Mark Attendance in Blackboard Learn

Much like the ever-elusive Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster, the ability to keep track of attendance in Blackboard was a quarry that had been long hunted.  For years, Blackboard instructors have desired the ability to keep track of attendance in an official way via the tool where they spend most of their time.

Thanks to our update to the Q2 2018 release of Blackboard Learn, we now have the ability to Mark Attendance in Blackboard Learn.

The Attendance tool can be accessed via the Course Tools menu in any of your Blackboard courses.  View this Blackboard how-to for accessing the Attendance page.

The Attendance page has two views:

  • Meeting View – This is where you mark the students’ attendance.
  • Overall View – Allows you to mart attendance, track attendance history/statistics and create new meetings.

Check out this tour of the Attendance page for more information.

Grade Center Access

You can view attendance in the Grade Center though you can’t mark attendance. Students’ accumulative attendance scores always appear out of 100 points.

Once you use the Attendance tool, you can’t delete the Attendance column, but you can hide it from your view.

Now that we have captured this elusive prey, let us know if you have any questions about the tool and how it is used.

 

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Capitalize on eLearning this Summer with #BbWorld19 in Austin, Texas

Blackboard World "BbWorld" - July 23-25, 2019 in Austin Texas

This summer, Blackboard’s annual eLearning mecca, Blackboard World, can be found in Austin, Texas from July 23 to July 25. For those that have not had the benefit of attending a Blackboard World, it is one of the biggest eLearning conferences of the year.  The fact that it is taking place in Austin this July, makes it much more convenient for travel and professional development budgets.

Attendance at this years’ event will  allow you to become more familiar with technology and tools already in place at SHSU and learn how other instructors and institutions are improving the learner experience. You can attend tailored conference sessions specific to higher education to gain valuable techniques for creating richer, more dynamic courses for your learners.

See the links below for the Blackboard World website, #BbWorld19 Registration and how you can present at #BbWorld19.

Members of the SHSU Online team will be attending and hopefully presenting this year, so you can lean on us for any questions you have about the conference.

If you plan on attending, we advise packing walking shoes and mobile chargers.  Walking shoes because there are so many sessions to chose from and mobile chargers because your mobile devices will be busy sharing all of the great things you learn while at #BbWorld19.

Blackboard Tip: Connect with the Larger Blackboard “Community”

Blackboard Community Logo

Have you heard about Blackboard Community? Blackboard Community is a community of instructors, instructional designers, admins, Blackboard staff, and educational leaders who interact in one place so that everyone involved can benefit. Becoming a member of community.blackboard.com allows instructors and others to:

  • Connect with Blackboard instructors around the world
  • Make suggestions and vote on product enhancements that matter to you
  • Contribute to a Teaching & Learning forum that allows you to ask questions, share ideas and be a part of the Blackboard Community
  • Have conversations that matter over topics that mean something to you
  • Learn from industry experts as well as colleagues in the field
  • Make your own mark in the Teaching & Learning community

This resource is for anyone that uses Blackboard, not just online instructors. SHSU Online encourages you to join this growing community and take part in the cognitive surplus of ideas, resources, and conversations around eLearning. Visit community.blackboard.com to join today!

Adding due dates to assignment descriptions? Use the #DayNotDate in conjunction with Blackboard’s Due Date option.

Are you working on your course for next semester?  Save yourself an annual headache by rethinking how you post when items are due in your Blackboard course(s).

In order to provide our students with “at your fingertips” contextual information, we have often posted assignment/activity due dates directly in the assignment/activity descriptions or unit introductions.  While this may be beneficial to our students, it provides more whack-a-moles for us to go after when it is time to get our courses ready. In other words, we spend more time updating due dates than making other important changes for the new semester.

Student assignment upload window screenshotBlackboard Due Dates

Blackboard already provides a great way to let students know when an assignment/activity is due with the Due Date checkbox.

Not only does the due date show up when the students look at the assignment/activity, it also has the added benefit of notifying the students via email, dashboard and mobile app a week prior to the due date.

#DayNotDate

When placing due dates in unit introductions or assignment/activity descriptions use the due DAY not the due DATE.  Our due days will change much less often than our due dates.

For example:

instead of saying that the discussion activity for week 1 is due Thursday, March 1st by midnight…

say

 …the discussion activity for week 1 is due Thursday by midnight.

This practice will provide students with the “at your fingertips” contextual information they desire, as well as creating a more efficient method for ensuring your course is ready for the next semester.

Bonus – The Date Management Tool & Set Grade Center Due dates

Since you are setting due dates using Blackboard’s Due Date feature, you can now change those due dates in ONE PLACE!  Blackboard provides you with two different methods for adjusting your due dates each semester:

  1. The Date Management Tool
  2. Set Grade Center Due Dates Tool

Both of these Blackboard tools keep you from searching through your entire course to change due dates.

So remember, cut down on the some of the stress of getting your course(s) ready for a new semester by using Blackboard’s Due Date feature and use the #DayNotDate when writing assignment/activity instructions and unit introductions.

SHSU Online Faculty Development Sessions – April 2018

faculty_develpment_banner

SHSU Online is pleased to offer a number of faculty development opportunities for April

Online Cohort and Self-Paced Webinar By Appointment
self-paced_header_graphic webinar_header_graphic face-to-face_header_graphic
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
  • Multimedia in Blackboard Courses
  • Engaging Students
  • Grade Center Best Practices
  • VoiceThread
  • Choose From our Catalog
  • Ask for a Custom Session
  • One-on-one or Group

Faculty Development Schedule – Face-to-Face/Self-Paced/Webinar

*New for April – See our descriptions at the end of this post.

Date Session Title Delivery Method Time/Location
Open *Multimedia in Blackboard Courses (Video Quiz Update) Blackboard Course Self-Paced – Online
Open  Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Blackboard Course Self-Paced – Online
April 3 Engaging Students Webinar 3pm – Online
April 10 VoiceThread Webinar 2pm – Online
April 16 Grade Center Best Practices Webinar 2pm – Online
April 25 *Engaging Students Webinar 3pm – Online

Enroll in one of our faculty development sessions today!

Faculty Development by Appointment

by_appointmentThese sessions can be 5 minutes to an hour and can take place in your office, ours, over the phone and online.  Use the same link to sign up for face-to-face or one-on-one sessions. Just select a topic or come up with one of your own and we’ll do it!

Visit the SHSU Online Faculty Development How-to Session page and schedule a one-on-one with a member of the Instructional Technology Support Services team.

New For April 2018

Engaging Students

Do you ever feel like your students are not engaging with your online or blended course? Encouraging students to engage with you, your content, and each other can seem like a wrestling match. This webinar covers strategies and methods that can help increase student engagement in your Blackboard course. This 1-hour webinar touches on:

  • placing yourself and your students in the course,
  • personalized learning
  • personalization without confusion
  • feedback
  • the “tools of engagement”

Enroll in one of our faculty development sessions today!

Multimedia in Your Blackboard Courses – Interactive Video Quiz Update

Kaltura has released an update for its interactive video quiz tool.  For over a year, Kaltura has had the ability to create interactive video quizzes from any video you create or upload into your “My Media” area in Blackboard.  Kaltura has updated this tool with an easier to use editor and the ability to sync quiz grades to your Blackboard Grade Center!

Enroll in one of our faculty development sessions today!

Extra Credit in the Blackboard Grade Center

At SHSU Online, “How can I add extra credit to my Grade Center?” is a question that is asked often by instructors who use the Blackboard grade book to present grades to their students.   In the Grade Center, you can provide extra credit to students in three ways:

  • Extra credit for the total column
  • Extra credit when weighting grades—added to a category
  • Extra credit for a weighted total column

Extra credit for the total column

Create an extra credit column in the grade center with a maximum score of 0 that is included in the default Total computation.  Assign extra credit points as needed.

In the Grade Center:

  • Click Create Column
  • Call it Extra Credit
  • Select Score for primary display.
  • Select Percentage for secondary display.
  • Points Possible = 0
  • Include in Calculations
  • Click submit.

Screen shot of Extra Credit column that affects the Total column

The extra credit appears in the Grade Center. When you add points in an extra credit column, a student’s total points can equal more than 100 percent.  If a student receives full credit for all gradable items (100 points) and receives six extra credit points, the result is 106 or 106%.

Create extra credit when weighting grades

The weighted total column generates a grade based on the result of selected columns and categories, and their respective percentages. When you create a weighted column, you can include other calculated columns and other weighted columns. Your options are to add extra credit points to a category or to the overall grade.

Option 1: Add extra credit points to a category

For example:

You want to add 5 points extra credit to tests. In the Grade Center, create an extra credit column worth 0 points. After adding the 5 points for each student to the extra credit column, create another column to calculate the combined test grades total. The “Tests Total” column includes any columns that include test grades and the extra credit column. When you create the weighted total column, instead of adding the category “Tests” worth 20%, add the “Tests Total” column for 20%.

Create a “Test Extra Credit” column

  • Click Create column
  • Call it Tests Extra Credit
  • Select Score for primary display.
  • Select Percentage for secondary display.
  • Points Possible = 0
  • Include in Calculations
  • Click submit

 

Create another column to calculate the total of the tests columns and tests extra credit column.

  • Select Create Calculated column and select Total Column
  • Give it a name (Tests total) & description
  • Include the test & tests extra credit columns
  • Select Percentage for primary display.
  • Select Submit

Screenshot of tests Extra credit column that affects the Tests Total column

For your weighted total column, check that the “Tests Total” is the column that is being weighted and not the category “Tests.”

Option 2: Add extra credit points to overall grade

  • Click Create Column.
  • Call it Extra Credit
  • Select Points for primary display
  • For Points Possible, type 0
  • Include in calculations
  • Select Submit

Create a “Final Total” column that includes the “Weighted Total” and the “Extra Credit” columns.

Blackboard Inline Grading View – Changes

When you returned for the spring semester, you may have noticed that the way Blackboard does inline grading has changed.  Blackboard’s tool for implementing inline grading was called Crocodoc.  The company that owned Crocodoc decided to stop supporting it and gave it an end-of-life date of January 15, 2018.  The good news is that Box Inc., the company that owned Crocodoc had another tool called Box View that does essentially the same thing.

As a result, Blackboard updated its inline grading capability to leverage the new Box View software.  Box view offers several improvements over Crocodoc, including improved rendering fidelity (cleaner looking image) and expanded support for new file types.  There are some changes that may affect how your grading workflow happens, so what should you expect?  We’ve highlighted some important changes. Check out the comparison table below for specifics.

Crocodoc Box and Box View Comparison

Function & Details Crocodoc Box View
File types for conversion PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, DOC, and DOCX Over 100 different file types, including video, audio, image, and programming code

File Types and Fonts Supported in Box Content Preview

File types for annotation PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, DOC, and DOCX PDF, PPT, PPTX, DOC, and DOCX

Box View also supports only point-based annotations on these file formats: AI, BMP, DCM, EPS, GIF, PNG, PS, PSD, SVS, TGA, TIF, and TIFF

Videos & Images displayed No Yes
Course Areas Assignments Assignments
Annotations Text- and point-based comments, highlighting, and drawing Point-based comments and highlighting
Download You could download a copy of a student file with the option to download in the original format or in a PDF version that includes the annotations You can download a copy of a student file, but annotations won’t appear
Print Function No Yes
Students Can’t add annotations to documents Can’t add annotations to documents

Note the addition of almost 100 new file types that are supported as well as the ability to display images and videos within the inline grading interface.

One change that may affect some faculty is the inability to download a copy of the student file with annotations.  A workaround for this scenario is to use MS Word instead of Box View and track changes.  Then, you can just upload the annotated document via the grading interface via a file attachment.

Please contact us at blackboard@shsu.edu if you have any questions.