Set Up Your Grade Center in myLesley

Setting up the myLesley Grade Center is not always the most intuitive thing. However, with a little bit of thought, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Step 1: Create Your Plan

The first mistake most people make is they start in the Grade Center. Going into the Grade Center is usually the last step. If you try to set it up piecemeal, you will inevitably miss a step or forget what you entered somewhere and then before you know it, you’re lost.

The first step is to grab you syllabus, list out your assignments and grading scale, and make a plan. Watch the video below to see an example.

 

Step 2: Create Your Content & Assignments

The next step is to create my content in Blackboard, assuming I haven’t already done this. I’ve already created most of my content, but I still need to create the Final Project assignment. This video from Blackboard shows me exactly how to create an Assignment so my students can submit their work and I can grade and provide feedback.

Need to create graded discussions? Review how to create discussion forums on our support page.

 

Step 3: Create Grade Columns

Now that I have created all of my content and assignments, I can finally go to the Grade Center and finish setting things up.

 

Step 4: Calculated Grade Columns

Decisions, decisions… Total column or Weighted Total?

See our support article on Calculated Grade Columns for step-by-step instructions.

 

Step 5: Organize Your Grade Columns

All the grade columns are set up and ready to go, but Blackboard has them organized based on the order they were created. This might not be the ideal set up for you. So change it.

View Blackboard’s video tutorial on customizing your Grade Center view for more information.

 

Additional Resources

Your grade center is now set up and ready to go, but there’s always more to know and more scenarios for set up. Check out these resources below or email elis@lesley.edu for assistance.

myLesley Grade Center and Grading
Advanced myLesley Grade Center and Grading

Grading myLesley Assignments
myLesley Rubrics
myLesley Faculty Resources

 

Merging Your Content with the New Course Menu

A new course menu and template were created for this Fall. The purpose was to create more consistency for students across all their courses and to embed supports where possible. However, if you are copying content from a previous course in myLesley to your Fall 2020 course, you may need to merge the two and clean things up a bit.

What’s in a course menu?

There are three main types of course menu items: content areas, tool links, and web links.

Course Content & Assignments is a content areaContent Areas are places in your course where you post various types of course content, such as items, uploaded documents, assignments, and more. Think of them as a folder on your computer where you group common items together. Course Content & Assignments is an example of a content area.

 

Tool Links are links to tools that are part of Blackboard or integrated into Blackboard, such as Discussions Boards, Class Email, My Grades, etc.

 

 

Technology Resources is a web linkWeb Links are links to external content. This external content can be anything on the internet that you wish to link to. For example, Technology Resources links out to the IT & eLearning Support Site at Lesley.

 

Course content and Communication are headers in course menuThe new course menu also contains Headers. These are non-clickable titles for groups of related content. They can be renamed, edited or moved just as any other menu item. “Course Content” and “Communication” are examples of a header.

Your course menu is completely editable by you. Course menu items can be renamed, moved, deleted, and hidden from student view.

Modify menu

A Common Issue After Course Copy

If you copy your course content from a prior course you may notice that you have menu items for “Course Content” and for “Course Content & Assignments.” myLesley (Blackboard) will not merge these two content areas together automatically. Just as with folders you create on your computer, these are two separate containers with different names. You need to tell Blackboard what you want it to do.

Fix your course menu in 3 easy steps

1. Rename menu items

Many faculty choose to rename the older “Course Content” menu item to “Course Content & Assignments.”

For more information see Modifying your Course Menu.

2. Delete menu items

Delete the original (now duplicate) placeholder content.

Be very sure to delete. There is no undo.

Also, delete any duplicate or unneeded menu items that copied to clean up your course menu and make it easier for your students to navigate your course menu.

3. Reorder menu items

When a course copy is done, all new content copied in is at the bottom of the menu. You can easily reorder the menu items, but clicking on the double arrow icon to the left of the menu item and dragging it to a new location.
move icon

 

For more information see Modifying your Course Menu.

Introducing Bb Annotate!

Later this month we will be upgrading myLesley’s inline grading tool from New Box View to the new and improved Bb Annotate! Bb Annotate will allow you to provide inline grading and feedback to your students’ assignment submissions.

When is the upgrade?

Bb Annotate will be rolling out on Monday, May 25th. There is no expected downtime – myLesley will be up and running the whole time.

What is Bb Annotate? How is this different from the current inline grading tool?

Bb Annotate is more robust than the current inline grading tool, New Box View. Bb Annotate contains many more features, including a sidebar panel, annotation tools (including a highlighter, freehand drawing tools, eraser, image or stamp, text box, shapes, and more) and commenting tools.

For an overview of the available features, watch the Bb Annotate Overview Video.

How will this be different for my students?

Students won’t notice much of a difference. Like the current tool, once you have graded your students’ assignments, they will be able to view, download, and print their annotated files but are not able to add annotations to their submissions. For the best experience, students will need to open their annotated PDFs in a native PDF viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view annotations.

Which file types are supported?

Like the current inline grading tool, Bb Annotate supports the following file types:

  • Microsoft® Word (DOC, DOCX)
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint®(PPT, PPTX)
  • Microsoft® Excel®(XLS, XLSM, XLSX)
  • OpenOffice® Documents (ODS, ODT, ODP)
  • Digital Images (JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, TGA, BMP)
  • Medical Images (DICOM, DICM, DCM)
  • PDF
  • PSD
  • RTF
  • TXT
  • WPD

What happens to my students’ old assignments? Do I need to do anything?

You do not need to do anything on your end. All content will be migrated over to Bb Annotate during the upgrade. Your students’ old assignments will be imported over and all of your previous annotations will remain intact.

Does this affect the whole Grade Center?

No. Bb Annotate is only available for student submissions via the Assignments tool. Your Grade Center will not be affected by the upgrade.

How do I learn more?

Online Training

Blackboard is offering free online trainings on May 12th and 14th as part of their ongoing webinar series. Find out more or register for a training: Blackboard Instructor Webinar Training Series.

Documentation

eLIS Workshops and Office Hours

Join eLearning & Instructional Support for a series of workshops and drop in office hours to help support faculty transitioning to online learning. All workshops are taking place online in Collaborate Ultra. There is no need to sign up in advance to attend.

Workshops

Creating a Basic Course Structure in myLesley/Blackboard 
Tuesday, March 24, 12-1PM  
Learn to create a very simple course structure in myLesley/Blackboard using a Weekly agenda, Weekly folders and Announcements.  

To join, please go to https://tinyurl.com/ElisOfficeHours

Discussions: Synchronous, Asynchronousand Blended 
Wednesday, March 25 12-1PM 
We’ll discuss the benefits of synchronous, asynchronous and blended discussions (use of both synchronous and asynchronous). We will consider “discussions” in the broadest sense of the word, including a variety of discourse-based interactions.  

To join, please go to https://tinyurl.com/ElisOfficeHours

Student Presentations and Feedback/Critique
Thursday, March 26, 12-1PM 
We’ll discuss methods and tools for presenting student work and providing feedback or critique on that work.  

To join, please go to https://tinyurl.com/ElisOfficeHours

eLIS Online Office Hours

Unable to attend one of our workshops but want to learn more? Just have a few random questions? Not sure what your question is? Join us for online office hours using Collaborate Ultra.

To join, please go to https://tinyurl.com/ElisOfficeHours

Monday, March 23, 10AM – 12PM 
Monday, March 23, 1PM – 3PM
Tuesday, March 24, 1PM – 3PM 
Tuesday, March 24, 6PM – 8PM   
Wednesday, March 25, 1PM – 3PM  
Wednesday, March 25, 6PM – 8PM 
Thursday, March 26, 1PM – 3PM 
Friday, March 27, 10AM-12PM