Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching


Online Timeline Software

If you want to create a timeline project in your class or organization, there are many free tools online that make this process easy. Highlighted here is a list of free timeline software that we recommend.

If the assignment is a group project, then the simplest tool to use and edit with groups of students is Timeline JS. Students can enter their data or event into a shared spreadsheet. Once the spreadsheet is filled out by all participating students, it can be uploaded to the Timeline JS site and is automatically converted into a timeline.  Information on the format of the spreadsheet can be found here.


There are other options where the creation tools are in the software itself. Some of these have paid versions, or can only be accessed by individuals, so these tools are best for individual projects.


Getting started with job search sites

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

These sites are created on an as needed bases. If you 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.  This process will be detailed below.
  • 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


Once your site has been created, it is up to you to upload documents and files and enroll committee members as users. We recommend limiting use of the Blackboard site for the final round of potential applicants (~15) ,since uploading hundreds of files is very time consuming.

If you would like to upload significantly more than around 15 files, contact OCTET as soon as materials begin to be collected and we can help you set up WebDav. We will be unable to help on a last minute basis (ie day of requests).

Here are the instructions for uploading documents and materials to the job search site. This is using one specific option that has worked for many in the past, but feel free to adjust and manipulate as you see fit.

Note-Upload multiple files does not consistently work due to the Java based script. The most consistent option is to upload files individually.

  1. From the course panel (left column on screen), click the + button and Content Area.

Name the new Content Area “Application Materials”, and make it available to users.

  1. Now it is time to build content within this area. Click Application Materials from the left column. From the Build Content tab, add a new content folder.

Name this folder as Applicant 1 and press submit. Within this folder, all the documents pertaining to this applicant will be housed.

  1. Once this folder has been created, you can add documents to it. From the Applicant 1 folder, click the Build Content tab again, but this time Create Item. Name the item, and then attach a file from your computer using the Browse My Computer option. Then click Submit. This file is now in the folder for Applicant 1.
  2. Repeat this process, creating new folders for different applicants and then uploading files pertaining to them.


Besides adding content area to the job search site, you will also need to add the committee members who you want to have access to review. Here are those steps:

  1. Under the Control Panel on the left hand column, click Users and Groups–>Users.

  1. Then click the green tab “Find Users to Enroll”
  2. From here, you can directly add users if you know their username. Alternatively, you can browse by first and last names by clicking Browse. After selecting multiple users that you want to add, you must now set their role. The two most common roles are leaders and participants.

Leaders will be able to add documents, send emails, and other administrative details. If you are adding to the site and following these instructions, you are listed as a Leader. Participants have roles much like students; they can view files and make comments, but not make any administrative changes for the group.


Delayed Test Feedback in Blackboard

In Blackboard, students can receive feedback on their tests either immediately or at a different specified time. The feedback can be made available after the due date, so that no one sees the correct answers until everyone has taken the assessment. Here are the steps to set this feature:

1. After you have designed a test, press the drop down menu near the test name and select “Edit the Test Options”

2. From “Edit the Test Options”, scroll to the “Due Date” section and set a date and time for the assessment to be due.

3. Continue to scroll down to the “ Show Test Results and Feedback to Students” section. Under the “When” column, select “After Due Date”. Alternatively, you could select “On a Specific Date” to choose an alternative date to display the feedback.

4. Check the boxes under the “Answers” column labeled Correct and Submitted. Also check “Show Incorrect Questions”. This will let the feedback include incorrect answers and the correct answers after a specified date. You can also check “Feedback” to show more detailed explanations (but you have to write these yourself in the feedback sections when creating test questions). Your screen should look similar to this:

5. Press Submit and deploy the test per usual.



Creating Senior Surveys

This post is directed towards administrative assistants who are creating senior surveys for the students in their departments.



Please contact OCTET at octet@oberlin.edu if you would like to use an online system for your senior surveys.


Transferring Information in Google Calendar

Did you know that you can transfer events from past year’s Google Calendar into this year’s?

You will need to ‘edit’ the original event. From there you can follow these 5 steps to set it up to appear on the calendar year after year.   You will notice that there is a ‘Yearly’ option under repeats. If you use this feature, you will not be able to set it for ‘day of the week.’  That feature only allows you to set it up for a particular date.

Here is a screen shot of the setup:



Mobile Phone Notifications

It’s easy to stay up to date with Blackboard assignments even when you are away from your computer. You can arrange to receive notifications via text, voicemail, or through the Blackboard Mobile app.

To receive SMS text messages or voicemails:

1) First, double check that Blackboard has your mobile phone number. From My Blackboard in the upper right-hand corner, click “Settings”. Then continue to “Personal Information”. From there, you can add your mobile phone number.

*Click on the image to enlarge (it will open as the image and if you click a second time it will get bigger)*blackboard home settings personal info


2) Now you can edit your notification settings to include SMS messages or Text to Voice messages to your phone. Here are those steps:Text Settings

  1. From My Blackboard tab again, select Settings and then select Edit Notification Settings.
  2. On the Edit Notification Settings page, select the link for Courses I am taking to change notification settings for all courses at once.  Alternatively, you can make selections for individual courses by selecting a course name under Edit Individual Course Settings. The Current Notification Settings page appears and provides the same options.
  3. On the Change Settings page, check that your Notification Destinations are correct. If not, change them in your Personal Information (see above for instructions).
  4. Under Settings, select how your notifications are delivered by selecting the check box at the top of a column or by selecting check boxes for individual tools or features. Remove the check mark for any notification that you do not wish to receive.
  • Two-Way SMS (Oberlin College is not set up for this) 
  • Text-to-Voice – This column appears if your institution has enabled this feature. A voice message is sent to the phone number you provided in your Personal Information.
  • After making your notification selections, click Submit.


There is also a  Blackboard Mobile Learn app:

If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can download the Blackboard Mobile Learn from Apple’s App Store or from Google Play on Android. Push notification settings from these apps can be adjusted in the same manner as before, under the “Mobile” column. If you arrange for push notifications, you do not need text or voicemail notifications. Pick your preferred notification method so that you are only alerted once.

If you are having trouble, call the CIT Help Desk at 440-775-8197 or email them at cit@oberlin.edu