Getting Ready for a New Semester

The Fall semester is fast approaching and there is so much to do. Below are a few reminders and tips from our instructional design team to smooth the way and get off to a great start.

Before Your Course Begins:

Personalize Your Course: Consider which aspects of the course you want to adjust.  At minimum, this should include parts of the syllabus (your contact information, for example). If necessary, contact eLIS or use our online tutorials to learn about Blackboard editing tools.

Review and update information as necessary in the syllabus that sets expectations for communication, group work, or instructor facilitation. For example, will the pre-established turn-around times for feedback work with your schedule? Keep in mind that changes you make in the syllabus might need to be checked against content you entered into myLesley to make sure the instructions align in both locations.

Set Up a Teaching Schedule: Consider setting up a teaching schedule to better organize your teaching time.  A schedule can help you to identify when to attend to different facilitation tasks (i.e. weekly announcements, daily discussion board check-ins, major project or paper feedback, etc.).

Familiarize Yourself with These Tools:
Performance Dashboard: Use this tool to quickly view if and when students are accessing the course.
performance dashboard

Announcements Tool: Recommendations for using this tool include:

  • Always make sure to send Announcements as emails. Embedded images, video, or audio will NOT be available to students in emails.
  • Use the Announcement Tool for:
    1. Welcome messages, briefly introducing yourself and the course
    2. Introducing a new week and wrapping up a previous week
    3. Providing whole-class feedback on discussions, group work, etc.
    4. Updating students on changes to the course or assignment scheduling
    5. Clarifying any confusion that multiple students have experienced

Post a Welcome Announcement: In addition to welcoming students to the course, you might point out the syllabus and other key documents to review before beginning the first module.

Taking care of these seemingly small things now can greatly help you stay organized and in contact with your students as you move through the course.

myLesley Upgrade in August 2015

myLesley is being upgraded to the latest version of Blackboard (Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 Release). The upgrade will begin at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 26th and will last until the morning of Friday, August 28th.

What does this mean to you?
During the upgrade, you will not be able access to myLesley. However, LOIS, email, and other Lesley systems will remain available and unaffected.

What’s changing in myLesley?
There will be no major changes to myLesley with this upgrade which means no new tools to learn how to use. Instead, this upgrade is intended to fix minor errors and improve the overall performance of the system.

Should I do anything to prepare?
It’s always a good idea to have a backup of your course materials. You may wish to archive your course(s) prior to the upgrade just in case. You can find instructions for doing this on the Lesley Support site.

We also recommend that you closely review your course content after the upgrade to ensure everything is behaving as intended.

We don’t expect any issues, but it’s good to be prepared.

For the most recent information on the upgrade, please check the myLesley Upgrade page at: