Learning Centered Technology

Technology for the Educator

Archive for July 2014

Add a Test Student to Courses in Blackboard Learn

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If you have been using Blackboard 9 for a while you are aware that faculty Student View does not give you a true image of what your student’s experiences. A new building block, Add a Test Student, fixes that problem by allowing instructors to add test student in their class without involving the admin staff.

To add a test student log into the course as instructor. Under the Control Panel click Course Tools> Add Test Student.

Add Test Student

Add Test Student

Blackboard will create a test student using the account name in which you are logged into blackboard and add a “_s.” Choose you own password and select enroll and submit.

To use the account, log out as instructor and log back in under the test student account information.

Removing the Test Student from your course.

When you want to remove the test student, log in as the instructor. Under the Control Panel click Course Tools> Add Test Student.

Remove Test Student

Remove Test Student

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Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

July 28, 2014 at 9:17 am

Retention Center

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The Retention Center provides you a simple way to keep track of your students. When a student misses a deadline, makes a bad grade, or does not access the class on a regular basis the retention center will automatically alert you to the problem. You can directly contact the at risk student from the retention center. The monitor option allows you to flag at risk students for closer monitoring.

To access the Retention Center click Control Panel> Evaluation> Retention Center.

At risk students will automatically appear in the Retention Center. The default categories of Missed Deadlines, Grades Alert, Activity Alert, and Access Alert will appear in the center. A Customize button at the top right of the screen will allow you to customize and create new alerts.

Retention Center

Retention Center

The bottom portion of the Retention Center screen consist of your course activities. It offers a few suggestions for the instructor to add an interactive class experience to keep students engaged. Instructors can directly access the discussion boards, blogs, announcement and other activities from the Retention Center.

Retention Center Support

Retention Center Support

 

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

July 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Date Manager

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The Date Manager is a Blackboard Building Block that allows you to set dates for various course activities. The date manager only shows activities that have dates associated with them such as Start and End Dates, Adaptive Release Start and End Dates, and Due Dates.

I have notice two issues with the date manager, but they are easily overcome.

  • An activity does not show up in the Date Manager. The activity was never associated with a date. You will need to access the activity through the course content and rerun the date manager.
  • Too many activities show up in the Date Manager. If the course was taught previous semesters and some announcements or quizzes are expired, they will still show up in the date manager. You must remove dates from all activities you do not want to show up.

To access the Date Manager go to Control Panel> Course Tools> Date Manager. The first time you run the date manager you will be asked to select Adjustment Options, choose List All Dates for Review option and click Start.

Date Manager

Date Manager

 

Date Management Progress will update the system to the current status. Once it is 100% complete click Next. You will see a complete list of activities and dates. Click on the Pencil Icon to the right of the activity to edit the dates.

Date Listing

Date Listing

 

Once you have completed the edit, click the green box with a white arrow to submit the change.

Set Dates

Set Dates

After completing the date update, the system will send you an email listing all the activities, with both old and new dates.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

July 14, 2014 at 9:00 am

Livescribe 3 Pen

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Livescribe 3 Pen

Livescribe 3 Pen

My new favorite toy is the Livescribe 3 Pen for the iPad. Many of you may be familiar with the Livescribe pen, but let’s face it, it was a hassle dealing with the USB cable to upload your pen cast. The Livescribe 3 connect via Bluetooth to your ipad and your writing are uploaded with no hassle.

The device feels like a real pen in your hand, although a little on the thick side. The pen and notepad allows you to keep traditional style hardcopy notes and simultaneously creates an electronic copy. It uses your ipad’s microphone to record voice and automatically sync’s with your writing. The ipad app allows you to send electronic copies via email. The pen itself uses real ink and on the opposite end is a nice stylus tip for your ipad.

Another bonus is the online content can be converted to text with the swipe of a finger. Of course that requires legible handwriting to work properly.

One of the major drawbacks of the pen is the need to use special paper, proprietary dotted paper. They do say that you can print copies of the special paper if you own a 600dpi (or higher) inkjet printer.

You can learn more about the pen at the Livescribe website located at http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/smartpen/ls3/.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

July 7, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in iPad, Other Topics of Interest

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