Fall 2013 Newsletter

Welcome to Fall 2013! We are excited to announce that Blackboard has added several new features and we have added several new services. Find out all the details below in this edition of our Newsletter.
As always, visit the Scholarly Technology and Resources website (STaR) to learn more about training opportunities, resources, and technical support. You can reach us by email at star@ualr.edu or by phone at 501-569-8954. Of course, you’re always welcome to stop by at DKSN 104 and 105 to talk to us in person!

Have a great semester!

Getting Started

As summer comes to a close, it’s time to prep for the fall semester. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.

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 201360

Preparing the Course for the New Semester:

Please visit our Quick Start Guides for more information on these topics:

·       Merge course sections, How to Merge Course Sections
·       Copy course content from a previous 9.1 course, How to Copy Courses
·       Make your course available to students, How to Make Course Available or Unavailable
·       Grade Center basics, Getting Started with the Grade Center

Learn more:
For more information, don’t forget to visit the “Help” Tab in Blackboard for Quick Start Guides, Video Tutorials and the Faculty FAQ.

Understanding My Grades

With recent updates to Blackboard the My Grades page has undergone a facelift.  Students are now able to see the most relevant information first.  This information can be accessed from the My Blackboard menu or from within the course, if the instructor has made the tool available.

The My Grades page may include item names, details, due dates, student and instructor dates of activity, posted grades, points possible, links to rubrics used for grading, and instructor’s comments about the items.

The order in which an item displays is no longer controlled by the instructor but rather is based on specific criteria aimed at providing the most important items first.

Grades are now displayed in the following order:

·       Overall grade for the course
·       Calculated grades, such as running total
·       Graded items by date
·       Submitted items by date
·       In progress items
·       Upcoming items ordered by due date

Learn more:
Read the Help Article

Ottenheimer Library Offers Services for Distance Learners

Faculty members teaching online classes are encouraged to inform their students of new services provided to them through the Ottenheimer Library. Students who are enrolled in online classes and do not live within Central Arkansas are eligible for Ottenheimer Library’s Distance Learning Library Services (DLLS).

Services of interest to distance learners include:

• ARKLink cards to borrow materials from other Arkansas academic libraries
• Article and book chapters via electronic delivery
• Books and other library resources via U.S. mail
• Ask A Librarian reference assistance via e-mail, phone, text and chat
• Appointment-based telephone/online assistance and instruction
• Course readings via electronic reserves.

The Distance Learning Coordinator can assist faculty in providing access to library resources, creating research guides, as well as to providing library instruction for their online courses. For questions or to request assistance, please contact Lisa Li, Distance Learning Coordinator at 501.569.8806.

Learn more:
Please see the Distance Learning Library Services website for additional information.

Announcing Kaltura Media

The Kaltura Media Console (KMC) provides you with the options to upload, create, and manage video and audio content from the convenience of your home, work, or anywhere you can access your course.

Yes, that’s right! With Kaltura’s rich-media management system you can now easily manage your media content directly. The KMC encodes and streams most common file formats for video, audio, graphics, and documents and allows students to take advantage of most of mobile devices to access course content.

Kaltura Features

Kaltura has an intuitive interface that is accessible from your course wherever you can access the Build Content tab.  You can:

·       Browse to your computer and directly upload media files
·       Create webcam videos
·       Launch screen capture
·       Manage file information, attachments, and permission settings
·       Edit and repurpose video and audio content
·       Create playlist, categories, and channels
·       Search video options and so much more

Imagine the possibilities! Kaltura empowers you to create and manage content at your convenience.

Learn more:
Visit the Blackboard “Help” tab – Kaltura for more information.
Uploading Video and other media files:
Screen Capture
Moving Files

Inline Grading

Have you ever wished that grading assignments submitted through Blackboard were easier? Wish no more. Beginning with the Fall 2013 semester, grading in Blackboard will be streamlined with Inline Assignment Grading.

Inline Assignment Grading is a revision to the workflow for grading Assignments in Blackboard Learn. Instead of requiring Instructors to download student-submitted files to view or edit those submissions, Instructors will now be able to view student-submitted files “inline,” i.e. in the web browser, without requiring any plug-ins, applets, or client-side applications.

When an Instructor views a document submitted through an Assignment, that document is converted to a format that is viewable inside the web browser. Supported document types that can be converted are Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF (PDF). The converted document is displayed in a viewer on the Grade Assignment page. Formatting and embedded images of the original document are preserved in the conversion. Additionally, annotations tools will be made available as part of the inline viewer, enabling Instructors to provide feedback – comments, highlights, and even drawing/annotation – directly on the inline view of the document.

Note: Inline grading does not currently work with the Blackboard Mobile Learn Application or documents submitted through Safe Assign.

Learn more:
Inline Grading

Grade Center Activity Log Returns

Back by popular demand instructors can access the activity logs for assessment and test in the Grade Center. This lets you review information about a student’s activity during an assessment and is helpful you should you need to confirm technology or connection issues that may occur during an assessment.
Learn more:
Activity Log


About STaR
Blackboard Student Support

Contact Us

Email: star@ualr.edu
Phone: 501.569.8954

Our Mission

STaR provides faculty support for teaching and learning with UALR’s Blackboard learning management system. Our services are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Posted in: Newsletter

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