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.

Friday, May 20, 2016

ExamSoft Portal Schedule Maintenance: 5/27-5/28

ExamSoft will be conducting scheduled maintenance from Friday, May 27 at 10:59 pm through Saturday, May 28 at 4:00 am. During this time, the ExamSoft Portal will be inaccessible and SofTest uploads, downloads, and registrations will be suspended.

Once the maintenance has been complete, the ExamSoft portal and all SofTest functionality will be returned to normal.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

KUMC Network Outage (5/17) - RESOLVED

Due to a network outage Blackboard, Adobe Connect, and Camtasia Relay are all currently offline or not functioning correctly. We are working on the problem and will update you when everything is working correctly.

UPDATE: The network outage seems to have been resolved. Blackboard, Connect, and Relay are working normally. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Camtasia Relay Upgrade - May 16

On Monday, May 16th, we will be upgrading our Camtasia Relay system to Version 5.0.7. We're currently running Version 4.3. Camtasia Relay will not be available on May 16th from 6 am - 5 pm while we run this upgrade. Although you will not be able to make new recording during the upgrade outage, you and your students will be able to view your existing recordings during the upgrade.
After the upgrade, your account and profiles will still work, but a new Camtasia Relay 5.0.7 client recorder will need to be installed on your computer. During the week of the upgrade, We will send you additional information and instructions to make this change as smooth as possible.
Most of the changes are for administrative and security reasons. If you're interested in learning more about the new version 5.0.7 capabilities, go to:
If you have any questions regarding this upgrade, please reply to this email or call ext 87107.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

TLC Scheduled Maintenance Update

Extended Service Maintenance Downtime

TLC will be unavailable during the following time due to scheduled maintenance to update security patches.  

Please do not plan on completing training during this time:

Saturday, April 23 10:00 PM - Sunday, April 24 3:30 AM

Potential Blackboard Phishing Scam

Blackboard has let us know of a potential scam that is currently happening to Blackboard users. Unfortunately there is no work around for the scam or a security fix other than educating our Blackboard users. Please refer to the attached document for more information about the scam provided by Blackboard. Blackboard Phishing Scam document.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

TLC Scheduled Maintenance

TLC will be unavailable during the following time due to scheduled maintenance to update security patches.  

Please do not plan on completing training during this time:

Saturday, April 23 10:00 PM - Sunday, April 24 2:30 AM