Blackboard – Online Classes at UAA - Mat

Blackboard – Online Classes
at UAA
Ed Bennett
[email protected]
Agenda Items
 Where to find the Blackboard site;
 How to log into Blackboard
 The Opening Window
 The course’s default shell
 How to mount/upload your syllabus on Blackboard
 How to load assessments
o Safe Assignment
 How to access and modify your IDEA
 How to load class notes and PowerPoint presentation
My personal use of Blackboard
I have been using Blackboard since, I think, when UAA first
made it available; perhaps 2001/2? It can be used as a full
web-based class with no direct instructor intervention to an
instructor aid tool. I personally use it as a blended platform
where I keep announcements, syllabus, assignments, exams,
contact information, schedules, student data files, links to UAA
resources and the like; more of an assistant than as a web-based
My students are told from the onset that approximately onehalf of their class is on Blackboard. They are expected to log
onto BB at least once per day to review announcements. They are
told that their homework is on BB at pre-defined times
(immediately following class) and is available for three days.
They are also informed that all the files they need for the
class have been made available as well. I simply use BB as an
extension. By setting up the class in this manner it saves me a
lot of time; time, like you, you cannot afford to burn away. I
do not use all the features of BB; only the ones that satisfy my
Where to find the Blackboard site;
Go to the Matsu College Homepage
Click on the Blackboard
From any browser, enter in the above address
From the UAA main site,
move the vertical scroll bar
down to display the list you
see on the right side. The
list is a series of links to
various resources at UAA;
among them is a link to
Blackboard. The list is in
alphabetical order for easy
find and click.
How to Log on To Blackboard
Blackboard’s main page navigation/features.
If you know your UAA
Username and Password, enter
them in these boxes and click
on the login button. This will
take you to your class selection
This window will help you find your UAA
Username and allow you to set your password.
Click on Option 3: Find My UA Username and ID#
1) Enter your date of birth from the drop down
selection boxes.
2) Enter your last name only
3) Enter the last four digits of your SSN
4) Click on the “Manage my identity” button
Here you’re being asked to enter at least five
known facts about yourself. This is information
that is stored on UAA’s system and is simply
additional verification information.
Once complete, click on the “Confirm” button
From this point, you confirm your UA ID# and
retrieve your UA Username.
Personal experience.
On the right side of the window you can reset
your password. At the top of that window is a
drop down for user name. I have found that the
UA ID# does not work for Blackboard but
instead, the alternate user name found in this
drop down does – mine is “afeab1.” I use that to
log onto BB. You can select this alternate and
set its password from here.
Instructional Design and Faculty Development
A nice little resource. There are many items from
this page available to you.
IT Call Center.
I have had pretty good luck with the folks that
work in this customer service area. From personal
experience though, be patient. When sending an
email to them, be as detailed as you feel is
necessary. For example, don’t send a message
that simply says, “my password doesn’t work.”
This really doesn’t tell them much. Keep in mind
these items, “who, what, where, when, why and
how.” Answer those questions in your email to
them. You will find that you will get a much
quicker answer.
The Opening Window
The “My Courses” box lists the classes
that you are currently an
instructor/member of. Simply hover
over the links and click your mouse
button to navigate to the course you
wish to review.
These two links in the top right corner
of the window for you to set some
personal settings; in particular, the
“Modify Layout” link. Giv’r a whirl.
The Course’s Default Shell
The Navigation Pane
The navigation pane will hold links to various parts of the course. Via
the Control Panel, you can modify the pane from changing the look
and fell to adding and removing links.
The window differs in look and feel from what the student sees. For
example, at the bottom of the pane is a “Control Panel” link that is not
available on the student’s view.
You can set any one of the links to be the default section that is
displayed when the student’s enter your BB class site. I have always
default mine to the Announcements page.
The Control Panel
Panels and Features of the Control Panel
The breadcrumb trail
The breadcrumb is simply a line of links that
expand and contract while you navigate through
the maze of pages. Using the breadcrumb, you
can easily move back up the chain.
Course Tools
Course Calendar
Staff Information
Send Email
Digital Dropbox
Manage Course Menu
Course Design
Import/Export Course
Test Manager
Grading Center
How to mount your syllabus on Blackboard
The steps
1) Create a syllabus using your favorite word editor – MS WORD
2) Save your editor in four formats
a) .docx (Office WORD 2007 Format)
b) .doc
(Office WORD pre-2007 Format)
c) .rtf
(Rich Text Format – can be opened by any RTF compliant editor – free from MS)
d) .html (Internet compatibility)
NOTE: Start by saving your syllabus in a docx format, then complete a “Save As” for each of the
other formats. When you have completed the .html format, do not close MS WORD – keep it
open, you’ll need it later.
3) Create a “Content Area” in BB via the control panel’s manage course menu
a) Choose Syllabus from the drop down list
4) Order the Syllabus content area in your list of menus
5) Return to the opening page of your BB site
6) Click on the “Syllabus” link
7) Chose “Edit/View” (upper right corner)
8) Enter the title – Syllabus
9) Choose Item from the tool bar
10) Name your entry “Syllabus”
11) Go back to MS WORD with the “html” version still open
a) Click anywhere in the document
b) While holding down the “control” key, push the “A” key
i) This will highlight the contents of the entire document
c) While holding down the “control” key, push the “C” key
i) This will copy the highlighted contents to the clipboard
d) Return to BB and click on the text area (the editor window )
i) This is directly below the “Name”
e) Whiling holding down the “control” key, push the “V” key
i) This will paste the contents of the clipboard into the text editor.
Why’d we do that? The text editor in BB is actually an HTML open editor. If you were copy
any of the other formats into this area, you most likely would have lost some formatting. By
creating the HTML version in MS WORD, it will format your content for you and so when you
paste it into BB, it will retain this formatting. Exception, the html editor in Word does seem
to understand centering of text so there may be some minor adjustments.
f) Move the vertical bar down on the BB page to see the Content area
g) Click the browse button to upload the .docx file
i) Navigate to the folder on the computer to where you saved your syllabus
ii) Click on the file and then click the “open” button on the dialog window
(1) This will place the “path” of your .docx file into the box to the left of the “Browse”
iii) In the box below, enter a name ie. “Syllabus.docx MS WORD 2007/10 Format”
h) Move the vertical bar down on the page to expose the “Cancel” and “Submit” buttons
i) Click on the “Submit” button.
i) To add the “doc” and “rft” files
i) Open the syllabus page again for editing
ii) Go back to step “f” and repeat the steps for each format.
How to Load Assessments
You have a number of choices when it comes time to creating assignments or exams. You could have
the students complete an assignment/exam on line however, my personal experience with this not very
good. Here is a list of pros and cons that I’ve had
Set up is relatively simple
Graded on BB – students know the grade immediately.
Monitoring (and making changes - you forgot
Time consuming
Dependent on BB being available
If BB goes down in the middle of taking an
exam or assignment – student, in some cases,
have to start over.
Time Consuming
My preferred method
1) Create an “Assignments” content area
2) Add a new assignment to your class.
For Exams, I follow the same steps as above but rather than name it assignments, I name it “Exams”. To
BB, they’re treated as assignments but to you they’re exams. I do this because I can manage both
relatively easily.
!) Creating an “Assignment’s” Content Area
From the main screen, click on the
“Control Panel” button
Choose, “Manage Course Menu”
from the “Course Options” box in
the bottom left corner of the
Click on “Add” “Content Area”
Choose “Assignments” from the
drop down menu
Check to make sure the availability
option is checked.
Click the “Submit” button
On the next window, click the “OK”
button to proceed to the next step.
Choose the position you want the
Assignments button to show in.
Click the dropdown button and
choose the number position. For
example, if you want it to follow
the syllabus button, choose “3”
from the list. This will place your
new “Assignments” button in
position 3 and move the others
Choose the “Ok” button when
You should be back at the control
panel. Using the breadcrumb at
the top of the window, return the
main page.
You should see the “Assignments”
3) #2) Add a new assignment to your class.
Click on the “Assignments” link in
the navigation pane.
Click the “Edit View” link in the top
right corner.
Choose “Safe Assignment” from the
drop down list.
Click the “GO” button.
Warning, adding an assignment any
other way, will not put the
assignment in the grade book.
Give your assignment a name
Give Assignment some points
Give your assignment instructions
Check the display boxes
Choose an availability timeframe
Click the submit button
Once you click on the “Submit” button,
you’ll be brought to this page.
There are a number of option buttons
to the right of the assignment.
Modify: If you need to make changes,
use this button – it’ll take you back to
the previous page and allow you to
make changes.
Manage: Choose this page and you can
complete a number of tasks.
If you have accompanying files for your assignment, I have created another general area called, “Student
Data Files”. Here I put entries for each assignment. I can upload files to the content area and set the
same time frame as I set for the assignment. Students are instructed in the assignment instructions to
go to this area and download any files that they need.
Once the student completes the assignment, they are instructed to return to this assignment where
they will click on the “View/Complete” link. From there I have them upload their digital work. I can
then log onto the grading center, via the control panel, and grade their work.
The Next section will show/demonstrate how to set up a content area called “Student Data Files” to
make files available to students at given times.
Setting up a Content Area –Student Data Files
From the main screen, choose Control Panel
Choose Manage Course Menu from the
Course Options block
On the Manage Course Menu window,
choose Add -> Content Area
If you look in the drop down content area
box, you’ll notice that there is no “Student
Data Files” predefined area. Use the textbox
below it to enter the name of the content
area; “Student Data Files”
When complete, choose Submit button at
bottom to create your new content area.
You’ll be directed to a “success” page where
you can simply click on the “OK” button.
On the Manage Course Menu page, find your
new content area and choose its location in
the list of menus.
When complete, use the breadcrumb to
return to the main page.
Adding content to the Student Data Files content area
From the main navigation pane, choose “Student Data Files”
In the upper right corner of the Student Data Files page, click on “Edit View”
If you completed the previous steps
correctly, you should be at a page that
looks similar to the one on the left.
Here you’re given a number of options.
Items, add individual items for
students to use or view.
Folder, add a folder so you can group
like items
Choose “Item”
Top Half View Of Window
Give your entry a name
In the textbox, enter in any instructions
you may have for the students. I
generally put at the top of this window
the open and closing dates/times of
this entry.
Bottom Half View Of Window
In the Attach local file box, click on the
“Browse” button. This will display a
open dialog box where you can
navigate on your local machine for a
file to upload.
In this box, give your file a name. It will
default to the filename you chose if
you don’t give it one.
Next, select a date and time of when
you want this entry to be displayed.
Don’t forget to check the Display
After/Until checkboxes.
Click the submit button.
The next pages show an example of grading student’s work. The example picks up at the point where
the student has completed their work and have uploaded it to Blackboard for grading.
Grading Student’s Work
From the Control Panel, choose “Grade
Center” from the Assessment block.
From here you can see the students that
are currently enrolled in your class and
the assignments you have created for
them in a grid.
Notice the little green exclamation
symbol? This indicates the student has
completed their assignment by
submitting their work. It is now ready to
If you click on it you’ll get a dropdown.
Click on “Grade Details”
There are a number of items on this page –
a bit of a tour….
Choose the assignment or student
Student information
Action items – to grade, click on “View
From here you’ll want to download the
student’s work, grade it, upload their
graded work to them, provide some
feedback and give them a grade.
Download student’s work by click on the
paper clip.
Give them a grade
Provide feedback
Upload their graded work
Click the submit button
Related documents