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Posts Tagged ‘Faculty Support’

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).