Blackboard Learn 9.1: Maintenance Window and New Features for SP11

Blackboard Maintenance Tuesday, April 30 – Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blackboard will be unavailable on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. until Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. due to maintenance to the system. This will include the upgrade to Service Pack 11.

Upgrading to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 11 (SP11)

As spring semester comes to an end, we are in preparation to upgrade to the latest service pack for Blackboard Learn. On April 30, 2013 there will be a maintenance window to upgrade Valencia to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP11.  The majority of the functions will remain the same as our current version (SP9), however, there are several new features that are noted below.

Blackboard 9.1 SP10/11 is the latest release of the Blackboard Academic Suite and part of a multi-year, multi-release rollout. This release:

  • Builds on the student engagement tools in earlier releases.
  • Improves the performance of the software.
  • Enhances the entire user interface to make it easier to use, more intuitive, and extends drag and drop simplicity along with context sensitive menus.
  • Brings new features for faculty and student to improve teaching and learning.


As Blackboard continuously improves the system, the following features are included within this service pack:

  • My Blackboard and Global Navigation – An overlay when you first login to Bb will provide awareness of new features.  There will be a new profile tool that includes avatar support for blogs, journals, wikis, and the discussion board. (VIDEO)
  • New Content Editor with advance features for editing HTML and style. (VIDEO) Compare New versus Legacy Content Editor (READ)

SP11 New Content Editor  

  • New Discussion Board with increased accessibility for screen readers. (VIDEO)
  • Expanded Social Learning Tools for students to better communicate.(VIDEO)
  • New Calendar will allow for iCal support and drag-n-drop functionality aligned with due dates entered. (VIDEO)

SP11 New Calendar

  • Video Everywhere tool enables personalized and just in time feedback for students utilizing YouTube accounts. (READ)
  • Enhanced Assignment Grading features (to be able to grade and annotate online). (VIDEO)

SP11 Inline Assignment Grading

  • Retention Center to better monitor student performance. (VIDEO)
  • Date Rollover Tool for better managing due dates.
  • Enhanced Item Analysis – Provides additional statistics on test performance and individual test questions. (VIDEO)
  • Pattern Matching Fill-in-the-Blank – Fill in the blank questions can be automatically scored using a pattern matching feature. (VIDEO)
  • Expanded Accessibility – New accessibility improvements include the ability to skip links, ARIA Markup, Forms Markup, My Blackboard, My Grades, and enhancements in the accessibility of tests.
  • Improved Help Site: Blackboard Help SP10 and SP11

New Features Webinars

As we embark on teaching in the latest version of Blackboard, we have designed some discussion and overview webinars to help our faculty and staff learn about the latest changes. This is an opportunity to (1) learn about specific changes in SP11 and (2) get general questions on Blackboard answered. No Professional Development or Faculty Development Credit will be offered for these sessions. These sessions are designed to get your questions answered and to meet members of the Learning Technology Services (LTS) Instructional Design team.

A short presentation on new features in SP11 will take about 20-30mins. The Instructional Design Team will stick around for any additional questions. Click the registration button below to RSVP for one of these webinars.

 

Date & Time

Registration

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
10:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
5:30 p.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Thursday, April 18, 2013
1:00 p.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Friday, May 3, 2013
12:00 p.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

We anticipate this should be a fairly smooth transition to the latest service pack.  We appreciate any feedback or concerns as we move forward.

Thanks,
David, Josh, LaVonda, Leslie, and Nemir
Instructional Design Team

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Library Links in Blackboard Made Simple

Adding links to digital library items such as articles, ebooks, and videos can be a pain at Valencia, since it has required in the past for students to log into their account a second time.

Now it’s simple to add links without students and faculty having to log into the library system again, once they are logged into Blackboard.

A new tool has been added to Blackboard called “Links to Library Content”.

Library LINCC SSO Blackboard Tools

Using this tool, faculty can create a link for students and faculty to link right into various digital library materials without having to sign into the library system again.

Library LINCC SSO Blackboard

Now you might be wondering on how you can find the library links needed to create these new content links in Blackboard.

Follow the simple steps from the short YouTube videos below.

The Playlist includes 5 different quick videos to get you started with various types of links.

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Updates to Course Copy for Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP9

The course copy process has changed a little, giving additional options under Settings. Instructors should be able to click settings (or select all) to get the sub settings they have access to copy in this process (Banner Image, Language Pack, and Navigation Settings). Faculty should not click the other Settings sub options, it will produce an error and won’t let you submit to perform a copy.

Course Copy Setting Options

If you want to copy the entire course, just click the SELECT ALL button. This will select all the options an instructor has privileges to copy from one course to another. It’s the easiest way to make sure all the item are copied into the other course.

Course Copy Select All Option

Here is the error produced. This means “Availability”  has been clicked under settings. Availability cannot be changed by instructors and won’t let the course copy process proceed.

Course Copy Error

It’s important to calculate the size of your course before submitting a course copy. Many times a course’s file manager can grow in size without knowing the true size of your course. This can slow down the system and have many unnecessary files in your file manager. This can be checked in the course copy process with step 3 (File Attachments). Click on the button “Calculate Size”.

Course Copy Check Course Size

If the content in your course is over 1 GB, please contact ONLINEHELP for assistance in reducing the file size of your course.

Course Copy - File Size over 1 Gig

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Respondus: Software and Connection Update

Valencia recently upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 9 and now Respondus requires an update to connect to your courses in Blackboard.

Respondus should be updated to Version 4.0.5.02 (Help > About Respondus to check versions)

Check for updates (Help > Check for Updates). If it says you are running the latest major update but you don’t have Version 4.0.5.02 you will need to uninstall and reinstall Respondus from the secure downloads site. Information on how to download and access the license for Respondus is available in the Blackboard Self-Paced Course under the LTS Secure Download tab in the course menu.

The next step would be to check the Blackboard Server connection, since it’s change to HTTPS secure settings. Under preview and publish you tab in Respondus you can choose the server and edit the settings.

Respondus Updated Connection

Copy & Paste in both box 1 & 2:  https://learn.valenciacollege.edu/

Click Extract to get the server info automatically

Make sure your username and password are both up to date

NOTE: Connection won’t establish if you don’t have Version 4.0.5.02

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Blackboard Learn 9.1: Upgrade and Bagels & Blackboard

Moving to Bb WordPress LogoAs summer semester comes to an end, we are in preparation to upgrade to the latest service pack for Blackboard Learn. On August 10, 2012 there will be a maintenance window to upgrade Valencia to Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP9.  The majority of the functions will remain the same as our current version (SP6) with a few new features that are noted below.

 Blackboard Maintenance Friday August 10 – Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blackboard will be unavailable on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. until Sunday August 12, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. due to maintenance to the system. This will include the upgrade to Service Pack 9.

 New Features in Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 9 (SP9)

 Quick Setup Guide

  • The guide puts some help resources, and access to the new Course Themes and Course Structures (which I’ll go into more detail on in future posts), and can easily be suppressed by checking a box in the lower left corner of the window. You can regain access to the Quick Setup Guide by choosing its menu entry on the Control Panel, under Customization, should you wish to.

 Course Themes

  • In the upper right corner of any course you are an instructor of, right next to the switch that toggles Edit Mode on and off, there is now a “paint swatch” icon, which will open up a menu listing all the possibilities of Course Themes. Simply click on one of the theme names from that menu and your course will immediately switch to a new appearance. It is now simple to pick differing appearances for your courses, which should aid in forgetting which course site you are looking at when working along in Blackboard.

Course Structures

  • Course Structures allow an instructor to choose from a list of different organizational methods, and then add course menu, content area, and even samples of content that would be appropriate to use with the selected organizational method. Course Structures may be selected as part of the Quick Setup interface, or applied separately from the Control Panel. You can either browse through the screens in a course site, or you can take a look at a listing of all the different Course Structures that are available.

Course-to-Course Navigation

  • All Course-to-Course Navigation allows students and instructors to jump from course to course while retaining the context of the page or task from the original page of any recently accessed course. You will stay within the area or tools of the other course. This navigation tool has the potential to streamline an instructor’s workflow tremendously. For example, if you are in the mood to read discussions your students have submitted, go into your first course and into the Discussion tool. Read and reply to the discussions in this first course, then choose your next course from the drop-down menu. You’re now in the Discussion screen of the next course automatically.
  • Blackboard On Demand Video – Course to Course Navigation  http://ondemand.blackboard.com/understand.htm

Automatic Regrading

Negative Points for Incorrect Answers to Test Questions

 Visual Changes

  • Various visual changes have been made to the appearance of a course in SP9

Bagels and Blackboard

As we embark on teaching in the latest version of Blackboard, we have designed some discussion and overview sessions to help our faculty and staff learn about the latest changes. Bagels and Blackboard is an opportunity to (1) learn about specific changes in SP9 and (2) get general questions on Blackboard answered. No PD or Faculty Development Credit will be offered for these sessions. These sessions are designed to get your questions answered and to meet members of the Learning Technology Services (LTS) Instructional Design team.

A short presentation on new features will start at 9:00 a.m. on the dates listed below and the team will stick around to answer questions until 11:00 a.m. Feel free to stop in anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to join us to learn more about Blackboard’s latest features and meet the team. Click the registration button below to RSVP for this event, even if you are just dropping by for a short time.

COFFEE AND BAGELS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE ATTENDING

 Bagels and Blackboard:

Location

Date & Time

Registration

Osceola Campus

Building 1 – Room 115

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

9:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

East Campus

Building 4 – Room 133

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
9:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

West Campus

Building 6 – Room 326A

Thursday, September 6, 2012
9:00 a.m.

 Bb Essentials registation November

Stay Connected & Updated!

Valencia’s LTS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LTSValencia
Valencia’s LTS Twitter: http://twitter.com/LTSValencia
Valencia’s LTS YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ValenciaLTAD
Valencia’s Moving to Blackboard Blog: https://movingtobb9.wordpress.com/
Valencia’s Learning Technology Blog: http://vcclearningtech.wordpress.com/

We anticipate this should be a fairly smooth transition to the latest service pack.  We appreciate any feedback or concerns as we move forward.

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Find Last Date of Attendance in Blackboard Based on a Graded Activity

For online courses, the last date of attendance is the last date a graded activity was submitted.  Activities in this case can be anything graded, such as discussions, blogs, journals, tests, or assignments.  This information can be located in Blackboard’s Grade Center, even if a student has withdrawn themselves from your course.  To search for the most recent activity by the student you can follow a few easy steps in the Grade Center seen below.

Enter the Blackboard Grade Center.

Control Panel > Grade Center > Full Grade Center

Click on Reports > View Grade History

Grade History in Grade Center Reports

Choose a range to show the entries from the past ** Days – This will default to 14 Days but you may want to expand your search depending on the last time the student might have completed a graded activity.  

Grade History Range

Sort by users by clicking the column labeled User

Find the last Attempt Submitted date for this user (student)

Grade History Sort Users

If you can’t find the user easily, you can download the information to Excel using the Download button at the top of the page and search using the search function in Excel. The keyboard shortcut in Windows is Ctrl+F or choose Edit > Find.

For additional help or questions please contact Online Help.

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Using Web 2.0 Tools in Blackboard

On Demand Learning Center SampleBlackboard has a variety of great training resources available on its On Demand Learning Center to help instructors and students learn about a topic or tool in Blackboard Learning 9.1. We refer instructors and students to this site all the time to explain a topic in under 5 minutes typically. There are video tutorials and PDF documents from everything from adding a banner to your entry point to working offline with the grade center.

A new video available discusses the utilization of web 2.0 tools in Blackboard. This video introduce web 2.0 tools, explains a few key tools, explains how to embed the, and talks about best practices in a little over 5 minutes. This is a must watch for an instructor using Blackboard.

The web 2.0 tools highlighted include:

  • Glogster: An interactive web based poster
  • Prezi: Web based presentation software
  • Google Docs & Sites: Share working space and documents
  • VoiceThread: Add verbal explanation to visual media
  • Jing: Screenshot software to take a picture or narration of what’s on your screen.

View the video now!

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