Blackboard

eLearning Team celebrates receiving the 2018 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Professional Development

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies (eLearning) team is honored to receive the 2018 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Professional Development!

GVSU’s eLearning team was recognized by President T. Haas at the July 13th Board of Trustees Meeting.

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Pictured Left to Right – GVSU President T. Haas with eLearning Team: Kim Kenward, Justin Melick, Glenna Decker, Sherry Barricklow, Colleen Cameron, Eric Kunnen, Hunter Bridwell, Katie Clark (Not pictured: Vince St. Germain and Matt Roberts) – Photo by Elizabeth Lienau

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See Also:
GVSU earns National Award for Blackboard Innovation

Blackboard Announces Winners of 2018 Catalyst Awards

Grand Valley State University’s Catalyst Award Story


Every year,  institutions are recognized for their innovative uses of Blackboard through a series of Catalyst Awards. This year, 32 recipients were selected out of 75 submissions across 7 categories. The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team (Eric Kunnen, Katie Clark, Colleen Cameron, Vince St.Germain, Sherry Barricklow, Kim Kenward, Glenna Decker, Matthew Roberts, Justin Melick, and Hunter Bridwell) will be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld 2018, Blackboard’s annual user conference to be held July 16-19 in Orlando.

In short, GVSU’s eLearning team was recognized for their creative suite of innovative professional development support and resources at Grand Valley State University. 

“The eLearning team’s focus is centered on innovation in new pedagogies and the creative use of technologies at the intersection of teaching and learning. By leveraging Blackboard, the eLearning team provides high quality professional development through empowering faculty and students in the creation of the next generation of education.”

As higher education continues on the path of the digital transformation of teaching and learning, the eLearning team collaborates with faculty to apply technology to reflect innovations in pedagogy.  In fact, the eLearning team’s slogan is: “Supporting faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning.”

At the core of the faculty professional development provided by the eLearning team is a specific focus on student success through the GVSU 2021 Strategic Plan, with direct alignment in the areas of inclusive learning and innovative teaching. The eLearning team aligns to the university’s institutional outcome whereby GVSU supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Further, the eLearning team provides the key institutional strategic support for GVSU 2021 Strategic Plan Objective 1.D.2 which states: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

As part of the Information Technology Department at Grand Valley State University (GVSU),  eLearning and Emerging Technologies http://gvsu.edu/elearn is on mission and is dedicated to supporting faculty, contributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through a unique synergy between the following professional development facets:

This combination of professional development and support resources provides great breadth and depth in the support of faculty and students at GVSU. The work of the eLearning team is further extended through institution-wide partnerships and collaboration, including: the Office of the Provost, Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, Disability Support Resources, and University Libraries.

In summary, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is highly accomplished, providing a unique blend of innovative professional development programming at GVSU that contributes to teaching excellence and student success.


eLearning provides innovative training methods to create a rich and well organized set of resources for professional development and faculty support. These resources go above and beyond the common help desk support that is typically offered. The ultimate goal is to widely share best practices and innovative pedagogies to inform and to transform teaching at GVSU. The following list is an example of the wide array of support that is provided to faculty at the university:

  • Website Resources – The resources available on http://gvsu.edu/elearn provide a rich and robust set of best practices and support resources for faculty. Included in these resources are instructional design theories and research that leads to effective practice such as: Applying the TPACK model to Blackboard, and Applying Blackboard to Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles of Good Practice.
  • eLearning and Emerging Technologies Blog – Highlighting timely events, noteworthy teaching practices, and shining a spotlight on resources is the focus of the eLearning blog.
  • Email and Social Media – Monthly campus wide eLearning Newsletters are leveraged to increase communication with faculty. Twitter and Facebook provide community wide sharing of eLearning trends and the latest updates from the eLearning team.
  • Print – The eLearning team leverages postcards, seminar handouts, and a variety of print materials to further communicate strategies to advance education through technology.
  • TECH BYTES Video – Recently added to the eLearning YouTube channel (and also uniquely available on Fire TV via an Amazon App), video is used to widely share best practices in leveraging Blackboard as well as a variety of instructional technologies to enhance teaching. In fact, eLearning offers 14 “TECH BYTES” videos as well as 10 videos that highlight good practice in teaching online or hybrid courses.
  • eLearning Open Office Hours – GVSU has a geographically spread out campus with the main campus about 20 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. To provide presence to faculty and to support them where they are located, eLearning offers drop-in assistance at a variety of locations and times. Assistance is available for Blackboard, instructional design, digital media, online/hybrid course development, and instructional technology support.
  • Open Badges – eLearning facilitated the implementation of open badges for faculty professional development. In fact, the first badge awarded at GVSU was eLearning’s “#EdTech Summer Teaching Institute” badge. Further, 7 badges are currently offered by eLearning, including 4 Blackboard badges, a digital media badge, an #EdTech Summer Teaching Institute badge, and a badge for the successful completion of Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development and Delivery.
  • Department Engagement – Through the eLearning team’s staff of instructional designers, digital media developers, and eLearning and instructional technology specialists, a variety of departments are provided with ongoing support. 
  • Faculty Learning Communities – With over 150 faculty enrolled in a Blackboard Organization Site, instructors teaching online or hybrid classes are provided with a wealth of resources, access to meeting minutes, and opportunities to learn about new pedagogies in distance education. The Blackboard Organization has become a growing repository of tips and best practices associated with online instruction and course development.  The Online/Hybrid Faculty Learning Communities are offered in partnership with GVSU’s Faculty Teaching and Learning Center.
  • Academic Advising Blackboard Sites – Through automation, eLearning offers a series of advising organization sites in Blackboard. These efficiently connect faculty advisors and students while providing a home base for helpful resources and opportunities for increased communication for advisors.
  • Certificate of Completion –  With the aid of an opensource “Certificate of Completion” building block by Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, instructors at GVSU have the ability to create and distribute custom certificates that students can proudly post, print or display. This tool has allowed nursing faculty and staff to be more efficient and effective in providing students with achievement verifications.
  • ePortfolios for Faculty – GVSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the largest of the university’s colleges. The benefits of using Blackboard for ePortfolio work provides additional opportunities for faculty while encouraging greater adoption of the system for teaching.
  • Class Photo Roster – Based on a project request from faculty involved in the GVSU Faculty Teaching and Learning Center’s “Strong Start Initiative”, a class photo roster feature was implemented in Blackboard to enhance personal connections between faculty and students. The Strong Start Initiative focuses faculty attention on best practices for engaging students in first-year undergraduate courses and important aspects of the college experience vital to student success. Blackboard’s Class Photo Roster at GVSU assists faculty in learning students’ names, which contributes to improving student success, along with being more approachable as a faculty member.  (Note: This photo roster tool is an opensource Blackboard Building Block by Szymon Machajewski, an affilate faculty member at GVSU.)
  • Special Events – eLearning at GVSU assists in a wide array of campus events including: New Faculty Orientation, establishing a new 2 day #EdTech Summer Teaching Institute, and facilitating the Teaching with Technology Symposium which has been offered for more than 16 years. This yearly event brings together faculty and staff to focus on enhancing teaching and learning through technology. 
  • Rich Faculty Digital Media Support  Sharing and creating content for faculty across the curriculum leads to student success and faculty effectiveness.  At GVSU, faculty do not have to spend time worrying about the technical details, as the Digital Studio comes along side professors to support digital media creation. Faculty focus on their content and the delivery, and the Digital Studio handles the rest. Here is a comprehensive list of a creative set of Digital Studio projects that eLearning has provided as a resource to faculty at GVSU.
  • Leveraging Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for Global Reach at GVSU – Blackboard Collaborate Ultra provides live web conferencing, virtual office hours, guest speakers and more at GVSU. The following examples highlight a few of the unique ways that the university is leveraging the use of LIVE videoconferencing applications that are integrated into Blackboard:
    • Physical Therapy LIVE from Iraq
    • Lunch and Learn Brown Bag Series LIVE from Palestine
    • United Nation’s Youth Virtual Conference LIVE from Africa and Europe
  • Emerging Technologies and the Technology Showcase – As part of the eLearning team’s work, the latest emerging technologies are a focus of the Atomic Object Technology Showcase. The mission of the showcase is to provide faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to: interact, discover, learn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU.
  • ‘hackGVSU’ hackGVSU was the first hackathon event to be hosted at Grand Valley State University in partnership with Blackboard Inc.

Culminating together, the achievements and support offered through eLearning at GVSU illustrate a rich and structured professional development program that:

  1. focuses on course quality
  2. shares best practices
  3. generates economies of scale
  4. coordinates resources
  5. evaluates to focus on continuous quality improvement

“Blackboard enables GVSU to transform education by empowering faculty to be more effective in their teaching – and students more efficient in their learning.”

Congratulations to the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team!


About Blackboard

Our mission is to partner with the global education community to enable learner and institutional success, leveraging innovative technologies and services. With an unmatched understanding of the world of the learner, the most comprehensive student-success solutions, and the greatest capacity for innovation, Blackboard is education’s partner in change.

About the Blackboard Catalyst Awards

For over a decade, the Blackboard Catalyst Awards have annually recognized and honored innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of teachers and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology.

Blackboard is focused on highlighting client successes and raising awareness throughout the educational industry by celebrating client achievements and milestones. Our community centers on educators and administrators who are passionate about using technology in education and collaborating on best practices. The Blackboard Catalyst Awards are an opportunity to celebrate these accomplishments and help raise standard for the entire community.

The Blackboard Catalyst Awards include 8 categories this year:

  • Blackboard Catalyst Award for Leading Change
  • Blackboard Catalyst Award for Community Engagement
  • Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning
  • Blackboard Catalyst Award for Inclusive Education
  • Blackboard Catalyst Award for Optimizing Student Experience
  • Blackboard Catalyst Award for Training & Professional Development
  • Blackboard Catalyst Award for Student Success

For more information on the Blackboard Catalyst Awards, please visit the client awards website.

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GVSU selects Blackboard Ally to Support Inclusive Education

eLearning and Emerging Technologies at GVSU is pleased to announce the addition of a new enterprise accessibility software solution called Blackboard Ally to support the university’s work in providing inclusive education through accessibility. Ally will be available to all 1,800 faculty and 25,000 students at GVSU beginning at the start of the summer semester.

allyBlackboard Ally is an innovative and revolutionary solution that focuses on making digital course content more accessible. It enables faculty to effectively and efficiently deliver course content to students that adheres to Universal Design Principles as well as being more accessible.

Through integration with GVSU’s Blackboard learning management system, Ally automatically scans course content that has been uploaded by faculty. A report is provided to faculty as well as guidance to resolve common accessibility issues. In addition, Ally automatically creates alternative files types for students, including: Enhanced Version, HTML Version, Audio Version, Electronic Braille, and ePub.

“GVSU is committed inclusive education, and I am focused on ensuring my courses are accessible” said Cheryl Kautz, Affiliate Instructor in the School of Computing and Information Systems and 1st Place Award Winner of the Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States, “Blackboard Ally will help me ensure that my courses are as accessible as possible for my students, save me time, and most importantly help faculty at GVSU to focus on improving student success.”

Ally Benefits

  • Increases capacity to support faculty in building accessible content and correcting files already in their Blackboard courses.
  • Assists in the creation of high quality levels of accessibility through content in Blackboard through the real-time conversion of files (Enhanced Version, HTML Version, Audio Version, Electronic Braille, and ePub) uploaded into Blackboard without any faculty intervention or extra work.
  • Provides additional ADA Section 508 due diligence and good faith effort of evaluating content that has been uploaded by faculty into Blackboard.
  • Supports requests for an institutional dashboard view for the level of accessibility of all courses in Blackboard at GVSU.
  • Responds to student needs for accessible versions of content without the extra overhead of development time for our existing staff or faculty.
  • Builds capacity to respond to increased federal and legal requirements for accessibility at GVSU.

Grand Valley State University selected Blackboard Ally after evaluating the capabilities and reviewing the benefits to students and to faculty. In short, Ally increases accessibility of course content while saving faculty time, allowing more focus on connecting and communicating with students, rather than managing technology.


GVSU Strategic Connection

Blackboard Ally supports GVSU’s 2021 Strategic Plan in the following areas:

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution.

Objective 3.B.1: All systems and policies ensure inclusiveness and accessibility.

Inclusiveness/Access – Incorporating multiple voices and experiences by valuing identities, perspectives, and backgrounds.  Strengthening and expanding possibilities through technology to increase accessibility and remove barriers.


Learn more about Blackboard Ally at Blackboard Inc. and access more information about Ally at GVSU’s eLearning and Emerging Technologies Blackboard Ally for Faculty support page.

Improve Student Success and Save Time with @Blackboard Rubrics

Rubrics are extremely valuable in helping to align faculty assignment expectations with student performance. In other words, rubrics help to communicate faculty expectations for an assignment and help make grading much more clear to students.

Blackboard provides a robust, effective, and easy to use rubric tool that is built-in. Once created, students can view the assignment criteria and faculty can quickly and efficiently, click-to-score their students’ assignments. Further, faculty can provide personal feedback for each student using the rubric tool.
 

To learn more about creating rubrics in Blackboard, head on over to the GVSU eLearning Help page.

Blackboard > Update to Inline Grading for Assignments

The Inline Grading view for Blackboard Assignments has been a convenient way to grade student submissions directly in the browser. Behind the scenes, that has used an online solution from a system called “Crocodoc” to display the submission within the browser. Unfortunately, Box.com acquired Crocodoc in 2013, and is now discontinuing the service as of January 15, 2018.

Fortunately, Blackboard has updated the inline grading service to leverage the New Box View API. It offers several improvements over Crocodoc, including improved rendering fidelity and expanded support for new file types. While there are a few differences between the two services, the new Box View will still provide a simple and convenient way to view and annotate on student Assignment submissions. In addition, existing student work in Crocodoc will be migrated to the new Box View, and will continue to be available.

comparison of crocodoc with new box view

New Features

The new Box View supports a wider variety of file types, including image, video, and audio files, which can be viewed or played in the browser, instead of downloading them. It also includes the ability to print student submissions from the browser.

Features Lost

Unfortunately, some features are not available in the New Box View, because Box has not included them in their API.

  • Annotation Types: Box View only includes point-based or highlighting-based comments. You cannot add drawing annotations or strike-through text, as you could in Crocodoc.
  • Download AnnotationsYou can download the student’s original file, but there is no way to download the file with the annotations included.

Blackboard has been working with Box to request that these features be added, and Box has been receptive to the feedback. You can view the suggestions and vote on their priority on the Blackboard Idea Exchange.

How Does the New Box View Work?

The New Box View is very similar to Crocodoc. To add a point-based comment, click on the text bubble in the toolbar.

click the text bubble in the toolbar and type your comment, then click post

To highlight text and add a comment, click and drag to select the text, then click either the highlight or comment icon.

select the text and then click the text bubble to add a comment

eLearning Help

To learn more about using the new Box view of inline grading, please visit the “New Box View Grading” tip sheet.


The content of this post was shared with permission from Northern Illinois University, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.

Faculty and Student Blackboard Survey Highlights – Fall 2017

Last year, as part of a Statistics 319 class with Professor Gabrosek, 2 students worked with the eLearning team to gather feedback and suggestions from faculty and students about how the Blackboard environment can be enhanced at Grand Valley State University. This work resulted in a survey that was created and administered in the Winter 2016 semester.

This year, another survey was administered in the Fall 2017 semester and the number of students and faculty that completed the survey in a 2 week time period were 3,243 and 341 respectively.

This post highlights the results from the survey:

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As shown above, 44% of faculty that responded to the survey indicated that they use Blackboard every day with 78% using the system at least 5 days per week.

Based on GVSU’s participation in the 2015 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Faculty and Students and Information Technology report, this number was also reflective with 47% of GVSU respondents indicating a daily use of Blackboard.

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90% of students surveyed indicate that they access Blackboard more than 5 days per week. For comparison, in the 2015 EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) Study of Faculty and Students and Information Technology report, 94% of GVSU students indicated that they used Blackboard in at least 1 course with 54% responding that Blackboard was used in all of their courses.

facultyyearsofuse

71% of the faculty surveyed indicate that they have used Blackboard for more than 5 years with 8% indicating that they have used the system less than a year.

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When asked about ease-of-use for uploading a syllabus and adding faculty contact information, 83% of faculty indicate that using the system is easy or very easy to use.

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When asked what features are used most frequently, 94% of faculty indicate using announcements and content, followed by 88% using the grade center and 87% using email.

These data also are reflected in the “Baseline Faculty Survey” as part of the 2021 GVSU Strategic Plan where: Announcements were mentioned being used at 85%, content at 82%, and the gradebook as well as email was used at 78% as the top tools used in Blackboard.

As indicated in the following chart, students echo the largest use of tools by faculty, including: announcements, content, grades, and assignments.

studentfeatureuse

When asked about what features or tools that students wish their instructors would make more use of, 55% indicated more use of grades as the highest response.

studentmakemoreuse

When faculty where asking about emerging or new technologies that would be most helpful, eTextbooks, interactive video, OER, games, and simulations were the in the top 5.

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Students were asked about what emerging or new technologies that they would like to see adopted. Online office hours, lecture capture, eTextbooks, live lectures and interactive video were in the top 5.

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92% of students indicated that it would improve their learning experience if more instructors used Bb to deliver course materials, grades, and announcements. With 95% of students indicated that using Blackboard provided a better learning experience.

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The eLearning team will continue to evaluate the student and faculty responses to the surveys throughout the year, with a special focus on open-ended feedback that has been provided – with the goal to enhance the Blackboard environment at GVSU to best meet the needs of students and faculty and to support student success.

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team would like to thank Professor Gabrosek and the STA 319 students for their work with our team in helping to develop the Blackboard faculty and student surveys.

 

 

Highlights from #BbWorld16

 

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Each year, Blackboard users from all over the world come to BbWORLD (main conference) and DEVCON (developers conference) which is a national conference that is focused on using educational technologies in teaching and learning that contribute to student success. This year sessions were also streaming live via BbWORLDLive.

Over 2,000 educators, administrators, and #edtechies from over 30 countries attended the conference this year. There were over 200 client sessions offered at the event that shared best practices, while Bb corporate sessions focused on the next generation of tools and services that help meet the needs of students, faculty, and institutions. The exhibit hall featured a wide array of vendors with technology that integrate with Blackboard.

bbworld16_gvsuteamThe conference was held from July 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV and 5 faculty and staff from Grand Valley State University (pictured from left to right Katie Clark, Eric Kunnen, Cheryl Kautz, Sherry Barricklow, and Szymon Machajewski) attended the event to present and to pick up the latest and greatest of everything Blackboard.

In addition to major announcements, such as new partnerships with IBM and Amazon, here are a few highlights from the conference that were captured by the GVSU eLearning and Emerging Technologies team:

  • GVSU faculty members received their awards for “Most Inclusive Classrooms in the United States” in a session at the conference entitled: “Celebrating Inclusive Classrooms“.  Cheryl Kautz, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems at GVSU and Szymon Machajewski, Affiliate Instructor, in the School of Computing and Information Systems each received a certificate and recognition for their accomplishment.

    Session Abstract: Building an inclusive classroom means anticipating the diverse needs of students in the classroom and ensuring your pedagogy, content, and classroom technology can easily adapt to meet the needs of every student. In support of Global Accessibility Awareness day 2016 the Blackboard team ran a contest to find the most inclusive classrooms in the United States. We were looking for teachers who went the extra mile to ensure their classrooms were set up for inclusion and enabled students of all abilities to succeed. We’re excited to provide the winners, Cheryl Kautz and Szymon Machajewski from Grand Valley State University with the opportunity to share their stories during this rocket session.

    Here is a video of Szymon and Cheryl receiving their awards at the conference:

  • Katie Clark presented at BbWorld DEVCON which is Blackboard’s developer conference in a session entitled: “Making it Simple: Automate Blackboard Administration using SIS Integrationbbworld16_KatieClark.jpgSession Abstract: GVSU has been using a SIS Integration for several years, and has developed ways to simplify user engagement opportunities. The university creates courses, users, and enrollments with SIS, but have started populating the hierarchy with courses and users based on Banner enrollments. It also uses data from Banner to create Academic Advising sites for individual advisors with their advisees enrolled. This integration enables the university to create organizations for academic units with students enrollments based on the applicable major or minor.
  • Szymon Machajewski and Eric Kunnen presented in a session at DEVCON with the University of Illinois at Chicago in a session entitled: “Open Source Analytics for Growing Adoption of Blackboard Learn using BbStatsimg_0204Session Abstract: BbStats has been a leading OSCELOT project for about seven years. The analytics tool reports on Blackboard Learn system health and usage and provides valuable information about activity and use patterns. This session will dive deeper into the tools and reports needed to increase adoption.This session highlighted the use of the free open source Blackboard Building Block called BbStats, written by Szymon Machajewski. The session was facilitated by Szymon who is an affiliate instructor at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and serves at a Blackboard system administrator at UIC.Szymon Machajewski also presented in 2 additional sessions entitled: “Help! I need Somebody” (Blackboard Student Services & Managed Hosting) and “Using the ITIL Framework to Drive True Technology Adoption”.

  • Session highlights were also captured in the following blog posts by Eric Kunnen:

More information about this conference can be found on the BbWorld16 website and via social #bbworld16 tag.  Next year, the event will be held in New Orleans from July 25-27.

 

7 Things You Didn’t Know that Blackboard Can Do!

Blackboard isn’t just a place to upload your syllabus, in fact, there are many benefits of using the system to better engage with students, increase communication, provide 24×7 access to course materials, collect assignments, and promptly post student assessment feedback and grades!

Here are 7 things you didn’t know that Blackboard can do!

1. Class Photo Roster

The Class Photo Roster is an effective way to more quickly learn students names, increase engagement, and to better personalize instruction. In just a few clicks, faculty can access the official student ID photographs of enrolled students.

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Learn more about the photo roster on the Blackboard Class Photo Roster Tip Sheet.

2. Retention Center and Performance Dashboard

The Retention Center provides an easy way for you to discover which students in your course are at risk. Based on preconfigured rules and rules you create, students’ engagement and participation are visually displayed, quickly alerting you to potential risk. From the Retention Center, you can contact the most at-risk students immediately and flag those you want to monitor closely. As you observe their progress and send emails, you can also keep track of this correspondence and make notes about each student right in the Retention Center.

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For more information on how to use Bb’s Retention Center Watch a Tutorial.

The Performance Dashboard provides you with a view into all types of user activity in your course. All users enrolled in your course are listed, including instructors, students, teaching assistants, graders, observers, and guests, with pertinent information about each user’s progress, last course access, discussion board participation, and activity. The numbers provided in the Review Status column of the Performance Dashboard indicate the number of items that a student has marked as Reviewed and provides an at-this-moment view of the item availability and a student’s progress on reviewing items.

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For more information on how to use Bb’s Performance Dashboard Watch a Tutorial.

3. Review Status and Adaptive Release

The Review Status tool allows instructors to track user review of specific content items. After an instructor turns on the tool for an item, students track their progress. A Needs Review button appears with enabled items. After reviewing the item, a student selects this button to mark it Reviewed. If the Review Status tool is turned off, all data is saved.

To learn how to make the review status tool available in your courses see How to Manage Tools.

Adaptive Release controls the release of content to users based on a set of rules you create. The rules may be related to availability, date and time, individual users and user groups (such as course Groups), scores or attempts on any Grade center item, or review status of another item in the course. An Adaptive Release rule consists of a set of criteria that defines the visibility of a content item to users. Criteria are the parts that make up the rule. For example, date and membership are two types of different criteria. Each content item may have multiple rules, and each rule may consist of multiple criteria. To view an item, a user must meet all of the requirements of the rule. This means that if a rule has multiple criteria, the user must meet all criteria before the item is available.

For more information on best practices see Approaches to Adaptive Release.

4. Date Management

Use the date management tool to easily adjust all content and tool dates in your course. Accessed on the Control Panel in the Course Tools section, you can choose to adjust dates automatically or individually from one convenient location. You can adjust dates according to the course start date. The Current Start Date displays the date that the course is currently set to start. Change the new start date to reflect when this new course is going to start. All dates in the course adjust by the number of days each date occurs after the start date.

To learn how to adjust and manage course date’s Watch a Tutorial.

5. Blackboard Instructor Mobile App for On-the-Go Access

“Blackboard Instructor” is a mobile application for Apple, Google, and Microsoft mobile
devices that provides instructors with a quick and easy way to manage courses, interact with students, and view content.

  • Save Time
    Manage courses anytime, anywhere, on the go…
  • Connect with Students
    Create announcements, reply to discussions, host Collaborate sessions, and more!

Download the Blackboard Instructor Mobile App today!

6. Gradebook Colors

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You are able to create rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center grid, either by grade or status. Creating color rules in the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly. For example, you can use yellow to highlight graded items with failing scores so students and columns that require attention are prominent. Also, you can assign colors to the following grading statuses: In Progress, Needs Grading, or Exempt.

To learn how to use the Colors feature in your course Watch a Tutorial.

7. Rubrics for Assignments

A rubric is an assessment tool listing evaluation criteria for an assignment. A rubric divides the assigned work into parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each part, at varying levels of skill. You can use a rubric to quickly grade an assignment and/or communicate the assignment requirements and acceptable performance standards. Rubrics can help ensure consistent and impartial grading.

Students can use the rubric to organize their efforts to meet the requirements of an assignment, and you can use them to explain evaluations to students. When you score assignments with a rubric, students can more easily recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their work and direct their efforts accordingly.

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To learn how to grade using a Rubric Watch a Tutorial.

BONUS:  Badges, Certificates, and Achievements

The achievements tool allows instructors and course designers to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students in the form of both badges and certificates. These can be beneficial in the #gamification of instruction. Students can see which rewards they have earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing insight into learning progression toward defined competencies.

Achievements has four functional areas: achievements description, reward, notification and sharing. Criteria identified in the achievement description must be met before a reward is earned. Students are notified when a reward is earned and can then share it as they choose. Each achievement must have at least one reward identified during set up. The reward is the item awarded upon meeting the required criteria. It is given in the form of badges and certificates.

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For more information on Blackboard’s Achievement tools see Achievements.

For assistance and support with any of these tools, please contact the eLearning team or visit our eLearning Teaching with Technology support site. We are here to help!