New year, slightly new look for Bb Learn

On January 2, 2017, Blackboard Learn will have a new look and feel. Although the new “theme” is fairly subtle, it will enable a much more responsive design for students accessing their courses through their mobile devices.

What will it look like?

  • The Blackboard Home page will have a 2-column layout (see Figure 1 below)
  • The Blackboard Home page separates organizations on their own tab (see Figure 1 below)
  • The Blackboard Home page includes links for the Bookstore, Mobile Access and Career Center (see Figure 1 below)
  • The course menu is now white, with limited ability to customize  (see Figure 2 below).

Can I customize my course menu at all?

No. The new theme will override any customization to your course menu, including background colors and buttons. You can however, change the title colors for names of folders, files and items in the main content area.

Questions or Feedback?

If you have questions about how the new look and feel impacts your course, contact the Technology and Learning Program at 898-6167 or send an email to tlp@csuchico.edu.

 

Bb Learn Home page with new look and feel

Figure 1: Blackboard Learn Home page with new Organizations tab and 2-column layout. Click on the screenshot to zoom in.

screenshot of new blackboard learn course menu with white background

Figure 2: Blackboard Learn Course menu is now white; with no ability to customize color. Click on the screenshot to zoom in.

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PeerMark Discontinued for Spring, 2017

Please note that CSU Chico will turn off access to Turnitin PeerMark on January 5, 2017.

Keep in mind, it is only PeerMark that is being turned off; Turnitin Originality Reports and GradeMark are still available.

According to the Turnitin Product Roadmap, they are “no longer making any changes” to the current PeerMark product. Their long term goal is to “replace PeerMark with a new tool that instructors and students can use with ease.”

Please contact a Technology and Learning Program consultant to discuss other peer review options including:

  • Google Docs
  • ePortfolio tools
  • Blackboard Learn’s Self & Peer Review tool
  • Other open source/web solutions

While these may not have the same level of integration with Blackboard Learn, they are worth exploring.

Thank you for your understanding and willingness to explore other options. And of course, if you have a favorite tool you want to share with us, we welcome your input.

Blackboard Collaborate “Classic” Discontinued

Blackboard has discontinued Collaborate “Classic,” for its more modern interface referred to as Collaborate “Ultra.” This means you will no longer have access to Blackboard Collaborate Classic or Classic recordings as of Spring 2017.

Accessing your Blackboard Collaborate Classic Recordings

If you would like save any of your Bb Collaborate Classic recordings, follow the steps in this tutorial or contact the Technology and Learning Program (TLP) at 898-6167. Please save your recordings prior to February 15, 2017.

Web-Based Video Conference Options for Spring 2017

CSU Chico now supports two web video conference technologies:

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
  • Zoom

While Zoom has a reputation of being more robust and easier to use, we are still in the early adoption phase and you should note that the integration with Blackboard Learn is not as deep as Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. We recommend you meet with a consultant from the Technology and Learning program to determine the best option for your needs.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra / Zoom Feature Comparison

How do I try Blackboard Collaborate Ultra?

  1. Login to Blackboard Learn.
  2. Access any course.
  3. From your course menu, click (+) and add a tool link to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
  4. Click Join Room to check out Bb Collaborate using your default course room.
  5. Refer to Blackboard’s Getting Started resources if you want to quickly learn how to share content, invite guests, record a session, etc.

How do I try Zoom?

  1. From your web browser, go to http://www.csuchico.edu/zoom.
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. From your Personal Meeting Room, click Start and invite a friend to join you. It’s fun and easy.
  4. Refer to the Getting Started with Zoom at Chico State guide for information on changing default settings, enabling breakout rooms, and integrating with Blackboard Learn.

How can I learn more?

The Technology and Learning Program is available to do individualized Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Zoom training for faculty and support staff. Contact Jim Aird (jaird@csuchico.edu) or Marjorie Shepard (mkshepard@csuchico.edu) to schedule your training for December 2016 or January 2017.