REMINDER FOR INSTRUCTORS:

In order for students to “see” your course on Blackboard, you must set the course to “available.”
This is an easy process. In the Control Panel, simply go to “Customization” → “Properties” → and set “Course availability” to ON and click the “Submit” button.
You can also follow the EdTech tutorial at: http://edtech.mst.edu/support/blackboard9-1/courseavailable/

DON’T PANIC: Blackboard has a brand-new theme!

The IT department has changed the look and feel of Blackboard for Spring 2015!
We hope you enjoy our new look! As always, if you have questions, please contact the IT Help Desk at (573) 341-4357.

BLACKBOARD MAINTENANCE: Wednesday, December 31, 2014

IT will be performing Blackboard maintenance on Wednesday, December 31, 2014, starting at 3 p.m.

Blackboard will be unavailable for approximately 1 hour between 3 and 4 p.m.

Please contact the Help Desk with questions about this or any other IT issue at 573-341-HELP (4357) or submit an online Help Request at http://help.mst.edu.

BLACKBOARD MAINTENANCE: Sunday, October 19, 2014

IT will be performing routine Blackboard maintenance on Sunday, October 19, 2014, starting at 12:00 a.m.

Blackboard will be unavailable for 4-6 hours between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Please contact the Help Desk with questions about this or any other IT issue at 573-341-HELP (4357) or submit an online Help Request at http://help.mst.edu.

Blackboard Tests & Quizzes Display Issue

A number of instructors have discovered a troubling issue when students access a test or quiz in Blackboard. For lengthy written questions, the point value and “Save Answer” button will partially obscure the question (see screenshot below). This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to answer questions sometimes.

Bb-Test-Issue-01

WORKAROUND: When creating Tests & Quizzes, insert one or two paragraph breaks (press ENTER once or twice) before your main question text. This will shift the text low enough so that it is not obscured by the Save Answer button. Instructors can preview the test to verify their questions will display properly for students. See below for an example of a “fixed” question:

Bb-Test-Issue-02

Students are being told that if they see this problem in one of their quizzes, they can adjust the font size in the browser (using CTRL+ or CTRL-) or resizing the browser to reveal concealed text.

RESOLUTION: This issue is being caused by the current “theme” (look and feel) applied to Blackboard. The current theme is somewhat outdated according to the latest version of Blackboard (version 9.1 service pack 14). Applying a newer theme WILL fix the problem, but does look VERY different, even though the functionality is EXACTLY the same. EdTech is looking to fix this problem during the semester break.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Educational Technology (573-341-4131 or edtech@mst.edu).

Blackboard Services have been Restored

bb-upBlackboard services have been restored.

If problems persist, then please contact the IT Help Desk (573-341-HELP or http://help.mst.edu) for assistance.

Blackboard 9.1 Upgrading to Service Pack 14 on Friday, August 8

Blackboard 9.1 services will be upgrading to Service Pack (SP) 14 on Friday, August 8, starting at 8 a.m.

Blackboard will be unavailable for about 6 hours while the upgrade takes place.

This service pack contains several new useful features for both students and instructors.

  • The Grade Center has made a few new improvements and changes.
    • Students can change the order in which they view their graded items and can filter the list of items by All, Graded, Upcoming, and Submitted.
    • New options for setting how scores are calculated (based on their attempts) is now available when creating a test or assignment.
  • Tests now have the much-needed ability to create text exceptions based on student criteria. This is very useful for students who may have a documented disability and need more time. Or this can be used for students who need another attempt for some reason.
  • The Messages tool can now send notification to users that there are new messages to be read. Previously, the only way users knew if they had Messages was to login to Blackboard and check their personal Messages folder. (Messages is different from the built-in emailing tool inside of Blackboard.)

Educational Technology is conducting a series of workshops on August 18 – 21. The changes in Service Pack 14 will be discussed at those sessions. Visit the link below for information about these workshops:

http://edtechconnect.mst.edu/2014/07/21/back-to-school-technology-workshops-on-august-18-21/

For more information, please contact Educational Technology at 573-341-4131 or edtech@mst.edu.

Back-to-School Educational Technology Workshops on August 18-21

All instructors are cordially invited to attend a series of Back-to-School Educational Technology Workshops hosted by S&T Educational Technology. Workshops will be held in Centennial Hall Room 105.

This event is an open-attendance, free-form workshop. You can come when you want, stay for as long as you want, and leave when you want.

Workshop sessions will focus on:

  • Using Learning Management Systems (e.g. Blackboard)
  • Building Student Engagement (e.g. VoiceThread, Piazza, Google Apps, Clickers, etc.)
  • Fostering Online Collaboration (e.g. Kaltura streaming media, Tegrity lecture capture, Adobe Connect, and Big Blue Button).
  • S&Tconnect Early Alert replaces the current Academic Alert system and will be hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

EdTech staff will be available to assist you with any questions you may have about using EdTech-supported technologies. Have questions? We have answers!

The workshop schedule is listed below. Attend any or all as needed! No pre-registration required!

 

18 Aug

19 Aug

20 Aug

21 Aug

9 – 11 a.m. S&Tconnect Early Alert
Learning Management Systems Online Collaboration Student Engagement
1 – 3 p.m. Student Engagement Online Collaboration Learning Management Systems S&Tconnect Early Alert

For more information, contact Educational Technology at edtech@mst.edu or 573-341-4131.

VoiceThread Maintenance on Sunday, July 6, 2014

VoiceThread-maint-01VoiceThread is a learning tool integrated into the campus Blackboard environment. It allows for students and instructors to share ideas through multimedia tools online.

VoiceThread will be performing site maintenance on Sunday, July 6, from 12:00 AM to 4:00 AM EDT. VoiceThread will be unavailable during this time. From 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM, VoiceThread users may experience degraded performance while the updates are being tested. These updates are being performed to help prepare VoiceThread for new features and services for fall.

Questions or comments can be directed to: support@voicethread.com.

Blackboard FALL 2014 Courses Now Available

FALL 2014 courses in Blackboard have now been renumbered, using a new 4-digit re-numbering system approved and adopted by both the Faculty Senate and the Registrar.

Instructors can now access their Fall 2014 courses and begin adding course materials, either copying from existing courses or creating new content.

The Registrar and IT have worked together to create a web-based application to help you identify the new course numbers for courses you teach: Online Course Renumbering Crosswalk. This link can also be found through the Registrar’s website under the Class Offerings left-menu item.

IT, EdTech, and the Registrar are working to make this transition as smooth as possible.

The official cutover date to the new 4-digit numbering system is scheduled for August 1, 2014.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact EdTech (edtech@mst.edu or 573-341-4131), the Help Desk (help.mst.edu or 573-341-HELP) or the Registrar (registrar@mst.edu or 573-341-4181).