Grade Center columns can be frozen in place so they do not move while scrolling through the other data. Frozen columns remain in place on the left side of the Grade Center while the rest of the columns can be scrolled across. This helps instructors easily match up individual students with their scores across the length of the Grade Center. Instructors can freeze and unfreeze any of the columns in the Grade Center page.
To freeze a column:
- Go to the Grade Center.
- Click Manage> Column Organization
- On the Column Organization page, notice the dark gray bar. Everything above the bar is frozen.
- To add a grade column to the “frozen” section, click the four-sided arrow next to the item name and drag and drop the row above the dark gray bar.
To unfreeze a column:
- Go to the Grade Center.
- Click Manage> Column Organization
- To remove a grade column to the “frozen” section, click the four-sided arrow next to the item name and drag and drop the row below the dark gray bar.
With the startup of the new semester things are a bit hectic, so today I am providing you with some links to educational games.
- Nobelprize – http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/: Nobelprize is the Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize. There are several games available for free at the site. Games include: Blood Typing Game, The DNA – the Double Helix Game, Immune System Game, Pavlov’s Dog Game and many more.
Other site with cool online games for college students include:
- Active Worlds – https://www.activeworlds.com/web/index.php : You can participate or build a virtual world, custom brand that world and more with this game that businesses and educational institutes use for problem solving, strategics and communication.
- CyberCiege – http://cisr.nps.edu/cyberciege/ : Sponsored by the U.S. Navy, this game was designed to teach network security concepts and it is used as a training tool by agencies of the U.S. government, universities and community colleges. The game is freely available to the U.S. Government and a no-cost license is available for educational institutions. If you have other reasons to use this game, you can learn more about how to obtain it under “Downloads” tab in the site’s menu.
- Entropia Universe – http://www.entropiauniverse.com/ : This site is billed as the first virtual universe with a real cash economy. Join six currently active planets to have fun and to learn skill levels.
- Second Life – http://secondlife.com/ : If you haven’t yet heard about Second Life — even if you do not participate — then you’ve been computer-deprived. This is the largest user-created 3D virtual world community, used by individuals, businesses and educational institutions for socializing, problem-solving, brain-storming and more.
- Games for the Brain – http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/ : Don’t let the simplicity of this site fool you — the games are fun and the skills learned are priceless.
The following games are for live classroom use:
- 5 Games for Test Prep – http://adulted.about.com/od/classroommanagement/tp/5-Games-For-Test-Review.htm : This site give insight into a number of in-class games. It includes: Two Truths and a Lie, Where in the World, Time Machine, Snowball Fight, and Brainstorm Race.
- Ice Breaker Games for Adults in the Classroom – http://adulted.about.com/od/icebreakers/tp/toptenicebreakers.htm : Games include: Two Truths and a Lie, People Bingo, Marooned, If you had a Magic Wand, Table Topics, The Power of Story, and more.
Once the class content is up and running, it is time to start managing students. At BridgeValley, students will automatically show up in the course roster, but will not have access to the course until the first day of the semester. This is done to give faculty members time to make changes to the content without interruption. Students tend to believe that online learning should take place anytime anywhere which is sort of true. The truth is anytime anywhere is correct, but it takes place within the semester dates.
During the First Week of Class Instructors need too…
- Provide online classes with a self-introduction discussion
- Introducing yourself to the class and asking students to post an introduction is a good way to break the ice and build a sense of community. This is also a great way for the instructor to get a feel for students, who they are and what experience they bring to the class.
- Review the personal introductions that students post and respond to each, this shows students that a live person is present and teaching the class. It helps build community.
- Check the class roster often, that first week is typically a drop/add period. You do not want to leave anyone behind nor allow students to continue when they are not enrolled. Some students may be unaware of their enrollment status in the class so send private emails if you see a potential problem.
- Contact students who have not yet accessed the class. You can easily see who has, and has not, accessed your class in the Grade Center. If a student hasn’t accessed the class, there may be a problem that needs your attention. You can use the send email tool to contact students outside of blackboard. Early intervention helps prevent larger problems down the road.
- Have at least one graded activity for the students to complete. Since you cannot physically see students, attendance is harder to take. We use to use last login date as proof of attendance, but regulations have changed. Attendance is now determined by last activity performed by students. (You may use the self-introduction discussion as the graded activity.)
- Take attendance in all online classes and report those to the Registrar via the MyBridge account. The Registrar will note the absence and contact the students. Any student who has not attended class by the end of the fourth week of the class will be notified of their unsatisfactory progress and provided directions on how to withdraw from the class and/or institution. (For more information see Operating Policy D-OP-6-14)
- First date for verification of attendance check is at end of the 1st week of a term. Any student that has not attended classes will have their record flagged with a grade of NGR (no grade reported).
- Financial aid will not be paid until students can provide proof of attendance for all classes. Students reported as not attending must have all instructors sign a proof of attendance form indicating that the student has begun attendance.
One Week Before the Class Starts…
- Send your students a welcome letter that tells them:
- The URL of the course. (Direct Link: http://ilearn-bridgevalley.wvnet.edu)
- How to login (Normally students log into the course through their MyBridge account. (The username is their B number and the password is their six digit birthdate.)
- What materials they need to purchase and where to can get them
- Who to contact if they need technical assistance (Password reset 304.734.6600 and Blackboard reset 293.5192. )
- Reinforce course prerequisites – What are they? How necessary are the prerequisites? Will you enforce them?
- If you do not want your student so see some content hide the selected class materials from student view. (Optional)
- Post a “Welcome Announcement” for your students.
- Tell your students to begin the class by reviewing the syllabus and working through your class orientation materials. Provide any addition directions for those materials!
- Remind students of the official class start date.
It has been said the busiest time of the year for faculty members teaching traditional classes is the last week of school. On the other hand the busiest time for online faculty is the first week of school.
At BridgeValley our Blackboard LMS is integrated with our Banner system, which means that as soon as the next semester courses are entered into banner a course shell will also be created in Blackboard. The instructor of record and enrolled students will automatically be placed in Blackboard from the banner system.
Although the course is created and students entered, the LMS locks student access until the first day of the semester. Faculty will have access immediately and can start working with the new section as soon as it appears. Here are a few things online faculty need to do to get their previously taught online class ready for a new semester.
Before Your Class Begins…
- Copy your Blackboard section (if you have taught your course in Blackboard previously and want to reuse the same materials for the upcoming term). Instruction to Move Content from Semester to Semester
- Change the Syllabus
- Using word make changes to the old syllabus
- Save the updated syllabus as a PDF document
- From the designer view go to where the old syllabus is deployed to students.
- Click the action link to the right of the syllabus name and choose Overwrite File from the popup menu.
- Upload the new PDF Syllabus.
- Double check your course link to make sure the new syllabus is available to students.
- Change all Due Dates
- Change due dates in the course for all course tools such as assignments, discussion, Announcements, etc… (These dates reflect in the students’ ToDo list and will show up as past due if they are not changed.)
- With the new Date Manager updating Due Dates is much easier.
- Go to Control Panel> Course Tools> Date Manager
- If you have never run date manager before you will need to click Run Date Manager> List all Dates for Review> Start.
- Once the process is complete click Next.
- Select the Pencil to the right of each item to change the dates.
- Once all the dates have been changed click the Refresh button at the top right of the screen and Blackboard will send you an email with all the new dates.
- This process will change dates for…
- Selective Release items
- and any other dated item
- If a date is missing from the list of available items you will need to go to that individual item and add the date. After that is complete the item should appear in the date manager.
- Hide/Reveal Selected Content
- All items including exams, modules, assignment, etc. can be hidden in BB9
- In the designer view click the Action Link beside the name and select Edit
- Check to make sure Permit Users to View this Content is set properly to make it available or unavailable to students.
- Check The Grade Book For Unwanted Columns
- Sometimes a lot of unwanted columns appear in the grade book such as Totals, Weighted Totals, and extra Start Here columns
- To remove them click on the Control Panel> Grade Center> Full Grade Center
- Identify the column you want removed and click on the Action Link in the column header and select Delete Column
- If there is no delete option, it means the column is attached to a tool such as discussion or quiz. In order to remove that column you will need to go to the tool and delete or edit the assignment. If you want to keep the assignment but remove the column in the grade book, you simply make the assignment not gradable.
- You Can Now Delete The Column In The Grade Book
- You can now return to the full grade center and delete the column.
- To organize the order in which the columns appear to instructors and students
- Go to the Full Grade Center and click Manage> Column Organization
- Click the four headed arrow on the left of the screen and drag the columns in the order you want them displayed
- Make sure to click Submit after arranging the order of column or you will lose the changes.
- Check The Discussions For Previous Semester Post
- Click on Discussions
- You should see a list of Forums; to the right of each forum you should see Total Post. If there are post click on the Forum Title to enter the forum
- In the Column title row select the checkbox to select all post
- Click the delete button to remove unwanted post
- This must be done for all forums that contain unwanted post.
- Check Course Menu For Dual Tools
- When copying a course from one semester to the next you will sometimes find dual tools on the course menu.
- Most often Homepage, Start Here, Tools, and Help will be duplicated, but others may be as well
- To remove click the action link beside the unwanted item and click Delete
- Organize the Course List on the Blackboard Homepage
- When you first log onto Blackboard 9 where you see your list of courses, on the My Courses Title bar module, click on the round icon on the right of the screen.
- On the Edit Course List page you can hide courses by unselecting the course.
- You can also change the order the courses appear on your home page by clicking and dragging the course up or down the list of courses.
- When completed click the Submit button.
- Review your course content and fix any broken hyperlinks, images, etc.
- Update your course calendar. Many faculty use the “Calendar” tool to help students see important due dates. Others prefer to include that information on their syllabus or on a stand-alone web page. Regardless of location, busy students appreciate having this information!
- Merge your course sections, if applicable. If you are teaching two sections of a course you can have the students to appear in one section. This process will keep you from having to maintain content in two separate areas. To have your courses merged please contact the Director of Digital Learning.
Next week I will cover tips for the first week of the semester.
In order to increase test security, faculty can use Blackboard’s enhanced test results and feedback options under Test Options to:
- restrict when test results and feedback are shown to students
- select which results (scores, correct responses, and submitted answers) students can view
By default, students see the test results for any course in the My Grades tool (always available in the My Blackboard menu of the global navigation panel) unless you disable the test results in Test Options or hide the grade column from students.
Possible scenarios for showing test results and feedback:
- After Submission: Students can see their test results immediately.
- One-time View: Students can view test results only once, and only after clicking the Save and Submit. If the instructor has turned off all the results, the students will not see any questions.
- On Specific Date: Students can view test results only after the specified date and time fields.
- After Due Date: Students can view the test results only after that date.
- After Availability End Date: Students can view their results after the specified test availability end date.
- After Attempts Are Graded: If tests include essay questions that must be manually graded by the instructor, students will see the specified results after all the attempts have been graded.
Below are 4 scenarios for setting the test and feedback options for test and exams. Each example will show the Test Results and feedback to students setting and be followed by a view of what the student actually sees once they have submitted the exam.
After Submission with Score per Question Selected
One-Time View with No Selections and After Due Date With All Selected
After Submission with All Options Selected
One-Time View with Score per Question and After Due Date With All Options Selected
Many instructors have old video tapes that they use to demonstrate various concepts to their students in traditional classrooms. Now that everything is digital they want to transfer that obsolete technology to a usable format. Over the years I have been ask many times about transferring that data into digital format. Yes it is possible, but often I will use it as an opportunity for the instructor to modernize their resources and find up to date material. In some cases that is just not possible. In addition, there is always those old home movies out there that we as parents use to blackmail our kids when they start dating.
At any rate there are several options available to transfer the data. One new option is the Elgato Video Capture System (https://www.elgato.com/en/video/video-capture). This system is a simple Adapter and cable with the necessary software to connect to your VCR and computer to make the transfer. The system works with both Mac and PC and at less than $100, is affordable.
You may also want to check out the c\net tutorial, Learning How to Take VHS Tapes and Archive Their Content (http://vhs-tapes.worthytales.tv/learning-take-vhs-tapes-archive-content/#).
As a quick reminder, please follow all copyright laws when transferring video.
The Date Management Tool allows the instructor to easily adjust all content and tool dates in your course in one easy location.
To access the Date Management Tool click on the Control Panel> Course Tools section, you can choose to adjust dates automatically or individually.
The first step is to decide if you want the system to automatically adjust the previous or current course item dates to new dates. That can be done Using Course Start Date or Adjusting by Number of Days.
You may also choose to List All Dates for Review, this option will list all the dates without making changes. This is a great tool to use if you only want to change a few dates during the semester.
Use Course Start Date
Use this option when adjusting for new terms. Adjust dates according to the course start date. The Current Start Date displays the date that the course is currently set to start. Change the new start date to reflect when this new course is going to start. All dates in the course adjust by the number of days each date occurs after the start date.
For example if the original course started September 1 with an assignment due September 26—twenty-five days after the start date. If you adjust the new start date to January 12, the assignment is now due February 6—twenty-five days after the new start date.
Using the Use Term Info options allows the instructor to choose the term associated with the course instead of entering start/end dates.
Adjust by Number of Days
Use this option when you know exactly how many days you want to adjust dates by. Type the number of days you want to adjust all dates in the course by. This is based on the dates that are currently set for each item in the course, not today’s date.
Example: On June 1, you adjust dates by 30 days. The assignment that was set to be due September 1 is now due October 1.
Important: Negative numbers move the dates back. Positive numbers move the dates forward.
Items Supported by Date Management
All items with dates are supported by date management, including:
- Content, such as items, files, and audio.
- Assessments, such as tests, surveys, and assignments.
- Tools, such as discussions, blogs, journals, and announcements.
- Manual grade columns.
- Course and organization tasks.
Service Pack 14 in Blackboard allows instructors to create multiple attempt assignments and determine which grade is recorded for that Assignments.
In the Option menu under Grading>Submission Details, an instructor can now allow Multiple Attempts at an assignment.
When Selected a Score Attempts Using drop-down menu will appear. The instructor can choose between Last Graded Attempt, Highest Grade, Lowest Grade, First Graded Attempt, and Average of Graded Attempts.
Service Pack 14 in Blackboard allows instructors to determine which grade is recorded for multiple attempt Test. A Score attempts using drop-down list has been added to the Test Options.
This is a workflow improvement to ensure that instructors know about and can easily find this setting for tools that support multiple attempts.