Rescheduled SafeAssign Maintenance in myLesley

SafeAssign, the anti-plagiarism service in Blackboard, will not be available Monday, April 2nd, 3:00AM – 10:00AM ET. Blackboard will be performing maintenance to move the service to new servers.

What does this mean for you? 

Assignments submitted by students during this time will not be processed by SafeAssign, nor will they be queued for processing once the service is back online. Instructors can Direct Submit any submitted assignments once the service resumes.

Please note that the Assignment tool itself will not be affected. The maintenance will only affect the SafeAssign feature within the Assignment tool.

 

Apply to the 2018 Summer Academic Technology Institute

Join your Lesley faculty colleagues for an exciting, immersive professional development opportunity!

The Summer Academic Technology Institute is an opportunity for faculty to participate in a learning community across disciplines and schools engaged in an exploration of the effective uses of technology in teaching, learning, collaboration, and scholarship. This event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, and organized by eLearning and Instructional Support.

All faculty — core or adjunct — are welcome to apply.  Faculty who consider themselves basic technology users or who do not currently use technology in their teaching are especially encouraged to apply. Faculty selected through the application process receive a $500 stipend for participation in the institute. Applications are prioritized to select faculty who have not participated in past institutes, depending on demand.

The program features a 4-day institute in June, held at University Hall. Faculty engage in a rich mix of dialogue, hands-on practice, project-based learning, reflection, and application to explore innovative ways technology can be integrated into their teaching.

Examples of workshops from past Summer Tech Institutes include:

  • Putting Technology in Its Place
  • Designing Lessons for Engagement
  • OneDrive: Collaboration Made Easy
  • The Student Experience in Online Learning (panel)
  • Designing and Facilitating Online Discussions
  • Introducing Media Into Your Blackboard Course

Expectations for Summer Academic Technology Institute Participants

Faculty are expected to:

  • Participate in all four days (~9am to 4 pm) of the institute: June 4-7, 2018
  • Develop a technology-enhanced learning activity for a 2018-2019 course
  • Attend or participate in at least one professional development outreach activity during the 2017-18 school year

Important Dates

March 30, 2018 Applications Due
April 20, 2018 Participants Announced
June 4-7, 2018 Summer Institute


Application

Coming Soon

Upcoming SafeAssign Maintenance in myLesley

UPDATE: The maintenance was canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

SafeAssign, the anti-plagiarism service in Blackboard, will not be available this Thursday, March 8th, 3:00AM – 9:00AM ET. Blackboard will be performing maintenance to move the service to new servers.

What does this mean for you? 

Assignments submitted by students during this time will not be processed by SafeAssign, nor will they be queued for processing once the service is back online. Instructors can Direct Submit any submitted assignments once the service resumes.

Please note that the Assignment tool itself will not be affected. The maintenance will only affect the SafeAssign feature within the Assignment tool.

 

New and Improved myLesley Features

The myLesley upgrade brought with it several new and improved features designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience. These features are designed to save you time, improve efficiency and easy of use, provide a much improved mobile experience, improve accessibility of your content and Blackboard functionality, and enhance assessments and grade capabilities.

Discussion Board “Replies to Me”
A new count and filter identifies unread replies to your Discussion Board posts, allowing you to quickly and easily keep up with large Discussion forums.

screenshot of discussion board replies to me

 

Drag and Drop Files
Easily drag and drop files from your computer to the hot spot in the Attach Files area to upload them. Students can also drag and drop files to upload their assignments.

screenshot of dragging and dropping assignment file

 

Collaborate Ultra Available in Groups
You now have the ability to allow Collaborate Ultra webinar sessions to Groups pages. If allowed, students can meet online, share content and use the whiteboard, as well as record their online meetings. For more information see Group Tools or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Getting Started.

 

Improved Mobile Device Navigation 
The new myLesley theme includes navigation improvements for both the system and course menus. When you access myLesley on your mobile device, the navigation appears a hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) for persistent access from screen to screen. Within a course, the menu opens and closes more easily with fixed location action.

screenshot of mobile view

 

More Responsive Blogs and Journals
Blogs and Journals have been better optimized for use on mobile devices. Posts and comments will render on smaller devices and options for filtering posts or navigating groups or users will appear below currently viewed posts.

New Inline Grading Tool
The new inline grading tool, New Box View, is now available in myLesley. This streamlined grading tool accepts more file types. For more information see Grading myLesley Assignments or view the tutorial video below.

 

More Efficient Grade Center Cleanup
You can now easily clean up your Grade Center, including bulk deleting grade columns. Manual and calculated columns are removed completely, and columns associated with gradable items are cleared of attempt and grade data but remain in the Grade Center.

Before deleting columns, check very carefully that it’s the right column. Deleted grade columns cannot be recovered. For more information see Organize Grade Data.

 

Submission Receipts
Once you submit an assignment, the Review Submission History page appears with information about your submitted assignment and a success message with a confirmation number. For assignments with multiple attempts, you receive a different number for each submission. You will also receive an email with your confirmation number and details each time you submit coursework.

 

Improved Grading with Rubrics
When grading with rubrics, the instructor can save feedback and the content will remain saved when changing the rubric view from in-line to full screen. For more information on rubrics see myLesley Rubrics.

 

Missing Coursework Reminders
You can now send email reminders to your students directly from Grade Center columns to remind them about missing coursework.

Why Can’t I Change the Color of my Course Menu?

I used to be able to change the colors on my course menu, but now it’s not working. What happened?
In short, the recent myLesley upgrade introduced a new theme, or look and feel. The new theme does not allow instructors to change the course menu background color or text color.
 
Why the change?
The new theme brought many improvements, including increased speed, the ability to adapt to your screen/device, and improved bug fixes. Unfortunately, the downside of these improvements is that the ability to change the colors in your course menu has been lost. We had conversations with members of TL Tech and it was decided that the benefit of an improved user experience outweighed the few features that were lost.
 
What can I do?
While you may no longer customize the color of your course menu. You may, however, add different colored menu buttons. To add menu buttons, navigate to your course Control Panel, select Customization, and select Teaching Style.

screenshot of course control panel

Scroll down to Select Menu Style. Click Text for the default black background with white text. Or click Buttons to create colored menu buttons.
 
select menu style

Click Button Library to expand the button library. For Button Type you may select pattern, solid, or striped. For Button Shape you may select rounded corners, rectangular, or rounded ends. Select the button color and style you want and click Submit at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

image of button library

Please note that the menu text color will remain white. As a best practice, we recommend that you select a button color that has a good contrast with the white text for readability and accessibility.

If your menu item has a lot of text and rolls onto a second line, your second line of text will not be visible in the button. Instead, your text will appear in the black space below your button. See the “Reading and Additional Resources” menu item in the screenshot below.

Sample course menu with buttons

 

Can I add a banner to my course?
Definitely! You can easily add a course banner to, at a glance, differentiate between your courses. The banner will appear at the top of your course’s landing page (ex Announcements) and allows you to add a pop of color or personality to your course such as the fall leaves in our image below.

sample myLesley course with banner

To add a banner image, navigate to your course Control Panel, select Customization, and select Teaching Style.
 
screenshot of course control panel
 
Scroll down to Select Banner and click Browse My Computer to upload an image. Please note that Blackboard recommends using an image that is approximately 480 x 80 pixels for your banner image. You my create or edit an existing image using a photo editor, such as Pixlr Editor.
 
select banner
 
Once you have uploaded your image, click Submit at the bottom of the page to save your changes. The banner image will then appear on the course’s landing page.