Blackboard 1: Course Sites

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1 Blackboard 1: Course Sites This handout outlines the material covered in the first of four workshops on teaching with Blackboard. It will help you begin building your Blackboard course site. You will learn how to: 1. Navigate a Course Site Site Layout Editing Controls Edit Mode 2. Set Up a Course Site Teaching Style Test Student Date Management 3. Add Content Menu Item Folder Item Content Editor Video Everywhere 4. Communicate through Blackboard Announcements Notifications Calendar For more information on Blackboard workshops or to register for one, log into the ACC Workshop Database: https://www3.austincc.edu/it/workshops/www/login.php To begin, login to Blackboard at using your ACCeID and password. 1. Navigate a Course Site 1.1. Site Layout The image below highlights some of the main components of a Blackboard course site: 1. Course Menu: Links in the menu help users navigate the site and locate materials. 2. Control Panel: This instructors-only area provides access to the Grade Center, Course Tools and other editing options. 3. Course Banner: A course banner adds visual interest and appears on the course site s entry page. 4. Content Area: The main area of the page, where course content appears. 5. Global Navigation Menu: This menu provides quick access to your notifications, other courses, retention center, and calendar. 6. Logout Button: The Logout button officially ends your Blackboard session Editing Controls The following controls appear throughout the Blackboard interface and allow you to manage/edit your content: Click the Action Button next to an item s name to open a dropdown menu with all of your editing options. The action button appears for menu items, content items and grade center columns. The double-headed arrow allows you to drag and drop to reorder items. Click on the arrow and hold down the mouse button, drag the item to the desired location, then release the mouse button. The Show/Hide Menu Button appears in between the menu and the main content area. Click once to collapse the menu (the button will shift to the far left of your screen). Click again to restore the menu. May-14 1 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

2 Click the Expand/Collapse Menu Button to expand a menu to show all items or collapse a menu to hide all items. You can expand/collapse your course menu and various menus within the Control Panel Edit Mode At the top right corner of your screen you will find the Edit Mode button. When Edit Mode is On, editing options are available to add or modify course content. Click the Edit Mode button to turn edit mode off and preview how students will see the course. Click Edit Mode again to turn edit mode back on and continue editing. 2. Set Up a Course Site 2.1. Teaching Style You can customize the appearance of your course site by adjusting the organization and appearance of the menu, adding a course banner, and defining the course entry point. Begin by going to Control Panel > Customization > Teaching Style. Course Structure: Under 1. Select Course Structure, you can browse course structures, predefined course materials such as menu links, instructions, and content examples that can jump-start your course organization. Click on a course structure in the left column to open a description and preview of that structure. Click Use This Structure > Submit to apply it to your course. The selected course structure's content is added to your course and does not replace existing menu items and content. You can delete unnecessary items. Entry Point: Adjust the entry point to determine what page students will see first upon entering the course. Under 2. Select Course Entry Point, open the dropdown menu to select a page > Submit. May-14 2 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

3 Menu Style: When styling your menu, be sure it will be easy for students to read. Avoid patterns and make sure there is sufficient contrast between the background and text colors. Under 3. Select Menu Style, select either Text or Buttons and make color selections. Check the Preview to see what your selections will look like. Click Submit to apply your menu style. Course Banner: The banner will appear on the entry page. You can use an existing image or create a banner using PowerPoint or imaging software like Photoshop. Banners should be approximately 450 x 100 pixels and no larger than 65kb in size. Under 5. Select Banner, click Browse My Computer to locate and select the image > Submit Add Test Student You can enroll the test student in any course you teach to preview the course site. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Add Test Student. A test student account is created with "_s" appended to the end of your ACC Eid (e.g. j _s). Enter a password for your test student > check the box to enroll the test student in the current course > Submit. The test student is created and enrolled in the current course. You can now login as the test student using the username and password described above to access your course site as a student Date Management Automatically adjust all content and tool dates (including due dates, content availability, and announcements) in your course at once. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Date Management. Select Use Course Start Date or Adjust by Number of Days to adjust the dates accordingly, or select List All Dates for Review to manually adjust each date, then click Start. When date management is complete, you will see Date Management Review, where you can verify the new dates for all course items. From here, you can Run Date Management Again with different settings, Adjust Dates on selected items by a set number of days, or manually Edit individual dates if necessary. May-14 3 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

4 3. Add Content 3.1. Menu Item Add Menu Item: Click the blue box with a plus sign at the top of your course menu. From the dropdown, select the type of link to add to the menu. Options include, but are not limited to, the following types of links: Content Area (a blank page where you can add text, files, folders, tests, assignments and other course materials): Enter a Name > check Available to Users > Submit. Tool Link (a link to an integrated Blackboard tool, such as My Grades or the discussion board): Enter a Name > open the Type dropdown menu and select a course tool > check Available to Users > Submit. Web Link (a link to a URL outside of Blackboard): Enter a Name > enter the URL > check Available to Users > Submit. Subheader/ Divider (items to organize your menu): For subheaders, enter a Name > Submit. A divider simply adds a horizontal line to the menu. Edit Menu Item: Click the action button next to the menu item to open editing options, which include: Rename Link: Edit the text that appears in the Course Menu. Show/Hide Link: Indicates a menu item is hidden from students. Select Show Link to make it available or Hide Link to make it unavailable. Delete: Remove the menu item Folder Use folders to organize course content by grouping related materials together. Go to a Content Area in your Course Menu > click Build Content > from the New Page column select Content Folder. Enter a Name for the folder > Submit. A folder is added to the Content Area. Click on the name of the folder to open it and begin adding content Item Creating an Item lets you add text and attach files to a Content Area, or within a folder. Go to a Content Area or Folder > click Build Content > from the Create column select Item. Enter a Name and your Text > click Browse to locate and attach a file if needed > Submit. May-14 4 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

5 3.4. Content Editor When entering text, you can use the Content Editor to format text and embed multimedia to make your course content more dynamic and engaging. Below are some of the features you will find in the Content Editor: 1. Standard text formatting options, including font style, font size, bullets and numbers, etc. 2. From left to right: Preview your content, get information on each of the formatting options, expand the editor to full screen, and collapse the editor toolbars. 3. Record from webcam (see section 3.5 below for details). 4. Integrate multimedia. From left to right: insert file, insert image, embed media, launch math editor, and insert mashup (YouTube video, Flickr photo, or Slideshare presentation). 5. From left to right: add symbols, emoticons, and anchors Video Everywhere Record from a webcam and post your video directly into the Blackboard content editor using the Video Everywhere building block. Create YouTube Channel: Before you can use Video Everywhere, you must create your own YouTube channel to store the videos. Go to YouTube.com > click Sign In > enter your ACC address and password (you may use a different account if you prefer). In the top left, click My Channel > you will be prompted to Create a New YouTube Channel > click OK. You now have a YouTube channel where your videos will be stored. Record from Webcam: From the Content Editor in Blackboard, click the Record from Webcam icon (see item 3 in section 3.4 above). The window pictured below will open. In the new window, click Sign in to YouTube and enter the information used to create your YouTube channel. If you encounter a security warning, click Grant Access. Click Record from webcam. Click Start recording to begin. When you click Stop recording, you will have the option to Cancel, Start Over, or Upload. If you are satisfied with your recording, click Upload. You will have the option to play the video in place or to display a thumbnail students must click on to play the video. Select the option you prefer and click Insert. You will be returned to Blackboard, and you will see a placeholder box in the Content Editor where your video will appear. Click Submit. The video and player controls are embedded in your Blackboard content, and the video itself is stored in your YouTube channel. May-14 5 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

6 4. Communicate through Blackboard 4.1. Announcements Individual Course: To post only to the course in which you are working, go to Control Panel > Announcements > click Create Announcement. Enter a Subject and Message > set Date Restrictions or select Not Date Restricted > check Announcement if desired > Submit. Multiple Courses: To post an announcement to multiple courses you are teaching all at once, go to Control Panel > Announcement Cast. Enter a Subject and Message. Set Date Restrictions if necessary, or select Permanent. Check Announcement if desired. Check the box next to each course you would like to receive the announcement, including the course in which you are currently working. Click Submit to post the announcement to all selected courses Send Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Send . Make a selection based on who should receive the (e.g. All Student Users, Single/Select Users). To select specific recipients, click on a name in the Available to Select column on the left > click the right-pointing arrow in between the boxes to move that user s name into the Selected column on the right. Enter your Subject and Message. You have the option to attach files to your if needed. Check the Return Receipt box to send a copy of the message to yourself (this message will include a list of recipients). Click Submit to send the . May-14 6 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

7 4.3. Notifications Blackboard pushes notifications of course updates to users. Note that notifications are only effective if you assign due dates to your assignments, quizzes, and tests. The notifications can be accessed in the following ways: Global Navigation Menu 1. The number in red alerts users to the number of new notifications they have in their courses. 2. From the Global Navigation Menu, users can access (from top to bottom) Courses, Posts (new discussion posts), Updates (such as announcements or new assignments), My Grades, Retention Center (instructors only), and the Blackboard Calendar. 3. Settings allow users to Edit Notification Settings, which include options for receiving s regarding notifications and setting up reminders for upcoming due dates. Notifications Dashboard: This customizable module page displays notifications for all a user s courses. From the My ACC tab, click Notifications Dashboard. Modules include: Needs Attention - items that require your attention, such as upcoming due dates Alerts - items that are past due What s New - announcements, new assignments or discussion posts, etc. To Do list of all items due and past due Home Page: Each course site includes a Home Page by default. This module page is similar to the Notifications Dashboard, but it displays only notifications relevant to the current course and is customizable by the instructor. Click on Home Page in the course menu to view it. To customize this page: Drag and drop modules to change the order in which they are displayed. Click the in the top right corner of a module to remove the module from the page. Click Add Course Module to add additional modules to the page. To remove the Home Page entirely, click the action button to the right of Home Page in the course menu and select Delete. There is no way to directly restore a Home Page once deleted; you can, however, add a link to a Module Page in your course menu and then manually add modules such as My Announcements, What s New, etc. May-14 7 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

8 4.4. Calendar Find all important course dates in one place through Blackboard s calendar. Begin by opening the Global Navigation Menu > click the Calendar icon. 1. Calendar Display: Adjust the calendar to display by day, week or month. 2. Adjust Dates Displayed: Click the arrows to show previous or future dates. 3. Events: All events within the selected date range are displayed. Click on an event to view details. Note: Any item that is assigned a due date will automatically appear in the calendar. Instructors may drag and drop items to adjust due dates for assignments and tests. 4. List of Calendars: Each course has its own calendar, and there is also a personal calendar that allows users to create their own personal events. These calendars are color-coded. Click the arrow in the bottom right corner of a calendar name to adjust the color. Check/uncheck the box next to a calendar to show/hide it. 5. Export Calendar: You can export the Blackboard calendar to other calendar applications such as Outlook or Google Calendar. Click Get External Calendar Link > copy the ical URL that appears and paste it into your external calendar application to integrate the two. Dates from your Blackboard calendar will now display in your external calendar. May-14 8 irt.austincc.edu/blackboard

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