To total or not to total – Blackboard Grade Center

Every teacher has goals to be effective and efficient. Knowing more about the tools and features in Blackboard’s Grade Center can help you reach your potential. This week’s tip concentrates on different kinds of Total columns you might use in your course to organize and compute final grades. There is a lot of capability and might be the perfect feature for you to implement in your course.

Blackboard adds new features

New features have been updated in Blackboard Learn relating to assignment submissions. Teachers and students are now able to add attachments via drag and drop. There are also new features that allow tracking of quiz attempts and assignment submissions. Read this week’s Teaching Tip to learn how the new features are giving both students and instructors more power in Blackboard Learn.

Providing feedback in Blackboard two ways

Building a rubric can help you determine how—or if—an assignment aligns to your course objectives. Once built, you may use it to frame your feedback. Sharing the specifics with students prior to task assignment helps focus their efforts. Your students may not know about the wealth of information provided by clicking on the link, “View Rubric.”

Adapt your course for Blackboard Mobile Learn

More and more students are using mobile devices and an app called Blackboard Mobile Learn to access course content on the go. While students shouldn’t solely rely on smartphones to complete course requirements, there are steps instructors can take to make it a better experience, such as using common file types (like PDFs), keeping titles short and testing links on a variety of devices.

Build game badging options inside of Blackboard Learn

We all spend time playing games. According to vertoanalytics.com, we spend more than a billion hours per month playing mobile games and that doesn’t include games played on laptops, desktops or with game consoles.1 According to the entertainment software association, in 2015, 65% of US households had at least one person who played online games, three hours or more per week.

Building accessibility into online Blackboard courses

Blackboard provides built-in mechanisms to ensure online content adheres to accessibility standards for its static structure. Once content or third party elements like multimedia and links to resources are added, there are steps you take to maintain accessibility. As you begin adding course content in Blackboard, be mindful of what the end result may look like using a screen reader.

Blackboard provides student performance analysis tools

The Blackboard Grade Center offers options for reviewing student performance on your tests and exams and can be a useful mechanism for evaluating the effectiveness of your test questions. A poorly worded question doesn’t mean your students aren’t mastering the content. Look for Attempts Statistics, Download Results, Item Analysis and Column Statistics as options in the column header for your test.

Blackboard – time to reconsider

This time of year we’re all spending a lot of time in Blackboard, yet seldom does one hear its praises sung within our hallowed halls. It may not be the shiniest tool in our toolbox, and some might even say its menus and structures are less than an inspiring home for the learning and cognitive transformations we expect it to facilitate.

Blackboard hints & tricks

If you’re a longtime Windows user, you might be wishing for a visual folder structure view of your course. You may be more familiar with a “tree” structure where you see folders with a “+” sign indicating something in the folder. When you click on the folder icon that is right above the course name, a new window will open that allows you to navigate quickly to a nested tree structure where titles are links. This option is also available for students.

Going mobile

The Blackboard Learn application for iOS has been available for quite a while. The application is very student friendly and is a great option for accessing course material and posting to the discussion board using a mobile device. The Blackboard Grader application is now available (iOS iPad only) and should prove to be a great advantage for instructors.

Blackboard

Having an institutional Learning Management System (LMS) has both advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages are that class and student data is automatically created based on the institution’s registration system, students gain familiarity with the LMS’ structure and navigation, there is an online gradebook for teachers and students, and more.

Word vs. Blackboard

Many instructors spent frenzied final hours before launch wrestling content into Blackboard. One frequent source of challenge is that nearly all of us develop our lectures, notes and syllabi in Microsoft Word and when we transfer these materials online, we unwittingly wander into a decades old battleground. We innocently expect that we should be able to copy and paste from our Word document directly into Blackboard. But the potential layers of complexity and conflict can be more than frustrating.

Bb eCampus tab

Are you teaching or are you enrolled in a UAF eCampus-supported course? If so, you may have recently noticed a new feature in Blackboard we call the ‘UAF eCampus Tab’. If you haven’t checked it out, next time you log into Blackboard, look next to the ‘My Blackboard’ tab at the top right and click on ‘UAF eCampus’. You will find three sections there with lots of important and helpful information including links to social media on each page.

Gradebook running total

Whether you use a Weighted Total column and/or the Total column, take a look at how the use of the Running Total option affects your students’ perception of their grade.
To experiment without adjusting an actual student’s grade record, click on the “Go To Student View” button located in the upper right corner under the tabs that say “My Blackboard” and “Courses.”

Quiz analysis

The end of the semester is a good time to review how well your students did on your class assessments and if those assessments actually gave you evidence of student’s understanding. One type of assessment that you might include in your course is a test that students access through Blackboard.

Video anywhere

A feature called, Video Anywhere, has been added to Blackboard. This feature allows you, and your students, to add personalized video clips to any area in Blackboard that has an editing menu; like the discussion forum, blogs, journals, and wikis for students, and all content areas and gradebook feedback for instructors.

Blackboard global navigation

Get an overview of your activity within the Blackboard world all in one spot by using the new Global Navigation feature in the update, Service Pack 11, for Blackboard 9.1. This efficient suite of tools will help you and your students get an overview of your activity within the Blackboard world –all in one spot.

What’s new in Blackboard Service Pack 8

In May 2012, Blackboard was upgraded with some exciting new features along with some behind-the-scene changes to help fix some errors and issues. This update has some great new tools that continue to improve the online learning experience for students.

Blackboard email notifications

Do you need to be reminded when there is activity due in your Blackboard course? If you have a student finishing up an Incomplete grade it is easy to set-up Email Notifications on all, or individual courses that you are teaching through Blackboard.

Blackboard Grade Center set due date

It it now much easier to update your due dates for assignments in Blackboard Learn, thanks to the installation of a Building Block called Set Grade Center Due Dates. You can change all the dates on one page.