Blackboard Upgrade June 3-6
will be offline for scheduled maintenance June 3-6 inclusive.
We will be updating Blackboard to version 9.1, service pack 12
(SP12). The updated feature set will include:
- A rebuilt Blackboard calendaring system.
The rebuilt calendar was released with SP10, but contained bugs
that discouraged early adopters. The bugs are now fixed
and the tool enhanced. The new calendar is worth another
look. Here is the
overview video from Blackboard, and our own
more detailed video on how to use the new calendar.
math formula editor with improved accessibility. The
new WIRIS editor includes the java-based enhancements to the
math editor introduced with SP10, but no longer requires java,
extending it to all platforms and making accessibility
- A completely redesigned discussion
Click here for the Blackboard overview video, and here for
own more detailed explanatory video.
- Inline grading for assignments. At
last you can mark up and return student papers directly within
the Blackboard assignment manager.
Here is the Blackboard overview video, and here is our own
more detailed how-to video.
- "The Retention Center is an
instructor-only tool that enables you to give focused attention
to students who need it...From the Retention Center, you can
communicate with struggling students and help them take
immediate action for improvement."
Click here for an overview video, and
here for a full discussion of using the Retention Center.
- Test and Survey options. There are
new test availability exceptions, for accomodating disabled
students or other groups with respect to availability time,
number of test attempts, etc. There are new test results
and feedback options allowing for progressive feedback to keep
test results secure and prevent cheating. There is a new
test start page, with customized student information. And
there are new due date and late submission settings.
Click here for a description.
- New discussion board course copy
settings. Finally there are settings that control the copy
of discussion board starter posts.
Click here for our video.
- Instructor Quick Tools. These new
tools give instructors the ability to set course availability on
multiple courses simultaneously, post announcements to multiple
courses simultaneously, send email to students in multiple
courses, and handle needs grading notices from multiple courses.
Click here for a demo video.
The new tools are available for inspection now on the
Blackboard sandbox system,
and will be available on the production Learn system after the
upgrade is complete.
For those using Blackboard to teach their
summer session courses, please note that the next update window is
scheduled for July 29 - August 1, inclusive. The Blackboard
system will be offline during that time for the upgrade in
preparation for the fall semester. We realize that this will
impact summer session classes, but the academic calendar leaves no
time after summer is completed and before the fall semester begins.
We will make every effort to bring the system back up before the end
of this four-day period, but for planning purposes please be aware
that the system may be offline for the entire time.
Blackboard and PowerPoint Training
We are developing online training materials for Blackboard and
PowerPoint 2013 through our blog. Each installment contains a
brief article accompanied by a how-to video. The Blackboard
series is called "The Blackboard Thing of the Week" and includes the
following episodes so far produced:
The PowerPoint 2013 series so far contains the following titles:
Poll Everywhere and PowerPoint 2013
Everywhere is a revolutionary product that allows for web-based or
PowerPoint-based interactive polls that students can respond to with a
mobile device or computer (no more old fashioned, inadequate clickers).
As an educator you are entitled to use a free 40-respondent account.
To find out more, read this article on how to insert a Poss Everywhere
quiz into PowerPoint with the downloadable PowerPoint add-in.
Best of the Best Winners
response to many requests, we are pleased to present a gallery of the
winners of the "Best of the Best Showcase" for educational technology:
We look forward to seeing YOUR entry in next year's Showcase!
New From Our Blog
Many of our latest posts are linked in the articles above. Here
are a few that are not:
News From Our Twitter Feed