Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Email in Blackboard

Like Angel, you can send email to other people in your course within Blackboard. One difference is that Blackboard does NOT keep copies of your email. Blackboard keeps no record of sent or received email. When you receive or send an email, the email appears in the Inbox of your external email program (such as Outlook). Keep a copy of important messages in case you need them at a later date.

To send an email within in a course, go to the course menu, click the Tools link. On the Tools page, select Send Email. You have several options to send email to people in a course:

•    All Users: Sends email to all users in the course.
•    All Groups: Sends email to all of the groups in a specified course.
•    All Student Users: Sends an email to all students in the course.
•    Single/Select Users: Sends email to select users.
•    Single/Select Groups: Sends email to select groups.

For Single/Select Users or Single/Select Groups, select the recipients in the Available to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move them into the Selected box.

•    Type your Subject. Your message will not be delivered without a subject.
•    Type a Message.
•    Optionally, select the Return Receipt box to send a copy of the message to the sender.
•    Click Submit.

Note: Recipients of each email will not see the email addresses of other recipients.


To get an overview of Email in Blackboard, watch this video.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blackboard FAQ: Student Grade Center View

Instructors have access to the Full Grade Center to see all student grades. But, they do not have access to see what students see.

The Student Grade Center provides detailed grade information to the student. Students are able to see their grades, details about attempts made, and review submitted answers/work. Of course, this is dependent upon what the instructor has allowed the student to view.

To get an overview of the Student Grade Center, watch this video.

Blackboard FAQ: When to use "Force Completion" Option

When you create a test/quiz in your course, you have many options to set when deploying it online to students. One option is the "Force Completion" option. The intention is to "force" students to complete the test in one sitting and not navigate outside of Blackboard during the test. So, if a student clicks on a link in the left navigation or goes to another site within the same browser tab they are taking the test in, the test will automatically submit what the student has completed on the test. However, this can easily be circumvent by opening a new tab or a different internet browser. Students can navigate the course content area in one tab and take the test in another tab. So, this feature really is not that secure. On top of that, you end up dealing with students' computer and internet issues if this option is selected. If a student's internet connection is lost during the test, the test is auto-submitted. If the student's computer shuts down for whatever reason, the test is auto-submitted.

We strongly recommend you turn off the Force Completion option. We have encountered problems when Force Completion is on, because students who lose their Blackboard connection/session while taking a test, are not able to get back into the test to complete it.

Instead, we recommend you Set Timer to a time limit. If students start a one-hour timed test, they will have one hour to complete the test, beginning when they first entered the test and ending one hour later. Even if they log out of Blackboard during the test, they will only have one hour to complete the test. They do not get the additional time they were out of Blackboard or the test.

Please see the following image of the Test Availability options:



Monday, July 29, 2013

3D Printing: Teaching and Learning

Although high-end 3D printing has been available for several decades, it is becoming more affordable and easier to use. A 3D printer creates a physical object from a computer image (e.g., *.obj or *.stl files) by successively layering of material, often plastic. For a short video demonstration of 3D printing, watch:

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKTSdW7-H3Q

3D printing is a real-life technology, especially in health and medical areas, so students need to be aware of this technology—how it works, as well as its technical capabilities, current applications, and future possibilities. Additionally, instructors can create and use 3D models of bones, organs, and systems to better demonstrate concepts and processes. Or, students can create these models themselves, which can require applying and analyzing with these ideas. To learn more about how educators are using 3D printing, see:

  http://www-cdn.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7086.pdf

To see what 3D objects are already available, explore:

  http://www.thingiverse.com (Repository of 3D objects shared around the world)

  http://www.digimorph.org (Library of digital biological specimens, including many 3D objects)

If you're interested in adding 3D printing to your course, please contact your TLT Liaison (tlt@kumc.edu or 913-588-7107).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Streaming Media Server Down RESOLVED

UPDATE: The Helix streaming media server is working again as of 4:10 pm Thursday July 25.

The Helix server which delivers streaming media is currently not responding.  We are working with the vendor to have service restored as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blackboard Connection Issues Wednesday Evening 7/24/13

Some users may have experienced issues connecting to one of the Blackboard servers Wednesday evening between 7:10 - 7:20 pm.

The issue has been resolved.

Tests Temporarily Unavailable (7/24) - Resolved

Some users may have experienced an issue when attempting to enter a test or survey in Blackboard this morning (7/24). We have resolved this issue and tests should be functioning normally now. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Unscheduled Blackboard Outage (7-22) - Resolved

Due to authentication issues Blackboard was temporarily unavailable from 6:16 to 6:28 PM Monday evening July 22. Users that were already in Blackboard would not have experienced any issues. Those attempting to login would have been sent to an error page. This issue has been resolved and Blackboard is functioning normally. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Scheduled Blackboard Maintenance - 7/23

Some users may experience connectivity or login issues Tuesday 7/23 at 2:00 AM. Do not start anything in Blackboard that you cannot finish before 2 AM Tuesday morning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Unschedule Blackboard Outage (7/18)

Some users may have experienced an issue logging in or Blackboard running slowly between 10:45 to 11:23  AM Thursday Morning. This issue has been resolved and Blackboard is functioning normally. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Playing WMV files in Blackboard Using Internet Explorer

Users have reported problems downloading Windows Media Video (.wmv) files in Blackboard when using Internet Explorer.  When a person clicks on a link to a .wmv file, they are prompted for authentication and the prompts continue even after the credentials have been entered.  This is a known issue and Blackboard support is planning a fix for an upcoming update.  In the meantime, there are two suggested workarounds if you need to access a WMV file in Blackboard:

  1.  Use another supported browser such as Firefox or Chrome to access the file.
  2. In Internet Explorer, right-click on the link to the .wmv file and use "Save Target As" to save the file to your desktop where you can then open the video with Windows Media Player.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Voice-Over Presentations and Hosting Them

Voice-over presentations are used in many courses, both in-class and online. However, many students cannot distribute them because of the large file sizes. These tutorials below will help you save your presentation and host it on a web service, so all you have to do is provide your instructor or fellow classmates a web link to access your presentation.

Using Microsoft PowerPoint:
Now, save your video and share the link in one of the following ways:
  • Upload video to your KUMC Student OneDrive
  • Upload video YouTube
  • Upload video to Vimeo
Using SlideBoom to host your voice-over PPT files. Easiest Solution!

Use QuickTime (for Mac Users) to record screen.

Using Apple Keynote:
Using VoiceThread:
Using Prezi:
Using Screencast-O-Matic (up to 15 minute presentations)
Using Jing (up to 5 minute presentations):
Using Slideshare.com
Other Screen Recording Software available:
iPad Apps:


Addition software and services for screencasting/narrating.

Unscheduled Blackboard Maintenance : 10 am Monday July 15

We will be performing brief, unscheduled maintenance on Blackboard at 10 am.  During this time, it is possible users may lose their session and be forced to login in again to Blackboard.  If possible, please avoid beginning any test until after this work is completed at 10:15 am.

Blackboard Social Cloud Issues

We are currently experiencing issues with the social cloud features in Blackboard.  These include Profile, Updates, People and Spaces.

We are working with Blackboard to resolve these issues as soon as possible.