Learn our top tips for wrapping up your online course, including the best practices for ensuring good returns on your course evaluations.
Learn our top tips for wrapping up your online course, including the best practices for ensuring good returns on your course evaluations.
The official system of record for your class list is the Enterprise Self-Service system. This is also the system where students register and drop courses and instructors enter midterm and final grades.
The following is from Constructivism and Online Education by Doolittle:
Constructivism is a theory of knowledge acquisition, not a theory of pedagogy; thus, the nexus of constructivism and online education is tentative, at best. Constructivism posits that knowledge acquisition occurs amid four assumptions:
These four assumptions have led, indirectly, to eight primary pedagogical recommendations:
The question then arises, can an online medium support this pedagogy that is based on the constructivist assumptions?
COLRS Teaching and Technology blog: http://blogs.uis.edu/colrs/
UIS Information Technology Services: http://www.uis.edu/informationtechnologyservices/
Keep students informed.
Syllabus is the center of your course.
Course Calendar – Keep dates in one location.
Make your course materials accessible.
Create a consistent day and time for deadlines.
Create a consistent format for your course.
Give feedback within established parameters.
Check roster in Faculty Self Service. Blackboard is not the system of record.
Faculty Focus is an excellent resource to locate the latest trends in online education. See recent articles and sign-up for email or RSS updates when new articles are posted.
When you enroll a user in your Blackboard course, please keep these points in mind.
To enroll a user in a Blackboard course:
If you cannot find the person in Blackboard, s/he may already be enrolled in your course or may not yet have a NetID. Please contact COLRS for help.
The inline grading tool in Blackboard is not functioning. When you submit an assignment on Blackboard during Spring 2018, submitted assignments will look a bit different. Please review the instructions and images below to
The inline grading tool for Blackboard Assignments is not functioning. We’ve identified two work-arounds for this issue. If you would like to continue using an inline grading function, consider creating a Turnitin Assignment to replace the current Blackboard assignment. You can also learn to grade a Turnitin Assignment. The other work-around, described below, is to download the student’s work, mark it up in Microsoft Word or other text editor, and upload the document to the course grade center.
Keeping abreast of current and future workforce trends provide insight and ideas for new and enhanced skill development options when updating or creating new academic course content. According to Deloitte Insight’s, The Future of Work article and video, the paradigm-shifting forces such as cognitive technologies and the open talent economy are reshaping the future workforce, driving many organizations to reconsider how they design jobs, organize work, and plan for future growth. Review the figure below for a quick comparison of changing workforce rules that need to be adopted for leading, organizing, motivating, managing, and engaging the 21st-century workforce.
As of January 2017, the “Last Access” Column in Blackboard’s Grade Center and Performance Dashboard is not accurately reflecting student activity.
In the example below, all the students have posted to the discussion board and two have submitted quizzes, yet only two of the students have a date in the “Last Access column in the Grade Center or Performance Dashboard.
ITS cannot install the update to fix this issue until after the Spring 2017 semester ends. Thus, for reporting the date of last attendance for students earning a grade of F, faculty will need to run a report to get accurate dates for last student access.
You can retrieve accurate data on your students’ course access by running the Course Activity Overview report.
In your course, go to Control Panel and click on Evaluation > Course Reports. Select the report you wish to run:
Before grading with a rubric, you need to associate it with one of the following gradable items:
Double-click the video to enlarge the viewing area.
Use the following steps to grade using rubrics:
The Raw Total displays the score rounded to two decimal places.
You manage availability to students when a test or survey is deployed on in a content area of your course (e.g., Course Materials or Assignments), by click on the “item options” button on the Test Options or Survey Options page.
Unavailable and deleted tests and surveys differ in the following ways:
Every course at UIS — on campus, blended, and online — is assigned a Blackboard course site.
Faculty who teach face-to-face may choose whether to use the site. An announcement is posted in each course site to let the students know that its use if the instructor’s prerogative.
Blackboard tutorials are available on the searchable COLRS Online Teaching and Technology Blog (the blog you are on right now). It is updated frequently.
Blackboard is a web-based learning management system that UIS instructors use to organize course content.
In Blackboard, you can easily navigate, provide content, edit items, and change options that affect how users interact with your course.
The Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a highly-interactive, publicly-available and media-rich online writing lab designed to help students make the transition to college-level writing. In 2014, the Excelsior OWL – ESL Writing Online Workshop (WOW) won the 2013 Distance Education Award by the National University Technology Network (NUTN).
The Excelsior OWL offers videos, interactive PDFs, video games, quizzes, Prezis
From the Excelsior OWL Home Page you can access all of the learning areas, as well as “Additional Resources” found in the header, and “Acknowledgements”, found in the footer.
Each learning area has its own landing page, with access to the content, as well as the “How to Use OWL” and “Additional Resources” pages. Depending on the learning area, there may be additional options available on the landing page.
Once inside a learning area, you will see the online writing lab menu on the left side of the screen. The active learning area is highlighted, at which point all of the topics for that learning area are displayed below it. Some of the topics have multiple sections.
For ESL students using the ESL-WOW area of the OWL, they will learn to:
The Avoiding Plagiarism section of the OWL provides a thorough overview of the topic of plagiarism. With audio, video, and supporting documentation, students will develop a keen understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. The pre-test and post-test provide a method for students to track their progress.
When you deploy a test or survey to a content area, you set the availability and feedback options. To make changes to the options, access its contextual menu and click Edit the Test Options or Edit the Survey Options.
The following table provides descriptions of the test and survey availability options. Click the images to enlarge them in your browser. Use your browser’s back function to return to the topic.
|Make the Link Available||You can set this to available, and then use the Display After and Display Until fields to limit the amount of time the link appears.|
|Add a New Announcement for this Test/Survey||You can create an announcement for a test or survey. The announcement includes the date and states, “An assessment has been made available in [Course area that includes the link to the assessment].”If an announcement was previously posted using this feature, the date and time of the most recent announcement appears.|
|Multiple Attempts||You can allow students to take a test or survey multiple times. The status of multiple attempts appears to students at the top of the test or survey. Select Allow Unlimited Attempts to allow students to take it as many times as they want. Select Number of Attempts and provide the amount of attempts.With multiple attempts for a test, you can also select which attempt’s score to use in the Grade Center from the Score attempts using drop-down list.|
|Force Completion||If you select Force Completion, students must complete the test or survey when they launch it.Students may only access the test or survey ONE TIME. The Save function is available for students to save the questions as they work through them, but they may not exit and reenter the test or survey. In the instructions, Force Completion is noted and explained to students. If you do not enable Force Completion, students may save their progress, navigate away, and return to complete the test or survey.If students accidentally close their browsers, leave the test or survey page, or lose power or their internet connections, they cannot continue. They must contact you to allow them to start over with a new attempt.
You may want to reserve the Force Completion option for when students are on campus taking a proctored test and connected to an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. If issues occur, an instructor can be available to reset the test.
Alternatively, use the Set Timer options to reduce receiving emails from panicked students who accidentally left a test or survey with Force Completion enabled.
|Set Timer||Set a time limit for finishing a test or survey. Type the amount of time in the hours and minutes boxes. During a timed test, the time elapsed is displayed to students. As students approach the time limit, a one-minute warning appears.When an attempt is complete, student completion time is available in the Test Informationsection.
If a student saves and exits the test, the timer continues. For example, if he begins the test on Tuesday, saves and exits it, then completes it on Thursday, his completion time will be 48 hours.
If you set the timer, turn on Auto-Submit to automatically save and submit a test or survey when time expires. Without enabling auto-submit, students have the option to continue after time expires. Tests and surveys are flagged as submitted after the timer expired. You have the option to adjust the grade based on the time.
You may find it advantageous to use the Set Timer options and not the Force Completion option. For example, if a student loses his internet connection for 10 minutes on a timed test, at least he can access the test again and continue. If you enabled the Forced Completion option, he cannot access the test again and must contact you to reset the test.
|Display After||Optionally, select the date and time when the test or survey will become available to students. You can control availability through the Make the Link Available option without setting specific dates.|
|Display Until||Optionally, select the date and time the test or survey will be made unavailable to students.|
|Password||You can require and type a password for students to use to access a test or survey. Passwords have a limit of 15 characters and are case sensitive.|
|Restrict Location||You can require students to take the test or survey in a specific location. Students outside of this location are not able to take the test or survey.
This is based on a range of IP addresses created by your institution. If your institution has not created this range, this option does not appear.
To learn more, see Restrict Tests by Location.
|Test Availability Exceptions||For existing availability settings, you can make exceptions for individual students or groups. Use exceptions to provide an accommodation to a student who is disabled, or for technology and language differences.
For a test with one attempt, you can allow more attempts for a student who is blind and using screen reader technology for the first time.
If the settings exist for a test or survey, you can create the following exceptions:
|Due Date||If you use grading periods in the Grade Center, set a due date to easily include that test or survey in a grading period and on the calendar in the My Blackboard menu.
Due Date and Late Submissions
To prevent late submissions, you can select the check box for Do not allow students to start the Test/Survey if the due date has passed. Students receive a message after the due date, notifying them that the test or survey can no longer be completed.
When you allow late submissions, they are clearly marked on the following pages:
|Include this Test in Grade Center Score Calculations||You can include this test in Grade Center calculations. If the test is not included, the score does not affect any Grade Center calculations.|
|Hide Results for this Test Completely from Instructor and the Grade Center||You can hide this test score from you and exclude it from Grade Center calculations. The display in the Grade Center will read Complete/Incomplete and N/A or zero appears on the Grade Details page. You cannot see students’ answers to questions. Students are able to view their own scores.Selecting this option makes Include this Column in Other Grade Center Calculations and Show Statistics (average and median) for this Column to Students in My Grades unavailable when editing column information in the Grade Center.|
Though Blackboard course shells will be created with an empty template, you may wish to copy materials from your other Blackboard course sites. Copying your Blackboard site is a multi-step process: (1) copy your Blackboard course materials, (2) clean up discussion boards, if needed, and (3) delete any empty or duplicated content areas or links, and (4) update your course content.
To Copy Content from an older course into an empty course at the start of each semester:
Clean up Copied Discussion Boards
If you copied your discussion board starter threads from an old course to your new course, be sure to click on Discussions. When you do, you’ll be prompted to select anonymous or any user in the course as the author of all copied discussion threads.
If you copied discussion threads you did not wish to keep, be sure to delete them. To delete posts quickly:
The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) of 2002 is an amendment to the Copyright Act of 1976 that addresses online education. It is sometimes referred to as Section 110(2) of the copyright law.
TEACH Act resources:
Fair use is the right of the public to reproduce portions of a copyrighted work without permission for purposes such as scholarly criticism, parody, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Fair use resources:
Public domain works have expired copyrights or were never protected by copyright law. You do not need permission to use or copy public domain works. Examples include U.S. government works, laws, and work published in the U.S. prior to 1923.
Public domain resources:
Creative Commons (CC) licenses help creators of content retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work. Creative Commons licensing works with copyright, not in place of it, when you want to grant certain rights in your copyrighted work. All CC licenses require users to attribute the original creator of a work.
Creative Commons resources:
The United States government states “Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.” Source: Copyright in General by www.copyright.gov.
Copyright law resources:
As an ongoing effort to ensure that Blackboard runs as quickly and as efficiently as possible, a Blackboard Archival Policy will go into effect July 1, 2015.
The Blackboard subcommittee (comprised of representatives from ITS, COLRS, and online coordinators) researched practices of other universities, consulted with the Registrar, and proposed a recommendation to the Academic Technology Committee as well as the Campus Senate. Both groups endorsed the policy.
Courses will be retained on Blackboard for 3 years, on a single server (http://bb.uis.edu), after which they will be purged. As of Fall 2015, the courses available in Blackboard will be Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Summer 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Summer 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015. All older courses will be purged.
Moving forward, each semester the oldest courses will be deleted from Blackboard, keeping the course load at 3 years. Faculty will receive a reminder prior to the deletion.
Please be aware that there are options for retaining course content longer than three years. Instructions for each option are linked below.
Quickly access this post with http://go.uis.edu/bbarchive
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research completes research “conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialog, and strengthen families, communities, and societies” (source).
In November 2014, IWPR published a fact sheet on college students who are also parents, and over a quart of them are. Read the students who are parents fact sheet
Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons, led a discussion of “eTextbooks and Open Educational Resources” to help University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) student leaders understand the local and global education opportunities when digital content, the internet and open licensing are combined. View the recording of Cable Green’s lecture.Movie Fifty Shades Darker (2017)
E-Reserves are a way of placing documents on hold and linking them in your course for your students to observe for a short period of time. These items can supplement your online instruction and can offer your students a plethera of information that can enhance their online learning experience.
Ideas for including E-Reserves in your course include:
Both on-campus and online courses have the same deadlines for reporting student grades.
Respondus allows instructors to import questions from a text file and upload them to Blackboard courses.
To import questions from a text document to Respondus, instructors must format the text file in a specific (and simple) manner. Learn about the Respondus Question Import Format (pdf).
Once the text document is formatted, upload the questions following these instructions (pdf).
Beginning in Fall 2014, faculty may reserve time in the COLRS Faculty Video Recording Studio to record lectures or interviews. The room is equipped with a high quality video camera, lighting, microphone, green screen, and a computer for editing videos with Camtasia Studio.
Please contact COLRS to discuss your project.
Whether it is to spot check for suspected plagiarism or submit an assignment for a student with computer problems, instructors may submit a student file to a Turnitin Assignment they have created in their Blackboard course site.
by Emily Boles, Barbara Cass, Carrie Levin, Raymond E. Schroeder, and Sharon McCurdy Smith
Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Read the complete article at: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/sustaining-students-retention-strategies-online-program
Adding TEC-VARIETY is the latest book by Curt Bonk of Indiana University, written in collaboration with Elaine Khoo, from the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
It is an OPEN book, which means it is freely available online. Download your copy at http://tec-variety.com/
“What a grand book! This is going to be a highly valuable resource for countless instructors and designers in online learning. “Adding TEC-VARIETY” is unique in that it combines the theoretical and pedagogical foundations of effective learning with 100 easy-to-implement activities that promote the engagement of online students in deep learning. These strategies can instantly breathe life into courses that fail to tap the enthusiasm and imagination of students. TEC-VARIETY has become a handbook for my design of engagement in online classes.”
At times, UIS faculty and staff may need to request guest users for Blackboard. Examples of uses for Blackboard guest accounts are:
Blackboard accounts may be requested by completing this form: http://go.uis.edu/bbguest
Important information about UIS Blackboard guest accounts:
This contains instructions for viewing feedback on Blackboard Assignments for which you uploaded a file to an assignment with this icon beside it:
|–||Item has not yet been completed. No information is available.|
|Item has been submitted. This item is waiting to be reviewed by your instructor.-OR-Item has been submitted. Your instructor may review this item but may not be provided a grade (for items such as surveys).|
|Grade||Item has been graded. Click the grade or assignment title to view detailed feedback.|
|Attempt is in progress. This item has not been submitted. To submit the item, see Submitting a Draft Assignment.|
|Grade is exempted for this user. If you do not complete this assignment, it will not affect your grade.|
|Error has occurred. Contact your instructor.|
The UIS online supplemental evaluation system allows faculty to administer anonymous surveys to their students. Faculty choose up to ten questions from a bank of 64 questions. Students log into the supplemental evaluation site with their UIS NetID and take the survey. If the survey is administered prior to the last two weeks of the semester, instructors see the anonymous student feedback immediately. If the survey is administered during the final two weeks of the semester, faculty may see the feedback after grades are posted. View the full description of the supplemental evaluation system.
Create an Evaluation
Schedule Your Evaluation
Retrieve Evaluation Results
If your evaluation ends prior to the last two weeks of the semester, you may log in to see results immediately. If your evaluation ends during the last two weeks of the semester, you will be able to access the results after final grades are posted.
Laurel Newman, Te-Wei Wang and Marcel Yoder led an excellent discussion about time management in online teaching. Watch the recorded Blackboard Collaborate session to learn their strategies.
When should we use group work?
In the Faculty Focus article “How to Design Effective Online Group Work Activities,” Mary Bart writes that we should “design tasks that are truly collaborative, meaning the students will benefit more from doing the activity as a group than doing it alone.” Her articles goes on to quote Jean Mandernach:
“Too often we give students an activity and call it group work when in reality it’s something they could do on their own. Then we get frustrated when they don’t work together and just do the work on their own.”
The article recommends group work for assignments for which:
Be sure to check out the “Online Group Work Instructor Checklist” at the end of the article.
How do I assess individual contributions?
Use technology. Promote the use of tools that capture individual contributions through versioning. Examples of tools provided by UIS:
Implement peer evaluation. Allow group members to evaluation one another and themselves and incorporate this evaluation into the final grades for the group project.
Often group conflicts aren’t revealed to the instructor until the end of the project. Encouraging or requiring progress reports or feedback from students at specific intervals may help you to identify trouble spots.
For semester-long projects, a mid-semester feedback form is useful. In “Online Groups and Social Loafing: Understanding Student-Group Interactions,” Piezon and Donaldson suggest including multiple evaluation points so that “group members are aware that their contributions are salient and being observed by others. Members who are performing poorly are given several opportunities to increase their performance.”
Another strategy is to prevent conflicts by keeping the groups on track and on task by requiring small deliverables for the project throughout the semester.
This video covers how to us the controls for Impatica lectures. It covers the especially important method for switching between Flash and HTML5 mode for viewing the lecture in different browsers. If you create narrated lectures using Impatica software, you may want to share this video with your students.
“Based upon proven research and informed by practical experience, this Blended Learning Toolkit will offer guidance, examples, professional development, and other resources to help you prepare your own blended learning courses and programs.”
Some UIS instructors may require proctored exams. When a UIS online student needs to take an exam, he or she will be required to make arrangements in advance for the exam to be proctored (supervised).
COLRS offers some forms that may be helpful for instructors and students in arranging for proctors. Please see the Online Teaching at UIS: Proctored Exams page for more information.
When you wish to restrict a student’s access to your Blackboard course due to a drop or withdrawal, you have two options: hide or remove the user.
The official system of record for course rosters is in Enterprise Self-Service. Please always check your roster before hiding or removing student users.
Option 1: Hide the Blackboard Course from Student, but Retain Student Grades
To hide a student in your Grade Center:
Option 2: Delete student from Blackboard and delete student’s work
Removing a student from your Blackboard course roster also removes his or her grades from the Blackboard Grade Center.
If you would like to remove a student from your course, you can do so by following these steps.
If you need assistance to hide or remove students from your Blackboard course, please contact COLRS (http://www.uis.edu/colrs/contact.html)
Short URL for these instructions: http://go.uis.edu/hidestudents
To make a course available to students: