The spring semester is quickly coming to a close and we would like to share with you a recap of our most important posts and offer a few quick steps for summer and fall course developers. Also, remember Wimba Classroom will retire August 1. Read ahead to learn more.
It’s time to prep for the summer 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 summer shells begin with the Course ID 201430.
Note: Course shells are available 90 days prior to their coming semester.
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
For more information, don’t forget to visit the “Help” Tab in Blackboard for Quick Start Guides, Video Tutorials and the Faculty FAQ.
Grade Book Options
Would you like to download your grade book so you can work offline or save it for archival purposes? Blackboard Learn lets you easily do this from within the Full Grade Center. Follow these steps to complete the process:
- Select “Download” from the drop-down menu.
- Adjust downloading options.
- Select where to save the file (Content Collection or My Computer).
- Press Submit.
- Click on “Download” – file will be downloaded to specified location.
If you would like to work offline, be sure to keep the column headers intact; after making changes you can re-upload the file. Follow these steps to complete the process:
- Access Full Grade Center from the Control Panel > Grade Center.
- Select the “Work Offline” button on the right side of the screen.
- Select “Upload” from the drop-down menu.
Working with Incompletes
Just a reminder! There is no need for you to contact STaR regarding incompletes for your students. Whenever a grade of “I” is entered into BOSS, the student will continue to have access to the original course until the grade is changed in BOSS. Keep in mind that if you do not update the grade in BOSS, it will default to an “F” according to UALR policy as described here. Once the grade is changed in BOSS by you or is automatically converted to an “F” the student will no longer have access to the original course.
Several faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have achieved Quality Matters Recognition for the design and development of quality online courses.
Quality Matters assists faculty and course developers in achieving exceptional course content by providing a well-recognized rubric and certification process. The rubric is revised every few years based on the latest research, best practices, and instructional design principles. It is followed by a peer-review process that includes an expert in the content field of study.
The following faculty members and courses recently received QM recognition:
Gary Geissler, Principles of Marketing
Eric Elder, Quantitative Business Analysis
Sarah Quintanar, Principles of Microeconomics
Stacy Moak, Criminal Law
Christy Jackson, Business Calculus
Denise LeGrand, College Algebra
Mark Funk, Survey of Economics
Nita Copeland, Applied Human Science
Emily Berthelot, Race/Ethnicity, and Criminal Justice
Clea Hupp, Islam and the Modern Middle East
Otmar Varela, Organizational Behavior and Management
Sheri Tucker, Teaching Reading
Carol Thompson, Human Communication Concepts
Thomas Tudor, Applications in Human Resource Management
Donna Kay, an instructional designer and QM institutional representative for UALR, said the designation shows the vision, commitment, and expert knowledge required for exceptional course development by UALR faculty who represent a wide range of academic disciplines.
The summer session brings new Blackboard enhancements to improve communication, management, and grading for online courses.
Course Message Notifications
Course messages are private and secure text-based communication that occurs within a course and among course members. Although similar to email, you must be logged into a course to read and send course messages. A new feature now includes notifications for new course messages. Notifications can be viewed from the Updates area (under the Global Navigation Menu), or the What’s New institutional and course modules. Notifications can also be sent directly to UALR email. This means users will receive notifications about a new course message but will still have to log-in to Blackboard to read and respond.
Grade Center Enhancements
New design enhancements to My Grades provides more intuitive options for viewing grades. The instructor and the student view of grades are more in sync. The grade center now has options for students to view grades according to the instructor’s order, last activity, or due date. Grades can also be sorted by all, graded, upcoming, and submitted.
Additional enhancements include:
• An option to Score Attempts Using (highest, average, first attempt, last attempt) is now available under test settings.
• The ability to create grading schemas beyond 100 percent.
• An option to manually override calculated test grades.
The Date Management tool lets instructors rollover and make date adjustments automatically or individually to content items at the beginning of the semester. This includes due dates, availability dates, and active release dates in an existing course.
In one convenient location instructors can review and edit dates. Two exceptions, however, Date Management does not support publisher content or Blackboard Collaborate start and end dates.
Improvements to the Group Management tool lets you easily manage large numbers of students in various groups, modify group memberships, and interface group participants with the grade book.
Instructors no longer need to download, edit, and upload grading. Instead you can review assignments in a web browser from right inside the course. In the new expanded grading area you have several annotation options to provide feedback to students. In addition, the grading sidebar tool is now available in other interactive tools like wikis, blogs, journals, and discussion boards to review uploaded documents.
Wimba Sunset August 1
Collaborate will replace Wimba Classroom and Wimba Voice on August 1, 2014. This is a great housekeeping opportunity to download and archive your Wimba media. Kaltura provides access to upload your media directly to the server through the Build Content tab under the Mashup options allowing you to manage files from your Blackboard course.
Wimba to Kaltura Migration Tutorial
Blackboard Collaborate and Kaltura Media Tutorials are available on the Bb “Help” tab.
Contact: Merlene Love, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 501.569.8954 for assistance.
Manage your media content with Kaltura Media. At your convenience you can upload files, create webcams, and screen capture applications right from your computer. You will find Kaltura Media in Blackboard courses wherever the Content Editor is available. Behind the scenes, Kaltura encodes and returns media links to your course content area or module.
If selected, the Kaltura Faculty Repository lets course instructors share their media with colleagues and set permissions including the options to reuse media segments or “clips” to create new independent files to share across the curriculum. When used with a Tool or in the Course Gallery students can access Kaltura Media to use in a variety of ways.