Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Netiquette

Senior Instructional Designer, Jinsong Zhang, has put together a wonderful write up on Netiquette that I would like to share with you this week.

*If you would like to share this with students, please do not share the blog post but instead share this link.

As the Internet becomes more and more a place for daily activities such as chat, online posting, video conferencing, and email, basic guidelines for normative behavior is required. As an instructor for online learning, you want to create a space where objective and respectful discussion is promoted and encouraged. In order to maintain such a pleasant environment, it is important to consider the rules that everyone needs to observe. Netiquette is about such code of behavior for communication online. While netiquette does change depending on what type of communication one is engaged in, for online learning here is what we can offer:


Netiquette is about the code of behavior established for communicating online. For the purpose of our online class, please adhere to the same etiquette you would follow in real life. Always show your respect for others online even if you need to strongly disagree with them when evaluating and critiquing their point of view. We argue ideas in a civil and respectful manner in order to arrive at the truth and grow intellectually, but nothing good is gained by demeaning a person.
  1. Critique ideas in a respectful and constructive manner, not criticize an individual;
  2. Respect the privacy of your classmates by not sharing their written postings outside the class;
  3. Be professional;
  4. Use standard written English and not text message or chat style abbreviations;
When participating in video conferencing or recording:
  1. Respect other people’s time and band and bandwidth;
  2. Prepare an outline if you are to talk online; 
  3. Find a quiet place and away from any visual distraction such as moving vehicles in the window or kids playing in the background; 
  4. Place the webcam in front of your face so that you give the impression of looking at the person you are talking to; 
  5. Dress up for a video recording or conference to show your respect for your audience.

This is also located on the Faculty Help Website under 'Blackboard Tutorials' then 'Other Tips'.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Grade Book Column Organization

Grade books can be one of the tricky items to set up in Blackboard.  You have to decide between total points and weighted total, how much everything should be worth.  Make sure it comes out correct in the end.

One thing that may help you wrap your head around what you actually have in the grade book is to organize the columns in a way that works for you.

View this week's Tech Tip Tuesday video tutorial on reorganizing your columns and learn what the 'hide' and 'hide from user' buttons do.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Setting Review Status for Students to Stay on Task

Today I am going to introduce a little known tool in Blackboard called Review Status.

This tool should be used sparingly or deployed slowly on a small scale until both you and your students are used to idea and see the value (or not) in using this feature.

Review Status is something the instructor needs to deploy in each individual course and item that they wish to use it in.  Once enabled, it allows the students to check off when they have reviewed that particular item to help them stay on task.  On the instructor end, it also allows you to view reports on who has review the item and who hasn't.  There is more to it, so please view this week's video tutorial on Enabling Review Status.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday - Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series

Blackboard does a wonderful job offering a fall and spring faculty webinar series on various topics.  This Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series is usually led by peers from other institutions or Blackboard professionals.

The spring schedule was just posted and I would like to invite any of your to attend from the comfort of your own computer.  You do need to register, but it is free.

Some upcoming topics include:

  • Writing Objectives and Goals
  • How to Engage Students from the Start
  • Revenge on the Vendor-Turned-Instructor and his Collaborative Technologies
  • Authentic Assessment - How Do They Really Know?
They also archive past webinars on the Blackboard YouTube channel.  These hold a wealth of information to help you brush up on your skills and get new ideas.