March 6, 2014
By Stephanie Richter in News | 0 comments
We all use a variety of content types, sources, and tools to teach our students, and Blackboard wants to make it easier to use content in their learning management system. To do that, they would like your feedback: How do you present information to students? What does your course reuse process look like? Do you make your own course materials, use Open Educational Resources (OER), or use content from the textbook publisher?
Blackboard is looking for instructors and instructional designers who are especially interested in course content, sharing content, and the reuse of content. If that sounds like you, please complete the survey at https://bbuxresearch.wufoo.com/forms/what-do-you-use-to-teach/. It consists of 12 questions, some multiple choice and some open-ended. Depending on how detailed your answers are, it should take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete the survey.
January 8, 2014
By Sarah Potter in News | 0 comments
Media Services is offering training on how to use the audiovisual equipment in Office of the Provost-sponsored Smart Classrooms.
Both new and returning instructors should benefit from these hands-on demonstrations, which take about 30 minutes.
Appointments are available Wednesday, Jan. 8, through Friday, Jan. 10.
Contact Keith Bisplinghoff at (815) 753-0172 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
December 5, 2013
By Peter Gowen in Resources | 1 comment
Did you know that you can submit your grades from Blackboard to MyNIU? This can save you a great deal of time, particularly if you have been entering grades in the Blackboard Grade Center all semester. You can use the Grade Center to calculate final grades and then export them to MyNIU instead of manually entering them, saving time and reducing the opportunity for data entry errors.
Once you have submitted grades using this tool, you simply log in to MyNIU to review and post the final grades.
If you would like some assistance using the tool, please attend our Open Lab next week where Faculty Development staff will be on hand to answer your Blackboard questions about calculating and submitting final grades with Blackboard. No registration is required. Just stop by on Thursday, December 12, 2013 from 11:00 – 1:00 in Adams Hall, Room 323.
How do you use the grade submission tool?
The steps are simple and may vary slightly depending upon how you used the Grade Center (particularly whether grades are calculated automatically in Blackboard or tabulated manually). To use the Grade Submission Tool:
- If grades are calculated manually – Customize the default letter schema in the Grade Center to match the grading scale for the course. Note that the default letter schema matches the Graduate grading scale and includes a C-. This can be removed for undergraduate courses
- If grades are calculated manually – Assign letter schema to the total score and/or weighted total column by setting the Primary Display to Letter
- Set the column in the Grade Center that contains the final grade to be the external grade column
- Review letter grades in the external grade column for any errors
- Within the Control Panel select Course Tools, then Grade Submission and Submit Grades
- Review grades again, make any changes necessary (such as changing a grade to Incomplete), and click the Submit button
- Login to MyNIU to confirm grades and complete posting
Note – Steps 1 and 2 assume use of the Grade Center to tabulate a final grade for the course. If you make these calculations manually and/or simply post the letter grades in Blackboard, you can add a new column manually, enter final grades for each student, and then skip to step 3.
Note also – The grade submission tool is available from the day after grade rosters are available in MyNIU through midnight of the night before the official deadline to submit grades. After that deadline, it is necessary to enter grades manually into MyNIU.
For more details on using the Grade Submission Tool, you can visit our main help page and our FAQs.
October 9, 2013
By Stephanie Richter in News,Newsletter | 2 comments
NIU Faculty, Deans, and Department Chairs are invited to learn about developing and implementing learner-centered instructional materials, teaching strategies, and assessments by attending Driving Instruction with Data: Assessment on Thursday, November 7, 2013, from 10 a.m. to noon in the University Suites of the Holmes Student Center. In this seminar, Diane Ebert-May, a professor of plant biology at Michigan State University, will use the approach of scientific teaching to actively engage participants in using instructional methods shown to be effective in helping students learn better than they do in traditional lecture contexts. The program is applicable to both small- and large-enrollment courses.
Dr. Ebert-May is co-editor of Pathways to Scientific Teaching, a book that focuses on the pedagogical principles and methods of teaching that can engage students in the active learning and improve their higher-level thinking abilities. She also leads FIRST IV, an NSF-funded program that helps post-doctoral scholars design and teach their first introductory biology courses.
To attend, please RSVP to email@example.com by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2013. For more information about the event, contact Michaela Holtz at (815) 753-8155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The seminar is hosted by the Department of Biological Sciences, the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, the Center for Secondary Science Education, and the Office of the Vice Provost.
October 7, 2013
By Jeff Geronimo in Newsletter | 3 comments
With the future of learning at Northern Illinois University becoming increasingly paperless, thanks to the new GreenUp NIU initiative, it will be important for faculty to explore different ways to leverage technology to support a more paperless teaching and learning environment. Given that free printing for students will continue to be gradually reduced in increments of 100 sheets per year to zero by Fall 2015, many faculty have already been taking advantage of using technologies like Blackboard to accept and grade assignments and other work electronically.
In an effort for faculty to rely less on paper, Blackboard has recently released a new Inline Grading feature which is an enhancement to the current Assignment feature already in Blackboard. For many faculty who are already used to accepting and grading work electronically, the typical grading workflow in Blackboard was to create assignment submission links to which students submit their work. Faculty would then later download the submitted work and provide comments and feedback in a variety of ways (the most common way is using the Track Changes and commenting features in Microsoft Word). Faculty would then save and upload the corrected work back to Blackboard, assign a grade, and repeat the same process for other students.
Now, instead of requiring faculty to download student-submitted files to view or edit those submissions, they will be able to take advantage of the new Inline Grading feature to view student-submitted files “inline” directly in the web browser without requiring any special plugins. Faculty can view, comment, and grade these assignments without ever leaving the grading page. This new inline grading feature also features annotation tools which allows faculty to provide feedback including comments, highlights, and even drawings/annotations directly on the document without needing to download and open the document in a separate program. Currently, this new feature supports the inline viewing of the following document types: Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF. Any formatting and embedded images of the original document are preserved when viewed inline. If students upload files in unsupported formats, faculty will be prompted to download and view the file. Students will not be able to add/edit faculty annotations on their work, but they will see their work in an inline viewer after submitting them.
Click here to learn more about the new Inline Assignment Grading feature in Blackboard. You can download a PDF quick guide and even view a prerecorded webinar highlighting the new feature.