Friday, December 03, 2010

Using Groups in Blackboard

Groups are used in Blackboard to divide your class into individual groups to facilitate group communication and interaction.

Common Uses for Groups:

  • Group Discussion Boards
  • Group Chat using the Virtual Classroom feature
  • Group File Exchange
  • Group Email
  • Group Blogs, Journals, and Wikis
  • Group Assignments
  • Limiting access to posted items or folders to certain Groups of people using the Blackboard Adaptive Release function.

How to create a Group

1. In your course, toggle Edit Mode at the top right to "On".

2.  At the bottom left, click "Groups" under "Users and Groups"

3.  Click the "Create Single Group" button > Manual Enroll  option to create a manually-populated group.

4.  In the "Group Name" box, enter the name of the group and an optional description:

5.  Check the group options you want to make available to the Group:

6.  Next, add users (students) to your group. To do this use the "membership" section to move students from the left box to the right box:

7. Once you have decided on the membership, click the "Submit" button at the bottom.

8. If later you want to go back to a group a edit the membership or add more students, click the >> Edit option to the right of the group name in your Groups list:

How Students access the Group

To access their group pages, students click the "Groups" link in the Course Menu on the left side of the course.

Students are only able to access Groups of which they are members.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

How to Make a Test/Quiz available Again For Just One Student

Your students have already finished a Test/Quiz, but you want to make the Test available again for just one student for a make-up.

The easiest way to make a quiz available to just one student is to set a password on the quiz and give it only to that one student, as follows:

1. Make sure the student doesn't already have a grade or a lock for the Test/Quiz in the Grade Center. If so, clear the grade/in-progress indicator/attempt so the cell is empty.

2. Go to the Content Area where the link to the Test/Quiz was deployed. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the test link, then click "Edit the Test Options".

3. Make the quiz available in the usual way using "Make the link available" = "Yes".

4. Remove any date restrictions on the Test link by checking the "Display After" date is in the past and the "Display Until" date is in the future.

5. Scroll down to "Password. Require a password to access this Test." Check the box, invent a password and type it in the box.

6. Click Submit at the bottom.

The test is now available, but requires a password to take.

7. Give the password you invented to the one student so only that student will be able to enter the quiz again, verbally or via Email / Message.

Once the student takes the make-up Test/Quiz, you can confirm the grade in the Grade Center and then make Test link unavailable again.

There are ways to give a particular student more time on a test, or to hide the test for all students except for a particular student, by using the "Test Availability Exceptions" option in the Test Options.  More information on Test Availability Exceptions here.

We hope this information is helpful.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pasting from Microsoft Word into Blackboard

Instructors and students have experienced problems viewing text that has been pasted into Blackboard directly from external applications such as Microsoft Word or other Office products.

The symptoms include text becoming unviewable/uneditable, errors in the Discussion Board, corruption of Test/Survey questions, extra/strangely formatted text/unusual symbols.

The cause of this issue is hidden formatting code that is included when using the copy/paste feature from Microsoft Office products. This "bad HTML code" must be removed prior to pasting into Blackboard.

Here's how to prevent this:

Use the following procedure to prevent issues when pasting Text into Blackboard:

1. In your external application (such as Microsoft Word), highlight the desired text and copy it.

2. Open Notepad (PC: Start > All Programs> Accessories > Notepad) or TextEdit (Mac) and paste your text into the text editor. This action will remove the formatting codes.

3. In your text editor, highlight the entire block of text again (or push CTRL+A on the keyboard to select all) and then copy it again.

4. Go to the your course in Blackboard and paste the text into your desired location.

5. Format your text again using Blackboard’s own Text Box Editor functions in the first two rows of the Toolbar (e.g. Bold, Italics, Underline, etc).

Using this process of "cleaning" your clipboard text of external formatting takes longer but it is very helpful in preventing issues that may occur.

We hope this information is helpful.