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Past Upgrade Resources and Tutorials
Blackboard Upgrade - July 2014
New Features and Changes
"Student View" has a New Look and Additional Options!
The "Student Preview" option allows instructors to experience their courses exactly as students do. Instructors can take tests, view My Grades (the student gradebook), submit assignments, and access other course components to make sure the course functions as intended.
Blackboard has now integrated a Student Preview tool into its core functionality. Previously, Student View was available at NDSU via a third-party application installed with Blackboard. The "Student Preview" process is slightly different after the upgrade because of this change.
SafeAssign Integration with the Assignments Tool - NEW!
The SafeAssign plagiarism detection tool has been integrated into the existing Assignment tool to make it easier for instructors to create, edit, and grade SafeAssignments while taking advantage of the same options available for Assignments -- students can be allowed multiple attempts and attach multiple files to a SafeAssignment, and instructors can now use the inline grading tools (annotation), attach Blackboard rubrics, and create group assignments.
The SafeAssign option no longer exists as a separate menu choice when building content. Additionally, SafeAssignment submissions are accessed and graded using the Grade Center, the same way other Assignments are graded.
Assignment Creation/Editing Interface Changes
Instructors will want to be familiar with the changes and additions to the Assignment feature before they need to create a new Assignment! The process hasn't changed, but some settings appear in a new order and some settings are grouped into logically related sections that are collapsed by default. There are also some new settings to accommodate the SafeAssign integration and the new Anonymous and Delegated Grading capabilities.
These changes will not affect students in any way.
Anonymous & Delegated Grading - NEW!
This Blackboard release includes improvements to the existing Anonymous Grading option. Anonymous grading now allows instructors to completely prevent graders from seeing the student's name so the grading process can be truly anonymous.
Delegated Grading lets instructors assign specific users in a course to grade particular sets of student assignment submissions and/or assign multiple users to grade the same assignment.
Using grades and feedback from more than one grader helps to promote reliability and remove bias. For large classes, the grading tasks can be divided up among TAs and other graders.
Significant Figures in Calculated Formula Test Questions
Calculated Formula test questions present students with a question that requires them to make a calculation and respond with a numeric answer. The numbers in the question change with each user and are pulled from a range that the instructor sets when creating the question. The correct answer is a specific value or a range of values. Instructors may grant partial credit for answers falling within a range. Calculated Formula questions are graded automatically.
Blackboard tests have included Calculated Formula questions for some time but have not previously included the ability to define significant figures. With this Blackboard version significant figures can be defined and used in the creation of answers and the automated grading process.
Blackboard also made the entry of scientific notation for instructors and students more forgiving in Calculated Formula questions in this upgrade. Previously entries had to use a lowercase e and a negative sign, but now both upper and lowercase "e" and either a + or - sign are allowed in Calculated Formula questions (e.g. 1.0e-4 or 1.0E+4).
Redesigned Portfolios Tool and Integration with Assignments
The Portfolios tool has been completely redesigned to make Portfolios easier to use for both students and instructors:
- Simplifies the Portfolio authoring process for students
- Simplified design options for Portfolios assure consistently attractive output without design or HTML skills needed
- Students can convert course assignments into Assignment Artifacts that persist beyond the student's access to a course
- Instructors can require a Portfolio as a submission to a course Assignment and grade the Portfolio via that assignment
Grade Center Improvements
There are no major changes to the Grade Center with this upgrade; however, there are three minor modifications which will improve the instructor experience with the Grade Center:
- Scores greater than 999 (e.g. 1000 and higher) can now be entered successfully in student grade cells
- Additional information is available in the Grade Information Bar -- hover the mouse over a column name at the top of a column to see how many students have submitted attempts and how many attempts need grading (e.g. "03/06 students have submitted, 1 attempts need grading")
- The previous "Show/Hide" and "Hide Column" options are now labeled "Hide from Students (on/off)" and "Hide from Instructor View" respectively
- The "Grade Anonymously" option is now labeled "Grade with User Names Hidden"