Essential Bb Videos and Articles

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This article contains only videos and articles associated with the basic tasks discovered when needing to get started with Blackboard at UWindsor. Most are from the Blackboard Learn: On Demand Tutorials site, but some pertain to local procedures at the University of Windsor. Most vidoes are hosted from YouTube. If you're receiving the following error: "Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Macromedia's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player," it means that you either have JavaScript turned off in your browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari), or you need to install the latest version of the Adobe Flash player.

The link to the video or article is listed, followed by a brief description, and the length of the video (if applicable). View in sequence or as the task at hand requires.

Logging In and Getting Started

Title Description Length
Getting Oriented with Blackboard Instructors, take a quick tour of your Blackboard Learn course environment. Find out how to access your course controls, add and edit the course menu, and edit the default Home Page. 2:50
Navigation (Global) and My Blackboard This video shows how to access global navigation, navigate the user menu, and discusses My Blackboard. 3:40
How to Set Your Notification Options Always know what is happening in your courses by setting Blackboard's notification system to alert you when when events occur. You can receive alerts for events such as when new content is posted, when new discussion board postings are submitted, when a test is available and much more. Alerts can be sent to your course homepage, your email address, and to your mobile device. 3:19
How to Quickly Jump from One Blackboard Course to Another Use the course-to-course navigation function to quickly jump from one Blackboard course to another. By using this drop-down list, you can move from a tool in one course to the same tool in another course. 1:17

Preparing Site and Releasing to Students

Setting up (or adjusting) your course menu, changing your course's Home page entry point, previewing your course as your students will see it, using the text (or content) editor, enabling or disabling tools or adding them to the menu, setting your Site Availability(similar to CLEW's LAUNCH THIS SITE), and replicating CLEW's Resources and Syllabus tool in Blackboard, and adding a user (instructor or support) are featured below.

Title Description Length
How to Design Your Course Entry Point The first page students see when they enter you course leaves a lasting impression. Use this first look to orient students and convey important information. This tutorial will show you how to set your course entry point page and add a banner image to it. 1:56
Student Preview With Student Preview, you can experience your course exactly as your students do. Use Student Preview to review the course content and validate the course behaviors, such as those that control the availability of course content, or require a particular interaction from the student to be triggered. This tutorial will show you how to enter student preview mode, exit student preview mode, and delete the preview user account. 2:23
How to Make Your Course Available to Students Courses under development are set to unavailable to prevent students from accessing them before you are ready for enrolment. This tutorial shows you how to make your course available to students by changing the course properties. 1:14
How to Turn Tools On and Off in your Course Setting which tools are available in your course and who can access them is a critical part of course design. Course tools allows you to control the different ways students interact, add content, and stay on track. While Blackboard has many different tools available, you need to select the best ones for your users. 2:03
Using the Content Editor This tutorial shows you how to use the content editor to add formatted text, links, images and media to Blackboard Learn. The Content Editor is available frequently throughout Blackboard Learn. 3:58
How to Add a Tool Link to Your Course You can help students access what they need by adding links to frequently used tools in different parts of your course. For example, on the course menu, add links to My Grades and Email. In content areas, place relevant tool links near instructional content. 3:04
How to Turn Tools On and Off in a Course Setting which tools are available in your course and who can access them is a critical part of course design. Course tools allows you to control the different ways students interact, add content, and stay on track. While Blackboard has many different tools available, you need to select the best ones for your users. 2:03
Resources and Syllabus - Replicating their functionality in Blackboard, and more. Not a video, but article from containing videos - Features how to plan, manage and create course Content Areas. As there is not a comparable CLEW Resources tool in Blackboard, you simulate the functionality of that tool by creating a Content Area called "Resources" or "Syllabus." Then you will add Content Folders, Learning Modules, Lesson Plans, upload files, create web links, or many more options available within the Content Area's action bar. While there is a Syllabus tool available with Blackboard, many instructors choose to use a Content Area instead, if the goal is to only upload a file for students. When you migrate the Syllabus or Resources materials over from CLEW, they will be copied into a Content Area featuring the title of Syllabus or Resources. These menu items would then appear at the bottom of your course menu if there was not a pre-exiting Content Area with those names in place prior to you using the CLEW Import tool. N/A
Using the CLEW Import Tool You may want to copy over from CLEW, content generated from the Resources, Syllabus, Assignments, Lessons, Quizzes & Tests II (limited), Announcements and Discussions / Forums tool. This article, and embedded video, will discuss the process and limitations involved in the migration from CLEW, and how you can use this tool to efficiently reproduce your CLEW content into Blackboard. Article and (6:11 video)
Adding a User in a Support Role to your Course Adding users to your site, such as a co-instructor, Lead TA, TA Grader, or Departmental Support can be done by accessing the Control Panel -> Users and Groups -> Users -> Enrol User -> Find User to Enrol. Enter just the individual's UWinID into the Username> field (not the full email address which includes the, select the correct role, select the Enrolment Availability to be Yes, then click Submit. N/A - Article

Communicating With Students

There are several tools available to send information to, and communicate with, students in your courses. The Course Messages (only accessible when logged into Blackboard), and Email (sends email directly to user's UWin email account) and Announcements tool are featured in the list below.

Title Description Length
How to Send Email in Blackboard Learn Send email directly from Blackboard to any member of your course. Use the convenient email tool to communicate with everyone enrolled in your course. Email sent from Blackboard is received and stored in your own UWindsor email program, not in Blackboard. Please ensure you only have either Send Email or Course Messages enabled in your course to avoid student confusion (see video below). 1:15
Adjust the Email Settings in your course By default, the Email tool in Blackboard is set so all users can contact other users in your site - by Instructors, Groups, Individuals, etc. This may be a desirable feature in some courses, but problematic in others. If you would like to disable the tool, so that only instructors would be the destination for the email, you can adjust the settings in the Email tool. Visit the UWindsor Wiki article to show you how. N/A Article
How to Send and Receive Course Messages The course messages tool provides you with a familiar, email-like environment that you can use for course communication.However, unlike email, you can only access this private and secure text-based form of communication by logging in to your course. This eliminates external factors such as incorrect or out-of-date email addresses. This tutorial will show you how to, access, send, and view course messages. Please ensure you only have either Send Email or Course Messages enabled in your course to avoid student confusion. 1:48
How to Create an Announcement Keeping your students informed on timely issues in your course is critically important to their continued success. This video shows you how to create an announcement in your Learn course, how to immediately send notification of the announcement to your students, and how to reorder announcements so they appear in your desired order. 2:38

Using the Grade Centre and Needs Marking Tools

The Grade Centre is a very powerful tool with many features and options. Below, the essential tasks are highlighted with videos and articles. More on this tool can be found at and select the Learn product, version 9.1 2014, and the instructor role to access the latest content about Blackboard. Enter Grade Center into the search field to reveal all articles related.

Title Description Length
How to Customize the Grade Centre View Instructors can customize their view of the Grade Center< by hiding columns to focus on specific data and reduce scrolling. Hidden columns are not deleted from the Grade Center, and you can show and reorder them at any time. This tutorial will show you how to customize the view of the Grade Center by hiding a column, accessing the Column Organization page, showing a hidden column, and reordering columns. 2:31
Entering Grades You can enter grades in the GradeCenter in the following ways:
  • Scores are entered automatically into the Grade Center for course items you create such as online tests, exams, and surveys.
  • You can upload grades from an external source, such as a comma separated values (CSV) file or an Excel spreadsheet, eliminating the need for double entry.
  • You can manually enter grades into the Grade Center using any of the views of the Grade Center.
This article provides details about the above topics and links to compatible topics.
N/A Article
How to Download and Upload Grades from the Grade Centre How to upload and download grades to be worked on offline is featured in this video. New data can then be uploaded back into the Grade Center. This tutorial will show you how to set download options, download the Grade Center file, upload the new file, and select which grades to change. 2:39
Colour Code the Grade Centre You can use Grading Color Codes to apply background and text color to items in the Grade Center that meet specific criteria. Adding color rules to the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly. This tutorial will show you how to enable color coding in the Grade Center, and set color coding options. 1:46
Calculating a Total Column (Article) The Total Column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the cumulative points earned, related to the points allowed. You can select which columns and categories are included in a total column's calculation. When creating a Total Column, you can include other calculated columns. A Total Column is created by default and appears in new courses. You can rename, change the settings, change which columns are included, or delete this default column. N/A Article
Creating and Using Weighted Columns in Grade Center The weighted column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the result of selected columns and categories, and their respective percentages. When creating a weighted column, you can include other calculated columns or other weighted columns. A default weighted total column appears in new courses. You can rename it, change the settings, change which columns and categories are included, or delete this default column. The default Weighted Total column displays no results until you select the columns and categories to include in the calculation. This column is included in the Final Grade View Smart View. Weighted totals are calculated based on percentages. N/A Article
My Grades (Student View of Full Grade Center) Students see their grades in a companion tool from the Grade Center, called My Grades. This tool reveals what columns, rubrics, or feedback that you have set to be visible for the students. This article is geared to students, but it discusses how they will use this tool. You need to be sure you've set up the course's Grade Center properly, in order for the correct information to be visible. Switch to your Student Preview option, to ensure that you have actually assigned grades properly. Don't forget to ensure you have actually assigned grades to the Student Preview user, in order for you to observe content appropriately. N/A Article
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