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Tools

This section deals with functions found in the Control Panel area labeled Course Tools

Announcements
Blogs
Collaboration
(Chat, Virtual Classroom)
Contacts
(formerly Staff Information)
Course Calendar
   Quick Hit Video
Date Management  Quick Hit Video New Summer 2014
Discussion Board  (or try using Piazza)
Dropbox (Shared)
Glossary
Group Viewer

i>clickers
Journals
Kaltura Course Media
Manage Users
Photo Roster
Reading List
Rubrics (Interactive) 
Self and Peer Assessment  New Spring 2014
Send Email

Tasks
Tests, Surveys, and Pools
Voice Tools

Making Tools Available in the Course Menu: Quick Hit Video

Control Panel: Course Tools


Announcements

Complete Announcement Instructions

Creating Announcements (quick video)

What are Course Announcements?

Announcements post timely information critical to Course success. The Instructor can add, edit, and delete announcements from the Announcements page. This is an ideal place to post time-sensitive material including:

  • When Assignments are due.
  • Changes in the syllabus.
  • Corrections/clarifications of materials.
  • Exam schedules.

How can I let students know when I've posted a new announcement?

When adding an Announcement, Instructors can also send a notification of the Announcement as an email to all  Students in the Course by checking the Override User Notification Settings box. This ensures that Students know there is a new announcement even if they do not login to the Course.

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How can I make priority Announcements always stay at the top of the page? 

You can do this by putting the priority Announcements above to repositionable "New Announcements appear below this line" bar. New Announcements appear directly below the repositionable bar. Reorder by dragging Announcements to new positions. Move priority Announcements above the repositionable bar to pin them to the top of the list and prevent new Announcements from superseding them. The order shown is the order presented to Students. Students do not see the bar and cannot reorder Announcements.

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Blogs

What are the distinctions among Blogs, Journals, and Wikis?

Blogs are an open communications tool for students to share their thoughts. A student can post text, images, links and attachments, open for comments.

A Journal is self-reflective tool for students. Only the student and the Instructor are able to comment on Journal Entries. However, Journals can be made public by the Instructor to allow other enrolled users read the entries.

A Wiki, ideal for group projects, is a collaborative tool for students working together in creating and editing a Web document.  As we do not use the Blackboard Wiki, contact the Humanities Resource Center (hrc@Princeton.EDU) if you wish to use Wikis in your course.

Blackboard Blogs and Journals can be graded.

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What are the blog options in Blackboard?

As of Fall 2013, instructors have the option of using the blog that is native to Blackboard (referred to herein as the Blackboard Blog) or the WordPress blog.  

While the native Blackboard blogs are easy to use and integrate with the Grade Center, they lack the functionality, extendability, and customizability that WordPress blogs offer.  WordPress blog set-up is automated by the instructor clicking the "Blogs (WordPress)" link in the Tools area of the course. These blogs are private, with access limited to course membership.


What is a Blackboard Blog?

A Blog is a collaborative tool that allows students to post their personal reflection about the Course or discuss and analyze Course related materials. Blogs are an effective means of gaining insight into students' activities and provide a way to share the knowledge and materials collected and created by the group with the rest of the course.

Individual Blogs provide each student with his or her own area to publicly share thoughts and work with others in the course and to receive comments and feedback on entries. Avatars added by students will be displayed in their public space to help personalize the page.

Course Blogs allow all users in the course to share their thoughts and work in one common area that everyone can read and comment on. All entries are posted to the same page to help promote collaboration among all course members. Users can add entries and comment on entries anonymously to maintain privacy.

Group Blogs allow groups of students to collaboratively post thoughts and comment on each others' work while all other users in the course can view and comment on their entry.

In each of these cases, users create entries, which are added to their Blog or Journal. The entries can be saved as drafts or published and then edited later. When entries are added to the Blog or Journal, they are added automatically to an index organized by date. A "New" indicator is displayed on entries and comments that the user has not yet displayed. Entries also can be marked as "New" again to create a reminder.

A Blog consists of:

  • Blog Entries: Text, images, links and attachments posted by students and open for Comments.
  • Comments: Remarks or responses to Blog Entries made by others.

Complete Blackboard Blog Instructions

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Who has access to Blackboard Blogs?

Only users in the course have access to Blackboard Blogs. Users removed from the Course will not have access to any Blogs. If users are removed from the Course after Individual Blogs have been created, all their posts and comments will be deleted. If users are removed from a Course after Course Blogs have been created, all their posts and comments will be retained, but the name of the poster or commenter will be changed to "Anonymous."

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Where do Blogs appear?
Blogs exist as tools within the course environment. Instructors can access them from the Tools area in the Control Panel. Instructors can provide access to students through tool links on content pages, the Menu, and/or the Tools page. Students access Group Blogs from within a Group space.

Troubleshooting Blog Management

If...

Then...

a Blog is deleted while users are posting

the Blog and all comments are deleted

a Blog is made unavailable while users are posting

the Blog remains visible to the Instructor in Edit Mode but is not displayed to users

the Allow Users to Edit and Remove Entries setting is changed

entries remain but users cannot edit them

the Allow Users to Remove Comments setting is changed

comments remain but users cannot edit them

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Collaboration

Collaboration Instructions

What are Collaboration Tools?

Collaboration tools allow for real-time instruction and office hours through Bb. Two Collaboration Tools are available: Lecture Hall (Virtual Classroom) and Office Hours (Chat). Chat is an exchange of text messages online. Virtual Classroom is a shared online environment where users can view links, share desktops, exchange files, and chat. Both types of collaboration can be recorded and saved for future review.

Chat Sessions
Chat Sessions allow users to interact with each other through a text-based environment. Chat can be used as a stand-alone tool or as a part of the Virtual Classroom. There is a 1,000 character limit for individual Chat messages. Users in a Chat Session may send messages to the group or send private messages to selected users.

Virtual Classrooms
The Virtual Classroom environment includes a shared White Board, a Group Browser, a Question and Answer Box, and a Menu that can be used to navigate to places in the Course.

Recordings
Click Recordings to access recorded Collaboration Sessions. If there are no recorded sessions, the button will not appear.

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Contacts

Contact Instructions

How do I let my students know how and when to get in touch with me?

Contacts is a place where instructors can add profile information about themselves and others that is distributed to students. This is a good place to add officer hours, phone numbers, and other links to help students identify people who have a role in the course.

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Course Calendar

Complete Calendar Instructions

How is the Course Calendar used?

You can use the Course Calendar to provide students with dates for course related events. Course Calendar events appear to all members of the course. Common entries you may include in the Course Calendar are:

  • Section meetings
  • Instructor Office Hours
  • Exams
  • Guest speakers
  • Course Items with Due Dates

Instructors and the school control which tools are available.

The calendar displays a consolidated view of all institution, course, organization, and personal calendar events for a user. You can view events by day, week, or month. You can also view and organize upcoming and past events into categories.

Course calendar events appear to all members of the course. Common entries include upcoming tests, due dates for assignments, or special lectures. Course items with due dates automatically appear in the course calendar. Only instructors may create additional course calendar events.

See a brief YouTube video about Calendar enhancements for Fall 2013.

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Discussion Board

Quick Hit Video

An alternative to the native discussion board that offers more options is Piazza, which can be integrated into your Blackboard site.

Complete Discussion Board Instructions

Updates to Discussion Boards Summer 2012

Discussions have been updated in two primary ways.  The “Thread Detail” page has been thoroughly redesigned while maintaining all of its current functionality.   Also, new functionality has been added to support specific pedagogical needs for the use of discussions. Selected highlights include:

  • All Posts on One Page and Instructor Highlighting - all of the posts in a thread are now visible at the same time on one page.  Posts now also contain the users’ course role and forum role.
  • Inline Replies - when replying to a post, the content editor used to write a response appears on the same page, in the context of the discussion.
  • Post First Discussions – This setting allows instructors to require students to post to a discussion before seeing other students’ posts.

How do I create a Discussion Board for my course?

Each course has a Discussion Board by default, but to begin using it, the instructor most first create a forum.

Forums can appear throughout a Course, in any area where an Instructor chooses. Each group
may also have a private Discussion Board with Forums available only to those users that are a part
of the group. All Forums that are not a part of a group are accessible from various points in the
Course or by going to the Discussion Board tool. The Discussion Board tool centralizes all of the
Forums in the Course.

When users open the Discussion Board tool they will only see those Forums they can access.
Unavailable Forums can only be viewed by Instructors, Administrators, and other user roles with
similar permissions. The unavailable status of a Forum is displayed on the Discussion Board page,
beneath the name of the Forum.

Forums are used to organize threads. The fields on the Create Forum page and the Edit Forum page are the same. The Create Forum page opens with empty fields while the Edit Forum page opens with a Forum already populated.

Follow these steps to create a Forum:

  1. Open a Course.
  2. Edit Mode is ON
  3. Click Discussion Board from the Course Tools area of the Control Panel.
  4. Click on the name of the Discussion Board for which you wish to create a forum. There will be one Discussion Board for the course identified by the course ID (e.g., ENG101_F2009), and one for each group that has Discussion Board enabled.
  5. Click Create Forum.
  6. Fill in the Forum Information, Forum Availability, and Forum Settings fields.
  7. Submit.

Follow these steps to open the Edit Forum page:

  1. Open a Course.
  2. Click Discussion Board from the Course Tools area of the Control Panel.
  3. Click on the name of the Discussion Board for which you wish to create a forum. There will be one Discussion Board for the course identified by the course ID (e.g., ENG101_F2009), and one for each group that has Discussion Board enabled.
  4. Locate the Forum to edit and click Edit from the contextual menu.

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Glossary

Complete Glossary Instructions

What is the Glossary?

The Glossary is a tool that allows the instructor to create a list of terms and definitions.  Terms can be added manually on or by uploading a data file that contains many terms and definitions.

How do I create a Glossary?

To add terms one-by-one:

  1. Open a course.
  2. Click Edit Mode ON.
  3. Click Course Tools in the Control Panel.
  4. Click Glossary.
  5. Click Create Term.
  6. Enter the term and definition. Adding a term which already exists in the Glossary in upper, lower, or mixed case will overwrite the existing definition of the term.
  7. Submit.

To add terms in bulk:

  1. First, create an XLS (tab-delimited) or CSV (Comma-Separated Value) file.The file must be a text file that contains a term and a definition on each line. The term and the definition on each line must be separated by a comma in a comma-delimited file or separated by a tab in a tab-delimited file. The terms do not need to be in any specific order.
  2. Open a course.
  3. Click Edit Mode ON.
  4. Click Course Tools in the Control Panel.
  5. Click Glossary.
  6. Select Upload Glossary from the contextual menu for Upload/Download.
  7. Click Browse (PC) or Choose File (Mac) to locate the file to upload.
  8. Select the processing method for the uploaded file:
    • Add the Terms in this File to the Glossary
    • Delete all Glossary Terms and Replace with the Terms in this File
  9. Submit.

To add items to, or to edit the existing Glossary:

  1. Open a course.
  2. Click Edit Mode ON.
  3. Click Course Tools in the Control Panel.
  4. Click Glossary.
  5. Select Download Glossary from the contextual menu for Upload/Download.
  6. Click Download to save or open the file. Alternate method: Click Download with the right mouse button and select Save As to save the file locally.

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Group Viewer

How can I see and download a list of all my students identifying their Blackboard group affiliations?

Click the Group Viewer link in the Control Panel to access a sortable table that is initially sorted by group, but can also be sorted (via clicking the column headings) by Last Name, First Name, User ID, Student Number. Use the Show All button (bottom right) to make sure your entire roster is visible.

You can also print, as well as download the list as a  .csv file using the buttons on the bottom left.

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i>clickers

How can I integrate the i>clicker Student Response System into my Blackboard site?

Our Blackboard instance has been configured so it and the i>clicker directly communicate with each other, providing a streamlined grading process for instructors and students.

To effect the integration, download the appropriate integration zip file for the operating system you use:

Windows

Macintosh

and follow these the instructions.

These videos may be helpful in understanding the set-up process.

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Journals

What are the distinctions among Blogs, Journals, and Wikis?

Blogs are an open communications tool for students to share their thoughts. A student can post text, images, links and attachments, open for comments.

A Journal is self-reflective tool for students. Only the student and the Instructor are able to comment on Journal Entries. However, Journals can be made public by the Instructor to allow other enrolled users read the entries.

A Wiki, ideal for group projects, is a collaborative tool for students working together in creating and editing a Web document.  As we do not use the Blackboard Wiki, contact the Humanities Resource Center (hrc@Princeton.EDU) if you wish to use Wikis in your course.

Blackboard Blogs and Journals can be graded.

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Complete Journal Instructions

What is a Blackboard Journal?

Individual Journals allow students to record their course experiences and what they are learning. These thoughts can be a private communication between a student and the instructor or shared with everyone in the course. Journal entries can be commented on by the author and the instructor. Others are able to read public Journals, but they cannot comment on them.

Group Journals allow groups of students to reflect collaboratively on their course work and comment on their fellow group members' findings. To maintain privacy, Journal entries may be added anonymously by group members.

A Journal consists of:

  • Journal Entries: Text, images, links and attachments posted by individual students.
  • Comments: Remarks or responses to a Journal Entry made by the Instructor.

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Who has access to Journals

Only users in the course have access to Blackboard Journals. Only the student and the Instructor are able to Comment on Journal Entries. However, Journals can be made public by the Instructor to allow other enrolled users read the entries.

If a student is removed from the Course, the student's Journal will be deleted. All Journal entries and Comments are deleted.

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Where do Journals appear?

Journals exist as tools within the course environment. Instructors can access them from the Tools area in the Control Panel. Instructors can provide access to students through tool links on content pages, the Menu, and/or the Tools page. Students access Group Journals from within a Group space.

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Troubleshooting Journal Management

If...

Then...

a Journal is deleted while users are posting

the Journal and all comments are deleted

a Journal is made unavailable while users are posting

the Journal remains visible to the Instructor in Edit Mode but is not displayed to users

the Allow Users to Edit and Remove Entries setting is changed

entries remain but users cannot edit them

the Allow Users to Remove Comments setting is changed

comments remain but users cannot edit them

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Photo Roster

How can I see the photos of my students?

In the Control Panel under Course Tools, you will find a link labeled Photo Roster. Clicking it will bring you (if you are an Instructor or Instructional Staff in the course site) to a page that displays the photos of all the students enrolled in the course, with clickable email links. These photos are dynamically updated as site enrollment changes. If you have Groups defined in your course site, you can sort the students according to these Groups.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Advisory

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What is Photo Roster?

Each Blackboard site has a tool called Photo Roster with the capacity to display a Web page of photographs of those enrolled in it as either Student (for Course sites), or Participant (for Organization sites). As this tool was built to assist faculty in identifying their students, only photographs of Princeton students are available; it does not display photos of community auditors, nor of faculty and staff.  The photographs are supplied to the Blackboard System Administrator by the
University ID Card office. Photos are dynamically added or removed to reflect changes in site enrollment. Each photograph has the name of the student/participant directly below it, and this name can be clicked on to open an e-mail composition in the computer’s mail client, directed to that particular student/participant.

The Web page with the photos carries the heading, Photo Roster with Groups. The subheading gives the course or organization ID and name. Each page also includes this statement: .

Whose Images Appear in Photo Roster?

Only the photos of students/participants who are Princeton students appear in Photo Roster; it does not display photos of community auditors, nor of faculty and staff.  Blackboard defines a student /participant as an individual who is enrolled in a Blackboard site with access to the content and to whichever Tools (communication or otherwise) the site managers (i.e., Instructors, Leaders,
Assistants, Builders) have made available to them, but who does not have access to the site control panel.

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Which Sites Have Photo Roster and Who Can View Them?

Official Course Sites
Photo Roster will be available in all Blackboard sites for courses that have enrollments listed in the Registrar’s database. In these sites, the link to the photos will be found in the Course Tools section of the site control panel, where it will not be visible to students and where only Instructors and Instructional Staff  will be able to view the photos. Others with access to the course control panel (Builders and Graders) will be presented with this message upon clicking the link: Sorry, but at
present, only instructional staff are able to view the photos.

Because of a limitation in Blackboard, a site manager (Instructional Staff and Builder) will have the ability to make the link to Photo Roster available through the student view of the course site; however, if a student clicks on the link, the following message will be displayed: Sorry, but at
present, only instructional staff are able to view the photos. 
We recommend against making
the link available to students in course sites.

Special Course Sites
Photo Roster may be made available on request in special course sites, such as a site for Academic Advising, upon approval of the Registrar. If permission is granted, the Photo Roster will be displayed according to the stipulations described under Official Course Sites above, unless otherwise specified by the Registrar.

Organization Sites
As a rule,Photo Roster  will not be available in Organization sites, unless specifically approved by the Registrar. In these cases, stipulations for displaying the photos of Princeton students will be spelled out by the Registrar.

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How is Privacy Protected in Photo Roster?

The Registrar’s office will provide the Blackboard System Administrator a list of students who have invoked FERPA (Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) rights to have their images withheld from photo directories. This will generally be done before the start of the academic year, but the Registrar may contact the Blackboard System Administrator at any time to request that a photo
be removed. The Blackboard System Administrator will block the photographs of these individuals from being displayed in the Photo Roster page of all Blackboard sites. The names and/or e-mail addresses of individuals will not be available through the Photo Roster directory, either, if they have so requested.

In all cases, one must login to Blackboard with a username and password to be able to view Photo Rosters in sites where one has viewer privileges. In no case will guests to the Blackboard system, or guests to any site within the system, have access to the Photo Roster. In the case of Official Course sites, only those enrolled as Instructors and Instructional Staff will have the ability to view the Photo Roster.

Those with the Blackboard system role of System Administrator will have the ability to view the Photo Roster in all sites. This privilege will only be used to check functionality and provide support.

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Piazza  (It just got easier, Fall 2013)

What is Piazza?

Piazza is a free online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7, under the guidance of their instructors. Students as well as instructors can answer questions, fueling a healthy, collaborative discussion.  

While not affiliated with the University, many Princeton instructors are finding Piazza an interesting alternative to the native discussion board in Blackboard.  Piazza classes can easily be integrated into Blackboard course sites.

The major features of the integration are all about convenience:
  • Instructors can create a Piazza for their class with a single click.
  • Students and instructors are automatically enrolled with appropriate roles, based on the course roster. 
  • When clicking the Piazza link in Bb, users are automatically signed in to Piazza, so there's no need to remember a separate user name and password.

To create a Piazza page and integrate it with your Blackboard course site, simply go to the Tools area of your course menu, click Piazza, and follow the instructions from there. Students will be able to access the Piazza page from the Tools area, as well.

Piazza Features

Piazza Support

Piazza Demo Classes

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Rubrics (Interactive)

What are grading Rubrics?

A Rubric is a tool that lists evaluation criteria for an assignment. Rubrics can help students organize their efforts to meet the requirements of an assignment. Instructors can use Rubrics to explain their evaluations to students.  This a is tool that can be very helpful in large courses with multiple people grading the same item.

When creating a Rubric, instructors can assign weights to categories, allowing the same Rubric to be used across multiple items with different possible points. Rubrics can be imported and exported for use across courses.

Instructors can associate rubrics when creating gradable content items, including Blogs, Journals, Discussion Boards, Assignments, and short-answer, file-response, or essay questions in tests and pools. Rubrics can be associated with multiple items, and all associations can be viewed from the Rubric tool. Multiple rubrics can be associated with an item. The rubrics can be visible to students at any time, or only after grading has been completed.

Instructors can interact with any associated rubric for grading in a grid or list view, and Feedback can be typed for each criteria as well as the entire assessment. Grades calculated using rubrics can be overridden. When a rubric has been used for grading, a report is available to view the results of all content graded with that Rubric.

A Rubric Evaluation Report provides a comprehensive report of statistics for an item which has been evaluated with a rubric. Instructors wanting to evaluate the rubric or their use of it can run the report at any point in the evaluation process.

Complete Rubrics Instructions

Video: Creating a Grading Rubric (3minutes 10 seconds)

Video: Associating a Rubric with a Gradable Item (3minutes 11 seconds)

Video: Grading with Rubrics (3minutes 17 seconds)

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Self and Peer Assessment  New Spring 2014

What is Self and Peer Assessment?

Self and Peer Assessment is a tool designed to facilitate the objective, analytical, and learning comprehension skills of students. Reviewing the work of fellow students through criteria-based reference evaluation allows constructive feedback. The constructive feedback that students give to and receive from their peers can enhance their comprehension of the subject material and provide valuable insights into their own efforts.

Self and Peer Assessments can help distribute the workload and ensure that students receive feedback from several individuals. Students also benefit from the analytical experience of evaluating submissions against defined criteria.

You can export these tests, along with their questions and criteria, and then import them into a different course site.

Questions provide structure and content to the assessment. They are simple ("What is 2 plus 2?") or complex ("Describe the main reason for the fall of the Roman Empire.").

The criteria accompanying each question provide the means to evaluate the responses to those questions. The number or criteria can also range from one ("Did the answer = 4?") to many:

  • Does the response place the issue within the broader context of the subject?
  • Is the response well organized and clearly laid out?
  • Was the response proofread carefully? Was it free of significant grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors?

 

 How do I create a Self and Peer Assessment?

  1. Access a content area, such as Course Materials or Assignments and point to Assessments on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Self and Peer Assessment.
  3. On the Create Self and Peer Assessment page, type a Name.
  4. Type instructions for the assessment in the Instructions content area.
  5. Optionally, use the content editor Insert File function to add files.
  6. Set the Submission Start Date and Submission End Date by using the date and time fields.
  7. Set the Start Date and End Date for the peer evaluations by using the date and time fields.
  8. Allow Anonymous Evaluations by selecting Yes. Click No to disallow.
  9. Allow Self Evaluations by selecting Yes. Click No to disallow.
  10. Allow submitters to view their own evaluation results by selecting Yes for Show Evaluation Results to Submitter. Click No to disallow.
  11. In the Number of Submissions to Evaluate field, define how many of their peers's tests each student is expected to evaluate.

    The number entered in the Number of Submissions to Evaluate field does not include the creator of the assessment. Type zero (0) in this field if self evaluations are the only kind you want.

  12. Make the assessment available by selecting Yes. Select No to make it unavailable.
  13. Track the number of views by selecting Yes. Select No to disable tracking.
  14. Select Display After and/or Display Until to control when the content is available.
  15. Set the date and time restrictions for the attached content by using the date and time fields for Display After or Display Until.
  16. Click Submit.

How do I add a question to a Self and Peer Assessment?

Questions are the basic component of any assessment. Questions provide both the structure and content of the assessment. Questions are simple or complex:

  • What year did Queen Elizabeth I die?
  • What is the square root of 144?
  • Explain why Napoleon's armies were defeated at the battle of Waterloo.

When creating questions, you also provide model Response, an example of a correct response to a question. The Model Response allows evaluators to compare submitted answers to an example. It is not displayed to students taking the assessment, only to the evaluators after the assessment has been submitted.

You can create questions, select from a set of default questions that come with the tool, or you can reuse questions you have created in other assessments.

To create your own questions:

  1. Access an assessment's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit page, click Assessment Canvas.
  4. On the Assessment Canvas page, click Create Question on the action bar.
  5. On the Add Question page, provide the question information.
  6. Provide a model response.
  7. Select Yes to make the question Available.
  8. Click Submit.
To add a default question:

Adding a default question is a quick and easy way to construct an effective assessment. The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block comes with a set of default questions you can use to build your tests. You will also find questions you have created in other assessments.

  1. Access an assessment's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit page, click Assessment Canvas.
  4. On the action bar, click Search for Question.
  5. Type search text in the Search for Question box and click Go. Or, click Go to display a list of all default questions.
  6. On the Search Results page, if a plus sign is available, click it to view all the details.
  7. Select the check boxes next to the questions to add.
  8. Click Submit.

How do I add criteria to a question?

The criteria that accompany each question provide the means to evaluate the responses to those questions. The number or criteria can also range from one ("Did the answer =4") to many:

  • Does the response place the issue within the broader context of the subject?
  • Is the response well organized and clearly laid out?
  • Was the response proofread carefully? Was it free of significant grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors?

In general, essay questions may require many criteria per question while shorter questions may only require one or two criteria.

  1. Access an assessment's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit page, click Assessment Canvas.
  4. On the Assessment Canvas page, access a question's contextual menu.
  5. Select Criteria.
  6. On the Add/Edit Criteria page, click Create Criteria on the action bar.
  7. On the Add Criteria page, type criteria.
  8. In the Points Possible box, type a value.
  9. In the Assign Points section, select All or Nothing or Partial Credit.
  10. In the Allow Feedback to User section, select Yes or No.
  11. Click Submit.
To add Word Count Criteria:

If you want to evaluate the length of an answer, you can add a word count criteria to a question. You may specify that an answer should be around 200 words. The word count criteria enables points to be awarded based on the length of an answer. For example, award points if the answer is within 20 words of the 200 word maximum.

  1. Access an assessment's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit page, click Assessment Canvas.
  4. On the Assessment Canvas page, access a question's contextual menu.
  5. Select Criteria.
  6. On the Add/Edit Criteria page, click Word Count Criteria on the action bar.
  7. On the Add Criteria page, type the number of Points Possible.
  8. Type the Recommended Word Count.
  9. Type the Allowed Variation.
  10. Click Submit.
To add default criteria:

Adding default criteria is a quick and easy way to construct an effective assessment. The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block comes with a set of default criteria you can use to build your tests.

  1. Access an assessment's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit page, click Assessment Canvas.
  4. On the Assessment Canvas page, access a question's contextual menu.
  5. Select Criteria.
  6. On the Add/Edit Criteria page, click Search for Criteria on the action bar.
  7. In the Search for Criteria box, type a keyword and click Go.
  8. On the Search Results page, click the plus sign next to the appropriate criteria to view all the details.
  9. Click the check box next to the criteria to add.
  10. Click Submit.

How do my students take the assessment?

Completing an assessment allows the student to interact with you by providing answers to a series of questions. These answers are evaluated by their fellow students. Their feedback can assist in their overall comprehension of the material.

Students who have an assessment assigned to them can access them in the appropriate course area. The Submission and Evaluation date ranges are visible with the link. In addition to submitting answers directly on the question page, students can also submit a file to support their answers.

To complete an assessment:
  1. Click the View/Complete Assessment link to begin an assessment.
  2. On the Take Assessment page, click a question link.
  3. On the Response page, type a response.
  4. Optionally, attach one or my files from your computer, Course Files, then type a Link Title to give a name to the attachment link.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Repeat the steps as necessary until all of the questions are answered.
  7. Click Submit when the assessment is complete.

How do my students evaluate the assessment?

Allowing your students to evaluate their peers' assessments allows them to provide valuable feedback for submitted answers. This feedback can provide improved comprehension of the material for both the assessed peer and the student providing the evaluation.

Students can access an assessment using the same link they used to complete it and begin the evaluation. The Evaluation Overview page lists the number of submissions a student needs to evaluate (including their own), with the evaluator's own name at the top of the list.

If you enable anonymous evaluating, an evaluator does not see the name of the student when evaluating.

Tests can only be evaluated during the evaluation period designated during the assessment creation.

Do not enroll or unenroll students after the evaluation state date, because doing so can negatively affect the results already gathered.

To evaluate an assessment:
  1. Once the designated evaluation period has begun, click the assessment's View/Complete Assessment link to begin the evaluation.
  2. On the Evaluation Overview page, click the appropriate name.
  3. On the Evaluation page, review the text in the Submission box. Expand the Criteria for review. Review attached files. Click Model Response to compare.
  4. Type the number of points for each criterion.
  5. Provide feedback, if requested.
  6. Select the Allocate Points check box.
  7. Click Save and Next Criteria to move to the next criteria -OR- Save and Next Question.
  8. Click Submit.

Complete instructions, including these topics:

  • Exporting and Importing an Assessment
  • Previewing the Assessment
  • Managing an Assessment
  • Editing an Assessment
  • Rules for Editing Assessments
  • Monitoring Assessment Submissions
  • Monitoring the Evaluations
  • Viewing the Assessment Results

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Send Email

How can I send email to my Blackboard site list?

There are three ways to send mail to the Blackboard site email list for regular courses listed in the Online Course Offering; for special course sites and for organization sites, the listserv option is not available.

1. Via Course Tools in the Control Panel (Available to site editors.)
An option in the Control Panel in the Course Tools area is Send Email. Email options are as follows:

All Users
All Groups
All Instructional Staff Users
All Student Users
All Observer Users
All Instructors
Single/Select Users
Single/Select Groups
Single/Select Observer Users

The Control Panel email access cannot be disabled, but only users in the role of Instructor, Instructional Staff or Builder can use it.

2. Via Tools in the Student View (Availability and location can be controlled by site managers.)
Unless it has been disabled, Send Email is an option in the student view of the site (usually under Tools, but it may be placed elsewhere by someone with editing rights to the site). By default the email options beneath this icon are as follows:

All Users
All Groups
All Instructional Staff Users
All student Users
All Instructors
Select Users
Select Groups

Unlike the email feature in the Control Panel, anyone enrolled in the site has access to this feature. It can be disabled by users with Instructor, Instructional Staff, or Course Builder access to the site. To do this, select Tools from the course menu and click Hide Link beside Send Email. Any email restrictions made here only affect the email feature that students can access; the Control Panel email feature will remain unchanged.

3. Via your regular email program, through Listserv software (Only available for Course sites listed in the Registrar´s Online Course Offering. NOT available for special course sites and Organization sites.)

To use this method, simply open your regular email client (e.g., Netscape Mail, Outlook) and address the email to:

  courseid_semester@princeton.edu  

For courseid_semester, use the course identifier. For example, if you are teaching a course with courseid ENG361 during the Fall 2010 semester, you can send email to everyone in your current semester course by addressing the email to:   

ENG361_F2010@princeton.edu 

ITA302-MED412_S2011@princeton.edu

Blackboard Listserv rules:

  1. E-mail may be sent this way only from default Princeton email accounts for current Princeton faculty, staff, and students (contact us at 258-0737 or blackboard@princeton.edu if you are faculty and would like to be able to send email from multiple email accounts). If you are not a current Princeton student, faculty, or staff member, but are enrolled in a Blackboard course site, you must send email from the email address with which you are enrolled in the site if you want to send email from your regular email client.
  2. Only those enrolled in the course site are permitted to send email to the course list. This includes instructors, TAs, builders, graders, and students
  3. If someone not enrolled in the course site sends email to the list, the sender will receive an error message telling of the failure.
  4. When someone enrolled in a course site sends email to a course list, the sender is notified of a successful list mailing.
  5. The sender of a message to a list does NOT receive a copy of the message even though that person is a subscriber to the list. If the sender would like a copy of the message in addition to the one that is placed in the "Send" folder, , using "Cc" or Bcc" is suggested. Alternatively, one can change one's list setting to receive copies by going to https://lists.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/wa?OWNER, logging, selecting List Owner Dashboard > under Subscribers (first column to the right of the list name) selecting [View] , then locating yourself and clicking on your name > check Receive copy of own postings under Acknowledgements > Update.
  6. Anyone enrolled in the course can send email to the list. If it is preferred that students not be allowed to send to the list, a list owner (Instructors, Instructional Staff, and Builders) can go to
    https://lists.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/wa?OWNER, login, select List Owner Dashboard > under list name select [Configure] > Access Control tab. Change "Send= Private" to "Send= Owner" (this will allow all Instructors, Instructional Staff, and Builders to send) or the the text box labeled "Special," type in the email address(es) of the specific subscribers who should be allowed to send. Then click Submit.
  7. The default "Reply to" is the sender. A list's settings can be changed so that the reply goes to the entire list. To do so, a list owner (Instructors, Instructional Staff, and Builders) goes to https://lists.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/wa?OWNER and log in, selects List Owner Dashboard > under list name select [Configure] > Distribution tab. Change "Reply-To=Sender" to "Reply-to= List ". (Another option is "Reply-to= Specify", in which case, enter an email address in the "Specify address" box). Click Submit. The listserv software we use carries this caveat:

    WARNING: Setting this parameter guarantees only one thing - that LISTSERV will generate an appropriate RFC822 Reply-To: header in the mail it distributes to subscribers. There is unfortunately no guarantee that the mail transfer agent (Mta) or mail client on the receiving end will honor the Reply-To: header. This is because some mail clients, out-of-office robots, and Internet Mta either simply do not recognize the existence of Reply-To: or do not implement it properly. Specifically, RFC2076 "Common Internet Message Headers" reports that the use of Reply-To: is "controversial", which is defined as: "The meaning and usage of this header is controversial, i.e. different implementers have chosen to implement the header in different ways. Because of this, such headers should be handled with caution and understanding of the different possible interpretations." (RFC2076, page 4). While L-Soft recognizes that it is sometimes important to provide an explicit Reply-To: header to indicate a response path, L-Soft cannot be held responsible for problems arising from the inability of a remote server to properly process Reply-To: headers.

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Can I change my email address listed in Blackboard to something else?

Because our system routinely checks users against the university's default email listings and resets them accordingly, any alterations we make to email addresses in Blackboard can be overridden without notice. To avoid this, we recommend that rather than changing your email address in Blackboard, you forward your Princeton email to whatever email address you desire so that any mail sent to the email account listed in the Princeton directory will be automatically routed to the location. To forward your Princeton email account to another address, go to http://www.princeton.edu/imap and login; choose Set Your email Delivery Location from the options listed on the left side of the screen, and proceed as instructed.

Should you require assistance with email forwarding, contact the OIT Help Desk at 609-258-HELP.

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How can I sort email from Blackboard courses to a separate folder in my mail client so they do not clog my inbox?

In most mail clients you can create a customized message filter that will sort mail according to the "Subject" header. Email received from inside Blackboard will show the course ID in the Subject line and the To line, so create a rule: for example, Subject -- contains -- POL123_F2006. Or, if you do not wish to have to create rules for every course, create a customized message filter that will sort email according to the "Received" header. Email received from inside Blackboard will show "blackboard" in the received header, so create a rule, Received -- contains -- blackboard. While this solution will not allow you to sort by specific course site, you will at least be able to send all email generated from Blackboard sites to the same folder. (A search under "filters" in your email help will yield instructions on creating customized filters --or for instructions regarding Outlook Exchange see Helpdesk Knowledgebase Solution 9392 -- or call the Helpdesk at 258-HELP.)

Mail sent via the listservs that exist for each course can easily be filtered using the "to" "contains" rule, with the list address (e.g., "to" "contains" "POL245_S2010" or simply use the semester/year designation --"F2010" if you are enrolled in multiple course sites).

If you don't find "To" line filtering reliable, you can change the actual listserv options to include include the course ID in the subject line, then filter by subject.

To do this, Send a plain-text message to listserv@lists.princeton.edu with the following line in the body:

set <listname> SUBJ

For example ,
POL542_S2011 SUBJ (You can list as many of these as you wish in the same email.)

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Tasks

Complete Task Instructions

What are Tasks?

The Tasks page organizes projects or activities (referred to as tasks) by defining task priority and
tracking task status. A user can create tasks and post them to the Tasks page. Each user can post personal tasks to their page. Instructors can post tasks to users participating in their Courses, and System Administrators can post tasks to all users’ Tasks pages. Task information is arranged in columns that display the priority, task name, status, and due date.

Tasks are also available as a Course Group Tool for tasks that are specific to a smaller group within a Course.

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Tests, Surveys, and Pools

Getting Started with Building a Test (video tutorial)

Overview of Tests, Surveys, and Pools

Mobile Compatible Tests

Creating or Editing a Test or Survey

Test and Survey Options New/Different Summer 2014

Timed Exams

Grading Tests

Complete Instructions for Tests, Surveys, and Pools 

OVERVIEW

What are Blackboard Tests and Surveys?

Instructors use Tests and Surveys to assess knowledge, measure progress, and gather information from Students.

Tests are created to check the knowledge and skill level of users enrolled in the Course. The Instructor can assign point values to each question on exams or quizzes. When a Student completes a Test it is automatically graded and the results are recorded in the Grade Center. Questions that require manual grading are marked in the Grade Center and can be graded later.

Surveys are useful for polling, evaluations, and random checks of knowledge. They function in the same way as Tests and offer most of the same options. Survey questions are not assigned a point value and are not graded.

Pools and where Qquestions are grouped to be used in other tests and surveys. The Find Questions page allows Instructors to search for and add questions to tests and surveys.

Keep in mind, the distinction between Surveys and Tests is that Surveys are anonymous.  A common mistake is creating Surveys to find out who is available when for something, who is interested in participating in something. One could either use the Discussion Board or create a Test for such things.

How do I plan a Test or Survey?

When creating an Assessment there are a number of things the Instructor" should consider before creating the Assessment:

  • Are special instructions needed for this Test?
  • How many questions?
  • What type of questions?
  • What is the point value associated with each question?
  • Will partial credit be acceptable for some or all questions?
  • Are some questions very difficult and may count as extra credit?

How are Tests and Surveys created?

Tests and Surveys can be created by authoring new questions, using the various built-in question types, reusing existing questions from tests and pools, uploading questions, or importing pools.

How do I deploying Tests and Surveys to students?

Once Tests and Surveys are created, they are deployed by adding them to a Content Area and then making them available to students. See Deploying Tests and Surveys for more information.

How do I grade my Tests?

Grading Tests within Blackboard is automated, but subjective test questions, such as Essays, must be graded manually. There are a number of options within the Grade Center that provide flexibility in grading tests:

  • Multiple attempts allow an Instructor to customize grading with Test Creation settings. The final grade for an assessment can be the first attempt, last attempt, or an average of all attempts.
  • The Clear Attempts option allows Instructors to erase a grade from the Grade Center. Attempts can be cleared one at a time or all at once. For example, if there is a technical failure at the Institution, all attempts for the Assessment taken on that date may be deleted.
  • The Override option allows the Instructor to enter a grade that replaces the existing grade in the Grade Center. For example, in the case of extenuating circumstances, the Instructor could use Override to make a Student's grade higher or lower. This score is used when calculating the grade.

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CREATING OR EDITING A TEST OR SURVEY

This topic describes how to create and edit a Test or Survey. Once a Test or Survey is created, questions are created or added from all the available questions from Test, Surveys, and Pools that the Instructor can access.

How do I create a Test or Survey?

  1. From the Control Panel select Tests, Surveys, and Pools, then Tests or Surveys.
  2. Click the Build Test or Build Survey button.
  3. Type a name, description, instructions and click Submit.
  4. Select a question type from the Create Question drop-down button on the Test Canvas.
  5. Create a question.
  6. Type the Point Value for the question.
  7. Attach a file or URL if desired.
  8. Type answers to choose from and select the correct answer.
  9. Type feedback that Students will see based on their answer.
  10. Repeat Step 3 through Step 8 until finished adding questions.
  11. Click Submit.

How  do I use "Find Questions"?

Instructors can add questions from other tests through the Find Questions page. Every question from all available tests, surveys, and pools are added to a test.

Questions that are selected through this process are displayed in the Shopping List at the bottom of the page. Click Show List to view all the questions that have been selected. Click Hide List to minimize the Shopping List. Questions are deleted from the Shopping List by clicking the red X link next to the question. This action does not delete the question.

  1. Select Find From Pool or Test from the Reuse Question drop-down list.
  2. Highlight the tests and pools you wish to draw questions from.   Hold down the "Ctl" key to select multiple items. 
  3. Check specific question types.  Click the + sign to to select advanced criteria:  Related Categories, Related Topics, and Related Levels of Difficulty, Keywords.
  4. Assign points or select the option Use the point values currently assigned to the questions.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. On the subsequent page, select the questions to add using the check boxes.

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Voice Tools

How can I communicate with and among my students using audio?

Princeton's license for Wimba Voice, which is a suite of applications that allows you to collaborate by recording and sharing voice content over the Internet, expires in June 2014 and will not be renewed. Launching Wimba tools has become more and more problematic and frustrating, especially for students.  The company is aware of the issues, but is no longer putting resources into developing and modernizing the product, and informs us they have no plans to do so, as their efforts are being channeled into developing their more feature-rich (and exponentially more expensive) Web-conferencing tool.  While we are investigating Web-conferencing tools that can be integrated with Blackboard, a decision is still in the future.

As a replacement for Wimba, are recommending that a voice recorder such as the free Audacity, or a video recorder such as Kaltura, which is already integrated with Blackboard, be used to create a file that can then be uploaded to a forum within the Discussion Board or shared by email.

Until the Wimba license expires in June 2014, if you are trying to use it, make sure you have the latest version of Java (http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp) installed on your computer.

At the moment we recommend the use of Safari for Wimba, as it is the easiest browser to make work with it. To make Wimba work in Safari please follow the instructions found here: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8336&am p;task=knowledge&questionID=3136

Where the instructions show a URL like http://myschool.wimba.com/ you should look for blackboard.princeton.edu instead.

If Firefox is giving you problems,make sure your Java is up to date (http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp) and Enabled - type about:addons in your address bar and then click on Plugins and you should see a list of plugins. Check to make sure Java is enabled. For Firefox on Windows computers you need to allow java on the specific Voice Board page now: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-allow-java-trusted-sites

Do not use the Internet Explorer or Chrome browser - Wimba does not get along well with IE, and Chrome is not a supported browser for Wimba (though it is for Blackboard).

If all else fails, try a different computer.

Wimba Voice user guide

User Manual  Select 9.1 SP14 from the Table of Contents, then select your role (Instructor or Student)

blackboard@princeton.edu

Blackboard Help Line (609) 258-0737