Blackboard Scheduled Maintenance

Our next scheduled maintenance window will be on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 beginning at 1:00 am and estimated completion by  7:00  am.

In an effort to increase performance, stability and security for Blackboard the normally scheduled maintenance window for will need to be extended for a few hours. Recent security concerns have driven Blackboard to release this update ahead of the normal release schedule and is strongly urged to apply this update at our earliest convenience. We acknowledge the shutdown length poses an inconvenience for many, but it is crucial to address the concerns.

Along with the important Security updates this particular update will also resolve a few of our issues that have just recently become an annoyance with faculty and OLAT. We acknowledge the fact that these workarounds are not perfect. These workarounds will not be needed after the shutdown.

In the interim, when dealing with the discussion board issue, faculty have a few options:

Issue 1: Involves an access denied error when attempting to access an unavailable discussion board.

1.)           Make the discussion board available, make your changes, then make it unavailable again (if desired).

2.)           If you don’t want the students to post yet or no longer want the forum to be available for students to post to, use the manage option from the pull down menu and make all of your students readers instead of participants. This will limit the students from making any new postings, while leaving the discussion board available for them to read, review, and learn from their peer’s posts.

3.)           If grading an unavailable discussion board, grade using the option in the pull down menu or proceed with the previous step making the students readers instead of participants. You will then be able to read all the postings in context.

In the interim, when dealing with the Grade Center issue faculty can:

Issue 2: Involves the Grade Center and navigating away from a grading attempt. The “Exit” and “Save and Exit” buttons are not functioning correctly. In addition, when moving through the student’s tests, you are presented with a leave or stay on the page message.

1.)           Completely exit one student’s quiz and get back to Grade Center by clicking a button completely out of Grade Center (such as Announcements or Lesson Button) or the Grade Center breadcrumb and then return to the Grade Center

2.)           When grading an attempt and you have the option of leaving or staying on the page instead of saving and submitting, choose leave. The grade will be recorded and one can move on to the next student’s attempt.

We appreciate your patience during this longer than normal, but very important update. A reminder abridged E-mail will follow closer to scheduled date.

**** Students will be notified via a separate E-mail ****

Grade Center Navigation Issue

Currently the Exit and Save and Exit buttons are not functioning properly in the Blackboard Grade Center. In addition, when moving through the student’s tests, you are presented with a leave or stay on the page message. The work arounds for these issues are as follows:

To completely exit one student’s quiz and get back to Grade Center,  click a button completely out of Grade Center (such as Announcements or Lesson Button) or the Grade Center breadcrumb and then return to the Grade Center. When grading an attempt and you have the option of leaving or staying on the page instead of saving and submitting, choose leave. The grade will be recorded and one can move on to the next student’s attempt.

Access Denied message in unavailable discussion board

With a recent update, we’ve uncovered a known Blackboard bug. If a discussion board is unavailable and you attempt to edit or create a posting, you’ll receive a Access Denied message. To get around this error, you have a few options,

  1. Make the discussion board available, make your changes, then make it unavailable again (if desired).
  2. If you don’t want the students to post yet or no longer want the forum to be available for students to post to, use the manage option from the pull down and make all of your students readers instead of participants. This will limit the students from making any new postings, while leaving the discussion board available for them to read, review, and learn from their peer’s posts.
  3. If grading an unavailable discussion board, grade using the option in the pull down or proceed with the previous step making the students readers instead of participants. You’ll then be able to read all the postings in context.

 

SafeAssign Reports Processing Time

At this time, due to the large number of requests, SafeAssign reports are lagging. This is a confirmed problem across several Blackboard institutions and unfortunately nothing that we can control. SafeAssign is a 3rd party service provider and not controlled by Tri-C. If you have been waiting more than 24 hours for a SafeAssign report, please contact us at elifacultysupport@tri-c.edu. We will provide an update as soon as we receive more information from Blackboard.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

ShareStream Server

On Tuesday, January 3rd the ShareStream server will be down for maintenance and an upgrade. This means any media (videos or audio) uploaded to ShareStream will not play and no media (videos or audio) will be able to be uploaded to the server while the upgrade is taking place on the 3rd. The maintenance and server upgrade will allow for a new user interface to be released later in the month and increased functionality, but basic operation will not change. We apologize for any inconvenience this may pose to you.

Quality Matters

Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop At Cleveland State

Ohio QM Consortium LogoThis workshop sponsored by the Center for eLearning at Cleveland State and explores the Quality Matters program and prepares you to be part of an initiative that positively impacts the design of online/blended courses and ultimately, learning and success for the learner. QM is designed to improve the quality of online/blended courses by establishing a peer-reviewed quality assurance review process. You will become familiar with QM 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
  • Faculty members
  • Instructional designers

After successfully completing this workshop, you will be eligible to move into the Online Peer Reviewer Certification and gain ideas to improve your own courses using QM Standards.

Upon completion of the QM training, you will be able to:

  • Identify the underlying principles of QM
  • Identify the critical elements of the QM quality assurance program, including QM Rubric, materials, processes, and administrative components
  • Apply the QM Rubric to review online courses
  • Make decisions on whether the SPCH1113 course meets selected QM Rubric standards
  • Apply the concept of alignment
  • Write helpful recommendations for course improvement by citing annotations from the QM Rubric and evidence from the course

Seats Available:  15 for external participants.

Who should attend? Faculty interested in becoming a Peer Reviewer or learning more about QM.

Cost: FREE for faculty members teaching at an institution that is a member of the Ohio QM Consortium, such as Tri-C. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration is required!

What Should I Bring?  Registrants from Tri-C will need to acquire the QM Workbook from the QM Coordinator at their home institution. Contact Cindy Potteiger at 216-987-3674 or via email at cynthia.potteiger@tri-c.edu for a QM Workbook

Date & Time: Thursday, December 15th, 2016, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Registration will begin at 8:30 AM.

Location: Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library. Details will be provided with registration confirmation email.

RegistrationRegister today! Registration deadline is Friday, December 9, 2016.

Questions: Contact the Center for eLearning (CSU) at elearning@csuohio.edu or 216.687.3960  or Cindy Potteiger (Tri-C) at cynthia.potteiger@tri-c.edu or 216-987-3674

Video content on the Blackboard LMS

Video Content on the Blackboard LMS.

OLAT is working on a time sensitive problem dealing with a video content storage issue within the Blackboard LMS. For faculty affected by the Blackboard LMS video content issue, I wanted to let you now that OLAT is going to reach out to you in the next few days to see if someone from district can come to help you with moving some of the larger video files to the streaming server. While there is some urgency to this problem, we do have some time to take corrective action. OLAT with the help of ITS is working to address the LMS Video Storage Problem. We look forward to assisting our online campus community at TRI-C.

Tom Kemp,  OLAT

More Information about ProctorU

ProctorU is a live remote proctoring service that allows students to take their exams from anywhere using a webcam and a reliable internet connection. Here at Tri-C ProctorU can be used for online courses and is available to fully online students for a maximum of two tests, per semester, per class. These tests can be in the form of two 31-60 minute exams OR one 61-120 minute exam free of charge. Any additional exams taken with ProctorU must be paid for by the student. The cost will be $15 for a 31-60 minute exam or $25 for a 61-120 minute exam. Students who are not fully online will be asked to pay for this service or take the test in one of the testing centers at any Tri-C campus.

Should you as a faculty member have any difficulty while using the service, call the Proctor U support desk at 855-772-8678 and select option #2 from your touch tone phone.  You may also contact Proctor U directly through Email at: facultyhelp@proctoru.com

Below is the suggested PROCTOR U syllabus language for students taking fully online classes:

As an Online TRI-C student you may be required to take online tests which are proctored by a 3rd party. Often the proctored test is in the form of a midterm or final exam. TRI-C has contracted with Proctor U to provide this service to our students.  Each fully online student will be allowed to take up to two tests, free of charge, in each fully online class. The tests can be two 31-60 minute exams OR one 61-120 minute exam free of charge. Any additional exams taken with ProctorU must be paid for by the student. The cost will be $15 for a 31-60 minute exam or $25 for a 61-120 minute exam.

Note: It would be best to test your computer out at http://www.proctoru.com/testitout before scheduling your exam. This test will take a few minutes to complete. You should have a wired connection to the internet, a webcam and a microphone (A tablet will not work)

***Do NOT call the TRI-C support desk as they will be unable to help you while taking a proctored test.

If you are having difficulty using PROCTOR U in an online test, please contact PROCTOR U directly at 855-772-8678 and from your touch tone phone select option #1.  Someone from PROCTOR U will assist you.  Students also may email the Proctor U support desk at help@proctoru.com

2 Known Issues with Adding Content to Blackboard

With the latest upgrade of Blackboard, there are two known issues that may affect faculty’s Blackboard course site development:

 

respondus  Blackboard/Respondus integration – Respondus, the test creation tool that links to Blackboard, has a known issue with uploading tests into Blackboard. If you need help uploading Respondus tests into Blackboard please email elifacultysupport@tri-c.edu and help will be arranged.

 

presenter Adobe Presenter upload to Blackboard – Adobe Presenter is an add-on to PowerPoint for integrating audio and interactivity into a PowerPoint presentation.  If you are trying to upload an older Adobe Presenter file to Blackboard through using ShareStream, make sure the original PowerPoint is a .pptx file and not a .ppt file.  Older versions of any PowerPoint presentation need to be upgraded to the latest version prior to adding the presentation into Sharestream.

Cuyahoga Community College