Updates on Blackboard for Summer 2016

Blackboard at Tri-C was upgraded to a new version and new hardware on May 19-20, 2016.  While there are not many changes to the functionality and design for faculty and students, here are a few new and newly resolved issues to note:

New Known Issues

  • Discussion List View vs. Tree View: The Tree View option in Discussions doesn’t persist when going into a thread and back out. The view will revert to List View
  •  Grade Center Columns show Extra Decimal Places: The decimal places for percentages are displaying out to 4 places in the Grade Center for weighted and calculated columns.

Newly Resolved Known Issues

  • Collaboration (Virtual Classroom & Chat) Not Available – Resolved: The Collaboration tools are again available in Blackboard.  Faculty who need collaboration functionality for their courses are still encouraged to use WebEx, a powerful online meeting and collaboration tool available at the College for both faculty and students. For more information and to get started with WebEx, visit http://itservices.tri-c.edu/network/webex-for-faculty-and-staff.html
  • Cannot Include Received Attachment when Replying to or Forwarding Course Message – Resolved: Faculty and students replying to or forwarding a course message can now include the received attachment with their reply message.

Other Issues

  • Delayed course creation – Resolved: Course creation was delayed after the Blackboard upgrade, but is now fully functional. There may be continued slight delays due to higher than usual course request volume before the summer semester begins on May 31.

Additional updates to the status of new and resolved known issues will be available at https://elearningandinnovation.com/faculty-resources/known-issues/. Updated help and support documents are available on the Online Learning pages at http://www.tri-c.edu/online-learning/elearning-technologies/index.html for both Students and for Faculty.

For further assistance with Blackboard Learn, the Online Technical Support team can be reached via phone or email:

  • Call 216-987-4257
  • Email eLiFacultySupport@tri-c.edu or eLearning@tri-c.edu

Blackboard Learn Upgrade on May 19-20

Blackboard Learn is being upgraded on May 19-20. Starting at 12:01am on Thursday, May 19th and continuing through May 20th, Blackboard Learn will be offline and unavailable to students, faculty and staff.   The upgraded Blackboard Learn system will be available again by Saturday, May 21st.

During the Blackboard upgrade, a message will be available at https://bblearn.tri-c.edu with status information and a link for students to use to check their final grades in My Tri-C Space.

When the upgrade is complete, faculty and students will not experience significant differences from the functionality and design of the current version, but the system will be operating on new hardware.

If you need assistance with Blackboard Learn before, during, or after the upgrade, the Online Technical Support team can be reached via phone or email:

Additionally, help documents will be available on the Online Learning pages at http://www.tri-c.edu/online-learning/elearning-technologies/index.html.

Blackboard Learn is being upgraded on May 19th and 20th

The College is upgrading to a newer version of Blackboard.  When the upgrade is complete, faculty and students will not experience significant differences from the functionality and design of the current version, but the system will be operating on new hardware.  Please take note of the following upgrade activities as we work to implement the upgrade:

  • Starting at 12:01am on Thursday, May 19th and continuing through May 20th, Blackboard Learn will be offline and unavailable to students, faculty and staff.  The extended outage will allow the infrastructure changes to be completed. Note that faculty preparing course sites for Summer will not be able to access the system during the upgrade.
  • The upgraded Blackboard Learn will be available again on Saturday, May 21st.

If you need assistance with Blackboard Learn, the Online Technical Support team can be reached via phone or email:

  • Call 216-987-4257
  • Email eLiFacultySupport@tri-c.edu or eLearning@tri-c.edu

Additionally, help documents will be available on the Online Learning pages at http://www.tri-c.edu/online-learning/elearning-technologies/index.html.

Free Quality Matters APPQMR workshop at the University of Akron

The UniversiQuality Matters Logoty of Akron is offering a free “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR)” workshop on April 22, 2016 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. This workshop will explore the Quality Matters project and processes and will prepare you to be part of an initiative that positively impacts the design of online/blended courses and ultimately, student learning and success. Registration is required and there are only a limited number of seats available so register now!    See “How to Register” below and log into MyQM to register to register now! Contact Cheryl Knight (216-987-4979 or cheryl.knight@tri-c.edu) for the Rubric Workbook that you should bring with you.

QM is designed to improve the quality of online and blended courses by establishing a peer-reviewed quality assurance review process. You will become familiar with the Quality Matters standards and participate in a practice peer course review of an online course using the review tools. Participants in this hands-on workshop can be online/blended instructors, instructional designers, and/or faculty members & faculty developers. After successfully completing this workshop, you will be eligible to move into the Online Peer Reviewer Certification. In addition, you will gain ideas to improve your own courses using the QM Standards.

How do I register: Log into MyQM. SELECT: Workshop – Register, Dedicated Training, find the corresponding workshop date, click on Register link.
Location: The University of Akron, Leigh Hall 414.
Time: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, (lunch is not provided).
Who should attend:  faculty who are interested in improving the quality of online/blended courses and faculty  who are in becoming a peer-certified reviewers.
What is covered in the workshop:  The workshop will cover the underlying principles of QM; the critical elements of the QM quality assurance program, including QM Rubric, materials, processes, and administrative components; how to apply the 5th Edition QM  Rubric to review online courses; applying the concept of alignment; writing helpful recommendations for course improvement and much more.

March 17 Blackboard Outage

Yesterday, March 17, Tri-C’s Blackboard system was unavailable from approximately 3:00pm – midnight due to an unexpected outage. This outage was a result of system instability that manifested after maintenance was completed in the early morning.  When we realized the extent of the issues impacting faculty and student users, the Blackboard system was brought down to allow us to resolve the issues. The system came down in stages to allow connected students to complete and submit their work before the outage.

Once the system was unavailable, it took longer than expected to resolve the issues and restore functionality. We offer our apologies for the inconvenience that this caused for our faculty and students who were trying to access Blackboard to complete course work or prepare for the upcoming B term. In the future, updates will be made available in a more timely fashion on this blog, but be sure to check My Tri-C Space for the most current and official status updates from the College.  We will also continue to work with Information Technology Services to ensure that any additional faculty communication preferences are met.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Genevieve

Of Gamification and Game-Based Learning – a Refresher

Refining terms – we ask it of our students, and of ourselves so that we can be succinct in our understanding of a given topic.  Well, what of Gamification and Game-Based Learning?  Do we have a clear understanding of the concepts? Check out this article from the folks at eLearning Industry (elearning blog).  It provides some clear and basic definitions.

The Differences Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning gamification-vs-game-based-learning-two-different-things

Introducing . . . SoftChalk Create Online!

softchalk create online

Ever wish you could make quick little edits to your SoftChalk lessons without having to launch the entire SoftChalk Create program? Have you been on the go and only had your iPad or tablet with you to make revisions to a lesson? Or maybe you just want to run SoftChalk Create from your desktop without logging into Tri-C Private Cloud?

SoftChalk is making those wishes a reality with the SoftChalk Create Online ‘Quick Editor’, and SoftChalk Local Launch!

SoftChalk Create Online ‘Quick Editor’ allows users to:

  • Add or edit text as well as applying text formatting,
  • Insert bookmarks, hyperlinks, iframes and tables,
  • Modify properties for an existing image as well as insert a URL to an image,
  • Work on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or IE and,
  • Allows editing on your iPad or Tablet.

SoftChalk Create Local Launch allows users to start building SoftChalks without opening Tri-C SoftChalk Cloud Private.

To begin using Create Online, simply log into your SoftChalk Cloud account, select ‘My Content’ and ‘Lessons’ find the pencil icon and click! To begin using Create Local Launch download the Create Local Launch .exe file, review the instructions and contact customer care (987-4357) for assistance installing it on your computer.

Need a quick reference? Use the updated on SoftChalk Create Online in the SoftChalk Cloud Guide (pgs. 38-48) to get started!

 

When the winds of change blow…

So, here’s one final blog post from yours truly before I head off to New Hampshire!

Couple quick things:

  • Even though some folks are moving around, eLi is still here!  Tri-C will be hiring a new Assistant Dean to lead eLi and fill the open positions in the department in the coming months.
  • If you have inquiries of a technical nature, please route them through eLifacultysupport@tri-c.edu or by calling 216-987-4257.  This includes requests for extensions for training for faculty to teach online, course combinations, etc.
  • If you have departmental questions, our own Dr. Holly Craider is serving in an interim capacity in addition to her primary role as Director of Curriculum, and can be reached at her Tri-C email.

A big giant thank you to everyone at Tri-C who I’ve had the pleasure and honor of working with.  Our common mission is close to my heart.  I truly believe that we have, together, improved success for our students online through implementing quality design and innovative learning models.  Please always feel welcome to reach me – I am sashatberr on just about everything, and at gmail.  You can also find me at www.edusasha.com.

One of my favorite quotes these past few years has been this one (generically labeled “Chinese Proverb”):

“When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, others build windmills.”

Let’s continue to build windmills together.

Always,

Sasha

 

FYE Game Site & Student Tech Survey

In this update….

Info on the FYE Game, the Student Technology Survey, and the eLearning Orientation Reboot.

FYE Game Site

If you attended the Convocation session on the FYE Game, please find that here:

FYE Game screenshot

You can now request your copy of the FYE Game site!  How?  Follow these simple directions:

  1. Email ITS at:  elifacultysupport@tri-c.edu.
  2. Ask to be added as a faculty member in the 2016 FYE Game course site.
  3. Login to Blackboard, and use the Course Site Request System to request your own copy!
  4. May the odds be ever in  your favor.

We are currently incorporating the feedback from the session, so those Softchalks will be updated till end of day Friday.  Don’t worry, that’s all in the cloud, so it won’t impact your ability to have a current copy of the course.

Student Technology Survey

If you weren’t at the Student Technology Survey session with Professor Sam LiPuma and myself, of course you missed the social event of the season, but you also missed hearing the sometimes unexpected but always illuminating results of the 2015 college-wide survey of students about technology!  Check out the presentation below:

Student Tech Survey

 

eLearning Orientation Reboot in Course Button

Have you seen the eLearning Orientation Reboot?  Check it out!  It can help prepare your students to be successful in their online and blended/hybrid courses.

We also put it into a course site via a button!  It comes with 5 quick accompanying quizzes to test students’ knowledge in 5 domains:

  • Managing Your Time Well
  • Being a Successful Student
  • Being an Online Student at Tri-C
  • Using Blackboard
  • Computer and Internet Basics

Students get digital badges when they hit 80% or above in the quick quizzes.

Do you want your very own button?  Email elifacultysupport@tri-c.edu and ask to be added to the 2016 eLearning Orientation Reboot course as a faculty member.  You can then copy the entire button into your courses!

Have a great start of term!

Sasha

 

cuyahoga community college

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