Blackboard is basically a point and click system for navigation.
- From the user homepage, you will click on the class you wish to access. Classes are listed under “My Courses”.
- Once inside of your class, the point and click navigation will continue. There is a menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen. You are able to click on the item that you would like to navigate to (or open).
The Control Panel
The control panel is where you as the instructor can manage your course. Further in the trainings, we will discuss the options of building and tools within this function. It is important to remember this is a function only available to the instructor. The Control Panel is divided into Categories. The defaults are as follows: Files, Course Tools, Evaluation, Grade Center, Users & Groups, Customization, Packages & Utilities, and Help.
Creating a Faculty Profile
- From the Course Menu, click on Faculty Information.
- Next, click on the Create Contact button.
- Fill in the template with the information that you would like added.
- Click on Submit.
Creating an Item
- Enter the course area where you want to add an item.
- Scroll over the Build Content button.
- Select Create item.
- Create item page will appear.
- Fill in the name and add the item; you can attach any documents from your computer. Option #2 is Attachments.
- Hit Submit.
Adding the Syllabus
- The Syllabus is the same as adding an item, except it is a predefined area in the course menu.
- To add your Syllabus, simply click on the course menu area entitled "Syllabus," then follow the directions for Creating an Item (see Creating an Item above).
Assignments allow you to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. In an assignment, you can include a description, point value, and file attachments. You can create assignments in several course areas, such as in a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. Students access the assignment, type a submission, attach files, and submit it. You can respond to each student separately with comments and attached files.
Please see the attached file for instructions on using the assignment feature in Blackboard (MS Word), as well as videos on how to create an assignment and how to grade an assignment.
Turnitin is a comprehensive solution that helps students learn by facilitating personalized feedback. Faculty can check students' work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against the world's largest academic database. For more information on Turnitin, please contact Allison Bunnell, 978.665.3769.
“My helpful hint is to provide detailed grading rubrics and directions for any paper assignment and if possible one or two exemplars of an "A" paper ... especially for students just starting ... students who follow the rubric and read the exemplars nearly always do much better than those who do not ... I also believe more frequent but short writing assignments help students acquire or re-acquire the basics of professional writing rather than a twenty page term paper, unless it is a capstone course.”Robert Dumas, Graduate Program Chair, Forensic Nursing
Probably the most effective way to create and manage tests is by building a question pool and then creating the exam from the pool. Please see the attached file for instructions on how to create a question pool, export the pool to your computer, create a test using test manager, and deploy a test to share with your students (MS Word).
- Uploading test questions from Microsoft Excel
- Creating a pool of questions
- Create a test in Blackboard
In the Grade Center, you can provide and manage your students' grades for assignments, tests, discussion posts, journals, blogs, and wikis, and for ungraded items, such as surveys or self tests. You can also create grade columns for any activities or requirements you want to grade, such as special projects, participation, or attendance.
Adding a Weighted Column in the Grade Center
- Click on Add Calculated Column (select Weighted Column).
- Give it a Name, etc.
- Under #3 (Select Columns):
- Click on and Highlight a column name.
- Then click on the arrow to the right of the box.
- Now, the item will appear in the box entitled: Selected Columns.
- Give it the weight percentage you want for the item.
- The total weight must equal 100%.
- Click Submit.
Organizing the Grade Center
- Go to the Manage tab.
- Select Organize Grade Center.
- All Grade Center Columns should appear in the second area.
- On the far left hand side is a gray box in front of each item. Put the cursor here and click to drag and drop wherever you want it.
“It helped this semester that I only corrected/responded to the discussion board after the required responses, rather than having a response upload to grade center each time the student wrote something. Instead I added a minimum number of responses before it showed up for grading in grade center.”Gail Cahill, Adjunct Faculty, Education Department
Grading an Assignment
To grade a single assignment attempt:
- Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
- Access the cell's contextual menu and select Attempt.
- The Grade Assignment page appears.
"The grading rubric feature is great. It is worth the time investment in setting up the rubrics because grading is so much faster."Karen Waddill, Adjunct Faculty, Education Department
Accessing & Integrating Library Services & Resources
- Embed a Librarian into your course.
- Embed online library resources into your Blackboard course.
- Access articles, images, eBooks, et cetera through the library's databases. Click on the item you want.
- Most of the Library's databases provide a "Permalink" or "Permanent Link," which is a static link directly to that specific item. Copy this link and paste it into your content area as an Item or a Web Link.
- If the database doesn't provide this link, contact a librarian for help.
- If the item is in a PDF format, you can save the file and load it directly into Blackboard. Be sure to include the citation for the item for copyright (contact the Copyright Liaison for questions about copyright and fair use).