Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.


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:

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 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

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 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.

Softchalk – Creating Lessons – Training

SoftChalk is an award winning content authoring software for creating interactive lessons.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Metro Campus MHCS 223

SoftChalk – Creating Lessons – Building a Foundation

9 am – 12 pm

Learn from the SoftChalk corporate trainer the basics of SoftChalk Cloud and Create. Receive an overview of numerous activities and objects you can create to add interactivity to your stylized lessons. You’ll have the opportunity to make and take activities in this hands – on workshop which you can use in your Blackboard course site as scored or unscored items. Learn how to create a SoftChalk ebook and reusable learning objects to share with your colleagues. Receive personal assistance from the Centers for Learning Excellence (CLE) staffers during this session.

SoftChalk – Creating Lessons – Beyond the Basics

1- 4 pm

Learn from the SoftChalk corporate trainer deeper learning activities including quiz groups, branching lessons, working with equations, polling and much more. Additionally, there will be plenty of time to create your own lessons in this hands – on workshop with the help of the SoftChalk trainer and the Centers of Learning Excellence (CLE) Instructional Technologists.

Walk-ins welcome or enroll in TEC for stipend/service credit.

ProctorU now available


ProctorU is a live remote proctoring service that allows students to take their exams from from anywhere using a webcam and a reliable internet connection.

For  STUDENT resources select the title of the document:

Steps to use Proctor U at Cuyahoga Community College as a STUDENT

TRI-C Student overview and ProctorU standards

TRI-C Proctor U Exam Preparations _ 6 things

TRI-C Schedule a ProctorU session


For FACULTY resources select the title of the document:

Steps to use Proctor U at Cuyahoga Community College as an INSTRUCTOR

TRI-C Proctor U – Faculty- How it Works

TRI-C Proctor U Instructor Overview

TRI-C Incident Report Center walkthrough A2016




Using the Bb Course Activity Overview to Capture Attendance

Need help with the new student attendance reporting procedure?  Blackboard can assist. This video from the Metro campus Center for Learning Excellence (CLE) outlines how to run a Blackboard Course Activity Overview report to substantiate online student attendance given the new Tri-C attendance reporting procedure.

By running the Blackboard report, you’ll be able to tell if your students logged in twice in a week and use that information for the Attendance Tracker located on the Faculty tab of My Tri-C Space.

For assistance and support regarding this Blackboard report, visit a convenient campus CLE or contact Online Technical Support at (216) 987-4257.



Does Online Learning Work?

Though many within the online learning field have considered this question to be a bit of a “been there, done that” moment, some recent studies have indicated new evidence on the impact of online learning for students.  What does online learning “do” to student success?  What does it “do” to graduation rates?

So the short version is that many studies have indicated that in terms of meeting course outcomes, online courses are at least as effective as face-to-face courses.

But many studies at the community college level have indicated a difference in student success rates (generally considered to be A-C) of anywhere from 5% – 10%.  The Community College Research Center’s investigation also revealed this in a 2 state study.

The Paradox

Students who take online courses at community colleges get good grades in lower percentages, but (and this is a big but) they graduate sooner and in greater percentages.

Authors Shea and Bidjerano analyzed national data from community colleges and found that students who take online courses early in their degrees had a 13.5% completion rate over 4 years, as compared to only 8.9% of students who had not.

With online courses continuing to grow at a rate faster than higher education overall (enrollment in online courses grew at 3.7% last year,)  and enrollment declines being seen in community colleges what core components impact student success in online courses?  In other words, how can institutions improve students success rates in online courses?

Follow the Data

From the research conducted into what makes online learning effective, we know that:

  1. Engagement is key to student success online
  2. Good instructional design is critical (outcomes & objectives)
  3. Effective use of technology is a good thing
  4. Student preparation may have some effect

Online Engagement

Historically, online courses were created by “converting” face-to-face instructional materials and quizzes into online delivery systems.  With student engagement being key, it appears that social engagement is important, and studies have supported that theory.  Lack of student engagement online (as indicated by frequency and timeliness of instructor interactions) correlated with student perception of lack of quality in online courses.  In other words, the less engaging the course, the poorer the students perceived the course to be.

Why might online courses be created to be less engaging?  System limitations.  At a time when over one-third of recent marriages start online, when Facebook has 936 million active users in Q1 of 2015 alone, we can postulate that online engagement can be highly effective.  But while has a lot invested in creating engagement online, our LMS systems (i.e. Blackboard et al,) were mainly built to deliver content.

Importance of Instructional Design

…. and delivering content should probably not be the focus online.  Engagement with content is a different animal than posting content.  Recent discussions of contemporary learning theory have focused more and more on active, participatory learning in virtual environments.  This great post explains some of the differences between Education 1.0 and Education 3.0.   Or here by Hase and Kenyon, the originators of heutagogy.

How do you know what is quality online?  Many quality tools have appeared over time based on comprehensive research into what works online.  I’m not going to repeat all that research here, but find research on Quality Matters here, find research on eCampus Alberta’s Rubric here, and find information about Universal Design for Learning here.

Student Preparation for Online Learning

A Noel-Levitz study found that Life Factors and Individual Attributes were a significant predictor of student satisfaction in online courses.  Personal attributes seem to be one of the most- if not the most – important component of student preparation, and this SmarterMeasure research supports that and the conclusion that results on skills for online learning were also correlated with success in online courses.

However, beyond technical skills, by far a learner’s general abilities and qualities such as motivation, attitude, confidence, and independence are most highly correlated with success in online courses.

Other Institutional Advantages

In addition to the conclusion that “yes, it’s effective at graduating students, somewhat less effective at getting them good grades (by 5-10%,) and how you do it really matters,” there are the other institutional advantages.  Beyond fiscal sustainability, when a learner is engaged online, you can capture rich data about their progress in real-time.  No longer does an institution have to wait until the student has already failed the course to conduct intrusive, rapid-fire outreach.

When a student doesn’t come to class, a faculty member can’t always call them to ask why.  But the college can send emails, texts, and even contact the student on social media if that student is participating.  Many institutions don’t have those systems set up yet.  While’s very existence depends upon tracking your online behavior, colleges are not yet there with the technology and the interaction.  But many institutions are actively integrating these components in an effort to support student success.

So there you have it!  The brief version anyways.  Interested in Tri-C’s data on the same?  Contact