Archive for January, 2011

Some Blackboard Issues Resolved

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Some of the Grade Center problems have been resolved, including the issues related to submitting test attempt, clearing test attempt, and the duplicate assignment download and clear links.

The remaining Grade Center issue is related to navigating to a locked test attempt. The link below will explain the problem and provide a work-around. However, at this time, new YouTube mashups are not working (existing ones are fine) and there is a menu problem for unavailable courses.

The following document will provide more information and workarounds:

Blackboard SP4 Issues (pdf)

NOTE About CALENDARS: There are some issues with the Calendar display and due dates displayed in the My Calendar module. More information will be posted at a later date. The Calendar display can be resolved by using Firefox or IE 8 browser (but not in compatibility mode).

Update: What’s Right? What’s Wrong?

Monday, January 24th, 2011

CFCC recently updated Blackboard and a few issues were resolved included:

  • Course banners are now available.
  • Students can again embed images in discussion, wiki, and blog posts and the instructor can view them.

There are a few problems with the Grade Center, including issues with navigating to locked tests, submitting test attempts for the students, and clearing attempts. The link below describes the problems and work arounds or solutions:

Grade Center Problems and Solutions (pdf)

Free eBooks and More

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Open Culture is a great site that identifies free resources available for education.

Among this week’s posts is a notice that Kaplan is offering 130 free eBooks through January 10 (for iPad, iPhone, iPhod, Nook, and Sony eReader). There are many SAT, GRE, GMAT, and other college exam study guides available.

Other things you will find listed at Open Culture include audio books, online courses, language lessons, eBooks, textbooks and movies. One example is To Kill a Mockingbird, shown below.

Visit the Learning Objects and Open Source Content to learn about other educational content you can use for your courses.

Help Your Students Help Themselves

Friday, January 7th, 2011

It’s a new semester with new students. There are few things you can do to help students succeed in their online courses:

  • Remind them about the Blackboard student tutorial. This course appears in every student’s list of courses and they can enter it at any time. This tutorial provides students with activities they can complete to familiarize themselves with Blackboard. There are a number of tutorials and guidelines they should follow when taking online courses.
  • Request that students read the Distance Learning Basics: Skills for being a successful online student (pdf), which is included in the Blackboard Student Tutorial (available to all students in Blackboard). Some instructors include the reading as one of the introduction activities to the course.
  • Provide a thorough introduction to the course, along with your expectations (see CFCC Course Essentials)
  • Let students know which file types you will accept for assignments (be aware that some students might not have MS Office, etc. so provide ways for them to save files in an acceptable format) and how to properly name files. See this Filenaming and File Types document (part of the student tutorial) for some information and suggestions.
  • Provide students with information about taking quizzes and tests in Blackboard. This document is included in the student tutorial.
  • Advise students about two important help sites: