Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Category: Uncategorized

How to add an .srt captions file to media in Blackboard

To upload an .srt file in Blackboard, goto My Media.  Next to the video you would like to add captions to, click the greyed out pencil highlighted below with the red arrow.

Screenshot of My Media showing greyed pen to click to edit media

You will then be on a screen with 9 options below your video, one of them is captions.  Click captions

screenshot showing details through replace video in media edit screen

You will now see a blue button on the far left, “upload caption file”, click it.

screenshot showing upload captions button

Then a new box will pop up.  Browse for the file.  Select the language.  And give it a label.  If the language is English, “English” would be a good label.  Then click save.

screenshot showing upload a captions file

The digital world isn’t full of color for everyone

Recently I saw a post on Facebook with a blue circle, with a barely lighter blue rhino in it.  It equated intelligence with the ability to see the rhino.  It made me think of the need to keep color in mind in our instructional materials.  Around 8% of men and 1% of women of Northern European descent are color blind.  And the older we get the more difficulty we all have with certain color combinations.  So it is important to think about this for our students, if you like to use color in your documents or presentations.  Below are some known color combinations which are highly problematic.

  • Green & Red
  • Green & Brown
  • Blue & Purple
  • Green & Blue
  • Light Green & Yellow
  • Blue & Grey
  • Green & Grey
  • Green & Black

This website by Giacomo Mazzocato or by WebAIM can give you an online color checking tool.  The Paciello Group Website has a downloadable piece of software for Mac and PC which you might also find useful. If you use lots of color, please check the contrast.

Employability Skills Rubrics

If you’ve been trying to identify employability skills’ rubrics, check out the resources below.

  • Association of American Colleges and Universities  VALUE Rubrics  – Consists of the following sixteen rubrics:
    • Intellectual and Practical Skills:  inquiry and analysis, critical thinking, creative thinking, written communication, oral communication, reading, quantitative literacy, information literacy, teamwork, and problem-solving
    • Personal and Social Responsibility:  civic engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, ethical reasoning, foundations and skills for lifelong learning, global learning
    • Integrative and Applied Learning: integrative learning
  • Emerging EdTech 21st Century Assessments Rubric -By creating assignments that earn high scores on this rubric, you can provide opportunities for students to develop and master the skills that are increasingly necessary to excel in today’s increasingly digital world while demonstrating acquisition of the required outcomes in many different types of courses.  Criteria categories include:
    • choice, flexibility, writing required, inquiry-based learning, real-world connection, collaboration, digital literacy, entrepreneurial skills, and mastery learning.
  • ConnectEd Studios Rubrics Bank – You’ll need to establish a free account to access the rubrics bank.  Sample rubrics you might be interested in include teamwork, group skills, and digital communication to name a few.

Promoting Learner Professionalism

The Leadership Development Center at York College conducted a national professionalism study, which identified key professionalism components spanning across industries and occupations.  In the 2015 report, respondents ranked seven responsible parties according to how responsible they felt each should be in developing professionalism in college graduates.  Students themselves were ranked number one and were followed by faculty ranking number two.  The report also describes the qualities of professionalism and unprofessionalism.   This list of qualities could be used for developing learner expectations for your course and allow various opportunities for practice in adopting professional attitudes and behaviors prior to graduation.  Adapt ideas from this learning activity to help your learners improve in professionalism behavior and attitudes.

Image of a bar graph ranking responsible parties for developing professionalism in college. The ranking for most responsible is students themselves, faculty, Career Development office, Parents, Employers, Other College Offices, Alumni.

Leadership Development Center, 2015 National Professionalism Study

The National Career Clusters Framework

The National Career Clusters Framework consists of 16 Career Clusters, represents more than 79 Career Pathways, and includes knowledge and skills statements.  Use the framework as an organizing tool for comprehensive understanding and to guide curriculum design with the purpose of bridging secondary and postsecondary curriculum.  A new proposed sustainability/green category is also available with Green/Sustainability Knowledge and Skill Statements and tools and references to aid in the instruction of the Green and Sustainability Standards.   As a reminder, Career Ready Practices should be applied throughout the continuum of learning.

The Illinois Career Clusters, Pathways and Programs of Study complements The National Career Clusters Framework and serves as a resource in understanding Illinois’ adoption of the National Career Cluster Framework.

Image of the Illinois Career Clusters Framework outlining the five CTE secondary areas, 16 career clusters and 79 career pathways.

Illinois Career Clusters Framework

ACT WorkKeys Competencies

Explore the ACT WorkKeys Assessment information developed to measure foundational hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries.  Each assessment has characteristics and skills divided into seven levels of difficulty.  Use the information to explore ideas for developing or enhancing learning activities.

Relevant Categories:

  • Graphic Literacy – Use charts, graphs and diagrams for identifying what information is being presented and understanding how to use it.
  • Workplace Documents – Be creative and incorporate readings that reflect real workplace documents.  Learners can gather information from the documents to make job-related decisions and solve problems. Sample documents can include messages, emails, letters, directions, signs, bulletins, policies, websites, contracts, and regulations.
  • Business Writing – Assess learning activities in the context of workplace writing needs.  Content needs to be clear and free of distractions such as poor grammar, misspellings, and extraneous information. Explain to learners how careless errors may lead the reader (e.g. customer, supervisor etc.) to believe other errors may exist in terms of facts, resulting in the writer (or employee) losing credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Workplace Observation – Provide opportunities for learners to observe, follow, understand, and evaluate processes, demonstrations, and other workplace procedures.
  • Fit – Help learners identify interests and values compatible with a work environment conducive for job success.  
  • Talent – Develop activities to increase awareness of a student’s attitude or behavior, that if demonstrated in the workplace, could lead to disciplinary action or termination.  Provide opportunities for growth and feedback.

Degree Qualifications Profile

The Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) outlines a set of reference points for what students should know and be able to do upon completion of an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees – in any field of study. The are five broad, interrelated categories of proficiencies which provide a profile of what degrees mean in terms of specific learning outcomes.

The DQP’s five categories of learning:

Image of the Degree Qualifications Profile outlining the Associate Bachelor's and Master's degree levels and the caregories of learning including specialized knowledge, broad and integrative knowledge, intellectual skills, applied and collaborative learning and civic and global learning.

  1. Specialized Knowledge
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
  3. Intellectual Skills (analytic inquiry, use of information resources, engaging diverse perspectives, ethical reasoning, quantitative fluency and communicative fluency)
  4. Applied and Collaborative Learning
  5. Civic and Global Learning
Supplemental Resources:
  • Resource Kit (e.g. integrated learning frameworks, course-embedded assignments, assessment, rubrics, capstone portfolios etc.)
  • Assignment Library (browse and adapt assignments to your needs)
  • Implementation Resources
    • Tuning Impact Study: Developing Faculty Consensus to Strengthen Student Learning
    • Roadmap to Enhanced Student Learning, Implementing the DQP and Tuning
    • Tuning: A Guide for Creating Discipline Specific Frameworks to Foster Meaningful Change
    • DQP Impact Study: Framing and Connecting Initiatives to Strengthen Student Learning
    • Using the Degree Qualifications Profile
    • And more

 

NC-NET Employability Skills Resource Toolkit

The North Carolina Network for Excellence in Teaching developed an Employability Skills Resource Toolkit comprised of eight modules for faculty to use for integrating employability skills across the curriculum.  Use the modules to introduce a topic or adapt for course-specific content. Each module contains instructional materials with course lessons and learning objectives, questions for reflection and discussion, student handouts, assessment rubrics, facilitator notes and annotated presentation slides.

Module Topics:

  1. Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork
  2. Communications
  3. Integrity and Professionalism
  4. Problem Solving and Decision Making
  5. Initiative and Dependability
  6. Information Processing
  7. Adaptability and Lifelong Learning
  8. Entrepreneurship

The Rigor Relevance Framework

The Rigor Relevance Framework was developed by the International Center for Leadership in Education to examine curriculum, instruction, and assessment along the two dimensions of higher standards and student achievement.  The tool can be used for both instruction and assessment.

  • The Knowledge Taxonomy (y-axis) based on Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • Six level – thinking continuum
  • Application Model  (x-axis), developed by Bill Daggett
    • Five level –  knowledge continuum
    • Includes using knowledge to solve complex, real-world problems and create projects, designs, and other works for use in real-world situations.
  • Supplemental Resource: Handbook with Instructional Activities Checklist
Image of the Rigor Relevance Framework with y-axis prepresenting the Knowledge Taxonomy based on Bloom's Taxonomy and the x-axis representing Bill Daggett's Application Model.

The Rigor Relevance Framework, International Center for Leadership in Education

Last Access Date in Blackboard Not Accurate

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.

Screen capture of Grade Center with inaccurate "last access" dates.

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.

Retrieving Accurate Student Course Access Data

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:

  • Course Activity Overview – gives you 2 graphs. One shows the hours of aggregated user activity by day. The second shows the number of hours each student has spent in the course; if you click on the bar for any student, it will show you the hours the student spends in the course each day and the time spent in the activities in the course.
  • Overall Summary of User Activity – gives you charts with summary data for all students on areas of access and time of day access, plus a table with the individual number of times students accessed the course each day.

View specific instructions on running course reports.

About Unavailable Tests and Surveys

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 Blackboard editi item button on the Test Options or Survey Options page.

Unavailable and deleted tests and surveys differ in the following ways:

  • Unavailable tests and surveys deployed in a content area do not appear to students. When Edit Mode is ON, instructors and course builders can see unavailable tests.
    • You can limit test and survey availability to a specific time period with the Display After and Display Until dates and times. If the link to a test or survey is available, but neither date is set, it is immediately and always available.
  • If you delete a test or survey from a content area in your course, it is removed from that location. You can deploy it again as needed. You can deploy each test and survey in one location only.
  • If you delete a test or survey from the tests or surveys tool pages, it is permanently deleted from your course. This is irreversible. You can access the tests and surveys tools in the Course Tools section of the Control Panel.

Accessing Moodle at UIS

UIS maintains an instance of Moodle for faculty and staff use at https://uistraining1.uis.edu/login/index.php

If you have a UIS NetID, you may access the Moodle site by click on the “Continue” button on the right side of the Moodle home page.

If you are a guest user of the Moodle system, your UIS contact will send you instructions for accessing the site.