Grade Center Due Dates & Column Organization

One of the of the hallmarks of student satisfaction in any online or web-enhanced course is a good student-course relationship.  If the student has a good experience interacting with the course structure and materials, they are more likely to report a higher level of satisfaction.

One way to increase the odds of a good student-course relationship is to be sure that when students check their academic progress, it is easy for them discover how they are doing in the course.

Blackboard students and instructors have dramatically different views of course grades.  Instructors generally interact with student grades via the Grade Center, whereas students work with a custom My Grades tool that only shows them their own achievements.  Students do not get a spreadsheet view of their grades.  Instead, they see a list of graded items in whatever order the instructor happens to have them in Blackboard’s Grade Center.

When adding assignments and activities during any given semester it is easy to just set-and-forget the Grade Center and forget about how students see their grades.  The good news is that there are steps that any Blackboard instructor can take to ensure that the students’ view of their academic progress is easy to understand and in the correct order.

The following video capture by SHSU Online Instructional Designer Jay Wilson will walk Blackboard Instructors through the process of organizing the Grade Center using Grade Book Due Dates and Column Organization.

SHSU Online Faculty Development Opportunities – September 2016


Welcome back Bearkat faculty!  The Fall 2016 semester is here and so are the SHSU Online faculty development opportunities!

  1. Go fully online and earn your Teaching Online with Blackboard or Multimedia Master Certifications by enrolling in one of our two Blackboard certification options.
  2. Enroll in our Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Webinar and learn how to use the Collaborate Ultra by participating in an online web meeting that uses the tool.
  3. Attend one of the face-to-face how-to sessions here at the main campus or at our Woodlands location.
  4. Sign up for one-on-one sessions.  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 to sign up for the following courses:

Fully Online Sessions (see below for full session descriptions)

  • Teaching Online With Blackboard [Cohort 9] – Enroll in each of the 4 courses separately.
    • 9/6/2016 – Blackboard Learn: Course Building
    • 9/20/2016 – Blackboard Learn: Communication
    • 10/04/2016 – Blackboard Learn: Assessment
    • 10/18/2016 – Teaching Online: Strategies for Success
  • 9/12/2016 – Multimedia in Blackboard Courses [Self-Paced]
  • 9/14/2016 – Blackboard Collaborate: The Ultra Experience – Webinar – 1pm

Main Campus Sessions (see below for full session descriptions)

  • 9/16/2016 – ProctorFree Online Proctoring for Bb Exams & Quizzes – 1pm
  • 9/19/2016 – Blackboard Learn: Using the Grade Center

Woodlands Campus Sessions (see below for full session descriptions)

  • 9/13 – Blackboard & More – By Request 5pm TWC 209

Visit the SHSU Online Faculty Development How-to Session page to sign up

Development Session Descriptions

Multimedia in Blackboard Courses: This fully-online certification 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.

Participants can choose to complete all module activities for this course and receive a Multimedia Certification or just complete any of the modules that interests them, a la carte.

Teaching Online with Blackboard: A fully-online cohort based training option for faculty wishing to improve their online teaching skills. The certification consists of four courses aimed at preparing an instructor to master the online teaching environment through Blackboard. Courses included within this series comprise the following:

  • Course Building: 2-week course that will equip online instructors with building and sharing content in their online courses.
  • Communication: 2-week course that will cover tools of communication, as well as applicable communication strategies for online course management.
  • Assessment: 2-week course that introduces participants to how to get started assessing their student’s learning in an online class.
  • Teaching Online– Strategies for Success: 2-Week course that presents participants with the opportunity to explore best practices for creating engaging and effective online learning environments.

Blackboard Collaborate – The Ultra Experience: Synchronous collaboration in Blackboard just got a whole lot easier. Introducing Blackboard Collaborate – The Ultra Experience. In real-time, share audio, video, chat, files, whiteboard and software applications on your computer with your classmates and instructor.  No java plugin needed!  Collaborate Ultra runs inside your Internet browser! Session lasts approximately 60 minutes.

ProctorFree – Online Proctoring for Blackboard Exams: This one hour session covers how to use ProctorFree for your online exams & quizzes in Blackboard. ProctorFree is an on-demand, automated online proctoring service that deters cheating in an online testing environment. Using bio-metric and machine learning technologies, ProctorFree has eliminated the need for a human proctor during testing. This innovative technology creates a convenient testing option for distance education students and increases the credibility of online certificates and degrees for higher education institutions.

Blackboard Learn: Using the Grade Center: Participants will learn how to use the Blackboard Grade Center to record data, calculate grades, and monitor student progress. Manage students’ grades and create grade columns for any activities or requirements you wish to grade.

Blackboard & More – By Request: This one hour session is scheduled for SHSU Blackboard instructors who can’t quite make it to Huntsville. An SHSU Online Blackboard export will be at the Woodlands Campus to help answer questions, provide solutions, demonstrations and more around Blackboard and interfacing software applications.

SHSU Online March 2016 Faculty Development Opportunities

March 2016 brings with it some great opportunities for you to improve the Blackboard experience for yourselves and your students.


Go Online

SHSU faculty can now sign up for the individual courses in the Teaching Online With Blackboard Certification Series. That way, if you only have the bandwidth to complete one or two courses in the cohort you can enroll in the others when we offer it again! Feel free to register for one or all of the following online offerings to work toward earning your certification:

  • Blackboard Learn: Assessment (Starts 3/14)
  • Teaching Online with Blackboard: Strategies for Success (Starts 3/28)

Visit our Faculty Development Sessions sign-up page to enroll.

Meeting in Real Time Online Just Got Easier – Blackboard Collaborate: The Ultra Experiencecollaborate_laptopSynchronous collaboration in Blackboard just got a whole lot easier. Introducing Blackboard Collaborate – The Ultra Experience. In real-time, share audio, video, chat, files, whiteboard and software applications on your computer with your classmates or students.  No java plugin needed!  Collaborate Ultra runs inside your Internet browser!

Visit our Faculty Development Sessions sign-up page to enroll.

Get a sneak peek by attending the Collaborate Ultra Session at the SHSU Online Teaching & Learning Conference on Friday, March 4th at 11:15 AM in the Lowman Student Center. Register today.

Speed Up Your Test/Quiz Creation With The Blackboard Quiz Generator

A one hour session that could dramatically cut down on the time you take building quizzes and tests in Blackboard. This tool was developed to help you create quizzes for Blackboard. It allows you to type up the quiz offline in a program like Word or Notepad and not have to go through the trouble of making long quizzes via the Blackboard web interface.

Visit our Faculty Development Sessions sign-up page to enroll.

SHSU faculty can boost their technology know-how by attending sessions at the MURFF, online or at the Woodlands campus. If the daily grind does not allow for attending one of SHSU Online’s regularly scheduled development sessions, SHSU faculty may choose to carve out 5 minutes to an hour for a one-on-one session.

Visit our Faculty Development Sessions sign-up page to enroll.

How-to By Appointment How-to By Appointment

Visit the development sign-up page. Click sign-up then By Appointment. Choose topic & availability and you’re set!

Blackboard and More By Request Graphic How-to @ The Woodlands Campus

Stop by room 209 at the Woodlands Campus for Blackboard Learn & More on Tuesday, 3/15 & 3/29 @ 5pm. Sign-Up today!

How-to By Appointment March How-to Sessions at the MURFF
This month’s sessions at the MURFF include Collaborate: The Ultra Experience, Blackboard Quiz Generator: Speeding up Test Creation and Kaltura: Lecture Capture with Blackboard. Sign-Up today!
Faculty Development Teaching Online With Blackboard Certification Series – Online Cohort
The Teaching Online with Blackboard Certification Series is the fully-online cohort based training option for faculty wishing to improve their online teaching skills. The certification consists of four courses aimed at preparing an instructor to master the online teaching environment through Blackboard.Sign-Up today!

Visit our Faculty Development Sessions sign-up page for all of the great how-to options for March 2016!

Copying Exams in Blackboard to Other Courses: One at a Time

Traditionally there are two ways to copy exams in Blackboard.

  1. Use the Course Copy Function in Blackboard.
  2. Export the Exam from one course and import and deploy it in another.

Option 1 works when you are copying into a blank course because it requires copying all exams, content areas and grade center data.

Option 2 works when you just need to move 1 exam and the destination course already has content.

Here are the steps for Option 2:

  1. Go to your Tests Surveys and Pools Area in your original Bb course section by accessing the Course Tools area of your course’s control panel.


  2. Click the Tests link.


  3. Place your mouse on the Exam you wish to copy until the contextual chevron appears.  Click on it and choose Export to Local Computer.
  4. Save the file somewhere you can easily find it (e.g. your desktop).
  5. Go to the destination course (where you want to place the exported exam)
  6. Visit the Tests, Surveys & Pools area of the destination course and Click Tests.


  7. Click the Import Test button on the action bar.


  8. Use the Browse my Computer button and attach your previously saved exam file.  Click Submit.
  9. Go to the place where you want to deploy the exam in your destination course (e.g: Exams content area) and add a test via the Assessment button of your Action bar.


  10. You will then be able to choose the test you want to deploy on the next page.
  11. Once you have selected the test and set your test options you should be good to go.

Course Reports – How are your students doing?

While keeping track of student progress via the Grade Center, Performance Dash Board and course activities are great tools for encouraging student success, instructors who use Blackboard also have another powerful tool at their disposal.  You can access the health of your course by looking at course-wide trends in tool and content use.  When you compare these trends to student achievement, you can pinpoint areas of your course that need attention. These trends can be found in the Control Panel of your course in the Evaluation section.  They are called Course Reports.

Course Reports

Course ReportsThere are eight types of reports available based on the type of statistics you want to view:

  1. All User Activity inside Content Areas
    Displays a summary of all user activity inside content areas for your course. Use this report to determine which students are active in your course and which content areas they are using. For example, if you house all your tests in a content area named “Tests,” you can run this report and easily see who accessed this content area and how often over a certain time period.
  2. Course Activity Overview
    Displays overall activity within your course, sorted by student and date. Data includes the total and average time spent per user. You can also click an individual student’s name to access his or her Student Overview for Single Course report. This report can help you determine which days of the week students are active in your course and see how much time students spend overall.
  3. Course Coverage Report
    Displays goals coverage information for a single Blackboard Learn course. Data includes both covered and gap values for all curricular areas that the course is associated with, as well as a breakdown of course items that have been aligned to goals.
  4. Course Performance
    Displays information showing how a single Blackboard Learn course performs against a selected set of goals. Performance targets and a range of acceptable performance for the course can be determined when running the report. Data includes averages for the entire course as well as breakdowns for individual students and goals.
  5. Overall Summary of User Activity
    Displays user activity for all areas of your course, as well as activity dates, times, and days of the week. Use this report to view student access as well as how often course tools are used.
  6. Student Overview for Single Course
    Displays an individual student’s activity within your course, sorted by date. Data includes the total overall time the student spent in your course as well as detailed information about the student’s activity, such as which items and content areas a student accessed.
  7. User Activity in Forums
    Displays a summary of user activity in discussion board forums for your course. View which students are using which forums and which are most active.
  8. User Activity in Groups
    Displays a summary of user activity in groups for your course.