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Instructional Services Top 6 "Staff Picks"
The number one thing instructors have long wished for in Blackboard is the ability to view courses exactly as students see them. The Edit Mode: Off option has been available for several years, but it doesn’t give you full access to the course from a student’s perspective – for example, instructors have never been able to see the gradebook the same way that students do.
We’ve installed a third-party building block in Blackboard which allows you to see your course as students do, including My Grades (the gradebook)!
Here’s how to use it:
- Click the “Go To Student View” button in the top-right corner of the window
- While in Student View you’ll see “Demo User” in the top-right corner of the window
- From Student View you can see the course as your students see it, take quizzes and tests and submit assignments – plus you can click Tools, My Grades to see their view of the gradebook!
- Click the “Return to Teacher View” button to return to the course as an instructor – you should see your user name in place of “Demo User” in the top-right corner of the window
- Once you’ve accessed the Student View in your course the first time you’ll see a new ‘student’ named 'Demo User' with a unique “bb_demo_nnnnnn” Username in the Grade Center – scores for any attempted Blackboard graded items will be recorded in this row. Each demo user in each course will have a unique demo user account in the system with a unique user name
Note: Because this demo user account is not a ‘real’ account, email sent to this ‘student’ won’t be processed and instructors cannot log in to Blackboard using this account.
We’re excited about this new feature – we think you’ll find it extremely useful!
Inline Assignment Grading
- New features added 9/26/13!
- Redesigned, easier-to-use Assignment grading page
- Open student-submitted Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files directly within Blackboard - no need to download them first, grade them, and then upload them again!
- Easily provide feedback - including adding comments, highlighting and adding drawing/annotations - directly on the submitted Word, Excel, PowerPoint or PDF file within Blackboard
- Other student-submitted file types can still be downloaded and uploaded for grading as before
Note: The Assignment submission user interface has changed for students as well - if you provide an orientation to Blackboard and/or submitting an assignment for your students, be sure to update that information to reflect the changes!
Test Enhancements - Customizable Availability Options, Better Control of Test Feedback and Test Creation Improvements
- Instructors can make exceptions to test availability settings for individual students or groups of students without affecting all class members. Exceptions can be created for:
- Timed tests - allow time extensions for specific students
- Number of attempts
- Availability of test using start and end dates
- Auto Submit On or Off
- Force completion On or Off
- Control when test results and feedback display to students
- For example: Choose After Due Date to display students' Score, All Answers, Correct, Submitted, and Feedback only AFTER the test due date has passed
- Due Dates and Late Submissions: Instructors can decide whether to allow students to take tests after the due date has passed. If allowed, late submissions are clearly marked when grading
- Adding test questions to a test: Add new test questions exactly where you want them and quickly add another question of the same type without returning to the test canvas page each time
Discussion Board Enhancements - New and Improved!
- Post First Discussions setting - allows instructors to require students to post to a discussion before seeing other students’ posts
- All posts on one page - all of the posts in a thread are now visible at the same time on one page
- Instructor highlighting - posts made by forum managers and moderators now contain the user’s course role and forum role for easier sorting
- Inline replies - when replying to a post, the content editor used to write a response appears on the same page, in the context of the discussion
- Bug Fix - forums set to be unavailable are no longer visible to students
- An instructor-only tool that enables teachers to give focused attention to students who need it
- Instructors can use preconfigured rules or custom rules they create to visually display student's engagement and participation
- Replaces the Early Warning System feature with easy workflows, while retaining all existing Early Warning System data and rules
- Quickly communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement or reward top-performing students
- Easily monitor at-risk students
Video Everywhere - easily add video to a course
- Available to both instructors and students wherever the Content Editor is available
- Record video on the fly using a webcam and upload it directly to a private YouTube channel
- Videos can be seamlessly embedded in course materials, interactions, and feedback via a Toolbar button in the content editor
- Reuse previously recorded videos by choosing from one’s own “library” of videos