Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Category: Course Management

Enroll Users in Blackboard

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Users and Groups, and then Users.
  3. Click on the “Find Users to Enroll” button.
  4. Next to Username, type the UIS NetID (not their email address) of the person you wish to enroll.
    • If you do not know the NetID of the person you wish to enroll, you will need to look it up. Click the “Browse” button. Search for the person by Last Name, First Name, or Email address. Check the box next to the name of the user, and click Submit.
    • If you need to enroll more than one person, separate the NetIDs with a comma only — no spaces. (E.G.: jsmit1,mgarc2,jdoe7)
    • If you have requested a guest account for a person who does not have a UIS email address, the e-mail address of the guest is used in the place of the UIS NetID.
  5. Choose role of user(s): student, instructor, teaching assistant, or course builder are the only functional roles in Blackboard at UIS.
    • Instructor and Teaching Assistant allow people to edit your class and view the Grade Center.
    • If you have a guest that you’d like to access your course materials but not the Grade Center, please use the role of “student,” as the role of “guest” will not allow them to view the course.
  6. Click Submit.

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.

Teaching Tips from UIS Faculty

Experienced UIS Faculty shared their teaching experiences as part of the 2017 Faculty Teaching & Learning Academy at UIS.  This program was administered by the Provost’s Office at UIS.

 

Copy Blackboard Course Content

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:

  1. Go to your course that contains the content you wish to copy (from a previous semester or your Gold course).
  2. Go to the Control Panel, select “Packages and Utilities” > “Course Copy”
  3. Under “Select Copy Options,” click “Browse” to display a list of all courses in which you are an instructor.
  4. Select the empty course into which you wish to copy your content (circle to the left of the course name). Click Submit.
  5. Check the boxes next to the items you wish to copy. Please consider the following:
    • Do NOT check Announcements. Copying Announcements can be confusing for students unless you intend to hide all old announcements from your new students.
    • Always check “Settings” to retain the menu colors and any banner images you use in your course.
    • If you use GRADED assignments or tests, be sure to check ALL “Content Areas,” “Grade Center Columns and Settings,” and “Tests, Surveys and Pools.”
    • If you use GRADED discussion forums, be sure to check “Discussion Board” and “Grade Center Columns and Settings.”
    • For Discussion Board, you have a choice:
      “Include starter posts for each thread in each forum (anonymized)”  – This option copies all the initial posts in the forum. When you access the new Blackboard site’s discussion board, it will let you select any user or “anonymous” for the person who posted the threads.
      OR
      “Include only the forums, with no starter posts.”  – This option means you do not need to clean up student posts inside your discussion forums.
  6. Under “File Attachments,” ALWAYS select the default “Copy links and copies of the content.” The other two options may cause broken links in your course.
  7. For “Enrollments” NEVER check “Include Enrollments in the Copy.” Copying enrollments will mix your current and former students in your new Blackboard site.
  8. Click “Submit.”
  9. You will receive an email when the copy process is complete. At times the email will arrive a few minutes before the materials are visible in your course. You may need to log out of Blackboard and log back in to see the copied content.

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:

  1. Go to your course Discussion Board.
  2. Click on the name of a forum to view any threads posted to the forum.
  3. To quickly select all postings, click on the top checkbox in the gray bar.
  4. Uncheck any posts you wish to reuse. For example, some instructors post questions inside the discussion forums to which students respond.
  5. Click on the “Delete” button to remove any posts with checkmarks.
  6. Repeat with remaining discussion forums.

UIS Blackboard Archive Policy

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.

  • Use Blackboard’s built-in tool for archiving courses
    • The Export/Archive Course tool creates a zip file that contains all the content for the course.
    • Save the .zip file to your UIS Box.com or Google Drive storage space
    • The zip file can be then be re-imported into Blackboard at a later time, if needed
  • Request a GOLD course from COLRS
    • Many faculty already take advantage of GOLD courses, which serve as a template. GOLD courses are not taught from; they are merely a course shell where faculty can keep updated content that can easily be copied to live course as needed.

Read the policy approved by the Academic Technology Committee and the Campus Senate. If you have any questions, please contact COLRS at colrs@uis.edu or Kara McElwrath at kmcel2@uis.edu.

Quickly access this post with http://go.uis.edu/bbarchive

File Storage Options at UIS

Where’s the best place to store your class files, research projects, and other important documents?  You have many file storage options, including Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Kaltura.  ITS has created a useful matrix comparing the benefits and limits of each data storage service available at UIS.

Additional information can be found on their website.

 

Course Availability for Students with Incompletes

A few weeks after the semester ends, a course will automatically become unavailable to all students.  If you have a student with an incomplete who needs access to a course after this occurs, the course can be made available to just that student. This is a two part process.  First, you would need to mark the course as unavailable to the other students who were enrolled in the class.  Then, you will make the course available (open) again.  Although this will open up the course again, only the student marked as available will have access. To make the course unavailable to the other students in the class:

  1. In the Control Panel, go to Users & Groups and Users.
  2. The right-most column shows the Availability of the course for each student, when the course is made available.  If the course is available, students having ‘Yes’ in that column will have access.  If the course is not available, all students will not have access.  
  3. To change a student’s availability from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’,  hover on the username for a student to make the drop-down arrow appear.  Click on the drop-down arrow and menu  and select Change User’s Availability in the Course.
  4. Change the drop-down option for Available (this course only) to be No and click Submit.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for all students who need to be made unavailable.
  6. Once completed for all students except for the student with the Incomplete, confirm that only the student with the Incomplete has ‘Yes’ in the Availability column.

To make the course available again:

  1. In the Control Panel, go to Customization and Properties.
  2. Under step 3, change the Make Course Available to Yes and click Submit.

UIS Blackboard Guest Accounts

At times, UIS faculty and staff may need to request guest users for Blackboard. Examples of uses for Blackboard guest accounts are:

  • Community members participating in band or chorus activities
  • Off-site supervisors for internships
  • Guest lecturers/presenters for courses

Blackboard accounts may be requested by completing this form: http://go.uis.edu/bbguest

Important information about UIS Blackboard guest accounts:

  • UIS faculty or staff must request Blackboard guest accounts.
  • The UIS employee who requests the guest account is responsible for enrolling the guest in the appropriate Blackboard site.
  • Blackboard guest accounts are deleted each year on August 1st to ensure security of our learning management system. If guest needs to have access again, a new guest account must be requested.

 

Copying Tests, Quizzes, Surveys and Pools

Blackboard allows you to copy tests, quizzes, surveys and pools of questions from one course to another.  Here are the instructions:

1. Begin in the course that contains the test, survey or pools you would like to copy.  Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Choose Tests, Surveys or Pools.

2. Hover just to the right of the name of the test, survey or pool you wish to copy, and you’ll find a chevron.  Click on the chevron and choose “Export” from the drop down menu.

3. A zip file will be downloaded to your computer.

4. Next, go to the course into which you would like to copy the test.  Go to Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Import Pack/View Logs > Import Package.

5. Click on “Browse My Computer” and select the .zip file from your downloads.  Check the box for Test, Surveys and Pools and click “submit”.

6. Once the test, survey or pool has been copied, you’ll need to deploy it in your Blackboard.  See:  http://blogs.uis.edu/colrs/2013/04/09/posting-deploying-a-test-for-students/

Time Management in the Online Classroom

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.

Blackboard Mobile Learn

Information about Blackboard Mobile Learn can be found at:

http://www.uis.edu/informationtechnologyservices/iss/blackboard.html

 

Determining Blackboard WebApp Server

To find the WebApp Server within Blackboard:

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Left click on Course Tools
  3. Click on “Which WebApp Server” 
  4. Record the number for reference

Supplemental Video:

http://webcast2.uis.edu/multimedia/COLRSweb/WhichWebAppServer/WhichWebAppServer.html

Blackboard: Hiding Courses Sites in “My Courses”

Most courses close a few weeks after the end of each semester. To hide any additional courses you do not wish to view in the “My Courses” module:

  1. Log in to Blackboard.
  2. On the “My UIS” tab (the first page you see when you log in), locate the “My Courses” module.
  3. In the upper right corner of the “My Courses” module, click on the gear icon (see Fig. 1). When you hover over the gear icon, help text appears that reads “Manage My Courses Module Settings.”ManageMyCourses
    Figure 1. The Gear icon allows you to hide courses in the “My Courses” module.
  4. On the “Personalize: My courses” page, look for “1. Edit Courses List” section. Uncheck the the boxes for any courses you no longer wish to view.
  5. Click ” Submit.”

Note: Unchecking a course only removes the course from your view. You will still continue to have access to all of the courses in which you are enrolled or teach on the Courses tab in Blackboard.

Copying Content from Another Instructor’s Course Site

If you are a new instructor and need to have materials copied from another instructor’s course site, you will need to have instructor permissions in both sites. Please contact your department chair and/or the previous instructor for permissions. Once you have instructor-level access to the course site, you may copy the materials into your empty Blackboard course site.

I Can’t Find My Course Section on Blackboard

Instructors are assigned to Blackboard courses based on the UIS course schedule.  If you are not listed as the instructor of your course section in the course schedule, you will not have access to your Blackboard course site.

Please contact your program secretary or online coordinator to be listed as the instructor in the course schedule. Once listed as the instructor in the course schedule, you will have access to your course site within 24 hours.  

If access is needed more urgently, your program secretary or online coordinator can  contact COLRS to verify that you will be teaching the section.  He/she will need to provide us with the course name and number, course section, and your Net-ID.

Blackboard Course Sites for Tutorials, Projects, & Other Needs

Blackboard course sites are not automatically created for tutorials or graduate projects. If you would like a Blackboard course site for one-on-one work with a student, please contact COLRS.  If applicable, please provide the course name and course number.

Blackboard course sites can also be created for department uses, campus committees, and campus organizations.  UIS faculty or staff members can contact COLRS to make a request.

 

Joining Two or More Course Sections in One Blackboard Site

If you are teaching two or more sections of the same course, you may wish to combine them into a single Blackboard course site.

Combining Blackboard sections can lead to extremely large and difficult to manage discussion forums and/or confusion for students if you choose to combine an online course and a F2F course.

To request a combined course site, please complete this form.  You will need to know the course name, number, and the section numbers of the sections to combine.

Blackboard Gold Courses

A Gold Course is special type of Blackboard course site that is named “GOLD – Name of your course” and is identified with a “999” prefix.  A Gold Course is never deleted and is backed up daily.

How do I use a Gold Course?

  • Gold Courses can be used to develop and update your course content.  Editing your content in a Gold Course rather than a teaching course site preserves your student’s work in case of grade challenges.
  • Gold Courses are ‘clean’ versions of your courses.  Students are never enrolled and you will never teach within a Gold Course.
  • Gold Courses can be copied into the empty Blackboard course sites that are created for your course sections each semester.
  • Hint: Make your content unavailable (hidden from students) in your Gold Course. When you copy to your course shells (empty Blackboard site for the semester), you simply have to release it.

How do I get a Gold course?

Contact COLRS to request the creation of a Gold Course. We will need to know the name, department, course number of the course (CHE 301 or ART 441).  Also, if you would like an existing course copied into your Gold Course’s shell, please let us know the semester and section of the originating course.

One Gold Course may be requested for each course format you teach: 8-week, 16-week, online, blended, and on-ground.

Blackboard Course Creation

Each semester, a Blackboard course shell is created for each course section offered at UIS. The course name begins with the year and semester.

Example: A chemistry course taught in Fall 2013 might be named: 133CHE10154321

13 – Last two digits of year
3 – Fall semester (spring is coded as a 1 and summer is coded as a 2)
CHE – Three digit department abbreviation
101 – Course number
54321 – Course reference number from Banner

Additional Course Creation Points

  • Instructors listed in the course schedule will have access to their empty Blackboard course sites at http://bb.uis.edu
  • Students are enrolled automatically two weeks prior to the first day of class each semester.
  • Students cannot access a course until it is either (1) automatically opened on the first day of classes according to the published academic calendar, or (2) opened by the instructor prior to the first day, if desired.
  • Instructors who are not teaching an online class can choose whether to use the Blackboard course. If you will not use the site, you can make the site unavailable to your students.
  • Each course contains an announcement stating the Blackboard course site may or may not be used at the instructor’s discretion.
  • If a student drops or withdraws from a class, he/she is not automatically removed because course grades and statistics would be removed along with the student.
  • You can hide a student instead of removing them permanently.

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is a web-based course management learning system that instructors can use to organize course content. Instructors can manage the content to provide students with supplemental materials in a blended course format or full-course activities such as blogs, journals, and assignments for an online class.There are many tools such as the discussion boards, virtual chat and classroom, self and peer assessment which allow for increased communication and collaboration.

Blackboard has an easy to navigate interface for students and a simple file upload process that requires no knowledge of HTML coding or web-based formatting. However, if you are comfortable with HTML you can use the programming language to structure and enhance your course within Blackboard.

Blackboard allows faculty members 24/7 access to their course for instructional updates and design.

Hide and Remove Users in Blackboard

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.

Option 1: Hide the Blackboard Course from Student, but Retain Student Grades

  1. Go to the Control Panel and click on Users and Groups > Users.
  2. Select “Username” and “List All” in search options and click Go. All users will be listed.
  3. If you have more than 25 students, click on the “Show All” button in the lower right corner of Blackboard to view all students on one page.
  4. Hover over the name of the student whose access you wish to restrict, and click the dropdown arrow.
  5. Choose “Change User’s Availability in Course.”
  6. Under “1. Available (this course only),” select “No.”
  7. Click Submit.
  8. The student will no longer have access to your Blackboard, but will be visible in your Grade Center.

To hide a student in your Grade Center:

  1. Go to Control Panel.
  2. Click on the dropdown arrow next to Grade Center.
  3. Click on Full Grade Center.
  4. Click on the “Manage” button, and select “Row Visibility.”
  5. Check the box next to the student that you wish to hide.
  6. Click on the “Hide Rows” button.
  7. Click “Submit” to save your changes.

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.

  1. Go to the Control Panel and click on Users and Groups > Users.
  2. Select “Username” and “List All” in search options and click Go. All users will be listed.
  3. If you have more than 25 students, click on the “Show All” button in the lower right corner of Blackboard to view all students on one page.
  4. Hover over the name of the student whom you wish to delete, and click the dropdown arrow. (This will also delete all grade records in Blackboard for that student.)
  5. Choose “Remove Users from Course,” and click “OK.”

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

Make Blackboard Course Available to Students

To make a course available to students:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft5-EafYdvY]

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Customization > Properties.
  3. Under Set Availability, choose “Yes.”
  4. Click Submit.