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Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008

Bb Vista Information

Below are a few reminders as we close out the previous semesters and prepare for the upcoming semester.

Closing Out The Semester

Preparing for a New Semester

This is a lot of information, and while some of this information may not apply to you, please do read it. This information will also be posted soon at the e-Learning Center website; you may wish to bookmark this link for future reference: (look in the e-Learning News area).

Closing Out The Semester

Student access after End Date

Students will have access to your Blackboard (Bb) Vista sections for 2 weeks following the official End Date. After that, their access will be denied. Please remind your students to archive any assignment submissions or other information they would like to save to their own computers before that time. Instructors and Designers will have access for two years.

Backing up your Bb Vista course

The end of the semester is a good time to make a section archive and save a copy to your own computer; instructions for doing so may be found here:


If you have a student who will be receiving an "I" (Incomplete) and you need the student to have continued access to your Summer 2008 Bb Vista section, or access to an upcoming section, please complete the information here so that we may enroll him or her:

Importing and Posting final grades (NEW!)

You may now import grades directly from Bb Vista into Peoplesoft if you wish; a full tutorial is available at If you have problems posting grades in Peoplesoft, please contact the Solution Center at 523-1511 (the e-Learning Center is unable to provide much support for Peoplesoft). Remember that final grades need to be posted in LOUIE at

Preparing for a New Semester

Bb Vista course shells are created automatically based on the information in the Schedule of Classes. If you are listed as the Instructor of Record for a class, you should have access to the Bb Vista section already; please check at If you do not see the Vista sections you expect, please check that you are listed in the Schedule of Classes as an instructor of the course; if you are not, please contact your department to have your scheduler add you. If you are listed in the Schedule of Classes but still do not see your section in Vista, please check your hidden course list. Instructions for hiding and un-hiding sections may be found here:

Instructor/Designer/Teaching Assistant enrollment is based on the information in the Schedule of Classes (SOC) -- the Distance Learning and Peoplesoft (LOUIE) information systems. This is how instructor roles in the SOC map to roles in Bb Vista:

  • A Primary Instructor in the SOC is enrolled as a Designer and Instructor in Bb Vista
  • A Secondary Instructor in the SOC is enrolled as an Instructor in Bb Vista
  • A Teaching Assistant in the SOC is enrolled as a Teaching Assistant in Bb Vista
  • A Grader in the SOC is not enrolled in Bb Vista
  • A Student in the SOC is enrolled as a Student in Bb Vista
  • An Auditor in the SOC is enrolled as an Auditor in Bb Vista

The roles assigned to the faculty in the Schedule of Classes must reflect their actual teaching responsibilities. The roles are important for departmental course load reporting and university reporting. Please note:

  • If the instructor role in the Schedule of Classes does not reflect the role required in Vista, the department may email e-Learning Center at to request the desired Vista shell access. Example: Department requests that a Teaching Assistant have Designer Access along with the Primary Instructor. A person should not be assigned the Primary Instructor role simply to obtain Designer access in Bb Vista.
  • Departments should keep work load reporting in mind when making these decisions.
  • Departments are responsible for making sure anyone with access to the Grade Book or Roster has passed FERPA. FERPA training is available here:

Please work with your department's class scheduler to assign the proper roles in the Schedule of Classes.

You may copy content from a previous course into your new Bb Vista sections. If you have taught a course in Bb Vista before, you will probably want to copy the course content from a previous course (e.g., Fall 2007) into your upcoming Bb Vista course. A walkthrough of this process, "Setting Up a Bb Vista Class", is available from the e-Learning Center website: go to

You may copy another instructor's Bb Vista content with the consent of that instructor or your Chair. If another instructor has taught the course you will be teaching, and you wish to use that instructor's content, the e-Learning Center must obtain written permission (email will suffice) before copying the content for you. Please have the instructor who taught the content or your department chair send a request to Be sure the request includes the specific Bb Vista section to copy content from, and the specific section to copy content to. For example: "Please copy the content from John Doe's ACC-255, 1077-1234 into Jane Smith's ACC-255, 1087-9870."

You may be able to combine multiple Bb Vista sections into one. For example, if you teach three different sections of an in-person course, and you deliver readings and other materials for the course in Bb Vista, it might be easier for you to combine the three sections into a single Bb Vista section for easier maintenance. All of the instructor and student enrollment from the various sections in LOUIE will combine into the single Bb Vista course section. In the Bb Vista course list, instructors will see one course section and students will see the section in which they are enrolled. NOTE: Combinations must be completed before the Start Date of your course! Please do not delay in requesting combinations... allow at least four weeks before the Start Date of your course, if possible. Last-minute requests may not be possible to fulfill.

There are three ways to create combined sections:

  • Primary Instructional Section (2 or more sections of a course with the same topic taught by the same instructor during the same term and session)
  • Cross-Listing (same course taught with different departmental prefixes)
  • Co-Convening (graduate and undergraduate courses of the same topic offered by the same instructor at the same time and place)

This is done by your department's class schedulers. Schedulers may contact Distance Learning Services or the Academic Information Office as appropriate if they have questions about this process. Please allow at least four weeks before the start date to combine your Bb Vista classes to allow for changes to the Schedule of Classes, departmental approval, etc.

Students will have access to Bb Vista courses on the course start date as recorded in Peoplesoft. You may check the start date of your course in Peoplesoft.

All Bb Vista sections may have public pages (Class Preview Pages) that anyone can view in advance of the course start date at These pages contain basic course information such as course number, course title, description, and instructor of record. At the instructor's discretion, a Class Preview page can be linked which includes information about textbook(s), readings, syllabus, and other relevant information for prospective students. A walkthrough of Class Preview Page setup is available from the e-Learning Center website: go to

Class Mailling Lists are available if you would like to send email to your students outside of Vista; you may even set up a message with textbook information, sample syllabus, etc. that will automatically be sent to students enrolled in your class before the Start Date (i.e., before the class is available to them in Bb Vista). To set up a Class Mailing List, visit this site:

Turnitin assignments must be re-created. Because Turnitin assignments are tied directly to a specific Bb Vista section, simply copying content from one semester to another will not create a working Turnitin assignment; instead, please re-create Turnitin assignments within the new semester's Bb Vista section.

Online Course Evaluation announcements are now automated. If your course uses an online course evaluation, an announcement to students will automatically be posted in Bb Vista when the evaluation becomes available; it will include a link to the Online Course Evaluation site.

Getting Help

e-Learning Center
Faculty Help Line: (928) 523-5554 or Toll Free: (866) 802-5256
(928) 523-1662 (fax)

The e-Learning Center Faculty Help Line is available during NAU business hours. Additional extended hours are offered during some peak times, such as the end and beginning of a term. A list of extended hours is available on the e-Learning Center website.

Posted: Fri Aug 8, 2008

Online Course Evaluations Now Supported by e-Learning Center

Effective immediately, Online Course Evaluations will be supported by the e-Learning Center.  NAU staff or faculty who need help with online evaluations should call the e-Learning Center Faculty Help Line at (928) 523-5554 or Toll Free at 1-866-802-5256, or send an email to  NAU students should call the Academic Computing Help Desk at (928) 523-9294 or Toll Free at 1-888-520-7215, or should email 

Evaluations are still available at, and reports are available at

Mitch Hopewell, the former administrator of online evaluations, has left Northern Arizona University, and we would like to thank him for his excellent service to NAU faculty and students.

Posted: Tue Jul 1, 2008