Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Creating Groups & Allow Only One Group Member to Submit the Final Product

Creating groups in Blackboard is a great feature but is one of those tools that isn't as obvious in terms of setting it up as most things.

Many courses like to incorporate group projects.  As a group, they create one paper or PowerPoint etc.  Usually you only need one person from that group to submit and then the entire group gets the same grade.

This is a two step process in Blackboard and MUST be set up manually by the instructor every time you get a new course. This also MUST be done prior to your groups beginning work since this is a feature that can't be changed once work has begun.

To see this process step by step check out this week's video tutorial.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Backing Up Files

With the spring semester winding down it is important to remind your students (and yourself) to back up any Blackboard files that may be lingering out there.  Very soon after a course ends students and instructors will lose access.

As An Instructor:
  • It may be wise to get a copy of your grade book downloaded into your own personal files in case there is anyone that challenges a grade down the road.  A post made a few weeks ago will show you how to do that.

  • It would also be very nice of you, as an instructor, to add an announcement to your course reminding students to download final copies of any papers, etc (if they don't already have them) that they may need in the future, especially for portfolio use.

As A Student:
  • It would be very wise to download any papers you do not have final copies of and keep them in a safe place.  Many capstone courses or job interviews will require some sort of portfolio or work samples.

  • Courses will soon become unavailable to students after the term ends.

  • GRADUATES: Your account will be deleted THREE WEEKS after you graduate and you will no longer be able to log in.

  • As a student you can get your paper samples by going to "TOOLS" then "MY GRADES"

For saving any files "in the cloud" and make them available anywhere, Dropbox is a great option!  Dropbox keeps files safe and secure, even if your computer crashes.  You can also get your files anywhere you have an internet connection.  *If you would like more help with Dropbox leave a comment below and I'll dedicate a Tech Tip Tuesday to this great tool!*

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Creating Your Faculty Information Area In Blackboard

Whenever you inherit a new course in Blackboard some default tabs will appear in the column on the left.  One of those tabs is called 'Faculty Information'.

It is pretty self explanatory what this tab is for.  It is a one click portal for your student to all your contact information, information about you, photo (optional but nice to have).

However, there are some tips and tricks that faculty need to be aware of to avoid the common mistakes that we see.  For example, when you fill out your faculty information it is hidden from student view by default unless you remember to make it available.

To avoid some of the most common pitfalls when adding your 'Faculty Information' view this short video tutorial on Creating Your Faculty Information Area in Blackboard.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Creating A Test Student

-Did you ever wonder what your course looks like to your students?
-Do you ever get emails from students saying they can't see something or find something but you know it's there?
-Do you ever add something to your course and want to make sure it works?

As an instructor your view can be very different from the student view.

You can easily check the student view by creating a test student account and adding them to your course.

This video tutorial explains how to do just that.

Some key points to remember:
    1. Your test student password does not have to be the same as your Stevenson password.

    2. When you are asked to change your Stevenson password you DO NOT change this one.

    3. Make it a very simple password you can remember, like 'student'.

    4. Remember to take your test student in and out of your course since they will show up in the grade book etc.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Course to Course Navigation

Many of you teach more than one course each semester, or have more than one section of the same course going on at one time.  Other's may like to go back and look at the previous courses they taught to compare and refresh their memory on how certain assignments worked etc.

In Blackboard there is a way to easily navigate from one course to another without having to go back and forth to the mySU or courses tab.  There are also some other nice features about course navigation in this week's video tutorial on course to course navigation.