Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

Blackboard Upgrade and New Features for Students

Student Content, EdTech, help.fscj.eduThomas Lewis
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As we approach another exciting Fall Semester here at FSCJ, we have some new features for Blackboard rolling in as well! In this post, we'll focus on the features that directly have an impact on you, our students. 

Drag and Drop Assignment Submission

When submitting assignments, no longer do you have to take those extra steps in browsing for your file. Instead, you can now drag and drop your assignment directly from your computer, including cloud storage services, to the "hot spot" within the Attach Files area. When you drag and drop your assignments, make sure they all have different names or they won't transfer successfully.

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Submission Receipts for Assignments

After a successful submission, the Review Submission History page appears with information about the submitted assignments and a success message with a confirmation number. Students can copy and save this number as proof of their submissions.

When students working on group assignments, a receipt is generated for each member, and the anonymous state of an assignment is respected.For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission.

Students will also receive an email with a confirmation number and other details for each submission. To see a history of your past submission receipts, go to My Grades and click on the Submission Receipts link at the bottom of your grade history.

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Blackboard System Outage

Blackboard will be upgrading to a new version so that we can provide these and many other new features. To do so, the system will be unavailable beginning Saturday, August 25 at 8:00 p.m. until Sunday, August 26, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. This is the weekend between grade submission and start of the Fall term (to help not inconvenience our fellow students and staff.)

We hope you're just as excited as we are for these new improvements! If you have any questions or concerns, feel welcome to reach out to us at edtech@fscj.edu.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is coming to a Course Shell Near You!

EdTech, LMS, News, Faculty ContentRobyn Reese
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This fall, FSCJ Academic Technology will be phasing out the original version of the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing tool so that we can have consistent use of the new and improved Ultra version of Collaborate. The two products function in much the same way by allowing students and instructors to meet together in a virtual space, regardless of where they are located or what device they are using. 

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, though, unlike the "original" version, is currently a major focus of product development for Blackboard and is being loaded with tons of new features as this year progresses. Information about what these new features are and when they will be accessible can be found in this Academic Technology blog post from earlier in this calendar year.  If you are brand new to all versions of Collaborate, please view these useful webinars that go over the use of Collaborate as an instructional tool to give you an overview of the basics before you begin.  

While, as mentioned above, the two products function in the same basic way (and with a similar interface) once a user enters the course room itself, the launch screen for the two versions is quite different and may cause some confusion for faculty and staff that were used to the original product. Below are two side-by-side screenshots of the "original" launch screen and the "ultra" launch screen:

 

Blackboard Collaborate "Ultra" 

"Original" Blackboard Collaborate

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Whereas in the "original" version of Collaborate, users simply need to click on the very visible "join room" button to become a part of the virtual learning experience, the ultra interface is not quite so simple to use, but as a result packs in some very useful features. 

First of all, faculty have the ability to lock the course room very easily so that it cannot be accessed at all times (a useful security setting that prevents students from using the course room for non-instructional purposes). This can be done very easily by clicking on the three dots to the far right-hand side of the Course Room's name, as shown below. For this dropdown menu, you can also provide links for guest access, as well as view reports about student attendance and usage. 

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Instructors can also use the "Create Session" button at the bottom of the interface to to schedule sessions with a predetermined beginning and end time so that the Collaborate Course Room is only available at specified times. This is shown below. From this window, you can also specify who in the session can act as a moderator, whether it should be recorded, and if these recordings are downloadable.  Recorded sessions, once made, will also be listed and searchable in the area below the "create session" button. 

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We hope that you find this product upgrade to be a great addition to the educational technology tools that are currently integrated with Blackboard. If you have any questions about how to use the more advanced features of Collaborate Ultra, please contact EdTech@fscj.edu

Going Cold Turkey – Studying with Moderation

Student Content, EdTechThomas Lewis
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It’s the day before the test and you’re getting down to the wire in terms of studying. However, you can’t seem to stop making new tabs with YouTube, Netflix or Reddit while staring down Blackboard. These distractions can be troublesome as your limited amount of time is now being eaten away from your studying efficiency. Sometimes you can tell yourselves that a five-minute break isn’t a big deal, but those times can stack up against you once you put all of those breaks together.

Instead of taking a bunch of breaks everywhere, why not do bigger chunks of studying without having the temptation to open another tab to distract you? For most people, it’s hard to have that self-control because our minds can run rampant and then you’ll want to go look some piece of information up.  Many people who want to become more driven just delete their social media accounts, which is an effective method but it’s also very destructive.  There’s a better solution though, an application that doesn’t just block you from popular websites but also helps you with the important skill of moderation.

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Introducing the Cold Turkey Blocker! A free application that not only helps you moderate your distractions but completely locks you out of any distracting website for the time declared. If you want to pay an additional fee you can block applications and create a schedule as well. Once the timer for Cold Turkey has started, there’s no undo button, you have to wait out the entire duration! Cold Turkey comes with these default web sites blocked, but you can add as many as you need.

4chan.org

9gag.com

addictinggames.com

amazon.com

boingboing.net

bored.com

break.com

bufferapp.com

buy.com

ebay.com

espn.go.com

facebook.com

feedly.com

flickr.com

fmylife.com

funnyjunk.com

funnyordie.com

instagram.com

penny-arcade.com

pinterest.com

pof.com

reddit.com

runescape.com

stumbleupon.com

theoatmeal.com

twitch.tv

twitter.com

In case that’s not enough and you need to write a paper, there’s an even better way to block out the distractions. Using the Cold Turkey Writer, which is essentially a notepad that locks you out of everything until the time limit you have set is over. Another option available is that you can’t close the Writer until the word count you set is complete. Although this seems like a lot in terms of preventing distractions, this forced moderation really helps jumpstart the self-control you might need for the upcoming semester!

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Both of these Cold Turkey apps work great on PC/Mac with Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. I can further attest to this as I used both upon writing this article. Check it out!

Save the Date for a Blackboard Upgrade!

LMS, EdTechRobyn Reese

Academic Technology will be performing a required upgrade to our Blackboard Learning Management System on August 25, 2018 beginning at 8:00 p.m. We expect to have a system outage for approximately 12 hours, and anticipate a complete restoration of all services at 8:00 a.m. on August 26, 2018. 

While we do not expect this system upgrade to result in a loss of courses or materials, we recommend that faculty export any courses that they are working on developing, as well as any course from past terms that they would like to save. Exported courses can be saved on a professor's own computer, external hard drive, or cloud storage service so that they are accessible at any time. This is a good routine practice to complete at the end of each year or term. 

While this upgrade is required to ensure that we continue to receive product support from Blackboard, we are excited about the new features that it will provide for our faculty, staff, and students, as detailed in the chart below. 


An instructor or grader can create personalized feedback recordings for tests, assignments, discussion board postings, and blogs. Each recording can be up to 5 minutes long and can include both video and audio.

Creating Recorded Feedback

 

When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments. Content can also be moved directly from a cloud storage location. Cloud storage that is supported includes OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Google Drive including G suite accounts, Dropbox, and Box.

Drag and Drop Files & Cloud Storage Integration

 

Instructors can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. Students can receive emailed submission receipts, and can also access them from the "My Grades" page.

Assignment Submission Receipts

 

 

 Instructors will now be able to: View full titles of Grade Center columns (making it easier to distinguish between similarly-titled items), view as many columns as the size of their window will allow (this is a BIG improvement for Apple users), and enter into Grade Center full-screen mode to make the most of their desktop experience. Instructors will be also able to delete multiple columns from the grade center at once. 

The grade center also now should display all grades and averages with five decimal places. According to documentation provided by Blackboard, this is somewhat of a buggy feature at this time, however, and is unpopular with users (especially since it is a default that cannot be changed or overridden), so it is our hope that it will be patched and changed soon. 

Grade Center Improvements


We will continue to provide updates and reminders as the upgrade date approaches. If you have any questions regarding this update, please email EdTech@fscj.edu.

MediaSpace Update & Resolution

DMP, Faculty Content, Tutorial, EdTechBrandi Bleak

Kaltura MediaSpace

This Spring, there was an update to Kaltura MediaSpace to make login compatible between myFSCJ and Blackboard. This resolved the issue of being unable to access MediaSpace content from Blackboard. 

MediaSpace can now be accessed from myFSCJ within the Faculty, Employees or Students tabs, shown below, as well as within Blackboard via a Building Block.

If you experience any issues accessing or viewing content that was created within MediaSpace prior to the Spring update, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu which will be routed to our MediaSpace administrator who can correct many outlying issues.

CaptureSpace Users

If you previously downloaded CaptureSpace to your computer you may need to take steps to reestablish your connection. If you experience any issues or are unable to see content while trying to record a new video, follow these directions:

1. Log onto MediaSpace and initiate a CaptureSpace recording by selecting “Add New” from the upper right corner. Make a test recording then check to ensure it uploads correctly.

If unsuccessful:

2. Uninstall CaptureSpace using these directions. Try to initiate a CaptureSpace recording in MediaSpace and it will give you the directions to reinstall CaptureSpace. Make a test to verify it works.

The video you were trying to upload is probably still on your computer.  You can find your previously recorded video by looking for the Settings tab in CaptureSpace. Under settings you’ll see the storage location of the file. Here is a video of the process. Once you have the file you can upload the video to MediaSpace.

For clarification, or to ask additional questions, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu or email us at EdTech@fscj.edu.

What's New with (and What's Coming to) Blackboard Collaborate Ultra?

LMS, News, EdTechRobyn Reese
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Are you a Collaborate power user, or a relative newbie? Either way, Blackboard is giving FSCJ faculty and staff a ton of new reasons to try out Collaborate for the first (or five hundredth) time this year!

Currently, FSCJ adopts the Collaborate "Ultra" product, which has a different-looking interface and more advanced features that the  "basic" product. One of the best features of this version of Collaborate (and, in truth, what makes it "Ultra"), is that it is a continuously-developed product that is updated periodically by Blackboard with new and improved features. 

On March 28, 2018, Blackboard held a webinar to discuss some of the changes and improvements that they would be pushing out to the Collaborate web conferencing tool over the coming year. The chart above, taken from the webinar, lays out these changes in a visual format. Read on for a bit more information about the most impressive and useful ones. 


Available Now

A Collaborate room can now accomodate 1,000 participants, as opposed to the 500 that were previously possible. This is owing to upgrades to their local servers that allow for increased traffic. 

More Participants! 

Expansion of Phone-In Capabilities

 

 

Taking a cue from Cisco's popular WebEx product, Blackboard Collaborate will now allow users who are enrolled in courses to access Collaborate meetings by dialing in on their mobile phone or landline. Whereas in the past users could use a mobile phone for audio only, it can now be used as the sole way of connecting to a Collaborate session. When the session is set up, a phone number and pin are established that can be shared with students who may need it. Keep in mind that users who are using the dial-in only option to access a Collaborate session will not be able to access shared documents or whiteboards, so if at all possible the Blackboard mobile app should be used by students on the go so that they can get the full interactive experience. 

Recordings can be Renamed

Users can now rename their Collaborate recordings for easier searching, archiving, and viewing by students. Currently, by default Collaborate recordings are labeled with the date and time of the recorded session and are titled with the name of the course. Instructors can now change this designation so that sessions can be labeled by topic or activity to aid in keeping materials organized. Remember that Collaborate recordings remain in course shells indefinitely, but only appear in the recordings list for 30 days. Recordings that are older than 30 days require the user to shift the viewing timeline using the controls in the collaborate viewer. 

Users can now direct their chats to individuals in the class, rather than using the chat box and making their questions or comments visible to everyone in the session. This might be useful for shy students or to establish back channel conversations amongst participants. The moderator can always maintain a bird's eye view of all conversations occurring within the session.  

Private Chats Enabled


In Development Phase (To be Released by the End of the Year)

On-Screen Timer

The on-screen timer is being released as part of Blackboard's commitment to Academic Effectiveness. Part of the tool set that currently includes the polling function, the timer will be controlled by the session's moderator and will be visible in all breakout rooms that may be set up for group work with the intent of helping participants to complete work with a defined pace. 

Improved Group Viewing Options

Blackboard is working to release an improved participant viewing interface that will allow the moderator to see all of the participants, not just the one who currently has the floor. Taking on a tiled look, when the moderator chooses this view, they will be able to see up to  24 participants on a grid at a time--in a look that is reminiscent of the Brady Bunch--super useful for ensuring that all students are attentive, and for gaging understanding based upon non-verbal cues. This view is currently in development, but Blackboaard hopes to have it released by the end of the year. 

Downloadable Attendance  Report

Blackboard is finally releasing a super-useful new downloadable attendance report at some point this month that will enable instructors to gather data on which students attended a Collaborate session and for how long. This is just the first artifact of Blackboard's new commitment to using data to enhance the effectiveness of Collaborate by adding assessment tools. More reports are in the research phase, as described below. 

Auto-Captioning

In line with Blackbaord's current push to improve accessibility in all of its products, auto-captioning is coming to Collaborate! Captioning focuses on the speaker who currently has the "floor", and can be used to increase options for instructors,  it should be noted that Blackboard has made no guarantee about the accuracy of captioning, and thus it may not meet the 99% accuracy guideline set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act. They will, however, provide the option to clean up captioning files that are attached to recordings after the session is complete.


In Research Phase (No Release Timeline Set)

Whiteboard enhancements

Blackboard is working on developing methods for saving whiteboards so that they can be reused from class to class. This would be especially helpful for instructors who host sessions in a series and want to pick up where they left off. Whiteboards will also be able to support multiple slides in the future, so that users will not need to clear the board to make more space to keep working on a problem or issue.  Whiteboards from breakout sessions will also soon be importable into main sessions, for easier sharing of group work. 

In the coming months, Blackboard administrators will be able to have access to reports that detail the number of times that Collaborate tools are being used globally, as well as how many times individual recordings are being watched. Instructors will have access to reports that chart how engaged students are in a lesson, based upon the number of interactions that they have with the content. 

More Reports


As you can see, Blackboard will be releasing a number of really valuable improvements to Collaborate Ultra over the next few months! Educational Technology will do its best to keep the faculty, staff, and students at FSCJ abreast of any changes that occur. 

Innovate to Educate: Michael Turnquist and Tech in the LLC

Videos, Innovate to Educate, EdTechRobyn Reese

In the fourth episode of Innovate to Educate, Assistant Director of Educational Technology Brandi Bleak welcomes Cecil Center's Library Learning Commons Manager Michael Turnquist to discuss the use of iPads and the Educreations app to create podcasts and learning objects that are integrated into the college's Libguides system. 

Having been involved in the "business" of education for a number of years, Mr. Turnquist is interested in how to make it easier for students to create and find information in Mathematics and Science. Sensitive to the ways that information transfer and availability have changed with the advent of computer technology,  the conversation revolves around how libraries are changing in response to these phenomena. 

Join us for a common-sense look at how FSCJ's libraries are incorporating technology reach our students! 

Improvements to the Blackboard Inline Grader are on the Horizon!

LMS, EdTechRobyn Reese
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The Educational Technology team has not received a great deal of positive feedback about the new Blackboard Online Grader. One of the most important tools for teaching and learning online, the inline grader is used to provide specific feedback on student papers by using annotations, highlighting, and comments that are nested within the paper's content. 

Until the end of 2017, the inline grader was provided by Crocodoc, until the Box Corporation purchased Crocodoc and sunset the technology. Blackboard was then required to use a similar Box product for the inline grader. Users quickly found that the new product did not have comparable functionality at all, and many complained to Blackboard to report the need for old tools that were not contained within the new product. 

In February, Blackboard announced that Box will be more aggressively rolling out new features for the inline grader that will hopefully make it more useful and useable. The chart below provides a roadmap of the tools that are in development currently and those that have been targeted for addition in the future: 


What it appears users really want is the ability to select the point annotation icon and have it persist, allowing creation of multiple point annotations at once without having to reselect the point annotation icon in the nav bar each time. Currently Available

Allow Multiple Point Annotations to be "Sticky" / Created in Succession


Users want to free-hand draw on documents. Currently Available

Drawing Annotations


Display List of Current Annotations / Summary View

Users want to see that comments exist and the content of comments without having to mouse-over the annotation.  Additionally, the expanded point annotation covers other text/content in the document, and the point comment content disappears when not being moused-over making it impossible to see multiple point comments at the same time.  Being able to see the content of the annotation comment(s) in a list format without mouse-over would solve both concerns. Available in the first half of 2018


Change Highlight, Text, and Drawing Annotations Colors

Users want to have different options for highlighting color, text color, and drawing color when annotating.


Users want to edit their own comments after they have been posted and recognize which comments have been edited after initial posting.  An additional benefit would be for instructors to be able to edit annotations from users with less permissions (e.g. Teaching Assistants or Graders).

Editing Comments


Users want the ability to download a version of the original document with current annotations applied to the document.

Download Documents with Annotations


Users want to strikethrough text and associate a comment with the strikethrough.

Strikethrough Annotations


Users want to be able to add annotations to excel-based documents (.xls, .xlsx)

Annotate on Excel-based files


Area Annotations

Users want to select a free-form area and associate a comment with that area.


Users want to more easily see when a comment is associated with a highlight vs when text is only highlighted without a comment.

Indication of Comment in Highlighted Text (vs Highlighted Text without Comment)


Users want to be able to move and/or relocate comments.

Drag-to-move Annotations


The Perfect "Duet"

Faculty Content, EdTechBecky Hudson
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The new app “Duet” is an exciting way to turn your devices into a second screen for your Mac or PC. The app allows the user to double your workspace without having to purchase a second monitor. By giving the user a dual screen, Duet helps to increase the productivity of the user by almost 50 percent. The former Apple engineers that created this app designed it to be compatible with all desktops that use OS X 10.9 or Windows 7+, as well as all iPads and all iPhones running iOS 7.0+. With the use of a 30-pin or lightning cable, the second display is pretty easy to set up and can be very handy!

When setting up “Duet”, the user must first go to the app store and purchase the app for $9.99 on the device they wish to pair. After the app has been purchased and downloaded, the user then creates an account with an email address. Once the account is created, a link is emailed to the user to download the program on your Mac or PC.

Once you are up and running, what to do? If you plan on having multiple internet windows up, then you are fine. When testing, we found that it was easy to navigate between screens and websites to get your work done. Even websites like YouTube that have a complicated visual interface have no issue moving between screens and still offer clear uninterrupted video.

Next, we tied to do something a little harder. When trying to open programs like Final Cut Pro, the amount of information being transferred between screens seemed too much for the Duet app. Using the dual display in Final Cut Pro resulted in a frozen and distorted screen on my later model PC running Windows 10. It just seemed like the transfer couldn’t handle that much information. When we tried it on a newer MacBook Pro, though, the app worked beautifully. The resolution was on point and I really liked the ability to have a larger viewer window for my project.

The Duet app is a useful and fun app to play with. By giving the user double the workspace, it made for fun, effortless way to get work done. Depending on the processing power of the Mac/PC that you are working from, the Duet app can deliver a retina display at 60 frames per second with no lagging. If you are looking for a way to double your workspace with a device that you already own, the Duet app is definitely the way to go.

To learn more about Duet visit www.duetdisplay.com

Did you miss Canvas Demo Day?

DMP, LMS, EdTechRobyn Reese
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The Academic Technology Department hosted a live-streamed demonstration of the Canvas Learning Management System on Friday, February 16 from 9:30 to 11:30 A.M. A recording of this event can be found below. This demonstration is intended to provide faculty and staff with a first look at Canvas so that they can become more familiar with the LMS that the Faculty Senate has recommended for adoption by our institution in the coming years. 

The demonstration was facilitated by Dee Bohne, Canvas Senior Enterprise Director; Brian Yuhunke, Canvas Solutions Engineer; and Steve Brunner, Canvas Senior Director and Solutions Engineer. The live and remote audience had an opportunity to ask questions about the use of Canvas and its features. A copy of the chat transcript that was created during the broadcast can be found here. 

If, after watching the broadcast and reading the chat transcipt, you have questions about the use of Canvas, please contact EdTech@fscj.edu. For general information about the LMS, please visit our dedicated Canvas page by clicking here. Thanks for watching our broadcast! 

The Best and Brightest at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show

NewsBecky Hudson
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Las Vegas hosted the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show on January 9th, unveiling the newest technology that will soon hit the shelves. With over 3,900 exhibitors, 900 startups and more than 900 speakers, the CES was once again an innovative look into the future. The CES started off with a bang this year, that is a bang of transformers blowing, resulting in a 2-hour blackout! With a flood of light up of cell phone screens illuminating the showroom floor, the CES was already making headlines just a few hours in. Once the blackout ended and companies could start to show off their products, it was easy to see that some of the greatest minds in technology had come together to showcase their innovations.

There was a common theme between many of the products that were exhibited this year: to make every day processes faster, safer, and more user friendly.  The CES showcased the Lishtot TestDrop, a small device that can test the quality of drinking water by analyzing the electric field around it. Follow this link provided to secure your TestDrop now for $34.95.

There was an intelligent toilet by Kohler Numi. This smart toilet offers heated seating, heated flooring for your feet, gentle lighting and music. You can find more information here.

The Pelotron Tread combines workout machinery and videos by showcasing a treadmill with a large built-in LED screen which live streams workout classes. Now you can join a workout class without having to go to the gym! The Pelotron Tread can be pre-ordered here, for all of you fitness fanatics!  

The CES also showcased the worlds first smart swimsuit. Swim.com partnered with Spire Health Tag to create the small tracking device that can be placed in most swimsuits. The platform tracks the number of laps swam, the time per lap and much more. This summer you can sport your smart swimsuit for just $30 plus the price of the suit.

Sticking with the theme of making tasks faster and more user friendly, there were an array of gadgets to make your home hands free. The Lenovo Smart Display is a voice-activated assistant that connects directly with Google. It is like Amazon's Echo, but the Lenovo exceeds its rivals by offering a touch screen that is not only sleek and attractive, but it also can voice activate YouTube videos, search for recipes and much more. Click here for more information!

Honda showed up at this year's CES with not only one robot, but an array of robots from their 3E-A18series. One of the factors that makes this robot so unique is the ability to empathize with and understand its commander. Learn more about these compassionate companions here.

If you are into televisions, then Samsung’s newest creation THE WALL will not only astound you, it may make you cry. This television is a whopping 146-inches and literally takes up an entire wall.

One gadget that pulled at the heartstrings of many visitors at this years CES was the My Special Aflac Duck. A small and interactive toy that is a replica of the famous duck in all the Aflac commercials, it was designed and intended to be a companion to children diagnosed with cancer. The interactive duck not only expresses feelings through facial movements, it gives a child a companion during a time when they may feel alone. This toy is set to roll out in late 2018 and will be available at no cost to children diagnosed with cancer across the nation. The My Special Aflac Duck received the Tech For a Better World Innovation  Award for its efforts to raise money to cure childhood cancer. For more information on how you can help Aflac in their mission, visit this website. 

The CES 2018 was a gathering of some of the greatest minds, and biggest hearts, across the world. Although many of the gadgets and innovations will not be available to the public for some time, this showcase is a glimpse of what the future may hold. In a world of VR, assistant robots, smart technology, and self-driven cars, we have a lot to look forward to for the future.

Innovate to Educate: Professor Jeff Smith

DMP, Student Content, Innovate to Educate, EdTechRobyn Reese

Innovate to Educate is a series created by Educational Technology and Digital Media Productions to share information about innovative technology being used by our amazing faculty at each of our campuses.

In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Jeff Smith, Program Manager for the college's Dental Programs, to discuss how he became interested in technology and the ways that the Dental Hygiene Program has used technology, including iBooks and iPads, to encourage student engagement and enhance academic performance. 

Turnitin Feedback Studio Videos

EdTechRobyn Reese
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Did you miss the Turnitin webinar on February 9? Not to worry! We have resource videos below that can help you to learn how to use the major features of this vital Blackboard plug-in. Turnitin has also created a video that can be shared with students to assist them in learning how to submit Turnitin assignments. You can use the embed codes in the viewers below to add these videos to your Blackboard shell or blog! 


Students: How to Submit a Turnitin Assignment in Blackboard

Faculty:  How to Create A Turnitin Assignment in Blackboard


Faculty: How to read a Turnitin Originality Report in Blackboard


Faculty: How to provide feedback with Turnitin Feedback Studio in Blackboard

The First Day of Spring Semester

Becky Hudson
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January 8, 2018- Today is the day: The first day of spring semester is in full swing! Your hard work to prepare for the semester will pay off todaY. The scheduling and planning that is required to get your courses ready has undoubtedly left your office looking a little disheveled. We understand! With deadlines to meet and multiple syllabi to write, who has time to clean?

Coincidently, not only is today the first day of spring semester, it is also National Clean Off Your Desk Day! This national "holiday" is observed on the second Monday of January and just so happens to land on the opening of this semester. It is a reminder that while starting this New Year, and new semester, we should take the time to get organized. Cleaning out some of the papers from last semester will make it easier to store and find paperwork needed for the current semester. If desk clutter is not an issue for you, maybe take some time and clean out your email inbox, organize the folders on your laptop or hard drive, and go ahead and delete some of the older voicemails that are no longer needed. Starting off organized will help you to keep going throughout the semester.

Apple has already started to help its users be organized by launching the new “Files” app on the iOS 11 update. This app allows you to view all your stored files across multiple devices, in one area. You can view your iCloud drive, Google Drive, Dropbox OneDrive, and more, all in one place. Organization is essential to having a productive semester.

We understand that there is much to do today, and most likely you will have your hands full the entire day. Adding yet another task may seem a bit overwhelming, but have no fear.!Not only is today the first day of spring semester, or National Clean Off Your Desk Day, but today is also National Bubble Bath Day. So, keep in mind that through all the multiple tasks that you have set for yourself today, you can end the day in a hot bubble bath and celebrate your new burst of productivity.

We hope that you have a great First Day of Spring Semester, a happy National Clean Off Your Desk Day and a relaxing National Bubble Bath Day!

In Focus: 10 Tips for Spring Semester Success

Faculty Content, DMP, In Focus, EdTechBrandi Bleak

For this episode, the Educational Technology team reached out to members of the faculty and administration to gather 10 tips that will help faculty to have a great start to the Spring semester. So, let’s get started!  


#10  - Syllabus & Course Preparation Checklist

The folks at FSCJ Online have prepared a comprehensive checklist to help you make sure that you’re able to stay on top of all of the tasks that need to be completed before the start of the Spring semester.

This document lives in the Faculty Exchange and we've added a link below for ease of use and download.  

Syllabus & Course Preparation Checklist document


#9  –  Requesting Course Access

While you are preparing your course content, you may need access to a prior semester’s course for content copy. To request access to a course taught prior to Fall 2017, email EdTech@fscj.edu or submit a ticket via help.fscj.edu.


#8 – Course Availability

The PeopleSoft integration has changed the way that course shells are created within Blackboard. There are a few crucial points that you need to be aware of. 

Each course is shell is created and made available to the instructor 60 days prior to its start date. This means that A session, B session, and C session course are created at different times.

The instructor then decides when they would like the course to be available to students, and has the responsibility of closing it at the end of the semester. This can be done by either setting a date range for the course to be available, or by setting it to be continuously open. The instructor must then remember to close it manually at the end of the term. 

Here's a tutorial on making a course available within Blackboard.


#7 – Know the Important Term Dates

There are important dates that occur throughout the semester like grading windows and drop for non-attendance. These dates are communicated during the term via email from Academic Operations and are available on the fscj.edu site, and can be accessed here.


#6—How to Access the Grading Roster

During the Fall semester, many instructors had difficulty accessing the grade rosters with myFSCJ. 

To access the grade roster, users must navigate to the Faculty tab and click the ‘person’ icon. This is the best way to access the grade roster! Although there are other ways to obtain similar content, they don’t provide the full functionality of allowing you to enter grades.


#5 – Course Evaluations & Survey Results

There’s a new process for Course Evaluations. 

During the last portion of the semester, students have the opportunity to evaluate their courses. This process opens on the Friday before the last week of the class within the Student tab of myFSCJ. The evaluation reports will be made available to instructors and administrators five days after the last day of class.

Course Evaluations Training Document


#4 - Using Kaltura MediaSpace

You may have noticed that the Kaltura Mash-up button is no longer in Blackboard! To access MediaSpace to upload, edit, or curate videos, in the short term, you must use the link that it still located in the Artemis portal under the Technology tab. From there, you can acquire an embed code located in the bottom right-hand corner of the video that can be added to the Blackboard video function to link to your content.


#3 – Finding Information & Answers

With so many new processes and information to keep up with, there are a few spots we recommend that faculty view regularly in order to stay updated. 

The Academic Technology Blog is managed by the Educational Technology team, and contains information about system updates, articles about new technology, apps, and more. It also contains a student section with information that you may want to pass along in your classroom. 

The Blackboard home page is being redesigned to include faculty updates with relevant content, software keys, and important announcements.


#2 Report Issues So They Can Be Reviewed

Check your Blackboard course shells as soon as they’re available and report any questions or concerns through the help desk. The sooner we locate any problems, the easier it will be to fix them. Even if you’re unsure if something is a problem, let us know and we can do the research for you.


#1 – You Have Help!

So, what’s number one? You! Being there when you need us is a top priority for all of us!

There are lots of resources available to assist instructors so you can keep your focus on your students and the classroom. 

Help.fscj.edu is the Information Technology Help Desk site where users can search the Knowledge Base for answers to common issues, submit a ticket that will be routed to the department that can assist, call and speak to a representative, or email in an issue to service.desk.@fscj.edu.

Dedicated Faculty Development Specialists are available on campuses for in-person assistance with Professional Development, Blackboard, myFSCJ, video and photography needs, design work, and much more. Discover more about the Faculty Resource Centers.

Training.fscj.edu is the newly redesigned site by the Training and Organizational Development team where professional development and training content can all be found.

And Faculty members can always contact the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Union, or the Academic Technology Committee to report issues that may need additional review or evaluation.


Thanks for tuning in to this special Spring Semester edition of In Focus! We look forward to supporting you as we work together to make this a great semester!

Making a Blackboard Course Shell Available

Faculty Content, Tutorial, EdTechBrandi Bleak

When an instructor has prepared their Blackboard course shell and are ready to make the course available to their students, there are a few steps that need to take place. If no steps are taken, the course will become available to students upon the first day of the session.  

To make a course shell available, select Customization from the course menu. Next click Properties.

 

As a reminder, course shells will not be available to instructors until 60 days prior to their start date. 

Screenshot 2017-12-20 13.16.27.png

Set Availability

When instructors are ready to set the availability of a course, first scroll to Set Availability and ensure that Yes is selected.

Screenshot 2017-12-20 13.37.11.png

Set Course Duration

Instructors can decide whether they would like the course to be available immediately or to become available on a specific date in the future.

By default, course shells are set to become available to students enrolled on the date the course begins. To make the course available in advance, either change the date or select Continuous for the duration to make the course available immediately.  Note that courses with continuous enrollment will NOT close automatically at the end of the term. If continuous enrollment is selected, faculty must remember to make these course unavailable at the end of the term.

Screenshot 2017-12-20 12.49.00.png

If you have any questions or issues with course availability, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu or email EdTech@fscj.edu.

Online Syllabus Builder - Deployed Updates

EdTechBrandi Bleak
1501517921634.png

This week, the developer of our Online Syllabus Builder deployed an updated version that addressed a number of recent issues. Here is a list of the expected fixes: 

Self Developed and Word Documents

  • An issue causing the Spring courses to not populate has been resolved.
  • If a user revisits a page after creating their syllabus, it did not show the syllabus status. This has been resolved.

Edit Screen

  • Flagging now enabled if user edits two different syllabi in the same session
  • Issue with save button not functioning as expected has been fixed
  • Deans employee ID has been added to transaction for backend processing 

Portrait Screen 

  • Checked to make sure session not timed out before deleting portrait
  • Checked session before trying to change image
  • When a session times out, it will now redirect user to the login screen

Office Hours 

  • Issue with saving office hours has been corrected
  • It was reported that Tuesday auto-selects. This should no longer happen.
  • College logo updated to match the new standard
  • Bullets removed from template page

Blackboard Inline Grading is getting a refresh!

LMS, EdTechRobyn Reese

Even if you often use the inline grading feature in Blackboard, you probably don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about how it works (and if you don't use it, you really should--it's amazing). Inline grading uses a technology called Crocodoc to allow instructors to provide feedback such as comments, highlights, and even drawing/annotation, directly on a document while grading it. 

Over the Winter Break, the inline grading service is being upgraded to replace Crocodoc with more powerful Box technology. Instructors should not notice much of a difference in how they access and use the tool, but it will have a few new features, as detailed in the chart below. 

 Taken From Blackboard Help (https://help.blackboard.com/)

Taken From Blackboard Help (https://help.blackboard.com/)

The upgrade will take place prior to the start of the Spring Term, so it will not interfere with the grading of work at any time. All prior artifacts that were annotated with Crocodoc will still be fully accessible within past terms' course shells. 

For more information about this change, or to find out more about inline grading, click here. For further questions, please contact Educational Technology (EdTech@fscj.edu).

 

In Focus: FSCJ Archives

DMP, In Focus, EdTechBrandi Bleak

On this episode, we sit down with Jennifer Grey, Public Services Coordinator for FSCJ Library and Learning Commons, to talk about a project that involves archiving many of the College's old publications, files, artifacts, and many interesting items she never imagined finding. 

Innovate to Educate: Professor Audrey Antee

DMP, Innovate to Educate, EdTechBrandi Bleak

Innovate to Educate is a series created by Educational Technology and Digital Media Productions to share information about innovative technology being used by our amazing faculty at each of our campuses. In this episode, we sit down with Professor Audrey Antee to discuss how she introduces technology within her classroom, which technologies have been successful, and what the driving factor is that determines whether students are likely to adopt the tool for their own use.