August Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series

The Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS) is a free webinar series designed to bring faculty, instructional designers, partners, and Blackboard experts to you. Speakers share their tips, best practices, pedagogy, and higher education hot topics so you can stay ahead of the curve on teaching efficiency, course design, and student learning outcomes.

This August theme is “Best Practices to Start the Academic Year.” Review the descriptions below and register today.

Manage Your Blackboard Grade Center
Presenters: Kendall St Hilaire and Steve Ramos, Indiana River State College
Tuesday, August 6th – 10am ET

At Indian River State College, all faculty are expected to use the Blackboard Grade Center, and provide timely feedback to students. This webinar will walk participants through the external and internal drivers that resulted in the required use of the Blackboard Grade Center. Presenters will discuss the Virtual Campus master course model, and the process for setting up all Grade Centers within the master courses. The presentation will also cover the important role of the Grade Center when it comes to analytic reporting. IRSC also utilizes Blackboard Analytics for Learn reports to distribute data to key stakeholders such as Department Chairs, Deans, and Academic Vice Presidents.

Presenters will cover best practices in managing the grade center and share tips and tricks for faculty and those who provide technical support to faculty. IRSC will also share their techniques for offering training on the Grade Center, both through face-to-face trainings and resources that are accessible to the faculty member at the moment they need support when working in the Grade Center.

Register for the webinar

Beginning the Term Blackboard Checklist
Presenter: Helen Keier, Associate Director for Learning Management Systems, John Jay Online
Thursday, August 8th – 11am ET

The beginning of a term is often a hectic, stress-filled time for instructors, filled with a variety of tasks that must be completed all at once. Taking cues from the advice we often give our students (“Use a date planner,” “Write it down,” and “Check the Syllabus”) Beginning the Term checklists can help us make sure we stay on task, we meet our deadlines, ensure that nothing is overlooked, and most importantly, provide our students with a fully-realized experience in our classes. In this session, we will discuss the approach adopted by one college to make sure that Blackboard courses are ready for their students – from the start of the content copying process to making the course available on the first day of class.

Join us in this webinar to learn best practices for using and constructing your own custom Beginning the Term checklists, and discuss how checklists cannot only streamline your pre-semester preparations, but help you improve your online courses.

Register for the webinar

Incorporating Student Feedback Before, During and After Your Course
Presenter: Corrie Bergeron, Instructional Designer, Learning Systems Administrator, Lakeland Community College
Tuesday, August 13th – 10am ET

We all SAY that we want student feedback, but how do we put that into practice?  An answer might lie in our expectations for how we want our students to use the feedback that we give them.

Before the course even begins, we set out our expectations in the syllabus and schedule.  We expect them to read and understand it – but what if they don’t?  We give formative feedback on assignments and discussion posts.  How do we expect them to assimilate it and respond?   We give feedback on summative assessments – what do we want students to do with that after the class ends?   We’ll look at ways to elicit both overt and implicit feedback about our courses.

We’ll discuss situations where things go seriously sideways – when do you try to right the apple cart, and when do you just try to jump clear with minimal injuries? Finally, we’ll look at the process of making adjustments to a course while it is still in progress, in the short break between semesters, and when you have the luxury to step back and take a long overall look at it.

Register for the webinar

Updating Content to Make Your Courses More Accessible
Presenter: Melissa Hortman, Assistant Professor & Director of Instructional Technology, Medical University of South Carolina
Thursday, August 15th – 11am ET

The landscape of higher education is drastically changing in terms of student profile and the technology to support their learning. Barriers can be removed by creating more usable course content, and it is our responsibility to ensure that digital content is accessible to all. There are various ways to update your content to make your course more accessible by integrating easy principles into your workflow.

Register for the webinar


Grading in the Blackboard Instructor App

The Blackboard Instructor app now allows you to grade directly within the app on your iOS or Android device (phone or tablet)!

Please see the Grading in Blackboard Instructor video tutorial for more information.

Want to learn more about the Blackboard apps for faculty and students? See Blackboard Mobile Apps for an overview of the Blackboard App for students and the Blackboard Instructor app.

Updates to the myLesley Inline Grading Tool

New Box View, the inline grading tool for myLesley, has released two new updates: the ability for faculty and students to download the annotated PDFs and the ability for faculty to annotate Excel files (.xls, .xlsx).

To download an annotated PDF, located the graded assignment in the Grade Center (faculty) or the My Grades area (students).

When viewing the graded assignment, go to the right-hand column and click on the chevron next to the submission file.

Screen Shot of submission download options

This will bring up two options. Select Download Original File to download a copy of the original submission (no markups) or select Download Annotated PDF to download a copy of the marked up paper.

Screen Shot of submission download options

Please note that you may need to open the PDF in a PDF reader, such as Acrobat Reader, in order to view the comments.

For more information on grading assignments in myLesley, see Grading myLesley Assignments.

Have questions? Want to set up a training? Email elis@lesley.edu.

Provide Grading Feedback With Audio and Video

Blackboard now allows you to embed an audio/video recording of your feedback as you grade attempts. This feature is available for all graded content, including assignments, graded discussions, or in the Grade Details area of any Grade Center column.

Why Provide Audio or Video Feedback?

Providing feedback using audio or video allows you to connect with your students, especially those at a distance. You can give them a glimpse of your personality and show them the real person behind the text. Creating this connection can make it easier to interact, share information, and ensure that your students don’t feel isolated.

Text-based feedback can lend itself to misinterpretation – students may weight all of the feedback equally or be overwhelmed by a lot of text on the page. Audio allows you to add tone and emphasis, perhaps even humor and support, while video allows you to add facial expressions and gestures.

How Do I Add Audio or Video Feedback in my Course?

You can add audio or video feedback on any gradable item in your course. To do so, access the Feedback to Learner area. You may do this directly from an Assignment or from within the Full Grade Center.

From within an Assignment:

From your student’s submission, navigate to the Assignment Details area. In the Feedback to Learner area, In the Feedback to Learner area, click on the Full Content Editor button. This will open the full text/content editor.
Screenshot of Feedback to Learner area of Assignment

For more information on grading assignments or accessing the students’ submissions, see Grading Assignments in myLesley.

From a Grade Center column:

Navigate to the Full Grade Center and hover your mouse over the item you wish to offer feedback. Click the chevron to open a menu and select Quick Comment.

screenshot of accessing Recording Feedback from within the Full Grade Center

Launch the Recorder:

From the Full Text/Content editor, click the Record Feedback Button (first button on the third row of the text/content editor).screenshot of record feedback button

This will launch the recorder. Click the video button to launch your webcam or click the record button to record audio only. Each recording may be a maximum length of five (5) minutes.screenshot of record feedback

Once you have finished recording, your audio or video recording will be added to the student’s feedback area. Detailed instructions for using the Record Feedback option may be found here: Record Audio and Video.

What if I want to upload a video I recorded elsewhere or provide my students with a screencast?

If you recorded a video in a different tool, you may upload it using the Kaltura Mashup Tool. You may also upload a video to Kaltura directly from your mobile device.

If you would like to record a screencast, you may use Kaltura CaptureSpace Lite.

Where can I find more information on providing feedback to my students?

To find out more about providing feedback to your students, check out the resources below:

 

Grade Center Improvements

myLesley’s recent update to Blackboard’s latest version (Q2 2018) included several enhancements to the Grade Center making it easier to navigate while grading your students’ work.

Full Titles of Grade Center Columns

You can now view the full title of your Grade Center column making it easier to distinguish between similarly-titled grade items.

Before
Grade Center Column Titles Before

Now
Grade Center Column Titles After

 

View More Grade Columns

The width of the Grade Center is no longer fixed. You can now view as many columns as the size of their window will allow. If you are on a small screen, you may only see a few grade columns and need to scroll. If you are on a larger screen, you will see more columns. The grade center will adapt to the size of your browser window.

 

Full-Screen Mode

Need even more space to view the Grade Center? Instructors now have the ability to view the Grade Center in Full Screen mode. Full Screen mode collapses the side navigation and the top banner, allowing you to see more of the Grade Center on your screen.

 

More updates are coming to myLesley throughout the summer. Keep an eye out for all the new features.