Welcome back to Fall in the Virtual Campus. In mid-August we upgraded to the most current version of Blackboard. This should fix several of the annoying error messages seen during spring and summer terms.
- Blackboard IM and Safeassign have also been updated.
- Blackboard Collaborate has been developed into a more social space for easy file, desktop and website sharing, conversations, and class meetings. If you are interested in trying out this Collaborate, which is more similar to the Google Hangout setup, let me know. Until all the tools are fully functional I will not put it in all classrooms. Development for the mobile components should be complete in a few weeks.
- Unfortunately we have had to cancel Respondus Lockdown Browser. It is being redeveloped but is not ready for use. The virtual campus is searching for an affordable replacement with similar functionality.
Look for our newest tool called Atomic Learning. It’s a Blast! It is available to all students, staff, and faculty, and can be found in Blackboard under tools on the MyWBU page. This tool has thousands of short video tutorials on how to do things. For example, there are Blackboard tutorials from an instructor or a student perspective. Need to format a Word document? Learn how with Atomic Learning. Confused using Excel? Need help using Photoshop? Got an Apple Watch? Search Atomic Learning to find a video to help you figure it out. These tutorials can also be placed and assigned in a classroom – with direct links to the video.
In October, the Virtual Campus will hold some training on Blackboard and various tools. These trainings will be a combination of onsite and virtual so anyone can attend or watch the training at a more convenient time. Learn more about Kaltura for multimedia, Atomic Learning, the new Collaborate, Grade Center, and assessments.
As always, the Virtual Campus team is ready to assist you. Holly, Leslie, and Jennifer Brown are experts for your classrooms and Blackboard issues. Jennifer Martin helps our students with all the ins and outs of advising within the virtual campus. Call, email, IM or Lync into our help.
We hope you have a blessed and exciting Fall term.
Patricia M. Ritschel-Trifilo, PhD
Director of the Virtual Campus
Wayland Baptist University
I pray you had a restful and memorable Christmas season. As we start the new year there are two questions that need to be raised in our prayers, plans, and preparations. You may want to post them to your desk area, refrigerator, in your bible, bathroom mirror, or somewhere you can be reminded throughout the year.
- What do I want to accomplish this next year?
In Proverbs 29:18 we read, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained (perish – KJV), But happy is he who keeps the law.” (NAS)
If you don’t have a vision/goal for what you want to achieve in this coming year your time will be quickly lost as you utilize your energy and resources for things that perish. Happy is he who keeps his eye on the goal and completes the task. The rewards are worth the effort. God wants you to do much and will give you a vision for what you can do and become if you ask.
- Do I reveal Jesus in my daily life?
In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul calls us to “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV) We should reveal Jesus in all aspects of our daily life. As followers of Jesus, we look to his life to gain insights on our decisions and interactions. We must be careful to not give intellectual assent to the truth of the gospel without demonstrating true spiritual transformation. Others are looking at your life and following your example. That is why Paul says, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NAS)
Lawrence W. Wilson asked these questions of pastors, but they are for all who believe in Christ Jesus. I pray we have the courage to ask these questions weekly as we follow Jesus together at Wayland in 2015.
May God bless each of you in 2015 as you walk with Jesus,
Director of Church Services / Assistant Professor of Religion / Assistant Director of Ministry Guidance
The Season of Advent began Sunday, November 30. With candles, greenery, songs, psalms, and decorations churches began celebrating the birth of Jesus as foretold by prophets of old like Isaiah in chapter 9 of the book that bears his name.
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” – Gen. George S. Patton
As Joshua prepared to lead the Hebrews into Canaan the Lord’s words were ones of courage and assurance.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Today the nation honors our military personnel for their service and sacrifice, for their conduct and courage, for their duty and defense. We remember those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom as we salute those presently serving. We give thanks also for the families who stood beside, stayed behind, and said goodbye, acknowledging their sacrifices and service as well. May we honor them each day by utilizing the freedom they secure to better serve God and humankind. This is a continuing role of Wayland’s mission. Continue reading
In his inaugural address on March 5, 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth president of the United States (1877-1881), stated the following:
“Looking for the guidance of that Divine Hand by which the destines of nations and individuals are shaped, I call upon you, Senators, Representatives, judges, fellow citizens, here and everywhere, to unite with me in an earnest effort to secure to our country the blessings, not only of material property, but of justice, peace, and union – a union depending not upon the constraint of force but upon the loving devotion of a free people; and that all things may be so ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations.” Continue reading
On Friday, August 15, we will be conducting an update to our Blackboard Learn 9.1 system (https://wbu.blackboard.com). We are upgrading from Service Pack 13 to the April 2014 Release.
The update is currently scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm (CDT) on Friday, August 15, 2014. The system will be unavailable for approximately 15 hours during the update. The system is expected to be fully up and running by 7:00 am (CDT) on Saturday, August 16, 2014.
There should not be any noticeable formatting changes to the Blackboard system and all of your course materials will remain intact through this update. However, there are a couple of exciting new features that will accompany this update (see below). As always, there are some bug fixes that will aid in resolving ongoing issues.
Two exciting new features added to Blackboard:
- SafeAssign Integration
The SafeAssign feature (for plagiarism detection) has been integrated into the Assignment object so it will be possible to check a box on an assignment for a SafeAssign report to be generated. This also means that instructors can use in-line grading on these assignments, eliminating the need to create separate assignments for each purpose (plagiarism detection AND in-line grading).
Click here for more information and a short video: http://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Instructor/100_Assignments/025_Use_SafeAssign
Note that existing SafeAssignments will be converted to Assignments with plagiarism detection turned on.
- Student Preview
There is also an easier to use feature that allows instructors to switch between a student view and back again. We have a feature installed that does this clumsily but now it will be available at the click of a button: one click to switch to a REAL student view and then a click to switch back.
Click here for more information and demo: http://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Instructor/130_Student_Performance/Student_Preview
If you have any questions, please let us know using the Instructor Help Request Form
On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, we conducted our third Spring Training webinar of 2014 with a session on “Proctoring Options (Including Remote Proctor Now)” Here is a recording of that session.
Watch the Recording
Description: During this session, we discuss the test proctoring process and new options available for faculty who give proctored exams. With Secure Remote Proctor, students can complete proctored examinations at home while they are recorded using a webcam. The videos are reviewed and a report documenting any suspicious behavior is provided to the instructor. We present how to set up your exams for Remote Proctor and review the reports.
On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, we conducted our second Spring Training webinar of 2014 with a session on “Test Creation and Importing.” Here is a recording of that session.
Watch the Recording
Description: There are wide variety of ways to create tests within Blackboard. There are also a number of different resources available through publishers for importing tests. Dr. Trifilo will walk us through these options and help clarify the settings for assessments in Blackboard.
On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, we conducted our first Spring Training webinar of 2014 with a session on “Creating and Uploading Your Own Media with Kaltura.” Here is a recording of that session. We’ve also included links to the handouts for the session.
If you attended any of our Kaltura workshops or webinars, here are the handouts that cover the material that we taught:
Kaltura_Recording the screen