Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Benefits of the Instructor Only Area

Many of you hear your program coordinator or instructional designer mention the 'Instructor Only Area' in Blackboard but might not fully know what it is or how to use it.

If you ever wish you could make notes while teaching a course or have reminders to look at then this is a great place to 'store' that information and keep it out of the eyes of the students.  

This area can serve many purposes, depending on how your program uses it.  In turn, if you don't have an instructor only area and would like one, contact your Instructional Designer for help in how to get it going.

Click here to get a video overview of what the 'Instructor Only Area' is and how to use it and add to it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Adding NBC Learn Content

Many times, especially in announcements, instructors like to add relative articles and news stories that make the topic of their course connect with the real world.

Here at Stevenson University we have purchased the access and rights to use a content collection called NBC Learn.  It is exactly what it sounds like.  It is video news stories from NBC that span a wide range of topics.

This weeks Tech Tip Tuesday video tutorial shows you how to add this content to your courses, especially in the announcement area.

The only downside I have found to adding this to an announcement is when the announcement is emailed out you can't view the NBC Learn content in the email but you can see it is there.  Only when the announcement is read within Blackboard can you also view the video.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Moving Items Around in Blackboard

When you inherit a course for a certain semester at Stevenson you are actually (usually) getting a copy of a master course in Blackboard.  Any changes you make to your course will not change the master course.  So you are pretty free to make your course your own etc within whatever guidelines the program manager gives you.

There are situations that arise that may make it necessary for you to move items around within your course.  There are a few ways to do this depending on your situation and where you are trying to move it to.

View this weeks video tutorial to learn how to move items around in Blackboard.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Never Fear, Blackboard is Here!

Sometimes we wish to move items around in modules, or change and update the directions and items attached.  This is not a bad thing and change is good.

You may have noticed though that Blackboard does not have the wonderful 'undo' button as does a Word document or most email systems.

Never fear!  If you delete an attachment in an item it is not necessary gone forever.  Now in Blackboard this only works with attachments, there is not a way to recover a whole module or the wording you had in a module.

Here is a video tutorial that shows where these documents and attachments are stored.

Remember, if you do change an attachment it has only been changed in your course for that semester, not the master course.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Simplicity is Best!

I saw this quote today by Albert Einstein and wanted to share.

This is so very true in our online courses.  Less can be SO MUCH MORE!  If your students constantly have a ton of questions about an assignment or project then the directions or communication are probably not written well.  Throwing more and more at them does not solve any problem, just creates a MUCH bigger one.  So if you can't explain to your students what you wish for them to accomplish then maybe you don't understand it well enough yourself.