BY Art Schneiderheinze,
Center for Teaching and Learning
& School of EDUCATION FACULTY

Anyone can place content into a Blackboard course, but every instructor should ask themselves this important question: "Does the content I place into my course enhance teaching and learning?" 

Blackboard® is a course management system used campus-wide at Kendall College. The system allows faculty to post materials, hold online discussion, administer tests and surveys, record students' grades, and many other course-related functions. All currently-enrolled students and teaching faculty have access to the Blackboard system via the Kendall College Portal (http://my.kendall.edu). 

Technology, including Blackboard, has the potential to:

  • Provide extended access to materials (allowing students more opportunity to review and reflect)
  • Provide multiple material types for all learning styles
  • Encourage higher-level thinking (e.g., critical thinking, analyzing and synthesizing of information)
  • Enhance communication between instructor/students and student/students
  • Support group collaboration
  • Promote active learning
  • Provide prompt progress information. 


Using Blackboard for Effective Teaching and Learning

Chickering and Gamson (1987) identified seven principles of good teaching which can be applied in how you can use Blackboard to enhance teaching and learning. The principles are briefly described below, along with examples of how you can apply the principles in your use of Blackboard. 

Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty

Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Uses Active Learning Techniques

Gives Prompt Feedback

Emphasizes Time on Task

Communicates High Expectations

Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987, March). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3–7.

 

For Encouraging Contact Between Students and Faculty

Discussion Board forums can allow the instructor and students to communicate asynchronously with each other. Using a discussion board can allow students to share their comprehension of course material and connections they are making to their personal and/or professional lives. Since the communication is asynchronous, a discussion board can allow students to take more time reflect on the content, organize their thoughts, and respond intelligently.  

Creating a Discussion Board Forum in Blackboard

Blackboard’s Discussion Board was designed for asynchronous use, so the instructor and students do not have to be available at the same time to have a conversation. An advantage of the Discussion Board is that conversations are logged and organized. They are grouped into forums that contain threads and all related replies. 

1.  Click on the content area (e.g., Course Documents) on the course menu. If you are adding a Discussion Board forum link to a weekly folder, click on the folder.

2.  Click Add Interactive Tool, and then click Discussion Board.

3.  Enter a name for the forum. Entering a Description is optional but can help explain a forum's purpose. You can also include the discussion prompt (i.e., question), outline the expectations for students' participation, and state the points possible. 

4.  Select "Yes" to make the forum available to students.  

5.  Select date and time restrictions if you want to make the forum available to students only after a certain day and time. 

6.  Put a check mark in the box next to each option you want to include with the forum. 

  • Anonymous Posts. Posts can be submitted anonymously. If selected, the posts cannot be graded. 
  • Delete Own Posts. Authors are permitted to delete their own posts. This can be limited to deleting posts that have no replies so as not to break a thread, or can be unlimited so all posts can be deleted. 
  • Edit Own Published Posts. Authors are permitted to edit their own published posts. If these posts will be graded, consider locking the Forum so that posts cannot be changed after they are graded. 
  • Post Tagging. Tags are bits of meta data added to posts so that they can be grouped together during collection based on a word or phrase. Allowing tagging can slow down page loading for large active forum. For faster Discussion Board page loading, do not allow message tagging.  
  • Reply with Quote. Users can include the text of the original message in any replies to that message.  
  • File Attachments. Messages within the forum are allowed to contain file attachments.  
  • Create New Threads. Members are permitted to create new threads in the forum. This setting cannot be used when threads are graded.  
  • Subscribe. Allow students to subscribe to the entire forum or to a thread. When a new message or thread is posted, members who are subscribed receive an e-mail notice that new material is posted.  
  • Rate Posts. Posts can be rated using a five-star system to encourage quality posts.  
  • Force Moderation. Require that all messages are reviewed and approved or rejected by a moderator. Messages that are approved are posted and messages that are rejected are returned to the author.  

7.  Select "Grade Forum" if you want to assess the students' participation, and enter the points possible. 

8.  Click Submit.  

Posting Contact Information in Blackboard

You can use a Faculty profile to "introduce” yourself to the class, as well as provide some background information about you and your expectations for the course.   

1.  Click Faculty on the course menu.  

2.  You have the option of adding a folder or profile. It is recommended to Create a Folder if the course has multiple profiles, such as several instructors and TAs teaching the course. 

 To Add a profile, click Create Contact

3.  Enter a title (e.g., Dr., Chef, Mr./Mrs., etc.), first/last name, and e-mail address. Entering the following information is optional, but you are encouraged to provide as much information to enable students to contact you and get to know you, especially if the course is completely online: 

  • Work Phone 
  • Office Location 
  • Office Hours 
  • Notes (a short biography) 

4.  Attach an image (photograph). The photograph must be no larger than 150 × 150 pixels in dimension (approximately 2 × 2 inches at 72 dpi). 

5.  Click Submit.

 

For Developing Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases engagement in learning. Sharing one’s ideas and responding to others’ improves thinking and deepens understanding. 

Creating Group Spaces in Blackboard

Blackboard's Discussion Board tool enables the instructor and students to collaborate on constructing knowledge and understanding about course content. In addition, the Groups feature allows instructors to create groups of students. These course groups have their own area in the course to collaborate using a variety of tools (e.g., blogs, discussion board, file exchange, journals, and wikis).  

When you create a single group, you have the option of allowing students to self-enroll (i.e., adding their names to a sign-up sheet) or manually enrolling students into particular groups.  

1.  Click Create Single Group, and then click either Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll. 

2.  In section 1, "Group Information," enter a name for the group. Entering a Description is optional but can help explain a group's purpose.  

3.  Select "Yes" to make the group available. 

4.  In section 2, "Tool availability," put a checkmark in the box next to each tool you want to make available to members of the group. 

5.  Self-Enroll Groups. In section 4, "Sign-up Options," enter a name for the sign-up sheet. Enter instructions for how students are to sign-up. Enter the maximum number of students that can self-enroll in the group.  

Manual Groups. In section 4, "Membership," click each student you want to include in the group (hold the Control key to select more than one student at a time). Then, click the selection arrow to Add the columns to the box labeled "Selected items." 

6.  Click Submit

When you create a manual group, students who are enrolled will automatically see a My Groups module below the course menu. Students can click the chevron to expand the module and see the groups in which they are enrolled, and what tools are available for each group. What students see will depend on the options you set when you created the manual group.  

 

For Using Active Learning Techniques

Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers or reading a lecture available online, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves. 

Using Interactive Tools in Blackboard

In a successful online learning community, students have the right tools for engaging with content and with each other to complete rich and meaningful assignments. Blackboard offers four interactive tools: blogs, discussion boards, journals, and wikis.

The process for creating and using these interactive tools is similar, and all four tools encourage students to engage in asynchronous (i.e., everyone involved is not online at the same time) collaboration, knowledge construction, and self-reflection. However, each tool has a special purpose and unique applications to your course.

Blog. A shared online diary in which an individual or a group of students share a running log of personal insights (entries) and post comments to other students.

Discussion Board. A hierarchical forum on which students post threads with messages about a single topic and replies about other students' points of view on the topic.

Journal. A personal writing space for self-reflection and private communication (entries) with the instructor. Both the student and instructor can comment on the entries.

Wiki. A Web space on which students (with permission) create, modify, and organize any number of interlinked Web pages (content) in a collaborative manner.

 

For Giving Prompt Feedback

Knowing what you know and don’t know focuses your learning. In getting started, students need help in assessing their existing knowledge and competence. Then, students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive feedback on their performance, as well as opportunities to reflect on that feedback and guidance on how to apply that feedback in future learning. 

Setting Up the Grade Center in Blackboard

Grade Center is a central repository for assessment data, student information, and instructor notes. The Grade Center is made up of rows and columns of student information and gradable items. Cells in the grid contain data specific to corresponding students. All cells and column headings contain menus with additional actions. 

1.  To add a column, click Create Column.

2.  Enter the following information:

  • Column Name (required)
  • Description
  • Primary Display (Score, Letter, Text, Percentage, Complete/Incomplete, Kendall Grades)
  • Secondary Display (Note: This display is only visible to instructors.)
  • Category
  • Points Possible (required)

3.  Click Submit.

Note: Grade columns are automatically added for assignments, discussion boards, and tests. There are times when assignments are physical items turned in. In those cases, instructors will need to manually Add a column.

Providing Feedback to Students in Blackboard

When a student submits an assignment through Blackboard, it is stored in the Grade Center as an "attempt". You can record the number of points a student earns on an assignment, as well as provide timely, specific, student-centered feedback that is connected to course outcomes. You can provide feedback via a Quick Comment, in a rubric, and/or directly on the assignment document.

1.  In the Grade Center, click on the chevron to the right of the green exclamation point for the student whose attempt you want to view. You can click View Grade Details (and then click View Attempt) or click Attempt [Date and Score] from the drop-down menu.

2.  If you clicked View Grade Details, you will see the Grade Details screen. By clicking on Manual Override, you can enter a grade and provide feedback in the box labeled "Feedback to Learner".

If you clicked Attempt [Date and Score], you will see the Grade Assignment screen. You can annotate directly within the browser on files  uploaded and converted for display in the inline viewer. You can assign a grade, provide feedback, and make notes for yourself.


 

For Emphasizing Time on Task

Time plus energy equals learning. Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and professionals alike. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for instructors.

Organizing Content in Blackboard

There is no one way to organize online course materials and activities.The framework and approach used will vary depending upon the instructor's educational goals and instructional preferences of the instructor and (in some cases) the institution. A course might be organized in any of the following ways (or combination of the following ways):

  • By units or modules based upon subject-specific concepts
  • Chronologically by week (e.g., Week 1, Week 2, etc.)
  • By major concepts or topics in the course
  • By chapters in the textbook

You can create Content Folders (e.g., in Course Documents) using the selected organizing framework, and then upload content into the appropriate folder. Here is a list of principles of visual organization, design, and communication that all work together to help your students navigate your course, find the information they need, and make sense of the information and activities you make available online.

Chunking. Split content into smaller chunks, split explanations or instructions into bulleted or numbered lists, and establish a "visual grouping" of related documents.

Filtering. Provide visual and typographical cues like boldfacing, italics, and icons to draw student's attention to key points and help them distinguish between "need to know" and "nice to know" information.

Sequencing. Order the information into a logical and meaningful way to help guide students through course material and activities.

Consistency. Use consistent design and organizational rules in your course materials, including documents, so students do not have to "relearn" how to read each page or document. This includes using the same typefaces, font sizes, and colors throughout the course site.

Readability. Make course elements redundant to help minimize searching. If a document or file may be needed to be accessed by students from more than one location in the course, don’t hesitate to provide links to it from more than one place.

Redundancy. Make course elements redundant to help minimize searching. If a document or file may be needed to be accessed by students from more than one location in the course, don’t hesitate to provide links to it from more than one place.

Adapted from "Organize, Manage, and Present Content and Activities in Your Blackboard Vista Course" by Instructional and Informational Technology Training for Faculty & Staff, 2009, Connecticut Community Colleges, retrieved from http://www.commnet.edu/academics/blackboard/faculty/docs/Organize_Manage_Present_Content_in_BBVista.pdf

Adding a folder to a Content Area

1.  Click on the content area (e.g., Course Documents) on the course menu.

2.  Click Build Content, and then click Content Folder.

3.  Enter a name for the folder. Entering Text (or description) is optional but can help explain a folder's purpose. 

4.  Select date and time restrictions if you want to make a folder available to students only after a certain day and time. 

5.  Click Submit

 

For Communicating High Expectations

Expect more and you will get it. High expectations are important for everyone—for the poorly prepared, for those unwilling to exert themselves, and for the bright and well motivated. Expecting students to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posting an Announcement in Blackboard

You can post announcements in your course for many reasons, including

  • updates on course assignments, homework, and projects
  • reminders about deadlines for posting to the discussion board, submitting assignments, etc.
  • positive comments about things you observed on discussion boards and/or student work
  • relevant "current events" that help students connect course content to the real world

1.  Click Announcements on the course menu.

2.  Click Create Announcement.

3.  Enter a subject and message.

4.  Select date and time restrictions if you want to make an announcement available to students only after a certain day and time.

Uploading a Syllabus in Blackboard

You should receive a syllabus from your department for your course, or the syllabus may already be uploaded into your Blackboard course site. In either case, you should add your contact information to the front page of the syllabus before uploading into Blackboard.

1.  Click Syllabus on the course menu. If the course site already includes a syllabus, you can click the link to download the document and add your contact information.

2.  Click the chevron next to the item, and then click Edit.

3.  On the Edit Item screen and under "Attachments," click Browse My Computer to search for your file.

4.  Type a Link Title so the file name does not appear in your course.

5.  If there was already a syllabus in your course, click Mark for Removal next to the file you want to remove (and replace with the one you selected in step 3).

 

For Respecting Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

By providing multiple types of resources (i.e., text, images, graphics, external Web site links, audio, video, animation, discussion board), learning is enhanced for all types of students no matter if their preferred learning style is aural, kinesthetic, linguistic, multimodal, or visual.

Uploading Content in Blackboard

Instructors can add an item to a content area (e.g., Course Documents), and attach a file (e.g., assignment guidelines and rubric prepared in Microsoft Word) for students to download to their computers. You can also attach media, such as an image, or an audio or video clip. (Note: You can also upload these media types separately using the "Audio," "Image," and "Video" choices on the drop-down box under Build Content. Attaching the media to an item gives you the option to include a text description.

1.  Click on the content area (e.g., Course Documents) on the course menu.

2.  Click Build Content, and then click item (or media type, such as Audio, Image, or Video).

3.  Enter a name. Depending on whether you created an item or a media type, you will have a variety of options, including selecting a date and time restriction.

4.  Click Submit

Basic Expectations for Faculty

All faculty, whether teaching on-campus or online, receive a Blackboard site for each course they are teaching and are expected to

  • Post contact information (i.e., Kendall College e-mail address, phone number, short bio, and office hours)
  • Post a welcome announcement
  • Post a complete syllabus (approved by their departments)
  • Set up and maintain the Grade Center

Online faculty

Faculty teaching online courses are also expected to

  • Post an introduction on a discussion board that is generally ungraded, and does not count toward first week participation(e.g., Student Lounge)
  • Identify a clear location where students can ask questions throughout the term about the course and the instructor's expectations (e.g., Ask the Professor)
  • Be visible and active in the course site by accessing the course five times a week for 200 hundred minutes to let students know you are involved and attentive
  • Post an updated class announcement at least three (3) times weekly
  • Facilitate online discussions actively to promote critical thinking, community-building, and idea and experience sharing
  • Remain aware of all students’ activity levels and privately contact students through the classroom who are not participating actively
  • Grade assignments in a timely manner and provide feedback within 7 calendar days of assignment due dates

 

Tutorial Videos

Here is our collection of videos that walk you through some helpful tools on Blackboard.

In this video, you will learn how to date and time activate weekly folders so they become visible to students on certain days and at certain times throughout the term. This same process can be used to date and time activate any folder or items you add to Blackboard. (1:52)

In this video, you will learn how to include video in your Blackboard course, specifically recording your screen to use as video tutorials or demonstrations, using the Kaltura Media Mashup. (1:52)


In this video, you will learn how record multi-stream recordings of up to three video inputs synchronized with a PowerPoint presentation or screen capture. (1:18)

.

In this video, you will learn how to plan and conduct a synchronous meeting using Blackboard Collaborate. Blackboard Collaborate is a browser-based web conferencing solution that makes synchronous collaboration simple and crystal clear. (1:39)


 In this video, you will learn how to grade and annotate student assignment files in the Grade Center without having to leave the browser Web page. (1;27)

In this video, you will learn how to grade and annotate student assignment files in the Grade Center without having to leave the browser Web page. (1;27)

 In this video, you will learn how to create and use rubrics in Blackboard. After you create a rubric and associate it with an item, you can use it for grading. (1:44)

In this video, you will learn how to create and use rubrics in Blackboard. After you create a rubric and associate it with an item, you can use it for grading. (1:44)


In this video, you will learn how to create and use self and peer assessments to help students look at their work (or their classmates' work), and judge the degree by which it reflects explicitly stated criteria, assess the quality of the work, and revise it accordingly. (2:38)

In this video, you will learn how to create and modify assignments in your Blackboard course to check students' work for plagiarism using SafeAssign. You will also learn how to review students' Original Reports. (5:15)

Want more information about setting up and using SafeAssign? Go http://bit.ly/2jOeO2S for more information about adding SafeAssign to courses and interpreting Originality Reports.



Doodle is an online scheduling tool that can be used quickly and easily to find a date and time to meet with multiple people. 

BEST PRACTICE: If you want to schedule a synchronous meeting with a group of students, the instructor can create a polling calendar by scheduling an event and proposing days and times. The instructor can then put a check mark in the boxes under the days and times that work for them, and the instructor can pick the "ideal" day and time and/or assign students to different groups for separate meetings, based on their availability.

Additional Resources Related to Blackboard

Morrison, D. (2013, October 1). How to promote critical thinking with online discussion forums [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/how-to-promote-critical-thinking-with-online-discussion-forums

Blackboard Learn Videos
https://en-us.help.blackboard.com//Learn/Reference/Blackboard_Learn_Videos

Blackboard Learn, the course management system used by Kendall College faculty, staff, and students, continues to be an important platform for facilitating teaching at learning at Kendall College. Over the past several years, there have been significant upgrades implemented to the system which have added many new features as well as an improved overall user experience.

We currently use version 9.1.2017.Q2. We upgraded from version 9.1.2014.Q2 on Monday, October 16, 2017.  

In order to ensure that our inline grading tool (currently called "Crocodoc") continues to work, Laureate needs to apply an additional update and install a new inline grading tool called "Box View". During this time, Blackboard will be UNAVAILABLE.

Blackboard Outage to Complete Upgrade
-------------------------------------
START: Wednesday, December 27, 12:00 am CT
END: Wednesday, December 27, 12:00 pm CT
 

NEW FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS

After our upgrade to version 9.1.2017.Q2 on Monday, October 16, 2017, we have set the stage for many new features and enhancements, some of which are already available. Here is an on overview of those new features and enhancements:

 

Mobile-Responsive Theme

UPDATE:
[9/26/2017] The Laureate Bb team reported that they may wait until soon after the upgrade to apply the mobile-responsive theme. This means that the interface would look the same after the upgrade as it did before the upgrade. Once they know the upgrade was successful, they would finish testing and apply the mobile-responsive theme.

The new look of Blackboard is specifically designed to be mobile-friendly. It resizes based on screen size for use on smaller devices like smartphones, and the Submit button is always at the bottom of the screen instead of the bottom of the page (so there is less scrolling). The new design also includes new icons for most content and assessments, to match the new look. For a consistent student experience between Blackboard on a desktop/laptop and on a smartphone, however, course menu items can no longer be changed from text links to buttons. 

Currently, students are NOT able to use the Blackboard app (i.e., the app available on Google Play at http://bit.ly/1Rhvlf0 or iTunes at http://apple.co/2xuUaQ8) because currently students are required to access Blackboard by way of the Student Portal using portal credentials. By logging in to the Student Portal, they are automatically signed in to Blackboard, which means they do not have to remember portal credentials AND Blackboard credentials. If asked about Kendall College having a Blackboard app, please tell them that Laureate Blackboard is working on a "work around" that enables Kendall College students to use the app to access Blackboard by way of the Student Portal.

  Course Home Page  (desktop or laptop). The layout of the side menu and the main content areas (e.g., Announcements) is similar to the previous version of Blackboard when viewed on a desktop or laptop. For a consistent student experience between Blackboard on a desktop/laptop and on a smartphone, however, course menu items can no longer be changed from text links to buttons. The arrows also shows that the Cancel/Submit buttons always on the screen, which means there is no need to scroll to the bottom of the page when ready to submit.

Course Home Page (desktop or laptop). The layout of the side menu and the main content areas (e.g., Announcements) is similar to the previous version of Blackboard when viewed on a desktop or laptop. For a consistent student experience between Blackboard on a desktop/laptop and on a smartphone, however, course menu items can no longer be changed from text links to buttons. The arrows also shows that the Cancel/Submit buttons always on the screen, which means there is no need to scroll to the bottom of the page when ready to submit.

 
  Course Home Page  (smartphone). Notice that when the same page is viewed on a smartphone, the page automatically resizes to fit the size of the phone. The arrow points to a menu that you can expand or collapse ( see next screenshot ).

Course Home Page (smartphone). Notice that when the same page is viewed on a smartphone, the page automatically resizes to fit the size of the phone. The arrow points to a menu that you can expand or collapse (see next screenshot).

  Course Home Page  (smartphone). When you enter a course on a mobile device, the menu is collapsed. Click the arrow button to expand the menu again.

Course Home Page (smartphone). When you enter a course on a mobile device, the menu is collapsed. Click the arrow button to expand the menu again.

 

Assignment Submission Receipts

Faculty and students will be able to better track whether Assignments were submit successfully with submission receipts. When students submit Assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page will include a banner and confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submission and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students will receive a different number for each submission. For group attempts, each student will receive a separate confirmation number.

  For students.  When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page appears with information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission. If your institution has enabled email notifications for submission receipts, students will also receive an email with a confirmation number and other details for each submission.

For students. When students submit assignments successfully, the Review Submission History page appears with information about their submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions and evidence for academic disputes. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission. If your institution has enabled email notifications for submission receipts, students will also receive an email with a confirmation number and other details for each submission.

 
  For faculty.  Faculty can access all of their students' confirmation numbers from the Grade Center. Click "Reports", and then click "Submission Receipts".

For faculty. Faculty can access all of their students' confirmation numbers from the Grade Center. Click "Reports", and then click "Submission Receipts".

 

Assignment Reminders

Faculty will be able to easily send system-generated reminders for missing coursework in the Grade Center to students and members of groups who have not submitted work. Students will receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date (if included).

  For faculty:  In the Grade Center, faculty can choose "Send Reminder" from the drop-down box for a column to send an automated e-mail reminder to all students who have not submitted the assignment.

For faculty: In the Grade Center, faculty can choose "Send Reminder" from the drop-down box for a column to send an automated e-mail reminder to all students who have not submitted the assignment.

 

Box View Replaces Crocodoc (Inline Grading)

Box View will completely replace the Crocodoc feature in your courses starting on Friday, January 12, 2018, with the same general workflows and interface elements. You'll see some slight differences in the interface, primarily more streamlined buttons and options.

Box View supports over 100 file types, including text-based documents, presentations, images, audio and video files, flash/mobile video files, and 3D files. You can annotate on student's work with a highlighter and comments. (The drawing annotation in Crocodoc is not available in Box View.) Users can download and print a copy of the student’s file, but annotations will not appear.

  For faculty.  Faculty can preview student's assignments and highlight text and leave comments (or annotations) directly on the assignment.

For faculty. Faculty can preview student's assignments and highlight text and leave comments (or annotations) directly on the assignment.

What happens to the Crocodoc annotations?
All annotations created in Crocodoc will be converted to drawings and “burned” into a PDF. The PDF will be available to download in the new Box View. If desired, additional annotations can be made using the new annotation features of Box View.

 

ENHANCEMENTS

Drag and Drop

It is easier than ever to attach files in Blackboard. Faculty can now add files to Items and Assignments by dragging files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.

 Instead of only being able to attach files using the "Browse My Computer" button, faculty and students can drag files from their computer to the "hot spot" outlined with a dashed line (available on desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone).

Instead of only being able to attach files using the "Browse My Computer" button, faculty and students can drag files from their computer to the "hot spot" outlined with a dashed line (available on desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone).

 

Fewer Needs Grading Items

When you allow multiple attempts on an Assignment or Test, you may not need to grade all of them. With this update, the Needs Gradingpage will automatically be filtered to only display the attempts that need grading. When you set up the assessment, you can specify whether the grade is based on the first attempt or the last attempt, and now the Needs Grading page will only display one attempt per student based on that choice. You can still display all of the attempts, if you want to see the others.

  For faculty.  Attempts that you do not need to grade will also now display with a special icon to indicate they do not need to be graded, in the  Needs Grading  view and in the Inline Grading display.

For faculty. Attempts that you do not need to grade will also now display with a special icon to indicate they do not need to be graded, in the Needs Grading view and in the Inline Grading display.

 

Announcements

When creating an announcement, "Not Date Restricted" is now selected by default.

  For faculty:  When you create a new announcement, "Not Dated Restricted" is set as the default Web Announcement Option. Previously, "Date Restricted" was the default, and you were unable to submit the announcement withouth specifiying the display dates.

For faculty: When you create a new announcement, "Not Dated Restricted" is set as the default Web Announcement Option. Previously, "Date Restricted" was the default, and you were unable to submit the announcement withouth specifiying the display dates.

Discussion Board Thread Navigation

You can now navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page.

  For faculty and students:  Instead of having to navigate back to the main page of a Discussion Board forum, you can now move from one thread to another using the arrow buttons (outlined in read above). You will also see how many posts are included in a thread and how many of those posts are unread.

For faculty and students: Instead of having to navigate back to the main page of a Discussion Board forum, you can now move from one thread to another using the arrow buttons (outlined in read above). You will also see how many posts are included in a thread and how many of those posts are unread.


Known Issues

The following is a list of current known issues regarding Blackboard Learn (Release 9.1.2017.Q2) at Kendall College. The Center for Teaching and Learning and Information Technology (IT) is aware of these issues and is working with Laureate Blackboard to provide fixes in future service packs to the system. If you encounter any additional issues, please report them by contacting the IT Service Desk by e-mail at itsupport@kendall.edu.

 

Browsers Not Certified for Blackboard

The following browsers are NOT certified or recommended for use with Blackboard and should be avoided by faculty and students when accessing Blackboard (after the upgrade on October 16, 2017):

  • Chrome versions 35 and lower (version 34 and lower on mobile devices)
  • Firefox versions 30 and lower on desktop; all Firefox versions on mobile devices
  • Internet Explorer 10 or lower, which Microsoft no longer supports; Internet Explorer on mobile devices
  • Safari versions 5 and lower

A complete listing of supported browsers and operating systems is available here. Run the browser checker to see whether Blackboard Learn supports your browser. 

Last updated: 10/16/2017

 

Rubrics Tools Not Turned On

I have heard from several instructors that the Rubrics tool has not been availalbe since the upgrade on Monday, October 16. I submitted a ticket to our contact at Laureate asking them to "flip the switch" so we have access to the rubrics again. Once they do this, your access to rubrics will be restored, and all rubrics you already had in your course will still be there.

UPDATE [10/17/2017]: The ticket I submitted was escalated by Marcella Katoney to Blackboard L3.

UPDATE [10/18/2017]: The issue was resolved by Blackboard L3. Rubrics should be available again and function correctly in all courses.

 

Rows Not Displaying in Grade Center

Some faculty are noticing that they do not see all of their students in the Grade Center, and there is no vertical scroll bar. For example, in a class of 19 students, on faculty member only saw 12 students (rows). She could not scroll down since there was not a vertical scroll bar.

Option #1. To edit the number of rows displayed in Grade Center:

  1. In Grade Center, click Edit Rows Displayed on the bottom right of the window.
  2. Type in the rows you want displayed, and then click Go

NOTE: This view does not stick when you navigate away from the page or logout of Blackboard.

Option #2: If the vertical scrollbar disappears completely from the right side of the Grade Center in Firefox, and/or the up and down scroll arrows don't move the screen up or down a few rows at a time in Internet Explorer, change the scrollbar size in your Windows Display Properties settings:

For Windows 7:

  1. Logout of Blackboard and close the browser (Firefox or Internet Explorer).
  2. Click the Windows button, then click Control Panel.
  3. In the Control Panel window, click Appearance and Personalization.
  4. Click Personalization.
  5. Click Window Color.
  6. Click Advanced Appearance Settings.
  7. In the Item drop down menu, choose Scrollbar.
  8. Make sure sizeis set to 17 or less.

When you have completed the steps for your version of Windows, reopen the browser and log in to Blackboard again. The scrollbars and buttons should work properly in both Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Last updated: 10/16/2017

 

Access Denied Issue with Kaltura Media Player in Discussion Boards

 

Some faculty receive an Access Denied message when trying to view videos via the Kaltura Media player in student-created discussion board posts. Initially, we thought it was because the browser setting for cookies did not allow third-party cookies (as suggested by https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/510/46/kaltura---access-denied). However, we verified that third-party cookies were allowed in Google Chrome and Firefox, and the problem persisted.

With further investigation (i.e., looking at the HTML code behind the students' posts), it was noted that this error message accorded only with videos that were recorded using the Kaltura Media Mashup Webcam Recording tool and not videos uploaded to Kaltura and shared via the media player.

I submitted a ticket to L4 Blackboard.

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UPDATE [10/31/2017]: Jorge Messen in L4 Blackboard reviewed Kaltura Institution Role Mapping allocation and modified user settings. Problem has been resolved. If you continue to have the problem, be sure your PC is set to accept third-party cookies. To do this on a Windows computer, click Internet Options in the Control Panel, and then click the Privacy Tab. Click Advanced, and then select Accept under Third-party Cookies:

 

 

"Zeroes" in Grade Center Appear as a Negative Zero

 

When an instructor gives a student a 0 in the Grade Center it shows as -0.00 and viewing the grade details gives an error message.

UPDATE [11/15/2017]: I submitted a ticket (#1576241), and Jorge Messen in L4 Blackboard reported that this is a bug in our current version of Blackboard (Learn 9.1 Q2 2017 Release) that will be fixed in a future upgrade (Learn 9.1 Q2 2018 Release). It does not affect how the Total is calculated. 

 

Workshops and Webinars

The Center for Teaching and Learning will be providing faculty development opportunities introducing faculty to the new features and enhancements in Blackboard (9.1.2017.Q2). Each Webinar will last approximaltey 30 minutes and will be recorded. You will be able to access the recordings via a link on this page within 24 hours of the Webinar. All workshops—or "open labs"—will be in room 423 (computer classroom).


 
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Monday, October 16
8:00 pm CT
http://bit.ly/ctl-livedemos

Tuesday, October 17
12:00 pm CT
http://bit.ly/ctl-livedemos

Tuesday, October 17
8:00 pm CT
http://bit.ly/ctl-livedemos


 
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Tuesday, October 17
9:00 am CT
Room 423

**CANCELED**

 

 


Blackboard Courses: Ready for New Term

Students will receive access to their Blackboard on Wednesday, July 4. Please complete the following tasks in Blackboard before students receive access to their courses (see "Preparing Courses for the Start of a New Term" at http://bit.ly/1V70h2h for step-by-step instructions):

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Upload a complete and current syllabus with your contact information. If you are teaching a pre-developed course (i.e., there is content in your course already), download the syllabus included in this course site, edit the contact information, and re-upload the syllabus.

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Create a complete instructor profile, with your first/last name, e-mail address, short bio (with relevant personal and professional information), AND a photograph. Including a short bio and photograph is a great way to begin “humanizing” the classroom, that is, making it a more personal experience for you and your students.

Need some advice on taking a headshot for your profile using your phone? Check out this resource: “How to Take Your Own Professional Headshots at Home” at http://bit.ly/1VMzARx

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Review the Grade Center to be sure the columns already included match the assignments listed in the syllabus. It is critical to maintain your Grade Center throughout the term.

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Post an announcement welcoming students to the course. A welcoming announcement, particularly with a short video, begins to create “instructor presence”, which can help your students feel more comfortable and more personally connected to you. A welcome announcement can also communicate how your students should get started and how to navigate through the course, whether the course is on-ground or online.

How about creating a video for your welcome announcement? You can use the Kaltura Media Mashup, available in Blackboard wherever you see the Text Editor tool bar. [See video at http://bit.ly/2BG0JBf.] 

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If your course is pre-developed (meaning it already has content in Course Documents), change the Display After dates of the folders for weeks 2 to 10 in Course Documents so students only see the Week 1 folder at the start of the term. Set the Display After date of the folders for weeks 2 to 10 to the Sunday prior to the start of the week at 1:00 am CT.  [See video at http://bit.ly/2BIsxFd.]

The Sundays for the new term are July 15 (week 2), July 22, July 29, August 5, August 12, August 19, August 26, September 2, and September 9. 

Students should ONLY see the Week 1 folder when they gain access on Wednesday, July 4.

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If you are teaching an online course, you will likely see a Web link in Course Documents asking students to complete the End-of-Course evaluation. The purpose for includes this Web link is to remind students to complete the End-of-Course evaluation. They must click the “Mark Reviewed” button within the description of the Web link for the Week 10 folder to be visible.

Before students gain access to their course site, you must date and time activate the Web link, making it available to students at the start of Week 10. (For the new term, this is Sunday, September 9.)

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You are welcome to download a Term Calendar that specifies Day 1, Day 2, etc. for each week of the term. (Note: You and your students can also download the Term Calendar as a PDF file using the “Current Term Calendar” link on the Kendall News page in Blackboard.)

http://bit.ly/2xnnA1s (PDF version)
http://bit.ly/2nx5OVF (Word version)

Term Calendar

Faculty access to new Blackboard course sites:
Monday, June 19, by 8:00 pm CT

Student access to new Blackboard course sites:
Wednesday, July 4, by 8:00 pm CT

New On-Ground Student Orientation:
Thursday, July 5

New term begins:
Monday, July 9 (Day 1)

No classes/Campus closed:
Monday, September 3 (Labor Day Holiday)

Final classes/exams:
Tuesday, September 18, to Thursday, September 20

Final grades due:
Monday, September 24, by noon (via NLU Faculty Portal)