Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching


How to create a successful flipped learning experience for you and your students

The Flipped Classroom: Strategies to Overcome Student Resistance and Increase Student Engagement

>>> Upcoming Seminar | October 18 <<<

Join Barbi Honeycutt, editor of the newly released book titled Flipping the College Classroom: Practical Advice from Faculty, as she provides strategies you can use to create a successful flipped learning experience for you and your students. You’ll find out how to identify the reasons that some students resist the flipped classroom model and how you can address those challenges to increase the likelihood that they will come to class prepared.

During this online seminar, you’ll learn how to structure preclass assignments so students are more likely to complete the work, and examine ways to support students as they discover what it takes to learn in the flipped classroom environment.

Here is some of what you’ll learn during this 60-minute seminar:
• How to get your students to understand their roles in the flipped classroom
• How fear and the “stages of grief” can affect student motivation—and how to reduce their impact
• Strategies to help your students overcome resistance to the flipped learning environment
• A three-part model that will help you design effective preclass assignments—and motivate students to do them
• The benefits of the flipped classroom and how to help students understand the value of this model from their point of view

DATE: Tuesday, October 18
PRICE: $247 (through 10/7/16, $297 thereafter)
LEARN MORE: http://bit.ly/flip2016LI

When you register, you get access to the live seminar, on-demand access for 30 days, a copy of the recording on CD, the complete transcript, and all handouts and supplemental materials. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

Questions regarding the program should be directed to the customer service department at Magna Publications: email support@magnapubs.com

Mary Bart
Teaching Professor group manager


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.


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.



Welcome to the Oberlin College Blackboard FAQ

Please browse the Blackboard Help FAQ to find useful information about the system.  Click a tag in the cloud or use the search bar to find your information.

Click here to browse the online help for Instructors.

Click here to browse the online help for Students.

If you have trouble locating the right information, please contact us (octet@oberlin.edu).


Scroll bar does not appear in Grade Center


Scroll bar does not appear in grade center making it difficult to mange columns on the right margin.

Product affected:

Blackboard Learn Grade Center

Windows Operating Systems (XP, Windows7)



Vendor response:

knowledge base

Problem resolved:

If you encounter this issue, you need to make a change to the scroll bar size setting.

WINDOWS7: go to Control Panel/Personalization/Window Color/ click ‘advanced appearance settings’, set Item drop box to ‘Scrollbars” , change size to 17 /click OK.

Windows XP: go to Control Panel/Display/click the “Appearance” tab/ click ‘Advanced’, set Item drop box to ‘Scrollbars” , change size to 17 /click OK.



Course menu missing when entering the course, unable to navigate course materials

If you are unable to see the main course menu, the most likely problem is that the main course menu has been hidden or minimized.  To fix this, locate the arrow on the left margin of the browser window about half way down the page.  Click this arrow to show the main course menu and return the site to normal navigation view.  Here’s a short video explaining what it looks like and how to correct the problem.

Hidden Menu Help Video


Manage weighted grades in the grade center

The Weighted column is a type of calculated column that generates a grade based on the result of selected columns and categories, and their respective percentages. When creating a Weighted column, you can include other calculated columns or other Weighted columns.

If there isn’t a “weighted total” column in the grade center already you can create one through the  “Create Calculated Column” option.  Once you have the weighted column, you can then manage the weights for the categories there.  Item 3 for this column type allows you to select categories that you can then weight.  Push the category to the right and then add the percentage.

For more information or specific details, please refer to the Blackboard documentation on Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns.  Refer to the sections “About Weighted Columns in the Grade Center” and “How to Create Weighted Columns in the Grade Center.”


Add image (s) to a test or exam question

Question settings include options to change default point values for a test, add images, files, or external links to questions and answers, and designate questions as extra credit.

Before you can begin adding images to questions, you will need to change the test or survey’s question settings.  See Changing Question Settings for more information.


Understanding Wikis and Blogs

Wikis and Blogs are types of Social Software that enable people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through the Internet.  Other types of social software includes:

  • Instant messaging (IM)
  • Text chat
  • Wikis (wikipedia)
  • Blogs (blogger.com)
  • Social bookmarking (post a list of bookmarks for others to use–digg.com, del.icio.us)
  • Massively-multiplayer online games (MMOGs)
  • Media Sharing:  Photo (flickr), Video (YouTube)
  • Social networks (MySpace, Facebook)

These tools have the potential to help educators connect what students do for fun with writing, reading, and learning content.


WIKI is an online collaboration model and tool that allows users to add/edit some content of web pages by using a simple web browser.  Wikis have an automatic revision history which allows users to track the evolution of the wiki over time.

Why would anyone use a WIKI?

  • Easy to use site with simple user interface, ability to add pages, and simple navigation
  • Students spend less time creating pages, and more time developing content
  • Allows students to collaborate on a project while sharing ideas, and providing immediate, equal access to the most recent version of the document
  • Track research and ideas from anywhere they have internet access
  • Helps save time by seeing what sources others have checked
  • Provides centralized location to collectively prepare final project



BLOG is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption on the web. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site.  Some blogs allow users to comment.

  • Blogs can be used to rapidly publish new ideas and receive comments from diverse audiences
  • Create reflective or personal journals
    • Student can track progress in a course
    • Students can keep important notes handy in an online environment so that they have access wherever they have internet access
    • Instructors can provide feedback to the student using the  comment feature to guide student thinking and progress
  • To give students ownership of a personal space that encourages active engagement by the students and teacher
  • To connect with others and make connections to learning.


Understanding Copyright

Oberlin College is committed to ensuring all Oberlin College community members adhere to Copyright Law. Faculty distribute materials through Blackboard in accordance with Fair Use and:

  1. The material is only available to students that are officially registered for the course.
  2. The material is only available to those students during the period that the course is being offered.
  3. It is being used for educational purposes related to the course content

Instructors should also provide a statement in their syllabus or on the course site that indicates that:
These materials are being used under the Fair Use clause.  As such, all materials need to be deleted from the students machine/storage device after the course has been completed, and at no time can the material be distributed or made available to anyone who is not officially enrolled in the course.  This would be a clear violation of Fair Use under copyright law.

Audio/video copyright concerns:

As a policy which is based on technical, pedagogical and legal considerations, we do not distribute over the network anything that resembles a complete work e.g. high quality concert footage/audio, high resolution images, a whole book or a complete movie, show, or documentary.

However, it is clear that in the future these obstacles will be eliminated and for those items where we have very clear permission to digitize and distribute whole works over the network we will need to do so. Some of the OhioLink videos come to mind as do Oberlin faculty/student concerts.

Oberlin specific issues (not necessarily in order of importance):

  • Server space – adding full length films to our media server would catch-on quickly and thus require a large amount of disk space (much cost).
  • Network issues – feeding large files, even in the YouTube format would take up much of our bandwidth
  • Copyright – we should not be promoting or modeling practices that we are actively discouraging in our students. Furthermore, if a DVD is that integral to a course, then I see it in the same way that I see a book. It should be a required purchase by the student. If it isn’t integral, then putting on reserve, however inconvenient is the proper course of action.

How are other institutions handling copyright?

For more information:

Copyright Law:  http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html

TEACH Act:  http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat062701.html

United States Copyright Office:  http://www.copyright.gov/

Circular 66 Copyright Registration for online works:  http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ66.pdf

Feeling adventurous?  Check out this comic Tales from the Public Domain: BOUND BY LAW? that was created by the Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain that discusses the fine line between copyright, intellectual property and fair use.

This book is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.