Newsletter: Fall 2012

  • In this Bulletin:
  • Fall Quick
  • Start | Blackboard CE8 Sunset extended to October1 | Working with assessment settings | Best Practices for working with your migrated coruses | What’s new with Blackboard Student Support?

Welcome back! Fall 2012

We are excited to welcome you to the fall 2012 semester and we look forward to assisting you with your Blackboard support, training, and streaming services!

With the transition behind us, our online courses are now displayed in Learn 9.1. Additionally, over the summer several new updates and improvements were added with an upgrade that will enhance user experience.

If you’re new to Blackboard 9.1, please register for one of our workshops. We would be delighted to see you. For beginners we recommend “Track 1: Blackboard Basics” or “Track 5: Getting Started.” We are also here to answer questions or to follow up with an appointment.

For resources 24/7, please click the Blackboard Support Tab (Bb Support), at the top-right of the Blackboard screen. You can browse, Quick Start Guides, Software Downloads, Training Manuals and Video Tutorials by type or topic.

For more information or assistance with Blackboard Learn, please contact us at STaR@ualr.edu.

Fall Quick start

Making Sense of your Course ID:

  • Each Course ID includes the year, term, department code and section number.
    • Fall Term = 60
    • Spring Term = 10
    • Summer Term = 30
  • Your live Fall shells begin with the Course ID 201260.

Preparing the Course for the New Semester:

If you would like to combine sections, use the Section Merge Tool.  See the How to Merge Course Sections Quick Start Guide for directions/

If you plan to copy course content from a previously taught 9.1 course into the current 9.1 shell follow the directions in the How to Copy Courses Quick Start Guide.

Each semester the instructor must make the course available to students before they can access it.  Follow the instructions in the How to Make Course Available or Unavailable Quick Start Guide.

Blackboard CE8 sunset extended to October 1

We are pleased to announce that the farewell to CE8, slated for September 1, is now extended to October 1. With the fall semester, you will now access your current courses on the Learn 9.1 My Blackboard Dashboard.

We have already migrated all CE8 courses taught since Fall 2009 into Blackboard 9.1. So, your content is already in 9.1 and you no longer need to access CE8 (the “old” Blackboard). However, if we displayed all of these courses at one time, you would literally have dozens of old courses crowding your screen when you log into Blackboard. Instead, you can complete our migrated course request form and we can make sure you can access one of your migrated courses through October 1.

We have discovered that some courses that have been around since the old WebCT days do not migrate to 9.1 well. As a result, these types of courses do not function as you or we might expect and some features simply don’t work at all.

Consequently, we recommend that, if you are not sure that your course was created within the past two years, then you should recreate your course in 9.1. You and your students will have a much better online experience as a result.

If you are new to Blackboard 9.1, we encourage you to attend one of our workshops. For a full list of workshops and links to register please view our website. For a quick refresher visit the Blackboard Support for a variety of information about course content, development, and design in Blackboard.

Remember, we’re here to help. You can contact us at star@ualr.edu and we’ll be glad to assist you.


Working with assessment settings

When configuring the test options, it’s important to consider your goals. For instance, if you would like to create a secure testing environment you may consider setting a timer and limiting results shown once the student has submitted the test. However, if you are using the test as an instructional tool then you will want to consider options for providing multiple attempts and feedback. Or you may want to configure the settings to reduce technical difficulties such as allowing students to return to the test in the event they get disconnected.

Check out our Best Practices guide for more information about working with assessment settings.


Best Practices for working with your migrated course

When working with a migrated course, there are a few things to be aware of. Blackboard Learn is much different than our previous learning management system. Items may not migrate as expected and tools may not function as desired. Your course will require some work to get it ready for the new semester. Making use of self-help resources and training opportunities will make the transition easier.

Find out more about working with your migrated course with this quick start guide.


What’s New with Blackboard Student Support?

As you consider content for your online syllabus, please note that the web address for our Blackboard Student Support website has changed. The new web address is ualr.edu/blackboard. Please update your links accordingly.

On our Blackboard Student Support website, your students will find valuable information about how to login to Blackboard along with system and browser requirements that they will need to get off to a good start. The new website will feature new Blackboard 9.1 tutorials which should be available before the start of the semester.

Also new, students will no longer use email to contact us for support issues. Instead, to get quick answers for their technical issues, they may now submit their troubleshooting issues, questions and other inquires using the new student support request form at ualr.edu/blackboard/contact.

What Does this Mean for Faculty?

The Blackboard Student Support website is a valuable resource guide for online student success and can help alleviate some of the technical questions you may receive from students.

In addition, some of you may have linked to our CE8 Blackboard Student Orientation inside your courses. That link is no longer accessible to your students as well as any other links that point to the old site. Instead, we have developed a new organization that serves as an orientation on Blackboard that is available to all UALR students.

Inside the new orientation, students can experience the new Blackboard environment in a penalty free space and gain hands on experience with some of the new Blackboard 9.1 tools including submitting assignments, taking tests, and creating journal entries.

Students can access the new Blackboard Student Orientation by going to the “My Blackboard Dashboard” and clicking the link in the “My Organizations” module. Here’s to a new semester!

Helpful Links:

Blackboard Student Support: ualr.edu/blackboard
Blackboard Support Form: ualr.edu/blackboard/contact

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