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.

Advertisements

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.

Keep Your Students Engaged with the Blackboard App

One of the challenges faced by online, hybrid, and web enhanced instructors is keeping your students engaged.  This blog post could go into depth about the myriads of streams, hashtags, posts and cat videos that are all competing for your students’ attention. So, rather than go down that particular rabbit hole, we will focus on a way to engage your students…..using the Blackboard app.

Blackboard App - Course ContentLet us take a quick look at the various features of the app. This is not the primary focus of this blog post, but I am getting ahead of myself. Here is a quick look at the Blackboard app feature set:

Blackboard App Features

  • View Blackboard Activity Stream
  • View course items/announcements
  • View Due Dates
  • Complete assignments (Google Drive, DropBox & OneDrive integration)
  • Participate in discussions
  • Check grades
  • Interact with instructor and class via Collaborate Ultra
  • Download course files and view them when offline
  • Push Notifications

These are all great features, but you will notice the special emphasis on certain features in the list.   These features provide a little extra engagement for your device carrying students.

Activity Stream

Your students can see an up-to-the-minute list of important course activity including new content, announcements, and grades. The activity stream automatically prioritizes items to help students focus on the tasks that they want to take care of right away.

The activity stream shows first when the app is opened. Students tap the menu icon to navigate to their courses and other features.

Blackboard App - All GradesGrades

Students can select Grades in the main menu to see a quick view of their grade in each course. They tap a course grade to see submitted assignments, tests, quizzes, and graded discussions. Students can see calculated grades, such as running totals if the  them. If a calculated total shows in a desktop browser but not in the app, your school hasn’t updated Blackboard yet.

While in a course, students can tap their current grade at the top of the Course Overview to see all of their graded work. They can tap a graded item to view the assessment details, attempts, and instructor feedback.

Push Notifications

The Blackboard App will keep students up to date and let them know when a test is coming up or an assignment is overdue. It will also send notifications when new grades are posted.

These notifications will show up on their smart phone with a buzz or a bing or when the student checks their device.

This is Great, Now What?

So if you like what the Mobile App can do for your students, what can you do to get them to use it? How about making one of Start Here activities in your course an assignment where students have to submit a screenshot of your course as viewed through the Blackboard app.  Provide the link to the app in the assignment instructions for easy access.  If the students already have the app, they just need to do the screenshot portion of the assignment.

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

Student feedback in Blackboard – Where do they find it?

Research shows that students spend a large portion of their time in Blackboard, checking their grades.  A student’s desire to check their grades via the LMS (Learning Management System) is a regular driver for faculty adoption of Blackboard as a way to provide feedback.

However, even when a Blackboard instructor is using the Grade Center, students may still have difficulty finding their grades and assignment/assessment feedback.   A good best practice for Blackboard instructors is to let students know the mechanics of accessing their grades and graded feedback.

Students can see grades for all of their courses or one course at a time, by using My Grades.

Students can access their grades by clicking the My Grades link in the Blackboard course’s navigation menu or by selecting the arrow next to their name in the upper-right corner. In the menu, they select My Grades. Grades can be sorted by All Courses or Last Graded. If student work hasn’t been graded, grade status icons appear. Select an item’s title to view details.

My Grades accessed from Global navigation menu

The My Grades Page

On the My Grades page, students can view all the coursework and grades for the course they are in. If student work hasn’t been graded, grade status icons appear.

Students can filter and order their view.

Students can select an item’s title to view details. For example, the instructor can type comments, highlight text, and draw on student documents. Students then can select an assignment’s title to access the assignment’s Review Submission History page and review the grade, annotations, and feedback in context.

More on inline viewing

If you use a rubric to grade student work, they can select the View Rubric link to view details.

Students can Select the View Feedback icon to view instructor feedback in a pop-up box.

My Grades page

What Do the Icons Mean?

Icon Description
No information is available.
You completed the work, but no grade is assigned for items such as surveys.
You submitted your work. This item is ready for grading.
Grade Select the grade to view details.
Your work is in progress, but you haven’t submitted it yet.
Your grade for this item is exempted. You don’t have to submit work.
An error has occurred. Contact your instructor.
Your work was graded anonymously. Appears with submissions where your instructor assigned grades with student names hidden during the grading process.
Select to view feedback from your instructor.