Monday, June 13, 2016

Scheduled Blackboard Maintenance (06/14)

Due to a minor issue with Blackboard we will be restarting the servers starting at 12:01 AM to 1 AM on June 14th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Using Wikis and Groups in Blackboard

There are many tools in Blackboard that allow student collaboration. Below is a breakdown of wikis and groups.

Wiki - A wiki is a collaborative tool within Blackboard that can be used for the entire class, or you can divide the students into groups. The entire class or group can edit the wiki to display pictures, links, text, and files. A wiki is the only tool which allows multiple students to edit text in one space.
You have the option to set the wiki to closed to editing so only students can view or you can set a wiki to open to editing which allows group members to all edit the wiki. You also have the option to set the wiki to grading or no grading.  

Here is an image of what a wiki will look like after one person has posted.

If you would like to watch a tutorial or learn more about wikis, you can visit the Blackboard Help - Wikis.

Groups - The group feature allows you to divide your class into small groups to work on projects and communicate. A student will see which group they are enrolled in by clicking to tools > groups or by looking at the bottom of the navigation panel in their Blackboard course. You have the option to create a self-enroll group or a manual enroll group. With manual enroll, you select from your list of students and submit them to the group. Self-enroll allows you to put a maximum number of enrollment on one group. 

Below is an image of what students will see when they are enrolled in a group: 

Once you create the group,  you will have many options. Do I want the group visible to students? Yes, this way they can communicate with their group. Unless you are using the groups feature for your own reference, but do not plan to use it within Blackboard. 

To enroll students into your group, you will need to select "add users" - a list of names will appear. Check the students you would like enrolled in the group and select submit. You will need to select submit again at the bottom of the screen to save your group.  

You will see a long list under Tool Availability which gives you the options of adding blogs, discussion boards, emails, file exchange, journals, tasks, academic materials, content market tools, and wikis. This is all related to which tools you want the group to have. In other words, if you have a group blog or group discussion board, you select it under these settings. Please keep in mind if you add a discussion board called “group discussion board” under content to specify where students should post. You can visit Blackboard Help - Groups to learn more about how to create and use groups in your course.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Scheduled Database Maintenance (6/12)

Our networking team will be doing maintenance to the databases on campus. Due to this maintenance certain systems may have a short outage or interruptions in service. These systems include Blackboard, Relay, Connect and several other systems across campus. This maintenance will take place on Sunday Jun 12th from 2 AM to 8 AM. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Scheduled Blackboard Maintenance (06/06) - COMPLETED

We will be performing maintenance on Blackboard starting at 6 AM and ending at 8 AM on Monday June 6th, 2016. Some users may experience an issue logging in or using certain features within Blackboard. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

UPDATE: This maintenance has been completed and Blackboard is functioning normally. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Scheduled Blackboard Outage (6-3) - COMPLETED

Due to a recent security report released by Blackboard we will be performing maintenance to Blackboard to resolve those issues. Blackboard will be unavailable between 7 - 9 AM on Friday June 3rd. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

This maintenance has been completed and Blackboard is now functioning normally. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

KUMC Internet Connectivity Maintenance (6/5)

KUMC will be performing Network Maintenance on Sunday June 5th from 9 to 9:30 AM. Because of this maintenance Blackboard, Relay, Adobe Connect and other KUMC web sites and services will be unavailable during that time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Creating Discussion Boards in Blackboard

Discussion boards are very popular in online courses. The instructor creates a forum which includes questions for the class to answer, and students respond to the question by creating a thread post. The discussion board posts are ordered by which students respond first. Students can read and reply to a peer by clicking on their post and selecting “reply.”

As you will notice with other tools in Blackboard, when you are creating a discussion board for the first time you will have a large number of options. 

Here is a breakdown of each option:

Viewing Threads/Replies
  • Standard View - students can see each others posts and reply as soon as they are posted
  • Participants must create a thread to view this forum - this means that students cannot read their classmates posts ahead of time. They will not be able to view posts until they have posted their own work.
  • You have the option to set the discussion board to no grading (no grade associated with the board) or Grade Discussion Forum and fill in how many points are possible for that particular forum. 
    • If you associate points with the discussion board it will automatically create a grade column in your gradebook.
  • Do not allow - Students are unable to subscribe to the discussion forum
  • Allow members to subscribe to threads - students will receive an email notification that someone has posted on the thread   
  • Allows members to subscribe to forum - include body of post - this will email the text written to the student so they can read what was posted.
  • Allow members to subscribe to forum - include link to post - students will get an email of the link which they will have to click on and sign in to read the post. 

When you give the students the option to subscribe to a forum, this is what they will see.
Create and Edit
  • Allow anonymous posts - students can post as anonymous on non-graded boards only
  • Allow author to delete own posts - allows author of the post to delete the post as a whole even the comments unless you select only posts with no replies.
  • Allow author to edit own published posts - once they post this allows them to go back and edit their response.
  • Allow members to create new threads - they have the option to create a new thread. You will want this on general discussion boards for students to answer the discussion board.
  • Allow file attachments - students can attach an image or paper to their post
  • Allow users to reply with a quote - allows users to include text in original post when replying to a discussion.
  • Forced moderation - all posts will need to be approved by the instructor before being published to the forum.
  • Allow members to rate posts - gives students the option to rate a peer's post from 1 to 5 stars.

There are many options for discussion boards and may seem overwhelming. Focus on the name, description, grading, and the create and edit section. The rest is all instructor preference.

You can also refer to Blackboard Help as a reference.