Have you been using Blackboard / Course Tools and just getting by with the bare minimum? Training Services offers one on one help and training with this learning content management system. Meet with one of our trainers, learn new parts of the system, work on your course, start using the grade centre to it’s full potential, or make your life a bit easier by finding out tricks and tips. Email firstname.lastname@example.org now.
You use U of S Course Tools / Blackboard as a student or instructor and we want to hear about your experiences with this software. The Customer Satisfaction Survey will be available until February 28th (DATE EXTENDED). We are listening and now is your chance to provide us with your valued and appreciated feedback.
Great News from ICT !
ICT has purchased a campus license from lynda.com that allows all current U of S faculty, staff and students full, free and unlimited access to this valuable training resource.
You will have a brand new account and may build a new training history. If you have used this service in the last year, you will not have access to your former training history once the pro accounts that you used to login in the last year are defunct.
Access is easy. Go to lynda.usask.ca for log in information.
Instructors can no longer add “guests” to their course.
- There was confusion about the “guest” role.
- People were being added to courses in the guest role, and in order to see items, the old “Permit Guest” and “Deny Guest” options would have to be set to control what they would see.
- This action (“Permit Guest”) also made those portions of the course visible to the general public.
The “guest” role is not required as it was implemented. Setting the public access for items then giving guests the public URL to the course allows access to those items as required. To avoid confusion, the ability to add people as “guest” to the course has been removed.
For now, place items into the PUBLIC folder which allows anyone to view the items. There is no need to add users in the “Guest” role.
There is still need for instructors to add visitors to the course WITHOUT opening up the course to the general public. ICT is currently investigating a solution. In the mean time instructors can either add the visitor in one of the instructor roles (Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Grader or Course Builder) if appropriate, or they can contact the ICT help desk to have extra visitors added to courses as a “student”. The preferred solution is to have visitors properly register for the course as an audit student through SESD as that use case is handled automatically.
ICT is investigating enabling the ability for instructors to add students to courses themselves, but then only have the ability to remove students that they added. This needs the approval of SESD and needs to comply to any university privacy or other policy related to adding visitors to courses.
If you are teaching a course in one term and will be teaching the same or similar content the next term, or are working with someone who is, there are best practices to follow. The procedure to roll forward a course is the same as the one followed for moving a development course into a live course.
- Steps for Course Copy and recommended settings (see Copying a Development Course to a Live Course)
- Wait for the confirmation email that the copy has finished
- Update all dates in the new course (adaptive release, assignment due dates, etc.)
- Review all the menu items and make sure the “public access” is set correctly for each item. Only “Show to Public” things that are safe for the public to see.
- Test the entire course using the test student. The recommended procedure is to use the option to remove the test student from all courses, then add the test student back to this new course (so it is only in the new course), then log in as that test student and test EVERYTING in the course, noting any errors, missing images, etc.
To add OR remove the test student:
- Select Control Panel
- Expand Course Tools
- Select Add Test Student
Do not perform a “Course Copy” multiple times into the same course. You will be sent an email when the course copy has completed. Wait for that email to arrive before working on your course. If the email does not arrive within 30 minutes, please contact email@example.com for assistance. Do not copy your course again as that can cause duplication in your course when both copies are finally processed.
Students are not guests in your Course Tools / Blackboard course. They are students. Adding a student who is not officially registered in your course as a guest does not allow the student to do anything but view documents and areas of your course that you have made public to the world. Guests can’t complete assignments, engage in discussions or take a test.
Please contact Student Central or Student Enrolment Services for verification of a student claiming to be enrolled. If they are a student, then contact the help desk to have the Blackboard Administrators add them as a student, not a guest.
Check out the new look and features of Course Tools. Things have been simplified for you – once logged in to Course Tools, select either My Courses or Help at the top of the screen to access those items. Select your name, on the right top of the screen and check out the new Global Navigation feature. All notifications, course calendar, discussion posts and user preference settings may be found here.
Instructors and Students: Remember that you have access to many online resources found on the HELP tab once logged into Course Tools. The top 10 things you will do in Course Tools are listed on the main help page, so check there first if you have a question about the system. You may also find this reference without loggin in at http://www.usask.ca/its/courses/coursetools/
For all those teaching using U of S Course Tools / BBlearn this year, you may want to attend training on this software. A fair number of inquiries we see have to do with simple tasks with Course Tools. This information is covered in a short, 1.5 hour training session. We show you how to post notes, create assignments, communicate with students, and access the Grade Book. We have identified the most common questions asked by instructors, and created FAQs on the help pages (accessible from within your Course Tools / BBLearn course). So, register for a Course Tools / BBLearn Introduction course, or, request a private session for your group or self.
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you take a training session before you start using the software. Attending training will make using Course Tools / BBLearn much easier on yourself!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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