Best Practice – Use Short Answer Quizzes For Peer Assessment of Groups

Peer AssessmentOne of the more challenging things to do when teaching online is to assess group work.  Aside from checking in on group Discussion Boards/Assignments and chat recordings, it can be hard to know where the group members stand in terms of load distribution. With large classes, having weekly or even monthly synchronous group meetings might be logistically impossible.

One way to gauge how students are performing in groups according to their peers is to employ a “Peer Assessment Quiz“.  This quiz should include short answer questions, where students are asked to enter each group member’s name and rate their participation. There should also be a way to leave comments for each group member.

This best practice can help prompt your students to take a more collaborative involved role in their course groups/teams.

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Did you Lose Your Blackboard Course Navigation Menu?

Did you Lose your Blackboard Course Navigation Menu?   Don’t worry,  you can get it back!

If you log into your Blackboard course and notice that all you see are your course notifications, announcements, or course start page then we have the solution for you.  You may be asking “Why would I want to hide my course’s navigation menu?”  Well, you can give yourself more editing/viewing space by hiding your Blackboard navigation menu. You can hide your course’s navigation menu by clicking it, but don’t worry making it appear is just as easy as clicking your mouse.

Take your mouse and place it on the left-hand side of your browser window where the blackboard webpage meets the far left hand side of your browser.  You will notice that a dark gray semi-transparent thin rectangle appears.  To make your navigation menu reappear, click the rectagle and voila!

Hidden Navigation Menu

Organize your Courses by Term in Blackboard

Organize My Courses by TermOver the course of 12 years of using Blackboard at Sam Houston State University we have always dealt with the long list of courses that display in your My Courses module by placing an “X” in front of the course’s title so that is moves down below the most recent semester.  This can become confusing depending on where you are looking for your Blackboard courses and how many courses you have.  Starting in the Spring 2013 semester, you can organize your My Courses Module by Term.

Courses not in a Term will be placed in a No Term Assigned term. There are separate terms for Spring 2013 Online and Face to Face courses as well as CJ 7 Week and EMBA courses.

Follow these steps and you can organize your My Courses module by term:

Step 1

Log into Blackboard and place your mouse in your My Courses module.  You will notice that an “S” appears in the upper right-hand side of the module for module settings.  Click on it.

Note:  The “S” will not show up if your mouse is not placed on the My Courses module.

Settings - My Courses Module

Step 2

Select the Group by Term check box. This is the most important step to ensure your My Courses module is organized.

Group By Term Check Box

Note:  You may also change the order of your terms as well as decided whether you want to Show the term or Expand the term open or closed.

Manage Terms

Step 3

Click Submit.

Submit Button