questions or (2)
questions in existing tests or pools. Pools are most effective when there are large numbers of
questions in one group. For example, one might have a pool of true/false questions, another of
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multiple choice and a third for fill-in-the-blank. The instructor could then create an assessment
drawing a specific number of questions from each of the question-type pools.
5.1. Create a Pool
1) Click “Pool Manager” (under Assessment) on the “Control Panel”
2) Click the “Add Pool” button.
3) Type a Name, Description, and list any Instructions for the pool in the text boxes provided.
4) Click “Submit”
5) Click “Creation Settings” to set the options that will apply to the entire test
These options include:
• “Provide feedback for individual answers.” This option creates a feedback box for each
answer in your test. An opportunity exists here for detailed feedback as to why a question
is correct or incorrect.
• “Add images, files, and URLs to questions.” This option allows for music files, images,
documents, and links to be attached to each question in the test.
• “Add images, files, and URLs to answers.” Allows for music files, images, documents,
and links to be added to the answer choices throughout the test.
• “Add categories and keywords to questions.” Allows for categories and keywords to be
added to each question. Categories can be applied to search for different topic questions
and keywords make the question searchable.
• “Specify default point values for questions.” Allows for the specified point value to be
added to each question in the test. The point value must be specified and the checkbox
must also be checked for this feature to work.
6) Click “Submit” to save the specified settings.
7) Select a question type from the pull-down menu
Pools allow you to choose from the following question types (same as in tests):
•
Calculated Formula
Calculated Numeric
Either/Or
Essay
File Upload
Fill in Multiple Blanks
Fill in the Blank
Hotspot
Jumbled Sentence
Matching
Multiple answers
Multiple choice
Opinion Scale/Likert
Ordering
Short Answer
True/false
8) Click “Go”
9) Type the text of the question
10) Enter or change the point value for that question if needed
11) Attach any needed files (like music, images, documents, etc.) if you enabled this option under
the “Creation Settings” Note: The “Name” field does not need to be filled in unless you are adding
a URL and would like it to display as something other than the URL.
12) Type answer(s), indicating the correct response, when necessary (The number of answer
choices is up to you) and designate the Correct answer by clicking on the radio button to the left
of the appropriate Answer box.
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13) If you will be giving feedback for individual answers, type constructive, specific feedback for
each response
14) Click “Submit”
15) You are returned to the Pool Canvas page. You can add another question, choose a different
question type, modify or remove an existing question, or change the order in which the questions
are presented.
5.2. Import Questions from a Pool
1) Click “Test Manager” (under “Control Panel” > Assessment”)
2) Click “Add Test”, name and describe test
3) Select “From a Question Pool or Assessment”, then click “GO”
4) Search tests and pools listed
5) Determine which type(s) of questions to select
6) Select individual questions, the click “Submit”
5.3. Export/Import a Pool into a New Course
If you have more than one Blackboard course site, you can move question pools between them
using the Pool Manager's export/import functions.
To export a question pool:
1) Click “Pool Manager” (under “Control Panel” > Assessment”)
3) Click the “Export” button to the right of the pool to be exported
4) Save the zipped file to your computer
5) Click “Save”
6) Click “OK”
Note: “Export” Pools will zip the question pools into a .zip file.
To import a question pool
1) Click “Pool Manager” (under “Control Panel” > Assessment”)
3) Click the “Import Pool” button at the top of the page
4) Click “Browse” and navigate and find the desired zipped file.
5) Select the desired file and click “Open”
6) The name of the selected file will appear in the "Pool to Import" text field. Click “Submit”
7) The Pool Manager page will load with the newly imported pool listed.
VI. Communications Tools
1. Announcement
Students can view important messages from faculty on the Announcements page.
Announcements will appear for seven days, then automatically move to the “View Last 30 Days”
tab. Announcements will appear in the order posted with the most recent Announcements
appearing first. An announcement can be made permanent so that it persistent on the default
page.
1.1 Add an Announcement
1) Click “Announcement” (under Course Tools) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Add Announcement” button
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3) Type the subject of the announcement
4) Type the message in the text box
5) Click “Yes” to always display the announcement.
6) Choose date restrictions if the announcement is to be displayed only for a set period of time.
Note that the announcement will still move to the “View Last 30 Days” tab after seven days.
7) You may link to another part of the course if you would like students to access that part of the
course directly from the announcement.
8) Click the box in the “Email Announcement” section to email the announcement to all course
users.
9) Click “Submit” button, then “OK”
2. Email
Instructors and students can email each other through Blackboard’s “Send Email” function.
Instructors or students cannot send email to those who are not using on the same Blackboard
system via the Internet with the “Send Email” function. Senders can select either individual
recipients or all participants in the Blackboard course. Separate email lists in an email client are
no longer necessary.
2.1. Send Email
9. 1) Click “Send E-mail” (under Course Tools) on the Control Panel
2) Select appropriate recipients such as “All Users” or “Single/Select Users” to select
individuals or groups.
3) Type the “Subject”
4) Type the Message (or copy and paste text from your word processing software) into
the box
5) To attach a file, click the “Add” button, then “Browse” to find the file on your computer.
Select file, then click “Open”.
6) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
3. Discussion Board
The Discussion Board (also called a Forum, threaded discussion, bulletin board, or message
board) is a form of asynchronous communication. It allows students and instructors to exchange
ideas while being in different places at different times. A person posts a message that is available
for others to read and respond to with their own comments. As one person posts a reply, the
second message is indented. If someone replies to the reply, that message is indented further,
giving a hierarchical appearance. This is known as 'threaded' discussions.
Instructors can use the Discussion Board for interactive discussion of a topic. Large courses can
be divided into groups for small group discussions in the Discussion Board. Another way to
effectively use the Discussion Board is to have students upload papers or assignments to be peer
reviewed.
3.1. Create Forum
Forums are used to organize discussions and discussion topics. Only instructors can create a
Forum. Instructors can enable/disable functions and users as necessary.
After a Forum is created, a new Thread must be added (by either the instructor or a student) to
start the discussion. (When a new topic of conversation is created within a Forum it is called a
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Thread.) All replies or related messages are included in the thread.
1) Click “Add Forum” button. This will take you to the “Add Forum” screen
2) Type the title of the Forum (be sure to name it as it is referred to in the course)
3) Type the description and/or instructions for the Forum
4) Change “Forum Settings” if desired
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Allow anonymous posts. This option allows students the choice to post
messages to the forum anonymously. This feature can be used when discussing
a sensitive topic.
Allow author to remove own posts. This option allows students to delete their
own messages. If this is allowed, the messages will be permanently deleted
leaving no record of their content. You can specify whether students can remove
any post (which will also remove replies from other students) or only posts with
no replies.
Allow author to modify own published posts. This feature is a good option to
choose if the students are allowed to edit their messages for grammar or to add
additional references.
Allow file attachments. This option allows students to add files for peerreviews or to share examples.
Allow members to create new threads. This option allows students to post new
threads to the Discussion Forum. Allowing students to post new threads helps
them feel an ownership of the course and allows them to start a new direction
with an idea.
Allow members to subscribe to threads. If this is selected, students have an
option to subscribe to threads. If a student subscribes to a thread, Blackboard will
send an email to the student when a post is updated or a new reply is posted.
Allow members to rate posts. This option allows students to rate their peers’
posts on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.
Force moderation of posts. Moderating posts requires that all posts are
reviewed by a responsible party before the content is shared with the class. You
can set the forum moderator to be anyone with access to the course Blackboard
site (including students).
Grade. Selecting this option automatically creates an entry for the forum (or
individual threads) in the Gradebook.
5) Change “Forum User Settings” if desired.
6) Click “Submit” button, then “OK”
3.2. Add a Thread
1) Once in the Discussion Board area, enter a forum by clicking the forum name.
2) Click “+ Thread” button. This will take you to the Add Thread screen.
3) Type the subject of your thread.
4) Type the message and add an attachment, if desired
5) Click “Submit” button, then “OK”
3.3. Reply to a Posting
Instructors and students can respond to one another to clarify points, add commentary, ask
additional questions, etc. Full conversations can take place completely online.
1) Once in the Discussion Board area, enter a forum by clicking the forum name.
2) Click on the name of the thread you wish to reply to (or an individual message within the
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thread).
3) Click “Reply” button
4) Type the message in the text field box and add an attachment if desired.
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
3.4. Hiding a Thread
Threads within a forum can be hidden by the instructor so they are no longer visible to students.
This may be useful in active forums that span several themes or topics.
1. Once in the Discussion Board area, enter a forum by clicking the forum name.
2. Select the threads you wish to hide by clicking the check box(es) to the left of the thread
name.
3. Toward the top right of the screen you should see the words “Change status to.” In the
drop down menu to the right of this select Hidden.
4. Click the Go button to the right of the drop down menu.
If you wish to view hidden threads, you must select Hidden from the Display drop down menu (on
the right side of the search bar) and then click the Go button.
3.5. Search for Messages
Instructors may search for posts by student name or by keyword. Results will be matched based
on the search criteria you specify and can include a list or include the messages. You can either
search all forums, individual forum or individual threads. If you want to search a specific forum or
thread, you must enter that forum or thread first.
1) Toward the top of the screen, you should see a Search bar. Enter your search term in the
search field.
2) Underneath the search field, you can use the drop down menu to specify what area you
want to search.
3) You may also enter specific dates to narrow your search.
4) Once you have entered your search criteria, click the Go button.
3.6. Collect and View Messages
The Options tool bar allows all or certain messages to be selected and then compiled into one
page for ease of reading. This relieves a user from having to click on and open each and every
link in the Discussion Forum.
Viewing Multiple Messages
1) Once in the Discussion Board area, enter a forum by clicking the forum name.
2) Select each thread you would like to collect by clicking the check box to the left of the
message, or select all messages by clicking the Go button next to the Select All menu at the
bottom left of the messages.
3) Click the Collect button near the top of the page.
4) Click “OK” after viewing messages to return to the Forum.
3.7. Sort Messages
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Instructors can sort all messages in a forum by date, thread, author, status, unread posts or total
posts. To sort by any of the categories, simply click the small triangle above the category in the
green column header.
4. Collaboration
Collaboration allows the instructor and students to participate in real-time lessons and
discussions from different locations. Archives of previous Collaboration sessions may also be
created or viewed. Collaboration consists of two tools, one is called the ‘Virtual Classroom’ and
has an area for chatting as well as an area for drawing an explanation, called a “whiteboard”.
Guest speakers and subject matter experts might be invited to chat with the class in the Virtual
Classroom and instructors might use the whiteboard to explain problems to students.
The other tool is called ‘Chat’ and is an instant messaging chat tool. Instructor and students can
participate real-time in a chat window. In both of these tools, all messages are public.
To access the Collaboration tools, pop-up blockers must be turned off. By holding down the
“Control” key when clicking on the “Join” button, the pop-up will be allowed. The Instructor has the
ability to control access and functionality for other participants in the session by virtue of the
Instructor role in Blackboard.
4.1. Create a Collaboration Session
Two sessions are created automatically; one a Chat and the other a Virtual Classroom. They are
titled “Office Hours” and “Lecture Hall” and you can also create your own sessions with their own
titles.
1) Choose “Collaboration” in the Control Panel (under “Course Tools”)
2) Click “Add Collaboration Sessions” in the left upper corner
3) Type Session Name
4) Select the date of availability if necessary
5) Select either “Virtual Classroom” or “Chat” (If you only need a text-based chat room, choose
Chat)
6) Click “Submit”
4. 2. Use Chat
1) Click “Collaboration” (under Course Tools) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Join” button Virtual Classroom
3) Type a message in the slot at the bottom
4) Click “Send”
5) The message appears in the window
4.3. Record Chat
Virtual Classroom and Chat sessions can be recorded and saved. Recordings can be started and
stopped, as well as paused and un-paused by the Instructor during the session. A session can
have more then one recording. If the Instructor selects End to stop a session then the recorder
will automatically stop recording the session.
Record Chat
1) Click the button "Begins recording" in the upper right corner of the window or press Alt and the
‘R’ key at the same time to start recording chat
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2) Click the button "Stops recording" or press Alt and the ‘T’ key at the same time to stop
recording the chat.
To view the transcript:
1) Click the “Recordings” button next to session name
2) Click the recording name generated by Blackboard
4.4. Use Course Map
The Course Map allows Instructors to browse the Course Contents while they are in a Virtual
Classroom thus sharing material with students.
1) Click “Course Map” under Classroom Tools
2) Select the section you would like to introduce
3) Choose “Display to Class”, click “Go!”
4.5. Use Whiteboard
The Whiteboard enables the Instructor and participants to present information during a Virtual
Classroom session as they would on a blackboard in a classroom. Using the “Tools” palette in the
Whiteboard, an Instructor can draw images, type text, and present equations. The Whiteboard
“Tools” bar enables users to manipulate items on the Whiteboard.
1) Click “Whiteboard”
2) Click “Display”
3) Click “Tools” to draw and control objects on the whiteboard.
More than one page can be created and displayed within the Whiteboard. A page can be added
and old pages can be deleted. The instructor has control over adding and deleting Whiteboard
pages. Instructors may move between pages in the Whiteboard to illustrate different concepts.
4.6. Add Pages to Whiteboard
1) Enter the “Virtual Classroom”
2) Choose the “Controls” tab in the “Whiteboard” area
3) Click the ‘+’ plus sign to add a page or choose the ‘X’ to delete a page
4) Choose the page to be displayed and click “Display”
4.7. Use Web/Group Browser
The Group Browser enables participants to collaboratively browse the Web during a Virtual
Classroom session. The Instructor uses this tool to open a URL for all participants. URLs viewed
in the session will be recorded in the archive if one is created.
1) Click “Group Browser”
2) Enter the website address (URL) including the “http://”
3) Choose “Display to Class”, then click “Go!”
4.8. Use Question/Answer Feature
Questions from participants to the Instructor are sent to the Question Inbox during the Virtual
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Classroom session. The Instructor uses the Question Inbox to manage questions and respond to
them during a Collaboration Session.
Ask Questions (Student)
1) Click “Ask Question”
2) Enter a question in the box
3) Click “Send”
Answer Questions (Instructor)
1) Click “Question Inbox”
2) Click the student's name to read the question
3) Click the arrow "respond to current question" in the upper left corner of the Question Inbox to
open the “Respond to Question” window
4) Enter a response to the question in the box; choose to make it “Private”, if desired
5) Click “Send”
VII. More Blackboard features
1. Faculty/Staff Information
The Staff Information page allows instructors to post information about themselves, teaching
assistants, and guest speakers. The page gives users a resource to look up names, email
addresses, office hours, and photographs of course instructors.
1.1. Add Staff Information
1) Click “Staff Information” (under Course Tools) on the Control Panel
2) Click “Add Profile” button
3) Enter appropriate information in Profile Information section
4) Click “Browse” button to find the file of your photo
5) Select the file, click “Open”
6) Enter URL of your home page if you would like to included
7) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
2. Course Statistics
Instructors can use the Course Statistics area to generate reports on the course usage and
activity. Reports can help the instructors determine whether they need to add more content or
other information to the course to increase traffic. Instructors can view specific student’s usage to
determine if some students require extra assistance. The report appears in the form of a graphic.
2.1. View Course Statistics
1) Click “Course Statistics” (under Assessment) on the Control Panel
2) Select type of report from the pull down menu
3) To limit the statistics to a specific time period, select the “Start Date” and the “End Date” boxes
and choose the appropriate dates.
4) Select users, if desired
NOTE: To select multiple users, press Ctrl key and click on names one-by-one)
5) Click “Submit”, then “OK”
3. Glossary Manager
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As an instructor, you can create a course glossary with the Glossary Manager, which allows your
students to search terms quickly. The advantage of Glossary Manager is that each term is
automatically sorted alphabetically and numerically even if you create it randomly. If you already
have a glossary that you created as a Word document, you can copy and paste it to a
spreadsheet to upload. Although you can type each glossary term one-by-one in Blackboard, we
recommend you type it in a spreadsheet and then upload it to save time. Here, the instructions
show you how to create a glossary in a spreadsheet and upload it to Blackboard.
3.1. Create Glossary
1) Open an Excel spreadsheet
2) Type the term in column A and its definition in column B (Figure 1)
3) Save the file as CSV (Comma delimited)(*.csv)
Figure 1: An example of format
3.2. Upload Glossary File
1) Click “Glossary Manager” on the Control Panel
2) Click “Upload Glossary”
3) Click the “Browse” button
4) Select the file and click “Open”
5) Click “Submit”
4. Course Calendar
Instructors can use the calendar to indicate important course related events. The dates and
events that appear on the Course Calendar are for all students registered in a specific course.
The event you create will appear on the student's myMiami page and students will see it each
time they log-in to Blackboard. If multiple courses in which a student is enrolled use the Course
Calendar, all due dates and important events are shown in one place.
4.1. Add an Event to Course Calendar
1) Click “Course Calendar” under Course Tools of the Control Panel
2) Click “Add Event”
3) Type event and description
4) Set the date and time (please choose AM or PM)
5) Click “Submit”
5. Guest Access
Guests* are not allowed to access Miami University Blackboard because of copyright protection.
This means that only enrolled students can access the course material. If you would like to open
the course to guests, you have to change the course options, which consist of three levels. First
you need to open the entrance of the course to the guest and then appropriate sections of the
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course such as Content Areas should be opened. The last area to be opened is each subsection of the Content Areas. In summary, a guest can access 1) Announcements, 2) Staff
Information, and 3) Some or all sub-sections of Content Areas, if you open the course.
Note: *Guests in this instance means anyone who is not enrolled in the course. An alternative
solution to allowing guest access is to create an exception account for a guest and then enroll the
guest in the course as a regular user with normal privileges. Contact Kirk Winters at (513) 5298393 or [email protected] for details.
5.1. Open Course Entrance
1) Click “Settings” (under “Course Options”) in the Control Panel
2) Click “Guest Access”
3) Click “Yes” to allow guests
4) Click “Submit”
5.2. Open an Area to Guest Access
Guests may access just a few parts of a Blackboard course. Announcements, Content Areas, the
Blackboard Manual, Resources, and Staff Information are the areas to which Guest Access can
be created.
1) Click “Manage Tools” (under “Course Options”) in the Control Panel
2) Click “Tool Availability”
3) Check the “Allow Guest” boxes as appropriate
4) Click “Submit”
5.3. Open Guest to Course Menu Items
1) Click “Manage Course Menu” (under “Course Options”) in the Control Panel
2) Click the “Modify” button to the right of the Course Menu Item you want to allow the guest to
access
3) Check the “Allow Guest access” box
4) Click “Submit”
VIII. Course Backup
7.1. Export Course
You can download selected areas of your course site using the Export Course option. For
instance, you may want to share some of your content or tests with another faculty member in
your department. In order to do so, follow these steps:
1) Select "Export Course" (under "Course Options") in the Control Panel.
2) Select which materials or tools you would like to include in your export package.
3) Click "Submit"
4) Right-click the link and choose “Save Target As…” to save the file to your computer (Mac
users hold down the Control key and click; choose “Download Link to Disk”)
The file will be exported into a zip file that will be stored on your local drive.
5) Select "OK".
7.2. Archive Course
If you wish to download your course as a whole, you would choose to use the Archiving option
instead of Exporting. An Archived course can only be restored by the System Administrator. An
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Archive will save every grade, every discussion posting, and every assignment submitted by
students. Archiving is a good practice at the end of the semester to have a record of the course
and all that it entailed.
1) Select "Archive Course" (under "Course Options") in the Control Panel.
2) Select "Submit".
3) Click the link provided to "download the package file". Click “Save” to save the file to your hard
drive. The file will be exported into a zip file to be stored on your local drive.
4) Select "OK".
7.3. Recycle Course
Recycling a course means permanently deleting it. For example, if you have been working on a
course in a development site and you have successfully moved all of your course materials to
your regular course site, you can recycle the development site to clear it out and make way for
the development of a new course.
1) Click on “Recycle Course” (under “Course Options”) in the Control Panel
2) Select the Content Areas to be recycled. Only recycle those areas that you truly want to
rebuild.
REMEMBER: Once a section has been recycled, it can not be restored.
3) Select any tools in your course to be recycled. Areas like the Discussion Board and the
Gradebook will be cleared of all threads and grades respectively. Recycling Tests will clear the
entire test you have created, not just the grades for those tests.
4) Type the word ‘Remove’ in the box at the bottom right of the screen and click “Submit”.
5) A receipt will appear confirming that your chosen areas have been recycled. Click “OK” to
continue.
7.4. Course Copy
You may want to copy your last semester’s course to this semester’s course site. Do this before
the beginning of a new semester.
1) Click on “Course Copy” (under “Course Options”) in the Control Panel
2) Click the “Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course” link
3) Click the “Browse” button in the “Select a Course” section
4) Enter your course code (EDP651), choose the “Title/Description” radio button and click the
“Search” button
5) Click the “Select” button to the right of the course to which you wish to copy (the “Destination”
course)
6) Check the Course Materials to be copied (usually all, EXCEPT “Enrollment”).
7) Scroll down and click “Submit”, then “OK”
8) Go to the new course and review your content.
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