Blackboard Basics - Goucher College

meyerhoff.goucher.edu

Blackboard Basics - Goucher College

COURSE

GUIDE

Blackboard Basics


Decker Center for Teaching,

Learning, and Technology

GOUCHER COLLEGE

410-337-6066

training@goucher.edu

www.goucher.edu/training


2008 by Information Technology, Goucher College

All rights reserved. No part of this booklet may be used or reproduced in any

form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without

prior written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations

embodied in critical articles and reviews. Making copies of any part of this

booklet for any purpose other than your own personal use is a violation of

United States copyright laws. This booklet is intended for use as a reference

for faculty, staff and students of Goucher College who have or will be

attending instructor led training. For information write to Goucher College,

Information Technology, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Baltimore, Maryland

21204‐279


Table of Contents

Chapter One: Getting Started ............................................................................................. 1

Introduction to Blackboard ............................................................................................... 2

Logging In ........................................................................................................................... 2

Overview of Home Page ................................................................................................... 3

Navigating in BlackBoard ................................................................................................. 4

Overview of Welcome Page ...................................................................................... 5

Overview of Course Navigation............................................................................... 5

Personal Information ......................................................................................................... 6

Changing Your Password ........................................................................................ 6

Exercise One .................................................................................................... 8

Chapter Two: Adding Course Content ............................................................................. 9

Introduction to the Control Panel .................................................................................. 10

Overview of Content Areas ............................................................................................ 10

Adding Text: Announcements ....................................................................................... 12

Uploading Existing Files ................................................................................................. 14

Using Folders .................................................................................................................... 16

Adding An External Link ............................................................................................... 17

Adding A Course Link .................................................................................................... 18

Shortcut To The Control Panel ....................................................................................... 19

Exercise Two ................................................................................................. 20

Chapter Three: Customizing Your Course ..................................................................... 21

Adding, Deleting, And Renaming Menu Items .......................................................... 22

Adding A New Content Area ................................................................................ 22

Adding A Tool Area ............................................................................................... 23

Modifying An Area ................................................................................................ 24

Removing An Area ................................................................................................ 25

Formatting The Course Menu Design .......................................................................... 26

Changing The Course Name And Description ........................................................... 27

Set Course Availability .................................................................................................... 27

Set Course Entry Point .................................................................................................... 28

Exercise Three ............................................................................................... 29


Chapter Four: Modifying Enrollment ............................................................................. 30

Overview of Goucher’s Enrollment Process ................................................................ 31

Displaying Current Enrollment ..................................................................................... 32

Enrolling Students ........................................................................................................... 33

Withdrawing Students .................................................................................................... 34

Exercise Four ................................................................................................. 35


SPECIAL NOTATIONS AND SYMBOLS

Notation Example Description

Keystroke [ENTER] Press Enter on the

keyboard

Button/Mouse OK Click on OK in the

current window

Ribbon/Menu

Item

Tools > Options

Go to the Tools

ribbon and select

Options.


Chapter One: Navigation and Overview

In this chapter, learn how to …

Log into Blackboard

Change the Personal Information stored in Blackboard

Navigate throughout Blackboard

Describe various content areas

Complete a training exercise

Chapter One| Navigation and Overview 1


Introduction to Blackboard

Blackboard provides an online learning environment for

web‐enhanced and online courses. Blackboard is flexible

enough to support multiple approaches to teaching,

learning, and collaboration. The best advantage to

Blackboard is that you can use it in addition to your

classroom sessions, allowing you to reach your students

outside of class. Blackboard allows you to not only post

announcements and materials for students review, but

provides an easy method for online discussions, file sharing

that doesn’t fill your inbox, and grading simple assessments.

Logging In

Use the following steps to log into Goucher’s Blackboard

system:

STEPS

1. Start your browser and go to blackboard.goucher.edu

(do not enter “www”). Alternatively, you can go to

Goucher’s main web page and follow the link to

Blackboard under the Faculty/Staff Page.

2. Click on the USER LOGIN button.

3. Enter your Username and Password in the spaces

provided. Your Blackboard password is the same as

your network password (the same you use for email).

4. Click the LOGIN button.

2 Blackboard Basics


Overview Of The Home Page

The page that opens when you first log into Blackboard is

called the Home Page. Everything displayed here, from

announcements to course names, applies only to those

courses in which you are teaching or participating.

Area

Description

Tools

Displays links to useful utilities.

My

Announcements

My Calendar

My Courses

Lists the titles of any announcements

posted in courses you are enrolled in.

Clicking on a link will take you to a

page with all the text for each

announcement.

Displays the titles of any Calendar

appointments posted in your courses.

Presents a more detailed list that

combines a link and related

announcements, calendar

appointments, and tasks for each of

your courses.

Click the icon to edit options in each

section, or on the icon to minimize

the section.

Chapter One| Navigation and Overview 3


Navigating In Blackboard

There are several methods for moving around within

Blackboard.

Navigation Method

Tabs

Buttons

~or~

Description

Click on a tab to navigate to a common

area. Tabs are always available no

matter what page or area appears in the

content frame. The Announcements tab

points to the starting page for

Blackboard.

Click on a button to navigate to a page

within Blackboard. Some buttons also

lead to areas outside of blackboard or

execute functions.

Links

Images

Links perform the same function as

buttons, usually navigating to different

pages with Blackboard and

occasionally leading to outside

resources.

Click on the Goucher College image to

navigate to Goucher’s home page.

Navigation Path

Click on one of the links that appear in

the navigation path to access that page.

The navigation path appears at the top

of pages to allow users to quickly

return to a previous page.

4 Blackboard Basics


Overview of Home Page

Goucher Web Site

Tabs

Customize Page

Links to Tools

Links to Courses

Overview of Course Navigation

Tabs

Navigation Path

Buttons / Course Menu

Content Area

Chapter One| Navigation and Overview 5


Changing Your Password

Your Blackboard password is synchronized with your e‐mail

password. Should you need to change this password, there

are two methods you could use – an on‐campus method and

an off‐campus method.

From On Campus

STEPS

1. Once you are logged into the computer, press the

[CONTROL]+[ALT]+[DELETE] keys simultaneously on

the keyboard. A dialogue box will then appear.

2. Choose the CHANGE PASSWORD option located in the

bottom left corner. Once chosen you will be prompted to

change your password.

3. Type in your old password as well as your new one

twice. Once it is changed you will receive a dialogue box

that states your password has been successfully changed.

6 Blackboard Basics


From Off Campus

Visit http://password.goucher.edu and enroll in the

password management system. This will allow you to setup

security questions and reset your password.

You must visit this site before your password expires!

Chapter One| Navigation and Overview 7


Exercise One

1. List three advantages to using Blackboard (Page 2 ):

2. Log into Blackboard (Page 2).

3. What is the name of the first page displayed (Page 3)?

4. If you leave this page, how can you return to it if needed (Page 4)?

5. Enter the Blackboard On‐Line Training Course in which you are participating (Page

3).

6. Return to the Home Page and let the instructor know you are ready to continue

(Page 4).

8 Blackboard Basics


Chapter Two: Adding Course Content

In this chapter, learn how to …

Use the Control Panel

Add text

Upload existing files

Organize content into folders

Create external links

Create a course link

Complete a training exercise

Chapter Two| Adding Course Content 9


Introduction to the Control Panel

The Control Panel is the area in Blackboard used by instructors to

customize their course. Through the Control Panel, instructors can

change course content, enrollment, assessments, or formatting such

as colors or button styles.

Overview of Content Areas

The following table describes the different areas where

content appears in a Blackboard course. These areas are

included automatically when new courses are created,

but each area can be removed or added manually by the

Instructor.

Area

Announcements

Syllabus

Description

Announcements are usually short in length and

relate to reminders or other critical updates to

the course. They are normally the first thing

students read when they enter the course, and

also appear on the main Announcements page

after logging into the site.

This area is designated specifically for the

course syllabus.

Course Information

Faculty

Information

May contain descriptive materials about the

course, usually including the syllabus and

course objectives.

In this area, instructors can enter their contact

information (such as phone, fax, email address,

and office location) and can also ʺintroduceʺ

themselves to students by including a personal

note and a picture (if desired).

Course Documents

May contain materials and lesson aids, such as

lecture notes.

10 Blackboard Basics


Assignments

Lists the due date and description for class

work. Students may view attached files posted

by the Instructor. They can also attach their

own files to submit to the Instructor.

Course Research

Tools

Content in this area is usually added with the

assistance of a Goucher College Librarian to aid

students in their research efforts for the course.

External Links

Contains hyperlinks to external web sites and a

brief description.

Chapter Two| Adding Course Content 11


Adding Text: Announcements

One way to add content to a Blackboard course is to type

it in. For example, you must type in any text used for an

announcement.

Many of these steps can also be used in

other Blackboard areas to add text.

STEPS

1. Go to the course’s Control Panel and select the link

for Announcements.

2. Select the ADD ANNOUNCEMENT button.

3. In section one, type in a Subject and a Message. Use the

Formatting Toolbar to change the look and feel of the

message text as desired.

4. Section two and three provide optional settings you

can set if desired. (A description of these options is

provided below.)

5. Hit the SUBMIT button and the OK button..

Permanent Announcements

appear regardless of the

tab

Subject

Message

12 Blackboard Basics


Additional Options for Announcements:

Option

Permanent

Announcement

Choose date

restrictions

Course Link

Description

If set to “yes”, the announcement will

appear regardless of the view tab selected:

View Today, View Last 7 Days, View Last

30 Days, or View All.

Makes content visible only during a

restricted date span.

Includes a link in the announcement to a

specific part of the course already created.

A good use for this feature is to provide a

link to an assignments or tests when the

announcement is used as a reminder.

Chapter Two| Adding Course Content 13


Uploading Existing Files

Uploaded files appear as links in Blackboard. When

students click on the link, the file opens on their

computer. This process works for documents,

slideshows, pdf files, or even pictures. The only limit to

what kind of files your students can access in Blackboard

is the software they have installed on their computer. (In

other words, you can upload an AutoCAD file to

Blackboard but your students must have the AutoCAD

software for it to open on their machines.)

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the content area where

the new information should appear.

2. A list of items that can be added will appear at the top

of the new window. Click on ITEM.

3. Type in a brief name describing this information.

4. If desired, type in a detailed description of the

content.

5. Use the BROWSE button to select the file to be

uploaded.

The Name of Link to File option lets you type in a

more natural name for the link rather than the

file name. This is useful if the file name is

severely abbreviated.

Keep the setting Create a link to this file unless

you have a media file (picture or video) that

should open automatically or a compressed file

that must be expanded to view properly.

6. Click on SUBMIT and OK.

14 Blackboard Basics


Section Three: Options For Uploading Content

Option

Make the

content

available

Track number

of views

Description

If set to “no”, the content will not be

visible to students. This is helpful if

you want to preload your course with

content and make it available as you

go.

Select “yes” to include this item in

reports on Student views. Select “no”

and identifying which Students have

viewed the content will not be possible.

Choose date

and time

restrictions

Makes content visible only during a

restricted date span.

Chapter Two| Adding Course Content 15


Using Folders

Just like you can arrange folders on your computer you

can also use folders in Blackboard to keep uploaded files

organized.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the content area where

the new information should appear.

2. A list of items that can be added will appear at the top

of the new window. Click on FOLDER.

3. Type in a name for your folder.

4. If desired, type in a detailed description of the

content.

5. Click on SUBMIT and OK.

You can now upload existing files into your folder. See

directions on page 14.

It is not possible to drag files into

Blackboard folders, so you will need

to create your folders before

uploading their content. If you

decide to use a folder later, you will

have to delete any existing content

that belongs in the folder and then

reload the same files into the proper

folder.

16 Blackboard Basics


Adding An External Link

External links access outside Web sites. Usually these

links provide content consistent with the course objective

or area of study. Just like files, external links can be

placed in any Content Area and organized into folders.

There is also an entire area called “External Links” if you

would prefer to keep all these links in one section.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the content area where

the new information should appear.

2. A list of items that can be added will appear at the top

of the new window. Click on EXTERNAL LINK.

3. Type in the name for your link.

4. Type in (or paste) the url for the link, be sure to

include the

5. If desired, type in a detailed description of the

content.

6. Click on SUBMIT and OK.

Chapter Two| Adding Course Content 17


Adding A Course Link

Instructors have the ability to link to other items in their

courses through the Add Course Link page. Course links

can also be added directly into Announcements and

other Content Areas. Anything that appears in the

Course Map can be added as a Course Link.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the content area where

the new information should appear.

2. A list of items that can be added will appear at the top

of the new window. Click on COURSE LINK.

3. Type in the name for your link.

4. If desired, type in a detailed description of the

content.

5. In Section 2: Course Link, select the BROWSE button.

6. Click the area you want to link to. (Click the + to

expand menus. If you accidentally select the wrong

location click on BROWSE again.)

7. Click SUBMIT and OK.

Adding Course Links to

Announcements are done within the

Add Announcements form.

18 Blackboard Basics


Shortcut To The Control Panel

Many of the Content areas can be modified from the

course itself by using the Edit View link. This link

immediately takes you to the proper section of the

Control Panel, making editing a little faster. When you

are ready to return to what students will see, click on the

Display View link.

Chapter Two| Adding Course Content 19


Exercise Two

In this exercise you will practice uploading and organizing content to Blackboard

and communicating with students through Announcements.

1. Enter the training course you are teaching.

2. Add a folder to the Course Information area and title it Course Requirements

(Page 15).

3. Enter the Course Requirements folder and upload the Course Syllabus and the

Grading Requirements documents located in the Blackboard folder in My

Documents (Page 14).

4. Add an Announcement that you have posted the syllabus and create a Course

Link to it (Page 17).

5. Create an External Link in Course Information that links to the IT website for

students to get technical help: http://www.goucher.edu/it (Page 16).

6. List two types of information you can add to a Content Area (for example, a

Word document).

20 Blackboard Basics


Chapter Three: Customizing Your

Course

In this chapter, learn how to …

Make changes to the course menu

Format course buttons

Change the course name and description

Set the course availability

Change the course entry point

Complete a training exercise

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 21


Adding, Deleting, And Renaming Menu

Items

From the Manage Course Menu page, the Instructor can

add, delete, or modify the content areas for their course.

For example, the “Staff Information” area can be deleted

from the menu, or it can be renamed to “Professor’s Bio”,

or a new area called “Books” can be added.

Adding A New Content Area

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Manage

Course Menu.

2. A list of items that can be added will appear at the top

of the new window. Click on CONTENT AREA.

3. Select a name from the dropdown list provided or

type in a unique name for this area.

4. Click on the SUBMIT button.

5. The new area will appear at the bottom of the list

displayed. If needed, use the numbers in the

dropdown provided to move this area to a different

place on the menu.

6. Click on OK to exit this menu when finished.

Although “Allow guest access” and

“Allow observer access” are

available, Goucher College does not

support these options.

22 Blackboard Basics


Adding A Tool Link

This process does not add a new area, but creates a menu

button for an existing area. Adding a Tool Link is

essentially adding an item from the Communication area

or Tool area to the main menu. For example, the

Discussion Board is normally listed in the main menu as

well as in the Communication area. If you plan to use a

tool frequently, putting a link to it on your main menu

will make it easier for students to use.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Manage

Course Menu.

2. A list of items that can be added will appear at the top

of the new window. Click on TOOL LINK.

3. Select the type of tool you want to add to the main

course menu from the dropdown list provided. If

desired, type in a unique name for this area.

4. Click on the SUBMIT button.

5. The new menu item will appear at the bottom of the

list displayed. If needed, use the numbers in the

dropdown provided to move this item to a different

place on the menu.

6. Click on OK to exit this menu when finished.

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 23


Modifying An Area

You can rename an area at any time, or make it

unavailable until a later date while it’s under

construction.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Manage

Course Menu.

2. Next to the area to be updated, select the MODIFY

button.

3. Use the form displayed to make changes.

4. Click on SUBMIT.

5. Click on OK to exit this area when finished.

Caution:

Renaming an area on the menu will

also rename it in the Control Panel.

24 Blackboard Basics


Removing An Area

It’s a good idea to remove areas you aren’t using. This

makes it easier for your students to navigate your course

and find the information they are looking for.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Manage

Course Menu.

2. Next to the area to be updated, select the REMOVE

button.

3. Click OK.

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 25


Formatting The Course Menu Design

Instructors can change the look and feel of their course

by changing the colors and button designs on the main

course page.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Course

Design and then the link to Course Menu Design.

2. Use the form provided to change how the Course

Menu appears to your students.

When choosing a button style (not

text), use the link Gallery of Buttons

in section two to quickly complete

these choices.

3. Click on SUBMIT.

26 Blackboard Basics


Changing The Course Name And

Description

Instructors also have the ability to change the name of

their course and add or edit its description.

This will also change the name

students see in their course list when

they log into Blackboard.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Settings and

then the link to Course Name And Description.

2. Modify the form as desired.

3. Hit SUBMIT.

Set Course Availability

Blackboard courses at Goucher are automatically set to

be available. This means that students have access to the

course from the moment it is created. Some Instructors

prefer to keep their courses private, allowing students

access only when the course design is completed.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Settings and

then the link to Course Availability.

2. Change the availability option to the desired setting.

3. Hit SUBMIT.

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 27


Set Course Entry Point

By default, students enter a course on the

Announcements page. This is usually helpful as

announcements generally reminders of deadlines and so

are time sensitive. However, if you will not be using

Announcements and would prefer your students entered

your course in a different area, you can set a different

entry point.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Settings and

then the link to Course Entry Point.

2. Choose the entry point desired from the dropdown

list provided.

3. Hit SUBMIT.

28 Blackboard Basics


Exercise Three

Enter a description of the exercise…

1. Enter the training course you are teaching.

2. Remove the Faculty Information, Course Research Tools, and Course Documents

areas from the Course Menu (Page 25).

3. Rename Assignments to Final Project (Page 24).

4. Add a Tool Link to the Dropbox and make it appear directly below

Assignments (Page 23).

5. Add a new Content area and name it Blackboard Tips (Page 22).

6. Upload the file dropbox.pdf from the Blackboard folder in My Documents. Name

the link to the file “Using The Digital Drop Box Tip Sheet” (Page 14).

7. Change the button style to a rounded edge button with a color or pattern of

your choice (Page 26).

8. Change the name of the training course you are teaching to include your first

name at the beginning. For example, change the name to “Donna’s Blackboard

Training Course”, but use your own name. (Page 27).

9. Before you finish for the day, make sure your course is available to any students

enrolled (Page 27).

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 29


Chapter Four: Modifying Enrollment

In this chapter, learn how to …

Display current enrollment

Add a student

Withdrawal a student

Complete a training exercise

30 Blackboard Basics


Overview of Goucher’s Enrollment Process

At Goucher College, students who register for a course

through the Registrar are automatically enrolled in the

corresponding course in Blackboard. There are only two

situations in which the enrollment shown in MyGoucher

might be different from that in Blackboard:

A student’s enrollment is very recent and the update

process in Blackboard has not been run yet.

Blackboard updates must be run manually by

personnel in Information Technology. This process is

usually done once daily during the week.

A student has dropped a course. Withdrawals are not

handled automatically and must be done by the

course Instructor.

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 31


Displaying Current Enrollment

The Control Panel provides instructors with the ability to

see a list of every student currently enrolled in their

course.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to List/Modify

Users.

2. To see a complete list, leave the Search box blank and

click on the SEARCH button.

3. A list of students and instructors enrolled in the

course is displayed. Hit OK to exit this screen.

32 Blackboard Basics


Enrolling Students

If you do not want to wait for the automatic enrollment

process to work, or you’d like to give a co‐worker access

to your class, you can enroll them manually.

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, select the link to Enroll User.

2. Type in all or part of the student’s last name in the

Search box and hit the SEARCH button.

You can also search for a user based

on their username or e‐mail

address.

3. When the correct student’s name is displayed, click

on the checkbox next to their name and hit the

SUBMIT button at the bottom of the page.

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 33


Withdrawing Students

When students drop a class, they are not automatically

withdrawn from the corresponding Blackboard course.

This must be done by the Instructor using the steps

below:

STEPS

1. From the Control Panel, click on the link Remove Users

From Course.

2. Leave the Search box blank and click on the Search

button.

3. A list of all the students enrolled in the course will

appear. Put a checkmark next to the names of those

students who have withdrawn.

4. In the confirmation box at the bottom of the screen,

type “Yes” (without the quotes) using a capital “Y”

and lowercase “es”.

5. Hit the SUBMIT button.

6. A warning will appear notifying you that this cannot

be undone. Any grades or work submitted for this

student will be lost if you continue. Hit OK if you are

sure you want to proceed.

34 Blackboard Basics


Exercise Four

As you begin the semester, you decide to keep up‐to‐date with your course’s

enrollment and get a co‐worker’s opinion of your work so far.

1. List all the participants enrolled so far in the training course you are teaching

(Page 32).

2. Enroll Bilbo Baggins as a student in your course (Page 33).

3. Double‐check that Bilbo is now enrolled with your other students (Page 32).

4. You’ve just found out that Bilbo has dropped your course. Withdraw him from

your enrollment (Page 34).

Chapter Four| Modifying Enrollment 35

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