Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Grading with a Rubric (updated)

Rubrics can be a wonderful thing!  They are not appropriate for every grading situation but they do help give the instructor and student a clear picture of expectations and can make grading more consistent.

In the past, I wrote a blog post about grading items, like a discussion board, with a rubric in Blackboard.  I felt I needed to update everyone with a new video tutorial that is more in line with some new features that came with the Blackboard upgrade.

So without further adieu, I present the updated 'How To Grade With A Rubric' video tutorial.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Copy and Paste

We wanted to bring to your attention an issue that many are facing in their courses.  While the timing is perfect, with the recent BlackBoard update, it actually isn't a BlackBoard issue.  Many of us (including myself) have developed the bad habit of copying and pasting into Blackboard.  In the past this hasn't been a big deal, with the exception of occasional crazy formatting and characters it would give us.

The government is trying to crack down on plagiarism and copy write issues by having web browsers lock down their copy and paste ability.  Firefox, our preferred browser, is especially taking steps to prevent this.  We have seen issues with this mainly in the discussion board area so far.  

Some issues we have seen:
  • The initial discussion board post is copied in and looks fine but any responses are 'blank' even though they typed something
  • A discussion board response is pasted in and becomes 'blank' when saved
This weeks video tutorial, by Nadine Edwards, explains how to correctly insert text into Blackboard to avoid this issue.

If you have already fallen victim to this issue then you are able to fix it yourself with these steps.
  1. When you hover over a 'blank' discussion board post you will see the options to 'Reply, Quote, Edit and Delete' 
  2. Click 'Edit'  *NOTE: Student's, for good reason, do not have the ability to edit a post, only instructors
  3. Copy the post and paste it into Word or an external source
  4. Using the steps in the video tutorial above use the html button in the content editor to paste back in the content
Please feel free to share this with other instructors and your students.  We all need to follow best practices when it comes to copy and paste.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday - Upgraded Blackboard Tour - Help Tabs

The upgraded Blackboard has many new features. In the next few weeks the Tech Tip Tuesday will be devoted to giving you a tour of many of these new features. Like anything new, it does take some time to get used to but remember things are upgraded to ultimately provide a better experience for all.

This weeks video tutorial is devoted to the new 'home' interface including the upgraded faculty and student help tabs.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blackboard Newbie

This is my first Blackboard World conference and I must say I haven't had a moment to pause yet and reflect on my experience here so far until now.  I am also less than a year into my first job as an instructional designer so the amount I wish to accomplish in my position and this conference is vast.  Everything is so new!  I have found myself to be a much more successful micro blogger on Twitter then I am as a full fledged blogger.  Follow me @kellymedu

The highlight of the conference for me, so far, has been the session on integrating library resources in Blackboard with Joe Russo.  This has been a resent discussion with our team and the librarians.  We (and they) feel they are being underutilized but could potentially be a huge help in Bb courses if instructors would let them in PROPERLY to help guide research and citation and take that off the plate of the instructors.

Mr. Russo had a great open discussion with us about how his institution used template variables to seamlessly integrate LibGuides into courses.  What a great team effort they have there.

"For every course specific LibGuide in a Bb course saves an instructor at least 25 hours of training time per semester." - Joe Russo

After the keynote we met with our Blackboard Representative to talk about all the exciting new ideas and product potential for Stevenson.  This was followed by a vendor reception and a trip down to Fremont Street with the crew.