Blackboard Tools

Tools are items that help you build content and enhance the learning experience for you and your students.

Announcements | Blogs | Course Menu | Course Statistics | Date Manager | Discussion Boards | Groups | Items | Journals | Modules | Wikis


Announcements

Create an Announcement

With announcements, you can post timely information critical to course success. On the Announcements page, you can add, edit, and delete announcements. This is an ideal place to post time-sensitive material including:

  • Due dates for assignments and projects.
  • Changes to your syllabus.
  • Corrections/clarifications of materials.
  • Exam schedules.

When you add an announcement, you can also send the announcement as an email to students in your course. This ensures that students receive the announcement even if they do not log in to your course. If you include links to course content, the email will not include links to that content.

Create an Announcement — Video

  1. Click Announcements on the course menu
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  2. Click Create Announcement button
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  3. Enter a Subject and a Message
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  4. Choose your date options:
    • Permanent
      To make an announcement permanent, navigate to the "Duration" section and select the "Not Date Restricted" option.
    • Date Restricted (set dates as appropriate)
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  5. Add a Course Link to another area of your course if desired
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  6. Click Submit to finish

Blogs

Blog Types
  1. An individual blog belongs only to one student and only that student can contribute to it. The class is able to view it, and add comments if enabled.
  2. A group blog can be added whenever a group is created. Group members can add blog entries and make comments on blog entries, building upon one another. All course members can view group blogs, but non-group members can only add comments.
  3. In a course blog, all students can participate and contribute to the discussion.

Note: If you prefer a ‘blog‘ that is between the instructor and one student, choose the Journal tool.

Create a Blog
Create a Blog in Blackboard Video
  1. Make sure Edit Mode is On.
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  2. Go to Lessons and then choose the Weekly Learning Module where you would like to deploy the blog, or click on the Blogs link in the course menu.
  3. After clicking on the Weekly Learning Module title to enter that module, choose Tools then click Blogs.
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  4. Click the Create New Blog button
  5. On the Create Blog page fill in the following fields:
    • Blog Information
      Give the blog a Name. Use the Content Editor to add Instructions for the blog.
    • Blog Availability
      Select Yes to Make Blog Available
    • Blog Date and Time Restrictions
      Optionally select Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.

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Blog Participation

Individual to All Students creates a blog for each student that everyone can read and comment on)
Course Blog creates a single blog that everyone can contribute to, read and comment on).

We do not recommend allowing anonymous comments.

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Blog Settings

Select how the entries will be indexed, Monthly or Weekly

Optionally select Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries if students will be able to edit or delete their blog entries.

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Grade Settings

Select No Grading OR Grade: Points Possible option and type the number of points possible.

Once a blog is set to be graded, a column is created for it in the Grade Center.

Select the number of entries required to show participants in Needs Grading status (optional). Applying this setting will show the Needs Grading icon in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of entries have been made.

Optionally associate a Rubric by selecting a Rubric form the Add Rubric menu.

Click Submit to finish.

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Create a Blog Entry
  1. Access the Blog either through the Weekly Lesson, or by clicking the Blog link in the course menu and then clicking the name of the Blog.
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  2. Click the Create Blog Entry button.
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  3. Blog Entry Information
    • Enter a Title for the Blog entry.
    • Type the Entry Message in the content editor.
    • Optionally attach a file to the Blog entry.
    • Click Post Entry to submit the blog entry or click Save Entry as Draft to return and edit the entry later.

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View Blog Entries

Access the Blog either through the Weekly Lesson, or by clicking the Blog link in the course menu and then clicking the name of the Blog. Once you’re in the blog, there is a ‘dashboard‘ of the entries on the right side of the blog.

  • To see all of the group members and the index of their entries, expand the menu by clicking on the arrow.

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  • Each student‘s name will appear with the number of posts. Click on the student‘s name to read the posts.

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Comment On A Blog Entry
  1. Access the Blog either through the Weekly Lesson, or by clicking the Blog link in the course menu and then clicking the name of the Blog.
  2. On the blog‘s topic page, select a blog to view by selecting the user‘s name in the right side panel in the All course Members section.
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  3. Click Comment below the Blog Entry. The Comment box will appear. Type a comment in the Comment box.
  4. Click Add to finish.
  5. Click on the Comments link below the entry to view Blog Entry comments.
Grade A Blog Entry

You can grade participation in blogs for individuals and groups.

After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. You grade students‘ blog entries from the blog page where you view all entries and comments as you determine the grade. The grades you assign show immediately in the Grade Center. You access the blog page in the following ways:

  • In the blog tool, access a blog and click a user‘s name.
  • On the Needs Grading page, access a blog‘s contextual menu and select Grade All Users.
  • In the Grade Center, locate the column for the blog you want to grade. Move the mouse pointer over a cell containing the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—to access the blog‘s contextual menu. Select Grade User Activity.

When you edit an assigned grade from the journal topic page, the Grade Center is updated.

Note: if you have one course blog for the length of the term, the blog will have only one grade center column. If you would like to grade the blog weekly, we recommend that you use the points area to add points each week. In the feedback section, put the date of the feedback and number of points, and use this as a running total so the student can see how many points he or she accumulated each week. At the end of the term, the full point value will be represented in the grade book.


Course Menu

Show or Hide Course Menu Tabs
  1. Make sure your Edit Mode is ON

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  2. Use the drag-and-drop function to reorder course menu links.
    QRG_CourseMenu_02_reorder
  3. Access a link’s contextual menu and:
    • Select Rename to change its title.
    • Select Hide Link to make it unavailable to students.
    • Select Show Link to make it available to students.
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  4. DO NOT CLICK DELETE. If you Delete a content area, all content items within it are also permanently deleted. This action is final.
  5. When a link is hidden:
    • With Edit Mode set to ON, an unavailable link title appears with a square with a diagonal line through it.
    • Students do not see the link on the course menu.

Course Statistics

Statistics Tracking will allow you as an instructor to review number of clicks on a specific area of blackboard by all students or by a specific student. You can also review data about the number of clicks at a specific time of the day (00- 23 hours) and the day of the week (Sunday-Saturday).

Enabling Course Statistics Tracking
  1. Make sure your Edit mode is turned ON.
  2. Navigate to the lesson module or item you would like to track.
  3. Click on the options for that learning module or item.
  4. Select Statistics Tracking On/Off.
  5. Turn Statistics Tracking to On and click Submit to save this change. ""
Reviewing Course Statistics
  1. Go to Evaluation → Course Reports
  2. Click on the options for a report item and select Run.
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    • Each Report will contain different information
  3. Enter in the following information:
    • Select Format (PDF, HTML, Excel, Word)
    • Select a Start Date
    • Select an End Date
    • Click on the name of the user you would like to include in the report. To select more than one user, hold the CTRL key and select the additional users.
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  4. Click Submit to run the report.
  5. Click Download Report to open the report and view the details.
Reviewing Course Statistics for a Specific Learning Module or Item
  1. Make sure your Edit mode is turned ON
  2. Navigate to the lesson module or item you are interested in.
  3. Click on the options for that learning module or item.
  4. Select View Statistics Report
  5. Click on the options for the report item and select Run.
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  6. Enter in the following information:
    • Select Format (PDF, HTML, Excel, Word)
    • Select a Start Date
    • Select an End Date
    • Click on the name of the user you would like to include in the report. To select more than one user, hold the CTRL key and select the additional users.
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  7. Click Submit to run the report.
  8. Click Download Report to open the report and view the details.

Keep in mind the data will be displayed 3 ways:

  1. Summary by date (how many clicks occurred by a student in a specific day)
  2. Summary by Hour of Day (how many clicks in a specific hour of the day – 0 to 23 hours)
  3. Summary by Day of Week (Sunday- Saturday)
Course Statistics Performance Dashboard
  1. Go to Evaluation → Performance Dashboard
  2. Review the following information for each student:
    • Review Status: Displays the number of content items that have been reviewed by a user. Click the link for a detailed view of content items reviewed.
    • Adaptive Release: Click the icon to display the organization map for a user, showing every content item in the organization. Items use icons to indicate whether content items and folders are visible or invisible to a user and whether the items have been reviewed.
    • Discussion Board: Displays the number of posts for the user. Click the link to display which forums a user has posted to and statistics about each post. Forum names link to a collection of posts for the user.
    • Customize Retention Center: Displays the number of alerts and the total number of rules for a user. Click the link to open the Retention Center page for the user.
    • View Grades: Click the icon to display the Grade Center.

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Date Manager

Use the date management tool to easily adjust all content and tool dates in your course. Accessed on the Control Panel in the Course Tools section, you can choose to adjust dates automatically or individually from one convenient location. The first step of date management is to decide if you want the system to automatically adjust the previous or current course item dates to new dates. You can also simply preview all of the dates in your course to assure that you have set them correctly, without making changes to the dates. Seeing all of the course dates you set in one place makes it easier to find errors or ensure that all of the dates are as you had planned.

Date Manager: Preview All Dates
Blackboard Date Manager Video
  1. Go to Course Management Tools → Course Tools → Date Management.
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  2. We recommend choosing ‘List All Dates for Review‘ as your first step.
  3. Choose Start.
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  4. Blackboard will take a few minutes to run the date-management process. Click Next when you receive an onscreen and email message that it is completed successfully.
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  5. The next screen will be a list of all of the course dates that you have set. This includes:
    • Announcements (including all current and timed)
    • Assignment (availability and date due)
    • Discussion Board (availability and date due)
    • Learning Modules (availability)
    • Tests (availability and date due)
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  6. Note that you can sort each of the columns shown, or use the tools at the top of the list to select certain parts of the course such as Learning Modules only, or Tests only.
Date Manager: Editing Dates in Bulk
Blackboard Date Manager Video
  1. You can also select by date type such as due dates or availability dates.
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  2. Edit the dates of the items individually by using the pencil icon on each item, or check the boxes to adjust dates in bulk.
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Discussion Boards

The discussion board allows students and instructors to participate in threaded class discussions in an asynchronous environment – participants do not need to be online at the same time to participate. Discussions are organized into forums, which function as topics. Within each forum are threads, which consist of an initial post and the series of replies to that post. Students do not have permission to create forums – this must be done by instructors. Students can then create and respond to threads within a forum

Create a Discussion Board Forum
Create Blackboard Discussion Board Forum Video
  1. Be sure that Edit Mode is set to “on”.
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  2. Navigate to your discussion board using the left-hand menu in your course.
  3. Click the Create Forum button in the upper left.
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  4. This will take you to the Create Forum page where you can adjust the settings of this forum. Make sure to give the forum a name and use the textbox to add a description.
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  5. Under Forum Availability, you can choose if and when the forum will be available. We recommend not putting in a Display Until date so that students can review their work later in the course. Be sure to keep the “available” button set to yes– changing it to no means the students will no be able to see it when the date comes!
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  6. Under Forum Settings, you can change various options. Here, you change the grading, make the forum anonymous, allow users to create new threads, and more. Look over these options carefully to see what you want from your discussion board.
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Creating a Thread in a Discussion Forum

A Thread is a series of posts related to the same subject. Threads provide an organizational structure within a Forum for users to share posts on similar topics.

  1. Open the Discussion Forum. In the top left corner, there will be a Create Thread button. Next to this button there will also be a Grade Discussion Forum button if you enabled grading in the forum settings, and a Subscribe button, which will send you an email every time someone posts in the forum.
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  2. Under Forum Description, you‘ll see the instructions for the forum. Under Message, write in the subject of the thread, which will show up in the list as the title, and the first post in the thread.
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  3. Under Attachments, you can also add a file.
  4. Click Submit. There should now be a new thread under the forum.
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Change Discussion Thread Author

When you receive your course shell after transfer, the discussion board threads will not list you as an author. They will instead credit “Anonymous.”

There are two ways to change this:

  1. The first time you log in and access your discussions, there will be a pop-up titled “Set Author of Anonymous Posts”
    The "Set Author of Anonymous Posts" pop-up.
    By default, “Not now. Ask again later.” is selected in the drop down. Change this to “Set [YOUR NAME] as author” and then click Submit.
  2. If you do not see the pop-up, or do not wish to change all of the discussion threads at the same time, you can also operate on a per-forum basis.

    To do this, first enter the forum where you want to make the change.

    On the left of the list of threads, click the boxes for the threads you want to edit, or click the topmost box to select them all.

    Above the list of threads, click on the “thread actions” menu, and choose the “Change Author” option.An image of a discussion forum, highlighting where the "change author" option is found.

    This will set you as the author of the selected threads.


Groups

The groups tool allows instructors to create groups of students within a course. These course groups have their own areas in Blackboard Learn to collaborate on course work. These spaces are equipped with tools to assist in the collaborative process. Your course groups may only meet in their group areas to discuss course content or trade files, which comes in handy if you create assignments that you want students to collaborate on. By increasing students‘ interactivity with each other in task-oriented ways, they construct, rather than acquire, knowledge.

Accessing and Creating Groups

Blackboard Creating a Group


On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Groups.

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You can create formal groups of students to collaborate on work, and create these groups one at a time or in sets. You can manually select group members or allow students to self-enroll. Each group has its own space, or homepage, with links to tools to help students collaborate. Only you and group members can access the group tools.
There are two group creation options:

  • A single group
  • A Groupset

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Single Groups

  1. Access the Groups listing page and point to Create Single Group on the action bar to access the dropdown list.
  2. Select Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll.
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  3. On the Create Group page, type a Name and optional Description.
  4. Select the Yes option to make the Group available. If you do not want the group to be available at this time, select No.
  5. Select the check boxes for the course tools you want to make available to the group.
  6. Select the Grade option and add points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if you want to grade student submissions.
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  7. Select the checkbox for Allow Personalization to allow students to add personal modules to the group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can view them.
  8. For self-enroll Sign-up options, type the Name of Sign-up Sheet. Type the Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include. You might tell students that they cannot unenroll themselves from groups.
    -OR-
    For manual enroll Membership section, select the students from the Items to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to add the selected names to the Selected Items box.
  9. Click Submit

The newly created group appears on the Groups listing page.

Groupset

  1. Access the Groups listing page and point to Create Group Set on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
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  2. Select Self-Enroll, Manual Enroll, or Random Enroll.
  3. On the Create Random Enrollment Group Set page, type a Name and optional Description.
  4. Select the Yes option to make the Group Available. If you do not want the group set to be available at the present time, select No.
  5. Select the check boxes for course tools you want to make available to the group set.
  6. Select the Grade option and addpoints possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if you want to grade student submissions.
  7. Select the checkbox for Allow Personalization to allow individual group members to add personal modules to the group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can view them.
  8. For self-enroll Sign-up options, type the Name of Sign-up Sheet. Type the Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include. You might tell students that they cannot unenroll themselves from groups
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    For manual enroll Group Set Options section, type the Number of Groups to create.
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    For random enroll Membership section, type the Number of Students per Group to create or the Number of Groups. Select an option to Determine How to Enroll any Remaining Members in the groups.
  9. Click Submit.
Group Enrollment and Availability

Enrollment
Self-Enroll allows students to add themselves to a group using a sign-up sheet. You can make sign-up sheets available to students on the groups listing page or by adding a link to a course area, such as a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. When you create a group using sign-up sheets, you can make the group immediately available to use or available after all members have signed up. Self-enrollment is an option available for both single groups and group sets.

Note: Students cannot unenroll themselves from groups.

Manual Enroll allows you to assign each student in your course to a group. Manual enrollment is available for both single groups and group sets.

Random Enroll is available for group sets only and automatically distributes membership into groups based on a designated number of students per group or the designated number of groups. Random distribution applies only to students who are currently enrolled in your course. You can enroll additional students manually. When naming a set of groups, the name of each group has a number added to it when they are first created. For example, a set of groups named “Research” results in groups named “Research 1,” “Research 2,” and “Research 3,” depending upon the number of groups in the set. After creation, you can edit the group names.

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Availability
If you set availability to no when you created your groupset, you will have to edit the groupset later to make it available. To do this:

  1. Enter your “Groups“ area. You will see a list of groups with the Groupset they belong to.
  2. Place your mouse over the groupset you wish to make available, and click on the down arrow that appears
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  3. Select “Edit Group Set Properties“
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  4. On the next page, set “Group is visible to Students“ to “yes“
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  5. Click “Submit“ to save your changes.
Group Tools

Students access the tools added to a group homepage in the Group Tools section. Only you and the group members can access tools enabled for a group, with the exception of the group blog and group wiki tools. Group blogs and wikis appear to all course members when the tools are accessed on the Tools page.
The following list describes the available group tools.

  • Group Blog: Users within a group can add entries and comments to the group blog to share ideas. You can grade group blogs, but after you enable grading for a group blog, you cannot change that setting. When you add a grade for a group blog, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. You can edit an individual member‘s grade to assign a different grade than the group‘s.
  • Collaboration Tools: Users within a group can create and attend real-time chat or virtual classroom sessions.
  • Group Discussion Board: Users within a group can communicate as a group, as well as create and manage their own forums. The group discussion board is available only to group members, not to the entire course.
  • File Exchange: You and group members can use this tool to upload documents to the group area, and delete files, regardless of who added them. Files appear in the order they were uploaded. This tool is only available to groups.
  • Group Journal: Users within a group can share their thoughts with each other and communicate with you. Journal entries made in the group journal are visible to all group members and the you. You can grade group journals, but after you enable grading for a group journal, you cannot change that setting. When you add a grade for a group journal, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. You can edit an individual member‘s grade to assign a different grade than the group‘s.
  • Group Tasks: Users within a group can define and separate the workload into tasks, while distributing the list to the entire group. Each task has a status and a due date to help keep members on track. Group members can view the group assigned tasks in the group tasks tool or in the course tasks tool. You and other course members will not see tasks for groups they are not enrolled in when viewing the course tasks tool.
  • Group Wiki: Use group wikis to create a collaborative space for group members to view, contribute, and edit content. By default, all course members can read group wikis, but only members of the group can make a comment on their group wiki page. You can change the default setting to allow only group members to view a group wiki. You can grade group wikis, but after you enable grading for a group wiki, you cannot change that setting. When a grade is added for a group wiki, the grade is automatically given to all the members of the group and is populated in the corresponding column in the Grade Center for each group member. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member did not contribute. You can edit an individual member‘s grade to assign a different grade than the group‘s.

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Group Assignments

You can create a group assignment and release it to one or more groups within your course. Each group submits one collaborative assignment and all members receive the same grade. You can create a single assignment and assign it to all groups, or create several unique assignments and assign them to individual groups. Only you and the members in a group have access to the assignment. The overall grade for an assignment can appear to users as a numeric value, letter grade, percentage, text, or as complete/incomplete, depending upon the primary display choice for the column created automatically in the Grade Center for the assignment.

Prerequisites and Cautions

  • A group must exist prior to creating group assignments for it.
  • Students who are enrolled in more than one group receiving the same assignment will be able to submit more than one attempt for this assignment. You may need to provide these students with an overall grade for the assignment.
  • Students who are not enrolled at the time that a group assignment has been submitted do not have access to that submission. These students can see only that the submission occurred.
  • Students who are removed from a group cannot see the group assignments. They can access their submissions from My Grades.
  • If you edit the assignment between creation and the due date, the entire group may lose any work already in progress.
  • If you delete a group from the assignment after they have begun the work and prior to submission, they will lose access to the assignment and lose their work.
  • You can manually add links to individual groups and sign-up sheets in content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders. You can set up a content area to include all the content and tools your students need for the week. After reading the weekly lecture, and viewing the slide presentation, students can also access the groups tool to complete the group assignment. Students do not need to navigate anywhere else in your course to complete all the required activities for the week.

    When you add a link to a specific group in a content area, all students will see the link, however, if a student is not a member of the group, he or she will not be able to access the group homepage. You can follow the same steps for adding link to learning modules, lesson plans, and folders.

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    1. Change Edit Mode to ON and access the course area where you want to add a group link.
    2. On the action bar, click Tools to access the drop-down list.
    3. Select Groups.
    4. On the Create Link: Group page, select the type of link: Link to the Groups page, to a group, or to a group set. If linking to a group or group set, select it from the list.
    5. Click Next.
    6. On the next Create Link: Group page, complete the Link Information to specify how it will appear in the content area. Select Options, if you want.
    7. Click Submit.

    Navigate to the content area, and click the group link to access the group homepage.

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    Removing a User from a Group

    Sometimes you need to remove members from a course group. This can only be done by course instructors and Blackboard administrators. Students cannot remove themselves from a group. Students cannot remove other students from student-created groups.

    1. On the Groups page, access the group’s contextual menu.
    2. Select Edit.
    3. On the Edit Group page, go to Membership. Remove the member by selecting the name and clicking the left-pointing arrow to move the name out of Selected Items box.
    4. Click Submit. The group member is now removed from the group. To verify that the user has been removed, go to the group homepage to check the list of members.
    Blackboard Creating a Group


    Items

    An item is one of the most useful tools for building content in your Blackboard course site. We refer to it as the Swiss Army Knife of Blackboard tools.

    Items: General Tips
    • Make sure edit mode is ON when you start editing or creating course materials.
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    • All items go inside of your weekly learning modules. Use the items to add text (introduction), images, YouTube videos, hyperlinks, and attach documents.
    • Go to Lessons>Select Learning Module>Build Content>Item
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    • Create materials offline and then copy/paste into Blackboard
    • Always choose Submit to save your work; Blackboard has no automatic save.
    • To edit an item, hover over the title until the chevron or down arrow appears.
    • Items can be moved by hovering over them until yellow bar with arrows appears to the left. Drag and drop.
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    Create Items

    Create Items

    Text-Only Items

    Go to Lessons>Select Learning Module>Build Content>Item

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    • To create an item with text only, go to Go to Lessons>Build Content>Item. Fill in the name (this acts like a header) and then copy and paste your text into the text box.""
    Document Attachment

    o to Lessons>Select Learning Module>Build Content>Item

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    • To create an item a document attachment use the paperclip tool.
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    • Select “Browse My Computer” to find the file on your system
    • “Name of Link to File” is the text your students will see as a heading.
    • “Alt Text” is viewable to screen readers, and other accessibility software. We recommend that you always use this, to better serve your students.
    • Always open in a new window
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    Hyperlink (External URL)

    Go to Lessons>Select Learning Module>Build Content>Item

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    • To create a hyperlink, first write the text you want to be the link, and then highlight this text with your cursor.
    • Click the “link” button on the top right.
    • You will be prompted to enter a link path, which is the URL of the page you wish to direct students to.
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    • Always open links in a new window
    • The “title” will act as descriptive text for screen readers and other accessibility software. We recommend that you always use this, to better serve your students.
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    Image

    Go to Lessons>Select Learning Module>Build Content>Item

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    • To create an item with an image use the image tool.
    • Best browsers for this are Firefox and Chrome – they allow you to resize photos after importing.
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    • You will be asked to input an image URL or Browse your Computer to find the image.
    • Image Description: Acts as descriptive text for screen readers and other accessibility software. We recommend that you always use this, to better serve your students.
    • Dimensions: For images, the ratio of height to width in pixels should match the original image. If the image is too big, customize the dimensions, but keep the same ratio between height and width. For example, and image at 640 x 800 pixels could be resized to 320 x 400. Changing the ratio of the dimensions will make the image appear stretched.
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    YouTube Video

    Go to Lessons>Select Learning Module>Build Content>Item

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    • YouTube videos have a special tool within the MASHUPS on the tool bar. It is for YouTube only.
    • You are able to change the Display Name of the video.
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    • Recommended settings:
      • View: Embed Video
      • Show YouTube URL: Yes
      • Show YouTube information: Yes
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    Creating Items in Blackboard Video
    Item Editing

    Editing Items


    Once you‘ve created an item, you may wish to change something about it.

    When editing an item, you‘ll want to make sure “edit mode” is set to on. You will not be able to use the “Table of Contents” bar on the left and will need to interact directly with the items.
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    1. Enter your lesson and locate the item you want to edit.
    2. Place your mouse over the item so the down arrow appears next to its name, and then click on the arrow to access the item menu.
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    3. Select “edit”.
    4. From here you can change an item‘s:
      • name
      • description
      • attached files
      • availability
      • due dates
      • grading information (including points, rubrics, submission details)
    5. Be sure to click “Submit” to save your changes.
    Editing Items


    Journals

    Journals, also referred to as personal blogs, are a personal space for students to communicate privately with instructors in Blackboard. Students can use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and analyze course related materials. Instructors can create journal assignments that are broad and student-directed as the students reflect on the learning process and document changes in their perceptions and attitudes. Students can describe problems faced and how they solved them. Alternatively, Instructors can create instructor-directed journal entries that are more formal in nature and that narrow the focus by listing topics for discussion. Instructors can choose to make journal entries public, allowing all course members to view all entries. For example, instructors may choose to make a journal public when asking for opinions on how to improve the evaluation process. Students can read what other students wrote and build upon those ideas. When used in the group area, members of a group can view and comment on each other‘s entries for the group journal. The group, as a whole, can communicate with Instructors and all members benefit from the comments. Instructors can grade journal entries or use them solely for communication. In either instance, a student can make multiple entries for one journal topic.

    Create a Journal
    Create a Journal in Blackboard Video
    1. Ensure Edit Mode is On.
      ""
    2. Go to Lessons and then choose the Weekly Learning Module where you would like to deploy the journal (alternatively, go to the Journals link in the course menu)
      ""
    3. After entering the Weekly Learning Module title, choose Tools, then click Journal.
    4. Click the Create Journal button
      ""

    On the Create Journal page fill in the following fields:

    Journal Information

    1. Give the Journal a Name. Use the Content Editor to add Instructions for the Journal.
    2. Journal Availability – Select Yes to Make Journal Available
    3. Journal Date and Time Restrictions
      • Optionally select Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections.

    ""

    Journal Settings

    1. Select how the entries will be indexed, Monthly or Weekly
    2. Optionally select Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries if students will be able to edit or delete their Journal entries.
    3. Optionally select Allow Users to Delete Comments if students will be able to delete comments they added to Journal entries.
    4. Do not select Permit Course Users to View Journal if the journal entries are private. This setting allows all users in the course to view the Journal

    ""

    Grading Settings

    1. Select No Grading OR Grade: Points Possible option and type the number of points possible. Once a Journal is set to be graded, a column is created for it in the Grade Center.
    2. Optionally select the number of entries required to show participants in Needs Grading status. Applying this setting will show the Needs Grading icon in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of entries have been made.
    3. Optionally associate a Rubric by selecting a Rubric form the Add Rubric menu.
    4. Click Submit to finish.

    ""

    Create a Journal Entry
    1. k in the course menu or to the lesson where the journal link is located
    2. Access the Journal by clicking the Name of the Journal.
      ""
    3. Click the Create Journal Entry button.
      ""
    4. Enter Journal Entry Information
      • Enter a Title for the Journal entry.
      • Type the Entry Message in the content editor.
      • Optionally attach a file to the Journal entry.
    5. Click Post Entry to submit the Journal entry or click Save Entry as Draft to return and edit the entry later.

    ""

    Comment on a Journal Entry
    1. Access the Journal by clicking the Name of the Journal.
    2. On the Journal‘s topic page, select a Journal to view by selecting the user‘s name in the right side panel in the All Course Members section. You will need to click the down arrow to see your students names.
      ""
    3. Click Comment below the Journal Entry. The Comment box will appear. Type a comment in the Comment box.
      ""
    4. Click Add to finish.
    5. Click on the Comments link below the entry to view Journal Entry comments.

    ""

    Grade a Journal

    Blackboard Grading a Journal Video


    You can grade participation in journals for individuals and groups.

    After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. One grade will be given for all responses in a Journal (not per journal entry). You grade students‘ journal entries from the journal topic page where you view all entries and comments as you determine the grade. The grades you assign show immediately in the Grade Center. You access the journal topic page in the following ways:

    • In the journals tool, access a journal and click a user‘s name.
    • On the Needs Grading page, access a journal‘s contextual menu and select Grade All Users.
    • In the Grade Center, locate the column for the journal you want to grade. Move the mouse pointer over a cell containing the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—to access the journal‘s contextual menu. Select Grade User Activity.

    When you edit an assigned grade from the journal topic page, the Grade Center is updated.

    Blackboard Grading a Journal Video


    Modules

    Creating Modules
    Blackboard Creating Learning Modules

    1. Make sure edit mode is ON when you start editing or creating course materials.
      ""
    2. Make one learning module for each week‘s lesson; put all materials that apply to each week within that learning module.
    3. Go to Lessons → Build Content → Learning Module
      ""
    4. Create materials offline and then copy/paste into Blackboard
    5. Always choose Submit to save your work; Blackboard does not have save automatically.
    6. Once you have created a learning module, click on its title to enter the module and start adding content, using items and other tools.
      ""
    7. To edit the actual learning module (rather than the content inside of the learning module), while in Edit mode you can hover your mouse over the name of the learning module, click the arrow, and then click Edit from the drop-down menu.
      """"
    Recommended Module Settings
    • 2. Default Content View
      ""

      • Content View: Icon and Text
    • 3. Learning Module Options
      ""

      • Enforce Squential Viewing of the Learning Module?: No
      • Open in New Window: No.
    • 4. Standard Options
      ""

      • Permit Users to View this Content: Yes
      • Track Number of Views: Yes OR No
      • Select Date and Time Restrictions:
        • If you want to hide learning modules until a start date, fill in Display After only.
        • Do not CLOSE modules. Leave “Display Until” area blank.
    • 5. Table of Contents
      ""

      • Show Table of Contents to Users: Yes
      • Hierarchy Display: None
    Blackboard Creating Learning Modules


    Wikis

    Wikis allow course members to contribute and modify one or more pages of course related materials, providing a means of sharing and collaboration. Users can create and edit pages quickly, while tracking changes and additions, allowing for effective collaboration between multiple writers. You can create one or more wikis for all course members to contribute to and wikis for specific groups to use to collaborate. All course members can use the wikis tool to record information and serve as a repository for course information and knowledge. A course wiki is a vast source of information compiled by course members. Wikis can help build a community of collaboration and learning by increasing social interaction during the exchange of information. Students use a wiki to collaborate on shared content from different times and locations. They can view previous changes, comment on content or changes, include new content, and revise existing content. Similar to the discussion board, you act as a facilitator instead of the provider of all course content. Unlike a blog, which can be quite personal, wikis require intense collaboration, where information is linked to and built upon.

    About Wikis

    Use Wikis to Assess Student Engagement

    You can grade student contributions to a wiki or use it solely for course content review. In either instance, a student can contribute multiple pages to a single wiki and make unlimited revisions to pages submitted by any course member. You can also enable the group wiki tool to help groups share and interact. You can view all changes to all pages in a wiki.

    You can view the changes at a high level, and you can drill down to see information about contributions by any individual.

    Wikis in Action

    A primary goal of using a wiki is to build a shared repository of knowledge. As the knowledge base grows over time, you can expect the wiki to have some degree of seriousness and permanence.

    With dedicated use, you can use wikis to:

    • Provide an easy to use environment for communication.
    • Promote collaboration rather than competition.
    • Foster a social and interactive approach to learning.
    • Build partnerships where you can benefit from the strengths of others.
    • Increase network building, trust, and negotiation skills.
    • Provide support and prompt feedback.
    • Provide a one-stop area where information is searched, updated, and accessed easily and quickly.
    • Increase and enhance the possibility of creativity, spontaneity, and innovation through the application of reflective thinking.

    You can use wikis as course content or graded assignments, such as:

    • A glossary.
    • A white paper.
    • Class summaries and outlines.
    • Connecting student writing to form a book.
    • A resources repository.
    • Lab experiments.
    • Student solutions for scenarios and case studies.
    • A research notebook.
    • Group project presentations.
    Create a Wiki
    Creating and Grading Wikis in Blackboard Video

    Create a Topic

    Instructors create course wikis. Any course member can create pages, unless you intend to be the sole author and use the wiki as course content. Groups can also use wikis.

    1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
    2. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Wikis.
    3. On the Wikis listing page, click Create Wiki on the action bar.
      The "Create Wiki" button
    4. On the Create Wiki page, type a name.
    5. Type optional Instructions. Optionally, format the text and add images, links, multimedia, mashups, and attachments using the functions in the content editor.
    6. Select the Yes option to make the wiki available to users.
    7. For Wiki Date and Time Restrictions, you can set a wiki to display on a specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times or type dates and times in the boxes. Display restrictions do not affect the wiki availability, only when it appears.
      Wiki Information Boxes
    8. Select the Student Access option. You can change the student access at any time. a.
      • Closed to Editing: Select this option when you are the only one contributing pages or to disallow further page editing by users, such as when you want to grade the wiki pages. You can still view wikis when you select Closed to Editing.
      • Open to Editing: Allows users to modify any wiki page. In a group wiki, a user must be a member of the group to edit a wiki page.
    9. In the Wiki Settings section, make a grading selection. If you select Grade: Points possible, add a value to make the wiki a graded item. After you enable grading, a column is created automatically for it in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable, and you cannot change it to No grading.
    10. Optionally, select the box and the number of page saves required to show participants in needs grading status. Applying this setting will show the needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of page saves have been made. Note: If you choose three page saves from the drop-down list and a user submits two, the in progress icon ( ) appears in the Grade Center cell and within the tool until the specified number is met.
    11. Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric.
      The Grading options
    12. Click Submit.

    Wikis Listing Page

    he wiki topics appear in alphabetical order on the Wikis listing page. You can sort columns by clicking the column title or caret.

    Location of Items on the Wiki Listing Page

    1. On the Wikis listing page, click the title to access a wiki
      -OR-
      Access a wiki’s contextual menu and select Open.
    2. To change a wiki’s availability or student access, select one or more check boxes and use the Availability and Student Access drop-down lists on the action bar.
    3. The Type column lists whether a wiki is for the course or for a group.
    4. Access a wiki’s contextual menu and select Edit Properties to change a wiki’s name, instructions, and settings.

    Creating Wiki Pages

    Each newly created course or group wiki requires a first page, which is the home page. When you access a new wiki for the first time, a message appears at the top of the page prompting you to create a home page. The home page always appears first in the wiki page list, making it an ideal page for instructions. You or any course or group member can create the home page. No one can delete the home page, but if the wiki is open to editing, any course or group member may edit it. The home page and all subsequent pages are created following the same steps. Use the following steps to create a wiki page.

    1. On the Wikis listing page, select a wiki title.
    2. On the wiki‘s topic page, click Create Wiki Page on the action bar.
      Location of the "Create Wiki Page" button
    3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a name.
    4. Type a description or instructions in the Content box.
    5. Click Submit.

    The "Crate Wiki" Page

    Using and Editing Wikis

    Linking to Other Wiki Pages

    When course members create or edit wiki pages, they may need to reference another page in the wiki. If the wiki consists of many pages, you can insert a link to that page right on the page you are currently viewing. You can use the Link to Wiki page function in the content editor to link to another wiki page within the current wiki. In our example, we create a new wiki page and a link to another page.

    1. Access a wiki.
    2. On the wiki topic page, click Create Wiki Page on the action bar.
    3. On the Create Wiki Page, type a Wiki Name and Content.
    4. In the Content box, position the mouse pointer where you want to include a link to another wiki page.
    5. Click the Link to Wiki page function in the content editor, represented by several sheets of paper. If only one wiki page exists, this function is disabled.
      Location of the "Link to Wiki page" button
    6. In the pop-up window, select the wiki page to link to from the drop-down list.
    7. Optionally, type a name for the link in the Rename Wiki Page Link box. If the link is not renamed, the original page title is used as the link.
      Insert Wiki Page Link Popup
    8. Click Submit. The popup closes and the link appears in the content editor.
    9. Click Submit. The new page with the link to the other page is added to the wiki.

    Edit Wiki Content

    Any course member can edit a course wiki page and any group member can edit a group wiki page, unless you have disabled this function. You might choose to disable editing when it is time to grade the wiki pages. However, you can still edit student pages. All course members, including instructors, edit in the same way. When a user is editing a wiki page, it is locked for a duration of 120 seconds to prevent others from editing the same page. Users are informed that another user is currently editing the page. The lock will expire in 120 seconds regardless of a user’s activity/inactivity. After 120 seconds, another user can start editing the page and a new 120 seconds lock is placed on the page. You can select History from a page‘s contextual menu to see how a page was modified, view any version, and compare two versions side by side. Use the following steps to edit wiki content.

    1. Access the wiki. The wiki topic page appears.
    2. Select the page to review and edit. The wiki page opens in the content frame.
    3. In the side panel, access the pages and select Edit Properties.
      -OR-
      Click Edit Wiki Content next to the page‘s title in the content frame.
    4. On the Edit Wiki Page, you can make changes to the name and content of the page.
    5. Click Submit.
      Location of the "Edit Wiki Content" button

    Commenting on Wiki Pages

    Course members can comment on wiki pages rather than contribute to or edit a page. Comments provide a way for you and your students to offer feedback and suggestions. Comments are visible to all course members. For group wikis, the default setting allows all course members to read them, but you must be a member of the group to make a comment. You can change the default setting to allow only group members to view a group wiki.

    1. Access a wiki.
    2. On the wiki topic page, select the page to view in the side panel. The wiki page opens in the content frame.
    3. Click Comment following the user‘s contribution. The Comment box appears.
    4. Type a comment in the Comment box.
      • Note: Comments have a 2,000-character limit. A pop-up message advises that a comment over 2,000 characters must be edited and resubmitted.
    5. Click spell check at the bottom of the Comment box to check the spelling of the content before continuing.
    6. Click Add. Click the Comments link below the contribution to view the comment.
      How a Wiki Page appears when comments have been added.

    Comment Actions

     

    1. The Comments link displays how many comments were made about the wiki page by you and your students. Click the link to view the comments.
    2. The comments appear in the content frame following the wiki page. You can delete any user‘s comment by clicking the X. No one can edit comments after they are posted. Users can delete the comments they authored.
    3. All comments for all wiki pages are counted in the About This Wiki section.

    Delete a Wiki

    If you no longer need a wiki, you can delete it. Deleting a wiki is permanent. On the Wikis listing page, select Delete from the wiki’s contextual menu.

    Note: If a wiki is gradable, the Delete Confirmation page appears. You need to perform extra steps to remove a gradable wiki.

    1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
    2. On the Wikis listing page, access a wiki’s contextual menu.
    3. Select Delete.
      Location of the contextual menu
    4. Click OK in the warning pop-up. The Delete Confirmation page appears.
      Deletion Confirmation Popup
      You have two options:

      • Do not select check boxes: The wiki is deleted, but the Grade Center column and scores you have assigned are retained. For example, all student contributions are graded and you want to keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If you delete a wiki, yet retain the Grade Center column, you can delete that column from the Grade Center at any time.
      • Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the wiki are deleted. For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the wiki contributions in the final grade, you can safely delete all.

    The checkboxes that allow you to delete Grade center columns

     

    Grading Wikis
    Creating and Grading Wikis in Blackboard Video

    Grading Wikis

    After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. View all the pages a student authored and edited as you determine the grade on the Participant‘s Contribution page. The grade applies to the wiki, not an individual wiki page. You access the Participant‘s Contribution page in the following ways:
    In the wikis tool, access a wiki and click Participation and Grading on the action bar. Click a user‘s name to view their page modifications.
    On the Needs Grading page, access a wiki‘s contextual menu and select Grade All Users.
    In the Grade Center, locate the column for the wiki you want to grade and move the mouse pointer over a cell containing a needs grading icon—the exclamation mark—to access the contextual menu. Select Grade User Activity.

    You can edit previously assigned grades on the wiki‘s Participant‘s Contribution page or in a Grade Center cell.
    You cannot change a graded wiki to ungraded. You need to delete the graded wiki from the Wikis listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded wiki.

    Participation Summary

    On the Participation Summary page, you can view a list of all student participation for the current wiki you are viewing. The information provided can help you understand how students contributed to the overall wiki content. This information can be especially useful when determining individual grades for gradable wikis.

    1. Access a wiki.
    2. On the wiki topic page‘s click Participation and Grading for graded wikis or Participation Summary for wikis with no grading.
      Location of the Participation and Grading button
    3. On the Participation Summary page, view participation for the students who have contributed to the wiki.
      the Participation Summary page
    4. In the side panel, view information about the wiki and select a user to view his or her Participant’s Contribution page.
      • Page Versions: The Page Version column displays all pages created and edited by the user. This allows you to see precisely how and what content the user contributed and edited. If many pages appear, narrow what is shown using the Display Pages drop-down list on the action bar. A new version is created each time a page is edited. When versions are compared, the difference between any version and its previous version are shown on the Page Comparison page. Click the Legend tab to understand the differences in how one version was changed in comparison to the other version. The Legend tab provides an explanation of the formatting used to communicate version differences.
      • Words Modified: Tally of any words added, deleted, or edited in all pages and each page‘s version of the wiki.
      • Page Saves: Tally of any time Submit is clicked on the Edit Wiki Page in the wiki, regardless whether or not content has been changed.

    Visual Representtion of the Culumns on the Participation Summary page

    Grade Wiki Contributions

    In our example, grading starts from the wikis tool.

    1. Access a wiki.
    2. On the wiki topic page click Participation and Grading on the action bar.
    3. On the Participation Summary page, select a student’s name in the View Contributions By section. Students with contributions ready for grading appear with the exclamation mark, the needs grading icon.
    4. On the Participant‘s Contribution page, a list of the student‘s pages and page versions open in the content frame. You can also view information about the contributions. In the Page Version column, click a page‘s title to review it.
    5. When ready to grade, in the Grade section in the side panel, click Edit Grade. The grading field appears in the side panel.
    6. Type a numeric grade in the Current Grade Value box, or use an associated rubric.
    7. Optionally, type Feedback for the student and Grading Notes, which appear to you and graders only. Optionally, use the spell check function in the bottom of each box. Click Text Editor to access all the content editor functions for formatting text and adding URLs, attachments, images, mashups, and multimedia.
    8. Click Save Grade to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Grade section and to the Grade Center.
    9. Use the Previous User and Next User arrows in View Contributions By section to access more contributions to grade.

    The Grading Page