Leicester School of Biological Sciences

13 January 2011

Adding a new menu button on Blackboard

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: , , , , — jobadge @ 5:26 pm

To add a new menu button on Blackboard 9.0

  1. switch on Edit mode (top right)
  2. click on the grey + button on the top left of the menu
  3. add content item
  4. name the item (e.g. ‘exam’) and make available to users

You can copy content into the new ‘exam’ area using ‘copy’ on the item or folder of items.

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9 February 2010

Peermarking in Turnitin

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to, news, turnitin — Tags: , , , — jobadge @ 1:00 pm

PeerMark appeared in the January roll out of a major Turnitin update in January 2010. For a change, this new feature works within the Blackboard integration, so I’ve been taking a look at it. Here is a quick video demonstrating one of the assignments I set up.

There is a full demo of the system available on Turnitin’s support website.

If you want to do anonymous or open peer marking with students, this is certainly a good way to do it.  It was used on the Bioinformatics MSc last week, which has been written up as a separate case study.

I have some usability issues with the system – it is difficult to preview the assignment to know how exactly it will appear to students.  Getting the dates for submission and posting sorted out can be challenging, there are a lot of dependent dates involved and again it isn’t intuitive to know what dates to pick. Overall if you want to do peer marking on work that can be submitted through Turnitin, this is a good option.

1 June 2009

Upgrading to IE 7

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to, news — Tags: , , , — jobadge @ 10:06 am
photo credit: flickr jeffwilcox

photo credit: flickr jeffwilcox

ITS are pushing us to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 – if you use IE for your web access and use Blackboard you MUST upgrade to use the new version of Blackboard coming over the summer for use in the next academic year.

From ITS:

7 reasons to change to Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) – upgrade now

It’s easy to upgrade from IE6 – find out about the new features in IE7 and how to install it

To find out which version you are using, open Internet Explorer and press F1 to open the help dialogue box. If the logo on the right displays an ‘e’ in a square box and doesn’t state the version number, then you are still using IE6.

There are plenty of reasons to change to Internet Explorer 7 and it’s easy to install:

1. Tabbed browsing

If you want to keep your current page open and browse for something else, just start a new tab. This means there’s only one copy of IE7 open (which uses less PC resources) and you can easily jump from one page to the next. You can open multiple tabs then close them individually or all in one go.

Even better than tabbed browsing – if you have a lot of pages open in tabs already you can view thumbnail previews of them to help you navigate to the correct one more quickly

2. Supports Blackboard 9

Blackboard 9 is being introduced in August 2009. Certain functions will not work with IE6, so why not upgrade now so that you’re ready for the changeover. IE6 will not be supported after October 2009.

3. Page zoom

You can quickly zoom in on a web page to make it easier to read. The whole layout including the navigation, pictures and text can now be magnified.

4. Improved printing

IE7 will automatically scale the page to fit when printing whereas if the page if it is too wide to fit the print area in IE6 then text will be lost.

5. Instant search box

The Google search box appears on the toolbar so you don’t need to navigate to your search engine first – just start a new tab, type in your search & go.

6. Newer and improved security

Improved security is available in IE7. Malicious coders look to exploit vulnerabilities in older browsers – you are more at risk from viruses, malware and hacking if you don’t have the latest supported version.

7. End of support

Support for IE6 will be phased out from the beginning of the new academic year 2009/10

What’s new in IE7

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Removing staff from Blackboard

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: , — jobadge @ 10:22 am

You can remove staff from a course that are enrolled as instructors/ teaching assistants etc by first downgrading them to the role of a student. Click CONTROL PANEL:MODIFY/LIST USERS search for the staff member by name or cfs username, click on PROPERTIES and change the staff member’s role to a student. Then CONTROL PANEL:REMOVE USERS FROM COURSE: search for the staff member by name, tick in the box next to their name and type ‘Yes’ in the box below.

1 September 2008

Creating a back up of your Blackboard site

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to, recycle — Tags: , , — jobadge @ 11:16 am

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. 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 create an archive file:

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

control panel

next click on ‘Archive’ to create the backup file

archive file

The file will be created by the server and you will be sent an email when it has been created

Going back to the ‘archive course’ menu, you will now see a new file has been created. 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

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