FAQ for Instructors on Blackboard

Documents in this page are for various tasks that instructors may do in my.Gallaudet.edu (BlackBoard). In order to view those documents, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader and/or Flash. If you want to download software on your office computer, you will need to submit a ticket with Help Desk to have a technician to come by and install them for you.

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Contents
Course Management: browsers, course availability, course guests, customize course list, combine courses, upload publisher's materials, semester transitions, back up grade center, export/archive course, copy old course to new, course access, course roles, old course removal, delete old courses, remove from my courses module, remove from module also deletes course, course purge schedule

Grade Center: about grade center, grade management, smart views, grading scale, calculate grades, download grades, add extra credit, troubleshooting grade center

Course Tools: add or build syllabus, add announcements, course menu, course banner, SafeAssign, discussion boards, discussion forums, groups, blogs, wiki, test question types, download portfolio, content collection

Enterprise Surveys: about enterprise surveys, student preview of course evaluation, work flow, log in, system admin, build evaluation, creating questions, response period, select recipients, notification method, schedule & email reminders, course evaluation available to instructors, saving copies of evaluation results


FAQ


my.Gallaudet.edu supports two browsers: Chrome and Firefox. It is not recommended to use IE, Edge, or Safari as many features are not compatible.

To test your browser, please log in Blackboard, scroll down to the bottom left corner and there will be a module for test browser. Click on the button to run the test.

You can also use Blackboard's Browser Checker

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You cannot. University policy does not allow for guests to access courses.

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Download PDF

Modify Your Course List

Blackboard users can view a list of their courses on the My Blackboard tab (in the My Courses module) or on the Courses tab (in the Course List module). Both lists can be edited to display specific courses and information.

Customize your MY BLACKBOARD tab > MY COURSES module: 

1. In Blackboard, users may choose which course sites are displayed in the My Courses module. To modify My Courses module on My Blackboard, click on the tab titled My Blackboard

2. Click on the "gear" icon in the top-right corner of My Courses module to manage the settings for this module

3a. On the Personalize: My Courses page place check-marks next to the courses that you would like to list in the My Courses module. You have the option to display any of the following information by placing check marks under:  
Course Name

      • Course ID
      • Instructors
      • Announcements
      • Tasks
      • Calendar
      • Events 

3b. Click on Submit at the top or bottom of the page. The module has been successfully updated confirmation message loads within the page.


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Submit a ticket to Help Desk with information of all courses that you wish to combine into a single course site. This request will allow other course sites to be unavailable and move students into a single course site.


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Often times you find that the publisher of your course books offer content that you find very useful and beneficial and you want that content be incorporated into your Blackboard (my.gallaudet.edu) course. Many publishers do offer that opportunity in forms of what we called "course cartridges."

A course cartridge offered by a publisher is a great way for you to supplement your course site such as additional reading materials, interactive contents, vocabulary/glossary, and test banks.

One way you can check to see if there is a course cartridge available for your course book, search this website for more information: http://cartridges.blackboard.com/catalog/cartridge_catalog.pl.

If you have a course cartridge from your publisher that you want to import into your course, you need to do the following tasks:

  • Get the Instructor Download Key from your publisher's representative; and/or
  • Get the course cartridge file from your representative (it should come in a ZIP file).
  • In some cases, make note of your login and password information for the cartridge file.

After you have all those information ready, go to Help Desk and create a new ticket requesting that this cartridge be imported to your course. In the description, provide your course ID/number/name and provide all the items listed above. Don't forget to attach the ZIP file to the ticket if you have the file.

A helpdesk technician will perform the importing for you.

If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to contact your eLearning Specialist.


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As the end of the semester arrives, take some important steps to back up your course sites and transition to another semester. Backing up your grades is critical because once a student leave from Gallaudet University, his/her grades will be gone and there is no way to retrieve the lost grades back if he/she decides to come back. The important tasks to back up your courses include:

If you have questions about these tasks, please submit a ticket at http://www.gallaudet.edu/helpdesk


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If you maintain grade records in my.Gallaudet course site, you should always download a backup from the course site after final grades are submitted. You should repeat this process for each of your course sites that consists grades. For example, a student has an incomplete course but he or she is not registered for next semester, his or her username will become inactive and the grades that he or she may had in your course would disappear.

Step-by-Step Instructions: (PDF)

  1. Select Grade Center to expand, then click Full Grade Center.

    Course Managementpanel
  1. Select Work Offline, then select Download

    GradeCenter WOrkOffline

 

  1. Make sure Full Grade Center is selected. You can decide to save the file to your hard drive or your content collection. When you set it up, click Submit.

    Download 02

 

  1. An Excel file (.xls) is created automatically. Click the Download button to save the file to your computer.

    Download button

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There are two options for backing up a course site: export and archive. Those options have different purposes and which you use will depend on how much information you want to retain from the course site.

Exporting a course copies only the content the site, meaning that any assignments you posted, class notes, lectures, etc., would be kept, but not individual student data. This is an excellent option if you simply want to make sure you can recreate a course structure in the future or at different university.

Archiving a course copies everything in the site, including user data. Keeping an archive would allow you to revisit discussion board postings, test results and grades.

Keep in mind that some information in exported grade center and course sites is protected by Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) ‐ and should be stored accordingly.

Step-by-Step Instructions: (PDF)

    1. Select Packages and Utilities to expand, then click Export/Archive Course.

      Bb - Control Panel-Export/Archive
    2. Select either Export Package or Archive Course.

      Bb - Control Panel-Export/Archive download
    3. A green bar will advise that the process has been queued
    4. After a few minutes, click Refresh. When the file has been created, you will see a link.  Right-click on that link and select Save Target as or Saved Linked File As option.
    5. Change the file name to something descriptive, and save the file to your computer.

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Once you have your course sites for the next semester, you can reuse the course contents by copying course content from a past semester's course site.

Step‐by‐Step Instructions: (PDF)

  1. Select the course that you would like to copy materials .
  2. In the Control Panel, click the Course Copy under Packages and Utilities,course copy
  3. then Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course. course copy
  4. Next to Destination Course ID, press the Browse button, and search for the DESTINATION course TO which you want to copy your content. Make sure you select the correct course - look for current semester such as Spring20XX.course copy
    If you don't know the Destination Course ID number, click the Browse button to view a list of your courses. In the popup window that appears, select the appropriate course ID from your list of courses and click Submit. The course ID will populate in the Destination Course ID Box.

    course copy
  5. After searching, press the Select button to choose the destination course (you may need to scroll to see the Select button.
  6. Once the DESTINATION Course ID is entered, select the content you wish to be copied.  Select the course materials that you want to copy over to the existing course. We recommend Select All.

    NOTE: A course copy operation cannot be completed if you do not select at least one of the following areas:
    a.   Content
    b.   Contacts
    c.   Settings.

     In the File Attachments section, select Copy links and copies of the content
     
      DO NOT select Include Enrollments in the Copy.
     
     Click Submit. The process will be queued, and you should receive an email when it has completed.
  7. After you receive the email, go to the destination course and make sure the content has been copied correctly.

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Course access is granted to the registered instructors and students. Additional users such as course builders, teaching assistants and co-instructors may be added to active (current and future semesters) courses with approval of the Department Chair and/or Dean and requested directly through the Registrar's Office. Only the Registrar's Office has the authorization to add users to active courses.

If the course is inactive (previous semesters), you may send a request to Help Desk as well as an email of approval (required) from the instructor who owns the course and/or from the Department Chair. By default, individuals will be added to courses as Course Builder. The course builder role cannot see any information on students' interactive tools (discussion board postings, grades, assignments). No other roles will be given.


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The following list is of roles and their process for adding to your course:

Instructor role - Both active and inactive courses: approval is required from the Department Chair and request made directly through Registrar's Office.

Student role  - For active courses, instructor or Department Chair must make request directly through the Registrar's Office.

Course Builder role - Active courses: Requests must be made directly with the Registrar's Office. Inactive courses: Approval is required from the instructor who owns the course and/or from the Department Chair.  Request can be made through Help Desk - http://helpdesk.gallaudet.edu.

Teacher Assistant role - Added only to active courses. Requests must made directly with the Registrar's Office.  Current student enrolled in the course cannot be promoted to Teacher Assistant role.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Privacy

Blackboard administrators and eLearning Staff are committed to ensuring student privacy as defined by guidelines under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Faculty and staff who utilize Blackboard must also observe FERPA guidelines to protect sensitive information such as grades and test scores. Blackboard administrators and eLearning staff will not provide student information to anyone.


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All Blackboard courses older than three years are purged. The purging occurs at the end of the semester. This action was proposed in the November 16 2011 faculty meeting and passed. Please contact your eLearning specialist if you have any concerns or would like to archive your courses.

Courses that are removed cannot be restored to the Blackboard unless the course was copied, archived or exported prior to removing it. Keep in mind that archiving a course will preserve not only course content but also user enrollments and interactions with the course.


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Frequently, faculty note that they have a buildup of old courses. Former Courses cannot be removed by the Faculty Member; they are left in place for three years because of the possibility of grade appeals. Older courses will be expunged by the system administrator according to a pre-set schedule after the 3 years period.


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Yes. You can customize your listing of courses by clicking on the Gear icon in the upper-right corner of the MyCourses module. On the Personalize: MyCourse page, remove the checkmark next to any course you no longer want to see in MyCourses and click the Submit button. To show a previously hidden course, follow the same procedure, placing a checkmark to the right of the courses you wish to see.


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No. It is the university policy that Blackboard courses are retained on the system for three years following the end of the semester in which they were taught. Courses which have been hidden from the My Courses module in the Blackboard Gateway can be accessed on the Courses tab.


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Introduction to and basic steps of setup and using the Grade Center for your class.

PDF Instructions | Blackboard Overview


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Grades can be entered into the Grade Center either by automatically or manually. Learn to enter a grade manually, change a grade, add a comment to a grade, delete a grade, revert a grade, delete an attempt, drop a grade, and view a grade's history.

Blackboard Overview


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You can create “Smart Views,” a display of the Grade Center spreadsheet data based on your criteria. Any Smart View can be saved as the default view of the Grade Center.

Blackboard Overview


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You can change the predefined grading scale to display a grade as "Pass/Fail" or a letter grade, by using the Grading Schema to modify to your choice.

Blackboard Overview


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You can Add Calculated Columns to perform customized weighted-grade calculations and include only selected columns in the calculations.

Blackboard Overview


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You can download Grade Center data to your computer as a tab or comma delimited file that you can use in other applications such as Microsoft Excel or any other statistical analysis programs.

Blackboard Overview

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You can create an extra credit column in the Grade Center that is included in the total computation and has a maximum score of 0. Then, you can assign extra credit points as needed.

Blackboard Overview

However the above method is for the points system. To use extra credit with a weighted grading system, follow the method below:

Adding extra credit points to a weighted column in Blackboard Learn can easily be accomplished with three grade center columns. Assuming your weighted total column is already created we will need to create an Extra Credit column and a Final Grade Column.

Creating an Extra Credit Column

  1. From the Grade Center menu click Create Column
  2. Enter a name for the column, for this example I will use "Extra Credit."
  3. OPTIONAL: Enter a column description.
  4. For Primary Display select "Score" from the drop-down box.
  5. For Points Possible enter "0."
  6. Click Submit

Creating the Final Grade Column

  1. From the Grade Center menu hover over the Create Calculated Column button and click Total Column.
  2. Enter a name for the column, for this example I will use "FINAL GRADE."
  3. OPTIONAL: Enter a column description.
  4. For Primary Display select "Percentage" from the drop-down box.
  5. In the Select Columns section click the radio button for "Selected Columns and Categories."
  6. Choose the columns Extra Credit and Weighted Total and move them to the "Selected Columns" List.
  7. For Calculate as Running Total select Yes.
  8. Click Submit

Once you have completed the steps above you will have a Final Grade Column, Weighted Total Column, and Extra Credit Column. You grade center columns might appear in a different order than the image below, but can be re-ordered using the Column Organization feature under the Manage tab.

Correction: The 'FINAL GRADE' column should be marked as the External Grade.
Grade
Center View
and Student
View

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If you or your student feel that the Grade Center is calculating the grades incorrectly, be sure to check the following first:
1. Categories
Check your categories if you have them set up. Go to Manage then down to Categories. View the list and make sure it matches your syllabus. Then check the columns section and make sure the activities are assigned to the right categories.
2. Individual Columns
Each column needs to be assigned to the correct category in order to be calculated correctly. If you find a column has "No Category" or is assigned to the incorrect column, click on the drop down arrow next to the name, select "Edit Column Information" and select the correct category.
3. Points
a. Columns
Do each of the columns have the correct points? Hover over the name to see the points assigned to the column.
b. Students' Grades
Are the student's individual grades correct?
4. Weighted Total Column
This is the last trouble shooting step and should be used only when everything is set correctly - clear out the percentages and re-feed the percentages again. Right click on the drop down arrow next to Weighted Total column, go down to "Edit Column Information", scroll down to Section 3: Select Column, in the box on the right side, click the red X circle to delete all the information. Under the "Categories to Select" box, select the correct categories, click on the small right arrow box to move them to the Selected Column box and enter the percentages, making sure they add up to 100% and click Submit.


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Learn how to add/build a syllabus for your course.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to add an announcement to create a welcome statement or inform of any new materials to your students.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to add/remove/organize your course menu.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to add banner to your course.

Blackboard Overview


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Safe Assignment is a plagiarism checking tool. Learn how to create a Safe Assignment and understand what kind of files will work with Safe Assignment.

Blackboard Overview

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Learn how to customize and manage discussion boards.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to add/build discussion forums.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to create and manage Groups.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to set up blogs for your course.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to set up shared web space for students to create collaboration work as part of their class projects.

Blackboard Overview


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Read about the different types of questions available in the tests on Blackboard.

Blackboard Overview


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Learn how to download your porfolio. PDF


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Learn how to use Bb's file storage and management system.

Blackboard Overview

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We have adopted a new system for online course evaluation generator within Blackboard (Bb), called Enterprise Surveys.

Benefits of Enterprise Surveys:
  • Evaluations will be found in standard courses (no separate course shells are necessary)
  • Automatically sends email reminders to those who haven't completed evaluations
  • Evaluation results will be made available to instructors automatically on a given date
  • Aggregated results can be made available to department chairs
  • Conveniently allows you to deploy one course evaluation to many courses
  • You do not need to create new course evaluation again and again
  • Survey results will not be purged over time

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  • Bb Login
    • "System Admin" Tab
      • Bb Enterprise
        • Your department Survey (click on chevron next to this survey title- move your cursor over the title to make chevron appear)
          • Design Survey to build survey
  • Set up Response Period to set up date/time for this survey to be deported
    • Detailed Summary (You can skip this part)
    • Select Recipients & Select specific courses
    • Notify Notification Methods> Check all options (Course Notifications, My Blackboard and Email)
    • Scheduling
      • Set up email reminders and how often and
      • Decide when to make this results available (preferably AFTER grades are due)

When you set up Course Evaluations for your department, make sure you have access to your department Bb Enterprise. If you do not have access, let us know by sending in a help desk request.


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Log in Bb using your personal credentials. No need for generic account.

Bb loginpictureexample


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Go to Admin Tab and click on Bb Enterprise

Showingwhat"SystemAdmin"tab lookslike    BbEnterpriseSurveysPictureexample


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Move your cursor over your department survey to get chevron to appear and click on chevron. On the drop down menu, choose "Design Survey" to start building Course Evaluation.

CourseEvaluationPictureExample  

With drop down menu and choose "Design Survey"

Drop DownMenu pictureexample         DesignSurvey pictureexample


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You can start building survey by adding questions. Be sure to choose right kind of question.

CreateQuestionpictureexample

(Tip - Copy and paste to Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) first before copying and paste to Enterprise Survey. Also note, do not choose 1000 characters as it will fail. Choose 255 characters.)


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Create Response Period to set up date/time to deploy your course evaluations, to identify which courses to share this evaluations with and set up email reminders.

ResponsePeriod pictureexample

Be sure to cover all these parts within Response Period

EditResponsePeriod PictureExample

Naming Response Period

We encourage you to follow this format. For example, Fall 2014 Course Eval..

Settingdate whennamingResponsePeriod  


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Please do not attempt to send your course evaluation to ALL courses. Please identify which courses to deploy this course evaluation to.

Choosingspecificcoursespictureexample

Choosing Specific Courses. Choose Course ID and type in your department course (i.e. PER for PE/Rec, GSR, COM) and it will pull up all courses that contain this name.

CourseId

Course Idtip pictureexample

Then click to choose which courses to apply this course evaluations. Hit Submit button.


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Check box to send announcement email of this course evaluation. Be sure to check messages if it meets your expectations. Feel free to change messages as you see fit.

Instructions for setting Notification Method


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BlackboardEnterpriseRespondPeriodSchedulepictureexample

Email Reminders

You certainly can improve response rate if you use this option, but word of warning, use it wisely. Expect angry emails if you choose to send reminder emails every 24 or 48 hours. Once a week reminder is reasonable.

AddReminderpictureexample

Choose how often you send email reminders.

Screenshot

You can personalize the message here in your email reminders.

"The [__INSTRUMENT.NAME__] course evaluation has been made available to [__RESPONSE.COURSENAME__]. Please click the link below to submit the survey. Only one submission will be accepted per recipient per course. All responses are ANONYMOUS and CONFIDENTIAL. Your feedback are very important information for the department. Thank you for completing the evaluation."

Personalizesurvey emailreminderpictureexample


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After you complete scheduling and email reminders, be sure to check to "release" Survey Results to instructors in Questions a day after grades are due. By release survey results, you are making Course Evaluation Results available to Instructors in Question.

Image ofan example ofwhat ReleaseSurvey Resultslook like

NOTE- Instructors will not be able to see "View Results" button if none of the students did the course evaluation online.


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Only Survey Owners can save electronic copies of Course Evaluation Results.

Sign in Bb> "System Admin" tab> Bb Enterprise> Your Department> "Analyze Results" button

Imagedescription of"AnalyzeResults"button

Then check your Respond Periods, click "Courses and Organizations", click "Selected Courses and Organizations" and then hit "Find Courses" button

SurveyInformationwith checkmarks

Click "Go"

Searchcourses namewith"Go"button

NOTE: Choose one course at a time to get if you want an individual report and hit submit.

Click "View Results" button

ViewResultsbutton

Click "Print Report" but choose Printable View with Comments.

PrintReport buttonwith options

Follow regular steps to save or to print these reports.

Printingand Savingbuttons

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You will need Adobe Reader to view these PDF documents. Adobe Acrobat reader is free software that can be downloaded from the Adobe Reader website.