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Blackboard News & Info

SafeAssign Updates

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The new Submission Details options in the Assignment set-up screen.

One of the new features in the recent Blackboard Learn update is SafeAssign integration into the normal Assignment function.

You’ll now have an option in the Submission Details section of an Assignment to add the SafeAssign plagiarism check. This is a significant improvement that allows instructors to use the Inline Grading feature, as well as multiple attempts, on assignments that have been selected for plagiarism review.

For more information on how to utilize the SafeAssign feature in Assignments, visit this article in Experts. If you have questions about SafeAssign or Assignment features in Blackboard Learn, please don’t hesitate to contact the Computer Services Help Desk.

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Blackboard Updates and Summer Blackboard Class Schedule

Blackboard will be unavailable on May 22nd and 23rd for an update. When it comes back online, you’ll find some very useful new features including:

  • Tabs for Content Collection and Services on the homepage.
  • SafeAssign integrated into Assignments.
  • Access to the Blackboard Grader App for iPad.
  • A true student view that allows you to experience the course exactly how a student would.

To help you make the most of Blackboard and these new features, Computer Services is offering in-person training sessions throughout the summer. Classes will be in the Meyer Library 205 Technology Training Center. Registration for in-person classes is done through My Learning Connection. We’ll also continue to hold the Ask the Experts Blackboard Open Session, both online and virtually, throughout the summer. Just come by the Meyer Library 205 Technology Training Center or click this link any Friday that the University is open between 1:30 – 4:30.

If you’re interested in a customized Blackboard training for your group, office, or department, we’re more than happy to arrange a session. Just email helpdesk@missouristate.edu  and we’ll get in touch to arrange a session specific to your Blackboard usage needs.

If you have questions about the Blackboard updates, in-person sessions, or customized training, please don’t hesitate to contact the Computer Services Help Desk.

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New Black Belts & the 2015 Blackboard Black Belt Summit

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Congratulations to the latest earners of the Blackboard Black Belt! To earn their Black Belt, these individuals attended the entire series of Blackboard training courses offered by Computer Services. Without further ado, here are the Blackboard Black Belt recipients for Spring of 2015!

Jessica Bennet, Library

Tara Boehne, Occupational Therapy

Ashlea Cardin, Occupational Therapy

Sapna Chakraborty, Occupational Therapy

Traci Dalton, English

William Edgar, Library

Diana Garland, BearClaw

Traci Garrison, Occupational Therapy

Yating (Tina) Liang, Kinesiology

Mark Woolsey, Assessment

 

In additional news, on Thursday, April 23rd a number of recipients of the Blackboard Black Belt met in the Cheek 100 Technology Training Center for the first ever Blackboard Black Belt Summit. There was a lively discussion featuring MOCRA Award winners Stanley Liesure and Ivy Yarckow-Brown on enhancing learning with Blackboard, a sneak peak at the new features coming to Missouri State’s Blackboard system in May, and an open session where Black Belts swapped tips and stories with their colleagues. For information on how you can earn your Blackboard Black Belt, visit the Computer Services Help Desk’s website.

Computer SErvices Training and Documentation Administrator Kristi Oetting greets the Blackboard Black Belts at the Summit!
Computer Services Training and Documentation Administrator Kristi Oetting greets the Blackboard Black Belts at the Summit!

 

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Blackboard Resources on Experts

When you have a question about how to use a certain feature in Blackboard or other technology on campus, the Experts Knowledge Base is your best resource. The redesigned site is simple to search, and will conveniently list suggestions when you start typing in the search box. The Knowledge Base also features How-To, Reference, and Troubleshooting articles on a wide range of University specific technology topics such as Email, Printers, and more! If you have any questions about the Experts Knowledge Base, don’t hesitate to contact the Computer Services Help Desk.

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Respondus Exam Author & StudyMate

Respondus Exam Author and Studymate are two extremely useful tools available to instructors at Missouri State. Respondus Exam Author is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to Blackboard, and Studymate helps students “master the basics” of course material through learning activities, self-assessments, and games. If you’re interested in utilizing either tool, please contact the Computer Services Help Desk.

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Working with Grade Center Columns

You’re able to create a variety of  columns in Blackboard’s Grade Center, but it’s not always necessary. That’s because if you utilize any of Blackboard’s built in assessment tools (Assignments, Tests, Discussion Boards, Blogs, Journals, etc…) and assign a grade to that work, that column is created for you! Along with creating columns for an assignment, there are several “total” columns that can be created as well. You can use these columns to:

  • Calculate the total grade.
  • Weight grades by column, category, or both.
  • Calculate the average grade.
  • Calculate a minimum or maximum grade.

If you’d like to learn about working with assignment or total columns in Blackboard, register for the upcoming “Blackboard Learn: Monitoring Student Activity and Performance” class through My Learning Connection or check out these articles in Experts. If you need assistance using the Grade Center, please don’t hesitate to contact the Computer Services Help Desk.

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Collaborate Resources and Training

If you are wanting to know more about the Collaborate web conferencing platform and how to incorporate Collaborate sessions in your course, Computer Services provides many resources and training opportunities. In fact, training sessions are offered year-round, and include in-person, virtual classroom, and self-paced video course formats.

Check for upcoming dates on the University Calendar and the Computer Services Help Desk website. And just contact us with any questions, or to set up a demonstration or customized training for your department or group.

Here are some of the upcoming opportunities to learn about Collaborate:

Blackboard and Collaborate: Enhancing Communications (2 hrs)
  • Tuesday, April 28th  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Meyer Library 205 Technology Training Center
  • Friday, May 1st  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Online Session via Collaborate
Green Belt Bootcamp (3 hrs)
  • Tuesday, April 14th  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Meyer Library 205 Technology Training Center
  • Wednesday, April 15th  2:00 – 5:00 pm
    Meyer Library 205 Technology Training Center
Collaborate Video Course (self-paced)

This is a convenient option for those who may not be able to attend a live in-person or virtual session, or who may prefer to go through the material at their own pace. Contact the Help Desk to request access.

See more Collaborate Training and Resources on the Computer Service Help Desk website, including:
Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Instructional designers at the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) are available to assist faculty with creative ways to use Collaborate and other tools in their courses. To make an appointment with an FCTL instructional designer, call 6-3059 or email FCTL.

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Edit Mode and Item Availability

If you’ve ever logged onto Blackboard and have found that you’re unable to add content or work as you’re used to, it’s likely that your Edit Mode button is Off. To turn Edit Mode back on, just click the button on the top right hand corner of your course. Full instructions can be found here.

Another common issue instructors face is emails from students stating that they can’t see a particular item in Blackboard. The settings to check are in the Edit function of the particular content that the students can’t access. In that menu, check to make sure that the item is Available (or the Permit Users to View This Content is Yes) and ensure that the Date and Time Restrictions are appropriate. An example can be found here.

If you have any issues with Edit Mode or Item Availability in Blackboard, please contact the Computer Services Help Desk.

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Online Testing With Blackboard

In Blackboard, a Test is a multi-question assessment. A Test doesn’t have to be given as a unit or chapter ending exam, either. A Test can even be excluded from the Grade Center so that it functions as a review for students. To learn how to utilize Tests in Blackboard, visit this page in Experts. If you have any questions about Tests in Blackboard or need any assistance, don’t hesitate to contact the Computer Services Help Desk!

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The Retention Center

Blackboard’s built in performance monitoring tool, the Retention Center, provides an easy way for you to discover which students in your course are at risk. You can communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement. You can also keep track of patterns over time. For more information about the Retention Center, check out this article in Experts.

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