UT Instructor manual Blackboard 9.1 (new version October 2015)

UT Instructor manual Blackboard 9.1 (new version October 2015)
UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE.
Blackboard Manual
for instructors
CES
October 2015
Version 1.6
1
Preface
This manual has been written by the Blackboard support team at the University of Twente. The manual brings together
the team's knowledge and experience of Blackboard and of providing support to instructors. The manual follows the
life-cycle of a course in Blackboard: creating a course in Blackboard; setting it up; using it during the course and
completing the course. As far as possible, working methods and procedures for Blackboard that are specific to UT have
been integrated into the manual in order to provide you with as much assistance as possible. There are various ways
of using the manual: you can follow it through along the life-cycle of the course or browse it as and when you need it.
We hope you find that the approach we have adopted meets your needs.
Of course, your faculty's Blackboard support team is standing by to answer your questions and to provide help on any
areas we may have overlooked. The support team can be found at the Educational Affairs Office (BOZ) in the faculty.
Context-sensitive Help
However, we recommend that you always first use the context-sensitive help function. To use it, you must have Edit
Mode switched ON, after which a link [More Help] will be displayed in various places. For example, when you create a
SignUp List:
Control Panel > [Help] > [Video Tutorials]
In addition to this functionality, in the Control Panel you will also find a more extensive
[Help] with links to the manual and video tutorials of the Blackboard company.
2
1.
RECEIVING YOUR COURSE AND ACCESS TO IT (INSTRUCTORS, STUDENTS,
PUBLIC) ....................................................................................................................... 6
1.1.
2.
EXPLANATION BLACKBOARD INTERFACE ............................................................... 8
2.1.
3.
ANONYMOUS ACCESS TO A COURSE / ORGANISATION (GUEST ACCESS) .................................... 6
STUDENT PREVIEW: VIEW YOUR COURSE AS A STUDENT ..................................................... 9
PERSONALIZING BLACKBOARD ............................................................................ 11
3.1.
ADJUSTING THE NOTIFICATION DASHBOARD................................................................. 11
3.2.
EDIT CONTENT OF MY COURSES ............................................................................... 12
Removing courses from your My Courses list ............................................................. 12
Set the sequence of courses in My Courses ................................................................ 12
3.3.
4.
NAVIGATION MENU .............................................................................................. 13
SETTING UP A COURSE ........................................................................................ 14
4.1.
USING THE CONTENT EDITOR AND THE MATH EDITOR ...................................................... 14
4.2.
MAKING CHANGES TO THE MENU ............................................................................... 15
4.3.
MAKING FUNCTIONS AVAILABLE THAT ARE UNAVAILABLE BY DEFAULT ................................... 16
4.4.
ANNOUNCEMENTS ................................................................................................ 17
Adding an announcement ........................................................................................ 17
Changing or removing an announcement .................................................................. 17
The sequence of Announcements ............................................................................. 17
4.5.
COURSE HOME PAGE ............................................................................................ 18
4.6.
COURSE INFORMATION .......................................................................................... 18
4.7.
CONTACTS ........................................................................................................ 18
4.8.
COURSE MATERIALS ............................................................................................. 18
4.9.
ASSIGNMENTS (INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP) .................................................................... 18
To create a standard assignment ............................................................................. 19
To create an assignment with plagiarism detection ..................................................... 20
4.10.
SIGNUP LISTS ................................................................................................. 20
4.11.
ADDING AN ITEM (WITH FILE) TO YOUR BLACKBOARD COURSE ........................................ 21
Add an item with a file ............................................................................................ 21
Add files via the content collection ............................................................................ 21
4.12.
ADDING OTHER TYPES OF CONTENT TO YOUR BLACKBOARD COURSE .................................. 22
4.13.
THE CONTENT COLLECTION ................................................................................. 23
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Organising, moving or deleting files in your content collection ...................................... 23
4.14.
SETTING ADVANCED CRITERIA FOR THE VISIBILITY OF AN ITEM (ADAPTIVE RELEASE) .............. 23
4.15.
COPYING OR MOVING CONTENT WITHIN THE SAME COURSE ............................................ 24
4.16.
COPYING OR MOVING CONTENT TO ANOTHER COURSE ................................................... 24
Copying or moving a single item to another course..................................................... 24
Copying complete content from menu items or entire course to another course ............. 25
5.
6.
USER MANAGEMENT ............................................................................................ 26
5.1.
DIFFERENT ROLES IN A COURSE ................................................................................ 26
5.2.
ADDING SOMEONE TO YOUR COURSE .......................................................................... 26
5.3.
MODIFYING A USER ROLE ....................................................................................... 27
5.4.
TERMINATING A USER'S ENROLLMENT ......................................................................... 28
5.5.
DOWNLOADING A LIST WITH ENROLLED STUDENTS FROM THE COURSE .................................. 28
5.6.
DOWNLOADING A LIST WITH ENROLLED STUDENTS AND MAIL ADDRESSES FROM THE COURSE ....... 28
USING GROUPS.................................................................................................... 29
6.1.
CREATING GROUPS ............................................................................................... 29
Creating groups via SignUp Lists .............................................................................. 31
My Groups ............................................................................................................. 31
6.2.
MANAGING GROUP ENROLLMENTS ............................................................................. 32
Changing existing group enrollments ........................................................................ 32
Accessing an overview of groups and their enrollments ............................................... 32
Making the group overview available to students ........................................................ 32
Exporting groups .................................................................................................... 33
Importing groups from Excel ................................................................................... 33
6.3.
MANAGING GROUP SETS AND GROUPS......................................................................... 34
Managing group sets .............................................................................................. 34
Managing groups within a group set ......................................................................... 34
7.
THE GRADE CENTRE ............................................................................................. 35
7.1.
VIEWING AND ASSESSING WORK SUBMITTED AS STANDARD ASSIGNMENTS ............................. 35
7.2.
DOWNLOADING ASSIGNMENTS SUBMITTED AS STANDARD ASSIGNMENTS ................................ 37
7.3.
ALLOWING ADDITIONAL SUBMISSION ATTEMPTS FOR STANDARD ASSIGNMENTS ........................ 37
7.4.
PLAGIARISM CHECK/VIEWING AND ASSESSING WORK SUBMITTED AS EPHORUS ASSIGNMENTS....... 38
Viewing the plagiarism score ................................................................................... 38
4
Having students redo an assignment ........................................................................ 38
Assigning grades .................................................................................................... 38
Downloading assignment submitted as Ephorus assignments ....................................... 38
Uploading a file yourself to check for plagiarism ......................................................... 39
7.5.
ADDING ADDITIONAL COLUMNS: GRADE AND CALCULATED COLUMNS .................................... 39
7.6.
DISPLAYING GROUPS IN THE GRADE CENTRE VIA SMART VIEWS .......................................... 40
7.7.
FILTER THE GRADE CENTRE ON CATEGORIES ................................................................ 40
7.8.
DOWNLOADING THE GRADE CENTRE AS AN EXCEL FILE (AND, UPLOADING THE EDITED FILE
AFTERWARDS IF NEEDED)
7.9.
8.
................................................................................................ 42
RELATION BETWEEN AN ASSIGNMENT AND THE CORRESPONDING COLUMN IN THE GRADE CENTRE .. 42
COMMUNICATION TOOLS WITHIN A COURSE ....................................................... 43
8.1.
DISCUSSION BOARD ............................................................................................. 43
Adding a Discussion Board ...................................................................................... 43
Adding threads ...................................................................................................... 43
Responding within a thread ..................................................................................... 43
8.2.
SENDING AN E-MAIL ............................................................................................. 44
8.3.
BLOGS ............................................................................................................. 44
8.4.
JOURNALS ......................................................................................................... 45
8.5.
WIKIS ............................................................................................................. 46
5
1. Receiving your course and access to it (instructors, students,
public)
A Blackboard course is automatically created from OSIRIS. Semester 1 courses (for the next academic year) will be
created after the beginning of June and semester 2 courses will be created after the middle of November; provided the
course has the status 'Definitive' in OSIRIS. When the course is created all enrolled instructors (based on the OSIRIS
course details) will see it under My Courses and have access. Students have to wait untill two weeks before the start of
the block to get access to the course. Students will be automatically enrolled in the Blackboard course after registering
for the course in OSIRIS. You don't have to enroll students yourself.
The course information that is registered in OSIRIS is automatically shown in Blackboard under Course information. If
the information changes in OSIRIS, it will also change in Blackboard.
For more information about the integrations with OSIRIS, see the FAQ for instructors.
1.1. Anonymous access to a course / organisation (guest access)
It is possible to make (parts) of a course anonymously accessible, i.e. accessible for persons that are not enrolled in
the course or even don't have a Blackboard account. In Blackboard that's called 'guest access' and it's not activated
by default in a course/organisation. If you want to have your course anonymously accessible you have to activate it
yourself (see instructions below).
If guest access is enabled, someone can get access in the following manners:
•
Everyone with a UT Blackboard account can click on the course in the course catalogue (to be found on the
tab Courses) to get access (same applies for an organisation in the organisation catalogue).
•
Anyone without a UT Blackboard account can get access if he uses the URL of the course.
The course cannot be found by searching in Google or other search engines.
Someone anonymously accessing a course can only read content, it's not possible to add content (for example submit
an assignment).
Blackboard only allows anonymous access for Announcements, Contacts, Calendar, Glossary and content area's.
Content area's are menu items such as Course information, Course materials, Assignments, Extra materials, or
generally speaking all menu items where you can add content through the buttons Build content, Assignments and
Tools. You can select yourself which content areas are accessible for guests.
How to allow guest acces in your course/organisation?
1.
Go to Control panel > [Customisation]
2.
Click Guest and Observer access
3.
Select 'Yes' for Allow Guests.
4.
Click [Submit]
[step 5 through 7 can be skipped in courses with course ID starting with 2015 or higher]
5.
Click [Tool availability] in the Control panel
6
6.
Check the boxes in the column 'Visible to Guests' for the tools that should have guest access.
7.
Click [Submit]
8.
Now you still have to select the option 'Permit Guests' for each menu item that you want to have accessible
for 'guests':
Please note: don't publish sensitive information such as lists of student grades in menu items that are accessible for
guests.
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2. Explanation Blackboard interface
1
10
3
4
2
5
8
6
9
7
1.
Tabs.
2.
Course-to-Course Navigation: quickly navigate to another course.
3.
Breadcrumb trail.
4.
Edit Mode: if Edit mode is OFF you see the course the way a student sees it. The Edit mode should be ON if
you want to edit the course or see content that is only visible for an instructor.
5.
Course Menu (to change the menu, see 3.3).
6.
Page with content.
7.
Control Panel: access to managing functions, such as Grade Center, Users and Groups, course settings.
8.
Button(s) for adding content to the page.
9.
Drop-down icon with editing- and managing options for an item - only visible if you put your mouse cursor
behind the title of the item.
10. Student preview icon (see 2.1).
Watch the video Getting Oriented with Blackboard Learn for a detailed explanation.
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2.1. Student preview: view your course as a student
The 'Student preview' function allows you to view your course the way
a student sees it, and take actions that only a student can (such as
submit assignments, do a test, enroll for groups). You can activate the
Student preview by clicking the Student preview icon (next to the Edit
mode switch). If you have activated the Student preview, other instructors don't automatically see the course in
Student preview at that time; you only activate it for yourself.
When you activate the Student preview, a preview account is created and enrolled in the course with the student role.
The (user)name of the preview account is your own (user)name, appended with '_previewuser'. This account is visible
in the course in all areas where regular students are visible (Users, Groups, Grade centre, E-mail). If other instructors
in the course use the Student preview, they will get their own preview account.
You can exit the Student preview by clicking [Exit preview] in the yellow bar. When leaving the Student preview you
are asked if you want to delete the preview account and all associated data (such as submitted assignments), or if you
want to keep the account and data. The first option is recommended, unless you want to view or change data of the
preview account afterwards with your instructor role. For example: you want to know how a student sees feedback
and grades in My Grades:
1.
You submit an assignment on behalf of the preview account
2.
You exit the Student preview, selecting the option 'Keep the preview user and all data'.
3.
You grade the assignment and provide feedback.
4.
You activate the Student preview again and examine My Grades.
5.
When leaving the Student preview after that, you select 'Delete the preview user and all data'.
Why the recommendation to delete the preview account each time? Because a preview account is treated by
Blackboard in the same manner as a regular student and therefore will be enrolled in groups when using random group
enrollment and also will receive mails that are sent to 'All students'.
Tips:
•
You can always see if a preview account is enrolled because the Student preview icon
then contains a green dot in the middle
•
In 'Settings ' you can set your default choice for leaving the Student preview
•
If needed, you can remove preview accounts of other instructors in the course in the same manner you
remove a regular user.
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Please note:
•
If you leave the course while the Student preview is active, it will also be active the next time you go to the
course.
•
Keeping and deleting of the preview account is restricted to the course: if you keep the preview account in
course A and exit the Student preview in course B through the option 'Delete', the preview account will
remain in course A.
•
Known issues that only occur in Student preview and not for regular students: on the right you see a double
scrollbar; you can submit an Ephorus assignment but it is not saved in Blackboard and checked by Ephorus;
while doing a test the 'Question completion status' bar sometimes covers buttons and text.
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3. Personalizing Blackboard
Blackboard has various tabs, each with their own content (called 'modules') and functionality according to the following
structure:
-
My Blackboard
o
My Blackboard
o
Notifications Dashboard
-
Courses
-
Organisations
-
Support
You can personalize the subtabs My Blackboard and Notifications Dashboard using [Personalise Page] or the two
arrows, or by using the 'Drag and Drop' feature new to Blackboard 9: hold your mouse cursor above a module title (for
example My Courses), press the mouse button and hold it down and position the module where you want it.
You can also use [Add Module] to change the content of the tabs and [Edit Notification Settings] to adjust the settings
on your Notifications.
3.1. Adjusting the Notification dashboard
The Notifications Dashboard subtab provides you with information relating to your course(s) as standard via the
following modules:
-
Alerts: students who have not submitted work by the due date you have set;
-
Needs Attention: assignments submitted by students that still need to be assessed;
The modules What’s New and To Do are targeted more specifically at students. These modules show what new items
have been posted in your courses and, for example, what assignments students must complete.
Via [Edit Notification Settings], found in the modules on the Notification Dashboard, you can adjust general notification
settings for all courses and organisations at the same time, as well as for each course separately.
NB. The notification via e-mail and mobile phone is switched off as standard. This means that you will need to activate
this yourself if you wish to receive notifications via these channels (for notification via mobile you will need to have the
Blackboard Mobile app installed).
Watch the video How to set your notification options.
11
3.2. Edit content of My Courses
Removing courses from your My Courses list
Move the mouse cursor to the top right corner of the My Courses module. Click on the gear icon that appears.
Make sure that all checkboxes on the right (Course ID, Course name etc) are unchecked for courses that you don't
want to see anymore. This doesn't mean that you are unenrolled; you can always make the course visible again
(unless it has been archived already).
Click [Submit] to save your changes.
Watch the video Hiding your courses
Set the sequence of courses in My Courses
Move the mouse cursor to the top right corner of the My Courses module.
Click on the gear icon that appears (see picture above).
Put the mouse cursor in the left column (the one with the arrows icon) in
front of the course you want to move, press the mouse button and hold it
down and drag the course to the desired location in the list.
Alternative way: click on the arrows icon in the column header.
A popup window appears. Use the arrow icons to determine the
sequence.
Click [Submit] twice: first in the popup window and then the
blue [Submit] button.
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3.3. Navigation menu
The navigation menu can reached from all locations within
Blackboard and contains:
•
links to recently visited courses and organisations
•
links to other courses and organisations
•
personal settings
•
overview of Posts (in Discussion board, Blog, Journal or
Wiki)
•
overview of Updates in courses (newly added content)
•
My Grades (only for students)
•
Home and Help-links
Watch the video about the navigation menu
13
4. Setting up a course
Warning: do not use punctuation marks or symbols in the name of files and items
-
If there are punctuation marks or symbols in the name of a file, errors can occur when the file is uploaded or
downloaded
-
If there are punctuation marks or symbols in the name of an assignment, you can see an error when trying to
download the assignments as a single zip file from the Grade Centre.
So for your own convenience, it is advised not to use characters like these:
4.1. Using the content editor and the math editor
The editor is an open source content editor with the following functionalities:
-
Text layout: font, style, colour, alignment, lists.
-
Symbols and emoticons
-
Math editor
-
Create and edit Tables
-
Help button shows a full legend of the content editor functions
-
Automatic HTML validation
-
Full screen editing
-
Automatic clean up of code when copying and pasting from Word.
Important buttons:
Help
Preview
Show more functions
Math editor
Full screen
Please note: by default you only see the first row of functions in the editor. Click on the 'Show more functions' button
(top right corner of editor) to see all functions. Blackboard remembers your last setting so next time the editor will
open showing all functions.
Watch the video about the editor.
14
The content editor also has a built-in Math editor:
-
Supports copying and pasting of MathML formulas and equations directly in the editor.
-
Basic operations, Matrix calculus, Calculus and series, Logic and set theory, Units, Greek alphabet, and
more.
-
Use the arrows to scroll to more operations.
-
Automatically converts formulas and equations to images so that users do not need download an applet
to view them. The formulas and equations remain editable by the author.
-
Continues to support W3C MathML standards and will extract MathML from the old math editor.
Please note: it is possible to edit a formula once it has been saved. To do this, click on the formula with the right
mouse button and choose 'Edit equation' from the drop-down menu.
4.2. Making changes to the menu
Within the University of Twente, there are agreements on which items are available as standard within a Blackboard
course. In addition, you can also switch on/make visible the following menu items:
-
Extra Materials: For additional information that is not mandatory for the examination.
-
Sign up list: You can use this to create signup lists for activities such as practicals or excursions and create
groups based on the enrollments.
-
Discussion board: Discussion forum.
15
Set Edit Mode to ON door by clicking [OFF]:
Firstly, the function for adding menu items has become
visible:
Secondly, you can change the settings of the menu items
through the drop-down icon
(appears when you
position the mouse cursor on the menu item):
- make a menu item (in)visible for students
- rename an item
- delete an item
- make the item (in)accessible for 'guests', i.e. people
that are not enrolled in the course (for more info see 1.1)
Thirdly, you can change the sequence of the menu using
the drag and drop arrows (appears when you position the
mouse cursor on the menu item):
Fourthly, the following icon tells you which menu items
are invisible to students:
and which are empty:
.
Watch the video Getting Oriented with Blackboard Learn for a detailed explanation
4.3. Making functions available that are unavailable by default
To have less cluttered menus in a course, we have made the tools that are not frequently used unavailable by default.
It concerns:
•
Blog
•
Chat
•
Collaboration
•
Document package
•
Glossary
•
Journal
•
Learning Module
•
Lesson Plan
•
Mobile compatible test
•
Performance dashboard
•
QMP Assessment
16
•
Retention Centre
•
Roster
•
Rubrics
•
Syllabus
•
Virtual Classroom
•
Wiki
Please note: items that were created before with those tools can't be viewed as well as long as the tool is unavailable.
If you want to use them, you can activate them yourself:
1.
Go to [Control panel] > [Customisation]
2.
Click [Tool availability]
3.
Find the tool in the list and select the corresponding box in the column 'Available' or the column 'Available in
content area'.
4.
Click [Submit].
5.
Only for Blogs, Journals and Wiki: select the box 'Available in content area' as well and click [Submit] again.
4.4. Announcements
You can use the Announcements page to post notices and news messages. For example, this could include information
about timetable changes or interim examinations.
Adding an announcement
Set Edit Mode to ON, go to [Announcements] and click [Create Announcement]: Select the options you require under
Web Announcement Options. Blackboard will ask you to enter a Display After and/or a Display Until date: only one of
these is required (or select Not Date restricted).
If you wish, you can e-mail a copy to the students by checking the box next to “Email announcement” in order to
ensure that they are also informed outside of Blackboard. However, students will receive notice of the announcement
as standard in the My Blackboard Tab and/or via the Notifications Dashboard or via the Course Home Page. It is also
possible that a student has set up Blackboard to send him an e-mail whenever a new announcement is placed. You
should therefore only uses the e-mail function for announcements in the case of messages about which students must
be notified as soon as possible (for example an announcement that a lecture has been cancelled on that day).
NB. The text “Students are still notified of this announcement even if this option is not selected” is slightly confusing.
The message intended is that students who have set up Blackboard to mail them whenever a new announcement is
placed, will get this e-mail even when the box is left unchecked.
Changing or removing an announcement
Make sure that Edit Mode is ON, and go to the [Announcements] page. Via the drop-down icon you can edit or delete
an announcement.
The sequence of Announcements
Make sure that Edit Mode is ON, and go to the [Announcements] page. You can set the sequence of the
announcements by using the Drag and Drop function in Blackboard: simply drag the announcements into the correct
order.
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TIP:
1. Do you want an announcement that is always displayed at the top of the list? Drag the announcement
above the bar 'New announcements appear below this line -------'.
2. Personalise your course by adding a course banner to the Announcements page. Go to Control Panel >
[Customisation] > [Teaching style]. It is advised to use a picture that has a width:height ratio of 6:1.
Watch the video How to design your course entry point.
4.5. Course Home Page
On this module page, information is displayed via so-called modules (to you and to students) about current issues
relating to your course. It works in the same way as the Notifications Dashboard subtab, but this time only with
information about the course you are viewing at that time. It also has a module with the announcements from that
course added to it. The module “To Do” only contains information for students, so you as an instructor will not see any
content there.
4.6. Course Information
On the [Course Information] page, you post information about the course, in addition to the current information from
OSIRIS. For information on adding Items, see paragraph 4.11.
4.7. Contacts
On the [Contacts] page, you post information about the lecturer(s) and/or assistants on the course.
Make sure that Edit Mode is ON. Go to the [Contacts] page and click [Create Contact]. Here, you can add your details
or other people's. Under Options Make the Profile Available, select Yes (note: No is selected by default) and click
[Submit].
4.8. Course Materials
On the [Course Materials] page, you can use items to post documents, articles, presentations and/or links (N.B.
materials that are not part of the compulsory examination materials should be posted under the menu item [Extra
materials]). It is recommended that you use a folder structure based on the type of information or based on the course
activities. <<For further information see 4.12>>
4.9. Assignments (individual and group)
In Blackboard, there are two ways of enabling students to submit files, the so-called standard assignment and the
Ephorus assignment (plagiarism check). These files are submitted as attachments by students, and the students also
have the option to add a message. Blackboard also offers the possibility for group submissions. In that case, one of the
students in the group submits the file and after that other group member can't submit anymore if the assignment
setting allows only one attempt. All group members can see the submitted work and obtain the same grade if the
assignment is graded.
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You can view and assess the assignment submitted by students in the Grade Centre and using the Ephorus assignment
course tool. <<For further information, see section 7>>
To create a standard assignment
Go to the [Assignments] page and under [Assessments] select [Assignment]. Fill in the necessary fields as desired.
Under Due Dates, you set the deadline for submitting the assignment. For assignments submitted after the Due Date
has passed, the Late Submission warning will appear in the Grade Centre.
Under Submission details you can set the following:
-
Assignment type: is it an individual assignment or a group assignment? For a group assignment you also
need to select the groups that have to submit the assignment. Please note: when Edit mode is OFF you
won't see group assignments because you are not a group member. However, in Student preview you will
see group assignments.
-
Number of Attempts (and Maximum attempts: the number of allowed submissions attempts). If the standard
settings are left unchanged, a student can only submit an assignment once. If a student has exceeded the
number of submission attempts, you can grant the student another attempt (refer to section 7.3 for this).
-
Score attempts using (if multiple attempts are allowed): determines which attempt grade is regarded as final
grade.
Under Grading options you can choose:
19
-
Enable Anonymous Marking. With this function you can view and grade submissions while student details are
hidden. This can add to the objectivity of the assessment. You can also select here when anonymous marking
should be switched off: on a specific date, or when all submissions are graded.
-
Enable Delegated Marking. With this function you can split up the grading task if there are more
instructors/teaching assistants/markers in the courses. Keep in mind that grades that are assigned by
delegated graders always have to be approved by someone with the instructor role (via 'reconcile grades').
Watch the video about Anonymous en Delegated marking
Under Display of Grades you can set:
-
How the grade is displayed. If you select 'Score' or 'text', the grade is displayed in the Grade Centre as you
typed it (however, score is always displayed with 2 decimals). Percentage / Grade rounded off / Grade with
one decimal result in a 'translation' of the grade based on the value for points possible. For example a 7.5
with option Grade with one decimal if a students has a score of 75 points in a Test for which 100 points is the
maximum score. Complete / Incomplete shows a checkmark if the assignment is graded, regardless of the
grade.
-
Whether the grade should be visible for students in My Grades.
To create an assignment with plagiarism detection
Go to the [Assignments] page and under [Assessments] select [Ephorus Assignment]. For this type of assignment, you
cannot set the number of possible submissions. Under Assignment Details, you can set the due date and whether it is
a group or individual assignment. Note: it's not possible to select specific groups here, all groups can sumbit an
Ephorus group assignment. Use adaptive release if you want to limit the visibility of an Ephorus group assignment to a
subset of groups << more information in 4.14>>.
The 'process type' can be changed to 'confidential'. This means that the documents will not be used as comparison
material for the plagiarism detection of other documents. Please note: if you choose this setting for an assignment
there will also be no comparison among the student work for the same assignment.
NB. It is only possible for the following types of files to be checked for plagiarism: Microsoft Office Word (.doc, .docx) Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)* - Text documents (.txt, .rtf) - OpenOffice text documents (.odt, .sxw) - Internet documents
(.html, .htm) - Zip files (.zip). *Ephorus only works with PDF files that contain texts. Files must be no larger than 25
MB and a zip file must be no larger than 8 MB.
4.10. Signup Lists
You can use signup lists to enable students to sign up for activities such as a practical, presentation or an excursion. In
this tool, you create one sign up list for each option. This means that each list allows students to sign up for one
option. For example: you would like to plan five sessions for a final presentation of the project and students can select
the session they would like to participate in themselves. You will therefore need to create five signup lists. The quickest
way to do this is to use the Batch Create Lists function.
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Go to the [Signup Lists] page and under [Build Content] choose [SignUp List]. Then click [Batch create].
Please note:
-
Under Groups, select None if you wish to create a standard signup list, without Blackboard automatically
creating groups.
-
If you select the option 'Show names and profile pictures on the list' in the list settings, students can see the
name as well as the username (= student number) of other subscribed students. We advise not to use this
setting if you publish list of grades in the course by student number because students can find out each
other's grades by combining these lists.
TIP:
If you have used batch created lists created via a single batch, it is easy to gain an overview of those who
have signed up and the lists. Simply click on one of the lists and then click [Batch View].
4.11. Adding an item (with file) to your Blackboard course
Add an item with a file
You create an item and then add a file - for example, a Word document or PowerPoint presentation - from your
computer with [Browse My Computer]. This makes the item and file visible in your course and the file will be included
in the course content collection.
For example, go to the [Course Materials] page and select [Build Content] > [Create Item]. Here, you can add files as
attachments one by one with [Browse My Computer].
Add files via the content collection
You can add several files at once via the Content collection. Note: this is not possible in the browsers Chrome and
(Microsoft) Edge because these don't support Java anymore.
Go to Control Panel > [Content] and click on your [Course ID]. Click [Upload] > [Upload Files]. Make sure the option
Multiple Files is selected in the grey bar at the top. After a Java plugin (click on Run) has activated - this can vary,
depending on your browser - you can upload files in two ways:
21
1. Click [Browse] to search for your files and then click
[Open]. N.B. You can select several at once by holding down
the Ctrl key.
2. You can also use the Drag and Drop function. To do this,
use Windows Explorer to find the files on your computer and
drag them into the window in Blackboard (with Name, Size
and Remove). It is also possible to drag entire folders with
files in this manner.
When the files have appeared in the window, click [Submit]
to save them in the content collection.
Please note: although the files are now on Blackboard, they
are not yet visible in your course. For this, you will need to
create another item and use [Browse Content Collection] to
link to the file or files. << For further information on the
Content Collection, see section 4.13>>
Watch the video Tour the Course files feature for more explanation, section Upload Files.
4.12. Adding other types of content to your Blackboard course
The things that you can add to a page - for example, [Course Information], [Course Materials] or [Assignments] – are
visible via the buttons [Build Content], [Assessments] and [Tools]:
-
Add a Content Folder via [Build Content] > [Content Folder]
-
Add a Course Link to an item or folder in the course via [Build Content] > [Course Link] and click [Browse]
-
Add a Flickr photograph via [Build Content] > [Flickr Photo]
-
Add a Slideshare presentation via [Build Content] > [Slideshare Presentation]
-
Add a YouTube video via [Build Content] > [YouTube Video] *
-
Add a Web Link to a webpage outside Blackboard via [Build Content] > [Web Link]
Please note: You can also include a link to a website outside Blackboard in an item or an Assignment. To do
this, use the [Hyperlink] function
in the text editor and leave the Open Link In New Window box checked.
You will first need to enter text and select it before you add the hyperlink.
* Watch the video Creating a Mashup for a detailed explanation
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4.13. The Content Collection
In Blackboard, the files that you place in your course will end up at a location that is part of the Blackboard Content
System, also referred to as the Content Collection. You can access this location from your course via the Control Panel
> [Content]. In this content collection, each course has its own folder, and, as the instructor, you automatically have
user rights to view and edit this folder.
Organising, moving or deleting files in your content collection
It is easy to manage the files in your course. For example, you can easily create a folder structure [Create folder] and
move files easily between these folders [Move].
Please note: Here, you can also delete files [Recycle]. The file you have deleted will then be moved to the Recycle
Bin, so it has not actually been deleted. If you have linked to the file in an item, it will still be possible to open the file.
The file will be definitively deleted 60 days after you have deleted it, and can then no longer be retrieved from the
Recycle Bin.
If you want to delete the file completely from Blackboard yourself, go to the Recycle Bin folder (in the content
collection), checkmark the box next to the file and then click [Delete]. In the item, it will no longer be possible to open
the file and if you try, you will see the message 'Invalid File'.
Please note: If you delete a file in this way, links to the file in items will become unusable. You should therefore first
check which items the file is linked to: You can do this using the 360° view: Go to Control Panel > [Content] and click
on your [Course ID]. Go to the relevant file and then click on the drop-down icon and then select [360° view]. Under
[File Activity] > [Links], you can see the items in which the file is being used.
If you do not want to delete the file, but wish it no longer to be linked to an item in the course, go to the item and
then go to [Edit] using the drop-down icon, and then under Attachments for the file to be deleted, click [Mark for
removal] and then [Submit]. The file will then still be in the content collection but will no longer be linked to that item
(the same will apply if you delete the whole item: even then the file will still remain in the content collection, and it will
not be moved to the Recycle Bin). However, you can quickly link the file again to another item via [Browse Content
Collection].
Watch the video Tour the Course files feature for a detailed explanation
4.14. Setting advanced criteria for the visibility of an item (adaptive release)
Adaptive release controls the release of content to users based on a set of rules you create. The rules may be related
to:
-
date and time
-
selection of individual users
-
group membership
-
assignment attempt
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-
scores on any Grade Center item
-
review status of an item in your course.
For example: you can create a rule that only a specific group can view an item, or that a document with answers for
an assignment is visible only after the assignment is submitted or graded.
To use adaptive release: first create the item and then select the option Adaptive release via the drop-down icon.
The following options are available:
Adaptive Release: Create basic rules for an item. You can only create one rule per item, but the rule can have
multiple criteria, all of which must be met.
Adaptive Release Advanced: Advanced adaptive release enables you to create multiple rules for a single item. If you
want to create different criteria for different users on the same item, more than one rule is needed. For example, you
can set up a rule for Group A that enables these users to view Test 1 after completing Assignment A. You can set up a
separate rule for Group B that enables them to see Test 1 after completing Assignment B.
User Progress: View the details on an item for all users in your course. This page includes information about whether
the item is visible to the user and whether the user has marked the item as reviewed.
4.15. Copying or moving content within the same course
An item can be copied and/or moved if there's an option [Copy] and/or [Move] in the drop-down menu. The following
items can't be copied within the same course: Assignment, Ephorus Assignment, Signup list, Survey, Test.
Announcements and Contacts can neither be copied nor moved.
The following applies to the Copy function:
-
Beneath the heading 'Attachments and embedded links' there are two options for File links. If you are copying
within the same course, it doesn't matter which option you choose because both have the same effect:
attachments are not copied, only links to the original file.
-
If you copy a folder, you can choose 'Create links for items which cannot be copied'. This is because a folder
can contain different types of items, among which items that can’t be copied such as Assignments. In most
cases it is advised to select 'No', because the option Yes means that only a link will be created to the original
item. It's probably best to create a new item then yourself.
4.16. Copying or moving content to another course
Copying or moving a single item to another course
You can also use the [Copy] and [Move] function (from the drop-down menu) to copy/move a single item to another
course, but it's limited to the following items: a 'normal' item (incl. attachments), a folder, YouTube video, Slideshare
presentation, Flickr photo, Web Link, Wiki.
The following applies to the Copy function:
24
-
Beneath the heading 'Attachments and embedded links' there are two options for File links. By default, the
option 'Include links and make copies of attached and embedded files' is selected. Don't change this,
otherwise attachments will not be copied.
-
Items that can't be copied as a single item are: Announcements, Contacts, Assignment, Ephorus Assignment,
Signup list, Survey, Test, Discussion Board, Course Link, Blog, Journal. However, these items can be copied
using another copy function, more information about that in the paragraph below.
Copying complete content from menu items or entire course to another course
1.
Go to the course you want to copy from. In Control Panel, click [Packages and Utilities] and after that [Course
Copy].
2.
Select Copy options: the Destination ID should be the course ID of the course you want to copy to. [Browse]
enables you to search for that course.
3.
At Select Course Materials you select the parts that should be copied. Please note: if you want to copy
assignments, tests or surveys, you have to select 'Grade Centre Columns and Settings' as well. If you don't
do that, the assignments/tests/surveys will not be copied.
4.
File Attachments: by default the option 'Copy links and copies of the content' is selected. This is the best
option so you can keep that setting (unless you use a SCORM content package in your course, in that case
select the option with 'include entire course home folder').
5.
Enrolments: in most cases this box should not be ticked, because it means that all enrolled students will be
copied to the other course.
6.
Click [Submit]. At the top of the page a message in a green bar says: 'Success: This action has been queued.
An email will be sent when the process is complete.' *
* Copy requests in Blackboard are placed in a queue, to prevent performance loss of the system. If the system is not
busy with other tasks, your copy request will be executed right away (within a few minutes). But you may also
experience that you have to wait longer before receiving the mail. This is normal, and the copy action will eventually
always be executed. So please don't submit the copy request again if you haven't received the mail yet after some
time, because then the copy will be executed twice.
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5. User management
5.1. Different roles in a course
At course level, a distinction is made between five different roles. There are four instructor roles and one student role.
Below is a brief description of the authorisations for each user role.
1.
2.
Instructor / Leader*: highest authorisation.
Teaching assistant / Assistant: has the same privileges as an instructor except this: he can't use the function
'reconcile grades' if delegated grading is activated for an assignment. Furthermore, a teaching assistant is not
included in the list of instructors in the Course Catalogue.
3.
Course Builder / Organisation builder: has access to a limited set of functions within the Control Panel,
especially those required to add content (for example, does not have access to the Grade Centre). This can be
a useful role for a student assistant helping to organise a course.
4.
5.
Marker: in the Control Panel, only has access to the Grade Centre and the Retention Centre.
Student / Participant: only has access to the components available in the course menu; does not see
unavailable items; does not have access to the Control Panel.
* the names after the slash are the names of these roles in an organisation.
TIP:
Do you want to view your course from the student’s perspective? These are the ways to do that:
1) The Student preview function (see Error! Reference source not found.).
2) One test account per faculty is available for instructors. This test account makes it possible to log in as a
student in your own course. The user names of these test accounts are: bmstest, ctwtest, ewitest, tnwtest.
The password can be obtained from the faculty Blackboard support employee. The testaccount is added to
your course by default, but it might still be unavailable. If the test account is not enrolled in your course, you
can add it yourself by searching for the usernames mentioned above.
N.B. Do not give the test account a role higher than the student role (e.g. the instructor role), because this
account is also used by others.
5.2. Adding someone to your course
1.
2.
In the Control Panel, click [Users and Groups] and then [Users]. A page 'Add enrollments' appears.
Click [Find Users to Enroll]. Please note: do not use the Search function for this, because this function only
searches in the list of enrolled students for your course.
3.
Set the required role (teaching assistant, Student, Instructor, etc.).
4.
Next to the Username field, click [Browse].
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5.
Change Username in the Search menu to Last name.
6.
Now type (part of) the last name of the person you wish to add and click [GO].
7.
You should now see the found user(s) and you can checkmark the ones you want to add. Please note: if you
get 'no results found', the person you search for may already be enrolled in the course. So check that if you
get 'no results found'.
8.
On the bottom right of your page, click [Submit].
9.
The user is now added on the page 'Add enrollments'. If necessary, add more users that need the same
course role (repeat step 4 through 8).
10. Finallly, click [Submit].
If you wish to add someone to your course from outside the University of Twente (for example, a guest lecturer), you
can request an account for this person from your faculty Blackboard support.
5.3. Modifying a user role
Sometimes, someone with student user rights needs additional rights in order to provide support to the Instructor or
you may wish to give someone fewer user rights. The procedure for this is as follows:
1.
In the Control Panel, click [Users and Groups] and then [Users].
2.
You will now see a list of enrolled people; click on the drop-down icon next to the username.
3.
Click [Change user’s Role in Course].
4.
Modify the Role.
5.
Click [Submit].
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5.4. Terminating a user's enrollment
1.
In the Control Panel, click [Users and Groups] and then [Users].
2.
You will now see a list of enrolled people.
3.
Place a checkmark next to the student whose enrollment you wish to terminate.
4.
Now click [Remove Users from Course]; the student will now have been deleted.
Note 1. In Blackboard an instructor can't remove other users that also have the instructor role. The solution is to
assign another role to the user first and then remove him. Please note: if that instructor is linked to the course in
OSIRIS (you can quickly check that in the item 'OSIRIS course information') he also has to be removed in OSIRIS,
otherwise he will automatically be enrolled again in the Blackboard course the following day.
Note 2. Students are automatically unenrolled from Blackboard if they have deregistered for the course in OSIRIS (only
possible if they have no grades yet in OSIRIS). While they are no longer visible in the course, they are not really
removed to ensure any submitted work is stored. We advise not to remove students from your course that have
submitted assignments, because the submitted assignments (and tests and grades) will be removed as well. It's better
to assign the status 'unavailable' to the student if it's necessary to restrict access to the student.
5.5. Downloading a list with enrolled students from the course
If you only need the student name and number: via the Grade Centre, you can download an Excel file with information
about the students that are enrolled in the course (including first name, last name and student number). For a detailed
explanation, refer to paragraph 7.2.
5.6. Downloading a list with enrolled students and mail addresses from the course
There is no built-in function to download a list of students and their mail addresses from the course. However, it is
possible by creating a group that contains all students and then exporting the group.
1.
Go to Control Panel [Users and Groups] and select [Groups]. After that, select [Create Groupset] and [Create
Groups with Random Enroll].
2.
Fill in a name under Group set. Under Groups fill in '1' for Number of groups. Choose a group size that is large
enough (number of students is shown above: # Not enrolled students). Click [Add groups] and [Submit].
3.
On the next page, just click [Submit] (default options are OK).
4.
Go back to the overview of all Group sets.
5.
Click on the drop-down icon next to the created group set and select [Export to File]. On the next page you
can fill in a file name and set the file format. Select the fields you want to export under Contents, columns.
Please note: first name, last name and mail address are not selected by default!
6.
Click [Submit]. A file has been created with the enrolled students and their mail addresses.
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6. Using groups
In Blackboard, you can make use of group functionalities. This makes it possible for you to arrange and grade group
assignments and to facilitate groups of students by using group spaces. These areas (called the My Groups module;
visible to students) contain tools that you can make available for students within the groups, such as File Exchange, an
E-mail function or a Group Discussion Board.
First you will need to create the groups and decide how the groups will be organised: you can enroll students manually
or have them enrolled randomly bij Blackboard, but there is also a self-enrollment function which students can use to
enroll in groups themselves.
The functionalities and settings for working with groups can be found via the Control Panel > [Users and Groups] >
[Groups]; this will take you to the page with a list of the sets of groups used in your course.
6.1. Creating groups
You create a group set via the Control Panel when you select [Users and Groups] and then [Groups]. Then you select
[Create Groupset] followed by the type of enrollment:
-
Create Groups with Manual Enroll: after you have defined the groups within the group set, you will have the
-
Create Groups with Random Enroll: after you have defined the groups within the group set, the students are
option of enrolling the students manually into the groups.
randomly enrolled into the groups by Blackboard.
-
Create groups with Self Enroll: after you have defined the groups within the group set, you can activate the
option which allows students to enroll themselves in a group.
-
Create Just Groups: this is used simply to create groups without enrolling students yet.
You then set the fields as desired
1.
Enter the general data for the group set, such as name and description. You can also indicate whether group
members can modify the homepage of the group in My Groups (Allow Personalization).
2.
Under Name, enter the basic name you have chosen for the groups, for example Project Group, Practical
Group, etc. Select the number of groups and the maximum size (0 for no limit to the size) and click [Add
Groups].
The groups will now be created, and numbered, in the way you have selected and they will appear in the field
below.
3.
Under 'Tools for groups' you can set which tools are available for the groups for the whole group set. You can
change this at a later stage, also for individual groups.
4.
Confirm the creation of the group set by clicking [Submit].
After you have clicked [Submit], you will go to the page where you arrange enrollments within the group set you have
just created.
29
If you selected Self Enroll, you will go to the Easy Selfenrollment Setup page: Under Information, you can give the
new menu item a name. This is the menu item that takes students to the page where they can enroll for groups.
After doing this, you can set a few settings:
-
Students can enroll in more than one group
-
Students can unenroll once enrolled
-
Students can create groups
-
Make unavailable groups available when needed (this offers the possibility to create a reserve group that is
unavailable at first, but becomes visible when all other groups have been filled)
-
Show groups that are full
-
Show group descriptions
-
Show already enrolled users
-
Show course role (other than student) of enrolled users
Note the message at Availability: self-enrollment for students will not be open until 07.30 on the next day.
After saving, a menu button named Group enroll (or named
otherwise when specified) will be added. If you do not wish
students to enroll the next day already, you can change the
period that the link is visible for students by selecting [Edit]
next to the Enroll link (Options – Date restrictions).
If you selected Manually Enroll, you will go to the Manually Enroll Users page: Under Group Enrollments, you will see
the groups you have created and under Course members not in any group, you can select the students and then use
[Enroll] to place them in the desired group. You will not need to click submit; enrollment will take effect immediately.
If you have selected Random Enroll, the page in which you define the group spaces will be followed by a page on
which you can set preferences for the enrollment; it is possible to checkmark more than one option:
-
Only enroll students: only persons with a student role will be enrolled.
-
Only enroll active course members: only users marked 'available' will be enrolled.
30
-
Only enroll in available groups.
-
Distribute evenly: groups will be kept of equal size as far as possible.
TIP: if new students enroll at a later moment in the course, then you can also enroll these students via Random enroll
in the existing or new groups within the group set. Go to Control Panel and choose [Users and Groups] and
subsequently [Groups]. Click on the drop-down icon next to the group set and choose [Auto enroll]. Use the standard
settings and click [Submit]. The new students are now enrolled in a group while the previously enrolled students
remain in the same groups. If the group capacity is not sufficient, you can always change the group size or add new
groups. See paragraph 6.3, section '
Managing groups within a group set'.
Creating groups via SignUp Lists
You can also enable students to enroll in groups via SignUp Lists: <<For information on creating SignUp Lists, see
section 4.10>> When creating these SignUp Lists, you can then use Groups to indicate that you would like to create
new groups from the signup lists.
However, the advantage of groups created via [Users and Groups] is that it is possible to indicate that students are
only permitted to enroll for a single group, whereas students can enroll in several SignUp Lists. The advantage of a
Signup List is that it is completely designed for students to sign up themselves and therefore has a variety of additional
useful features including a display of the lists and the enrollment period if it has not yet started.
My Groups
As soon as a user becomes a member of a group space, a
component [My Groups] appears in the course menu, with a list
of groups of which he/she is a member and the tools that are
available in the groups. As an instructor you can access the
group spaces via Control Panel > Users and Groups > Groups.
31
6.2. Managing group enrollments
Changing existing group enrollments
The Control Panel > [Users and Groups] > [Groups] takes you to an overview of the group sets in your course. Click
on the drop-down icon next to the group set and select [Manual Enroll]. On the upper part of the page you see the
students who are not enrolled in a group (if any). On the lower part the groups are listed.
Add not enrolled students to a group
Tick the checkbox in front of the student name, click [Enroll] and select the group.
Remove students from a group or move them to another group
First click on the link expand/collapse all in the top right corner of the grey bar (almost unreadable text) to show all
group enrollments.
Scroll to the group you want to change and tick the checkbox in front of the student name. Click [Unenroll] to remove
the student from the group or [Move] to move the student to another group.
Accessing an overview of groups and their enrollments
Via the Control Panel > [Users and Groups] > [Groups], you can see an overview of the group sets in your course.
Click on the group set(s) that you would like to view. You can sort the overview according to any field you like by using
[Sort group members on]. If you wish to print it, click [Print].
Making the group overview available to students
In a menu item of the category 'content area' (for example, Course Materials), open the menu [Tools] and select the
option [Groupset view]. On the next page, you can select the group set(s) for which you wish to display the overview.
32
Please note: the standard setting for 'show already enrolled users' is 'No'. This means that students can only see the
groups and the number of enrolled students, but not the student names. Change it to 'Yes' if you want to show the
names of the group members to students.
Exporting groups
Groups and group sets can be exported to a CSV file (Excel). In order to export group sets, go to the group set
overview via Control Panel > [Users and Groups] > [Groups]. Click on the drop-down icon next to the group set and
select [Export to file]. On the page that now appears, you can enter the file name and format and specify other
settings for the export file.
Importing groups from Excel
It is possible to import groups and the division into groups from an Excel file (or csv or HTML file). You will have to
create a file in Excel and save it as a xls-file (Excel 97-2003; it's not possible to import a .xlsx file!). The minimal
content of this file should be: a column with the student usernames (s+student number) and a column with the
group names to which the student should be assigned. The group size, the name of the group set under which the
groups are to be grouped and the group tools available for groups can also be specified. If you do not add this to your
xls-file, you can set them later on in Blackboard. You can find an example below of the structure needed for this file.
Take care: the rows with the group size must be preceded by #!, and the row with the name of the group set must
start with #.
username
group that student should be assigned to
group size for each group
name of groupset
list of group tools
To import the file: go to Control Panel > [Users and Groups] > [Groups] and click [Create Groupsets]. Choose the
option [Import from file]. Select your file format. Select 'Yes' under Ignore first row if your file contains headers.
When [Submit] is clicked on, a page will appear with data from the file. If this data is correct, click [Submit] again to
create the groupset with the groups.
33
6.3. Managing group sets and groups
Managing group sets
Via the Control Panel > [Users and Groups] > [Groups] you can see an overview of the group sets in your course.
From here, you can carry out the following management activities:
•
Adjust group set data and settings: Click on the drop-down icon next to the group set and select [Edit].
•
Adjust the group enrollment principle: Click on the drop-down icon next to the group set and select the group
enrollment method.
•
Switching a group set on or off: Checkmark the group set(s) and click [Availability]. If you choose [Make
Unavailable], the groups in the group set will be made inactive. This means that students cannot see that
they have been enrolled in groups or use the functionalities for these groups.
•
View an overview of groups in a group set: click on the group set.
•
Delete all enrollments from a group set: Checkmark the group set(s) and click [Empty].
•
Delete a group set: Checkmark the group set(s) and click [Delete].
Managing groups within a group set
Via the Control Panel > [Users and Groups] > [Groups], you can see an overview of the group sets in your course. To
access a specific group set within the groups, click on the drop-down icon next to the group set and select [Edit].
Under Groups, you will see the groups that have been created within the group set.
•
Add groups to the group set: fill in a name in the field Name, and the number of groups and group size. After
that, click [Add groups].
•
Switching a group on or off: Checkmark the group(s) and click [Availability]. If you choose [Make
Unavailable], the groups in the group set will be made inactive. This means that students cannot see that
they have been enrolled in groups or use the functionalities for these groups.
•
Adjust the group size: Checkmark the group(s) and click [Resize]. Fill in the desired size and click [Confirm
Resize].
•
Remove all enrollments from the group: Checkmark the group(s) and click [Empty].
•
Move a group to a different group set: Checkmark the group(s) and click [Move].
•
Delete a group: Checkmark the group(s) and click [Delete].
•
Change the name of a group: type a different name.
Don't forget to click [Submit] to save the changes you made.
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7. The Grade Centre
In the [Grade Centre], you will find an overview of the assessable components that you use in your course. When you
create the assessments test, survey, assignment and Ephorus assignment, a column is added as standard in the Grade
Centre for each of these components. In addition, when you create the tools discussion board, blogs, journals and
wikis, you can indicate whether you wish to assess the student activities within these tools. If you select that option, a
column will appear for each component in the Grade Centre, in the same way as for an assignment.
The Ephorus assignment works differently from standard assignments and is discussed in a separate section (7.4).
If students have submitted work via an (Ephorus) assignment, you will find the work they have submitted via the
Grade Centre. You can also create columns yourself. For example, you can create a grade column in order to enter
grades manually. You can also use Blackboard to conduct calculations. For this, you use the calculated columns, which
will calculate averages and weighted grades for you, for example.
Students will see the grades that you enter in the Grade Centre in [My Grades] on the tab [My Blackboard], or directly
in the course via the menu item [My Grades] (if you have made this visible for students).
Tip:
Use the [Filter] and Smart view options in the Grade Centre; it is a quick and clear way of filtering the Grade
Centre! << For further information see 7.6 and 7.7>>
7.1. Viewing and assessing work submitted as standard Assignments
There are two ways of viewing, assessing and/or giving feedback on work submitted by students. For group
assignments the first manner is advised in any case because it provides you with the submitted work listed by group
name.
1.
Via the Control Panel > [Grade Centre] > [Needs Marking]
In the User Attempt column, click on the student or group whose work you would like to view and/or assess,
or use the drop-down icon next to the Item Name column and then [Grade All Users]. The number of
assignments submitted for the Assignment will be indicated in brackets. You can also click [Grade All]. This
will take you to the page for 'Grade assignment: <name of the assignment>. Check that you are at the right
student and assignment.
On the left you see the submission text if the student has written any. If not, you see the document and a
Download button. On the right you see the 'grading sidebar':
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- Any additional comments of the student are displayed at the
bottom.
- The grade has to be filled in the field 'Attempt' (not in the
field Grade). If there is more than one attempt, you can switch
between them.
- The field 'Grade' will be automatically filled with the contents
of the field Attempt. In Blackboard the 'Grade' is the final
grade, which can differ from the Attempt grade if there are
multiple attempts or if a previous attempt grade is manually
'overridden'.
- For a group assignment the attempt grade is assigned to all
group members by default. If you want to assign a different
grade to a particular group member, you can use the edit
option (pencil icon next to the name) below the heading
'Group members'.
- The feedback field is collapsed by default. Click in the field
'Attempt' to show the feedback field and enter a text.
Additional options are: add a file (paperclip icon) or add notes
only visible for instructors.
TIP:
You can move quickly to another student or assignment using [Jump to...]
2.
Via the Control Panel > [Grade Centre] > [Full Grade Centre]
Go to the Assignment column and hold the mouse cursor over the submitted icon 1 (without clicking). A drop0F
down icon will appear. Click on this and click [Attempt (submission date)]. This will take you to the page for
'Grade assignment: <name of the assignment>'. For explanation of these page, see 1).
1
You will see a submitted icon in the Assignment column, if a student has submitted his/her work:
This icon indicates that an assignment has been submitted.
This icon indicates that a student has clicked Save instead of Submit. In that case, you cannot view the student's
work (yet).
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TIP: if you put the mouse cursor on a column heading in the Grade Centre, you see how many students have
submitted the assignment and how many still need to be graded.
General comments
•
Assignments submitted after the due date will be marked as 'Late Submission';
•
The primary display for (Ephorus) assignments, tests and all other automatically created assessments and
tools is set as 'Score' as standard. This means that Grade Centre grades will be displayed to two decimal
places. However, Blackboard calculates to more decimal places behind the scenes.
7.2. Downloading assignments submitted as standard assignments
Files submitted via an assignment can be downloaded to a zip file. This means that you immediately have all the files
together and can grade them on the computer; you do not have to view/download each individual submitted
assignment separately in the Grade Centre.
Go to Control Panel > [Grade Centre] > [Full Grade Centre]. Then click on the drop-down icon of the column heading
where you would like to download the submitted assignments and select [Assignment File Download]. Click [Show All]
in the overview of students and then select the checkbox above the list to select all students. Click [Submit]. You will
then get a zip file containing the assignments.
To download Ephorus assignments, see 7.4.
Watch the Downloading assignments video for a detailed explanation
7.3. Allowing additional submission attempts for standard assignments
When creating a standard assignment, you indicate the number of submission attempts. If the student has exceeded
this number and you would like to allow them an additional attempt:
Go to Control Panel > [Grade Centre] > [Full Grade Centre]. Go
to the column for the assignment and hold your mouse cursor
on the needs grading icon (without clicking). A drop-down icon
will appear. Click on this and then click [View Grade Details].
Then click [Allow Additional Attempt], or [Clear Attempt] if it's
not necessary to keep the first attempt.
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You can view and assess the newly submitted assignments in the same way as described in section 7.1. The grade for
the most recent attempt will be the one included in the Grade Centre.
7.4. Plagiarism check/Viewing and assessing work submitted as Ephorus assignments
Viewing the plagiarism score
Go to the Control Panel > [Course Tools] > [Ephorus Assignment]. Click on the Ephorus assignment you wish to view.
The students/groups that have submitted are shown. You can see the plagiarism score under Similarities found: click
on the drop-down icon and then [View Report] to view more details.
Having students redo an assignment
Go to the Control Panel > [Course Tools] > [Ephorus Assignment]. Click on the Ephorus assignment you wish to view.
In the Similarities found column, you can delete the submitted assignment and have the student(s) submit it again:
Click on the drop-down icon and then [Rework].
Assigning grades
Go to the Control Panel > [Course Tools] > [Ephorus Assignment]. Click on the Ephorus assignment you wish to view.
You can assign grades in two ways:
1. Via the column Grade. Enter the grade and then click somewhere on the page or press Enter.
2. Via [View report]. This has the extra options of providing feedback text or a file. Click [Submit grading] to save
everything.
The grade will automatically be entered into to the Grade Centre as well. For an Ephorus group assignment, all group
members will automatically receive that grade.
Downloading assignment submitted as Ephorus assignments
Go to the Control Panel > [Course Tools] > [Ephorus
Assignment] and click on the Ephorus assignment you
want to download. Click [Show All] in the overview of
students and then select the checkbox above the list
to select all students. Under [Download], select
'regular download' or 'Include student id' (if you want
to add the student number and name to the title of
the submitted document).
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Uploading a file yourself to check for plagiarism
You can also upload a file yourself to check for
plagiarism. Go to Control Panel > [Course Tools] >
[Ephorus Assignment] en click [My Documents]. You can
upload one file, or multiple files. It's also possible to
upload a zipfile. The 'Processing' setting determines how
the document will be processed:
- standard: the document will be checked for plagiarism
and serves as comparison material for the plagiarism
detection of other documents.
- reference: the document will not be checked for plagiarism, but will be added to the database and will serve as
comparison material for the plagiarism detection of other documents.
- confidential: the document will be checked for plagiarism and will not serve as comparison material for the plagiarism
detection of other documents
The plagiarism report can be found in [My Documents] as well.
7.5. Adding additional columns: grade and calculated columns
Many final grades are made up of several partial grades. You can use the Grade Centre to calculate this final grade. For
example, you may have an interim examination and an assignment that both count 50% towards the final grade. In
that case, you should create an assignment, for which the column will then appear in the Grade Centre. Then create a
normal grade column in which you can enter the examination grade.
If you are creating this kind of calculated columns, we advise you to always use the following settings:
•
Primary display (number of visible decimal places): Score
Blackboard displays grades for an assignment, a test or an Ephorus assignment to two decimal places as
standard. For example, if you enter 8 or 8.0, it will be displayed in the Grade Centre as 8.00.
Please note: Unfortunately, if you download the Grade Centre to check the calculations in Excel, for example,
Blackboard will ignore the figures that are not displayed. This means that if you have set up a column as
'grade with one decimal', so that you only see one decimal place (for example 6.5) and the actual grade is
6.54, Excel will take the 6.5 for its calculations, ignoring the second decimal place. The same applies for the
score display. When downloading, Blackboard ignores the third, fourth decimal places, etc.
•
Calculate as Running Total: YES
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7.6. Displaying groups in the Grade Centre via Smart views
It is possible to display groups in the Grade Centre. For example, this can be useful for checking whether all groups
have submitted the assignment or assigning grades for a group assignment. For this, you can create a Smart View per
group that can then be reused.
1.
Go to Control Panel > [Grade Centre] > [Full Grade Centre] > [Manage] > [Smart Views].
2.
Click [Create Smart View].
3.
Fill in the Name of the first group, and if needed a description.
4.
Under Selection Criteria, select [Course Group] as the Type of View.
5.
Under Select Criteria and [Group equal to … ] select the group concerned.
6.
Under Filter Results, select the columns you wish to see displayed, if desired, for example: to show only the
column with the group assignment(s), choose Selected columns only, and select the columns you want to
see)
7.
Click [Submit].
8.
Then repeat steps 2 to 7 for any other group.
9.
In order to apply the Smart View, click [Filter] in the Grade Centre and then click on the drop-down icon next
to the Current View. Select the Smart View you have created. You will only see the students of the group
concerned in the Grade Centre.
For information about Smart views in general, watch the video Creating Smart views.
7.7. Filter the Grade Centre on categories
When the Grade Centre contains many columns, it can be handy to filter the Grade Centre in such a manner that you
only see the columns (assignments, tests, other marks) that belong to a certain category. You create these categories
yourself. For example within TEM, a category can be a module element.
Note: the default category 'assignments' does not contain Ephorus assignments. Tip: create an Ephorus category
yourself.
Step 1: Make Categories.
1.
Go to Control panel > [Grade Centre[ > [Full Grade Centre].
2.
Choose [Categories] in the drop-down menu under [Manage].
3.
Click [Create Category].
4.
Fill in the name of the category you want (and optional a description) and click [Submit]. Repeat this for all
categories you want.
Step 2: Set for each column to which module element it belongs.
1.
Go to the Full Grade Centre.
2.
Choose [Column organisation] in the drop-down menu under [Manage]
3.
At the lower part of the page you can find all the columns that belong to assignments and tests and the selfcreated columns. Check off the columns belonging to one category.
4.
Choose the relevant category in the drop-down menu under [Change Category to].
40
5.
Repeat this for all the categories you created.
6.
Click [Submit].
Note: In case new columns are added to the Grade Centre later, this step has also to be done for the new columns if
they need to be part of the category.
Step 3: Filter the Grade Centre
1.
Go to the Full Grade Centre.
2.
Click [Filter].
3.
Choose the category you want to see in the drop-down menu next to Category for (and if desired, Status).
4.
The Grade Centre then only shows the columns that belong to a certain category.
41
7.8. Downloading the Grade Centre as an Excel file (and, uploading the edited file
afterwards if needed)
You can download the entire content of the Grade Centre as an Excel file. This can be useful when you want to add
grades in Excel or when you want to calculate a final grade with certain formulas. For this, go to Control Panel >
[Grade Centre] > [Full Grade Centre] > [Work offline] (the button in the top right corner) and choose [Download].
If you want to edit the file in Excel and upload it again, it is important to leave the content of the first row unchanged.
This row contains the column ID’s that make sure that the content of that column will be placed in the corresponding
column in the Grade Centre. You can add new columns in Excel, which will then be added as new columns to the
Grade Centre.
Watch the video How to Download and Upload Grades from the Grade Center for a detailed
explanation
TIP:
Via the Download function you can also create an Excel file with the students enrolled in your course. To do
this, choose ‘User information only’ in the download options.
7.9. Relation between an assignment and the corresponding column in the Grade
Centre
If an assignment is created, a column with the name of the assignment is also added automatically in the Grade
Centre. The following rules apply to the link between an assignment and its column in the Grade Centre:
•
If you change the name of an assignment, the name of the column also changes.
•
If an assignment is deleted, a page is shown after clicking [Delete] and [OK] in which you will have to choose
between: 1) preserving the grades in the Grade Centre, but deleting the assignment and the submitted work
in the Grade Centre; or 2) deleting the assignment with its associated column and submitted work in the
Grade Centre. If neither of these options is acceptable, it is better to make the assignment unavailable to
preserve the work whilst hiding the assignment for students.
•
A column in the Grade Centre can only be deleted if there is no linked assignment (left). Only then the option
[Delete column] will appear in the menu for the column. The column can then be safely removed.
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8. Communication tools within a course
8.1. Discussion Board
On the Discussion Board page, you can create a forum in which everyone in the course can post threads and respond
to other threads.
Adding a Discussion Board
1.
You can make a Discussion Board available by clicking on the drop-down icon next to Discussion Board in the
left menu; if you have the option [Show Link] here, you can activate the Discussion Board by clicking on it.
2.
Go to the [Discussion Board] page, create a forum by clicking [Create Forum].
3.
Use the Name field to give the forum a distinctive name.
4.
In the Description box, type in the details for the aim of the forum.
5.
Select your preferred settings.
6.
Click [Submit].
Watch the Creating a Discussion board forum video for a detailed explanation.
Adding threads
1.
Go to the [Discussion Board] page.
2.
Click on the forum where you would like to start a thread.
3.
Click [Create Thread].
4.
Give the thread a title (Subject) and a description (Message).
5.
Click [Submit].
To ensure discussions are organised properly, you can create several forums and threads within a Discussion Board.
Responding within a thread
1.
Go to the [Discussion Board] page.
2.
Click on the forum to which you would like to respond.
3.
Click on the thread to which you would like to contribute.
4.
Click on the post to which you would like to respond.
5.
Click [Reply] next to the post to which you would like to respond.
6.
Give your response a distinctive title in Message.
Watch the video How to use Blackboard discussions for more information.
TIP:
Subscribe to a forum or thread to receive an email when new posts are available (the forum settings
determine whether subscribing to thread or forum is allowed).
43
8.2. Sending an e-mail
Blackboard has its own e-mail handling system for sending e-mails; this system only allows you to send and not to
receive e-mails and it is therefore not an e-mail client like Outlook/Hotmail/gmail, which include such folders as: inbox,
outbox and sent items. In Blackboard, you can only send e-mails and since it is not possible to see what you have
sent, it is also advisable to send yourself a copy of your e-mail.
In Blackboard, every course has the Email button available as standard for sending e-mails. You can use this button to
send an e-mail to everyone who is enrolled in the course. Of course, the message you send will be received at the email address set by the user.
You can send an e-mail to an individual person or to a group of people. For example, an e-mail can be sent to all
instructors (group: 'All Instructor Users') or to all students (group: 'All Student Users'). If you have created groups
yourself, you can contact all its members (students) as a group by sending an e-mail to this group.
In order to send an e-mail, follow this procedure:
1.
Go to the [Email] page.
2.
Under Send Email, you can click on one of the groups (for example, 'All Student Users') or, if you wish to
indicate manually who (which student(s)) you would like to e-mail, on 'Single/Select Users'.
a.
If you have chosen to send an e-mail to a group, you can enter the Subject and the Message
immediately.
b.
If you have chosen to send an e-mail to one or several people, click [Single/Select users]; under the
To field, you will see the names of all the people enrolled on your course and by clicking on a name
using the buttons
, you can add or remove a person from the list of addresses.
When you have done this, you can enter the Subject and Message.
3.
Click [Submit].
8.3. Blogs
You can use the Blog tool to enable every student to have their own blog. This allows them to share their knowledge
and opinions with others, which stimulates students to think more about the subject matter and to brainstorm. Blogs
are visible to everyone in the course and students can respond to each other's blogs.
To make the Blog tool available:
1.
In the Control panel click [Customisation] and then [Tool availability].
2.
For Blogs, tick the checkbox in the column 'Available'.
3.
Click [Submit] and stay on the page.
4.
Tick the checkbox in the column 'Available in content area' as well. Click [Submit].
Creating a blog
1.
In the Control Panel, click [Course tools] and then [Blogs].
2.
Click [Create Blog] and give the blog a name and description.
3.
Set the other options if required.
4.
Click [Submit].
After creating a Blog, you can use it in various places within your course, for example under the 'Assignments' button.
It is also possible to create a separate menu item for the blog.
44
Making the blog available as part of an existing menu item/page (for example: Assignments):
1.
Make sure that Edit Mode is switched on.
2.
Go to the [Assignments] page.
3.
Click [Tools] and select [Blogs].
4.
Select the option [Link to a Blog] and click on the blog you have created.
5.
Click [Next].
6.
Set any options you require.
7.
Click [Submit].
Your blog is now activated and students can use it.
Please note: clicking on the link to the blogs leads you to
your own blog. Click on the arrow below your name on the
upper right to open a student's blog (the student view on
the blogs works similarly).
Watch the video Creating a blog
8.4. Journals
A Journal is similar to a blog, but the main difference is that a student's journal is not visible to other students.
Journals can be used, for example, to enable students to reflect on what they have learned during the course. You can
then respond to what they have written. This is different from submitting an assignment since it mainly involves a
process in which the student receives support by means of regular feedback when working on a specific task (such as
reflecting on a specific subject).
Although journals are primarily intended for interaction between students and teaching staff, it is also possible to make
a journal visible to other students. However, they cannot add comments as they can for blogs.
To make the Journal tool available:
1.
In the Control panel click [Customisation] and then [Tool availability].
2.
For Journals, tick the checkbox in the column 'Available'.
3.
Click [Submit] and stay on the page.
4.
Tick the checkbox in the column 'Available in content area' as well. Click [Submit].
Creating a journal:
1.
In the Control Panel, click [Course tools] and then [Journals].
2.
Click [Create Journal] and give the journal a name and description.
3.
Set any options you require.
4.
Click [Submit].
Making a journal available as part of an existing menu item (for example: Assignments):
1.
Make sure that Edit Mode is ON.
45
2.
Go to the [Assignments] page.
3.
Click [Tools] and select [Journals].
4.
Select the option [Link to a Journal] and click on the journal you have created.
5.
Click [Next].
6.
Set any options you require for the journal.
7.
Click [Submit].
Please note: clicking on the link to the journals leads you to your own journal. Click on the arrow below your name on
the upper right to open a student's journal.
Watch the video Creating a journal
8.5. Wikis
Students can use a Wiki to add pages to a course featuring information about a specific subject. All of the students can
edit and add to these pages. In this, the instructor acts as facilitator (by offering the Wiki option) and the student adds
content to the Wiki. Whereas a blog is more personal in nature, Wikis focus mainly on intensive collaboration as a
group. As the instructor, you can view a summary of each student's contributions to a wiki.
To make the Wiki tool available:
1.
In the Control panel click [Customisation] and then [Tool availability].
2.
For Wikis, tick the checkbox in the column 'Available'.
3.
Click [Submit] and stay on the page.
4.
Tick the checkbox in the column 'Available in content area' as well. Click [Submit].
Creating a Wiki
1.
In the Control Panel, click [Course tools] and then [Wikis].
2.
Click [Create Wiki] and give the wiki a name and description.
3.
Set any options you require.
4.
Click [Submit].
Making a wiki available as part of an existing menu item (for example: Assignments):
1.
Make sure that Edit Mode is ON.
2.
Go to the [Assignments] page.
3.
Click [Tools] and select [Wikis].
4.
Select the option [Link to a Wiki] and click on the wiki you have created.
5.
Click [Next].
6.
Set any options you require.
7.
Click [Submit].
Your wiki is now activated and students can use it.
Watch the video How to create and manage wikis.
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