Computer Services was excited to team up with Missouri State West Plains Campus and Greenwood Laboratory School to provide Blackboard Black Belt Boot Camps to their instructors. The West Plains bootcamps were organized in collaboration with West Plains Instructional Design and Technology and Academic Affairs department with the efforts of Chulapol Thanomsing, who we thank greatly. We enjoyed visiting their campus and working with the staff and instructors. The sessions for Greenwood were spearheaded by Denise Vinton, and she’s always a pleasure to work with.
These Boot Camps are intensive sessions for Blackboard training that bring already experienced users to their Blackboard Black Belts. We were thrilled to see how quickly everyone was willing to learn new facets of Blackboard, and how often discussions in the boot camps lead to instructors discovering new ways to use Blackboard features and tools. If you’re interested in organizing some Blackboard Black Belt Bootcamp events, or other training for your department or area, please contact Computer Services Training & Documentation at firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to all of the Missouri State University’s Blackboard Black Belts so far for 2014!
Cathy Proffitt Boys
Photos of West Plains Black Belt sessions by Chulapol Thanomsing:
Our Blackboard administrator has confirmed that using the latest version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as an instructor is causing errors. In Windows 8.1 this means that with edit mode on the browser will error out. With Windows 7 you’ll still be able to access the course, but when you attempt an edit you’ll get the same problem. As of right now, the best workaround is to use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome to use Blackboard. We’ll keep updating as more information becomes available.
Inline Grading is the feature that allows you to view, annotate, and grade student’s submissions in Blackboard. This useful addition makes grading a breeze! With the latest round of updates, you’re now able to use the Inline Grading feature with Blogs, Journals, Wiki’s and more! If you’re ready to start using Inline Grading, head over to this page in Experts. Computer Services offers many classes on all of the great features in Blackboard, so if you’d like to receive some in-person training on Inline Grading and a whole host of other features, search for classes sponsored by Computer Services Training & Documentation in My Learning Connection. Check out this video from Blackboard for more on improvements to Inline Grading:
Groups are a great way to increase engagement and communication amongst your students in your Blackboard course. New features in Blackboard make it extremely easy to create, interact with, and manage groups. If you’d like to start utilizing this feature, get started with this page in Experts. Computer Services is offering classes on Groups and Group Management titled “Creating Individualized and Group Learning Paths” that you can register for though My Learning Connection. If you need assistance setting up or working with groups, feel free to call the Computer Services Help Desk or visit one of our “Ask the Experts” sessions any Friday between 1:30 and 5:00pm in Meyer Library 205.
Using a rubric is a great way to grade student work by clearly defined standards. Blackboard allows you to grade your assignments with a rubric, and it’s a breeze. For step-by-step instructions on creating and attaching a rubric, visit this Experts page. When you’re ready to grade with your rubric, check out this guide. For questions with rubrics or anything else you might need with Blackboard, be sure to contact the Computer Services Help Desk.
Blackboard acknowledged that a bug is causing emails sent from Grade Threads to fail. Currently, the workaround that’s suggested is to email students using other methods, such as from the “Send Email” option in Course Tools in the Control Panel. For instructions on how to do this, check out this article on Experts. Blackboard intends to fix the feature in an upcoming service pack, but the ETA is still unknown at this time. If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact the Computer Services Help Desk.
Using Blackboard to assess your students is a useful way to gauge learning and comprehension in your course. Computer Services has several resources available to Missouri State University Instructors looking for tips on setting up online testing in Blackboard. To begin creating tests for your course, see the Assessing Learners page in Experts for step-by-step guides to setting up tests, assignments and surveys. You can also visit our Blackboard 9.1 Testing Tips page for a list of additional technical testing tips. Computer Services also offers in-person training for Assessing Learners, check My Learning Connection for a list of class dates.
Would you like to, at a glimpse, see who’s performing well and who’s falling behind in your course? By color coding the grade center in your Blackboard course, you can designate your choice of colors to a full range of options. Not only will colors show you what assignments or tests are In Progress, Need Grading, or Exempt, you’re also able to define score criteria that will trigger a designated color for a specified grade range. For example, if you’d like students with scores below a certain percent to show with a red background with green text, you can! Want the students who’re acing your material to have a soft blue background with subtle violet text? No problem! For instructions on how to color code your Grade Center, head over to this article on Experts.
That patch looks pretty sweet, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you love to have one of those to adorn your magnet-friendly surface?
Well here’s your chance to earn one!
Not only will attending our Blackboard Black Belt series of courses get you a majestic magnetic patch, it’ll also give you all the tools you’ll need to use Blackboard like a total pro! Computer Services offers the Blackboard Black Belt series all semester, and signing up is a breeze. Just head over to My Learning Connection and search for classes sponsored by Computer Services Training and Documentation. If you’ve already started down the road to becoming a Black Belt, now’s the time to finish up your training. To learn more about the Blackboard Black Belt series, check out this site and then head over to My Learning Connection to sign up!
Already a Black Belt? To earn your 2014 patch, sign up for and attend our Black Belt Master Class! We’ll go over some advanced tips and tricks that will keep you on the leading edge of Blackboard.
The weather outside is frightful, and University offices are closed today. So there will be no Blackboard Open Lab this afternoon. Weather permitting, we will hold the Open Lab on the 13th and the 20th. Stay safe and warm, and come see us next week!