OCTET

Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching

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Librarian Access to BB

There are two ways to give librarians the ability to upload documents to your Blackboard site (eReserves).

Ask your librarian which is the most appropriate.  Option 1 or 2 are for Art and Conservatory courses. Option 3 is for all A&S courses.

Option 1. From the Need Help tab from Blackboard, the right column has a series of request forms. Fill out the form “Give library reserves access” form. If you want to get it done quickly, go to Option 2.

Option 2. From your BB site, you can categorize a course as ERes. Under Course Management, click “Customization” and then “Properties”. Under “Categorize Course”, move “ERes (Library Support)” to the Selected Items box using the arrow pointing to the right. The box on the right hand side should now have ERes listed. Be sure to submit changes.
NB: IF YOU WANT THE ART LIBRARIANS TO HAVE ACCESS, USE THE CATEGORY: ‘ERes-ARTS (Library Support (ARTS))

Option 3. From the Menu area add a Tool to the menu.

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Select the eReserves tool from the dropdown menu that appears.

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Title the new menu area ‘eReserves’ or ‘Readings’ or anything else that will be useful to your students. Check off the ‘make available’ options and click on Submit. This will link directly to the content that was added by the librarian to your course eReserve folder.

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Data from student and faculty survey conducted in 2013

Technology in the service of teaching and learning: data from spring survey of Faculty & Students, 2013

We have created a site to provide feedback — finally — with respect to the tech and teaching survey taken by 118 faculty last spring.  The survey addressed faculty use of technology and their desires/needs for technology in the future.

It also contains information from the student survey that was taken by >400 students.

Thanks to everyone that filled it out. The results have already been used to inform a SPRITE committee on learning management systems AND classroom spaces.  We’ve also used it to make decisions on workshops and are using it as a starting place for discussions that involve student observations on tech and learning.

We are still referring to some of this data although we recognize that it may be out of date already.

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City Maps as an assignment

Question:

Let’s say you wanted to teach about a city, including geography, history, culture, and more.  Which software / online tools (aside from Google Earth) might you use to introduce a city to your students?  I would think that maybe our geography department might have some pretty cool tools.

Answer:

Your best bet is to use Google Earth but there are other options:

A mashup of travel sites, wikipedia pages, news articles and google scholar links. The mashup could be done in google sites, wordpress, tumblr …

David Rumsey's Map Collection (http://www.davidrumsey.com/view/google-earth) has a wide variety of historic maps from the scale of a single city to the whole globe for use in Google Earth. A little Google searching will bring up lots of other cool stuff.

Similar to Google Earth, ESRI's new Story Maps might be an option (http://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/collections/). The topics are scattered (and often specific), but you can find some for most major cities around the world. Here's one about the history of inclines in Pittsburgh: http://peoplemaps.esri.com/inclines/

Another cool thing to check out is the Urban Observatory (http://www.urbanobservatory.org/). The application isn't working for me, but hopefully you won't have any problems (or they'll fix it soon).

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In-class engagement –> polling / clickers

There are many ways to engage students in class, one can create better ways to present material, ask direct questions, create small group activities, employ ‘active learning’ techniques, mix teaching styles, use polling tools …

This post addresses tools for polling your students. There are hardware solutions, solutions that work via mobile devices and those that work as hybrids.

Some options for polling in classes

  • plickers – probably the simplest and cheapest way to set up class polling. Your phone is used to collect responses,  each student has a card with encrypted A, B, C and D answers. The cards can be printed from the website. Both app and cards are free.
  • iClickers – Standard around Oberlin used by a number of faculty.
  • Socrative by MasteryConnect – web interface (Chrome web browser), mobile apps
    user guide
  • Poll everywhere – txt messaging polls
  • Turning technologies – polling and response systems. Similar to iClickers

 

 

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Investigation of On-line Evaluation systems

Products:

There are many products that claim to do online student evaluations of teaching (SETs).  Here are but a few:

Implementing on-line evaluation system

Information on the implementation of on-line evals at Oregon State University. This article addresses many of the standard questions about moving from in-class paper evaluations to on-line out of class evaluations.

Some interesting pieces discussing the (mis)use of SETs (paper or on-line):

Functional Requirements

  • Administrator
    • Allows for multiple administrators who are administering a specific subset of surveys that go out to specific courses.
    • Allows for overarching administrators who can see all survey results
    • Collates information using different criterion relevant to Individual reflection, PTT, Dept Reviews and Accreditation
    • Allow for managing release of information to faculty
    • Has tools for increasing response rate
  • Student side
    • Integrates with LMS – timed release of notices to students
    • Keeps track of surveys that are complete for the student
  • Faculty
    • Differentiates between discuss based, lecture and labs
    • Collate information from the same course across years

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Putting a desktop icon of your Blackboard file system on your desktop.

This is in reference to the ‘Shared Location’ option found in the file system menu.

Blackboard allows you to create a server connection directly to the file system for a given course or organization. This will put an icon on your desktop and allow you to treat the Blackboard folder as you would a folder on your desktop. Once this is done you can upload, rearrange and delete files in your Blackboard course without logging in to Blackboard via a browser.

Here are the instructions for setting up the alias on a Mac or Windows for the course/org files area in Blackboard.

Blackboard’s instructions recommend that you disconnect from the server by either putting the icon in the trash or restarting the machine.  In cases where you are the only person working on that particular machine, you may want to retain access to the folder/server even after restarting your machine i.e. make the icon ‘stick.’  To do this you will need to

  1. Control and left click on the new drive connection on the desktop and select “Make Alias”.
  2. Rename the alias something else.
  3. When you restart the machine or disconnect the initial icon, the Alias will remain and can be used to easily reconnect. It will ask you to log in again.

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Getting started with Job search sites

Job search sites are used to distribute application materials to faculty, staff, students and outside reviewers.

CHANGE IN PROCEDURE:  Use People Admin (requires you to login using your ObieID).

These sites were created on an as needed bases. If, for some reason,  you still need a site to be created, please fill out the appropriate form which can be found under the Need Help? tab after logging in to Blackboard or by clicking here.

Once you have your site, you should

  • Upload the appropriate documents. There are many ways to do this.  You can find more information on the Blackboard help site.
  • Enroll the appropriate users.  If there are users that are not in the system, you can request that an account be created for them by filling out the appropriate form on the Need Help? tab after logging into Blackboard or clicking here.

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Who's online (Blackboard building block)

  Who’s on Blackboard is a Blackboard building block built to help students connect when they are working on Blackboard assignments. It was build by students for students and is under continual development.  For instance, students are currently working on an opt-out feature.

Photos are the same as the ones that show up on the landing page when someone logs in and can be changed by clicking on the Change Photo link in that module.

Information is taken from the student information system with the first name being taken from the ‘nickname’ field in Banner. Therefore, to change this setting , you will need to work with the registrar.

The program which was a winter term project, uses Blackboard APIs to access data that is stored on the blackboard server to show who is currently logged in. Furthermore this module filters and organizes the users who appear online by course. The purpose of this module is to encourage classmates to collaborate outside the classroom, especially in large lecture classes. This module will also be useful to students who are assigned group assignments with students they may not already know, allowing you to see your classmate’s photo along with their name and a link to their email.  All of this information is visible in the email directory.  Ideally, this module will be updated in the future to include an instant messaging feature.

    “Writing this module challenged us as programmers and critical thinkers. We became familiar with computer science languages including XML, HTML, JSP, CSS and strengthened our overall object-oriented programming skills. We experienced the difficulties of using APIs with mostly outdated documentation such as Blackboard’s and learned to navigate Blackboard’s framework. Overall, this experience has strengthened our skills as programmers and as team players.”

-WT OCTET 2014, Web Application Programming

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Basic Blackboard Course/Org Interface

*Click on the image to see larger.  It will open up the image and you must click on it a second time.*

Instructor course page

A.  Page header: The area at the top of the page that contains the tabs, the global navigation menu, and Logout.  The tabs you see in the page header depend on your school’s licenses.
B.  Tabs: Blackboard Learn includes two common sets of tabs, discussed in the following tables.
C.  Content frame: Displays the selected tool or content area. By default, when you enter a course, the Home Page appears. You select the first page called the course entry point.
D.  Course menu: The access point for all course content. You decide which links are available here.
E.  Control Panel: The central access point for course management functions. You can manage the course style, course tools, and users from this area. Students do not see anything under the Course Management heading i.e. Control Panel functions.
F.  Action bar: Rows at the top of the page containing page-level actions such as Build Content, Search, Delete, and Upload. The functions on the action bar change depending on where you are in your course. The action bar can contain multiple rows of functions such as on the main Grade Center page.
G.  Edit Mode: When Edit Mode is ON, all the instructor functions appear, such as Build Content on the action bar in a content area or the appearance of contextual menus. When Edit Mode is OFF, you are viewing the page in student view. The Edit Mode function appears to users with a role of instructor, teaching assistant, course builder, and administrator.
H.  Breadcrumbs: As items and links are viewed in a content area, use the breadcrumbs to navigate to previous pages. Breadcrumbs trace the path to and from each item. Breadcrumbs, not the browser back button, are the best way to navigate backwards.

 

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Understanding the Photo Display Suite

There are a number of options for viewing photos of users in your site.

Public vs Confidential versions

In courses, there are two Photo Display tools. One is accessed via the Control Panel>>Course Tools>>Photo Roster – Confidential. This tool is only available to Instructors/Assistants and Leaders in course and org sites. It will display the users that are enrolled (both preferred name and legal name), their picture, their major, class dean and year.  It will also have email links to the class dean and to the individual student.  N.B. The email links will only work if your browser has been set up to open an email client such as ocmail or MacMail but you can always copy and paste the link into your email.  If you need help configuring the automatic email process, please call the help desk at 440-775-8197.

The second tool allows the instructor to make a condensed version of the roster visible to all the users enrolled in the site. This tool can be found by clicking on the + sign at the top of the menu in the left margin. Choose Tool Link>>Photo Roster – Public.  Be sure to make the new area ‘available to users.’  Only the photo, name and a link to their email will be displayed in this view.

Printing the student roster

The easiest way to print a copy  is to break the content out of the Blackboard framework.  To do this right-click (WIN) or CTRL-click (MAC) on the link to the Student Roster link in the Control panel and then select  ‘open in a new tab or window’ (the wording may be slightly different in different browsers).  This will break it out of the Bb framework and allow you to use the browser print feature to print it out.  Unfortunately, this does not always work ;(

Changing your photo

This is done through the ‘change photo’ link found in the My Info module which, by default, can be found on the landing page and on the ‘Need Help?’ tab.