OCTET

Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching

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Sending Email

Instructors can send email to individuals who participate in the course from the Send Email page. Emails can be sent to individual users or to groups of users within the course, such as all Teaching Assistants.

 

To send email from within a course:

  1. Under the Control Panel heading click Course/Organization Tools.
  2. Under Course/Organization Tools select “Send Email”.
  3. Select to whom the email will be sent.
  4. Add a subject NOTE: The subject line will be suffixed with the sending course ID. There is no way to modify this, as it provides the recipient with an easy indication that it was sent from a particular course.
  5. Add the message.
  6. Upload attachments as needed.
  7. Click Submit to send.

Click here to watch a video about sending email.

Instructors cannot send email to users who are not enrolled in Blackboard.  Emails are sent to the external email accounts listed in the personal information section for each user.

 

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Upload multiple documents

You can add files and folders to Course Files in multiple ways, including when course content is created. All Recognized Attachment File Types can be saved to Course Files.

Note:  Students cannot upload files to Course Files. They may only browse for and attach files from their computers when participating in a course, and those files are not saved in Course Files.

You can add content in four ways:

  • Upload files and folders into Course Files, either one at a time or in batches, using the drag-and-drop function or the browse function.
  • Upload files when content is created in your course. Files uploaded from your computer using the Browse My Computer function are saved automatically in the top level folder in Course Files.
  • Create content using the Text Editor and save it as an HTML object,
  • Use WebDav for direct upload, editing, and management of files in Course Files from your computer desktop or through WebDAV capable applications.

For more information about uploading files and documents, please click here.

 

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Add an Announcement

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 to the syllabus
  • Corrections/clarifications of materials
  • Exam schedules

When adding an Announcement, Instructors can also send the announcement as an email to students in the course. This ensures that students receive the announcement even if they do not log in to the course.

How to Create Announcements

Announcements will appear in the order posted, with the most recent announcements appearing first.

  1. In the Course Tools area of the Control Panel, click Announcements.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.34.55 PM
  2. From the action bar, click Create Announcement.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.35.26 PM
  3. Provide a Subject and Message.
  4. Set the Duration.Select Not Date Restricted to keep the announcement visible until it is manually removed.–OR–Select Date Restricted to limit the announcement’s visibility by date and time.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.36.56 PM
  5. If the Announcement is Date Restricted, select the Display After and/or Display Until check boxes and type the dates and times. Alternatively, use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and the pop-up Time Selection Menu to select dates and times.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.36.34 PM
  6. Select the Override User Notification Settings check box to send students an email containing the announcement. The email will be sent to all students, even those who choose not to receive announcement notifications through email.
  7. Optionally, link to a course area, tool, or item using the Browse button.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.38.46 PM
  8. Click Submit.

Click here to watch a video on creating announcements.

Click here for more information on posting announcements.

Fields

The table below details the fields on the Add Announcement Page and Modify Announcement page.

Field

Description

Subject

Enter a subject for the announcement. This will appear as the title of the announcement.

Message

Enter the announcement by either typing directly into the field or copy and paste text from another word processing document.

Permanent Announcement

Select Yes to create a permanent Announcement. This Announcement is automatically displayed after the time and date it is created. There is no end date for this Announcement, unless the Display Until option is selected.

Choose date restrictions

Use these options to display an Announcement for a specific period of time. Select the date the Announcement begins in Display After and the date the Announcement ends in Display Until.

Override User Notification Settings

Use this option to Send Email to all users even those that choose not to receive Announcement notifications through email.

Link Location

Click Browse to locate content in the course to link to the Announcement. If the link points to a content item that is not available the link will not appear in the Announcement until the content is available.

Note that removing the content will remove the link to the content in the Announcement but The Announcement itself will remain.

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Uploading Questions to a Quiz or Survey

You can create your questions off-line and upload them into Blackboard.  However, questions in the file must conform to a specific structure to be uploaded to an Assessment successfully. Each field in the file is separated by a tab. Each row is a separate question.

The upload feature relies on TAB delineation—so I would suggest using EXCEL and “save as” a tab-delimited file (.txt).

Directions for formatting questions:

Question Type

Formatting

Begin line with:

Multiple Choice MC<tab>question<tab>answer 1<tab>”correct” or “incorrect”<tab>(continue with other answers).
Multiple Answer MA<tab>question<tab>answer 1<tab>”correct” or “incorrect”<tab>(additional answers).
True/False TF<tab>question<tab>either “true” or “false”
Ordering ORD<tab>question<tab>answers in correct order separated by <tab>

  • Can have up to 20 items, each separated by <tab>
  • System will randomize the order.
Matching MAT<tab>question<tab>answer 1<tab>match 1<tab>(other answers and matches separated by <tab>)

  • Can have up to 20 matched items, each separated by <tab>
  • Must have same number of answers and matches.
  • System will randomize the order
Fill in the Blank FIB<tab>question<tab>answer 1<tab>(continue with each of the answers allowed, separated by <tab>)

  • Maximum number of acceptable answers is 20.
Short Response SR <tab> question <tab> sample_answer
Opinion/Likert Scale OP <tab> question
Essay ESS<tab>question<tab>suggested answer

  • Must provide a suggested answer
  • Answer may be abbreviated

NOTES:

  1. When entering text, do not type the < >; press the TAB key when <tab> is indicated.  In Excel, pressing the TAB key advances you to the next cell in the row.
  2. Do not use the “quotation marks” for MC or MA questions—just type correct or incorrect for each answer given.
  3. Do not use the “quotation marks” for TF questions—just type true or false.
  4. Questions that are imported into a Survey may not include correct and incorrect answers.Sample Spreadsheet:
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.08.11 PM
                          (Click to enlarge) 
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.09.52 PM

When you are ready to upload questions:

  1. Select the “Edit Mode On” button in the top right hand corner of the site.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 4.10.50 PM
  2. In the course go under the Control Panel heading and select > Course/Organization Tools.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 3.52.00 PM
  3. Click “Test, Surveys and Pools”.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 3.52.43 PM
  4. Click Test or Survey and then select Build Test or Build Survey.
      Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 3.53.21 PM
  5. Name and describe the test and provide instructions and then select Submit.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 3.54.29 PM
                         (Click to enlarge)
  6. The next screen will display a horizontal action bar and one of the buttons is called “Upload Questions”.  Click this button.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 3.57.27 PM
  7. Browse for the file that contains the questions and select it.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.10.11 PM
  8. Set default point value (if most questions have same point value) and submit.  Now you can import the questions.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.09.27 PM
  9. You will be able to modify and remove questions in this uploaded assessment just as in a Blackboard-created exam.

For more information on uploading questions, click here.

 

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Discussion Boards

What is a discussion board?

  • An online tool to help encourage students to discuss, reflect, & collaborate on a topic of interest.
  • The Discussion Board enables threaded, asynchronous discussions.
  • Students post messages in response to writing prompts, or respond to other students’ messages.

Why Use a Discussion Board?

  • provides an alternative source of interaction with the content for students who may not participate in class
  • promotes the opportunity for students & instructor to interact outside of the classroom setting
  • improved discussion aids the learning process
  • creates an opportunity to practice writing skills
  • improves critical thinking skills
  • enables anywhere or anytime discussion–not limited by the classroom

For more information about the Discussion Board, click here.

Discussion Board Basics

  • Instructors can set up multiple forums around different topics and embed them in appropriate content areas or lessons.
  • Instructors can determine whether students can modify, delete, post anonymously, and/or include attachments.
  • Forums can be sorted/viewed by thread, author, date, or subject and are allows you to search.
  • Instructors can assign students to “moderate” discussions.

 


Basic steps to create a Discussion Board

  1. Click the “Edit Mode On” button in the top right hand corner of the site.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 4.10.50 PM
  2. Under the Control Panel, click “Course/OrganizationTools”.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 4.11.02 PM
  3. Under Course/Organization Tools, select “Discussion Board”.  You should see the name of your course/org.  Click the title.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 4.11.20 PM
  4. In the upper left corner, click the “Create Forum” button.   The instructor must create a forum in order for participants to use a discussion board.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 4.11.58 PM
  5. Create the Forum:   a.)  give it a name and description;   b.) determine settings (see below for suggestions)
    Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 5.08.26 PM
  6. Click submit and the discussion board will be created.    It should appear in the list of forums.  Clicking the down arrows to the right of the forum name will give you a list of options that you can perform.
    Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 5.10.21 PM
  7. Once you create the forum for the discussion board, you will need to make sure that students have access to it.  You can create a tool link in the Main Menu for the Discussion Board, or you can link to a particular discussion board in a content area.  You can access the Discussion Board from the Tools link on the Course Menu and from the Control Panel. You may also add a customized link to the Course Menu and to a course area. When you provide a link to the Discussion Board in a course area, students can access the tool alongside other course content.

To watch a video on creating a discussion board forum click here.

To watch a video on creating a discussion board thread click here.


 

Suggestions for Forum Settings in the Discussion Board

The following list describes the settings you can select for various types of forum requirements.

  • If you want to create effective social forums, select the Allow Anonymous Posts and No Grading in Forum options. Allowing students to post anonymously is important at the beginning of a course when they are still becoming comfortable with discussions. If quality is a concern, assign a Moderator to review each post before it is made public. To learn about moderating the Discussion Board, see How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating).
  • If you want to create forums where students have control of the discussion, allow them to edit, delete, and rate posts. Also, you can allow students to create new threads and direct the discussion.
  • If you want to have a tightly controlled forum, select the Force Moderation of Posts and Grade Forum or Grade Threads options. To ensure students focus on the existing threads, do not allow the creation of new threads.
  • When you want your students to focus on the existing threads, do not select Allow Members to Create New Threads.
  • If you allow authors to edit their published posts, consider locking the thread. Locked posts cannot be changed after they are graded.
  • Some settings cannot be selected in combination. For example, if you are grading forums or threads, anonymous posts are not allowed. Also, if thread grading is enabled, members cannot create new threads.

Suggested Settings:

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 5.08.40 PM

To watch a video on changing discussion board forum settings click here.


 

FAQs

I saved my reply instead of submitting it in a discussion board, but now neither my instructor nor I can find it.  Is it gone or can I retrieve it?

  • As long as you saved it, it has not disappeared.  You will need to get back into the discussion board where you saved the thread/reply.  At the top you should see a “Display” option which is probably set to “Published” by default.  You will need to click the down arrow and select “Show All” from the list and be sure to click the “GO” button next to it.  Your posting should appear with (draft) next to the title of the thread.  Simply click on the thread to open it up, and then you can submit it when you are ready.

My students say they have posted threads in a discussion board, but neither of us can see it?  What is happening?

  • Check the settings for the discussion board.  If this is happening, the “force moderation of posts” option in the parameters for the discussion board has been selected.  When an instructor selects this option, it means that the posts will not appear to the class until they are “released” by a moderator.  By default the instructor is the moderator, but anyone within the course can be designated as moderator.  To find the posts, you’ll need to go into the discussion board.  Once there, you should see a button in the action bar called “moderate forum” just above the search/date area.  If you click on this you can than see the various posts from students.  Click the moderate button on the right and you can either publish it or return it to the student with comments.  Click submit, and it will be moderated appropriately.  You should also be able to change the option in the original discussion board settings by clicking “modify” and then unchecking the option.

I’m having trouble opening an attachment in a discussion board. Why is this occurring?

  • Look at the actual file name.  If it contains any strange characters such as extra periods or number signs, than the computer may not recognize what type of file it is.
  • Recommendation 1: Do not use periods within the name of a file to separate words.  Use underscores instead.  Extra periods cause problems because the computer thinks that the info after the first period is the type of file, and it then doesn’t understand how to view or use it.
  • Recommendation 2: Do not use strange characters in the file names.  When students use strange characters in the file name, the computer becomes confused and may have trouble interpreting the file type .  NEVER use any strange characters, such as #, *, &, ?, >, ” when creating the name of a file.
  • FIX: Be sure the student has copy/pasted their reply into a word document, and then remove the post.  The student will need to create a new reply and paste their response.  The student should also rename their file and attach the renamed file to the thread.  This should correct the problem.

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Collect electronic files using the Assignment Feature

The assignment feature is a tool that instructors can use to collect electronic work from students. The instructor creates one assignment for all students to access and the work can be graded through the grade center.  Because of its ease of use and the fact that it ties assignments to students in the grade center, this is the recommended tool for collecting digital assignments.

Benefits of using the Assignment Feature:

  • The Instructor does not have to create a separate line entry in the grade book–it is done when the assignment is created.
  • The Instructor can upload a file to include with the assignment.
  • Any file type can be uploaded, just remember that students need to be able to open the file.
  • Students can upload a file to “turn-in” the assignment.
  • The Instructor can upload additional files, provide feedback, and grade the assignment in one location.
  • Instructors can provide immediate feedback to students.
  • The information is retained as long as the course exists, or as long as you have an archived copy.

How to Create an Assignment in a Course Area

Download “Getting Started with Assignments” (pdf) or create an assignment with the following instructions:

*To view the image below larger, click on it to open its page and then click on it again to make it larger*

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON.
  2. Access a Content Area (such as course documents), Learning Module, Lesson Plan, or folder.
  3. On the Action Bar, point to Create Assessment to access the drop-down list.
  4. Select Assignment.Making an assignment
  5. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name.
  6. Type Instructions. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia and mashups. Any files uploaded from your computer are saved in Course Files. Attachments uploaded using the Text Editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment.
  7. You can add files in the Assignment Files section. To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer. The attached file will display with the assignment link in the course area.
  8. Type the Points Possible.
  9. The assignment is available by default, but you can make it unavailable by clearing the check box for Make the Assignment Available. Select the number of attempts allowed.
  10. Set the Due Date.
  11. Select Recipients. Selecting All Students Individually requires each student to submit the assignment. Selecting Groups of Students enables you to select a group to receive one assignment that they will submit for one collective grade.
  12. Click Submit. The assignment appears in the course area.

Result

When you create a new assignment, it resides only in the course area where you created it. If you delete an assignment from a course area, it is permanently removed from the system.

Next Steps

This section provided basic information on assignment creation. To learn more about assignment options, settings, and grading, see Assignments.

 


Download submissions:

  1. Once the student submits a paper, faculty can access it in the control panel by clicking into the grade center.
  2. Click Full Grade Center and look for the assignment (column)–you will see an exclamation point for any submissions in that column.
  3. To view what students have “turned-in,” go to the assignment column and click on the pair of drop-down arrows to the right of the column title.
  4. From the drop-down menu select “Assignment File Download”.
  5. Select which files to download. You can select individual students (check one box), multiple students (check multiple boxes), or all students who have submitted files (check box in header row).
  6. Click submit.
  7. Click the DOWNLOAD ASSIGNMENTS NOW link and save the zip file to your computer.

Click here to watch a video about downloading assignments.

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Faculty questions about quiz features

Quiz FAQs for Faculty

Is there a way for the detailed results and answers for the quizzes to be shown without having the quizzes still available for taking (esp. for students who did not take the quiz)?

When you change the settings to show the feedback, you can add a password to the quiz. This should make the results available, but the quiz unavailable (unless you have the password). This will prevent other students from going back to take it with the correct answers. Go to the quiz, and select Modify>Modify test options>Password.  Just remember to set the password when you change the settings to show the results.

With the password set….If the test was already completed, the student will be able to review their results by clicking on the quiz or by clicking the link under “My Grades.” If the test was not completed, they will be prompted to enter the password.

The Blackboard quiz password prevents students who have not taken a quiz from accessing it after the feedback is given.


Do you know if when you give multiple choice quizzes on Blackboard, you can give negative points for incorrect answers?

There is not currently a way to do this in Blackboard. The problem is that the gradebook standardizes on a scale from 0 to 100 and does not allow negative points to be given. You could standardize on a different value other than 0, such as 10 so that “10″ would be your new “0″, and anything below 10 would be theoretically negative. But I think that this would only complicate not only the gradebook, but also the grading scale–which would confuse the heck out of the students.

The system does allow for partial grading, but students would still get points for answering. The correct answer could be worth 10, while the incorrect answer would be worth 2–this is not enough points to make a difference in the grade, but a “0″ would be more effective in this case because they wouldn’t get any points for answering wrong–so the partial grading would not be useful either.

A request has been placed with Blackboard to have them look into this as a possible product enhancement. I suspect that this may never be an option. Let me provide an example to help explain why. Say that a student guessed wrong on all 10 questions on a quiz. If each question was worth 5 pts, and wrong answers were worth -1 pt, instead of receiving a “0,” he/she would receive -10 pts on the quiz. I imagine that the system would view this as counter intuitive because you shouldn’t be able to loose more points than what the quiz was originally worth. And, regardless of whether you use negative points or not, if the student answered all of the questions wrong, he/she would still fail the quiz.

To make a short story long, we do not see a way to use negative points to discourage guessing at the present time. We’ll have to wait and see if Blackboard is able to develop something to solve this problem.

Blackboard quiz does not allow negative points.

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Tips for a good experience with Blackboard quizzes and tests

Tips for Successful Quiz-Taking

  1. Do NOT wait until the last minute to take the test.
  2. Take the test on a computer through a reliable network connection. (A dial-up connection is a really bad idea–AVOID AOL!!) Also avoid using a wireless connection.
  3. Avoid multi-tasking while taking the test.  Close all unnecessary windows and programs so that your computer is dedicated only to quiz taking.
  4. Do NOT save your answers as you go. Blackboard appears to have a glitch which sometimes results in answers being lost and the test locking up whenever one of the “Save” buttons is clicked. Instead, it is recommended that you complete the test and click “Submit.” Stay away from all “Save” buttons.
  5. Avoid hitting the Back, Forward, Home, or Refresh/Reload buttons in their browser.
  6. Avoid entering new URLs in the Address or Location fields of the browser.
  7. Avoid selecting any pages from Favorites/Bookmarks in the assessment’s browser window.
  8. Avoid using a scroll wheel on a mouse to scroll down through a set of test questions. Scroll wheels can inadvertently change answers. Use the window scroll bar not the scroll wheel.
  9. Be sure to use a supported browser.


MAC USERS:

If you are using a Mac to take this test, you will need to turn off your Visual Text Box Editor (VTBE) in order to avoid problems. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ACCESS THE TEST BEFORE following these instructions as it will result in an error.

Please follow these steps to turn off the VTBE:

  1. Click on the Home Tab.
  2. From the menu on the left, click “View Personal Settings”.
  3. From this list, click “Set Visual Text Box Editor Options”.
  4. Change the availability to “unavailable” and click submit.
  5. Go back to your course and take the test.

 


Problems that may occur during quizzes or surveys:

  • User receives a message indicating that “the assessment has not been completed”
  • User receives a message indicating that the “assessment was already submitted”
  • User loses internet connection
  • User accidentally logs out
  • Submitting quiz caused browser to freeze
  • Attempt in Progress icon:  A Student is currently using the Assessment or Assignment.  If you have taken an assessment and you now have this icon as a grade, this indicates that the test was not submitted correctly and Blackboard believes that the student is still taking the test.   A common reason for this is that the student selected SAVE, not SUBMIT at the end of the assessment or the Internet connection was lost during the test.  Immediately log back into Blackboard, access the assessment, complete it and SUBMIT it.  If you are unable to access the assessment, the instructor should be contacted immediately.

*In all these above cases, the instructor will need to “clear attempt” if they want to allow the student to retake the quiz.  The student will not be able to take the assessment again until the attempt is cleared. The student should contact the Instructor, explain in detail what occurred, and ask the Instructor to clear the assessment attempt. It is up to the Instructor to decide whether to allow the student access to the assessment a second time.



What if my Pop-up blocker in IE is preventing me from taking the quiz or forcing me to right-click?

This is a security feature for Internet Explorer.  You can change the settings by following these instructions:

  1. Open your IE browser
  2. Click on the Tools menu.
  3. From the Tools menu select “Internet Options”
  4. From Internet Options select the “Privacy” tab
  5. At the bottom of the tab is the Pop-up blocker section.  Make sure the “Block pop-ups” is checked.
  6. Click the “Settings” button
  7. Here we will need to add Bb to the acceptable list (unless you’ve already done this).  Type the url ( https://blackboard.oberlin.edu ) and then click the “ADD” button.  The address should appear in the “allowed sites” list.
  8. Then (right below the list) you will find the Filter Level—I suspect that yours is set to “HIGH”—which forces a ctrl-click to access pop-ups.  Change this setting to “MEDIUM” which will remove the ctrl-click (however, be sure that the pop-up blocker is checked because otherwise you may receive pop-ups you don’t want–you want to block everything accept the ones on the list).
  9. Click “Close” to accept changes.
  10. Click “OK” to accept Changes.

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Emailing majors/minors that are seniors

Currently we feed all students that have declared a particular major or minor into the appropriate Department site in Blackboard. This allows all faculty and AAs to quickly email everyone associated with the department, conduct surveys, provide a space for majors/minors to add information about their progress towards fulfilling the major, communicate with each other …

One other administrative function is to email seniors. There are many ways to do this each of which requires some front end work and maintenance of lists. However, we have a little work around that makes contacting majors/minors that are also seniors rather easy.

1) Log in to Blackboard
2) Go to your department site under My Organizations

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 3.42.28 PM
3) Go to the Grade Center>>Full Grade Center in the Control Panel (left margin, below menu)

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 3.43.21 PM
4) Click on the double down arrows in the Obie ID Number column (usually the 3rd or 4th column) and select “Sort Descending”

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 3.43.35 PM   Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 3.44.02 PM
5) Click on all the checkboxes in front of all SR- (SR stands for seniors) in column 1
6) After checking all relevant boxes, scroll back to the top of the grade center, select “Email Selected Users”

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 3.44.47 PM

 

DONE! Remember that this will send email to majors AND minors.

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Getting Started with Academic Department sites in Blackboard

The departments sites in Blackboard have certain advantages over simple webpages.

  • Faculty, majors, minors and majors and minors on academic leave are automatically associated with the department sites.  This allows you to use the features of Blackboard to target content, messages and surveys to just those students. Features that can be used include:
    • Seeing a photo roster of all students
    • Seeing a more expansive roster of your majors and minors (Control Panel>>Tools>>Photo Roster- Confidential
    • Getting announcements out to the enrolled users via announcement/email feature.
    • Restricting access to documents to only the users enrolled in the site or to a subset of the users via the adaptive release feature.
    • Starting a discussion among the enrolled users
    • Surveying the enrolled users.
    • Downloading email addresses for majors, minors and major/minors on academic leave.
    • Viewing who as added or dropped the major over a specific period of time.

More details on what can be done in your Blackboard department site.

  • The announcement feature can be used to post messages that will appear in the My Announcement module on the main Academic Hub tab. To post an announcement first select the “Edit Mode” button to “On’. Next, go under the Control Panel heading>>Organization Tools>>Announcements>>Add Announcement. When adding an announcement there is an option to also send as an email to ALL members in the organization.
  • What else can be posted?
    • Information (documents or information) can be posted and made available to everyone or specific subgroups.
    • Schedules of lectures or guest speakers
    • Forms that need to be filled out
    • Grad School Information
    • Faculty/Staff Information
    • Internships and Jobs section
  • Faculty can view photos of the majors (under the Control Panel heading>>Organization Tools>>Student Roster)
  • Create other areas of interest and have multiple users take the responsibility for keeping the pages up to date.
  • Create forums for discussing specific topics. The forums can be restricted to faculty, continuing faculty, majors or any combination.
  • Gather information from your members through a ‘test,’ survey or blog e.g. which t-shirt design is best, who should we invite to speak etc.

How do I add menu items?

Click here to view a document on managing content in a Blackboard site.

  1. Make sure  the Edit Mode is “On.” It is located in the top right hand corner of the course. Then click the plus button (+) above the course menu to add a new menu item.
  2. Add a Menu item
    • Content Area = this is a location where you can upload documents, images, and other types of content
    • Blank Page=to add content
    • Tool Link = allows you to add a direct link to course tools such as discussion boards, wikis, send email, etc
    • Course/Organization Link = allows you to create a direct link to an item in the course
    • External Link = allows you to create a link to any location on the Internet
    • Create Module Page=allows you to add a customizable page with available modules
    • Create Subheader=provides more information to the above menu item
    • Create Divider=adds a line to organize the menu list
  3. Give the item a name (this will appear in the Main Organization Menu)
  4. Check the box for “Available for Student/participant” , otherwise it will not appear in the main menu.
  5. Click Submit in the lower right corner to create menu item.

How do I add materials to my organization?

You can add a variety of documents to your course. Most popular document types include:

  • Word (.doc, .docx)
  • PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
  • Images (.jpg)
  • Adobe PDFs (.pdf)

Click here to download an instructional document on adding content to your course or organization.  The video below highlights additional new features like dragging and dropping documents and folders into organizations and uploading multiple documents at once.

You can also create subfolders, external links, and links to other tools within content areas.

NOTE: DO NOT USE SPECIAL CHARACTERS IN THE NAMES OF THE FOLDERS or FILES.  Please limit the names of these documents to alpha-numeric characters.

What other tools are available to use in my site?

Tests
Surveys
Assignments
Discussion Boards
Blogs
Wikis
Sign-up lists
Create Appointments
Google Scholar
Group Tools
Chat Room
Virtual Classroom
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To learn more about these tools, go to the Blackboard help site or contact OCTET at octet@oberlin.edu or x58345.