Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

EdTech

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.

Kaltura MediaSpace Updates

DMP, EdTechBrandi Bleak
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The recent transition to PeopleSoft brought many changes with it, including differences in how users upload and embed videos from MediaSpace into Blackboard. Currently, this process has been disabled within Blackboard while IT works out some authentication issues. While the IT department is working with a third-party vendor to ensure resolution, there is an available workaround. 

Currently, Kaltura MediaSpace still requires users to login by using the old credentials that were used prior to the PeopleSoft transition. In order to access content that was already uploaded into MediaSpace, users are advised to login to Artemis and access MediaSpace via a link in the Technology tab until a similar bridge has been created within myFSCJ. Once a user has logged in to MediaSpace, they can upload, edit, and copy an embed code to use within their Blackboard course to make the content available to students. 

Once a permanent fix has been tested and is in place, an update will be posted and communicated. If users have any questions about the workaround, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu.

For more information on adding files, images, audio, and video visit this Blackboard Help article.

New Blackboard Apps!

LMS, Tutorial, In Focus, Student Content, EdTechRobyn Reese
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We are happy to announce that Blackboard has released a suite of new, improved mobile apps and that they are now compatible with myFSCJ for Fall 2017 and beyond! Blackboard has split the functionality of the apps to create one that is specifically tailored towards the needs of students and one that is perfect for instructor use! 

Blackboard App (for Students)

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The Blackboard App is the current name for the student-centered version of Blackboard mobile. It replaces the current Blackboard student app, which has been discontinued.

It is available in the iOS App Store, in Google Play, and in the Windows Store. 

Like the previous version of the Blackboard mobile app, students can still take tests, view announcements, post discussions, and review grades with Blackboard App. Now, the app is optimized for mobile, so that the content will adapt to all screen sizes and be more visible and accessible! Users can also upload assignments and attachments from Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, making it easier than ever to work on the go using just your mobile device. The new homepage for the app also features an activity stream, displaying due dates, posted grades, and assignment uploads for all classes in one continuous, integrated flow. Collaborate is also now fully integrated into the mobile experience, so students do not need to use another app or their browser to join learning sessions on their phone or tablet. 

The Blackboard app will be continuously updated, with the intent of making it easier and more efficient for students to complete online coursework wherever they are. For more information, visit Blackboard's help site.

Login to the Blackboard Student app:


Blackboard Instructor

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The Blackboard Instructor app is brand new, and only shows the courses that are being taught, not those that the user is enrolled in. Instructors can use the app to view and send announcements or make courses available for viewing by students. The app is fully responsive and mimics the content layouts and file structure of a Blackboard course within the full LMS. This structure can also be edited or changed from the mobile app.

The app contains a student viewer that can help faculty to better understand the student mobile experience while taking tests, watching videos, and reading content. The app will also allow the user to export content for use in other mobile apps or in a web browser. It also incorporates Collaborate access natively, so that sessions can be run completely from the mobile app without relying on a browser or separate plug-in. For more information about the Blackboard Instructor App, visit Blackboard's help site. 

Login to the Blackboard Instructor app:


To access your online courses on the Blackboard Mobile app, please follow the directions listed below:

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1. Ensure you have the correct app downloaded onto your smart-device. The Blackboard Mobile app’s icon should appear as a blue square with a pencil. (Note: The Blackboard Learn app, which looks like a chalkboard, is not compatible with myFSCJ, so if you only have that app on your device, please download the correct Blackboard Mobile app).

2. Upon opening the app, you will be prompted to enter your college. Type in “Florida State College at Jacksonville”.

3. You will be presented with a prompt telling you to “Web Login”. Click the “Web Login” button.

4. You will be redirected to the myFSCJ login page. Please login using your myFSCJ userID and password.

5. Locate and click the Blackboard link underneath the “Useful Links” section of the student tab. For instructors, locate the Blackboard link within the faculty tab.

6. This will certify your session and take you back to the Blackboard Mobile app interface.

 

If you are experiencing any issues during any one of these steps or with the functionality of the app, please contact the Technical Service Desk at (904) 646-2300, option 3.

Sunsetting of SoftChalk

LMS, EdTechRobyn Reese
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Information Technology has decided phase out SoftChalk, the eLearning authoring tool that was used by some faculty members to create learning objects that integrated with Blackboard. FSCJ faculty and staff will no longer be able to use SoftChalk to create new learning objects after February 28, 2018. Already-created content will still be usable. 

If you are a SoftChalk user, there are a few tools that can be used to create learning modules, depending upon your budget and what you would like to make. Please feel free to contact the Educational Technology team (EdTech@fscj.edu) for consultation and recommendations!

October Updates: Fall 2017

EdTechBrandi Bleak

Although we look forward to communicating an update with a more detailed description of best practices for moving forward, we wanted to offer a quick update as we are well on our way this Fall term. Here are a few of the technology issues, fixes, and updates for the Fall term:

The relationship between PeopleSoft and Blackboard Data

One change that has occurred since the implementation is that Blackboard simply takes the data that PeopleSoft provides. This means that when a change is made in Blackboard, it is almost always because the data was pushed over from PeopleSoft. 

Cache is a big deal

It has been our experience that many of the issues that we have encountered early in the semester as data was being updated, were corrected by simply clearing a users cache. Anytime a change is made to resolve an issue, we suggest to first try clearing your cache first before submitting a ticket or contacting your supervisor. 

Employee access to Blackboard

New employees, or those who have never taken a course at FSCJ, will no longer automatically be granted access to Blackboard. An account is only created when a user is enrolled or encoded in a course that is fed over from PeopleSoft. 

Employees no longer have an Employee and a Student Account

The accounts were merged into one account. Therefore, in Blackboard, users will see classes they are the instructor in and any courses they are enrolled in as a student. Users will also only have one email address that will be used to correspond to all. 

Roles in myFSCJ

When a user logs in to myFSCJ, the system determines their role assigned by PeopleSoft and grants access to the appropriate tab(s). The Faculty Tab is role-based, meaning you have to be encoded to teach a class in order to see the tab. 

Similarly, Students, Deans, and other ‘roles’ are also assigned. New employees may not see the Student Tab, which is needed to register for courses. If a user believes they should have access to something they do not see upon logging in, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu.

Real-time Updates: Blackboard and Syllabus Builder

EdTechBrandi Bleak

Online Syllabus Builder

We have been notified there is an issue with syllabi not showing within the Self-Developed option of the Online Syllabus Builder. Our developer has been made aware and is currently working on a resolution. 

Recent Updates - November 1

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Update!

Courses will now be available 60 days prior to their start day instead of 40.

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Update

The Blackboard mobile apps are now functional!

Dean's View - Online Syllabus Builder

Although available earlier in the month, the system had reports of some errors and slow processing times. Recent deployments have resolved the issues and the system is now functioning as expected.

Current Known Issues & FAQs:

  • While using the Online Syllabus Builder, the “Save Continue” button in the syllabus builder is not functioning. Please use the “Save Finish” option until a resolution is deployed.
  • Instructors, please remember to make your Blackboard course available when you are ready for your students to view the content. This can be done by going to Customization, then Properties in the Blackboard side navigation panel. 
  • Instructors, please keep in mind the online syllabi need to be published before they are available.
  • The migration process only associated users to active courses due to the change to EMPLID as username, however, users can be easily added to previous courses on a manual basis if needed for the Fall term. We understand some instructors may want to copy from or review an existing course(s). If there are any courses that an instructor needs access to please send an email to et@fscj.edu with the reference numbers. 
  • Some instructors are seeing their student email address in the 'from' field when emailing students from within Blackboard. To have this updated manually, please email et@fscj.edu.
  • If users are no longer associated with Organizations they were previously enrolled in, please locate and self enroll once again. If there are any problems doing so, please email et@fscj.edu for assistance.
  • There are faculty who either do not, or have lost access to, their faculty tab within myFSCJ. Affected faculty may submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu to assist in tracking the problem. Once resolved we will update tickets as well as this post.
    • This issue has been resolved. Instructors should now have access to their faculty tab. It may be necessary to clear browser cache first. If you still do not have access to your faculty tab, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu.

August 29

This morning, there was a time where all Blackboard users were unable to access the system. This has been resolved, however it may be necessary to clear the cache before users are able to log in. 

August 28

A partial disruption in service to my.fscj.edu has been scheduled to occur between 1:00 a.m. -  3:00 a.m., August 29, 2017. The estimated outage time is expected to be less than 15 minutes in duration and should not impact users who are already logged into Blackboard or my.fscj.edu

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve services!

August 25

  • As of 8 p.m., the migration process of live student data into Blackboard production is now complete, and the Blackboard system should once again be accessible via myFSCJ. For Faculty, the link to Blackboard is available within the Faculty tab, under Classroom. Students also have a link in their tab.
  • As of 1 p.m., the migration process is in the final stage and multiple teams are currently testing the data transition for accuracy. The last steps will be ensuring sign-on processes are functional.
  • As of 8 a.m., Blackboard is still unavailable due the migration process. Progress has been made overnight and we will be updating these posts throughout the day with additional details.

August 24

  • As of 4:30 p.m., the process of migrating data over to Blackboard has begun and the system is now offline. We estimate that this should take a few hours.
  • As of 8 p.m., Blackboard is still unavailable due the migration process.

August 23

  • The migration process of live student data into Blackboard production will begin taking place Thursday, August 24. This should have little effect on the Blackboard system, however, there is a possibility that rolling restarts of the system may be necessary from Thursday until Sunday, August 27. This may cause short outages from time-to-time. We understand this is not ideal, but it is necessary to be prepared for the new term.
  • During the migration, it is expected that Publisher data may be impacted. Please avoid adding publisher data to your course until we communicate that the process is complete in order to avoid duplication of work.
  • We highly recommend that faculty who have worked on their Fall Blackboard shells take a moment today to export/archive their courses in preparation for the migration occurring over the next few days. Here is a Knowledge Base article on that provides instruction on how to export/archive courses.