Thursday, July 02, 2015

Fixing Cookie Settings In Your Browser for Blackboard

Incorrect settings in your browser can cause a number of problems in Blackboard, not limited to:

- Blackboard asking you to log in again when you are in the middle of a session
- Turnitin prompting for log in
- Delays in uploading submissions in Turnitin
- Trouble posting to Blogs, Wikis, or Journals


If you have experienced any of these issues, it may be due to your browser's "cookie" configuration. Here are some fixes to try:


A. Configure your browser to accept cookies




Firefox (recommended for Blackboard):

1. If the menu bar is not displayed, press and release the ALT key on keyboard to show the menu
2. Click Tools menu / Options / Privacy
3. Select "Remember history" from the "History" section
4.  Click OK







Chrome (recommended for Blackboard)

1. Open Google Chrome and click the Chrome menu () upper-right.
2. Click "Settings"
3. Click "Show Advanced Settings..."
4. Click the "Content Settings..." button.
5. Select "Allow local data to be set".  Make sure "Block third-party cookies" is not checked.
6. Click OK

Allow local data to be set




















Internet Explorer:

1. If the menu bar is not displayed, press and release the ALT key on keyboard to show the menu
2. Click Tools menu / Internet Options / Privacy tab
3. Configure as follows:

Click Advanced
Check Override Automatic cookie handling
Accept First party cookies
Accept Third party cookies
Always allow session cookies

4. Click OK, OK







Safari (not recommended for Blackboard)

1. Click on the Safari-menu in Safari (or Edit menu on Safari for PC).
2. Click on the Preferences... item in the menu.  A new window opens.
3. Click on the Security icon near the top of the window.
4. Under Accept Cookies, select "Always".  If you do not see this setting, continue to the next step.
5.  Click on the "Privacy" icon.
6.  Under "Block Cookies" click "Never".





B. Empty your browser's cache:





C. Upgrade to the latest version of your browser






We hope this information is helpful. Thanks for using Blackboard.





Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to Create a "Voice Board" in your Blackboard Course

A "Voice Board" is a voice-based threaded discussion that you can create in your Blackboard course.

Here is a video showing how to create a Voice Board in your course:

http://screencast.com/t/65IaXcBbGi
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.




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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Have Students Upload Videos for an Assignment

Students can submit videos in response to an Assignment that you have posted in Blackboard.

Here are instructions for students for how to upload a video in response to an Assignment:


Students: 
  1. Go to http://youtube.com and click the "Sign in" box at the upper-right here:  http://screencast.com/t/PHxSveLb
  2. Sign in using your Google or Gmail account (not your myNEU account)
  3. Click the "Upload" button at the top and upload the video as "Unlisted":  http://screencast.com/t/invknsBLT9L
  4. Go to http://blackboard.neu.edu and navigate to your course in Blackboard
  5. Find the Assignment link and click on it
  6. Click the "Write Submission" button:  http://screencast.com/t/naJ5O67Ab
  7. Click the chevron on the right to expand the toolbar:  http://screencast.com/t/zxDT2Vaa
  8. Click the video button on the toolbar that looks like a webcam:  http://screencast.com/t/QPgXjvATNooH
  9. If YouTube thinks you are not signed in, click the "Sign in to Youtube" button: http://screencast.com/t/tlDm7Afx
  10. Remember to use your Google or Gmail account, not your myNEU account credentials
  11. Click the "Accept" button:  http://screencast.com/t/QtXdtdyEXVV1
  12. Click the "Browse" tab and click the "Insert" button for the video:  http://screencast.com/t/ymUyHkGBSV
  13. Click "Insert Link", then click "Insert":  http://screencast.com/t/UrHCt10qMZy
  14. Click the "Submit" button:  http://screencast.com/t/8ZcUnO8PP2



The instructor can view the videos as follows:

Instructor:

As the instructor, you can view the videos and grade by clicking the drop-down in the Full Grade Center cell, then click the Attempt:





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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blackboard IM isn't listing all of my classes

Blackboard IM is an Instant Messaging client from Blackboard that lists the classes you are enrolled in and lets you chat with your classmates.

You can get Blackboard IM from within your Blackboard course in Tools > Blackboard IM

Once you have Blackboard IM, if your Blackboard IM client is not listing some of your courses, try these steps to fix it.


1.  In Blackboard IM, click the "Blackboard IM" menu, then click exit, like this:


2.  Restart Blackboard IM and log in.  Check the "Classmates" tab.  If your classes are there, you're good.  If not, keep going.

3.  Click the "Blackboard IM" menu, then click "Manage Account", here: 

4.  Log in using your Blackboard IM username and password (which might be different from your myNEU credentials).  If you have trouble, use the forgot password link here:  http://screencast.com/t/Z8F3vrd7


5.  Once you are logged in, under "Course Settings", check the boxes for all of your courses:



6.  Back in Blackboard IM, check the "Classmates" tab.  If your classes are there, you're good.  If not, go back and repeat steps (1) and (2) again.


We hope this information is helpful.



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Monday, January 05, 2015

How to Embed a Tegrity Video in Blackboard

You can embed a Tegrity recording in a small player in any Content Area in your Blackboard course. Here's how:


1.  Access the Tegrity recording.  

 Select the box next to the date of the video you would like to embed.

 

2.  Click on Recording Tasks dropdown menu. Then click on Share Recording.

 


3.  A new window will appear. Uncheck the box Do Not Allow Anonymous Users to View the Recording. This will enable students to view the Tegrity directly from the Blackboard site without having to login to Tegrity again and will provide you with the Embed option.


 


4.  Now you can copy the Embed code by highlighting it with your mouse, then copying it (right-click copy or CTRL+C (Windows) or Command+C (Mac) on the keyboard).  Then Click OK.

5.  Return to the main page of your Blackboard course and click on the Content Area into which you would like to post your Tegrity recording.




6.  Click on Build Content then click Item.

 


7.  From here you can enter the Name of the video and type in a Text description if desired.

 


8.  Next, you will need to access the HTML code editor in order to paste the embed code you copied. To do so, click on the Toggle HTML Source Mode icon in the Text editor toolbar.

 

9.  Make sure that your mouse cursor is flashing a couple of lines below the text you entered. Then paste in the embed code (right-click paste or CTRL+V on keyboard).



10.  You can also Attach File, such as an associated transcript of the video or PowerPoint file that the video demonstrates. Select the options Permit Users to View this Content (to set link availability), Track Number of Views (to monitor student viewing of the video), and Select Date and Time Restrictions (to set specific dates for the link to appear).


 


11  When you are finished setting the options, click Submit.


 


12.  Your new embedded video will appear in your course content area.




13.  Done.  Now you can see how it looks for students by using the Student View option.




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Friday, October 24, 2014

Columns are missing in the Grade Center and/or you Can't Scroll

If you created a column in the Grade Center of Blackboard, and can't find it, it may be hiding because of your browser zoom settings or your MacOS scrollbar settings.

Try these methods to fix it:

1.  If you are using Google Chrome, make sure your view zoom is set to 100%Blackboard has a bug where it doesn't display the rightmost column in the Grade Center in Chrome if your zoom is set to anything other than 100%.

2.  If you're using a Mac, Make sure your Mac preferences are set to display the scroll bars as follows:


a.    Launch System Preferences, either from the Dock or from the Apple menu.
b.    Once the System Preferences window opens, select the General preference pane.
c.    The middle section of the General preference pane controls when scroll bars appear and a few additional scroll bar options.
d.    Select "Always" from the Show Scroll Bars options.


Once your scroll bars are back, use the horizontal scroll to scroll to the right in the Grade Center to find your missing columns.

We hope this information is helpful.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to Sync your Blackboard Calendar to your Outlook Web Mail / Office365 Calendar

You can subscribe to your Blackboard calendar from within Office 365 / Outlook Web Mail.  Below is a video that shows how.  Scroll down for written instructions.

Once you subscribe to your Blackboard calendar from within Outlook, new events in Blackboard will automatically sync to Outlook within an hour or so of being added to your Blackboard courses.

Link to video: http://goo.gl/1spKgx
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.


Instructions:

1.  Go to Blackboard, click the "Home" tab, then click "Calendar"
2.  Use the "Get External Calendar Link" button and copy the link to the clipboard
3.  Go to Office365 at outlook.office365.com.  Log in and click the "Calendar" option.
4.  Right-click the "Other Calendars" link and select "Open Calendar".
5.  Paste the link from Blackboard into the Internet Calendar box and click "Open"

Your Blackboard calendar will be automatically synced to Outlook/Office365 going forward.


How to Sync your Blackboard Calendar to your Google Calendar

You can subscribe to your Blackboard calendar from within Google Calendar.  Below is a video that shows how.  Scroll down for written instructions.

Once you subscribe to your Blackboard calendar from within Google, new events in Blackboard will automatically sync to Google Calendar within an hour or so of being added to your Blackboard courses.

Link to video: http://goo.gl/IMtNLm
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.


Instructions:

1.  Go to Blackboard, click the "Home" tab, then click "Calendar"
2.  Use the "Get External Calendar Link" button and copy the link to the clipboard
3.  Go to Google Calendar at calendar.google.com
4.  Next to "Other Calendars", click the dropdown and select "Add by URL"
5.  Paste the link from Blackboard into the URL box and click "Add Calendar"

Your Blackboard calendar will be automatically synced to Google going forward.





How to Post a Link to a Google Spreadsheet into your Blackboard Course

Google Sheets can be used to allow students in a Blackboard course to edit a spreadsheet collaboratively.

Here's a video showing how to create and post the link in Blackboard:

Link to video: http://goo.gl/EHiW7S
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Creating a Non-anonymous Survey in Blackboard


Surveys in Blackboard are anonymous, which means the instructor cannot see which specific student answered a particular way in the survey results.

If you need to create a survey for which you need to attribute specific answers to specific students (a non-anonymous survey), the way to do it in Blackboard is to create a Test and call it a "survey".

To create a non-anonymous survey (Test):

1. Select Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, and Pools from the course management control panel.

2. Select Tests, then Build Test



3. Provide a name, description and student instructions for the non-anonymous survey.  We suggest including the word "Survey" in the name so students will know this is not a test.

4. Next, from the Question Settings page set the Default point value to 0 because this is a survey, not a test, so the questions so have no numeric value.



5. For this example survey, we created one question as an Opinion Scale / Likert question:




6. Since the non-anonymous survey is created as a test, you must select a correct answer.  In this example, we select the "Not Applicable" answer as the correct answer.  Since this is a survey, there really is no correct answer, so it does not matter which answer you designate as correct.




7. To deploy the non anonymous survey, set the Make Link Available option to "Yes" and in the "Show test results and feedback to students" section, uncheck the "score per question" checkbox and set only the "Submitted" check box as shown to ensure that the student does not see which answer you designated as the "correct" answer you selected when creating the test:



8. If the survey is already deployed, you can Edit the test options by clicking the drop-down menu to the right of the test link:



9. Here is a video of the entire process.



Tuesday, March 04, 2014

How to print a Blackboard Test Using the Respondus 4.0 Test Creator application

Respondus 4.0 provides an efficient user friendly to print Blackboard Tests.

First download Respondus 4.0 Test Creator.

To print from Respondus 4.0 Test Creator

Retrieval & Reports tab - Select Retrieve questions









Select blackboard.neu.edu and click next











Choose a Course and an Exam and Enter a name for the file















Select Download questions and save
















From the Preview & Publish tab, Select print options, then select either "Save to File" (Microsoft Word Document) or "Send to Printer".

























You have the option to save the Exam with the Answer Key.  Printing without the answer key provides a quick backup plan if Blackboard is not available for online testing.

Here's a video of the process and instructions for downloading Respondus 4.0 Test Creator.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Respondus 4.0 Test Creator Application - Download Instructions

The download process for the Respondus 4.0 Test Creator application is a two step process.  The two step install involves first downloading the installer followed by downloading the Update (download installer first).

Note that it is essential to download both the installer and the update, failing to download both will not permit you to use the Respondus 4.0 Test Creator to Create Exams, Print Exams from Blackboard or use the Respondus Test Bank of questions from various publishers.

The Respondus software is available via the myNeu "Software Downloads" section.
  1. Go to http://myneu.neu.edu and login using your myNEU fac/staff credentials
  2. Select the "Services and Links" tab
  3. Scroll down and select "Software Downloads" on the left: http://screencast.com/t/DlJmCCk3
  4. Select "Respondus" from the list and select continue: http://screencast.com/t/PinToCtIuIoG (The Respondus 4.0 Test creator is a Windows only application)
  5. Scroll down and select "Accept"
  6. You should download both the "Installer" and the "Update" as separate actions: http://screencast.com/t/b4shl0LNHCb
  7. In the download instructions that appear with the download, note the Organization name and the Install Code.  You will need to enter them later when you install the software.
  8. Once the install completes, it is necessary to install the update as well.
Here is a video of the Respondus 4.0 Test Creator Application download process: http://screencast.com/t/H4Trqc9CmP




Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Empty your Browser Cache

To fix a problem with Blackboard, you may need to empty your browser cache.

Here are instructions for various browsers:


Firefox for Windows

  1. If the "History" menu does not appear at the top, press the "ALT" key on your keyboard.
  2. From the History (or the "Tools") menu, select "Clear Recent History".
  3. From the "Time Range to clear" drop-down, choose "Everything"
  4. Under "Details" check all the boxes.  Click "Clear Now"  


Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the Chrome menu () upper-right.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click "Show Advanced Settings..."
  4. Click the "Clear browsing data..." button.
  5. Select "the beginning of time" from the drop-down
  6. Check the following boxes, and click "Clear browsing data":



















Internet Explorer versions 9, 10, 11  (If you are running version 7 or 8, please upgrade to the latest version before using Blackboard)

  1. Push the ALT key on the keyboard to reveal the menus at the top.
  2. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options...
  3. Choose the General tab.
  4. Under Browsing history, click Delete...  (here: http://goo.gl/Xosg1X )
  5. Next to "Temporary Internet Files", click Delete files...
  6. Check the following boxes: http://goo.gl/pEmtTi  and click the Delete button
  7. Click Close and/or OK to exit.
  8. Make sure you are not in "Compatibility View" mode (see information here)

Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 (not recommended for Blackboard, please update browser)



Firefox for Macintosh

  1. Current firefox: 
    1. From the Firefox menu, select History...
    2. From the sheet that drops down, select Clear Recent History.  Select Everything from the "Time Range to Clear" drop down menu.  Select the check boxes for "Browsing & Download History", "Forms & Search History", "Cookies", "Cache" then Select "Clear Now".
  2. Older versions of Firefox: 
    1. From the Firefox menu, select Preferences...
    2. From the sheet that drops down, select Privacy. In 2.0, click Clear Now. In 1.5, click Clear Cache Now. In 1.0, next to Cache, click the Clear button, and then OK.

Safari for Macintosh (not recommended for use with Blackboard)

  1. From the Safari menu, select Reset Safari...
  2. When prompted, click Reset to confirm that you want to reset the browser.




Thursday, February 06, 2014

Give Audio Feedback on an Assignment in Blackboard Using an MP3 Recorder

You may want to record your own voice for a student to listen to as feedback for a submitted assignment in Blackboard.  Here is how to use an MP3 Recorder website to make this easy.

UPDATE:  The recordmp3.org service appears to be down.  Try alternatives recordmp3online.com or vocaroo.com

The steps involved are:

1.  Navigate to the student's attempt in the Grade Center of your course.

2.  Use recordmp3.org or recordmp3online.com or vocaroo.com to record your commentary / feedback.

3.  Add the audio file you recorded to the feedback section for the assignment attempt.


Here is a video showing the entire process:



(Alternative link to high-resolution video here)



Note:  if you would like to include a screen-capture with your audio feedback, try this alternative method using Jing.



Wednesday, February 05, 2014

How to Use Jing to Give Assignment Feedback in Blackboard

Jing is a screen-capture application which will allow you to record your screen and voice and give you a link to the recording.  You can use this link to give your students feedback on their assignments in Blackboard.

1.  Navigate to the student's attempt in the Grade Center of your course.

2.  Use Jing to record your commentary.

3.  Add the Jing link to the feedback section for the attempt grade.


Here is a video showing the entire process:


(if this video doesn't work, try this alternative link)


The Jing application may be downloaded from www.techsmith.com/download/jing/

Note:  if you would like to give your students audio-only feedback, try this the alternative method here.







Monday, February 03, 2014

How to Download Your Students' Email Addresses

As an instructor of a Blackboard course, you may download or view a list of your students' email addresses. This can be useful if you want to email all of your students from outside of Blackboard, or if you want to copy and paste a list of your student email addresses into Google Docs in order to share a document.

1.  Navigate to your Blackboard course site, and at the lower left click Course Tools > Student Email Addresses.




2.  Click "Spreadsheet" to download a CSV file containing all of your students' email addresses.  Or click "HTML Table" to view the email addresses in a table within your browser.



The best way to copy all of your student email addresses at once is to use the "Spreadsheet" option, open the downloaded file in Microsoft Excel, select all of the cells containing the email addresses at once and then copy and paste.




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How To Add/Enroll Someone Into Your Blackboard Course

Students and Instructors are enrolled automatically into Blackboard.  Any update made with the Registrar's office will be automatically updated in Blackboard over time.

***To add an auditing student to your course, please contact the Registrar's Office at scheduling@neu.edu.  Any auditing student who is added to a course in the Registrar's system will be automatically added in Blackboard.


To add a Teaching Assistant, Assistant, guest lecturer/unofficial co-instructor, Course Builder, Organization Builder, or Grader into your course/organization:

1.  Go into your course/org site in Blackboard and at the lower left click Users and Groups > Users.




2.  Click Enroll User > Find Users to Enroll.





3.  Click the “Browse” button and search for the person by Last Name or Email.  



If you have trouble finding the person, make sure you are not searching by username.  If a person has a drop in the course, you will not be able to enroll them.  In that case, contact help@neu.edu.


4.  Select the Role you want the person to have from the drop-down (e.g. "Teaching Assistant") and click Submit.  Do not add users using the "student" role.  Audit students must be added by the Registrar's office (see note above).

That's it.  You may see a list of who is enrolled in the course by clicking Users and Groups > Users > GO






Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to Diagnose Chrome Extension Issues

Chrome should work well with Blackboard, but if you have trouble it is possible that you have a Chrome Extension in Chrome which is causing the issue.

To diagnose this, try using the Blackboard site in Chrome's "Incognito Mode", which turns off most of the extensions you may have.

To do so, click the Chrome menu at the upper-right and select "New incognito window"




In the incognito window, go to the blackboard.neu.edu site and use Blackboard normally.  If Blackboard works better for you in the incognito window, it means that there is a Chrome extension which is interfering with Blackboard under normal circumstances.

To figure out which Chrome Extension is causing the problem, go back to the regular (non-incognito) Chrome window, click the menu and select Tools > Extensions




Uncheck the "enabled" boxes for all of your extensions to disable them, and then check one at the time, going back to Blackboard each time to figure out which one is causing the difficulty.



Using this method you will be able to figure out which of your extensions is the offender.  To remove the bad extension, click the trashcan icon to the right.

We hope this information is helpful.  Thanks for using Blackboard.




Thursday, January 23, 2014

Creating Smart Views in Blackboard

Blackboard supports Grade Center smart views to limit the number of rows or columns shown in your grade center.

1.  To show specific columns in a grade center view, first go to Grade Center > Full Grade Center in your Blackboard course, and click the Manage > Column Organization option.  Move all grade center columns from the default location: "Shown in All Grade Center Views" to the section below "Not in a Grading Period", being careful to maintain your column order.
   



2. Next, verify your columns are categorized, if not use this to associate each column with a category:



3. Now we are ready to create the smart view as shown (Manage > Smart Views)



4. To limit the number of columns in your grade center smart view, choose to show one category of columns, select "Category and Status View items by their category and status" as shown, select the category from the Categories drop down and select the users to display or set to all users:



5. You may also limit the number of rows displayed based on criteria such as 1. Group affiliation, 2. Performance on an assessment, 3. individual students, or 4. a custom set of criteria as shown:
   


6. Setting the smart view as a favorite will show it as a Grade Center submenu option:



7.  Your new Smart View will display under "Grade Center" at the lower left of your course site.  Clicking the Smart View will display only the Columns in the Grade Center that match the Smart View criteria.