Blackboard Workshop Schedules for October 2011

The following Bb Workshops have been scheduled for October 2011.
There will be additional workshops scheduled for November 2011.

Spring 2011 courses will be available in Bb on October 24, 2011.

Blackboard update:

It was reported to the Office of Information Technology that students were not receiving emails from Blackboard when an announcement was created.  IT investigated the problem and reported it to Blackboard for resolution.   Blackboard reported that this is a known problem that is created when the title of the course has a “:” in the name.  Unfortunately, the university’s course naming convention for Blackboard courses has a “:” in every title.  Blackboard is planning to address the problem in the Service Pack 8 upgrade, but has created a patch for Saint Joseph’s which will be applied this Sunday, October 2.  OIT has been testing the patch on the Blackboard test environment and the patch does fix the problem with sending emails from announcements.

Please report Bb issues to the help desk (helpdesk@sju.edu, x2920).

Macintosh Browser Incompatibility:

Faculty and students have reported problems with opening PDF files when using a Macintosh computer and the Safari or the Firefox browser.  OIT has reported the browser incompatibles to Blackboard.  At present, the best work around for Mac users is to use Google’s Chrome browser for viewing PDFs in Blackboard.

Blackboard 9.1 Getting Started

This workshop will provide an overview of Bb 9.1 and will cover the “Student View”, Building course navigation and uploading Content and the Control Panel features.

Upon completing the workshop, attendees will be able to perform basic operations in Bb9.1.

The Bb9.1 “Getting Started” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Tuesday October 11         2:30-4:00  Getting Started

Blackboard 9.1 Grade Center

The Blackboard Grade Center is more than just a way to record students’ grades; it is a dynamic and interactive tool.

The Grade Center can record data, monitor student progress and communicate information to students.

Use this valuable tool to help understand student progress and make informed decisions on how to improve educational performance.

The Bb9.1 “Grade Center” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Tuesday, Oct 4         11:30-1:00      Bb Grade Center

Thursday, Oct 6       4:30-6:00        Bb Grade Center

Blackboard 9.1 Bb Wimba

Wimba can be utilized by those instructors that need to communicate with their students online in real time.

Wimba takes Blackboard’s “Virtual Classroom” tool to the next level by adding voice, video, and application sharing

Upon successfully completing this course, attendees will be able to:

·         Have a general knowledge of  how to communicate with students online using tools in Wimba.

·         Have a working knowledge of  how to synchronously share content and web sites with students online.

The Bb9.1 “Bb Wimba” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 27

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Wednesday, Oct 5      4:00-5:30      Bb Wimba

Blackboard 9.1 Campus Pack, Blogs and Wiki

This training session will focus on how students can use blogs and wikis to communicate and collaborate in class.  You will learn how to create wiki, blogs, and journals for your students.  You will also learn the appropriate application of each of these tools.

Upon successfully completing this course, attendees will be able to:

Create Blogs, Wiki, and Journals in a Blackboard class space

The Bb9.1 “Campus Pack, Blogs and Wiki” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Monday, Oct 10     8:00-9:30      Bb Blogs Wiki

Blackboard 9.1 Bb Assessment

This workshop provides a hands-on introduction to the assessment function of Blackboard Learn, with a focus on creating and grading tests.

There are five major stages, you will experience a test as a student, you will learn how to create, deploy, and grade assessments.

We will also discuss best practices in online assessment, and explore how statistics can help evaluate the effectiveness of assessments.

The Bb9.1 “Bb Assessment” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Wednesday, Oct 5       11:30-1:00       Bb Assessment
Monday, Oct 10           11:00-12:30     Bb Assessment

Blackboard 9.1 Bb Self and Peer Assessment<

The Self and Peer Assessment tool enables students to review and evaluate work submitted by themselves or their peers.

Using criteria specified by the instructor and optional sample responses, students can assign points and provide feedback on submitted assignments.

The Bb9.1 “Bb Self and Peer Assessment” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Tuesday, Oct 25        11:30-1:00     Bb Self and Peer Assessment

Blackboard 9.1 Bb Safe Assign

SafeAssign is a valuable tool for encouraging original writing and proper citation practices within your course.

SafeAssign compares your students’ work with previously submitted papers and published works from several databases, including, Internet, ProQuest ABI/Inform database, Institutional document archives with papers submitted by students at your institution, Global Reference Database with papers voluntarily submitted by students from Blackboard® client institutions.

Once a paper is submitted in SafeAssign, a report is generated that indicates the percentage of the paper that matches existing sources. This overall score can be an indicator that you need to review the paper more closely.

The SafeAssign report also shows the suspected source for each section of the paper that returns a match, allowing you to easily investigate whether the text was properly attributed.

The Bb9.1 “Bb Self and Peer Assessment” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Tuesday, Oct 25      2:00-3:30              Bb Safe Assign

Wednesday, Oct 26       3:00-4:30       Bb Safe Assign

Blackboard 9.1 Bb Rubrics

The Bb Rubrics tool allows you to specify criteria and performance levels for grading, providing clear guidelines for students, instructors, and teach assistants.

The Bb9.1 “Bb Rubrics” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please email labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Wednesday, Oct 26       8:00-9:30       Bb Rubrics

Source: Al Labonis, ITDL

Fixing the QuickTime Problems on Podium PC’s

When accessing certain audio files online, there is a problem on the login script on the Windows 7 podium PC’s that results in getting an error in QuickTime. This is important for many of our audio and video files that open with the QuickTime plug-in.

When you try to access audio files, you encounter the following screen:

qtime

Below is the solution to the problem:

  1. Right-click LINK to the audio that you need to access.
  2. Select “Save Link As…”
  3. Save the file on your desktop.
  4. Double-click file and it should open in Windows Media Player.

Workarounds for Mac Users Unable to View PDF in Blackboard

Attention, Mac users and instructors preparing Blackboard courses! Mac users are having problems viewing embedded PDF files with both Firefox and Apple’s Safari web browsers. Clicking on a PDF file content item gets this error message “A plug-in is needed to display this content. Install plug-in…” Following the link to locate a plug-in will result in a “No suitable plug-ins found” message. The PDF will display correctly inside the browser window for Windows XP and Windows 7 users and certain other Mac web browsers. Information Technology is in the process of working with Blackboard to find a solution for us. In the meantime, please consider using the workaround listed below.

If you have PDF files that are NOT within a Learning Module in your course:

  1. Navigate to the PDF document link, click the action menu button and click “Edit”.
  2. Scroll down to the option to “Open in a New Window” and click “YES”.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. Now your students using Macs will be able to open the PDF document.

p1

If you have PDF Files that ARE within a Learning Module in your course:

  1. Enter your Learning Module
  2. Find the PDF document link and click the action menu button and click “Edit”
  3. Notice the name of the file
  4. p2

  5. Click Cancel
  6. Click “Build Content” and “Create Item”
  7. p3

  8. Enter appropriate text, such as the name of the file.
  9. Scroll down to “Attachments.”
  10. Click “Browse Content Collection”
  11. p4

  12. Find the PDF file and click “Submit”
  13. Click “Submit” once again.
  14. Locate the original PDF document link and delete it.
  15. Now the students can open the PDF file by clicking the file link inside the content item:
  16. p5

Workarounds for Students:

  1. View the document in another browser such as Opera or Google Chrome.
  2. Download a third-party PDF plug-in such as the Schubert PDF Browser Plug-in from Schubert-IT, which is free for educational, non-commercial use.

Blackboard Workshops for September 2011

Blackboard 9.1 Getting Started

This workshop will provide an overview of Bb 9.1 and will cover the “Student View”, Building course navigation and uploading Content and the Control Panel features.

Upon completing the workshop, attendees will be able to perform basic operations in Bb9.1.

The Bb9.1 “Getting Started” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please RSVP to labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Thursday Sep, 8           4:30-6:00   Bb Getting Started

Wednesday Sep, 14     2:00-3:30   Bb Getting Started

Thursday Sep, 22         4:30-6:00   Bb Getting Started

Tuesday Sep, 27          1:00-2:30   Bb Getting Start

Blackboard 9.1 Grade Center

The Blackboard Grade Center is more than just a way to record students’ grades; it is a dynamic and interactive tool.

The Grade Center can record data, monitor student progress and communicate information to students.

Use this valuable tool to help understand student progress and make informed decisions on how to improve educational performance.

The Bb9.1 “Grade Center” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please RSVP to labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Monday Sep, 12          11:00-12:30     Bb Grade Center

Tuesday Sep, 13          1:00-2:30         Bb Grade Center

Thursday Sep, 15         4:30-6:00         Bb Grade Center

Blackboard 9.1 Bb Wimba

Wimba can be utilized by those instructors that need to communicate with their students online in real time.

Wimba takes Blackboard’s “Virtual Classroom” tool to the next level by adding voice, video, and application sharing

Upon successfully completing this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Have a general knowledge of  how to communicate with students online using tools in Wimba.
  • Have a working knowledge of  how to synchronously share content and web sites with students online.

The Bb9.1 “Bb Wimba” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please RSVP to labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Wednesday Sep, 7       2:00-3:30     Bb Wimba

Tuesday Sep, 20          1:00-2:30     Bb Wimba

Blackboard 9.1 Campus Pack, Blogs and Wiki

This training session will focus on how students can use blogs and wikis to communicate and collaborate in class.  You will learn how to create wiki, blogs, and journals for your students.  You will also learn the appropriate application of each of these tools.

Upon successfully completing this course, attendees will be able to:

Create Blogs, Wiki, and Journals in a Blackboard class space

The Bb9.1 “Campus Pack, Blogs and Wiki” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please RSVP to labonis@sju.edul to register for the workshop.

Monday Sep, 12          4:30-6:00    Bb Blogs and Wiki

Wednesday Sep, 21     2:00-3:30    Bb Blogs and Wiki

Blackboard 9.1 Bb Assessment

This workshop provides a hands-on introduction to the assessment function of Blackboard Learn, with a focus on creating and grading tests.

There are five major stages, you will experience a test as a student, you will learn how to create, deploy, and grade assessments.

We will also discuss best practices in online assessment, and explore how statistics can help evaluate the effectiveness of assessments.

The Bb9.1 “Bb Assessment” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Merion Hall 275.

Please RSVP to labonis@sju.edu to register for the workshop.

Monday Sep, 19          11:00-12:30    Bb Assessments

Monday Sep, 26          11:00-12:30    Bb Assessments

Wednesday Sep, 28     2:00-3:30        Bb Assessments

Al Labonis, Blackboard Administrator, Office of Information Technology

Blackboard Service Pack 6 Updates

IT upgraded Bb to the latest service pack (SP6) on August 14th.
Service Pack 6 includes fixes for bugs we encountered in Bb 9.1.
I listed some of the new features below that are included in SP6.

Service Pack 6 adds performance enhancements to the application such as:

Timed Assessments
Attempt information for timed assessments includes details on how much time the student spent on the attempt versus how
much time was allotted. Instructors can choose to make the timed assessment save and submit automatically when the timer
expires, or to allow the assessment to continue beyond the allotted time.

Needs Grading
Gradable Blogs, Journals, Wikis, and Discussion Board activity can appear in Needs Grading status in the Grade Center
and on the Needs Grading page. When an instructor chooses to make an interactive tool gradable, they will also have the
option to choose how many interactions will place the item in needs grading status. A Discussion Board forum, for instance,
might be set to only appear in Needs Grading status after a student has made three posts, rather than with each individual post.

Interactive Rubrics
When creating a rubric, instructors can assign weights to categories, allowing the same rubric to be used across multiple items
with different possible points. Rubrics can be imported and exported for use across courses. Instructors can associate rubrics
when creating gradable content items, including Blogs, Journals, Wikis, Discussion Boards, Assignments, and short-answer,
file-response, or essay questions in tests and pools. Rubrics can be associated with multiple items, and all associations can be
viewed from the Rubric tool.. Multiple rubrics can be associated with an item. The rubrics can be visible to students at any time,
or only after grading has been completed. Instructors can interact with any associated rubric for grading in a grid or list view,
and Feedback can be typed for each criteria as well as the entire assessment. Grades calculated using rubrics can be overridden.
When a rubric has been used for grading, a report is available to view the results.

Source: Al Labonis, Blackboard Administrator, Office of Information Technology

Online Workshops Geared towards Adult Learners

Sponsored by Saint Joseph’s University Graduate Arts and Sciences and Adult Student Life

Enriching your library skills
Date: Tuesday, September 13
Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.

The library has so many quality resources that can provide you with the information
you need to write a great research paper. This session will help you wrap your mind
around the research process and what the library has to offer, especially online, to
Saint Joseph’s students.
Presented by Lisa Molinelli, MLS
Instruction and Outreach Specialist, Drexel Library

How to write a research paper
Date: Thursday, September 15
Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Writing a research paper can be an intimidating process. This comprehensive session will show students some of the best practices for producing a successful research paper.
Presented by Todd Krug, Ph.D.
Director, Haub School of Business Cooperative Education Program
Affiliate Faculty, Professional and Liberal Studies

Register by September 8, 2011
For information and registration go to http://www.sju.edu/goca/workshop
or call the Office of Adult Student Life at 610-660-1074.

How to Log On to the SJU Network on a PC Running Windows 7

All new PC’s installed this summer have Windows 7 Installed. The podium computers have been upgraded and are now running Windows 7.  If you are new to Windows 7, you might find the following tips helpful.

1. Power on the computer and the monitor.

2. Press Ctrl + Alt. + Del to log on.

3. You will see SJU/username (your username).

4. Type your password.

5. Then click the forward arrow –> or hit the Enter key to log on to the SJU network.

If your username is not listed in Step #3, do the following:

1. Click “Switch User” at the bottom of the screen.

2. Click Other User.

3. Type your username and password.  Then click the forward arrow –> or hit the Enter key to log on to the SJU network.

The College of Arts & Sciences Welcomes Its New Faculty

The College of Arts & Sciences warmly welcomes its new faculty:

Dr. Nanette Cooperman, Department of Special Education
Dr. Tom Coyne, Department of English
Dr. Janine Firmender, Department of Teacher Education
Dr. Katie Oxx, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Dr. Eileen Sullivan, Department of Health Services
Dr. Brian Forster, GEP Lab Coordinator
Ms. Joy Howard, Visiting Faculty, Department of English
Dr. Joel Edman, Visiting Faculty, Department of Health Services
Dr. Barbara Klaczynska, Visiting Faculty, Department of History
Dr. Kunihiko Terasawa, Visiting Faculty, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Mr. Glenn Siniscalchi, Visiting Faculty, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Rev. Jose Badenes, S.J., the Donald J. MacLean, S.J. Chair, Honors

The New faculty orientation was held from Wednesday, August 16 through Friday, August 19.

The technology presentation slides are available from the Dean’s website .

A list of technology classrooms and labs are also available at the same site.

Blackboard Workshops Scheduled for August 2011

The following Blackboard (Bb) Workshops have been scheduled for August 2011.
There will be additional workshops scheduled for September 2011.

All Bb courses for Fall 2011 were made available on June 20th.
Spring 2011 courses will be available in Bb on October 24, 2011.

We will be upgrading Bb to the latest service pack (SP6) on August 14th.
Service Pack 6 includes fixes for bugs we encountered in Bb 9.1.
Below are some of the new features that are included in SP6.

Blackboard 9.1 – Getting Started:

This workshop will provide an overview of Bb 9.1 and will cover the “Student View”, Building course navigation and uploading Content and the Control Panel features.

Upon completing the workshop, attendees will be able to perform basic operations in Bb9.1.

The Bb9.1 “Getting Started” workshop will be repeated on the following dates and will be held in Science 129.

August 15 1:00-2:30 Bb Basics
August 22 2:00-3:30 Bb Basics

Source: Al Labonis, Instructional Designer/Blackboard Administrator, ITDL

iPad 2 in the Humanities Classroom: Revolutionary Educational Technology?

by Jim Caccamo, Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Regular readers of the CAS tech blog might remember from a post in May that I recently co-authored a two disc, interactive software and video publication entitled Living Worship. For that publication, I served as technical director as well as author. I did much of the programming, instructional design, and video production myself. I am in the humanities but I am no luddite.

Yet, if you were to visit my classroom, you would find it a relatively low-tech affair. Early in my teaching career, I experimented quite a bit with a variety of ed. technologies. From the humble email list serv to complicated in-class, four point video conferencing, each promised to revolutionize the learning environment. Each was very interesting and novel, but I found that the techs rarely enhanced student learning sufficiently enough to justify all the time and effort behind them. (Yeah, Blackboard, I’m talking to you.). I remained open to new ed. techs, but as time went on, my tech portfolio slimmed down to things straightforward and entirely reliable, and only thing that did something I could do no other way.

Enter the latest ed. tech phenom: the iPad 2. On paper, it looked like a great device. But even with it on order, I was still a bit skeptical. Another “revolutionary” technology? Would it really help me do new things in the classroom? Or if not new, would it actually improve what I already do?

After about 6 weeks with the device, I can say that to my surprise, the answers are “yes” to each.

One way that that iPad has changed my classroom has been to serve as a central hub for my presentational media. When I use media in the classroom, I tend toward things I can’t just write up on the board. Most of the time, this means playing videos and songs, which the iPad is perfect for. With the video mirroring capabilities of the iPad 2, I simply hook the VGA and audio outs to the classroom “laptop in” port, fire up a media item I’ve put on the iPad before class, and we’re good to go. While I applaud IT’s ability to keep classroom computers running at all, no longer having to deal with abused hardware, out of date drivers, and systems that faculty have decided to “fix” has improved classroom flow.

But what I really like about the iPad as a presentational device is it’s elegance. On those occassions when I want to throw a piece of text on the screen, I can use Pages to entirely remove all of the interface from the screen. There are no menus, no scroll bars, no rulers or buttons. There’s just the text. Beautiful and clean, there’s nothing to draw focus away from what’s important.

The iPad has also changed my classroom enhancing two activities we do all of the time: examining texts and laying out ideas on the board. Pretty much every day in class we spend a good chunk of time talking about things the students have read. As we do that, the students and I constantly point out key passages in the readings. The only problem is that there’s always a lag as people turn, for instance, to “the third full paragraph on page 24, about 3/4 of the way down,” trying to find exactly where the quote is. Using GoodReader on the iPad, I can quickly throw the article that we are reading up on the screen (I have my course readers in pdf format) and circle the text we’re focusing on. Students can then quickly find the right spot without much mucking about and feeling lost. It’s a simple thing, but it has been really helpful.

The iPad has also enhanced the way that I lay out ideas on the board during class. Being a more aural than visual person, I have had to work on developing ways to help our visually savvy students engage the material. Many faculty do this by throwing images or outlines of text on the screen. Yet, that never seemed to me a particularly interactive way of proceeding. It is hard to edit PowerPoint on the fly based on student input! So I’ve focused on working with students to build diagrams of concepts and arguments on the board as we move through the class. This works well to facilitate student participation in collaborative construction of knowledge. But it has the disadvantages of being difficult to save, hard to read (due to my poor handwriting), and often quite messy. Interactive yes, but ideal, no.

Using the iPad, I have started to experiment with a couple of different apps (SimpleMind and MindNode) that do what is sometimes referred to (grandiosely) as ”mind mapping”. These apps allow you to draw flow charts, decision trees, and “mind maps” that connect major premises and ideas to their supporting concepts. Using the touch screen, you draw shapes, type in text, and connect items to one another with arrows and lines. Best of all, you can save the completed maps as jpg or pdf files, email them to the class, edit them, and bring them back up in later classes. While I have quite a bit of work yet to do in order to gain real facility with the software, we’ve been able to use it successfully in the classroom to collaboratively create visual guides to course readings and concepts. Again, a simple thing that has been really helpful.

The bottom line is this: the iPad 2 has helped me do what I do better. And in the end, that’s the most important thing to me: I haven’t had to change my teaching for the sake of the technology. I haven’t had to adopt new pedagogical strategies to use it. I haven’t had to rethink class sessions and assignments. I haven’t had to adopt new workflows. And I haven’t had to expend energy worrying about whether or not the hardware or network will work. It has been utterly reliable across a variety of classrooms.

With the iPad, I have been able to keep my mind squarely where it should be: helping students learn. Now that’s a revolutionary educational technology!