Leicester School of Biological Sciences

7 May 2009

Upgrading to Blackboard 9

Filed under: Blackboard, news — Tags: , , — jobadge @ 2:58 pm

You will have seen that ITS have announced a major upgrade for Blackboard for the new academic year. credit: Garrettc flickrWithin the School of Biological Sciences I will be reviewing the impact of this upgrade on our practices. If you have any questions or concerns that you would like to raise, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Internal support and information pages for version 9 upgrade.

Link to register for ITS briefing session 27 may 2009 on the upgrade

credit: Garrettc flickr


The Blackboard virtual learning environment will be upgrade during the summer vacation (2009).

The planned upgrade date is MONDAY 3rd AUGUST and IT Services will be upgrading Blackboard to the latest version of the software – version 9.0.

Why: For technical reasons the Blackboard service was not upgrade for this academic year (2008-2009) and our current version (version 7.3) will become unsupported in October 2009. Blackboard Version 8 saw an upgrade to the grade book which now supports multitude of ways to customize the display of the Grade Centre, however, this version remains problematic so IT Services has decided to upgrade to Blackboard Version 9.

What does it Offer: Blackboard Version 9 is the latest release and features an expanded” Web 2.0” and “social learning” tools, such as blogs and journals and the new Blackboard Sync facility allows certain Blackboard content to be available to users of Facebook and the Apple iPhone.

What are the Changes: The major change for Blackboard users is the redesigned and customizable user interface. Although the student view basically remains the same as previous versions there are some significant changes in the user interface for course instructors – although the basic Blackboard functionality remains the same.


31 March 2009

Anonymous marking in Turnitin

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to, turnitin — jobadge @ 10:31 am

The TurnitinUK plagiarism detection service has now released an anonymous marking option.

When you add a new Turnitin Assignment there is now a new screen with the usual options of setting the assignment’s title and start date etc. but at the bottom of the screen there is a “more options” link. Within “more options” is a new feature: “Enable anonymous marking?”. If this option is switched on then course instructors will not see any student names in the TurnitinUK system until after the post-date (which is set when the assignment is set-up).

18 March 2009

iPhone app for Blackboard

Filed under: Blackboard — jobadge @ 12:41 pm

Blackboard Learn™ for the Apple iPhone™ and iPod® Touch mobile digital devices will be available from 26 March 2009, at no cost from the Apple iTunes® App Store.

Similar to the integration with the Facebook® platform, Blackboard Learn for the Apple iPhone is enabled through the Blackboard Sync central service.

Blogged with the Flock Browser


12 February 2009

Customising a Module Survey in Blackboard

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: , , — jobadge @ 1:13 pm

There is a copy of the standard school of Biological Sciences end of module questionnaire available to use on Blackboard as an online survey. Contact Jo Badge to have a copy added to your course site.

Once the survey has been added, you can customise the questions to include the names of the lecturers on the course. Then you can set the survey to become available to students automatically on any given date.

This short video demonstrates how to add the survey, customise it and make it available.

Accessing the results of a Module Survey

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: — jobadge @ 12:47 pm

A Quick video showing how to access the results of a Module survey in Blackboard.


Getting module questionnaire data from Blackboard

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: — jobadge @ 11:18 am

How to use the data gathered on a Blackboard survey for a module questionnaire and represent answers as scores not percentages.

The School of Biological Sciences standard end of module questionnaire is available as a blackboard survey which can be customised for your course. Contact Jo Badge to get a copy for your course.

To see which students have completed the survey

Once the module has ended and the survey has been completed by as many students as possible, you can access the data via the gradebook.


You will see a column for the module questionnaire (subtitled ‘survey’). A green tick will appear for every student that has completed the questionnaire and submitted it. A padlock icon indicates that the student has looked at, but not completed the questionnaire. You will not be able to retrieve partial data from these attempts, so contact the students and ask them to finish the survey.

To view the summary of results:

Click on heading for the column for the module questionnaire (subtitled ‘survey’), then choose ‘ASSESSMENT ATTEMPT DETAILS’. This will show you how many students answered the survey and give percentage scores for each answer.

assessment attempt details

assessment attempt details

For simplicity and a record of the survey this page can be printed off.

Alternatively, if you wish to download the raw data for the survey, you can manipulate the results in Excel to produce an overall score out of 5 for each question.

To download the raw data

From the GRADEBOOK, click on heading for the column for the module questionnaire (subtitled ‘survey’), then choose ‘DOWNLOAD RESULTS’. Save the file to your computer.

download survey

download survey

To convert to scores

Open the downloaded results in Excel. Copy and paste the formulas from the example spreadsheet into your dataset for each question.

12 December 2008

Create your own student account on Blackboard

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: — jobadge @ 11:19 am

A student view account can be created for a user if one doesn’t already exist. The standard format for the account is ‘cfsUsername_s’, so for a CFS account of ‘abc1’, the student view account will be ‘abc1_s’. The user needs to enter a password (and a password confirmation) and they also have the option of enrolling the account as a student onto the current course.

If a student view account already exists, the user has the option to modify the password.

The tool will be available from Tuesday 9th December. The tool is only available for users with a course role of Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Grader or Course Builder.

To access the tool please follow this Blackboard menu route: COURSE SITE > CONTROL PANEL > Course Tools Section > STUDENT VIEW ACCOUNT

3 December 2008

Re-using existing module surveys in other courses

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: , , — jobadge @ 2:15 pm

End of module surveys can be carried out on Blackboard. If you wish to use a module survey that already exists on Blackboard course on a new module, you can export the existing survey and import it into the new course.


export survey from module manager

export survey from module manager

The survey will then be packaged as a zip file which you can download to your computer.

In the new course:


import module survey into new course

import module survey into new course

Browse to find the module survey that you downloaded and import it.

more on surveys

getting data out of a module survey

15 September 2008

Downloading a course archive file from Blackboard

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to, recycle — Tags: , , — jobadge @ 1:52 pm

The Blackboard system is backed up every night at 2am, however, the back up taken is a whole of system one and cannot be used to restore individual courses. It is therefore recommended that you create a back up file of your blackboard course site regularly. A copy should be taken at the end of each academic year to preserve the teaching materials used in that year for QAA purposes.

The Blackboard back up file (called an archive) is created by the server at your request and stored on the course site (full instructions on how to create your own archive file). You can take a copy of the file to download to your own computer. The archive file cannot be opened and viewed but can be restored to Blackboard if needed.

To collect your archive file:

go to the CONTROL PANEL and choose ‘archive course’ from the course settings menu

control panel

Right click on the long filename in blue to download the file to your local computer.

right click on long filename

right click on long filename

Once the file is downloaded you can delete the archive from blackboard by clicking ‘remove’.

delete the archive file from Blackboard

delete the archive file from Blackboard

3 September 2008

Making a course unavailable or available again!

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: , — jobadge @ 10:25 am

How to ‘turn off’ a course so that it does not appear in the course catalogue and is not available to students

As an instructor you can change make a course site unavailable to students but still visible to instructors and teaching assistants. Choose CONTROL PANEL > (Course Options) SETTINGS > COURSE AVAILABILITY.  Choose ‘no’ to make the course unavailable to users (i.e. students). This is a good way to ‘hide’ your course while you make updates to it, or to keep an old course site available for QA purposes if it has been replaced with a newer version. To make the course available again, just repeat the procedure, this time selecting ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’.

from University of Leicester Bb tips

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