Blackboard updates for September 2012
Published on 23/06/2011, updated on 10/10/2012
New design and features
Migrating to managed hosted coincided with an update to Service Pack 8. This introduces a new theme for 2012. There are a number of new features and enhancements which are covered below:
Pre-built designs that instructors can select to match their design preferences and teaching methods.
Negative marking allows instructors to apply negative point values for wrong answers on test questions. This allows them to prevent (by penalty) guessing or the selection of egregiously wrong answers.
Single Sign up Lists
The sign up tool existed in previous versions of Blackboard. It is an optional tool designed to help coordinate online activities with groups of students. Use this page to display a list which can be used by people to sign up for an activity where places are limited (e.g. to join a tutorial group). It is the electronic version of a paper 'sign up sheet' pinned on the noticeboard. The single SignUp list has an optional reserve/waiting list feature. It is a stand-alone content item and so cannot interact with any other SignUp lists. More information.
Enhanced rubrics are here to better support instructor efficiency in the grading process and convey expectations to students. The rubrics enable the efficient, consistent grading of manually graded student submissions and also facilitate secondary evaluations used to support program evaluations.
Needs Grading Tool Enhancement
The Needs Grading tool is a view in the Grade Center that instantly provides instructors visibility and access to items that need to be graded. Gradable Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion Board activity will now appear in Needs Grading status in the Grade Center and on the Needs Grading page.
Timed Assessments Enhancement
This new capability provides instructors with an intuitive means of setting time limits on assessments and configuring the system to auto-submit the assessment at time expiration.
SCORM Engine Integration
Through a co-development partnership with Rustici Software, a new SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) content player is integrated into the Blackboard Learn platform. Along with the new content player, a new report is available through the course Control Panel to show student activity and progress within the SCORM package.
Important recent testing has confirmed reports of Adobe Presenter imported packages not operating as expected. See known issues for more details.
The Student Overview for Single Course report displays an individual student's activity within a course, sorted by date. Data includes the total overall time the student spent in the course as well as detailed information about the student's activity, such as which items and Content Areas the student accessed and the time spent on each. This is accessed as a Course Report by the instructor, and at the system level by the Administrator.
The Course Activity Overview displays overall activity within a single course, sorted by student and date. Data includes the total and average time spent per user and the total amount of activity the user had in the course. This is accessed as a Course Report by the instructor and at the system level by the Administrator.
The User Activity Overview displays overall system and course activity for all users, including average logins and time spent, and statistics on user activity by course. This is accessed at the system level by the Administrator.
The Single User Activity Overview displays all system and course activity for a single user. Data includes total system access time sorted by date and total course time sorted by date or course. Any user such as instructors and their activity can be tracked using this report. This is accessed at the system level by the Administrator.
Administrator may generate reports for any course on the system and all user activity in the system. Instructor reports are limited to their individual courses and the students enrolled in those courses.
Blackboard upgrade FAQ
- How do I access Blackboard?
- When will training for staff members be and who will provide it?
Please book onto these via the Staff and Graduate Development web page. We are running "course building" sessions. These will assist anyone rebuilding rolled over content.
- What is “end of year roll over”?
This is where/how a new module/course is created on blackboard for the new cohort 2012-13. All 2012-13 modules are set up unavailable for students to view - while you prepare the module for teaching. See Making your module available to students
- What happens to the old 2011-12 module?
This will become unavailable for students after referred exams in September. Staff however will continue to have access, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Any previous year modules will also be removed from staff view (although retained for archive purposes).
- How do I hide from view my last year’s modules/sites?
Use the cog icon at the top right of the my courses panel to de-select the modules/sites you no longer want to have on your welcome page.
- My module/site says “(unavailable)”, what does this mean?
It means students currently cannot see the module/site or any content. However, you as instructor can view/update content via option 3 from control panel > customisation > properties - set availability.
Note ABS undergraduate modules will automatically become available to students on a date to be confirmed.