Category: Blackboard

css.php

If Bb becomes unavailable

From CUNY Academic Commons

A. Communicate with your students

  • Send an e-mail message to the students in your class and let them know about extended deadlines and other changes in your class schedule (if any).
    * Also, consider attaching important files (like reading assignments) to this message.
    * If you don’t have a list of e-mail addresses for the students in your class(es) already, you can retrieve such a list via webroster ( see http://screencast.com/t/FznsXFjW ). This is something available at Hunter. If other colleges do not have a functional equivalent, they should consider making such service available.

B. Make alternate plans for the classroom

Things to do while Bb is unavailable

  • If you use your own (or loaned) laptop in class, you have most important files with you anyway.
  • If you are using a desktop computer in the classroom, bring files you intend to use in a session on a USB drive.
  • Rather than e-mailing important files to your students as attachments, put these files on an alternate server

+ such as a departmental web server

+ personal server space at Hunter available to faculty at some but not all schools/divisions (e.g., social science faculty has been offered web space on the “urban” server for many years)
+ personal server space which comes with most home ISP (Internet Service Provider) contracts
+ (free) personal server space provided by various organizations/vendor including Google Documents
+ shared folders provided by file synchronization services like Sugarsync (free 45 day trial) or Dropbox (first two 2GB are free)

Things to do (continuously) when Bb is available

  • Make sure to download the grade center at regular intervals to have a local copy ready.
  • If discussion board posting are important in your teaching, save important threads or forums (using the “collect” feature).
  • If you have students submit assignments online, make sure to download all submissions (as one .zip file) as soon as the deadline has passed.


Sample Blackboard Courses and Modules

From CUNY Academic Commons

Image:Teachingandlearning.jpg

These courses and modules do a wonderful job of incorporating or taking advantage of multimedia.

Professor Roslyn Berstein’s course blog – This is an example of the ePortfolio system implemented by the Instructional Technology Fellows at Macaulay Honors College: Teaching and Learning with Technology. The ePortfolio system has made it incredibly easy for individual students, and sometimes entire classes, to create blog-like websites that act as repositories of commentary, criticism, and documentation of the real life experiences of Macaulay students.

An Inconvenient Truth – This is one of LaGuardia Community College’s “First Year Experience” sites. The goal of each site is “to establish a greater sense of community among students and to provide an introduction to intellectual life at the college. ” Each site has a common reading, multiple paths andl inks for doing research on the reading, forums for sharing ideas and information, teaching resources, related blogs, and ways for students to apply what they have learned to their own lives and communities.

Close Reading of a Passage – A sample interactive writing exercise from Lawrence Kowerski’s Greek Civilization course.

Oral Communication for the Non-Native Speaker– Erika Heppner’s course makes students’ lives the content of the course. (Students create their own videos and other digital representations.)

New York City Stories– Liz Iannotti’s course begins by telling students, “You are now a member of an elite task force assigned with collecting data and images and capturing–for the sake of future generations–a snapshot of a particular aspect of life in New York City.”

School to Work Transitioning – Diane Nahas’s course makes students digital story-telling the goal and content of instruction.

Medieval Literature – Carl Grindley’s course is a Blackboard course.

Tony Picciano’s Video Lecture on Bilingual Education – This is one of a series of video “lectures” that Tony recorded in his house. Look at how relaxed he is! (If this opens in Windows Media Player, click the “full screen icon” to enlarge it.)

PHILOSOPHY Courses Online in CUNY

SCHOOL of PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

PHI 301 Computers, Ethics, Society and Human Values

QUEENSBOROUGH

SS 610 Introduction to Philosophy

SS 620 Philosophy of Religion

SS 630 Ethics

SS 640 Medical Ethics

SS 680 Perspectives on Death and Dying

HOME

Related pages “Best Practices” at CUNY

Sample Courses and Modules

From CUNY Academic Commons

Image:Teachingandlearning.jpg

These courses and modules do a wonderful job of incorporating or taking advantage of multimedia.

Professor Roslyn Berstein’s course blog – This is an example of the ePortfolio system implemented by the Instructional Technology Fellows at Macaulay Honors College: Teaching and Learning with Technology. The ePortfolio system has made it incredibly easy for individual students, and sometimes entire classes, to create blog-like websites that act as repositories of commentary, criticism, and documentation of the real life experiences of Macaulay students.

An Inconvenient Truth – This is one of LaGuardia Community College’s “First Year Experience” sites. The goal of each site is “to establish a greater sense of community among students and to provide an introduction to intellectual life at the college. ” Each site has a common reading, multiple paths andl inks for doing research on the reading, forums for sharing ideas and information, teaching resources, related blogs, and ways for students to apply what they have learned to their own lives and communities.

Close Reading of a Passage – A sample interactive writing exercise from Lawrence Kowerski’s Greek Civilization course.

Oral Communication for the Non-Native Speaker– Erika Heppner’s course makes students’ lives the content of the course. (Students create their own videos and other digital representations.)

New York City Stories– Liz Iannotti’s course begins by telling students, “You are now a member of an elite task force assigned with collecting data and images and capturing–for the sake of future generations–a snapshot of a particular aspect of life in New York City.”

School to Work Transitioning – Diane Nahas’s course makes students digital story-telling the goal and content of instruction.

Medieval Literature – Carl Grindley’s course is a Blackboard course.

Tony Picciano’s Video Lecture on Bilingual Education – This is one of a series of video “lectures” that Tony recorded in his house. Look at how relaxed he is! (If this opens in Windows Media Player, click the “full screen icon” to enlarge it.)

PHILOSOPHY Courses Online in CUNY

SCHOOL of PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

PHI 301 Computers, Ethics, Society and Human Values

QUEENSBOROUGH

SS 610 Introduction to Philosophy

SS 620 Philosophy of Religion

SS 630 Ethics

SS 640 Medical Ethics

SS 680 Perspectives on Death and Dying

HOME

Related pages “Best Practices” at CUNY

Design a Lean and Clean Online Interface To Promote Learning

From CUNY Academic Commons

This report represents the shared work of a group of faculty who explored ways of designing a “lean and clean” online interface via Blackboard instruction tools.

by Keming Liu (Medgar Evers College) and C. Jason Smith (LaGuardia Community College)

Contents

Overview

Online practitioners believe that instructional design plays an important part in developing online education. Not surprisingly, a critical element contributing to the success of an online learning experience is the role of the instructor and the instructional design of the course. “Materials themselves do not teach but provide a medium that with appropriate use can support learning,” (Oliver, Herrington, and Omari, 1996). Accordingly, the instructor must incorporate the organization, presentation, and integration of materials into the online environment. Conversely, the other side of the coin is the students whose goals are to acquire learning and content knowledge. It is our belief that forcing students to read a great deal of directional related texts is a waste of the learner’s time and it is not necessarily a good practice for online instruction.


Blackboard Pedagogical Tips

Anyone can place content into their Blackboard course, but every faculty member should ask themselves this important question: “Does the content I place into my course enhance teaching and learning?”

How Do People Learn? – Learning Theories

There are many different learning theories that explain how people learn. These all have to be considered as you design a course.

  • Constructivism
  • Behaviorism
  • Piaget’s Developmental Theory
  • Neuroscience
  • Brain-Based Learning
  • Learning Styles
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Right Brain/Left Brain Thinking
  • Communities of Practice
  • Control Theory
  • Observational Learning
  • Vygotsky and Social Cognition

More information is located at Understanding Learning/Theories.


Implementing the Seven Principles : Technology as a Lever

1. Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty

Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of class is a most important factor in student motivation and involvement. Faculty concern helps students get through rough times and keep on working. Knowing a few faculty members well enhances students’ intellectual commitment and encourages them to think about their own values and plans.

Discussion Tool: Provide a threaded discussion, which allows students and instructors the ability to share concepts, ideas, questions and answers. One way to use this tool is for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Create a Forum that allows students to see FAQ questions & answers. They may be able to help each other and you can post all questions/answers there instead of emailing to individuals. Discussion Forums can also extend class time discussion by providing tools outside of class. You may find using a Forum for exam-related questions very helpful as well.

2. Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one’s ideas and responding to others’ improves thinking and deepens understanding.

Group Tools: Provide a collaborative area for student groups to discuss with a threaded discussion board, chat (synchronously) with group members, exchange files for review or additions, and/or send email to each other. Students today have many responsibilities and finding a time and place to meet can be very difficult. These Group tools allow all users to meet on their own timelines.

3. Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques

Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.

Interactivity: Interactive applications such as this animation allow students to view information in multiple views with movement, graphics, and text. This provides multiple information for many different learner styles.

4. Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback

Knowing what you know and don’t know focuses your learning. In getting started, students need help in assessing their existing knowledge and competence. Then, in classes, students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive feedback on their performance. At various points during college, and at its end, students need chances to reflect on what they have learned, what they still need to know, and how they might assess themselves.

Digital DropBox & Gradebook: With the collaboration of the Digital DropBox and the Gradebook, students can submit assignments, that instructors can return with comments and changes (Word Track Changes feature). Once the final assignment is submitted, instructors can add the grade to the Gradebook. This way, the students are informed of their progress in the course and have ample time to adjust, if needed.

5. Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task

Time plus energy equals learning. Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and professionals alike. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for faculty.

Online Content: Providing content online allows students to review (syllabus, lectures, links, etc.) materials on their schedule. Access to PowerPoint presentations, old exam questions, homework answers, etc., provides students with study tools that can improve their grades.

Assessment Tool: Students are able to test their knowledge on practice exams to verify their understanding before taking the exam in class.

[[Image:Image7.jpg|center]

6. Good Practice Communicates High Expectations

Expect more and you will get it. High expectations are important for everyone — for the poorly prepared, for those unwilling to exert themselves, and for the bright and well motivated. Expecting students to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Assignments and Discussions: Give clear and exact information for the assignment. You can also provide students with clear examples on excellent, average and poor performance. Have students post their papers for peer evaluation during the developmental time. Then again after the final paper is turned in so that their peers can see how the paper progressed. Students are encouraged to create professional documents when they are published for others to view.

Simulations: By simulating real life problems/issues students are able to repeat steps without extra expense or danger to others. These simulations can be performed at home or anywhere there is internet access.


7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

Many roads lead to learning. Different students bring different talents and styles to college. Brilliant students in a seminar might be all thumbs in a lab or studio; students rich in hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. Students need opportunities to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. Then they can be pushed to learn in new ways that do not come so easily.

Multiple Learning Styles: Providing multiple content formats (text, images, sound, audio, animations, graphs, etc.) allow for students to find learning based on their preferred learning style. Many instructors tend to teach in the learning style they are accustomed to.

Repetition: Provide information about the course, assignments and exams in multiple locations of the course. In the Syllabus there is a list of Course Goals/Objectives. Repeat these goals/objectives with the assignment or content so that the student is directed in their learning path.

Audio and Video: As with this Italian course, students benefit greatly by watching an Italian movie clip. Seeing and lessening to native Italian speaking people is at their fingertips anytime anywhere.

INSIGHTS FROM PRACTICE

Lean and Clean: Your site should (at least initially) show only what the students need to the navigate the basics of the course. Any buttons or functions you are not using should be hidden and (preferred) and/or disabled. In the following example, all unused buttons have been hidden from the students and they can easily see announcements without scrolling down when they log in:

Modular Structure: Post your materials weekly or in another basic unit format. Do not post your entire course before the class begins. Students may be easily overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and become lost in the maze. Most online platforms have a “Make Available On” function so that pertinent information posts automatically.

Evaluated Discussions: Contrary to popular belief, online discussions should not be equated with “class participation” and should be evaluated. Online discussions are written work and their centrality to any online course (regardless of discipline) should be acknowledged with a grade percentage that reflects their importance to the class. The expectations for discussions should be clearly stated and rigorously enforced from the beginning. Here is a sample percentage breakdown for literature and composition course and the grading rubric:

Consistent Scheduling: You should have a clearly defined schedule for each week (or unit). Students should be absolutely clear what should happen, not only by which day, but on which day. The professor should consistently post announcements, post in the discussions, respond to email, check work, and report grades. The more regular the professor is, the more regular the students will be. Students should know the schedule and be expected to stick to it. The professor should model the same behavior.

Checklists: Compose checklists of standard weekly (or unit) expectations. You should compose these for the students and yourself! A sample student checklist might look like the following:

Clarity: All assignments should be fully explained including what links or paths to follow and then important information repeated in bullet points (or the equivalent) for quick reference.

Repetition: All important information should be repeated in key areas of the course such as the syllabus, announcements, assignments, and via regular class emails.

Know Your Platform: Experiment on students as little as possible. Start off with what you know will work online then add on more functions. The students will (rightfully) expect you to be the resident expert on the technology. This does not mean that everything should work properly the first time, but you should be able to figure out what is wrong and (even with outside tech help) correct it.

Standardized Appearance: Pick a font style, color, and size and stick with it (Verdana or Arial 12pt. are the easiest to read online and supported by all web browsers). This is your online “voice” and alternating fonts and colors and sizes may be interpreted by students as an inconsistent voice on your part. This doe snot mean you cannot use different colors and etc. occasionally for emphasis, but you will not be able to emphasize anything if there is no consistency into he first place. The whole course should evidence your personality!


Two Excellent Sources of Information on Best Practices in Online Instructional Design:

Top Ten Mistakes In Academic Web Design by Paula Petrik

Best Practices For Delivering Quality Online Courses by at Arizona State University

Back to Blackboard Course Design

Blackboard Tips and Tutorials

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents


Instructional Documents for Students

These sets of instructions (and instructional documents) help students navigate Blackboard, print linked files, create their HomePage, and so forth.


How to Create Groups on Your Course

A newly-created Bb course does not have a Groups button; you have to create one by adding a new Tool Link (in the Manage Course Menu screen) and then clicking the word Groups in the pull-down menu of the title box for this button.


Copying and Loading Images and Animated GIFS

This document also explains how to copy and load images or animated GIFs as banners or as images in textboxes–such as the one of me below:


Putting Directions in the Name of Link to File Box

The document explains how I get all my linked files to say “Click here” (instead of some confusing file name). I urge faculty to consider doing this. You can’t imagine how confusing and off-putting the lengthy, obscure title of most links look.
FAQ about Images in Documents That You Link to Items on Your Buttons


TUTORIALS THAT EXPLAIN AND ILLUSTRATE HOW TO DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING IN BLACKBOARD:

Bb Quick Tutorials on Bb 9 Features and Tasks

Blackboard 8 Quick Tutorials Library– How to use all of Blackboard 8’s tools..

DePaul University’s PowerPoints – Powerpoint presentation about the most salient features of Blackboard 8.

University of Illinois at Chicago’s Gradebook Tutorials -Animated tutorials about BB 8’s Gradebook.

Bucknell University Blackboard Tutorials


Online Resources that Provide Help for Faculty with Black Board 8
CUNY BB Faculty Help Sites http://portal.cuny.edu/cms/id/cuny/documents/informationpage/030392.htm

Baruch College Gateway to BB help http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/bctc/blackboard/


Hunter College BB Basics for students and faculty http://bb.hunter.cuny.edu/

Hunter College BB help for faculty http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/icit/help-docs/blackboard/faculty-docs

CUNY Grad Center BB Help http://web.gc.cuny.edu/informationtechnology/tech_svs/knowledge_base/blackboard.htm

QCC Online Information and Assistance http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/QCCOnline/default.asp#

York College BB Faculty Support Site:  http://www.york.cuny.edu/it/acet/blackboard/faculty

York College BB Student Support Site:  http://www.york.cuny.edu/it/acet/blackboard/student


VIDEOS

VIDEO Changing Course Opening

YouTube Videos on Bb 8 tasks and features

Free Software to Open BB Course Zip File

You need to archive onto your own computer your active online courses a few times through the semester as a security measure and at the end when all work has ended. If you need to access its contents, particularly after the course database is no longer available through the university listings in BB, then you need something to open up that zip file used for the BB archive.
**********************
From the University of North Carolina comes a free program that extracts the content and organization from a Blackboard course “Export” (or “Archive”) zip file. Here is their text.
What is bFree?
bFree is a free tool developed by the IT staff at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that extracts the content and organization from a Blackboard course “Export” (or “Archive”) zip file. bFree creates either a web site or a folder hierarchy with the extracted information. The web site or the folders exhibit the same structure and names as the original Blackboard course. However, the site created by bFree is not an exact replica of the Blackboard site; certain parts of the Blackboard site (e.g., the Grade Center data, tests, blog content) are not extracted from the export/archive file.
bFree allows instructors to:
1. retrieve texts and other materials that would otherwise be unavailable outside of Blackboard
2. produce independent course web sites with the same content and structure of their present Blackboard course sites
3. preview and extract individual files and other content such as links, images, documents, discussion board forums (stripped of author identity), and wiki content
4. share the course materials or web site with others

The Hunter College Instructional Computing and Information Technology (ICIT) group has this and more in one of Hunter’s help documents:
http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/icit/about-icit/icit-groups/technology-teaching-learning/tech-thursdays/repository/files/AboutBFree.pdf

This is available from a very rich source of BB info and assistance at
http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/icit/help-docs/blackboard/faculty-docs 🙂
________________________________________


 Alternative Opening for the BB Site – A BB workaround

It is possible to have a BB site open in many different ways and to provide a good deal more to students upon the first opening than is currently available using the standard default “Announcements ” page opening.

You can have the main center frame of the BB site open with any item in the BB site, even files in hidden areas. That frame can open with a document or html page or video or audio or website. I have made it open to documents, websites and even a youtube video playing upon entry into the site. At the start of the course or any module (unit) of the course the opening center frame can display a text, audio or video file introducing the course or module.

How to do this? You need to realize two things.
1. You can set the course site to open where you want it to open.
In CONTROL PANEL you can go to SETTINGS and then go to COURSE ENTRY POINT. This will allow you to select from a drop down list any item from the COURSE MENU and have the course open to it in the center frame or open to it in a new window- your choice.

2. You can add any one of a number of things to the COURSE MENU and then have the course open to it (see 1).
In CONTROL PANEL go to MANAGE COURSE MENU
Now you can add any one of a number of items.
Content Area
Tool Link
Course Link
External Link

Using Course Link you can open the site to any folder, file or document or DB forum anywhere in the BB course site.
Using External Link you can have the site open to youtube, wordpress site or page , or any other webpage with a url.

You need to NAME the new item. That name will appear on your Course Menu (the column on the left of the BB site – the buttons area) as an item in the list or as a new button, if you are using the buttons option for the menu.
You might name the new item as ” ANNOUNCEMENTS ” or ” VIDEO of the Week. ”
Then you set the course to open on that item following (1) above.

I change what appears in that center frame with each module(unit) or with each week. I generally am opening to an html webpage on my college website that has information pertinent to the course and updated regularly as part of my virtual presence in the class.

You can open to an html page with embedded items in it and this is much more than the standard default BB “Announcements ” supports.
It is a good idea to have it open with something that carries within it or on it the title and number of the course and section and the semester or the current date. If the media you are using does not permit those identifiers you can deal with the need in other ways .

If you do not have a webpage somewhere with what you want on it serving as the opening center frame you can workaround BB and create an html page stored in course documents in a hidden folder.

Open the item. It will have its own url appear. Capture that url address and treat it as if it was an External Link. Then proceed as given above.

Now you can have a much more attractive and rich course opening , even media rich, than BB supplies as a standard default..


Possible Savings for Students on Textbooks

You might want to share this with your students.
It is information to save on the acquistion of textbooks although it is already posted on the portal landing page, the portal log-in page, and the Blackboard home page.
pdf link: http://www.cuny.edu/about/resources/student/textbook-savings/eBooks_flyer_june.pdf
html link: http://www.cuny.edu/about/resources/student/textbook-savings.html


Creating a BULLETIN BOARD and CLASS TWITTER

You can make use of a feature of BB8 in the discussion board area that enhances communication amongst members and fosters interactions amongst learning community members. BB8 allows for members of the class to subscribe to a forum and then when anything isposted an email is sent out to the subscribers to their email address in the BB roster. The email can simply indicate an item is posted or it can contain the body of the post. This latter feature allows this feature to become a TWITTER for the class that permits more than 140 characters in the message. I have used it with 6BB classes at QCC and SPS with no problems at all and NO MISUSE.

How to do it?

Create a DB forum
Make forum available
Title forum
Allow members to subscribe
Include body of post in email
Submit

Then anyone entering the forum can subscribe by clicking on that option in the upper right. They get a confirmation and all is set.
I place this Twitter forum in a permanent position near the top of the DB

Here is my title and message to students. It has worked just fine.
BULLETIN BOARD and CLASS TWITTER
Here is where you post information concerning items related to the course that may have appeared on TV or heard on Radio or a pod cast or a movie or a book or an article in a newspaper, magazine or journal or website. You can also post anything related to the course and people can SUBSCRIBE to this forum and receive your entire post in their email in a manner akin to TWITTER. ALL STUDENTS SHOULD SUBSCRIBE to this forum.

BB8 Discussion Board Oddity

There is an oddity in the BB8 discussion board area. (Well, yes, this is just one) BB8 opens the discussion board forums in either tree view or list view. If it opens with the tree view there is no option on the lower left for selecting all items. However if you click on list view and then click on tree view the option to select all will appear and remain in the tree view as well as the list view for the remainder of the time you are in the DB area.

 BB8 ODDITY with COURSE STATISTICS and “Select All” Feature

Some faculty have expressed surprise and discontent that when they check on COURSE STATISTICS in BlackBoard to look at the report for the activity for the class there are many names that appear for people who were never in the course or were not currently enrolled. This is probably due to requesting the statistics using “all users” instead of using “select users”. If you want the report for all current students and no others just use the select users option and highlight the entire drop down list. This will eliminate the appearance of unwanted and unrecognizable names in the report. 


Creating a Storage Area in a BB class site

You can create an area in a BB course site that is accessible only to the instructor. In that folder can be stored documents and files. Here are ony a few ideas for what can be stored. This supports faculty teaching online who travel and do not take their work computer with them. Files can include:
• Notes on the semester.
• Notes for revisions of the class site for next semester.
• Communications ot students.
• Templates with rubrics for assessment of student work.
• Repertoire of responses to student work, postings and questions.
• BANNERS for use in the weeks as the class progresses.
NOTE: It is inadvisable to sue this for large multimedia files.
HOW TO:
• Go to Control Panel
• Go to Manage Course Menu
• Click on Add Content Area
• Name content area STORAGE AREA or something similar
• DO NOT MAKE IT AVAILABLE.
• Enter Submit
• In Control Panel enter the Content Are you just created and place your items within it.
You can download them onto any machine with which your are working and then relocate them anywhere in your BB site.

Back to Blackboard Tips

FAQ about Images in Documents That You Link to Items on Your Buttons

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

When I load a document with images, why do I get a message that says, “Missing images detected” ?

When you link a file that has images in it to an item, Bb always produces a screen that says “Missing images detected” and lists all the images (because it doesn’t know where these images are saved on your computer). So you have to click the Browse button next to each “missing image” and find the image. THE CRITICAL PART, HOWEVER, IS THAT YOU MUST FIND THE EXACT IMAGE THAT WAS IN THE DOCUMENT. This means you have to know where you saved every image in every document!

I have dozens of files with images in them. How do I keep track of which images go in which files?

Before you create a document that you know you are going to insert images into, create a new folder for the document and the images. Give the folder the name of the file. Then, after you create the file, save it to this folder. The “Save Embedded Files” box will appear. Click Change Folder and then find the folder you created for this file. Click Open but do not gives the images any names–because if you don’t, Bb will automatically name each image the name of the file and a number, When the “Save Embedded Files” box reappears, click OK. Now you will know where to find the file is and all the images that get inserted into it.

I opened the HTML file you sent me, and the images are missing. All that’s there are empty boxes. What happened?

When a web page gets sent as an e-mail attachment, every image in the page gets attached as a separate file. So when you click the HTML page attached, it will open with empty boxes where the images should be. Thus you have to open the file in whatever web page creation software you use (Word, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etc.) do the following to each empty box where an image belongs: Delete the box, click “Insert” (on the top menu bar), click “Picture/Image” and click “From File.” And then click Browse and find each image (wherever your e-mail program saves attachments) and insert it into the document. Save the finished document with a new name.

I made a mistake on one of my images, so I removed the file I had linked to an item, revise it, and linked the revised file onto the item. But when the linked file opens, it’s still the original version with empty boxes instead of images. Why? And What do I do now?

This is a “pain-in-the-neck” bug in Bb. When you make a mistake with a file that has images, Bb does not load the revised file. The only way to load the revised file is to create the item from scratch, all over again (and then remove the one with the problematic link).

Back to Blackboard Tips

Integrating Library Resources into Blackboard

From CUNY Academic Commons

Integrating library resources and services into a Blackboard course site enhances student learning by connecting students with high quality research material and librarians who will help them. Often students are unfamiliar with the resources the library has to offer and rely too heavily on the open web for their information. Connecting students with better resources will foster increased information literacy and may result in higher quality papers. The following guide provides suggested library resources and services, as well as instructions for including them in a course site.

  • Link to Reserves – You can link to the items that you have put on Reserves by following these steps:
  1. Search for your course in ERes http://hunter.docutek.com/eres/courseindex.aspx?error=&page=search
  2. Click on the Course Info tab
  3. Copy the Persistent URL
  4. Paste the Persistent URL directly into your course site
  5. Be sure to include the username/password if your ERes material is password-protected

  1. Go to CUNY+
  2. Search for the item
  3. Find the holdings record
  4. Click on Permanent Link
  5. Copy the URL from the address bar
  6. Paste the URL directly into your course site

  • Link to a full-text article – You can link to an article in one of the Libraries’ subscription databases (http://library.hunter.cuny.edu/databases). In order to do this you will need a persistent URL. Most full-text providers including Academic Search Premier, Education Full Text, JSTOR and PsycInfo include a persistent URL within the first page of their records. The persistent URL is crucial to insuring that the link remains stable, providing dependable access to your students. It is usually clearly marked and located somewhere in the body of the first page, not in the address window.  Alternatively, you may want to provide a link to the database and give your students a specific citation, allowing them to search for the article themselves. This will avoid the problem of shifting URL’s. Linking directly to a database provides the opportunity for students to explore electronic resources and become comfortable with search interfaces.

Customized Library Services

  • Librarian as course builder – Librarians can serve as a course builders within your Blackboard site providing valuable research help to your students. We can help your students develop their research skills by posting guides and tips for using resources. We can also answer questions via discussion boards, blogs, email, etc. Additionally, by participating in class discussions, librarians can meet information needs as they arise. For more information about adding a course builder, see this guide from the Technology Teaching and Learning Group: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/icit/trc/assets/AddingInstructors.pdf.

  • Collaborate on assignments – Librarians can provide assistance in creating effective research assignments.

For more information or assistance, please contact Lauren Yannotta at 212-650-3936 or mailto:lyannott@hunter.cuny.edu.

Back to Blackboard Tips

How to Create Groups on Your Course

From CUNY Academic Commons

This page is part of Karen_Greenberg’s_Blackboard_Tips_and_Tricks.


Contents

By creating student groups, you can give a section or a selection of students (as opposed to the whole class) access to separate email, discussion forums, and file sharing that are available ONLY the members of the group (and you).

STEP 1. Create the GROUPS BUTTON and make the it available to students.

Click the Control Panel and under Course Options, click Manage Course Menu, and click Tool Link.

Image:ImageA.jpg

When the link appears, click the word Groups in the pull-down menu. Click OK and Submit.

STEP 2. Make the GROUPS button available to students.

Click the Control Paneland under Course Options, click Manage Course Menu. This time click the Modify button to the right of Communications. Make sure that the circle next to Group Pages is check as Available. Then click Submit and OK.

Image:ImageB.jpg


STEP 3. Create the GROUPS and add students to them.

Click the Control Panel and under User Management, click Manage Groups.

Image:ImageC.jpg

To create a new group, clickAdd Group.

Image:ImageD.gif

Fill in the information and click the options you want to “enable” for the group and click Submit and OK. . By the way, I never enable “Group Virtual Classroom Function” (since I never use it, and as a rule, I never enable anything I don’t use because unused links can confuse students).

Image:ImageE.gif

Once you have created a group, you will then need to enroll users into the group. To do so, click on the Modify button next to the newly create group and click Add Users to Group. Then click the Search button, and click a check next to the name of each person you want to include in the group. (If you don’t see the person’s name, it means he or she had already been added to the group.)

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

ONCE YOU HAVE CREATED ALL THE GROUPS,YOU MUST CREATE EACH GROUP’S DISCUSSION BOARD FORUM. One of the weird things in Bb is that no student member of a group can create a group DB forum; only the instructor can. So if you “enabled” the Discussion Board in a group, you must create the first forum. And you cannot do this from the Control Panel. You have to access each group via the Groups Button, click its Discussion Board, click “Add Forum, and put in forum title and description.

Back to Blackboard Tips