The purpose of this unit is to examine the basic operation of Blackboard and practice using several of the tools that students use in online courses.
This unit addresses the following course level objective:
- Use Blackboard to access course content, communicate with peers and submit assignments.
The specific objectives for this module are:
- Login to Blackboard and access courses (you’ve done that already!)
- Review the course syllabus (check)
- Access the course topics (check)
- Post a new posting and a reply in the discussion forums
- Take a quiz and view results
- Upload an assignment document to the assignments area
- Use a blog
As an instructor…
Often instructors haven’t had the chance to take an online course and experience what students experience. For this part of the course you will get to see what it is like to be a student, take a quiz, and submit an assignment. This will help you design your online courses and respond to students when they have questions about how to do these tasks.
- Post an introduction (see instructions below)
- Submit a document (document available below) using the Assignment tool
- Take a quiz in Blackboard
- Post in the Netiquette blog (optional)
Getting Started in Blackboard
This document provides a basic introduction to Blackboard including how to navigate, how to submit an assignment and how to see your grades. It is a pdf file and will open in its own window so you can look at the document and the course at the same time. Remember that these documents are “from a student perspective” and are all located on our BB Support page on the Student tab.
Select this link: Getting Started Reference Guide
Discussions are a very important part of many Blackboard courses. They provide a way for students to communicate with each other and with the instructor. In many courses, posting in the discussions is a part of the participation grade. As a student in this class, be sure to read the syllabus and course requirements carefully to understand the discussion expectations.
The links below provide a Quick Reference guide and a movie from Blackboard that walks you through the use of Discussion Boards. Notice that the discussions have changed significantly in this new version, so that when you click on a thread you see the original posting and all the replies. The movie will open in a new window – maximize the window to see the whole screen for the movie.
Select this link: Discussion Quick Reference
Select this link: Using Discussions (for students and faculty)
When you get into the discussions to post your introduction, you will notice that the Text Editor in Blackboard has changed significantly with this new update to the system. The following document provides a quick introduction to the new editor:
Select this link: New Text Editor
Taking Tests in Blackboard
This document includes some tips for taking tests. Read this over to see if there are any issues/problems you might encounter.
Select this link: Test Taking Tips
This movie from Blackboard shows you what it looks like when you take a test.
Select this link: Taking Tests in Blackboard_
Things you should know about Blackboard tests:
Number of times you can take a test
If the test or quiz is for “self-assessment”, the instructor may indicate that you can take the test multiple times.
Most tests present all the questions at once, but some may deliver one question at a time.
Completing a test
You must click Submit to submit your test for grading. If you exit the page without clicking Submit, you will lose all your answers. And, if the test is one time only, then you will not be able to get back in to take the test.
The instructor can indicate that the test must be completed in a specific amount of time. This is often done to make sure that you do not get outside help on the test or check resources as you are taking the test. The instructor can choose to let you continue after the time runs out OR to force the test to close at the end of the allotted time.
Checking Your Grades
The “My Grades” tool in Blackboard enables STUDENTS to view their grades for the course. This is something that as an instructor, you usually never see. But, since you are a student in this course – you can view the my grades. What the students see in MY GRADES is based on the Grade Center – so it is important for our Grade Centers to be organized correctly to make the My Grades view more meaningful.
There are two ways to access grades:
- My Grades link on the course menu (if available)
- Course Tools, then My Grades
This movie from Blackboard walks you through viewing grades.
Select this link: Viewing Course Grades
You can send email to your instructor or other students in a Blackboard course. The email goes directly to the person’s BearMail address. The Getting Started document includes the basics of sending email.
Your instructor may place a link on the Course Menu or give you access to Course Tools. If you can’t find it, ask your instructor for directions to find it.
If you would like more information, this short movie from Blackboard walks you through the email process.
Select this link: Sending Email
Using Blogs, Journals and Wikis
Blackboard has several features that are used by instructors to promote student interaction and collaboration. While you may not get to practice all these in this course as a student, you will learn more about these features and best practices for using them in the face-to-face sessions:
Blogs – a blog is similar to a discussion board, but has a simpler structure. If you use Facebook, the blog is similar to the News Feed which lists all your friends postings on a page. Students and the instructor can comment on blog postings.
Journals – the journal works exactly like a blog from a student perspective. However, usually the journal provides a private communication place between the instructor and each student individually.
Wikis – A wiki is a shared, collaborative space where students can create and edit pages collaboratively.