Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sharing & Managing Dates in Blackboard


To ensure student success in a course, it is always important to provide students with as much information as possible in regards to expectations for a course. One aspect of this is always providing clear information in regards to deadlines within a course. This information is usually shared via a course syllabus, which we recommend, however, Blackboard offers a great tool to share this information with students, the Calendar tool.

We recommend using the Calendar tool in Blackboard so students can easily view important dates within your course. It will display any due dates for items within a course, as well as events that you as an instructor can add to the course calendar. This tool is also a simple way for you to easily review any upcoming due dates or events within your course.



To learn more about how to use the Calendar tool within your course, please view the video below:




Exporting the Blackboard Calendar For Easy Access


A nice feature of the Calendar tool is that users can export their Blackboard calendars to other clients such as Outlook, Google, as well as to their mobile devices. We have included steps below to assist you in this process:

First, you will need to log into Blackboard and access the Calendar tool. In the left sidebar, you will find a button labeled "Get External Calendar Link". Click this button and copy the link provided.



Next, complete the following steps based on where you would like to export your calendar to:


Outlook

  1. Copy the external calendar link from Blackboard.
  2. Open Outlook and access the Calendar Tool.
  3. On the "Home" tab menu, select "Open Calendar", then "From Internet...".
  4. Paste the link into the field provided and click "Ok".
  5. A pop-up will appear asking you if you would like to add this calendar and subscribe to updates. Click "Yes".
  6. The dates will import from Blackboard, and you should now be able to see the dates from your Blackboard calendar.


Google Calendar

  1. Copy the external calendar link from Blackboard.
  2. Access your Google Calendar app.
  3. In the left sidebar, under "Other Calendars", click the drop-down arrow on the left and select "Add by URL".
  4. Paste the link in the field provided and click "Add Calendar".
  5. The dates will import, and the dates from your Blackboard calendar will appear within your Google calendar.


iPhone

 

Note: You will need to access Blackboard via your iPhone to complete the following steps.
  1. Copy the external calendar link from Blackboard by tapping on the link, dragging the link until the enter link is highlighted, and selecting "Copy".
  2. Exit the browser, and access the "Settings" app on your iPhone.
  3. Scroll down and select "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars".
  4. Under "Accounts", select "Add Account", and select "Other" as the type of the account.
  5. Select "Add Subscribed Calendar".
  6. Tap the field provided and select "Paste". 
  7. Select "Next", then "Save".
  8. The dates will import, and the dates from your Blackboard calendar. will appear within your iPhone calendar.

Android

 

According to online documentation, there is no current option available in Adroid to subscribe to an .ics feed. It is recommended to import your Blackboard calendar into a Google calendar using the steps above, then sync the Google calendar to your Android device. These steps may vary depending on your device. We recommend consulting your device's documentation and settings for further information.


Date Management In Your Course


Do you ever tire of having to go into each individual item within your course to update due dates and availability dates? Blackboard offers a tool called the Date Management tool that allows you to edit due dates, availability dates, and adaptive release dates all in one place for items within your course such as discussions, assignments, test, announcements, etc. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot create new dates within the Date Management tool. You can only edit currently set dates. Also, if you have multiple Adaptive Release dates set up for an item you will not see all of those dates in the Date Management tool. Our recommendation is to edit these within the Adaptive Release settings for the course item, and to use Adaptive Release sparingly.

To learn more about how to use the Date Management tool to manage dates within a course, please view the video below:




Give these tools a try and let us know what you think! We think these tools can make it much easier to share and manage dates within a course. If you've used these tools before, please share your experiences with us in the comments below.




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