The Chico State App for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android Devices Is Here!

Blackboard Learn at CSU Chico can now be accessed on mobile devices two ways:
Bb Learn is part of the free official “Chico State app” for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices. (The Android app is available on Feb. 8.)
“Blackboard Mobile Learn” is a free standalone app for iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.

Additionally, CSU Chico has purchased the “Institutional License” for all campus users, so you do not need to purchase the “personal license” in the Blackboard Mobile Learn app. Usage is free for all Chico State students.

Why should you get the app?

Using Mobile Learn, instructors can:

Send announcements
Post and reply in discussion forums
Upload photos to discussions, blogs and journals
Comment on blogs and journals

Using Mobile Learn, students can:

Check grades
View announcements
Access course content and view documents
Post and reply to discussions
Upload photos to discussions, blogs and journals
Comment on blogs and journals
Attach documents to discussions and blogs from a connected Dropbox account (note Dropbox is not supported by ITSS)

To read more about the full features, please go to the Bb Mobile Learn page.

Best Wishes for a Great Spring Semester!

TLP wishes all faculty and students the best for the Spring 2013 semester!

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Remember the TLP lab is open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday, for walk-in help and phone calls (898-6167).

Consultants are also available by appointment.

Chico’s Rubric for Online Instruction & QOLT

In an effort to support faculty who are using informed redesign to create engaging dynamic classes, the CSU Learning Management Systems Services (LMSS) is sponsoring a Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) program to recognize exemplary teaching and learning in hybrid-to-online courses. Over the past ten years, CSU Chico recognized faculty for Exemplary Online Instruction (EOI). The addition of QOLT will enable faculty to not only be recognized locally, but also system-wide throughout the CSU.

The Technology and Learning Program (TLP) in conjunction with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CELT) will be looking through faculty-nominated courses to see which ones can possibly be nominated at the state level. Luckily for Chico State, the new state tool is closely aligned to our own Rubric for Online Instruction (ROI). This will allow faculty to use what they learn through the EOI process and apply it to the CSU QOLT requirements.

The categories of evaluation are:

    Course Overview and Introduction
    Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning
    Instructional Materials and Resources Utilized
    Student Interaction and Community
    Facilitation and Instruction
    Technology for Teaching and Learning
    Learner Support and Resources
    Accessibility and Universal Design
    Course Summary and Wrap-up

The call for QOLT nominations begins November 15th and wraps up during the month of March. During that time, courses will be evaluated locally and system-wide to see which will be given the exemplary status. All participants will receive a letter of participation from Laura Sederberg, QOLT Campus Coordinator, with the top 5 receiving an additional letter of recognition from the CSU. Winning courses will be featured on the QOLT website and via QOLT dissemination at webinars and conferences.

If you are interested in learning more about Chico State’s EOI program or the state-wide QOLT program, please contact Laura Sederberg at or at x4326.

To view the QOLT website please go to

Need Grade Center help? Come to Open Lab Time!

If you need help organizing or double checking your Bb Learn grade book for the end of the semester, TLP will be holding several open labs. No appointment is necessary, just come to TLP and help will be available. The schedule for help sessions begins on December 10 at 10am. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity to use one of the best elements of Bb Learn.

12/10/2012: 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
12/12/2012: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
12/17/2012: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
12/18/2012: 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

As always the TLP lab is open for walk-in help from 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

Early Start Mathematics Course Uses Bb Learn for Course Delivery

In January of 2012, CSU, Chico was charged with creating two remedial mathematics courses for incoming students whose entry test scores fell below the required amount to attend Beginning or Intermediate Algebra. This project, done in conjunction with a similar project developed for Remedial English, was headed by mathematics professor, Ted Cluver. Ted contacted the Chico Technology and Learning Program and soon a plan was developed to create a fully accessible online course that any incoming CSU student could take.

In order to lower the cost to students, a decision was made to develop the course using Blackboard Learn. Through the hard work of a team consisting of a math department student, Cluver and TLP, a well-developed accessible course was created. Students were enrolled during the months of June, July and August and participated in activities created to assist them with their math development as well as a retest to raise scores.

Cluver and Ann Steckel, project manager for the Early Start course development, recently presented their work at the 2012 CELT conference held on the CSU, Chico campus. The video of the presentation, embedded in this post, explains the history behind the project, the production of course content, and the successful roll out to students.

For more information about this program please contact Ted Cluver. For more information about accessible course creation in Bb Learn please contact Ann Steckel in the Technology & Learning Program.

Update on Organizations in Bb Learn

Do you need a virtual space to store documents or meet with group members in an online forum? A Blackboard Learn organization might be the solution.

One popular use of the learning management system outside of classes is the community or organization. Many groups at Chico State need a secure place for documents to be stored so that others can access them and collaborate. Currently TLP is in the process of helping community owners migrate the contents from Vista over to Bb Learn. To date 33 Vista communities have been migrated and 23 new organizations have been created.

A recent addition to speed up the process is a self-service application that allows for self enrollment for students using the student writing center and Regional and Continuing Education re-entry students. Others wishing to create a new organization should contact instructional technology consultant, Jim Aird. Once Jim receives a request for a new organization the turn around time for its use is about a week from request to completion. All enrollments for new organizations should also go to Jim and he will facilitate that portion of the process, however in the near future a self-service enrollment tool for everyone will be available.

Another tool available to organizations is Blackboard Collaborate, a virtual meeting software that is built in to Bb Learn. This tool will allow for guests to communicate to groups or group members to meet virtually with each other.

For more information about organizations and how they can be used please contact Jim Aird in the Technology and Learning Program. He can be reached via email at or by phone at X3209.

Virtual meeting software, Bb Collaborate, is Here!

blackboard collaborateBlackboard Collaborate, virtual meeting software that can be embedded into any Blackboard Learn course or organization, is now available to any faculty member who wishes to connect virtually to students, colleagues, or guests. Bb Collaborate, formerly Wimba, enables an instructor and participants to communicate in real time using audio, video and text chat. During a session instructors can share PowerPoint slides, conduct polls, administer quizzes, tour web sites and share desktop applications. Additionally, sessions can be recorded and archived for playback at a later time.

Some highlights of Bb Collaborate:

– Faculty moderators can create virtual rooms for students to collaborate in a small group setting.

– Presentations by guest content experts who are located anywhere in the world, can be delivered live and recorded for future use.

– Faculty can use Bb Collaborate to create a recording of a traditional face-to-face lecture and add it to Bb Learn for students to view while the instructor is away from campus.

Currently TLP is offering fun, low-stress workshops during which participants first experience the software from a participant perspective and then as an instructor. Steps to create a Bb Collaborate session in the learning management system are also included in the workshop. To find out when the next workshop will be held please check the the TLP Workshop calendar.

For more information please contact instructional technology consultant, Marjorie Shepard, at or at x3159. As always TLP is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday through Friday in the basement of Meriam Library. Walk-ins are always welcome, however consultants are available to meet by appointment.

Not Your Grandmother’s Composition Class

National Writing ProjectRecently two Chico State writing instructors participated in an online conversation about teaching jumbo sections of Freshmen Composition that include innovative ways to teach and learn. On October 11th, Academy eLearning alumna and mentor, Kim Jaxon, and CSU Chico’s Writing Across the Curriculum Coordinator, Chris Fosen, were guests on the National Writing Program radio show. During the conversation they explained how course redesign can work to accommodate a large number of students without losing the effectiveness of instruction.

This insightful 60-minute conversation details the steps they have taken to ensure that students are experiencing engaging class time with both professors and student mentors despite the jumbo scenario.

Click here to listen to the conversation.

Five Easy Ways to Create a Better Grade Center in Bb Learn

One of the challenges faculty face is keeping up with grading and entering grades into the grade book. It certainly helps to have a grade book that is organized, easily managed, and calculates student grades correctly. This article details five effective, yet easy ways to manage the grade center. Included in the article are tips on how to rearrange the columns in the Grade Center, how to place columns into categories, how to lock the students’ running average into an optimal position in the grade center, how to hide irrelevant columns, and how to colorize grade center cells.

For the full explanation to complete these processes, please read the entire story in our Bb Learn Knowledge Base.

If you would like in-person help, the TLP lab is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm for walk-ins. Consultants are also available to meet with those who have deeper questions.

Read the entire article here.

How to Create A Total Points Column in the Grade Center

One of the essential elements of the Blackboard Learn Grade Center is the column that keeps a running total of points accumulated throughout the semester by students. An easy way to calculate this grade is to use categories in the calculation for a Total Points column. No formulas are needed and the total points will calculate automatically and correctly at any point during the semester.

The process is fairly easy and can be built within a matter of minutes. Please read this article if you would like to be able to easily calculate grades and share them with students to keep them apprised of their progress.

If you would like more help with your Grade Center please stop in to TLP, Monday through Friday, from 9 – 5. You can also call 530-898-6167 and speak to one of our lab staff or schedule an appointment with a consultant.

Read the entire article