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Posts Tagged ‘Faculty Support’

Online Learning Workshops for Spring 2014

Learning Ventures is offering a series of faculty development workshops for faculty and teaching assistants who are new to teaching online, as well as those with previous online experience.

Training Location:
Main Campus Memorial Field House
Room 1060

Register Now:

Register for one or more sessions on the following topics:

  • Active Learning with Blackboard Web 2.0 Tools
  • Alignment 101
  • Applying the QM Rubric (a whole-day workshop)
  • Blogs and Journals for Reflective Learning
  • Customizing the Appearance of Your Course
  • Designing an Online Module
  • Designing Your Course Structure
  • Introduction to Blended Learning
  • Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning
  • Item Analysis
  • Managing the Online Workload
  • Online Delivery, Copyright, and You
  • Online Teaching Certificate (a 4-week online course)
  • Rubrics
  • Wikis for Collaborative Learning
  • Writing Measurable Objectives

If you have any questions, please contact Peter You, Director for Faculty Support and Special Projects, at (419) 530-4016.

Class sizes is limited. Register early.

NOTE: If you encounter problems with your registration, please email Lance.Stoll@utoledo.edu

Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS)

The Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS) is a free weekly webinar series designed to help support and mentor faculty using Blackboard Learn. Harnessing its community of Blackboard users, BITS will share the top strategies and pedagogy for both increasing educator efficiency and improving learning outcomes. The program consists of weekly faculty training webinars that are taught by faculty and supported by Blackboard experts.

To register for one or more of the following sessions, visit:


  • Accessibility Matters! – Part Two
  • A Systematic Approach to Creating Accessible Video Content for Online Courses
  • BITS Office Hours: Course Design
  • Blackboard in the Flipped Classroom
  • Incorporating Gamification Into Your Curriculum
  • Maximize Engagement & Extend the Learning Experience with Social Learning
  • Organizing Your Course in Blackboard Learn
  • Setting Up Your Course in Blackboard Learn Without a Template
  • Strategies for Providing Effective Feedback to Students
  • Supporting the Seven Principles with Blackboard Learn
  • The Online Collaborative Experience

Join the Blackboard Exemplary Course Cohort (7/22 – 8/12)

Using the Blackboard Exemplary Course (ECP) Rubric as a guide, Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Cohort will provide theoretical concepts and practical tools for instructors to recognize, organize, and build online courses for both blended and online learners. Over the course of four weeks, ECP Directors and 2013 Exemplary Course Winners will expand upon each element of the rubric. This program is most beneficial to educators and designers who are new to online learning.

The cohort will not have weekly assignments, and there is no cost to participate. Live sessions will be held each Monday at 11 AM EDT and will run from July 22 until August 12. All sessions will be recorded and posted online.

To register and learn more, visit: http://learn.blackboard.com/ecpcohort

Why is this random person listed as an instructor in my BB9.1 Course?

From time to time, instructors may notice that there is an additional person listed as an instructor in their course.  This occurs because Learning Ventures staff may need to enroll themselves into the course while responding to technical issues.  Once the UTLV staff member completes the task they are working on inside the course, the staff member will remove him/herself from the course.  If an instructor happens to notice that there is an individual listed in Blackboard as an instructor that is not an assigned instructor, the instructor can contact Learning Ventures about the issue, and UTLV will check to make sure that the proper individuals have access to the course and will verify the status of any tasks that are being completed in any course.  To limit confusion for students and instructors enrolled in a particular course, UTLV staff will remove themselves from the course after they have completed their tasks.

Student Observer Program

All faculty will soon receive a notice via email about the “Student Observer Program.” This program is designed to give faculty valuable feedback about the learning environment from a trained student observer. This year, we are expanding the program in some important ways. First, we are offering at the instructors’ request video observation in which the student and faculty member will be able to discuss classroom management and presence. And second, we are involving students in the observation of online instruction (exclusively online and web-assisted), with observations reflecting different approaches to pedagogy and engagement required online. More will arrive soon, but here is the text of the description of the program that will be in your mailbox accompanied by a form for requesting observation. Finally, if you know a student who would make an ideal candidate for participation in our program, please forward the students’ name and a brief recommendation to Jeff Jablonski (jeffrey.jablonski(at)utoledo.edu), the SOP Coordinator.

How the Student Observer Program Works

  • Instructors elect to participate by filling out a request form and returning it to Christine Keller, “Learning Ventures,” MS #129, FH 3005C.
  • All faculty (tenure-track, part-time, visiting faculty, lecturers) are eligible to participate in the Student Observer Program. Observers can work with any undergraduate course regardless of the mode of delivery (face-to-face, blended, exclusively online). For part-time faculty, the request for observation must be submitted and approved by the chair of the department.
  • A student observer is assigned according to the class schedule and the observer’s availability.
  • The student observer is given the name, campus office, campus telephone number, and e-mail address of the instructor and arranges for an initial visit. The instructor is also given the name, telephone number, and e-mail address of the student observer.
  • The instructor and student observer meet to get acquainted and clarify expectations. The instructor should provide a course syllabus and any login information for online resources. The observer should be enrolled in all course-related web services.
  • The student observer visits the instructor’s class, gathers the requested information and prepares feedback for the instructor. A minimum of 3 classroom visits is recommended (or three hours of online contact). All information gathered by the student observer is confidential. No information is provided to anyone else unless the instructor specifically authorizes it. (Please note, however, that all reports are reviewed by the Student Observer Program Coordinator to ensure quality control.)
  • The student observer meets with the instructor and discusses the observation. He/she also prepares a report of typically 2-3 pages for the professor. This report may be included in a dossier, but it is not required to be shared.

Blackboard 9.1 Tips: Resetting a Student’s Test

When a student encounters an error message early in a test, all hope is not lost.  With a few clicks of your mouse, you can clear the student’s attempt so that the student can retake the test from the very beginning:

  1. Find the Grade Center on your Control Panel and click the Smart View for Tests.

    Smart View for Tests located under the Grade Center

    Smart View for Tests located under the Grade Center

  2. An “In Progress” icon will appear in the test cell to the right of the student’s name.  Use your mouse to hover over the cell.

    An "In Progress" icon in a Grade Center cell

    An "In Progress" icon

  3. A chevron context menu will appear in the right side of the cell.  Click the chevron and select the Attempt Date to view the attempt details.

    An "In Progress" Attempt

    Select the "Attempt Date" to view the student's attempt

  4. Click the Test Information link near the top of the screen.

    The "Test Information" link

    The "Test Information" link

  5. Click the Clear Attempt button.

    The "Clear Attempt" button

    The "Clear Attempt" button

  6. A confirmation window will pop open.  Click OK.

    The confirmation window.  Click "OK" to clear the student's attempt.

    The confirmation window. Click "OK" to clear the student's attempt.

Please note: once a student’s attempt has been cleared, all data affiliated with that attempt will be permanently deleted.

If you would like to walk through this or other options with someone in LV, or if you would like to share a screen with your student to confirm the error, log in to Wimba Pronto (using “Add A Tool,” choose Wimba Pronto, download the software, set up an account) and invite the student or LV staff to a chat session. Screen sharing will only work if you are not using “Lockdown Browser.”

Blackboard 9.1 Tips: Assignment Drop Box and Grading Multiple Attempts

Here are some more questions and tips that faculty have shared with us, with answers and suggestions. The first is from the College of Education:

  • Question: “We would like to have an ASSIGNMENT DROP BOX link that takes the students directly to the DROP Box (to see all the assignments that are due) on the left-hand menu box. I tried to do it, but the links did not work.”
  • Answer: If the assignments have been created within a learning module or a unit, use course link. Here is how:

    1. Create a Content Area link on Course Menu and name it Assignments.
    2. Click the Assignments link on Course Menu
    3. Click Build Content Drop-down Contextual Menu list and select Course Link
    4. Click Browse and select the assignment
    that you have been created in a module or a Unit
    5. The name of the assignment and Location
    will appear respectively in the slot Name & Location
    6. Click Submit

And the next concerns the Gradebook function. We’ve noticed that the WebCT gradebook was much more capable than the Blackboard 9.1 gradebook. It is odd that a company would strip functionality from an old version in updating to a new one, but that seems to be what they have done. Many functions are still there but need to be accessed differently. This comment is from the College of Arts and Sciences and it concerns the grading of multiple attempts at a quiz (do you want to take the highest score, the last score, or an average of the attempts?):

  • If you are grading multiple attempts, the graded item must have been set to allow multiple attempts when it was created. If the option for multiple attempts was selected, the option for grading will appear on the Grade Details page. Grades for all attempts are tracked in the Grade History.
  • The faculty member continues: “…of course there is no link to tell you what/where the “grade details page” is- maybe another week of searching will find it.” And finally, a puzzle: “I am still trying to find out how i check on an individual student’s multiple choice answers… any ideas?”

Blackboard 9.1 Update: Solution to “File not found” or “You do not have permission…”

If imported content from WebCT appears for instructors but not students and students get messages like “File Not Found” or “You Do Not Have Permission To Access This File” etc, then we suggest you take the following steps, and that you suggest two additional steps to your students:

  • In the “Control Panel” at the bottom left of the left-pane menu, click on Files.
  • Click on the course number (i.e. the “Alphanumeric.” For example, MLS 4600_5600 (since the course is cross-listed as a 4k and 5k course).
  • Then, in the window labeled “Course Content:…”, click on the the Contextual Menu to the right of the WebCT imported content folder (it will say “imported content”) and select Permissions. (The “contextual menu” looks like a chevron or a double-arrow pointing downward).
  • Click the Add Course User List button near the top of the screen. The button has white writing with a blue background.
  • Click the check box to the left of All Course Users and click the Submit button to secure your changes.

Presto, bingo…all course users (including students) should now be able to see content imported from WebCT. If you’d like to see this actually done with a little narration from me (BP) and our senior designer, Dr. Peter You, follow this link to a screen capture: http://screencast.com/t/MTM1Mzky

If students still have problems and cannot see course content, ask them to “clear the cache” in their web browsers. Once they do, the page will load appropriately.

Blackboard 9.1 Transition Update: Access!!!

In order to avoid frustration and to accommodate the transition to our new system, Learning Ventures decided to give faculty a choice between the old and the new. Therefore, if you are teaching a web-assisted or fully online course this fall, you will have access to a course site in both Blackboard CE 4.1 (aka WebCT 4.1)and Blackboard 9.1. Here’s how to move ahead if you’d like to teach with the new system:

If you are a faculty member and you would like to use Bb 9.1 for fall, please do the following:

1. Contact Lance Stoll (lansing.stoll@utoledo.edu ) and ask him to code your course as Bb 9.1 so that your students can log into your course via the myUT portal.

2. If you would like to use a WebCT backup from a previous term, contact UTLV@utoledo.edu or if you already work with an instructional designer, contact that designer directly. In your message, indicate the course number, section number, and semester of the backup you would like to use. You may also build your course from scratch.

3. Before Friday, August 20, email your students via the myUT portal and tell them that you will be using Bb 9.1 for fall (see the attached file).

4. To learn more about Bb 9.1 features and tools, attend our workshops or review our online guides. All training sessions and workshops will be “BB9.1” oriented, though we will continue to offer online resources and staff assistance in WebCT.

5. If you have any questions, contact UTLV@utoledo.edu, call LV Support (530-8835), or drop us a message through the chat window on our main page (utoledo.edu/dl). ;

Once you’ve taken the plunge into BB9.1 (and there are many advantages to doing this), UTLV will do the following:

· Post a message in the course site that you will not be using (either Bb 9.1 or WebCT). This message will direct students to the correct login screen.
· Load students into the Guide to UT Online Learning approximately two weeks before the start of the term.
· Load students into both WebCT and Blackboard sites on Friday, August 20.
· Provide Bb 9.1 workshops for students in FH 2010.

Please contact LV if you have any questions, and check back often for updates and suggestions. This site is searchable, so if you click on the appropriate “tag” or use the search window and type in “blackboard” or “9.1,” you’ll get a full list of all our postings on that topic.

New Faculty Support Structure

The Instructional Designer’s role in the development of online and hybrid courses is crucial and will be even more important as we transition to more “hybrid” approaches. The Instructional Designer is an expert in the learning process. The ID brings together research, theory, and practice about the processes of teaching and learning in order to support the development of an instructional environment that effectively and efficiently supports the achievement of learning objectives.

In Learning Ventures, we have a staff of 7 very talented designers. Beginning in April, we are making some changes in the way their services are organized. Because they are so important to so many faculty, we want to make sure that these changes are understood and that we share an understanding about how to get help and how to create the best possible learning experience for our students. Because IDs spend so much time answering basic questions about computer use and solving minor or easily resolved issues for hundreds of faculty teaching thousands of courses, they do not have the time they would like to spend on course and program development in a sustained and creative way. Therefore…

Here is our new support structure: To get help or advice, contact our office via our chat window on our main page (utoledo.edu/dl), by email (utlv@utoledo.edu), telephone (419-530-8835), or by stopping by the 3rd floor of the Field House (use the elevator in the center of the building).

First Line: Student Helpers. Student helpers will be hired and trained to help with basic technical issues and problems. Through phone, chat, screen-sharing, and house calls, they will be able to solve many problems we encounter.

Second Line: A staff instructional designer who will be available to help faculty and students with technical questions and problems. The designer will empower faculty and students by showing them how to solve technical problems in their courses. The designer will be able to access courses and student information, and is appropriate in situations in which this kind of access is necessary.

Third Line: If neither the designated designer nor the student helper can resolve your issue, or if the problem or concern involves basic course design, you will work with a team of instructional designers or with the designer with whom you initially built the course to resolve the issue.

Our intention is to provide the best possible service to all faculty teaching with technology in online, face-to-face, and hybridized courses. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns (utlv@utoledo.edu).