Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Category: Blackboard

How to Add Files to a Content Area in Blackboard

Files can be uploaded from a local drive or the course itself, and can be documents, spreadsheets, Powerpoints, etc.

  1. Choose the Course Area to which you would like to add a file and click on it. (For example, Course Materials.)
  2. Click Build Content.
  3. Choose Item from the drop down menu.
  4. Enter a name for the file and and explanatory text as desired.
  5. Under Attachments, click Browse in order to attach a file.
  6. Once the file is selected, you will see it listed under Attached files. You can add additional documents by clicking on Browse for more items.
  7. Select the Options as desired:
    • Select Permit Users to View this Content if you want students to see the file immediately once it is uploaded.
    • Optionally select dates and times the document will appear to students.
  8. Click Submit.

How to Create an Announcement in Blackboard

Announcements are an ideal way to post time-sensitive information critical to course success. Add announcements for these types of course activities:

  • Due dates for assignments and projects
  • Changes to your syllabus
  • Corrections/clarifications of materials
  • Exam schedules

You can add, edit, and delete announcements from the Announcements page. When you add an announcement, you can also send it as an email to students in your course. Students receive the announcement even if they don’t log into your course.

Announcements appear in the order you post them. The most recent announcement appears first.

  1. In your course, click on Announcements.
  2. Select Create Announcement.
  3. Type a Subject, which appears as the title of the announcement on the Announcements page.
  4. Type your message.
  5. In the Web Announcements Options section, you can choose to restrict the announcement by date:
    • If you choose Not Date Restricted, the announcement is visible until you remove it.
    • If you choose Date Restricted, select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Provide the date and time restriction settings. To display an announcement from a date forward, select the Display After check box and provide a date and time, but don’t select the Display Until check box.
  6. Select the Email Announcement check box to send students an email with the announcement.The email is sent to all students, even those who chose not to receive announcement notifications through email. Note: This option doesn’t work if you chose to post the announcement in the future. You’ll receive an error.
  7. Optionally, in the Course Link section, select Browse to link to a course area, tool, or item. Note: A course link won’t appear in the email announcement if you choose to send one.
  8. Select Submit.

This post contains content adapted from Blackboard Help.

Assignment Submissions for Students — Spring 2018 Changes

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

  1. Click on the title of your assignment in Blackboard.
  2. You’ll notice that the submission screen remains the same. When you are ready to submit your work, please click on the Browse My Computer button to select a file.

    A screen capture of the Upload assignment page in Blackboard.

    The assignment submissions screen in Blackboard. Students click on Browse My Computer to select a file to submit for grading.

  3. Click Submit to turn in your work.
  4. The Review Submission History page appears after you submit a file. Notice the green success message displayed at the top of the page and that the title of your file appears on the page where you would have seen the first page of your document previously.

    Screen capture of the Review Submission History page after submitting a file to a Blackboard Assignment.

    The Review Submission History page shows that the submission was successful. The green bar with a success message and the title of the submitted file appear on the screen.

Grading with Rubrics

How to Grade With Rubrics

Before grading with a rubric, you need to associate it with one of the following gradable items:

  • Assignments
  • Essay, Short Answer, and File Response test questions
  • Blogs and journals
  • Wikis
  • Discussion board forums and threads

Watch a Tutorial

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.

  1. Access the gradable item in the Grade Center, on the Needs Grading page, or from the tool.
  2. Click View Rubric to review or begin grading with the associated rubric.
  3. In Grid View, click a cell to apply that point value to the grade. If a rubric with point ranges is used, select the appropriate value from the drop-down list. To change the selection, click another cell in the same row. Optionally, type Feedback to the student in the text box that appears when a cell is selected.
  4. Optionally, click List View to switch displays and select an option for each criterion to apply that point value to the grade. Optionally, select the check boxes toShow Descriptions for criteria and to Show Feedback text boxes.
  5. A running Raw Total score appears as you make point selections. Optionally, type a score in the Change the number of points box to override the selected score, and type overall Feedback to the student using the full features of the content editor.
  6. When grading is complete, click Exit to leave the rubric without saving your selections, or click Save to save the score and feedback and return to the attempt. Click Save and Next to use another associated rubric for evaluation.

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

Import Test Questions to Blackboard with Respondus

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.

Once the text document is formatted, upload the questions following these instructions.

Submit a Turnitin Assignment for a Student

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.

  1. Go to the Blackboard course that contains the Turnitin Assignment.
  2. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignment.
  3. Click on the assignment name.
  4. Select the student’s name from the “Author” drop down list.
  5. Enter a title for the paper.
  6. Click on “Choose from this computer” button to upload the file, and the find and select the student’s paper.
  7. Click the “Upload” button.
  8. Next, you’ll see a preview of the file you submitted. If this is the correct document, click “Submit.”
  9. Once the paper has been submitted, you will see the Turnitin Digital Receipt.
  10. Click on “go to inbox” to see the listing of papers submitted for this Turnitin Assignment.

Watch a video on how to submit a student paper to a Turnitin Assignment in Blackboard.

Educause Quarterly issue on Online Student Retention includes UIS strategies

Sustaining Students: Retention Strategies in an Online Program

by Emily Boles, Barbara Cass, Carrie Levin, Raymond E. Schroeder, and Sharon McCurdy Smith

Published on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Key Takeaways

  • With students spread across 47 states and a dozen countries, the University of Illinois at Springfield faces a significant challenge in promoting student persistence.
  • Program coordinators who know each student majoring in their online degree program keep in close touch with those students to assure that their learning and academic planning needs are met.
  • Online student peer mentors who model best student practices and serve as a liaison between students and faculty members provide effective support in selected classes.
  • These and other approaches have resulted in an online course completion rate that hovers just two to three percent below the on-campus completion rate, and the degree-completion rate among online students is equally strong.

Read the complete article at: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/sustaining-students-retention-strategies-online-program

Examity Quick-Guide for Faculty

Download the UIS Examity Quick Guide for Faculty.

1. Using Examity® with Blackboard

You will access Examity® through Blackboard. All of the data relevant to your exams will be imported automatically daily into Examity®, and Examity® will not change anything about the way you currently use Blackboard.

To use Examity in your class, you must first turn the tool on your course.  To turn the tool on, click on Customization in the Control Panel and select Tool Availability.

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On the Tool Available page, you will need to put a checkmark in the box for ExamityUISSSO.

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You can then add a link to Examity in your course.  In the content area in which you want the link to appear, click on Tools –> More Tools –> ExamityUISSSO.  Click submit.

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This will add a link to the Examity dashboard inside your course. 

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To get to your Examity® Dashboard, click on the Examity® link. You will see a screen that says “click here to login”—by clicking that button, you log into Examity® with your Blackboard user infor­mation.examity2

Once you click it, you will be taken directly to your Examity® Instructor Dashboard. You may be prompted to login as an Exam Instructor or Student.  Select Exam Instructor.

Please note: there may be a one-day delay in seeing your dashboard after enabling the Examity tool for your class, as the data link between Blackboard and Examity refreshes once per day.

2. Viewing the Examity® Dashboard

You can get to all four areas of Examity® from your dashboard by clicking on either the links at the top of the navigation bar or the icons you see when you log in.

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Clicking on the EXAM STATUS button will enable you to see the status of your students’ exams (scheduled, pending at auditor, approved/rejected by auditor, or cancelled/incomplete). This is the button to click if you want to review videos once they have been approved by our auditing team.

Clicking on STUDENT enables you to search for individual students.  If a student needs special accommodations for an exam, such as double time for the exam, that information may be entered here.

Clicking on the REPORTS button displays all the exams that are associated with you. You can filter by class, or student name, and download Excel and PDF versions of these reports to help you keep track of your students.

Clicking on COURSES/EXAMS takes you to a list of all your classes. You can edit courses here.

Please Note: The first time you visit Examity, you will need to set up your profile.  It is important for you to set up your correct time zone so that Examity knows from what time zone you are teaching.

3. Setting Up an Exam & Adding Customized Rules

The first step in setting up an exam with Examity is to make sure the exam is set to available in Blackboard. The exam should also have a password. Exams that are made available will be directly imported into our system.

Once an exam has been imported, you can enter the Examity dashboard and edit the settings of each course and exam by clicking the pencil icon under the “Action” tab. Click the arrow left of the course name to find and edit each exam for that course.

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The first part of the box asks you to fill in several items:

  • Exam Name: Midterm, Quiz 1, etc.
  • FairExam Level: this is the desired level of proctoring service required. Examity offers four levels of service.  As the instructor, you can select which level of service you want for your exam.
    • Level 0 – authenticate & record all tests
    • Level 1 – authenticate & record all tests, review a random sample of tests
    • Level 2 – authenticate & record all tests, review all tests
    • Level 3 – authenticate & record all tests, live proctor monitors & reviews all tests
  • Duration of the Exam: the length of time students get to complete the exam (1 hour)
  • Link to Access the Exam: In most cases, this will be bb.uis.edu
  • Exam Start Date: the first day in which the student can take the exam
  • Exam End Date: the last day in which the student can take the exam
  • Upload a File: If you need to provide your students with a document for their exam, such as a supplemental case study or a formula sheet, you may upload it here
  • Exam Password: If your Blackboard exam has a password, you may share the password with the proctor here.  He/she will enter the password for the student on Blackboard.
  • Extended Time/Special Accommodations: If you have a student who needs special accommodations for the exam, select Yes.  Please note: after setting up your exam, you will need to select the student(s) who needs special accommodations in the Student section of the Dashboard and enter the details of the student’s accommodation.
  • Student Upload File: If your students need to upload a file when they finish their exam, select yes.

The second part of the box establishes the rules for the exam environment. You can add special instructions here.

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Examity provides standard rules, as listed above.  To insert customized rules, such as the test is open book or that students are permitted to use a calculator, you may add them here by clicking the checkbox. Additional rules and special instructions may be inserted in the text box (click save after entering).  Click Save Exam to finalize the exam’s arrangements with Examity.

Once you have added an exam, you can see the arrangements and make changes by clicking on the arrow next to the course in your Courses/Exam section of your Examity Dashboard.

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Once an exam has been arranged with Examity, students may begin scheduling their exams directly with Examity.  A sample letter for faculty to send to students about the scheduling their exam with Examity can be found on the COLRS’ website at go.uis.edu/examityemail .

**Please note: Exams will be pulled in automatically within 24 hours once the “Make the Link Available” link in Blackboard is marked to yes.  To prevent students from seeing the exam before the exam date, set the Display After and Display Until dates for the testing period.

4. Tracking Exam Status

The Exam Status section of the Examity Dashboard allows instructors to view whether students have scheduled their exams and when those exams will take place.  If a student has completed an exam, the status of the exam will indicate what stage the exam is currently in (in progress, pending at auditor, approved by auditor).

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If the exam has been approved by the auditor, you will see at least two alert flags.

  • Green flags indicate no violations.  If a student is authenticated and completes the exam with no violations, he/she will have two green alert flags.
  • Yellow flags indicate possible violations.  These suggest that a violation of the rules has occurred, but the student was likely not cheating.  For example, if the students’ young child runs into the room during the exam session, the auditor will flag the violation with a yellow flag.
  • Red flags indicate violation. A violation of the exam rules has occurred. When a student receives a red flag violation, the instructor will also receive an e-mail about the incident.

Instructors can view details of the alerts and watch the exam video by clicking on the View link next to the students’ flag alerts.  Videos will remain available for 30 days, after which it is deleted from the Examity system.

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5. Reaching Examity Support

Support is available 24 hours a day.

Call: 1-(855)-392-6489 or 1-(855)-EXAMITY

Email: support@examity.com

Live Chat: Click the tab on the bottom of your screen

Examity Online Video Proctoring – Quick Guide for Students

Download the UIS Examity Quick Guide for Students.

1. Accessing Examity

You can access Examity® through your course on Blackboard. Click on the ExamityUISSSO link within the course.

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Click to login to Examity.

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This will take you to your Examity dashboard.

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From here you can edit your profile, schedule exams, and make changes if you need to cancel or change a test time. Most importantly, this is where you’ll go to start your exams.

2. Getting Started

Setting Up Your Profile: To get started, update your Examity® profile by clicking in the My Profile section of the Dashboard. You will need to upload a picture of your UIS Student ID or a government issued photo ID, select your time zone, and set your security questions.

Please note the importance of selecting the correct time zone.  This will be used in scheduling your test with the proctoring center.  You can confirm your selected time zone by looking at the time in the upper right hand corner.

Once you have set up your profile, you can bypass this step for future exams.

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Scheduling Your Exam: When you are ready to schedule an exam, click “Schedule Exam” on your dashboard or on the top navigation bar.

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You will see a calendar. If you are scheduling your test more than 24 hours in advance, you can just select the date and time you want. If you are scheduling it less than 24 hours in advance, make sure the on-demand scheduling option is enabled in the top right-hand side of the screen.

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Paying for Exam Proctoring:  You will pay for your exam proctoring session at the time you schedule the exam.  Rates for the proctoring session vary based on the length of the exam and the level of proctoring service selected by the instructor.  Additional fees apply if you use on-demand scheduling (exam occurs within 24 hours). 

Rescheduling or Canceling Your Exam: If you need to change or cancel your test appointment, click Reschedule/Cancel, and select the exam you want to change from the menu that appears.

3. Taking Your Exam

To take your exam, make sure you have your webcam and microphone set-up on your computer.  Sign into Blackboard, then your class.  Return to the Examity® Dashboard by clicking on the ExamityUISSSO sign-on link within your class.

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Click to login to Examity.

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This will take you to your Examity dashboard.

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Once on the Examity dashboard, click “Begin Scheduled Exam”, and select your exam. You will then be connected to your proctor. Note: MAKE SURE YOUR POP-UP BLOCKER IS DISABLED otherwise you will not be able to connect with your proctor!

Your proctor will walk you through the test authentication process, which will include verifying your identity, going over the exam rules, scanning your work area and desk, answering your security questions, and agreeing to the User Agreement.

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Once you have finished the authentication process, you will see a screen that says “Begin Exam”, and your exam will open. If your test is password protected, your proctor will tell you the password when the prompt to enter it appears.

4.  Reaching Examity Support. 

Support is available 24 hours a day.

  • Call: 1 (855) EXAMITY or 1 (855) 392-6489
  • Email: support@examity.com
  • Live Chat: Click the tab on the bottom of your screen

Two Examples of Rubrics

3 Point Discussion Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)

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20 Point Rubric (click on thumbnail to enlarge)

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How to Give Select Students Extra Time on a Blackboard Exam

  1. Build your test as usual and deploy in a content area.
  2. Click the drop down arrow next to the deployed test and select Edit the Test Options. The test options allow the instructor to set the testing criteria for the entire class.

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  1. Part 3 of the Test Options screen is Test Availability Exceptions. Students receiving test exceptions will receive testing criteria that varies from the rest of the class.

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  1. In Part 3, Click Add User or Group to bring up a pop-up screen. Select the user or group with the exception and click Submit.

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  1. Adjust the options as needed for that user or group.
    • Attempts may be Single Attempt, Multiple Attempt, or Unlimited Attempt.
    • Timer may be used to set the amount of time the user or group receives.
    • Availability may be used to set the time window for which the user or group may access the exam.
    • Force Completion requires the user or group to complete the exam in one sitting.

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  1. Submit the Test Options.

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.

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/

Posting & Deploying a Test for Students

To deploy a test:

  1. Go to the content area where you want to deploy the test (i.e. Assignments, Course Materials, etc.)
  2. Click on the Assessments button and select Test.
  3. Click on the name of the test you wish to deploy and click OK.
  4. On the “Test Options” page that appears, you will select how and when your students will view the test.
    • Under “1. Test Information,” you will see the information you entered while creating the test. The description will appear beneath the link to the test in your content area.
    • Under “2. Test Availability,” choose from these options:
      • Make the Link Available. Select “Yes.” You can limit the availability of the test using the Display After/Until tool below. If you choose “No” students will not be able to view the exam.
      • Add a New Announcement for this Test. Select “Yes” to have Blackboard post an announcement that the test is available.
      • Multiple Attempts. If you would like students to have more than one attempt at the test, check the box for multiple attempts. Select either “Unlimited Attepmts” or “Numbers of Attempts.” If you choose “Number of attempts,” enter the specific number of times you would like your students to be able to attempt the test.
      • Force Completion. If you would like to force students to complete the test the first time they launch (click on) the test, select this option.
      • Set Timer. The timer in Blackboard does not close the exam if a student exceeds the time limit. It simply sets an expected completion time and records the length of time each student spends in the exam. Instructors can view this information in the Grade Center column for the test. To set the timer, check the “Set Timer” checkbox and enter the time in hours and minutes.
      • Display After. Check the box and enter the date and time that the test should become available to students. If the box is not checked, the dates and times will not be saved.
      • Display Until. Check the box and enter the date and time that the test should no longer be available to students. If the box is not checked, the dates and times will not be saved.
      • Password. If you wish to have students enter a password to access the exam, check the box and enter the case-sensitive password. This tool is especially useful when proctoring exams or giving make-up exams for specific students.
    • Under “3. Self-assessment Options,” instructors choose how the test results are recorded.
      • Include this Test in the Grade Center Score Calculations. This option is turned on by default. If you do not wish for the test to count toward student total grades, uncheck the box.
      • Hide Results for this Test Completely from Instructor in Grade Center. If checked, this option hides all student scores from instructors. This information cannot be recovered by instructors, ITS or COLRS. Please do NOT check this option.
    • Under “4. Test Feedback,” select the feedback you wish students to see after they complete the test: Score, Submitted Answers, Correct Answers, and/or Feedback. Unchecking all boxes until the testing period ends is a common practice. Instructors may edit the feedback option after students are finished taking the test or grading is complete.
    • Under “5. Test Presentation,” instructors choose how a test is displayed to students.
      • All at Once. All questions are displayed on a single screen. This is a good option if your test includes fewer than 20 twenty multiple choice or true/false questions. If your test includes more questions or any essay questions, please consider presenting your test with the “one at a time” option.
      • One at a Time. If your test contains more than 20 questions or any essay questions, please select the “one at a time” option. This option forces students to click a “next” button to submit their work as they move through the exam. It can help prevent browser timeout issues. When “one at a time” questions presentation is selected, instructors can choose to Prohibit Backtracking, which that students see each question only once. Students cannot access questions they have previously submitted or change their answers.
      • Randomize Questions. Students will see questions in a different order each time they attempt a test.
  5. Click Submit.

Creating a Test in Blackboard

To create a test:

  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Tests
  3. Click on Build Test
  4. On the next screen, enter a Name for the test.
    If you like you may also add a Description (appears below the name of the test in your content area in Blackboard), and Instructions (appears above the test questions while students take the test).
  5. Click Submit.
  6. To add a new question:
    • Click on Create Question and select the type of question you would like to add (True/False, Multiple Choice, Essay, etc.).
    • Fill out the information for that question type.
    • Click OK.
  7. To reuse one or more questions from another test or pool:
    • Click on Reuse Question and select “Find from Pool or Test.”
    • Under “1. Pools and Tests to Search,” select the Pool or Test that contains the questions you would like to copy to your new test.
    • Under “2. Criteria,” check “All” to see all the questions contained in your pool or test. Check specfic type(s) of questions to limit the questions displayed.
    • Under “3. Assign Points,” you may choose to use the points currently assigned to the questions or assign a new point value.
    • Click Search to view the questions.
    • Check the box for each question you would like to copy into your new test.
    • Click on the blue “Add Selected” button to copy the questions into your test.
  8. To include a random block of questions from a pool (for example, to randomly select 10 questions from a pool of 30):
    • Click on Reuse Question and select “Create Random Block.”
    • Under “1. Search the Pools below,” select the Pool from which you would like to draw questions.
    • Under “2. Criteria,” check “All” to include all types of questions in your randome block. Or, if you’d like to limit your random block to specific types of questions (only multiple choice or true/false), check the specfic type(s) of questions to include.
    • Also under “2. Criteria,” enter the number of questions to include and the number of points each question should be worth.
    • Click Import.
  9. When your test is complete, click OK to leave the test.
  10. To post/deploy the test for students, please see “Posting & Deploying a Test for Students.”

Supplemental Video:

http://webcast2.uis.edu/multimedia/COLRSweb/CreateTest/CreateTest.htm

View and Grade Turnitin Assignments

To view and grade Turnitin Assignments:

Watch a video on how to access the Turnitin Assignment Inbox.

  1. Go to the Blackboard course that contains the Turnitin Assignment.
  2. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignment
  3. Click on the Turnitin Assignment you wish to view or grade to go to the inbox for that assignment.
    Hint: Here you’ll see a listing of your students. If you don’t see all your students, click on “Roster Sync.”
  4. Now you have several options:
    • To view the originality report (sources that match your student’s paper), click on the colored bar in the Similarity column.
    • To grade the assignment click on the bubble icon in the Grade column.
  5. For more information on originality reports and grading options in Turnitin, please consult the Turnitin Manual for Instructors found here: http://pages.turnitin.com/rs/iparadigms/images/Blackboard_9_Integration_Instructor_Manual.pdf

Creating a Turnitin Assignment in Blackboard

To create a Turnitin Assignment:

Watch a video on how to create a Turnitin Assignment.

  1. In a content area (i.e. assignments) hover over the “Assessments” button 
  2. Click on “Turnitin Assignment”
  3. Choose type (most are just paper assignments)
  4. Click on the “Next Step” button
  5. Add Assignment Title and point value 
  6. Select the start date (date of when students can start turning in their submissions) 
  7. Select due date (the last day you will allow submissions) 
  8. Post date (the date that the grades you assign will appear to your students) 
  9. Click on “more options” to change other settings (see explanation below).
  10. Click the “Submit” button.

 Assignment – Optional Assignment Settings

When creating a paper assignment, the Instructor may select to view and change any of the advanced assignment options. The advanced assignment options are viewed by clicking on Optional settings at the bottom of the assignment creation or assignment update page.

Advanced assignment options are listed and described below. When an advanced
assignment option is changed the Instructor may also select whether or not this change should be the future default for any new assignments created. This allows the Instructor to automatically create all new assignments with their preference of advanced options rather than manually selecting the advanced options for every new assignment.

Late Submission

An instructor can enable submissions after the due date and time. To enable late
submissions, use the drop down menu next to “Allow submissions after the due date?” and select yes. The default setting is no. When enabled, students will be able to submit papers after the due date and time has passed as long as that student has not already submitted a paper to the assignment.

Student submissions after the due date and time will be marked with red text in the date column of the submission in the assignment inbox. A student cannot overwrite a submission past the assignment due date and time, even if the late submission option is enabled.

Generate Originality Reports for student submissions

  • immediately (first report is final) – Originality Reports for all submissions will be generated immediately.Students cannot resubmit papers. Submissions must be deleted by the instructor to enable resubmission.
  • immediately (can overwrite reports until due date) – Originality Reports for the initial submission by each student user to this assignment will be generated immediately. Students may resubmit as often as the student wishes until the assignment due date. Originality Reports for the second or subsequent submission will require a 24 hour delay before the Originality Report begins processing. Only the latest submission is available to the instructor or student. Previous versions are removed. Originality Reports will regenerate within an hour of the due date and time to allow student submissions to compare against one another within the assignment. A change in the Originality Report similarity index may result from the regeneration of the reports. This option is typically used when students are self-reviewing and revising their submissions and able to view the Originality Report. No resubmissions are allowed after the due date and time of the assignment.
  • on due date – Originality Reports will not be generated for any submission until the due date and time of the assignment. Students may resubmit as many timesas needed until the due date and time without receiving reports. Resubmissionsmay not be made after the due date and time of the assignment.

Exclude bibliographic material from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control the option whether bibliographic material will automatically be excluded from Originality Reports. The default is no. Bibliographic materials can also be included and excluded when viewing the Originality Report. This setting cannot be modified after the first paper has been submitted.

Exclude quoted material from Similarity Index for all papers in this
assignment?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control the option whether quoted material will automatically be excluded from Originality Reports. The default is no. Quoted materials can also be included and excluded when viewing the Originality Report. This setting cannot be modified after the first paper has been submitted.

Exclude small matches?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to
automatically exclude small matches from all Originality Reports generated within this assignment. To exclude small matches click yes.

Once yes has been clicked the Exclude matches by: option window will open. Enter into either the Word Count: or Percentage: fields the numerical value for small matches that will be excluded from Originality Reports in this assignment.

Instructors can adjust the exclude small matches assignment setting at any time by clicking on the edit icon to the right of the assignment name. The excluding small matches feature can be adjusted within each Originality Report as well. With this feature instructors have greater control on sifting out smaller matches, allowing them to focus on larger, more problematic and suspect matches within Originality Reports.

Allow Students to see Originality Reports?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control the option to allow students to see Originality Reports within each created assignment. This option gives instructors more flexibility and control when creating assignments. Select yes to allow students to see the Originality Report for the assignment. The default setting is no.

Repository options

The instructor may choose from 2 options in the “Submit papers to:” pull-down menu. Instructors will be able to set the Submit papers to assignment option to store student papers in the standard paper repository, in the institution paper repository,

Repository Sources for Similarity Reports

The instructor is able to select the available repository sources to compare
submissions in the assignment against. This allows an instructor to disregard a source type if the comparison against this type of source is not needed.

The available search targets are listed under Search options. The targets with a check mark are those that will be searched. To remove a search target repository, click on the check box to remove the check mark. Clicking on an empty selection box next to the repository will re-add the repository as a search target. This selection will not alter any currently generated Originality Reports or Overall Similarity Index scores.

Currently available search targets are:

  • student paper repository – works previously submitted in classes and assignments on Turnitin
  • institution paper repository – a repository of student papers for the institution
  • current and archived internet – a repository of archived and live publicly available internet pages containing billions of pages of existing content and tens of thousands of new pages added daily
  • periodicals, journals, & publications – third party periodical, journal, and publication content including many major professional journals, periodicals, and business publications

Attach a rubric to the assignment

If you would like to use a rubric to grade the papers submitted to the assignment you may use the rubric list drop down menu to select a previously created or imported rubric or you can launch the rubric manager by clicking on the Launch Rubric Manager link and create a new rubric to attach to the assignment.

Enable e-rater® grammar check?

This feature is not enabled by default and may not be available for all accounts.
This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the option to enable the e-rater® grammar and spelling check for all submissions to the assignment. When enabled student submissions receive detailed grammar feedback in GradeMark automatically through the e-rater® technology. Select yes to enable the e-rater® engine for the assignment. If this assignment option is not available then the e-rater® grammar check is disabled for the account. Contact the Turnitin account administrator to enable the e-rater® grammar check for the account.

(Optional) Select the ETS handbook level from the drop down menu. The ETS
handbooks provide students with in depth information about the grammar errors the e-rater® technology finds in their paper.

Select the dictionary used for the spelling check.

The Categories enabled by default option allows instructors to choose which
categories of feedback are enabled when viewing assignment submissions in
GradeMark. The default is to show the feedback for every category.

Changing Advanced Assignment Option Defaults

If any changes have been made to the advanced assignment options, an additional option will be available at the bottom of the options panel. The instructor is asked Would you like to save these options as your defaults for future assignments? Select yes to have all future assignment creations use the advanced assignment options that have been selected as the default setting. Select no to continue with the previous default advanced assignment option settings.

The default settings can be changed at any time when creating a new assignment or updating an existing assignment.

Archiving and Exporting a Course in Blackboard

We spend a lot of time developing materials and courses in Blackboard. ITS performs a daily backup for “gold” and current semester courses, but it is a good idea to backup a course for yourself after major updates to content or grades. You can use the Export or Archive tool to create a backup that can be restored by COLRS should the need arise.

What’s the difference between archiving and exporting a course?

When exporting a course package you select the items from the course that you want to include. Archiving includes all of the user material and data submitted in that course. Each process generates a .zip file that can be imported into Blackboard to restore content. Contact COLRS to have your content restored.

To Archive a Course:

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Click on the chevron next to “Packages and Utilities” to expand menu
  3. Click on “Export/Archive Course”
  4. Click the “Archive” button
  5. Choose option to include gradebook, click Submit

To Export a Course:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above
  2. Click the “Export” button
  3. Choose items to include in Export package
  4. Wait a few moments, then refresh page
  5. Right click on Export File, Save As, Click OK

 

When the .zip is saved to your computer, it is a good idea to save it in Box.com or Google Drive services from UIS.

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.

Gold Courses

A Gold Course is special type of 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.

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

  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:

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