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SafeAssign Cannot be Enabled when Assignment is Unavailable

September 24th, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

Issue Description: When an assignment is unavailable, SafeAssign options can not be turned on. When submitting the page, the selection does not persist, so going into the SafeAssignment, or back to the edit page will show the option is still not selected.

Workaround:  Make the assignment available and then check the box for SafeAssign.

Additionally you can make the assignment available, check the box for SafeAssign, and Limit Availability with Display After and Until dates.


Student Preview in Blackboard

August 22nd, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

View original document in Google Drive


Welcome Back from Online Learning

August 15th, 2014 by Brandon Davis-Shannon

Welcome back, Faculty!

We hope all of you had a great summer (whether you were on break or teaching).  To help start the semester off smoothly, we at Online Learning would like to send a few pieces of information your way.

1. Student Blackboard Tutorial.  There is a new student introduction to Blackboard!  This tutorial is more streamlined, focusing on the bare essentials like the tools most frequently used in courses.  Plus, it produces a certificate that students can present to you as proof that they have completed the tutorial.  Please consider asking your students to complete this tutorial during the first week of class.  They can find it under their course list titled “CFCC Blackboard Tutorial.”

The tutorial is also available outside of Blackboard sans practice activities and certificate, so take a look to get an idea of what the tutorial covers!

2. Enrollment Verification (EV).  As you ready your classes, please make sure that students are pointed to the EV assignment and that the due dates are correct. For the Spring semester, the EV (census) dates are:

  • 1st Mini Session: Aug 20th
  • Full semester: Aug 26th
  • 2nd Mini Session: Oct 17th

For those not familiar with EV, it is a check to make sure students are attending class.  Students who do not meet its requirements are marked as No-Shows and withdrawn from the course.  You can find a full explanation at the Enrollment Verification page at the Online Learning site.

3. Blackboard Upgrade.  And there are some changes that we think you’ll like a lot: SafeAssign is integrated with regular assignments, the test student feature has been replaced with a much better tool called Student Preview, and more.  To get you up to speed, Online Learning is offering three training sessions next week:

Times and Locations:

  • Tues, Aug 19th @ 9:30 in L-220
  • Weds, Aug 20th @ 2 in L-220
  • NORTH: Thurs, Aug 21st @ 2 in NA-311

Register for the workshop

4. Startup Help.  Remember, if you encounter any problems with Blackboard during start-up, we can be reached for assistance at 910-362-7772 or online@cfcc.edu.

Look for more resources and information from the department of Online Learning in the coming weeks.

Have a great semester!


Blackboard Downtime, Aug 4th

August 3rd, 2014 by Brandon Davis-Shannon

Blackboard will be undergoing an upgrade on Monday, August 4th, from 12:30am to 12:30pm.  During this time, Blackboard will be unavailable.

After the upgrade, you will see some minor changes in the way Blackboard is set up, including the way options for some assessments and tools are organized, the replacement of Test Students with a much easier to use Student Preview option, and the integration of SafeAssign with the regular Assignment tool (allowing you to use inline grading and SafeAssign at the same time).  If you have questions about any changes you see or find any problems with the system, please let us know by phone at x7772 or through email at online@cfcc.edu.  In addition, keep an eye open for an email containing registration information about “What’s New in Blackboard” sessions to help you learn the new features of Blackboard.

We apologize for any inconvenience this downtime may cause you.


Blogs in Blackboard

July 7th, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

View original document in Google Drive


Course Files in Blackboard

June 18th, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

Uploading files to your course is a great way to build your course repository and gain easy access to your files or link them to content.

General Course File Info

Uploading File(s) to Your Course video

About Files Added Automatically to Course Files

Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files

Linking to Files and Folders in Course Files

Managing Files and Folders in Course Files

Controlling Access to Course Files

Moving Files to Course Files


General Course Enviroment in Blackboard

June 18th, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

Courses vary in design depending on the instructor, but some common elements exist.  Here is an overview of the various options for the course environment.

Course Environment Terminology (pdf)

Your Course Environment video

Setting a Course Homepage video

Displaying/Hiding links in the Course Menu

Add a Banner video

Add Menu Items includes:

Build a Learning Module video


Using the Date Management tool in Blackboard

June 18th, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

View original document in Google Drive


Using the Grade Center in Blackboard

June 18th, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

The Grade Center contains student assessment submissions and other grading information for the course. Due to its flexibility, it can be complicated to learn how to manage, so it is strongly suggested that you spend some time working in this area of your course.

The Grade Center includes a row for each student and columns for informational items (name, last access date, etc.), assessments (tests, assignments, graded discussions, etc.), and total columns. The instructor can retrieve student submissions from the Grade Center and apply comments and file attachments, which students can view.

There are many options for viewing your Grade Center (filters and ordering tools). You can hide and show columns, reorder columns, create grade reports and much more.

Before your course starts, it is important for you to verify that your Grade Center is set up correctly. Are all graded items included? Are the columns properly organized? If you use grade weighting, is weighting set up correctly?

Grade Center Overview (pdf)

Customizing the Grade Center View video

Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns includes:

  • About User Info Columns
  • About Grade Columns
  • About Calculated Columns
  • Grade Center Columns to My Grades (for students)
  • Create Grade Columns
  • Create Total Columns
  • Create Weighted Columns
  • External Grade Columns
  • Edit, Hide and Delete Columns

Needs Grading video

Entering Grades

View Grade Details

Accessing the Early Warning System and Creating a Grade Rule video

Viewing Grade Details video

Creating a Grade Report video

Color Code the Grade Center video

Download Your Gradebook video

Grade a Test/Quiz Question by Question video


Content Area in Blackboard

June 18th, 2014 by Brantley McKeithan

After you create a course area, such as a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder, you create content in it by pointing to its action bar to reveal menus for selecting content items, tests, and links to tools.

Creating a Content Area

Adding Content to a Content Area video

Editing / Managing  Content

Using the Content (text) Editor video

Adding Textbook Information to Your Course video

Adding a URL video

Add a YouTube video with the Mashup Tool video

Linking to Tools in a Content Area



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