Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Blackboard Academic Suite

Overview

User Manual

Text Box Editor

The Text Box Editor allows users to create content through a simple editor within the

Blackboard Learning System

. Using WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), users may format text to create HTML, identify and correct spelling errors, add equations using WebEQ and MathML, and upload different types of files within a text box.

Note:

The Text Box editor is only available to Windows Operating System users with

Internet Explorer Version 5.x or a later version. System Administrators also have the option of turning off the Text Box editor, Spell Check, Web EQ and MathML for all users. Users without WYSIWYG features users have access to alternate Text Box

Options .

Find this page

The Text Box Editor appears throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. This includes Calendar, Task, Assessment, and Discussion Board pages.

Actions

The Text Box Editor includes three rows of buttons. The first row is required and may not be collapsed. Users have the options of collapsing the second and third rows with the arrows to the left of the row. These options cannot be reorganized or rearranged by the user. The following table details the tools available in the Text Box Editor by row:

First Row – Basic Actions

Function

Font Style

Font size

Font

Bold

Description

Select the font for the text, these options correspond to standard HTML Style types.

Select the size for the text.

Select the type of font for the text.

Make selected text bold.

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Italics

Underline

Align left

Align Center

Align Right

Ordered list

Unordered list

Decrease Indent

Increase Indent

Make selected text italics.

Underline the selected text.

Align text to the left of the text area.

Align text in the center of the text area.

Align text to the right of the text area.

Create a numbered list or add a numbered list item.

Create a bulleted list or add a bullet list item.

Move text to the left.

Move text to the right.

Second Row – Additional Basic Actions

Description

Search for a word or phrase in the text area.

Find

Function

Spell Check

Cut

Copy

Paste

Undo

Select the ABC checkmark to open the Spell Check pop-up window. Users use this to check spelling in the text area.

Cut the selected items

Redo

Hyperlink

Create Table

Copy the selected items

Paste copied or cut content.

Select the circular arrow pointing to the left to undo the previous action.

Select the circular arrow pointing to the right to redo the previous action.

Add a hyperlink to a URL in the text area.

Add a table. Select the number of rows and cells in the table.

Add a line to the text box.

Add a highlight color to the selected text.

Horizontal Line

Background

Color

Text Color

WebEQ Editor

MathML Editor

HTML View

Specify the color of the text.

Open the WebEQ Equation Editor icon (x

2

) to add an equation.

Open the MathML Equation Editor icon ( √ x ) to add an equation.

View the HTML code that is generated by the Text Box

Preview

Help

Editor. Users may also edit the HTML in this view.

Preview the content as it will be seen by the end users.

Select the question mark to launch the Help page.

Third Row – File Attachment Actions

Note:

The third row action buttons may not be available. The Administrator may choose to disable these options.

Function

Attach file

Attach image

Attach MPEG/AVI

Add Quick Time file

Description

Add a file to the text area. When selected, the Insert Link to File page will appear.

Add an image to the text area. When selected, the Insert

Image page will appear.

Add MPEG/AVI media content to the text area. When selected, the Insert MPEG file page will appear.

Add Apple QuickTime media to the text area. When selected, the Insert QuickTime File page will appear.

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Add audio

Add

Flash/Shockwave

Add an audio file, such as .mp3, .midi or .wav to the text area. When selected, the Insert Audio File page will appear.

Add Macromedia Flash or Shockwave media to the text area. When selected, the Insert SWF File page will appear.

Attaching files

Users have the option of attaching different types of files to a text box. These files should always be uploaded from their original source, for example from the user ’ s local drive, not from another area where the file has been attached to a course in

Blackboard. Users should not copy and paste a file from one text box to another; this will cause errors and the files will not appear properly. When the page is opened, a link to the file will appear. Users may select the link to open the file or save the file.

Keyboard shortcuts

The Text Box Editor supports the following keyboard shortcuts:

Note:

An absolutely positioned element is an object that has a css style applied to it, so its location is determined by pixels. For example, instead of aligned right or top, the object is located at x=0, y=100 pixels.

Key

Movement

RIGHT ARROW

Description

LEFT ARROW

DOWN ARROW

UP ARROW

Move one character to the right. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, the element is moved one pixel to the right.

Move one character to the left. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, the element is moved one pixel to the left.

Move down one line. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, the element is moved down one pixel.

Move up one line. If an absolutely positioned element is selected, the element is moved up one pixel.

Move right one word.

CTRL+RIGHT

ARROW

CTRL+LEFT

ARROW

END

HOME

CTRL+DOWN

ARROW

CTRL+UP ARROW

PAGE DOWN

PAGE UP

CTRL+HOME

CTRL+END

Selection

SHIFT+RIGHT

ARROW

SHIFT+LEFT

ARROW

Move left one word.

Move to the end of the current line.

Move to the start of the current line.

Move down one paragraph.

Move up one paragraph.

Move down one page.

Move up one page.

Move to the beginning of the document.

Move to the end of the document.

Extend the selection one character to the right. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection one character to the left. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

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CTRL+SHIFT+RIG

HT ARROW

CTRL+SHIFT+LEF

T ARROW

SHIFT+UP ARROW

SHIFT+DOWN

ARROW

SHIFT+END

SHIFT+HOME

SHIFT+PAGE

DOWN

SHIFT+PAGE UP

CTRL+SHIFT+END

CTRL+SHIFT+HO

ME

CTRL+A

Extend the selection right one word. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection left one word. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection up one line. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection down one line. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection to the end of the current line. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection to the start of the current line. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection down one page. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection up one page. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection to the end of the document. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Extend the selection to the beginning of the document.

Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Select all elements in the document. Users may select characters to cut or copy and paste words, sentences or paragraphs.

Editing

BACKSPACE

CTRL+BACKSPACE

CTRL+C

CTRL+V

CTRL+X

DELETE

INSERT

CTRL+Z

CTRL+Y

CTRL+F

SHIFT+F10

Delete the selection or, if there is no selection, the character to the left of the insertion point

Delete all of a word to the left of the insertion pointer, not including the space before.

Copy the selection to the Clipboard.

Paste the contents of the Clipboard to the current location.

Cut the selection to the Clipboard.

Delete the selection without placing it on the Clipboard.

Toggle between inserting and overwriting text.

Undo the most recent formatting commands.

Re-do the most recently undone commands .

Find text .

Display the context menu, if one is available (this is equivalent to right-clicking the document)

Formatting

CTRL+B

CTRL+I

CTRL+U

Toggle bold formatting.

Toggle italic formatting.

Toggle underlining.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Text Box Content

Overview

Users may enter different types of text in Text fields throughout the

Blackboard

Learning System

. By default, the

Blackboard Learning System

will format text to 12point, left-justified Arial. Any other formatting must be done with HTML tags (unless the WYSIWYG features are used).

Text box options

The following options are available in most text entry boxes in the

Blackboard Learning

System

:

Format Option

Smart Text

Behavior

Automatically recognizes a link entered in the text box.

Smart text recognizes the ENTER key as a paragraph tag and accepts HTML tags as well.

Smart Text will also prompt to load images if an image source text is used when adding smart text as part of a content item.

Web addresses entered in the URL format are

Plain Text

HTML

automatically converted to links. For this to function the

URL

must

begin with "http://" and there must be a space before the "http://" to distinguish it from the previous word.

If an image tag,

<IMG>

, is entered in Smart Text,

Blackboard Learning System

will automatically prompt you to upload the image. (This only works when creating content; it does not work when modifying existing content.)

Displays text as it is written in the text area. Plain text does not render HTML codes; any HTML codes will appear as text.

Displays text as coded by the user using Hypertext Mark-up

Language (HTML) tags. May be used for cutting and pasting

HTML from another source.

Note:

The Smart Text and Plain Text options are only available if the Administrator has turned off the Text Box Editor (disabling the WYSIWYG features) or if users do not have Windows Operating System and Internet Explorer Version 5.x or a later version

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Insert Link to File

Overview

Users may include a link to a file from the Text Box editor. This option is available if the Text Box editor is enabled.

Note:

Users who do not have access to the Text Box Editor, or if the Text Box Editor is disabled, may still attach files to course Web sites

Find this page

The Text Box Editor appears throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. Select the first button,

Attach File

, in the third row of the Action bar.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Insert Link to File page:

Field

Insert Link to File

Browse:

OR Specify URL:

Click

Browse

Description

to locate a file.

Enter a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system. An example is http://blackboard/images/picture1.jpeg.

Link to File Options

Name of Link to

File:

Launch in new window:

Enter the name of the link that Students click to access the attached file.

Select

Select

Yes

No

to have the file open in a new separate window.

to have the file open in the same window.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Insert Image

Overview

Users may add an image to the Text Box Editor. This option is available if the Text Box editor is enabled.

Note:

Users who do not have access to the Text Box Editor, or if the Text Box Editor is disabled, may still attach images to course Web sites, such as in Discussion Boards.

Find this page

The Text Box Editor appears throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. Select the second button,

Attach Image

, in the third row of the Action bar.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Insert Image page:

Field

Insert Image

Browse:

OR Specify URL:

Description

Click

Browse

to locate a file.

Enter a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system. An example is http://blackboard/images/picture1.jpeg.

Image Options

Set the Width:

Set the Height:

Enter the width of the image in pixels for how it will appear to users.

Enter the height of the image in pixels for how it will

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Border:

Alt Text:

User Manual

appear to users.

Choose a border for the image. This option determines the thickness of the border around the image. If ‘ 0 ’ is chosen there will be no border around the image.

Enter text that will be used by accessibility tools. Alternate text is important for visually impaired users who access the Web. Alternate text will also tell users what should appear if, for some reason, the image does not display

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Insert MPEG File

Overview

MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Groups) files are audio-visual files in a digital compressed format. AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is Microsoft ’ s file format for storing audio and video data. Users may add MPEG and AVI files to the Text Box Editor. This option is available if the Text Box Editor is enabled.

Note:

Users who do not have access to the Text Box Editor, or if the Text Box Editor is disabled, may still attach MPEG files to course Web sites, such as in Discussion Boards.

Find this page

The Text Box Editor appears throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. Select the third button,

Add MPEG/AVI Content

, in the third row of the Action bar.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Insert MPEG File page:

Field

Insert MPEG File

Browse:

OR Specify URL:

Click

Browse

Description

to locate a file.

Enter a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system. An example is http://blackboard/images/picture1.jpeg.

MPEG File Options

Set the Width:

Enter the width of the video in pixels for how it will appear

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Set the Height:

AutoStart:

Controls:

User Manual

to users.

Enter the height of the video in pixels for how it will appear to users.

Select

Yes

for the video to start playing when the page is opened by a user. Select

No

and the user will have to begin the video manually after opening the page.

Select the size of controls to appear to users. These controls must be available if users have to begin the video manually.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Insert QuickTime File

Overview

QuickTime is a video and animation system that supports most formats, including JPG and MPEG. Users have the option of including QuickTime files in the Text Box Editor.

This option is available if the Text Box Editor is enabled.

Users with a PC will require a QuickTime driver to view QuickTime files. Macintosh users do not require this driver.

Note:

Users who do not have access to the Text Box Editor, or if the Text Box Editor is disabled, may still attach QuickTime files to course Web sites, such as in Discussion

Boards.

Find this page

The Text Box Editor appears throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. Select the fourth button,

Add QuickTime Content

, in the third row of the Action bar.

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Insert QuickTime File page:

User Manual

Field

Insert QuickTime File

Browse:

OR Specify URL:

Description

QuickTime File Options

Set the Width:

Enter the width of the video for how it will appear to users.

Set the Height:

Click

Browse

to locate a file.

Enter a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system. An example is http://blackboard/images/picture1.jpeg.

AutoStart:

Loop:

Controls:

Enter the height of the video for how it will appear to users.

Select

Yes

for the video to start playing when the page is opened by a user. Select

No

and the user will have to begin the video manually after opening the page.

Choose whether the file should loop (repeat continuously).

Select if the controls for the file (for example, Start,

Pause, and Stop) should appear.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Insert Audio File

Overview

Users have the option of including audio files, for example a .wav file, in the Text Box

Editor. This option is available if the Text Box Editor is enabled.

Note:

Users who do not have access to the Text Box Editor, or if the Text Box Editor is disabled, may still attach audio files to course Web sites, such as in Discussion Boards.

Find this page

The Text Box Editor appears throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. Select the fifth button,

Add Audio Content

, in the third row of the Action bar.

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Insert Audio File page:

Field

Insert Audio File

Browse:

OR Specify URL:

Audio File Options

AutoStart:

Loop:

Controls:

Click

Browse

Description

to locate a file.

User Manual

Enter a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system. An example is http://blackboard/images/picture1.jpeg.

Select

Yes

for the file to start playing when the page is opened by a user. Select

No

and the user will have to begin the file manually after opening the page.

Choose whether the file should loop (repeat continuously).

Select the size of controls to appear to users. These controls must be available if users have to begin the audio manually.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Insert SWF File

Overview

Macromedia Flash and Shockwave files support audio, animation and video; they are also browser independent. Browsers require specific plug-ins to run Flash and

Shockwave files. Users have the option of including Flash and Shockwave files in the

Text Box Editor. This option is available if the Text Box Editor is enabled.

Note:

Users who do not have access to the Text Box Editor, or if the Text Box Editor is disabled, may still attach Flash and Shockwave files to course Web sites, such as in

Discussion Boards.

Find this page

The Text Box Editor appears throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. Select the sixth button,

Add Flash/Shockwave Content

, in the third row of the Action bar.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Insert SWF File page:

Field

Insert SWF File

Browse:

OR Specify URL:

Click

Browse

to locate a file.

Enter a URL to create a link to a file outside of the local system. An example is

Description

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Blackboard Academic Suite

SWF File Options

Set the Width:

Set the Height:

AutoStart:

Loop:

Set Quality:

User Manual

http://blackboard/images/picture1.jpeg.

Enter the width of the video for how it will appear to users.

Enter the height of the video for how it will appear to users.

Select

Yes

for the video to start playing when the page is opened by a user. Select

No

and the user will have to begin the video manually after opening the page.

Choose whether the file should loop (repeat continuously).

Select the quality of the images that will appear to users.

Please note that the better the quality of an image the larger the file, and the longer it will take to open and display to users.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

About Spell Check

Overview

The

Blackboard Learning System

includes a robust Spell Check feature that supports a full English dictionary, a supplemental word list configured by the Administrator, and custom word lists that are stored as a cookie on a user ’ s local machine. The spell check feature is available wherever users can enter blocks of text. It is also available as a module with the

Blackboard Portal System

.

Word lists

Misspelled words are determined by the following three sources:

Spell Check Dictionary

: A full English dictionary that includes words that will not be flagged for correction. The dictionary is also the only source for suggestions. This dictionary cannot be modified.

Supplemental Word List

: A list of additional terms added by the System

Administrator that do not appear in the default dictionary. For example, a medical school might wish to upload a list of medical terms so they are not flagged as incorrect terms for their users. This word list can be modified from the System Control Panel.

Personal Word List

: This word list is stored as a cookie on each user ’ s local machine. Words are added to this list using the

Learn

feature within Spell

Check. Like the supplemental word list, the words on each personal word list are not flagged for correction and are not included as suggestions for errors.

Extensive personal word lists may slow performance of the Spell Check tool.

Spell Check module

The Spell Check module includes the same features as the spell check for reviewing a text block. Users simply cut and paste text into the module and then run the spell checker. The module also includes a

Clear

button to reset the module so new text can be reviewed.

Personal word list and cookies

The personal word list is stored as a cookie on the user ’ s local machine. The cookie is not user or installation specific. Therefore, a user ’ s word list will be available to them whenever they are using Spell Check with an installation of the

Blackboard Learning

System

, as long as they are on the same local machine. Also, if another user logs onto the same machine, that user will have the personal word list stored on that machine applied to the spell checker. For example, if a user creates a personal word list on a computer in the computer lab, this word list will be available to all users who use this computer in the lab. The user may not take this word list with them to a different computer.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Using Spell Check

Overview

The Spell Check feature appears anywhere users can enter blocks of text. It also appears as a portal module with the

Blackboard Portal System

. When Spell Check is launched it will review the text block and sequentially bring up any words it does not know for review. When a word is brought up for review the user will have several options for changing the text or setting Spell Check to recognize the word. Teaching

Spell Check a new word with the Learn function adds the word to the personal word list stored on the local computer.

Information about word lists and the Spell Check module is located in the topic About

Spell Check .

Functions

The table below details the functions available with Spell Check.

To . . .

replace the current occurrence of a word with a correction or suggestion replace every occurrence of a word in the text with a correction or suggestion

then . . .

enter a correction in the

Replace With

field or select a suggestion from the list. Once the correct word appears in the

Replace With

field, click

Replace

to change the word in the text. If the misspelled word appears later in the text block it will be flagged again for correction. enter a correction in the

Replace With

field or select a suggestion from the list. Once the correct word appears in the

Replace With

field, click

Replace All

to change every occurrence of the word in the

Not Found

field with the word in the

Replace With

field.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

ignore the word and not make a correction ignore every occurrence of the word in the text block teach Spell Check to recognize the word as correct click

Ignore

text block.

. The word will not be changed. If the word appears again in the text block it will be flagged for correction. click

Ignore All

. The word will not be changed and the

Spell Check will not flag it for correction elsewhere in the click

Learn

. The word will be added to the personal word list stored as a cookie on the local machine. Whenever Spell

Check is run on the local machine the word will be recognized and not flagged as misspelled. click

Finish

. The Spell Check tool will close. close the spell check without finishing

Recognized errors

Note how Spell Check handles the following circumstances:

Double words are recognized as errors.

Irregular capitalization is not recognized as an error.

Initial capitalization at the beginning of sentences is not checked.

Words in ALL CAPS are checked for spelling errors.

Words that contain numbers are recognized as errors.

A word that appears in the supplemental or personal word list may be entered as a correction during a spell check (they do not appear as suggestions). The

Spell Check tool must be run again to verify that the word is spelled correctly.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Math and Science Notation Tool

WebEQ Equation Editor

Overview

The Math and Science Notation Tool (WebEQ Equation Editor) is a general purpose equation editor designed for working with equations. The Math and Science Notation

Tool enables users to use mathematical and scientific notation throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

. Users have the ability to add equations, edit existing equations, and move equations within the Equation Editor. All of the Equation Editor symbols are based on MathML, a markup language for math on the Web. MathML is a subset of XML.

Note:

The Math and Science Notation Tool may be available through an Essay question on an Assessment. Students may also access the Math and Science Notation

Tool during a Collaboration Session.

MathML Equation Editor

The MathML Equation Editor functions in the same way at the Math and Science

Notation Tool. Instead of opening with the symbol buttons, a blank text box will appear where users can enter XML.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Functions

The table below details how to access the Equation Editors.

To . . .

access the WebEQ

Equation Editor insert XML

click . . .

the

Math and Science Notation Tool

icon. The Math and

Science Notation Tool will appear. the

MathML Equation Editor

icon. The MathML Equation

Editor will open.

Installation Notes

For best performance on a Windows

®

operating system Blackboard recommends using

Internet Explorer 6.0.

For best performance on a Macintosh

®

, Blackboard recommends the following.

Step 4

Step 5

Upgrade the operating system to Mac OS X v10.2

Install Netscape

®

6.2.3 (or a later version)

Step 6

Install the MRJPlug-in. This is located at http://homepage.mac.com/pcbeard/MRJPlugin/

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Adding and Editing Equations

Overview

The Math and Science Notation Tool (WebEQ Equation Editor) enables users to use mathematical and scientific notation throughout the

Blackboard Learning System

.

Users are able to add and edit existing equations. Once an equation has been created it can be copied and used again or copied and modified using the Notation Tool features.

The MathML Equation Editor functions in the same way as the Math and Science

Notation Tool. Instead of opening with the symbol buttons, a blank text box will appear where users can enter XML.

Note:

The Math and Science Notation Tool may be available through an Essay question on an Assessment.

The image below is an example of an area where the Math and Science Notation Tool is available, such as an Essay question.

Web EQ icon

MathML icon

The following is an image of the Math and Science Notation Tool.

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Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Functions

The table below describes the functions available in the Math and Science Notation

Tool.

To . . .

create a name for

then . . .

enter a name in the

Equation Name:

field. To accept the the equation default name do not make any changes. create an equation use the equation symbols available on the keyboard or in modify an existing equation submit the equation and its name the toolbar to create equations. select the equation from the

Edit Equation:

drop-down list.

The equation will appear on the Editor and can be edited using the Equation Editor features. Click

Modify

to save the changes. click

Add

.

Tips and Tricks

If an equation is more then one line or uses a large font size, the equation may be cut off when it appears on the course Web site. To prevent this from happening add an empty line after the final line in the equation on the Math and Science Notation Tool.

The entire equation will appear.

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Overview

User Manual

Chapter 4

Communication

Students are encouraged to communicate with fellow classmates and Instructors as part of the learning process. The Communication Center allows users to:

 send email access course Discussion Boards use the Collaboration Tools review the Student roster access Student group pages

Note:

Instructors and System Administrators have the option to disable these features. Also, if the Instructor chooses, some of these tools may also appear directly in the Course Menu.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Communication Center:

Step 1

Step 2

Open a course Web site for a course that you are participating in.

Click

Communication

on the course menu.

In this chapter

This chapter includes information on the following sections:

Topic

Send Email

Discussion Board

Description

Provides information on how to send email to other participants in a course.

Explains how to engage in asynchronous on-line conversations with others in a course.

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Collaboration

Tools

Roster

Group Pages

User Manual

Explains how to participate in real time lessons and discussions.

Discusses how to search a participant roster and view lists of Students, Instructors, and Teaching Assistants associated with a specific course.

Explains how to access communication functions available to groups created by the Instructor. Instructors may group

Students together in study groups, projects, or other course activities.

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