Blackboard Spring Training (Updated)

Spring Training WorkshopsTuesdays 4-5pm (CST)
February 26 – April 9

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In preparation for the start of the summer term Dr. Trifilo is offering players (instructors) the opportunity to try out new tools and improve their skills with familiar ones. While we can’t offer travel to warmer climes we will offer weekly sessions ‘live’ or recorded to fit your schedule and view at your leisure.

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Blackboard Issue: Course-to-Course Navigation

(originally emailed to faculty on 02-18-13)

I just wanted to provide an update to all of our faculty about a new issue that has come up in Blackboard.  When we updated to Service Pack 8 (SP8), a new feature was added to Blackboard called Course-to-Course Navigation.  At this time, this feature is not working correctly and we are aware of the problem.

This feature is supposed to allow you to navigate quickly from one course to another using a drop-down menu on your screen (see image below).

Course-to-Course Navigation image

There is a problem being caused by our course evaluation tool (EAC Outcomes).  At this time, instructors will find many courses in their Course-to-Course navigation list that are blank.  In other words, if you click on a course in this list, you are taken to a blank course.  This is due to the fact that our survey tool for conducting course evaluations uses these blank courses to deploy those surveys.

EAC Outcomes has informed us that this is a known issue and there is no workaround, nor will there be one in the future.  Changes in Blackboard have forced these courses to become visible to instructors in their Course-to-Course Navigation.  Because of this, the Virtual Campus and the Office of Institutional Research are exploring new options so that we may discontinue use of EAC Outcomes and fix this important feature in Blackboard.

In the meantime, the Course-to-Course functionality will not work as intended.  Please be assured that we are working to resolve this as quickly as possible.  Please note that no other feature in Blackboard is affected by this issue.

If you have any questions regarding this issue, please feel free to contact the virtual campus at vcsupport@wbu.edu.


New Blackboard Feature: Add Test Student

(originally emailed to faculty on Monday, January 7, 2013)

We have recently tested and implemented a new feature within Blackboard to address a common issue faced by faculty in our online courses.

Have you ever asked, “What do my students see in my course?” 

As an instructor in Blackboard, you have access to the control panel and have different permissions settings for viewing content. Sometimes what you see is not what your students see. Until now, the VC has had two suggestions:  (1) Turn the Edit mode off, or (2) Enroll the test student account in your course.  The test student account was a single account with username, bbest.

Both of these solutions had their own problems.  The first one didn’t always show you the same thing as the students and the second one shared a single test student account with everyone who wanted to use it.

Now you can create your very own test student

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New VC Policy: Unavailability of Courses

(originally mailed to faculty on Monday, October 22, 2012)

A new policy has taken effect in the Virtual Campus with regard to online course availability. Effective immediately, online courses (i.e., VC sections ONLY) will be set as unavailable to students until either the first day of the term or when an instructor elects to make their courses available, whichever comes first. All courses for the Winter 2012 VC term are currently unavailable to students. This will allow instructors to develop their courses in advance and only release material to students when the course is ready.

All courses will become available at 12:01 am (CST) on the first day of the term. For Winter VC 2012, this will be Monday, November 12.

If you are an instructor in an online course, you may elect to make your course available prior to the first day of the term. In order to do this, you can click on “Customization” in your Control Panel and then select “Properties”. On Number 3, choose “Yes” to make your course available. Then click “Submit” at the top or bottom of the page (see below). If you need any assistance with this feel free to email me or Dr. Trifilo (trifilot@wbu.edu).

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An announcement has been posted in Blackboard to notify the students of course unavailability, as well.