Archive Version of e-Notes

e-Learning - Early Spring 2014


Training Spring 2014

The new spring training schedule is available. We now offer two new training workshops: 1) iMovie: Video Editing Software (Mac) and 2) iPad and AppleTV for Wireless Presentations. We also regularly offer Bb Learn training including advanced topics (Groups, Wikis, and Rubrics). Other popular training workshops are SafeAssign (plagiarism checking), Collaborate Web Conferencing, and Camtasia Studio (Audio ScreenCasting).

Bb Learn to Managed Hosting

ost of Academic Affairs is hosting the Educause Virtual Conference Wednesday, Oct. 16- Friday, Oct. 18.

Sessions will be available two ways for NAU Staff and Faculty

·         Real-time airing in University Services Building Conference Room 102 (in the event of concurrent sessions- the session with the most ‘conference room’ votes will be shown)

o   Group viewing facilitates on-campus discussions and allows for interactivity in designated online sessions

·         On-demand viewing of recorded sessions at the close of the conference

Blended Learning at NAU

Blended Learning at NAU

You may know that President Haeger announced The President's Technology Initiative in Spring 2012. There are about a dozen projects underway with more to come. We are currently editing the Blended Learning web page and polishing new calls for faculty who would like help to redesign their courses. Another announcement will be forthcoming when the RFPs are complete.

First two Rounds of  Projects

University of Central Florida's Blended Learning Toolkit

Dr. Denise Helm appointed Special Assistant to the Provost

During the Academic Year 13-14, Denise will be working the expand the use of Blended techniques on the Flagstaff Mountain Campus. One group assisting is the Blended Learning Leadership Team (BLLT). Very soon the BLLT will launch the Blended Learning Website which will present resources, examples, contacts, definitions, and general practices for designing blended courses. 

Coming in November we will again be offering the Blended Learning Workshop. When the schedule is set there will be an announcement.

If you are interested in both experiencing a MOOC and learning more about Blended(Hybrid) Learning you might like to take this MOOC on Hybrid Learning.

Blackboard Resources

Additional information about Blackboard Learn is available from the following places.

Sources of Blackboard Learn Information
Type of Resource Description URL
Video tutorials Blackboard On Demand Learning Center
Getting Started, Quick Reference, Tutorials, Manuals Behind the Blackboard Student and Faculty Support Resource Center Blackboard Resources
Online help Help available directly in Blackboard Learn
Online discussion forum Ask Dr. C

Suggestions for BlackBoard?

If you would like to see changes in the way Blackboard Learn works, or have suggestions for new features, in addition to telling us, please submit your ideas directly to Blackboard. The more people they hear from, the more likely they are to incorporate your ideas!

You may submit enhancement requests directly at their website: Suggestions for Blackboard.

Bb Learn Update

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Bb Learn Update

Note: Our technical best practices change when we switch to new tools. Unfortunately, our old content creation methods for Vista are not the best practives for Bb Learn

For current Best Practices for creating and editing content in Bb Learn see Creating Content in Bb Learn.

The recent upgrade on 9/26 was done to allow the beginning phases of implementing Bb Outcomes that will replace TaskStream.

Though some new features were added and some bugs were fixed, there were some new issues introduced. See New Issues!

Feature Information

Inline Assignment Grading

Instructors may now view assignments and provide feedback – including comments, highlighting, etc. – right within the web browser, instead of having to download attachments and open them in Microsoft Word, for instance. Do keep in mind this will not have the same detail level editing that Track Changes in Word has, but allows you to markup and give feedback of a higher level nature.

Discussion Board Enhancements
Improvements to the Discussion Board tool include the ability to set a forum so that a student cannot see other students’ threads until he posts his own thread; and conditional highlighting, making it easier for students to find posts from their instructor.

Calendar Enhancements
Now when you create an activity with a due date, a corresponding calendar item can be created automatically. Want to quickly change the date? Simply drag-and-drop the calendar item… and the activity due date will be updated as well! Coming soon will be the ability to map dates in your course in a global way where you can see all your dated items such as assignments and quizzes that have adaptive release.

Social Learning
Learners and instructors may now connect with others more easily – in their courses, at the University, and even at other institutions. With individual privacy settings, you may choose whether or not you can be “found.” Students and educators can even set up their own Spaces to share common interests, do group work, etc.

Retention Center
The new Retention Center quickly alerts faculty, at a glance, about students who may be at risk, who may not be engaging with the course, or who may just need a little nudge in order to be successful. The Retention Center replaces the Early Warning System in the previous version of Bb Learn.

Item Analysis
Much more robust item analysis will allow instructors to improve assessments by providing more detailed reports that will help identify problematic test questions and correct them easily.

Content Editor
The new Content Editor makes it easier to create and update items in your course with handy WYSIWYG tools – and now, if you paste from Word, the content editor will automatically strip out that nasty HTML code that can cause so many problems!

This upgrade, from Service Pack 9 to Service Pack 12, will occur Thursday, May 23, 2013 during the weekly Bb Learn maintenance window, 2am – 6am. After the upgrade, these new features will be available to all, though you are not required to use any of them.

Don't Forget -- Request Course Copies!
Remember to request copies of your course content into your Summer and/or Fall 2013 course shells at least 2 weeks before your courses begin! Course copy and other information is available at this "Getting Started" page:

Other NAU features or procedures:

  • Course Roster email Listserve: Each class section at NAU has an email listserve that lives outside of Blackboard and outside of LOUIE. Messages sent to this list will be sent to all students enrolled in the class and to new students as they add the class. This is an effective way to communicate to students prior to the start of the semester and during the semester if you want to or need to communicate to their NAU email rather than through the Bb's messaging within a course shell. This is more effective than the LOUIE email function as in LOUIE only currently enrolled students get a message sent, where as, the list serve will send old messages to students who enroll after a message is sent. See
  • As of Grades: NAU's ePlanning team has built a system that displays students' current course grades ("As Of" Grades) throughout the semester in external systems such as the MyNAU Portal and Grade Performance Status (GPS) application, which is NAU's Academic Feedback System. For details on how Blackboard Learn interacts with these other systems, see As of Grades.
  • Grade Upload to LOUIE (PeopleSoft): If you are using the Grade Center in Bb Learn as a place to record student grades, you can easily upload mid-semester or semester grades to LOUIE without having to enter them again. Once the grades are uploaded and approved in LOUIE, they are considered "official." For details see Grade Upload.

Other Blackboard features:

  • New Message Indicator: Bb Learn now has the tool to alert you when you have new messages. It is not automatic and does require an action to activate it. See New Messages.
  • Paste from Word into Bb Learn: Pasting formatted text directly from Microsoft Word into Bb Learn can cause unforeseen problems because of the large amount of hidden HTML code that is pasted along with the text. Therefore, we recommend you use the "Paste from Word" mashup tool in Bb Learn whenever pasting text from Word, for details see Paste from Word.
  • NBC Learn News and Archives: NAU has licensed the NBC Learn archives and their repurposed resources for all NAU faculty and student use. See NBC Learn.
  • Test Student (reminder): Each instructor now has a Test Student account to allow one to really check how the course looks and operates for students. See Test Student.

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