Blackboard Workshops for Faculty – October 2011

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

Spring 2011 Courses:

Spring 2011 courses will be available in Bb on October 24, 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 email Al Labonis at 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 Al Labonis at 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 275.

Please email Al Labonis at 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 Al Labonis at 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 Al Labonis at 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 Al Labonis at to register for the workshop.

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

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 Al Labonis at 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 Al Labonis at to register for the workshop.

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

Welcome Back from the CIO

Dear SJU Colleagues:

Welcome back to a new school year!  While summer feels like a distant memory, I hope you had the opportunity to relax and re-energize yourself during the summer months.   I’d like to take a moment and share the latest news and updates from the Office of Information Technology.

IT Strategic Plan

As many of you know, IT has been working on a new strategic plan that will support the University’s Plan 2020: Gateway to the Future. The plan focuses on 4 key themes:

  • Deliver technology-based solutions
    • Optimize technology resources
      • Engage the community
        • Sustain the technology infrastructure

Together, these themes show what IT “DOES” for the University and provide  the IT organization greater focus and clarity in how we can best support our administrators, faculty, staff and students in achieving institutional goals.   In the months to come, we pledge to become a more proactive, collaborative and responsive partner for the University community.

We’d like to thank all of you who have provided guidance in our plan development.  Through planning sessions, open forums, and individual conversations, you have played a critical role in helping us understand your needs and define our shared goals for the future.  We sincerely thank you for your assistance.

Look for more information about the new IT Strategic Plan during the Fall semester.

Post Learning Commons

Construction was happening just about everywhere on campus this summer. From the new Villiger Residence Hall construction project, the renovations of the Campus Commons and new athletic fields on the Maguire Campus to the renovated entrance to Barbelin Hall.  IT has been involved in most of these projects whether it’s installing or re-routing data cable, deploying new network electronics or installing new presentation technology.

The one construction project in which IT has been most involved is the Post Learning Commons.  IT has collaborated with the Drexel Library staff to determine the technology needs for the Commons and how best to support the new services and facilities once the Commons opens.  Recently, technology bids for the Commons were received from prospective vendors and a contract award is expected by the end of September.  Voice, data and audio/visual services will be installed in the Commons later this fall.  When the Learning Commons opens for the spring 2012 term, the combined Library and Commons space will house over 120 computer work stations, 24 collaborative study rooms, a digital media zone, reading room and much more.   We hope the Learning Commons will become a hub of collaborative activities and stimulate the teaching and learning process for our faculty and students.

Web Site Refresh

In partnership with the Office of Marketing Communications and with the assistance of an outside vendor, Web Services continues to work through the planning and design phases of the Web Site Refresh project. With the goal of leap-frogging our competitors, we are putting together what we hope will be a world-class web presence for SJU that will increase our effectiveness in recruiting all types of students to the University.

The new design of the public web site ( is sleek, filled with interactive content, and contains “immersive imagery” that gives online visitors a sense of what our campus is like. Initial feedback from a number of focus groups on campus as well as a focus group of high school students was very positive. So, we feel that we are on the right track and are continuing to build out the new

During the fall semester, we will be holding a number of meetings with key stakeholders around campus to get more feedback and input in the new design.

Technology Enhancements in the Classroom and Beyond

During the summer months, IT has been busy completing technology enhancements to a number of classrooms across campus.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  • New technology has been installed in Connelly Hall including a teaching lab and three classrooms;
  • Projectors and computers have been replaced in over twenty-five classrooms as part of our classroom renewal program;
  • Refurbished systems have been installed in five classrooms in Mandeville, Barbelin and the Science Center;
  • Finally, new technology will be installed in the remaining six classrooms in Bellarmine during the intersession.

Presentation technology has been upgraded the President’s Lounge and new technology installed for the Student Education Support Services which has been relocated to Bellarmine.

Other Notable Technology Stuff

You might be interested to learn about these other IT activities:

  • The campus wireless network was extended to new locations including the Campus Commons, the O’Pake Recreation Complex, Gabriel Hall and Fine Arts East.   As part of a spring 2011 survey, we learned about several wireless coverage holes in McShain Hall and addressed these over the summer.
  • Plans are being developed to replace our current voice messaging system which is thirteen years old and can no longer be serviced.
  • New integration software was developed to support the launch of electronic billing services for students and parents.  New custom software was developed to streamline meal plan management and permit student to select and upgrade their meal plans using MySJU.
  • New software was implemented to allow faculty to accept course-based compensation and contracts (i.e. overload or adjunct assignments) online.  The new software replaced an outdated, paper-based process and allowed for more efficient management of faculty compensation.

In closing, I hope you have a productive fall term and look forward to seeing you on campus.


Fran DiSanti ’79
CIO Goes Mobile

Connect with Saint Joseph’s University anytime, anywhere on your mobile device with our new mobile website:

This new site offers up-to-date information, optimized for mobile devices. Find people, places, events, news, and more. All you need is a device with a web browser and a network connection, and you’re ready to experience SJU on the go!

The site, targeted primarily for current students, was developed in cooperation with Marketing Communications and the University’s newly formed Mobile Computing Steering Committee and includes the following features:

  • Athletics – Link to the SJU Hawks mobile athletic site
  • Blackboard – Link to the Blackboard system
  • Directory – Access to online directory
  • Emergency – Quick access to emergency contact information
  • Events – Access to the University’s events calendar
  • Libraries – Access to the Francis A. Drexel Library and Campbell Library web sites
  • Maps – Ability to view various maps of campus, including maps broken down by building, parking locations, shuttle stops, and smoking areas
  • Menus – Current menus for dining locations across campus
  • MySJU – Link to MySJU
  • News – Access to the latest SJU news articles
  • Social Media – Links to the SJU Facebook page, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, and LinkedIn site
  • The Hawk – Link to the student newspaper

Go to with your mobile phone to give it a try and then let us know what you think through our Mobile Site Feedback form.

But this is just a start. We will continue to work to add new features and make enhancements to the mobile site in order to make is as useful as possible, which includes building our more features specifically for faculty and employees of the University.

New Tool to Connect to Wireless Network Implemented

In order to simplify the process of connecting to our campus wireless, we have implemented a new product called Xpress Connect.  We worked over the course of the summer to get this product installed across campus.  It can be used to setup the “sjuwireless” network on your Windows and Mac computers, iPhone, iPad, and various other devices.

In order to use this product when you are on campus, first connect to “sjuwireless-setup.”  This will guide you through a short step by step process that will automatically connect you to “sjuwireless” after you enter your SJU username and password.  For detailed instructions on how to use Xpress Connect, please go to and click on the “SJU Wireless” link under Popular Topics.

Wireless network access is now available in all of the following locations on campus:

  • All Residence Centers, Campus Houses, and University Apartments & Townhouses, Pennbrook (Lancaster Court has a Non-SJU wireless network)
  • Main Campus: Barbelin/Lonergan, Barry, Bellarmine, Campion, Drexel Library, Mandeville, Post, Science Center, Ramsay Basketball Center, Hagan Arena, Field House (limited), Wolfington, The Chapel of Saint Joseph,  Boland, St Thomas, Claver, Bronstein, Bronstein Annex, Regis Hall (limited), Regis Annex (limited), and Mossbaum
  • City Ave 175, 183, 215 and 219, University Press 195 and 225
  • Maguire Campus: Connelly Hall, Duperreault Hall, Quinn Hall, Nicoletti Music Studio, O’Pake Sports Complex, Campus Commons, Gabrielle Hall, Merion Hall, and Fine Arts East
  • Cosi (located in the Hawks’ Landing), Starbucks, ROTC, The SJU Bookstore
  • ELS

New Technology Installed in 4 Classrooms and Labs this Summer

In our continuing efforts to expand technology to classrooms and labs across campus, over the summer 4 classrooms on Connelly Hall were equipped with new presentation technology. The following show what classrooms and labs were done and what equipment was installed:

Rooms 110, 140, 150 (Media Enhanced Classrooms)

Wide screen projection system and room audio system. Stand or sit instructors’ desk with a computer, a touch screen control panel for the room’s equipment, laptop interface, a DVD player, and auxiliary inputs for audio and video. The document camera is in the ceiling above the desk. The room is also equipped with a direct HDMI connection to the projector. Through the Registrar’s Office

Connelly Hall 220 (Science Lab)

Wide screen projection system and room audio system. Instructor’s lectern with touchscreen control, computer, laptop interface, and DVD player.  There are inputs for a portable document camera on the lectern and on a lab table. All inputs to the projection system can be annotated through the touch sensitive computer monitor.  There are additional presentation systems around the room to support student work at the lab tables.

In addition, technology equipment in many other classrooms and labs were upgraded as part of our 5-year replacement cycle to ensure that students and faculty have access to reliable technology.

For a full list of technology-equipped classrooms and labs, see: Technology-equipped Classrooms and Labs – Fall 2011