Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

Blackboard Academic Suite User Manual

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

Description

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

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

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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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Course Send Email

Overview

Users can access email functions for specific courses and organizations through the

Send Email page. From this page users can send email to the following people in a course:

 fellow classmates

 Instructors

 Teaching Assistants

 Groups within a course

Send Email allows users direct access to course participants and can also be accessed from the Tools box on the My Institution area.

Note

: The Send Email function is different from Web email, an optional service that allows users to access their Web email account through Blackboard.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Send Email page:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

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

Click

Communication

on the course menu.

Click

Send Email

from the Communication Center.

Functions

The following groups are available to send email to from the Send email page:

Group

All Users

All Groups

Description

Sends email to all users in the course or organization.

Sends email to all of the groups in a specified course or organization.

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All Teaching

Assistants

All Instructors

Select Users

Sends email to all of the Teaching Assistants in a specified course.

Sends email to all of the instructors for a specified course.

Sends email to a single user or select users in a specified course.

Send email to a single group or select groups in a course.

Select Groups

Send Email in the Tools Box

Users can access the Send Email feature for all of their courses and organizations through the Send Email page in the Tools Box. From this page they are able to send messages to users in any of their courses or organizations. To open this page, click

Send Email

in the Tools box of a common area.

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Send Email to Users

Functions

Send Email enables users to send email to fellow classmates, Instructors, Teaching

Assistants or Groups within a course. Users can create a message and choose who will receive it on the Select Users page.

Note:

To minimize the distraction of long lists of To: addresses, and to make the reuse of the address lists more difficult for potential spammers, all destination addresses are placed into the mail message ’ s Bcc: (Blind Carbon Copy) field upon receipt.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the All Users page:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

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

Click

Click

Click

Communication

Send Email

on the Course Menu.

from the Communication Center.

Select Users

.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the All Users page.

Field

Enter Message Details

To:

From:

Subject:

Message:

Set Message Options

Description

All users enrolled in the course will appear.

The user ’ s email address will automatically be displayed in this field.

Enter the subject of the email.

Enter the email message.

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Copy of message to self:

Add Attachments

Add:

Click the check box to send a copy of the message to the sender.

Click here to add attachments. Select

Browse

on the page that appears and navigate to the file that should be attached to the email.

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Overview

User Manual

Discussion Board

The Discussion Board is another communication tool that can be used to enhance a course Web site. Topics are posted to the Discussion Board that course participants can reply to and converse about on-line. This feature is similar to the Lightweight

Chat, but is designed for asynchronous use, meaning Students do not have to be online at the same time to have a conversation. An additional advantage of the

Discussion Board is that Student conversations are logged and organized.

Conversations are grouped into threads that contain a main posting and all related replies for easy retrieval.

Note:

Users may have the option to create Discussion Boards on topics of interest in the Community Common area. This option is made available by the System

Administrator. For more information on this topic see Creating Community Discussion

Boards in the Community Tab section.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Discussion Board page.

Step 1

Step 2

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

Click

Discussion Board

Center. on the Course Menu or from the Communication

Function

To access a forum listed on the Discussion Board page click a forum topic link. The

Discussion Board forum will appear. The system will not accept JavaScript in the

Discussion Boards.

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Discussion Board Forums

Overview

The Discussion Board is a communication tool that can be used to enhance a course

Web site. Instructors create forums on specific topics in the Discussion Board. For example, an Instructor may create a Mid-Term Review forum, where Students may go ask and answer questions about the Mid-Term exam. Students may access forums by clicking on the appropriate link in the Discussion Board. When a forum is accessed a page appears which lists the different threads in the forum. A thread is a message that is posted to a forum. Participants can post new threads in a forum and reply to threads that have already been posted.

Note

: Students are able to create new threads on the Discussion Board. If allowed by the Instructor a Student can create a forum, otherwise Students will only be able to add threads to existing topics.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Discussion Board Forum page.

Step 1

Step 2

Click

Discussion Board

on the course menu.

Click a forum to open it and view the contents within.

Functions

The table below details the functions available on the Discussion Board Forum page.

To . . .

start a new thread

click . . .

Add New Thread

. The Create New Message page will appear. On the Create New Message page a new subject title and discussion description may be added. view all messages the

View all Messages

up arrow. All messages appear. view unread messages the

View Unread Messages

down arrow. All unread

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see all the threads and responses see only the first message in each thread read a message messages will be shown. the the

Expand All

appear. appear.

plus icon. All threads and responses will

Collapse All

minus icon. The topic threads will view the tool bar view messages that have been archived by the Instructor resort the list of messages a message link. A new Discussion Board page will appear. Depending on their course role, users may modify, remove, or reply to a message.

Options

tab. The Options tool bar will appear.

Click Here for Archives.

A page will appear with the threads that have been archived from this forum.

Archived messages must be made available by the

Instructor. the

Sort by:

drop-down list and select one of the following options:

 Default: sort messages by the earliest date.

 Author: sort messages by the author.

 Date: sort messages by the earliest date. This is the default.

 Subject: sort messages by the subject.

Options tab functions

The table below describes the functions available on the Options tab. Click

Show

Options

to access these functions. To select multiple threads in a forum, choose the check box next to each thread that will be included.

To . . .

select all threads and messages in the forum unselect the selections unselect the threads and messages that have been selected and select the threads and messages that have not been selected mark messages as read click

Select All

.

then . . .

click click

Unselect All

Invert

.

. mark messages as unread view multiple threads or messages lock a thread or message select the threads and messages, then click

Read

. select the threads and messages, then click

Unread

. select the threads and messages, then click

Collect

. select the thread and messages, then click

Lock

.

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Create New Message

Overview

When a new message is posted to a forum it starts a thread. All responses to the message appear under the message on the Discussion Board forum. The Create New

Message page is used to add a new thread to a Discussion Board Forum.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Create New Message page.

Step 1

Click

Discussion Board

on the course menu or from the Communication

Center.

Step 2

Click on a forum link to open it and view the contents within.

Step 3

Click

Add New Thread

.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Create New Message page.

Field

Message Information

Current Forum:

Description

Date:

Author:

Subject:

The name of the Discussion Board Forum appears in this field.

The date appears in this field.

The name of the author appears here.

Enter the subject of the thread.

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Message:

User Manual

Post message as

Anonymous

Attachment

Enter a message. The following options are available:

 Smart Text: 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.

 Plain text: Displays text as written.

 HTML: Displays text as coded using HTML tags.

 √ x: Opens the WebEQ Equation Editor .

 <  > Opens the MathML Equation Editor .

ABC: Opens Spell Check .

 Preview: Opens the text as it will appear to the user.

Select this check box and the message will be posted anonymously. The Instructor may make this feature unavailable.

Enter the file path or click

Browse

to locate the file.

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Your Response

Overview

Users add message to threads by posting messages in response to the previous messages in the thread. Messages are added to a thread from the Your Response page.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Your Response page:

Step 1

Click

Discussion Board

on the Course menu or from the Communication

Center.

Step 2

Click on a forum link to open it and view the contents within.

Step 3

Open a message.

Step 4

Click

Reply

to respond to the message.

Fields

The table below details the fields on this page.

Field

Message Information

Current Forum:

Date:

Author:

Subject:

Description

The name of the Discussion Board Forum appears in this field.

The date appears in this field.

The name of the author appears here.

Subject defaults to the subject on the Add Thread page.

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Message:

Options

Post message

Anonymous

Attachment

Preview

User Manual

Enter a message. The following options are available:

 Smart Text: 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.

 Plain text: Displays text as written.

 HTML: Displays text as coded using HTML tags.

 √ x: Opens the WebEQ Equation Editor .

 <  > Opens the MathML Equation Editor .

ABC: Opens Spell Check .

 Preview: Opens the text as it will appear to the user

Select the check box to post an anonymous message.

This option may or may not be available depending on the options selected when Discussion Forum was set up.

Enter the file path or click

Browse

to locate the desired file.

Preview the message as it will appear on the Discussion

Board.

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Overview

User Manual

Collaboration Tools

The Collaboration Tools allow the Instructor and Students to participate in real-time lessons and discussions. Examples of these sessions include real-time, online classroom discussions, TA sessions, and office hour type question/answer forums.

Archives of previous sessions are also available for review. Guest speakers and subject-matter experts can also lead sessions using the Collaboration Tools. The

Collaboration Session page is used to organize and access sessions. From this page users can search for and join Collaboration Sessions and view session archives.

Collaboration Tools

The following Collaboration Tools are available.

Tool Description

Virtual Classroom Allows users to enter a real-time discussion with

Instructors, Students, and colleagues, access the Web, and engage in question and answer sessions. Users may also access the Whiteboard to display text and images.

Lightweight Chat The Lightweight Chat is part of the Virtual Classroom, but can also be accessed separately. It allows users to open just the chat function of the Virtual Classroom.

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Java Plug-in

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Collaboration Sessions page.

Step 1

Step 2

Click

Communication

Select

Collaboration

.

on the course menu in a course Web site.

Functions

The Java 2 Run Time Environment 1.3.1_04 or higher is required to use the

Collaboration Tools. This plug-in may be downloaded from the page that appears when a user joins a Collaboration Session, or may be found at http://java.sun.com/products/plugin/index.html

.

Users should take care to uninstall any existing Java plug-ins before installing a new version.

The following table describes the functions available from this page.

To . . .

filter the sessions listed on the page search for a session enter a session

click . . .

the arrow next to the drop-down list and select the type of session to display. Click

Filter

. The filters include:

Show All

– The default filter that displays all of the

Collaboration Sessions.

Open Rooms

– Displays all of the sessions that are currently being used.

Rooms with Archives

– Displays completed sessions that have an archive.

Rooms Available in the Future

– Displays sessions that are scheduled to take place in the future. the

Session Name

,

Start Date

or

End Date

option and then enter a value in the field. Click

Search

.

Join

next to the session. The Virtual Classroom or

Lightweight chat for that session will open.

Archives

next to the session. The Session Archives page will appear. access the archives for a session

User Roles

There are two roles available for users in Collaboration Sessions: Passive and Active.

Instructors control user access and functionality during a Collaboration session by assigning roles. These roles determine how much functionality a user has during a

Collaboration Session. For example, Instructors determine which users can chat, send private messages, or ask questions during a session by assigning specific Access

Rights to the different roles. The Student icon will appear in the Role column next to those Students who are Active.

Student roles can change throughout the Collaboration Session. Users who are

Passive, but would like Active rights, can “ raise their hand ” by clicking the hand icon,

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which is visible to Passive Students. The Instructor then clicks the hand icon next to a user name or clicks the Student icon to make the user Active.

Macintosh and the Collaboration Tool

Macintosh users running OS X and Netscape should run Netscape 7. When opening the

Collaboration Tool, Netscape may put the tool in the background. If this happens, check under the

Window

menu for the Collaboration Tool. Netscape 6.2 does not work well with the Collaboration Tool and should be replaced with Netscape 7. For those users that wish to use Safari, be aware that the Safari browser is not yet supported by Blackboard, however, the Collaboration Tool should function normally in

Safari so long as Pop-Up Window Blocking is disabled (that is, you allow pop-up windows to display). When Safari is supported by Blackboard, it will be listed in the

Client/Browser Configuration Guide available at http://behind.blackboard.com

.

Macintosh users running OS 8 or OS 9 must use the Accessible version of the

Collaboration Tool. See below for more information on running the Accessible

Collaboration Tool.

Accessible Collaboration Tool

An accessible version of the Collaboration Tool is available in the

Blackboard Learning

System

. Users running Macintosh Operating System 8 or 9 should also use this version.

On the launch page, which opens when

Join

is selected on the Collaboration Sessions page, a link to this version appears. This link will open the Accessible version /

Macintosh OS 8 and 9 version of the Collaboration Tool, which resembles the

Lightweight Chat. Links to items that appear in the Virtual Classroom, such as items in the Course Map and Group Browser, will appear in this version. Documents created on the Whiteboard may be viewed if the Instructor takes a snapshot of them, using the

Snapshot button on the Whiteboard action bar. A link will be created to the snapshot for users to view it.

When a user, using the Accessible Collaboration Tool, enters or exits the room the sound of a door opening or closing will be audible to all participants in the

Collaboration Session.

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Overview

User Manual

Virtual Classroom

The Virtual Classroom allows the Instructor and Students to participate in real time lessons and discussions. The main page of the Virtual Classroom includes all of the functions available to users. From this area users can access all of the tools associated with the Virtual Classroom, such as asking questions, drawing on the whiteboard, and participating in breakout sessions. The Instructor establishes which tools in the Virtual

Classroom users can access.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Virtual Classroom.

Step 1

Click

Communication

on the course menu of a course Web site.

Step 2

Select

Collaboration Tools

.

Step 3

Click

Join next

to a Virtual Classroom session. The Virtual Classroom will open.

Virtual Classroom areas

The table below details the areas of the Virtual Classroom.

Part

Menu Bar

Function

Allows the Instructor to administer the Virtual Classroom.

This includes managing participation, monitoring breakout sessions, and ending the session.

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Classroom Tool box

Includes all of the tools used during the Virtual Classroom session. This includes searching for Web sites, asking and answering questions, utilizing the Whiteboard, and accessing the Course Map.

Lightweight Chat The main section where interaction between the users takes place. Allows users to compose messages, raise their hands to ask questions, and activate private messages.

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Menu Bar

Overview

User Manual

The Menu Bar allows the user to manage their Virtual Classroom session. Only users with Active privileges will have access to the options on the Menu Bar. The functions available in the Menu Bar include:

View

- Choose an option for viewing Personal Messages in the Virtual

Classroom

Clear

- Clear the session display

Breakouts -

Create a breakout room for a group of users

View

View allows the Instructor and users to select options for how they would like to view private messages.

Clear

Breakouts

Select

Show in-line

to view private messages within the chat area. Select

Show in separate frame

to view private messages in a separate window.

Clear erases the users chat display. To clear the chat display click

Clear

on the Menu

Bar.

This tool allows select users to participate in a separate session, while also participating in the main session. Users who enter a Breakout session are still active in the main Virtual Classroom Session. If a Breakout session in closed users are still active in the main session. Breakout sessions default to the same settings as the main session.

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Select the checkboxes for the users who will participate in the Breakout session. Users may only join a Breakout session if they are selected by the creator of the Breakout session.

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Classroom Tool box

Overview

The Classroom Tool box enables the Instructor and users to use the different tools available within the Virtual Classroom. If granted access to these tools by the

Instructor, users can use the Whiteboard, access Web sites, and view the course map.

The Classroom Tool box appears on the left side of the Virtual Classroom. To begin using items in the Tool box click the name of the tool.

Tools

The following tools are available in the Classroom Tool box.

Tool

Whiteboard

Description

Enables users to present different types of information as they would on a blackboard in a classroom.

Enables users to collaboratively browse the Web.

Enables users to browse the Course Contents while they are in a Virtual Classroom.

Enables users to ask questions during the session.

Enables users to answer questions submitted by other users during a session.

Group Browser

Course Map

Ask Question

Question Inbox

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Whiteboard

Overview

The Virtual Classroom allows the Instructor and Students to participate in real time lessons and discussions. The Whiteboard enables users in a Virtual Classroom to present different types of information as they would on a blackboard in a classroom.

Using the tools in the Whiteboard Tools palette, users can draw images, type text, and present equations. The Instructor will determine whether or not this function is made available to users.

Note:

Only users who have privileges (assigned by the Instructor) can access the

Whiteboard. See the User Roles topic for more information on Collaboration Session roles.

Find this tool

Follow the steps below to locate the Whiteboard.

Step 1

Step 2

Open a Virtual Classroom session.

The Whiteboard frame appears as a black white space on the left side of the Virtual Classroom. Click

Whiteboard

in the Classroom Tool to view the tools available for the Whiteboard. Click the name of the tool to begin using it.

Functions

The table below details the tools available for use on the Whiteboard.

To . . . click . . .

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select an item

User Manual

draw free hand enter text using the keyboard draw a straight line highlight something with an arrow draw a square draw a circle input an equation the

Arrow

tool. Then click on an item for selection. The following may be performed on selected items:

 Enlarge: Click one of the small black boxes that surround the item and drag it to the desired size.

 Move: Click the item and move it to the desired location

 Cut: Click the Whiteboard Tools palette item, then click the

Cut

icon.

 Copy: Click the Whiteboard Tools palette item, then click the

Copy

icon.

 Paste: Click the Whiteboard Tools palette item, then click the

Paste

icon.

 Delete: Click the Whiteboard Tools palette item; click on the selected object; then click the

Delete

icon.

 Group items: Click the Whiteboard Tools palette items, then click the

Group

icon.

 Ungroup: Click a Whiteboard Tools palette item in a group, then click the

Ungroup

icon.

 Bring front: Click the Whiteboard Tools palette item; click on selected object; then click the

Bring to front

icon.

 Bring back: Click the Whiteboard Tools palette item; click on selected object; then click the

Send to back

icon.

 Select all figures on the Whiteboard: Click the

Selects all Figures

icon. the

Pen

drawing tool. Choose the color of the pen in the

Fill Color

drop-down list. the text tool (

T

) then the Whiteboard area. A

Whiteboard Text Input box appears. Type the text in the box and click

Insert

. Use the options in the Tools palette to select color, font, and size. the

Slanted Line

tool. the

Pointer

. the

Square

drawing tool. Choose the color of the square from the

Fill Color

drop-down list. the

Oval

drawing tool. Choose the color of the circle from the

Fill Color

drop-down list.

The Math and Science Equation Editor icon (

). The

Equation Editor will appear. Input the equation and click

Insert Equation

.

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Group Browser

Overview

The Virtual Classroom allows Instructors and Students to participate in real time lessons and discussions. The Group Browser enables users to collaboratively browse the Web. The Instructor and users use this tool to open a URL that is viewable by all users. URLs used in the session will be recorded in the archive if one is created. The

Instructor will determine whether or not this function is made available to users.

Note:

Only users who have an Active role can access the Group Browser. See the

User Roles topic for more information on roles.

Find this tool

Follow the steps below to locate the Group Browser.

Step 1

Step 2

Open a Virtual Classroom session.

Select the

Group Browser

in the Classroom Tool to begin using this tool.

Functions

The table below details the available functions in the Group Browser.

To . . .

open a Web site choose where to display the Web site

click . . .

type the URL in the

Enter Address

field.

Display To Class

to display the window in the Whiteboard area of the Virtual Classroom or click

Preview in New

Window

to open the Web site in a new browser window.

This window will only be displayed to the Instructor.

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Course Map

Overview

The Course Map enables users to browse the Course Contents while they are in a

Virtual Classroom. By default, the Instructor has access to operate the Course Map.

Users must have Active privileges to use the Course Map in a Virtual Classroom.

Note:

The Course Map in the Virtual Classroom appears similar to the Course Map for linking items within a course but they are functionally different.

Find this tool

Follow the steps below to locate the Course Map.

Step 1

Step 2

Open a Virtual Classroom session.

Select the

Course Map

in the Classroom Tool to begin using this tool.

Functions

The table below details the available functions in the Course Map.

To . . .

display an element on the map to all users display an element on the map in a separate window refresh the Course

Map during a

Collaboration

Session

click . . .

the content area in the Course Map and select

Display To

Class

in the drop-down list. the content area in the Course Map and select

Preview in

New Window

in the drop-down list. The new window is only visible to the User accessing it.

Refresh Tree

in the drop-down list. This will update the

Course Map to match the latest Course menu on the course

Web site.

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Ask Question

Overview

Users are able to ask questions during the session by using the Ask Question tool. As users submit questions during the session the Instructor can view and respond to them.

Note:

Only users who have an Active role can ask questions. See the

User Roles

topic for more information on roles.

Find this tool

Follow the steps below to access the Ask Question tool.

Step 1

Step 2

Open a Virtual Classroom session.

Select

Ask Question

in the Classroom Tool to begin using this tool.

Ask a Question

To ask a question, select

Compose

in the Ask Question area, enter the question in the text box and click

Send

.

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Question Inbox

Overview

Questions from users are sent to the Question Inbox during the Virtual Classroom session. The Question Inbox is used to manage and respond to questions during a

Collaboration Session.

Note:

Only users who have an Active role can access the Question Inbox. See the

User Roles topic for more information on roles.

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Question

Response

Private

User Manual

Question that was submitted.

Enter the response to the question.

Select this check box to make the response to the question private. If marked private, the response will only be sent to the person who submitted the message.

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Overview

User Manual

Lightweight Chat

The Lightweight Chat allows the users to interact with each other and the Instructor via a text-based chat region. This region is part of the Virtual Classroom, but can also be accessed separately without the rest of the tools that make up the Virtual

Classroom. When accessed separately, it is called the Lightweight Chat.

Note:

Some of the functionality in the chat is limited to those users with an Active role. See the User Roles topic for more information on roles.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open a Lightweight Chat:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Click

Communication

on the Course menu of a course Web site.

Select

Collaboration Tools

.

Click

Join

to next to a Lightweight Chat session.

Functions

The table below details the functions available in the Lightweight Chat.

To . . .

enter a message for the class to read become an Active user

then . . .

type the message in the

Compose

field. Click

Send

. The message will appear in the chat area. If the message is over

1000 characters, only the first 1000 characters will appear. click the hand symbol. A hand appears next to the user name. The Instructor clicks on the hand to make the user

Active. This means that the User may now post a message in the Chat.

Select a user ’ s name in the Participant list and then click

User Info

.

Select a user ’ s name in the Participant list and then click

Private Message

. The Compose Private Message window will appear. view user information send a private message to a user

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Private Messages

Overview

The Instructor of a Collaboration Session can send and receive private messages from the users during the Collaboration Session. Users can send private messages to each other if the Instructor enables this tool in the Session Controls. Private messages are not recorded or archived.

Note:

Only users who have an Active role can send Private Messages. See the User

Roles topic for more information on roles.

Find this pop-up window

Follow the steps below to access the Private Message pop-up window.

Step 1

Open a Virtual Classroom or Chat session.

Step 2

Select a user ’ s name and click

Private Message

.

Functions

To send a Private Message, enter the message in the text box and click

Send

.

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User Information

Overview

The User Information pop-up window displays personal information about the user such as name, email address, and any other information the user has chosen to add to their profile.

Find this pop-up window

Follow the steps below to access the User Information pop-up window.

Step 1

Step 2

Open a Virtual Classroom session.

Click

User Info

in the Chat area and the User Information pop-up window will appear.

Send a Private Message

Click

Private Message

to send a message to the user. The Compose Private Message pop-up window will appear.

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Session Archives

Overview

The Session Archives allows Instructors and Students to review the discussions and questions raised during a previous Collaboration Session. Session archives will not be available until the session leader has stopped recording the session.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to access the Session Archives page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Click

Communication

on the Course Menu of a course Web site.

Select

Collaboration Tools

.

Click

Archives

next to a Virtual Classroom session.

Functions

The table below details the available functions on this page.

To . . . click . . .

access an archived classroom the session name in the Archive Name column. search for an archive

The Archive page for that session will appear. the

Archive Name

or

Creation Date

option in return to the Collaboration

Session page the

Search by:

field. Enter the name of the archive or the date it was created in the field below and click

Search

.

Back to Collaboration Sessions

.

Example

The following is an example of an Archive.

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Blackboard Academic Suite

Overview

User Manual

Roster

Users can search the Roster and view lists of Students associated with a specific course.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Roster page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Open a course Web site.

Select

Communication

on the Course menu.

Click

Roster

from the Communication Center.

Search

The Roster contains a search function. Users can search using different variables. The table below details the search options that are available:

To . . .

search for a user using the user ’ s last name or User

Name search for a group of last names that start with a particular letter or a user

ID that starts with a particular number

then . . .

 Select the Search tab.

 Enter either a last name or a user name.

 Select either the

Last Name

or

User ID

option. All matching entries will be displayed.

 Select the A-Z, 0-9 tab.

 Click on the first letter of the last name or on the first number of the user ’ s ID. All matching entries will be displayed.

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Functions

search using a value found in the user ’ s name list all users

User Manual

 Select the Advanced tab.

 Enter a value in the

Containing:

field.

 The search will return all users with that value in their User Name.

 Click the check boxes and select values from the drop-down list to narrow the search.

 Select the tab.

 Click

List All

to list all the names enrolled.

All entries will be displayed.

Once a list has been generated, click the name of a Student in the list to view their homepage or select their email address to send them an email.

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Overview

User Manual

Groups

Instructors can create Groups in a course to enable Students to collaborate with each other. These groups usually consist of a smaller group of Students in a class, such as study groups or project groups. From a Group page, users may:

 send email to Group members

 exchange files

 enter discussion forums

 enter Collaboration Sessions

All of the functions available from Group pages, with the exception of the File

Exchange, act in the same way in the course Web site. Additional features of the

Collaboration Tools are also available when accessed through Groups.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Group page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Open a course Web site.

Click

Click

Communication

Group Pages

on the course menu. from the Communication Center.

Select the name of a Group in which you are a member.

Functions

The following functions are available from the Group page.

Note:

Instructors may limit which of these functions are available to Groups.

Function Description

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Group Discussion

Board

Group

Collaboration

File Exchange

Send Email

Group Members

Group members can enter discussions within various Group forums.

Group members can meet their classmates and Instructors for real-time discussion or class lessons.

Group members can exchange files.

Group members can send email to one or all of their group members.

The names of all members of the Group will appear along with their email address.

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File Exchange

Overview

Students are encouraged to communicate with fellow classmates and Instructors from the Communication Center, located in the course Web site. Instructors can create

Groups in a course to enable Students to collaborate with each other. The File

Exchange function allows users within a Group to easily exchange files with their fellow

Group members. The File Exchange page displays the current files available for use by the Group members and the option to add files.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the File Exchange page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Open a course Web site.

Click

Click

Click

Communication

Groups

on the course menu. from the Communication Center. Select a Group.

File Exchange

.

Function

Click

Add File

to upload files for Group members to view or modify. Users can easily upload portions of Group assignments for review and editing by other Group members.

Click

Remove

to remove a file. All users in the Group may remove files from the File

Exchange.

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Add File

Overview

User Manual

The File Exchange function allows users within a group to easily exchange files with their fellow Group members. The Add File page enables Group members to add a file to the Group ’ s File Exchange for others to view.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Add File page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Open a course Web site.

Click

Click

Click

Click

Communication

Groups

Add File

.

on the course menu. from the Communication Center. Select a Group.

File Exchange

.

Fields

The table below details fields on this page.

Field

File Information

Title:

File:

Description

Enter the title of the file.

Enter the location of the file or click

Browse

the file to upload from your computer.

and select

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Overview

User Manual

Group Collaboration Sessions

Collaboration Sessions allow Instructors and Students to participate in real time lessons and discussions. The Group Collaboration Sessions accessed from the Group page have all of the same functionality as those in the Communication Area. Users also have additional features available to them in a Group Collaboration Session. All

Group members are granted an Instructor role when they access Group Collaboration

Sessions. Therefore, all Group members can manage sessions and access all of the available tools.

Note

: The

Collaboration Tools section includes information on all of the features and

functionality available in Course Collaboration Sessions.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Group Collaboration Session page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Open a course Web site.

Click

Click

Click

Communication

Groups

on the course menu. from the Communication Center.

Collaboration

.

Functions

The following functions are available from the Collaboration Sessions page. Since all

Group members have an Instructor role in Group Collaboration Sessions, these functions are available to everyone in the Group.

To . . .

create a new

Collaboration

Session

click . . .

Create Collaboration Session

. The Create Collaboration

Session page will open.

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filter the sessions listed on the page search for a session enter a session access the archives for a session change the name, availability, or tools used during the session delete a session the arrow next to the drop-down list and select the type of session to display. Click

Filter

. The filters include:

Show All

– The default filter that displays all of the

Collaboration Sessions.

Open Rooms

– Displays all of the sessions that are currently being used.

Join

Rooms with Archives

– Displays completed sessions that have an archive.

Rooms Available in the Future

– Displays sessions that are scheduled to take place in the future. the

Session Name

,

Start Date

or

End Date

option and then enter a value in the field. Click

Search

.

next to the session. The Virtual Classroom or Chat for that session will open.

Archives

next to the session. The Session Archives page will appear.

Manage

next to the session. The Modify Collaboration

Session page will appear.

Remove

next to the session. This action is irreversible.

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Create/Modify Collaboration Session

Overview

New Group Collaboration Sessions using the Virtual Classroom or the Chat are created on the Create Collaboration Session page. Groups can schedule sessions for specific dates and times and choose how long the sessions will be. The Create Collaboration

Session page and Modify Collaboration Session page function in a similar manner. The difference being, the Create Collaboration Session page opens with empty fields while the Modify Collaboration Session page opens with populated fields.

Note

: This feature is only available to users in Group Collaboration Sessions. Only the

Instructor may create course-wide Collaboration Sessions.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Create Collaboration Session page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Click

Communication

on the Course menu.

Select

Groups

from the Communication Center.

Click

Collaboration

.

Click

Create Collaboration Session

or

Manage

.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Create Collaboration Session page.

Field Description

Name Your Session

Session Name:

Enter the name of the new session.

Schedule Availability

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Select Date(s) of

Availability:

A Start and End date and time for the Collaboration Session can be set but is not required. If these are not selected then the session is always open and available for users.

There is also the option to choose only a Start or an End date and time.

 Click the

Start After

check box to choose a date and time to begin the Collaboration. The date can be selected by choosing from the drop-down lists next to the date or by clicking the calendar icon and selecting the date. Select the time to begin the session from the drop-down lists.

 Click the

End After

check box to choose when the session will end. The date can be selected by choosing from the drop-down lists next to the date

Available:

Collaboration Tools

Choose a collaboration tool for this session:

or by clicking the calendar icon and selecting the date. Select the time to begin the session from the drop-down lists.

Select

Yes

to make the session available.

Select the tool that will be used during this session from the drop-down list. The two types of Collaboration tools are:

Virtual Classroom

- Allows users to enter a realtime discussion with group members, access the

Web, and engage in question and answer sessions.

Lightweight Chat

- The Chat is part of the Virtual

Classroom, but can also be accessed separately. It allows users to open just the chat function of the

Virtual Classroom.

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Group Menu

Overview

Group Collaboration Sessions have additional features available in the menu of the

Collaboration Tool. These features include a Record menu to create session archives and an End option to end a session. All group members have an Instructor role in a

Group Collaboration Session; therefore, they can all access these features.

Note

: These features are only available to Students during Group Collaboration

Sessions.

Record menu

The Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat sessions created in Groups can be recorded and archived. Archive recording can be started and stopped, as well as paused and un-paused by the users during the session. A session can have more then one archive. The table below details the buttons that appear on the Record menu.

Button Description

Click

Start

to begin recording a session. The user will be prompted to name the archive. A default name will prepopulate this box; the user can click

Submit

to keep the default name or makes changes then submit it.

Click

Pause

to pause a recording once it has started. Click this button again to

Un-pause

the recording and begin recording again. Pause and un-pause will be marked and timestamped in the archive.

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Controls

End

User Manual

Click

Stop

to end recording the session. When

Stop

is selected the archive is completed and a stop marker and time/date stamp will be included at the end of the archive.

Click

Bookmark

to insert a bookmark anywhere in the archive of the session. A name can be included for the bookmark.

The Group Collaboration Session includes a Controls option on the menu. All users in a group are given Instructor privileges, and therefore cannot change the Access rights of each other. All users have access to all of the tools in a Collaboration Session.

This tool ends the Virtual Classroom Session. Click

End

on the Menu Bar.

The End

Session pop-up window appears as shown below.

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Session Archives

Introduction

Group Collaboration Sessions have Archive features available to Group Members.

Session Archives allow users to review the discussions and questions raised during a

Collaboration Session. Sessions are archived by date and the option to remove an archive is available. All Group members have an Instructor role in Group Collaboration

Sessions; therefore, they can all access the Archive features.

Note

: The feature to manage Archives is only available to Students in Group

Collaboration Sessions. Only the Instructor can manage the archives of Course

Collaboration Sessions.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Session Archives page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Click

Communication

on the Course menu.

Select

Groups

from the Communication Center.

Click

Collaboration

.

Click

Archives

next to a Collaboration Session.

Functions

The table below describes the functions available on this page

To . . .

search for an

Archive in the

Collaboration

Session open an archive change the name or availability of the

by:

Archive Name

Manage

or

click . . .

Creation Date

option in the the archive in the Archive Name column.

Search

field. Enter the name of the archive or the date it was created in the field below, and click

Search

.

. The Archive Properties page will appear. an archive remove an archive

Remove

. This action is irreversible.

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Archive Properties

Introduction

The Archive Properties page allows Group members to change the name and availability of an Archive session. All Group members have an Instructor role in a

Group Collaboration Session; therefore, they can all access the Archive Properties features.

Note

: This feature is only available to Students in Group Collaboration Sessions. Only

Instructors can change the archive properties of an archived Course Collaboration

Session.

Find this page

Follow the steps below to open the Archive Properties page.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Click

Communication

on the Course menu.

Select

Groups

from the Communication Center.

Click

Collaboration

.

Click

Archives

next to a Collaboration Session.

Select

Manage

.

Functions

The table below describes the functions available on this page.

Field

Edit Archive Name

Description

Archive Name:

Enter or modify the name of the archive.

Availability to Students

Available:

Select

Yes

and users will be able to view this archive.

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