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.

14 September 2010

Quick help with Blackboard 9

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: — jobadge @ 1:58 pm

Blackboard was upgraded in August 2010, we are now running version 9.0 SP3.

A quick help sheet is available

15 June 2009

Changes to Blackboard 9

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

On 1st August 2009 Blackboard will undergo a major upgrade (from version 7 to 9).

What action do I need to take now?

  • Make sure that you are using Internet Explorer 7 to access Blackboard 9. If you have upgraded to Office 2007 this is part of the upgrade. If you need to access Blackboard from home or a non-cfs PC you will need to upgrade those machines. Office 2007 for home is available from ITS for £17. IE7 is available free to download from Microsoft
  • IE 8, Firefox 3 and Safari 3 are also supported.

What will stay the same?

  • Your courses will be automatically transferred to the new software
  • Jo Badge will still recycle them ready for the new academic year (remove the 2008/9 students and enrol the 2009/10 cohort)
  • You will still be able to use the TurnitinUK system for submitting work for plagiarism scanning. I strongly recommend that you create new TurnitinAssignment items for students to submit work rather than re-use previous links.

What will change?

  • The major change is to the way that you add and edit information on course sites. This now predominantly occurs through in-context menus (i.e. click on an item to change it). The control panel is also accessible from the main course page .
  • Interactive screenshots of an instructor view and edit mode in Blackboard 9
  • Some things will disappear: electronic blackboard, digital drop box, signup list, student homepages.
  • Some things will get better: the gradebook is much enhanced and requires far less clicking to operate

Interactive instructor view

Interactive instructor view

Interactive instructor EDIT view

Interactive instructor EDIT view

What support is available?

  • ITS are providing quick overviews of the changes on: Tuesday 23rd June: 11am – 12pm and Monday 7th September: 2pm – 3pm (Book via staffdev@le.ac.uk )
  • Jo Badge will be running an overview of the changes that affect academic and support staff in the School in the week beginning 14 September 2009. Location and further details will be announced soon.
  • A meeting with MSc convenors has already been arranged for 25 June to take account of the MSc’s earlier start in the academic year.

More information on the upgrade is available from ITS

11 June 2009

Blackboard 9.0 available on test server

Filed under: Blackboard, how_to — Tags: , , — jobadge @ 10:06 am
Bb9.0 instructor view

Bb9.0 instructor view

The Blackboard version 9.0 test system can be accessed via: http://bbtest.le.ac.uk/

please note:

  • The new service requires the use of Internet Explorer version 7. If you have upgraded to Office 2007 on a PC, you will automatically be running IE 7 .To install version 7 on a private CFS client log on to the CFS service and select start | All Programs | Install CFS Software and then select Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 – Upgrade. Next click on Run and the installation will begin.
  • The new system sees the removal of: the Electric Blackboard; the Digital Drop Box and Student Home pages. We shall be communicating separately with the users of Electric Blackboard and we shall be informing students of the loss of their home pages but you may be aware of staff that are making use of the digital drop box. We shall say more about this in the communiqué to all Blackboard course instructors.
  • We are not linking any course assignments on the test system to the TurnitinUK plagiarism detection service. This is to avoid the accidental deletion of any live data that is being held on the TurnitinUK service.
  • The Sign-up List tool will not be available under Version 9.0 as it is replaced by a Blackboard built-in tool within the Group function. The contents of any existing sign-up list will be lost during the final upgrade. We have a Web site where  Known Issues with Blackboard Version 9 can be found.

Finally, if you experience any problem with the test system please report then to the IT Services Help Desk (email ithelp@le.ac.uk; tel 2253) but clearly state that the problem is with the Bbtest system.

Note: this test service is subject to disruption if it is required for investigation of issues or bug fixing.

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.

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