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Effective strategies to prevent cheating in distance learning courses

Here’s a friendly reminder to register for the upcoming Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS) Lunch ‘N Learn webinar entitled:

Effective strategies to prevent cheating in distance learning courses

February 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm EST

Presented by Schoolcraft College (MI) Instructional Designers:

No one really knows when the first teacher gave the first group of students the first assessment, but we can guarantee you this – somebody cheated on it. That’s how old this problem is. And as teaching, students, classrooms, and technology have evolved, cheating has remained a prevalent problem.

Today, there’s a concern that cheating is more common in distance learning courses, when in fact there are several studies indicating the percentage of students who cheat online is about the same as it is face-to-face – although the ways in which students cheat do vary. Because of that, there are a lot of tools available for us to catch students cheating in distance learning courses, but this session will focus on three ways that we can prevent it from happening in the first place.

This is a must-attend webinar for higher education professionals, including:

  • Professor, Instructor, Lecturer
  • Instructional Designers
  • Academic Technologist


5 tools that make online teaching and learning fun and worry-free

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Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS) webinar

When: November 2, 2016 @ 2:00 PM EDT

Presented by:

Naveen Ramnanan, Customer Success Advocate
Blackboard, North America Higher Education

Reserve your seat today

Do you want to deliver online courses that make students forget they aren’t in a physical classroom? Join us to learn about some easy-to-use tools that can help you do just that.

The top takeaways from the session include:

  1. Multiple ways to share content
  2. Diverse tools for promoting active learning and student engagement
  3. Online classroom roadmap development

This is a must-attend webinar for higher education professionals, including:

  • Faculty
  • Instructional Designers
  • Academic technology professionals

Hope to see you there!

BB PD Register Button


BbWorld16Live Live Streaming July 12th-14th


Live Streaming Online: July 12th – 14th

BbWorld Live is comprised of single-day tracks focused on teaching, learning, and the school-to-home connection with sessions offered for K-12, Higher Education, or Corporate & Government Training.


The Higher Education sessions on July 14th will include:

11:30AM ET

Rocket session: great teaching in a world of connected students
Multiple presenters

Love a TED talk? Who doesn’t! We took that format and supercharged it. Introducing rocket sessions: 7-minute sessions that pack a punch. Not sure what to expect? You won’t be disappointed in these seven rocket sessions. Topics include:

  • Engaging your students via text message
  • Integrating video into your courses
  • Social presence in online learning


12:35PM ET
Superheros collaborate! Teaching virtual teamwork
Graceful Beam and Sharon Wilson
Georgia Northwestern Technical College

A once-feared online capstone class has been transformed into an epic adventure for students at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Buckle up for an exciting ride with Graceful Beam and Sharon Wilson as they highlight how they used online collaboration tools to revamp a course that was once dreaded by all, and is now a student favorite.


1:30PM ET
Dr. Howard Gardner
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Dr. Gardner is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences. However, he’s a man with many hats. He’s authored over 30 books and received honorary degrees from over 30 institutions in recognition of his work’s impact on education. He’s been named one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. Join us for this rare, online keynote address just for faculty.

*Note: Can’t make all of the other sessions? Simply register for the KEYNOTE session only!


2:30PM ET
A week-long faculty institute drives big results
Michelle Dames
Austin Community College

Austin Community College developed a week-long faculty institute centered around instructional design. The program mirrored the focus of the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric’s four key elements: course design, interaction & collaboration, assessment, and learner support. Tune in as Michelle Dames outlines the design of the institute, shares resources, lessons learned, and results of a self-efficacy survey.


3:00PM ET
The top 10 things you didn’t know you could do in Blackboard Learn
Tammy Jolley

Your job is to deliver great teaching for your students. Our job is to make sure that you have access to the best tools for your classroom. In this session (included by popular demand) Tammy uses her 19 years of experience in education to highlight the most exciting capabilities of Blackboard Learn, our flagship LMS, that you can start using today.


3:30PM ET
Building (attr) active courses: A session on instructional design
Tim Boon
University of Leuven

Engaging students in online courses can be quite challenging. Good-looking and well-structured courses help students stay motivated. By embedding web 2.0 tools (Google Drive, Prezi, Padlet, …) and using just a tiny bit of coding you can make your Blackboard courses stunning and a lot more interactive. Tim Boon will show you how.


4:00PM ET
A response to the challenge of digital accessibility
Harriette Spiegel
University of Tennesse, Martin

What does it mean to create “accessible course documents”? At colleges and universities, we’re all seeing a strong emphasis on ADA compliance, which has taken on new meaning as online courses and digital content become the norm. In this interactive session, accessibility expert Harriette Spiegel will walk through the step-by-step protocol for creating accessible content and discuss recent trends in accessibility.


4:30PM ET
Featured speaker: making sense of the new world of digital credentialing
Carla Casilli
Badging + Credentials expert

More than five years have passed since the inception of the open badges experiment, and in that time the concept of digital badges has moved steadily into the general consciousness. As this idea evolves, so do its many opportunities and challenges. Part technology and part conceptual approach, the digitization of representations of learning now includes wide-ranging considerations such as competency-based education and e-portfolios, as well as professional development. This presentation will explore the evolving dimensions of this work.


Join online for FREE!

Register by Midnight on July 1 for a chance to win an iPad.


What’s New for Summer 2016

In Summer 2016, you will see some exciting new changes with our supported technology. Please read the headings below for what’s new:

Collaborate Ultra is here!
Collaborate Ultra Web Conferencing is a whole new experience. Most importantly, the new version no longer requires a separate “launcher” plugin to be installed. Entry into the “classroom” is much easier than ever before. While the new version doesn’t yet have some of the features of the classic version, it will meet the needs of many instructors and students and is a much more seamless experience than classic Collaborate. You can add Blackboard Collaborate Ultra using the instructions found here. More information about Blackboard Collaborate can be found here.

Collaborate “Classic” will be unavailable by default.
For those instructors who require some of the advanced features available only in the classic version of Collaborate, you will need to take a few extra steps to enable it in your courses. Please refer to the Enabling Collaborate Classic in Your Blackboard Course guide to learn what these steps are.

The classic chat and virtual classroom tools will be disabled.
Due to the removal of Java support in many browsers and the announcement that Java will be discontinued, we will be removing the Chat and Virtual Classroom tools from Blackboard. We highly recommend using the new Collaborate Ultra in place of these tools.

Batch add/remove Grade Center columns
The Batch Create/Delete Grade Columns tool allows instructors to add/remove manually-created columns at once. Please see the Creating Multiple Grade Columns and Deleting Multiple Grade Columns guides for more information. Information on making these tools available in your course can be found in the Enabling Third Party Building Blocks guide.

The New Echo360 Platform (previously Echo360 Lecture Capture and LectureTools)
Echo360 has migrated to a new platform that allows for seamless integration of classroom captures, personal video captures, and student engagement tools that allow for polling, note-taking, and other interactive experiences. Additionally, detailed analytics are available to track student participation in student activities and videos.

Single Sign On
Move between Blackboard and other UT applications that support single sign on! Coming this summer, users will be able to authenticate on one site and move seamlessly among Blackboard, e-mail, myUT, and other UT applications.

Bb Student
Bb Student is a free mobile app for students to access course content.For courses that make use of Blackboard, the app will provide mobile access to much of the content and many of the tools that you need. While using the app is a great way for you to stay involved in your courses, please remember that it is not a replacement for using a desktop or laptop. The app is still an evolving product and it is possible you may miss something important if you use only the Bb Student app to access Blackboard. You should always use a desktop or laptop directly connected to the internet to take graded quizzes, tests, and other high-stakes assessments. More information about the Bb Student app can be found on Blackboard’s Bb Student page. The app can be downloaded from your mobile device’s app store.

Bb Grader
Bb Grader is a free mobile app for faculty to use when grading student submissions and monitoring student progress. More information can be found on Blackboard’s Bb Grader page. The app can be downloaded from your mobile device’s app store. While using the app is a great way for you to access student submissions remotely, please remember that it is not a replacement for using a desktop or laptop. The app is still an evolving product and it is possible you may not be able to access all assignments or files submitted by students.

Refreshed Support Tabs
Be on the lookout for a fresh look and new content being added to the Faculty Resources and Faculty Support tabs at the top of your Blackboard window!

Have questions? Need help? Free one-on-one technology trainings and consultations are available to all UT faculty. Contact UTLV@utoledo.edu to schedule an appointment.

Protect the Integrity of Exams with Respondus

Respondus, Inc. is offering a series of free webinars on Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor.  Respondus LockDown Browser® is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. Respondus Monitor® is a companion product for LockDown Browser that enables institutions to protect the integrity of non-proctored, online exams. Now is the perfect time to attend a session and prepare for the spring and summer terms.

To register, visit www.respondus.com/webinars. Each 45-minute webinar provides a live demo, as well tips that will help faculty to get started with these applications right away:

Introduction to LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor
This introductory webinar provides an overview of two applications: Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser. It is intended for anyone interested in learning how to protect the integrity of online exams, in both proctored and non-proctored settings. The session is 45 minutes, plus a Q&A period at the end.

  • Tuesday, November 10 at 4 pm EST

Instructor Training for LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor: Prevent Cheating During Online Exams
This comprehensive training webinar is intended for instructors who plan to use LockDown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor with online exams. The session is 45 minutes, plus a Q&A period at the end.

  • Tuesday, November 17th at 1 pm EST
  • Tuesday, December 8th at 3 PM EST

To schedule a one-to-one consultation, please contact email utlv@utoledo.edu or call 419-530-8835.

September is Accessibility Month at WCET

The month of September is Accessibility Month at WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies). To recognize the importance of accessibility, WCET is offering several blogs and free webcasts on accessibility issues and Best Practices:

Free 60 Minute Webcasts:

WCET’s Frontier’s Blog will also feature several blogs on accessibility:

  • Jarret Cummings, Director of Policy and External Relations, EDUCAUSE, will write a post about the new accessibility legislation that he is working on with the National Federation for the Blind.
  • Howard Kramer, Professional Research Assistant, University of Colorado Boulder, will blog about the why’s of accessibility.

To learn more, visit WCET’s website.

Respondus Monitor: Instructor Training & Case Study

Wed, Oct 23, 2013 2:00 PM EDT (45 minutes)

Registration: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/484328720

This training will cover:

  • How to prepare your courses and your students for using Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser
  • How to enable Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser for tests
  • How to review the assessment data collected, including student videos
  • Best practices and tips for success

A recorded session about how leading strategies and technologies are being implemented at Jacksonville State University in Alabama is also available via this link http://sloanconsortium.org/node/412616

Copying and Pasting Text in Blackboard

Instructors and students are receiving the following message when attempting to copy or paste text within the Blackboard text editor:  “Your web browser currently does nto support this behavior. Use the following keyboard shortcuts instead. Cut: Control + X (Command + X) Copy: Control + C (Command + C) Paste: Control + V (Command + V).  This message appears if users copy and paste text into the text editor by using the buttons in the text editor toolbar or by using the right click menu to copy and paste text.  A workaround for this issue would be to use the keyboard shortcuts that are described in the error message above. (Mac users can use the commands within the parentheses).

If any user has any questions about this, please contact us at 419-530-8835 or at utlv@utoledo.edu

Respondus License Update

Our licenses for Respondus and Studymate are purchased on a yearly basis.  Our previous license expired on July 31, 2012.  When users sign into Respondus, they will receive a message informing that their Respondus license has expired.  To continue using Respondus, users will need to update their license code.  The license code can be accessed by logging into Blackboard, and clicking on Faculty Resource Center in the course list. Once in the Faculty Resource Center, click on Software in the left course menu, and click on the folder labeled Respondus.  The new license code is contained in the document labeled Respondus 4 2012 – 2013 License Documentation.  Copy and paste the license key into the provided space on the license dialog box when you first open Respondus.

Our current license is paid through July 31, 2013. Please do not distribute this license key.

Please contact us at utlv@utoledo.edu if you need any assistance with accessing the documentation for Respondus, installing Respondus on your computer, or using Respondus to generate tests or surveys.


Tech Blast: The Flipped Classroom

A lot of students go to class to hear a lecture about the topic for that day. But what do you think would happen if the students had to watch a lecture online before going to class, and then they spent class time on learning activities?

Please check out this video or continue reading for more information on flipped classrooms.


In traditional classes, students sit and listen to their instructors lecture about the topic of the day for nearly the entire class period. After the class period ends, students are then expected to work individually on homework assignments outside the class period. However, more often than not, students only retain a minimal amount of the lecture material, with students then having to “teach themselves” through their assigned homework. In traditional classrooms, technology is often seen as a distraction, with students on their phones texting and checking Facebook or playing games on their laptops, as students find other activities more appealing than listening to a lecture for over an hour.

Enter the flipped classroom, where technology is seen as a resource rather than as a distraction. Instead of spending hours completing homework assignments without any assistance or direction, students can read or watch online lectures at their own pace. Students can skip through what they already know, or revisit what they did not understand the first time. Students can formulate their own questions and take them to the classroom, which is now a collaborative learning environment.

In the classroom, students can apply what they learned from viewing online lectures, and can collaborate with other students on learning activities. With classroom time freed up, instructors can then use classroom time to assist students with questions and work individually with students at risk of falling behind. Course progress is then measured by active participation rather than static attendance. Students who miss a class period do not miss out on class lectures.

Please also visit the following links for more information on the flipped classroom.

Please share your experiences with flipped classrooms. Do you feel it is an effective teaching model or is just a passing fad? How would incorporating elements of the flipped classroom improve your teaching methods or encourage student learning? Please add your comments below or contact utlv@utoledo.edu if you are interested in using aspects of the flipped classroom in your classroom.