Learning Centered Technology

Technology for the Educator

Archive for March 2015

Blackboard Discussion Tip #42

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This is a great time saving tip for students and faculty. One way Discussions are used in an online classroom is to create community. There are many other reasons to use it, but despite the reasons sometimes it is difficulty keeping up with all the post.  Normally you would click the post open, read and reply, close it and repeat the process for the next post.

In the example below there were about 80 post to read. Instead of going through the normal process for each post you can select the post you want to read by clicking the selection box to the left of the post (or all post can be selected at one time by clicking the select box in the row header) and clicking the Collect button.

Collect Post

Collect Post

A new window will open where you can view all the selected post on one screen. Not only can you view the post, but you can reply to the individual post. In addition, you will have the ability to sort and\or print from the collect view.

Read Post

Read Post

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Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

March 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

Blackboard Glossary

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The Glossary is an often under-utilized blackboard tool that creates a list of terms with definitions for students. One of the major drawbacks to the glossary is keying all the terms. This can be time consuming and tedious work.

Blackboard Glossary

Blackboard Glossary

Recently I came across an article by Barbara Schroeder on the Technology Teacher blog titled, Collaborating in Blackboard: Student-created Glossary. The article explains how she turns this exercise into a collaborative activity for her students. This activity not only helped the students learn the terms but made them feel some ownership with the course.

Basically Ms. Schroeder would share a common document with student and require each student to input one word and definition a week (In the proper format) into the document. The students would include their name at the end of the definition as proof of their participation. After the due date the instructor would save and upload the file to the glossary and assign points for each student’s participation.

This resulted in the continuous improvement of a course glossary that could be used in future courses.

Formatting of the shared document is simple:

  • It must be in TXT or CSV format.
  • Each record must be on a separate line and do not include blank line between records.
  • Each field must be enclosed in double quotation marks.
  • Each field must be separated with one of the following delimiters: comma, colon, or tab.

Record format is as follows: “Term”,”Definition.”

Example:

“Genre (ZHAHN-ruh)”,”a type of literature. We say a poem, novel, story, or other literary work belongs to a particular genre if it shares at least a few conventions, or standard characteristics, with other works in that genre.”

For detailed instructions on creating a course Glossary and uploading a Glossary file, check out the Blackboard Glossary Instructions help page..

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

March 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

Test Availability Exception

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Providing extended time for exams for students with accommodations just got easier with the new Test Availability Exception in Blackboard 9. Instructors can build their test as usual, but when the test is deployed an additional setting allows the instructor to create exceptions. This option replaces the need for creating a duplicate exam and using adaptive release.

Tests must be deployed to a Content Area before accommodations can be set. Instructors can provide accommodations for the following items:

  • number of attempts
  • time duration
  • availability
  • force completion
  • more than one student can have unique availability exceptions added
Test Availability Exception

Test Availability Exception

Once the test has been deployed in a content area, edit the settings by selecting the action link next to the title of the test. Select “Edit Test Options.”

To add an exception:

  1. Select “Add a User or Group” under the Test Availability Exceptions.
  2. Adjust the AttemptsTimerAvailability and Force Completion settings to suit accommodations.
  3. Press Submit.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

March 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

Blackboard Gradebook Tip #57

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Teaching an online course has many advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that content can be moved from semester to semester without having to completely rebuild a course. The instructor can modify the content to keep if fresh, but they do not have to do a total overhaul.

One disadvantage of online learning is moving content from semester to semester. Sometimes this process will make a mess of the gradebook. As content is modified or changed over time, the gradebook will still reflect columns for old assignments and exams.

A simple way to remove unwanted and unused columns is to check the column information. Go to the full grade center and click on the action link in the column header. If the column information only displays Hide Column, that column is associated with a tool in Blackboard such as quiz, assignment or discussion as seen below in Column A Information. This column cannot be deleted. If a column is not associated with a tool, the column will have a delete column option as seen in Column B Information.

Delete a Column

Delete a Column

If the delete Column option is available you can delete the column. (Keep in mind that certain columns may have been manually added without using blackboard tools. These column can be deleted but use caution.)

If a column is associated with a Blackboard tool and you want it gone, you will need to go into the tool and make the assignment non-gradable. Sometimes this will automatically remove the column, other times you will need to go back to the gradebook and manually remove the column as discussed above.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

March 9, 2015 at 9:00 am

iPhone ATM PIN code hack- HOW TO PREVENT

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The following video was created by Mark Rober and can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vc-69M-UWk. This video reveals a simple method to help protect your PIN codes and well worth the 3:45 minutes of watch time.


Published on Aug 28, 2014 by Mark Rober for Creativity Design Science.
This is a new way for bad guys to steal your ATM pin code using an iPhone without you noticing at all BUT there is a really simple way to prevent it from happening.

PLEASE CONSIDER SUBSCRIBING: http://tinyurl.com/MarkRober-Sub

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

March 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in security

Tagged with , ,

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