Now that we’re so very close to a full transition over to Canvas, many people have begun asking exactly how long they will have access to Blackboard and how to archive that content.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
Users want to be able to add annotations to excel-based documents (.xls, .xlsx)
Annotate on Excel-based files
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.
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
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.
When instructors are ready to set the availability of a course, first scroll to Set Availability and ensure that Yes is selected.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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)
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:
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:
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.
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!
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.
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
Courses will now be available 60 days prior to their start day instead of 40.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Blackboard Course Shells - Now Available for Fall!
We are happy to communicate that Fall course shells have now been successfully loaded in Blackboard and have been associated with their instructors. Professors should be able to access them now by logging in to Blackboard via Artemis.
Be aware that students will not yet be populated within courses, and thus will not have access to them, even if the instructor makes the course shell available. The loading of students into courses will take place during the course of the week of August 20.
FSCJ Online Courses
Those that use a course master may not yet have the associated content loaded into the shell. At this point, all A term master course content should be loaded into the Blackboard shells. The work of loading B term course content should be completed this week.
Online Syllabus Builder
The link to the Online Syllabus Builder is now visible within my.fscj.edu under the newly designed Faculty tab. Please view our separate post regarding the online syllabus builder for more information.
Issues, Questions, or Concerns?
If for any reason you have issues with access to Blackboard or are unable to view a course that you have been assigned for the Fall, please contact EdTech@fscj.edu.
I was recently encoded in a course, however, the shells have not appeared within Blackboard. When will they appear?
Any courses that were encoded within the last week or so will not be available in Blackboard until the final migration is complete and all data has been transitioned over. We appreciate the patience of all instructors who were recently added.
My course and lab appear as two separate shells.
Many courses with a hands-on facet are experiencing this issue--not exclusive to pure sciences--as a result of the way that these courses are encoded in PeopleSoft. When a student enrolls in the lecture component, they are automatically enrolled in the lab. However, these courses are still graded as one course offering.
In order to reduce confusion for both faculty and students when navigating Blackboard, we would like to ask all faculty with duplicate course shells to ONLY make the lecture component available to students and keep all other components unavailable. To identify which Blackboard shell was created for the lecture component, look at your course schedule within myFSCJ. As shown in the example below, “lecture” or “laboratory” is marked in parentheses after the course title. In the first column, note that the course code is the same, but the reference number in parentheses is different for the lecture (3888) and the laboratory (3889).
When looking at courses within myBlackboard, the last four numbers in each course shell title matches reference number seen in the first column of the faculty schedule in myFSCJ. Thus, in the provided example below, the second course, COOP-EDCTN (INTERN)-3889, is the laboratory component and should not be made available to students.
Students do not see courses that are not made available in myBlackboard and therefore will not be aware of the duplicate course shells. Please know that this process will not have any effect on students’ final grades.
Will the class roster populate students info at a later time?
Yes. The creation of course shells and instructor association was the first step of the integration of PeopleSoft with Blackboard. After receiving feedback from professors, we prioritized the creation of course shells so that content could be built in advance of the Fall Semester. The addition of students to Blackboard requires a change to student user IDs that cannot be performed until the Summer Semester's end, so as not to disrupt ongoing classes. We’ll be sending more information out about the progress soon.
The IT Maintenance Dates are not currently visible within the Syllabus Builder, however often used to inform students and for planning purposes.
We are currently working to integrate the dates within the online syllabus builder, however they may not be ready prior to Fall. You can visit the Calendar page located within fscj.edu to view a full Collegewide calendar.
Below are the IT Maintenance dates for the Fall term:
August 26-27, Weekend in between grade submission and start of term.
September 16-17, Saturday 9PM – Sunday 9AM
October 14-15, Saturday 9PM – Sunday 9AM
November 10-12 Veterans Day
December 23 – January 2 Winter Break
On July 13, 2017, the Educational Technology Department worked with the Office of Training and Organizational Development to offer Tools for the Millennial Student, a look at how technology has changed the educational experience for today's students. The training provided an overview of some apps, websites, and applets that fit into the broad categories of effective learning detailed in the graphic above, drawn from the Adobe Education Creativity Study.
For those who are interested in learning more about MediaSpace, FSCJ's media streaming service and CaptureSpace, the screencasting and recording tool, the Office of Training and Professional Development is offering a dedicated session on Wednesday, July 19th at 2:00 at the Advanced Technology Center Downtown.
You can also view an In Focus webinar that showcased MediaSpace, produced by the Academic Technology Department, here, along with a series of tutorials that explain how to use some of the more advanced features of MediaSpace, like chaptering and video quizzing. Information about the Reach auto-captioning service for MediaSpace can be found by watching this tutorial. Remember that, as discussed in training, all academic videos should be captioned to 99% accuracy in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Based upon the results of the exit survey that we administered at the end of the training, many of the participants wanted more information about the use of Blackboard Collaborate. You can find a series of webinars that detail the many features of Collaborate, along with best practices for their use, here.
Thanks so much for attending our training! For more information about inititiatives offered through the Training and Organizational Development Office, click here to visit their website.
There has been a change made to the way Smarthinking Online Tutoring integrates with Blackboard. If you use Smarthinking in your course, you will need to create a new link.
If you encounter any issues, please submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu.
FSCJ recently made the switch to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a very useful synchronous communication tool that is available within every Blackboard course shell. Blackboard allows individuals to collaborate (hence the name ;) ) over the web using their computer's onboard camera or microphone to give live lessons or work on group projects.
It also allows professors to share and mark up powerpoints or word documents with students, show and demonstrate applications and screens, and record lessons for later viewing by students. It is a truly versatile and incredibly useful tool for online faculty, as well as those teaching face to face classes!
Prior to Spring Break, the Educational Technology Team hosted a series of webinars that took a deep look at the many features of Blackboard Collaborate. All three webinars are shared below.
We hope that these webinars are useful for faculty and staff in providing a introduction to and a reference for Collaborate. As always, please feel free to direct any further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.