The following are highlights of the Blackboard Learn release scheduled to go into production Thursday morning, June 15th.
Please refer to Blackboard Learn Release Notes for full details.
Instructors can once again reorder items on the course menu, within a folder, and within the Grade Center column organization using drag and drop.
Drag and drop available for student submissions
Students can now drag and drop file attachments and folders when submitting to an assignment, journal or blog. Prior to this feature, they had to click the Browse button.
Dashed line indicates ability to drag files from your local computer and drop them into Bb Learn.
Drag and drop available for instructor’s Content Collection
Instructors can use the same drag and drop feature to add files to your course Content Collection. However, drag and drop is NOT yet available for adding files within a content folder.
Assignment submission receipt
Students now receive a submission receipt when they submit to a Blackboard Learn assignment. The submission receipt is located in My Grades, under the Submitted tab.
Fewer Needs Grading Items
When multiple-attempts assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, there are potentially numerous other attempts that will never be used for the grade calculation. A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide these attempts. Attempts that won’t calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon.
As you prepare for the 2017 Summer and Fall Sessions, please be aware of the following dates for course availability and student data in Blackboard Learn.
|Friday, May 26th
||Summer session students will be loaded in Blackboard Learn
|Fri. May 19th – Wed. May 31st
||New account creation will be suspended due to Account Center 1 implementation
Faculty, staff and students with existing accounts should not be impacted.
|Thursday, June 1st
||All accounts loaded in Account Center
|Monday, June 5th
||Summer session starts
|Tuesday, June 13th
||Fall session courses/faculty loaded in Blackboard Learn
If you have questions on Blackboard Learn dates, please contact the Technology and Learning Program at 898-6167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 If you have questions regarding the Account Center Identity & Access Management Initiative, please refer to the Enterprise Applications and Data Services website.
In an effort to streamline and secure access to Blackboard Learn, there have been recent changes to the process for adding users to your course or organization.
Who can add users in courses?
- Only someone who has the role of Course Instructor can add other users.
- The Course Instructor is the Instructor(s) of Record from PeopleSoft.
See Adding New Users to Your Course for roles, permissions, and instructions.
Who can add users in organizations?
- Only Organization Leaders can add other users.
- There can be multiple organization leaders per organization.
See Adding New Users to Your Course for roles, permissions, and instructions.
Why have certain roles such as guest instructor and co-leader been discontinued?
- In courses, the role of Guest Instructor had the ability to add other users to the course, which is now restricted to the Course Instructor (Instructor of record) only.
- In organizations, the role of co-leader had the ability to see the Grade Center. Although most organizations do not use the Grade Center, the decision was made to limit that view to Organization Leaders only.
Why do I see discontinued roles on my Bb Learn home page?
Discontinued roles will continue to display on your Blackboard Learn home page.
For example, if you were assigned as a Guest Instructor in another faculty member’s Prep Area, you will continue to see and have access to that prep area. However, you will no longer be able to add users to that prep area per the new security guidelines.
Faculty, by now you have seen the new interface for Bb Learn and are preparing your courses for the spring semester 2017. If you have not yet noticed, there are a couple of bugs that you may not like. One is how you can “drag and drop” to reorder elements on a content page. It is not working as designed and we have complained loudly to Blackboard to fix it. Remedies are in progress and will be deployed as soon as ready. The Technology and Learning Program folks can help you now!
See image below or come in for a visit, the basement of Meriam Library, room 003.
Another bug is how the Gradebook does not fill the width of your computer screen. This is quite annoying. We are going to manipulate that setting so that it will fill the screen.
Please make note of any other bugs you see and let us know so that we can pass them on to the Blackboard developers. Call us at 898-6167 or email TLP at email@example.com, and let us know.
We are very happy that this new version meets accessibility requirements better than before. Your students will appreciate that, too!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Figure 1: Blackboard Learn Home page with new Organizations tab and 2-column layout. Click on the screenshot to zoom in.
Figure 2: Blackboard Learn Course menu is now white; with no ability to customize color. Click on the screenshot to zoom in.
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 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
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?
- Login to Blackboard Learn.
- Access any course.
- From your course menu, click (+) and add a tool link to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.
- Click Join Room to check out Bb Collaborate using your default course room.
- 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?
- From your web browser, go to http://www.csuchico.edu/zoom.
- Click Sign In.
- From your Personal Meeting Room, click Start and invite a friend to join you. It’s fun and easy.
- 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 (email@example.com) or Marjorie Shepard (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule your training for December 2016 or January 2017.
Some of the new features are:
- Captioning Support
- External media management tool: MediaSpace – that can be accessed separately from the LMS.
- Lecture Recording: CaptureSpace – a way to create online lectures, lab demonstrations, student presentations.
There are a couple ways to get started with these new features.
- Schedule a consultation with one of Instructional Technology Consultants in the Technology and Learning Program to discuss ideas and use case.
- Sign-up for a hands-on workshop. The workshop provides users with an overview of the features available, along with how to create, manage, and distribute media.
At the end of this workshop users will be able to:
- Create media & playlist
- Edit media
- Distribute media
Length: 1.5 hr
For more information, contact the Technology and Learning Program at 530.898.6167.
Sign-up for a Kaltura Workshop.
TLP Support Page : https://wiki.csuchico.edu/confluence/display/tlpkb/Kaltura+-+Bb+Learn
CSU. Chico Faculty: using Lynda.com tutorials is a great source of help to our students. Earlier this fall the internal links to Lynda.com tutorials were not working properly, and we shared with you a work-around. The issue has been repaired, and now the shortcut links work great! If you need any assistance with this, don’t hesitate to contact the Technology and Learning Program (or TLP). We are located in the basement of Meriam Library, room 003. Come visit us, or call x6167, or email email@example.com. We are here to serve you and help simplify instructional activities for your students.