Peer Rating of Discussion Posts

5 Star Rating - GraphicDid you know that instructors can allow students to rate each other’s posts in Blackboard discussion forums? It works the same way that one would rate movies, books, apps, and things purchased in an online storefront like Amazon.

Turning on the ability to rate discussion posts can be an additional way that online instructors increase student engagement levels.

Instructions for turning on discussion post rating

Any time you add or edit a blackboard discussion forum you can turn on the feature that allows members to rate discussion posts.  If you have existing forums in your course, here are the steps to enable peer rating.

  • Click on the Course Tools section of the course’s control panel
  • Click Discussion Board
  • Select the contextual menu arrow next to the appropriate forum and click Edit
  • Access the Forum Settings section close to the bottom of the Edit Discussion Forum page.
  • Check the Allow members to rate posts checkbox and click Submit.

    Forum Settings Screenshot with the "Allow Members to Rate Posts" checkbox selected

Rating discussion forum posts

Discussion posts are rated via a 5-Star scale.  If a post has been rated, the Overall Rating will show right next to the discussion posts in the form of stars.  Students can only rate a post one time and are not allowed to rate their own posts.  Below are the steps to rate a discussion forum post:

  • Find the desired post among the threads of a particular discussion board
  • Select the aforementioned post
  • Notice the Your Rating text with 5 blank close by.

    Discussion Board Rating box with no stars selected

  • Choose the number of stars that approximates your rating of the discussion forum post.  Note: Once a post has been rated, the Overall Rating will appear whenever the discussion forum post is displayed.

    Discussion Board Rating box with 4 out of 5 stars selected

Hopefully, following these steps will add a layer of peer evaluation to your course as well as promote more student engagement.

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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 Maintenance Update – What’s New?

Last night, our Blackboard instance went through a scheduled maintenance that brought us to version 9.1 Q2 2017.  While the version may not mean much to you, we wanted to take the time to let you know about what new features you have in store when you return in the new year.

New Features with 9.1 Q2 2017

Additional drag-and-drop locations

File drag and drop are now supported in the following areas:

  • Content Editor – embed attachment
  • Blank Page content type
  • Blog – Create Entry
  • Journal – Create Entry
  • Portfolio – add Artifact

Submission receipts enhancements

Students can receive a notification email for each assignment attempt with information about the submission including attached files. Students can also access receipts at any time on the My Grades page in the submissions filter area. Administrators can optionally disable the email notifications.

Blackboard Ally availability

When you return, you will have access to Blackboard Ally.  As we have told you in our previous newsletter articles, Ally is a service for improving the accessibility of content in the following ways:

  • Ally presents instructors and content authors with an accessibility score and coaches users in ways to improve the accessibility of materials.
  • Ally creates and presents students with automatically-generated alternative versions of uploaded files and creating accessible HTML, digital braille, and audio format files.
  • Ally allows administrators to see accessibility scores of materials across courses and track changes over time to plan, measure, and improve accessibility.

Blackboard Ally how-to

Starting January 4th, we will offer a fully-online course (in Blackboard) where you can learn about Ally, how it works and even earn a “Blackboard Ally” certification.  Enroll today!

Inline grading moves from Crocodoc to Box View

Blackboard’s original way to do inline grading (Crocodoc) has been upgraded and replaced by the owners of that software (Box Inc.) to Box View. Box View offers several improvements over Crocodoc, including improved rendering fidelity and expanded support for new file types.  Check out this list of over 100 different supported file types.

For more information, watch this video from Blackboard.

Aside from these great new features and tools, Blackboard also squashed some bugs that had been pestering us.

Bugs fixed with 9.1 Q2 2017

  • Users not Getting Emails While Subscribed to Discussion Board Forum
  • Temp Files Received While Sending Email Attachments from the Grade Center
  • Embedded Media Controls Unresponsive in Test Questions
  • Embedded Media does not play when used as a Question in Assessments
  • Error when Viewing Test Attempts in Grade Center

SHSU Online Faculty Development Sessions – January 2018

faculty_develpment_banner

Happy new year! SHSU Online is pleased to offer a number of faculty development opportunities for January 2018.

Online Cohort and Self-Paced

Webinar

By Appointment

self-paced_header_graphic webinar_header_graphic face-to-face_header_graphic
  • Blackboard Ally: Making Course Content Accessible
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
  • 1st Week Strategies
  • New Semester Setup
  • VoiceThread
  • Choose From our Catalog
  • Ask for a Custom Session
  • One-on-one or Group

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

Date Session Title Delivery Method Time/Location
Open Blackboard Ally: Making Course
Content Accessible
Blackboard Course Self-Paced – Online
Open  Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Blackboard Course Self-Paced – Online
Jan 8 1st Week Strategies Webinar 2pm – Online
Jan 16 New Semester Setup Webinar 2pm – Online
Jan 22 VoiceThread Webinar 3pm – Online
Jan 31 VoiceThread Webinar 12pm – 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.

SHSU Online Faculty Development Update – July 2017

July always seems like it should be a slow month.  It is smack dab in the middle of the summer and the heat alone makes you want to take a breath and find some shade.  July 2017 however, is jam-packed with opportunities and information that can benefit any Blackboard instructor at Sam Houston State University.

In this update we will cover some important topics:

  • July’s Faculty Development Opportunities
  • Preview and Download Ready-Made Rubrics

Faculty Development Opportunities

SHSU Online is pleased to offer faculty development opportunities for the month of July 2107

Date Session Title Delivery Method Time/Location
Open Building Online Communities*   | Description | Blackboard Course Self-Paced – Online
Open Multimedia in Blackboard Courses*  | Description | Blackboard Course Self-Paced – Online

*Gain certification upon course completion.

Enroll in one of our faculty development sessions today!

by_appointmentFaculty Development by Appointment

These 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.


Preview and Download Ready-Made Rubrics

SHSU Online has given Blackboard faculty the ability to preview and download ready-made rubrics for your Blackboard courses.  Benefits to using Rubrics in your Blackboard course include:

  • Rubrics clear up grading ambiguity for students,
  • Rubrics make grading easier and more consistent,
  • Rubrics lets students know what they need in order to succeed.

This full blog post provides more detail into each of the benefits listed above, but in addition to the post, we have now created a showcase of Rubrics for you to preview and download for direct import into your Blackboard course(s). Numerous pre-built rubrics are now available for you to use ‘as-is’ or edit to fit your needs!

The Rubric showcase includes rubrics for…

  • Rubric Examples ImageBlog posts
  • Discussions
  • Wikis
  • Reflective Writing Assignments
  • Research Papers
  • Portfolio Assignments

We will continue to add additional Rubrics to the repository. If there is a specific type of Rubric you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to let us know! To find this new resource and to download the ready-made rubrics for import into your Blackboard courses, visit the Faculty Central tab in Blackboard and Select Bb Resources.


Faculty Development Course Descriptions

Course ScreenshotMultimedia In Blackboard Courses
This recent addition to our certification lineup offers attendees the chance to learn how to employ the multimedia tools that Blackboard has in its tool belt.

This course provides the Blackboard instructor with the knowledge and skills in both the acquisition and implementation of multimedia for online/face-to-face and hybrid courses.  Technologies and best practices are examined in the context of student engagement and success.

Topics covered include:

  • Images in Blackboard courses
  • YouTubevideos in Blackboard courses
  • NBC Learn media in Blackboard courses
  • Video/Audio/Screen Capture with KalturaCaptureSpace Lite
  • Interactive Video Quizzing with Kaltura
  • Best Practices in implementing multimedia in Blackboard Courses

Successful completion of this course awards the Multimedia Master certification.

Enroll in one of our faculty development sessions today!

Building Online Community GraphicBuilding Online Communities
Communication and collaboration are key facets to this online certification course. In this course, we will further explore some of the communication and collaboration tools Blackboard Learn has to offer.  You will have ample opportunity to communicate, gain feedback and share ideas with your colleagues’ using of the tools.

This online course covers:

  • Onlinecommunities and the Instructor’s Role
  • Best Practice and Learning Theory Around Discussion Questions
  • The Use of Journals & Blogs
  • The Use of Wikis
  • Groups in Blackboard Courses
  • Grading in the collaborative space

Successful completion of this course awards the Online Community Organizer certification.

Enroll in one of our faculty development sessions today!

Seeing is Believing: Let Students See How Online Tools Work

We have posted previously on the importance of showing students what success looks like in an eLearning environment like Blackboard.   Whether via a rubric or by the example of a previous student submission, letting students see how they can be successful with an assignment or activity in your course is generally a good idea.

This post will help you discover how to utilize a tool that your students will use in their activities by employing it to display course content or provide course communication. That’s right, you are getting two for the price of one!

WikisThe Wiki Tool

The wiki tool can be the most rewarding/frustrating tool in your arsenal of activities that you have in Blackboard. Providing students with instructions on how to use the tool is definitely important, but many times they don’t end up using it the way you intended. This may be because they didn’t have an example or the 1 page example didn’t really show how a completed wiki should look.

Example: Use a wiki to display course topic or content.

Let’s say one of your course modules deals with Jean Piaget and Cognitive Development/Learning. Create a Wiki to display the content across multiple wiki pages:

  • Page 1 – Wiki Home – Overall introduction of unit
  • Page 2 – About Piaget – Biographical/historical look complete with picture
  • Page 3 – Cognitive Development: Explainer on Piaget’s theory
  • Page 4 – Cognitive Learning Today: Embedded video and text

Leave one page with places for your student to add their own text to the wiki demonstrating how a wiki should work in practice.

BlogsThe Blog Tool

In today’s day and age it easy to make the assumption that all students know how to use a blog or are familiar with journaling due to social media. However, this is generally not the case as most social media posts are micro-blogs (very short 126 characters or less) and full of emojis, text-speak and hashtags.

Example: Use a Course Blog to summarize the week/topic/module, provide commentary on student performance and provide a look into the next week/unit/topic.

This example allows you to demonstrate how a blog works and allows you to communicate important news and information to your students.

Each week make a blog post that:

  • Summarizes what the students went over
  • Provides kudos for student performance
  • Provides encouragement for student struggles
  • Allows for commentary to point out important details about the course content.
  • Gives students a preview/intro into the next unit.
  • Be sure to use multimedia so that students see what the blog can do.

*Use other communication tools in your course (announcements, e-mails, calendar entries) to remind students to check the blog. Be sure to encourage students to comment on your blog posts (a few bonus points for your top 3 commenters across a semester).

Both of these activities will give your students a good idea about how they can use these tools to complete the activities/assignments that you have placed in your course.

This strategy works with multiple types of tools/activities in and outside of Blackboard. Things like VoiceThread, GoogleDocs, course hashtags and many others are easy to pair with the “Seeing is Believing” idea.

Hopefully, by employing these types of strategies in your Blackboard courses, you can reduce student anxiety and increase student success!