OCTET

Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching

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How to build a website

There are many tools where you can build a website online with no coding involved. While the options are similar products, there are key differences that need to be explained for you to choose the tool that best fits your needs.

If you want guidance in creating your own website for personal use or a project, visit the OCTET office in King 125 during the Student Tech Assistant’s work hours and we will be happy to help! Hours are listed on the About Us page in the Who We Are section.

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EXCO course shells in Blackboard

All EXCO courses  have an instance in Blackboard.  Users that are officially listed as instructors will see a link to the instance under the ‘My Online Courses’ module.

The courses are already pre-populated with anyone that officially signed up for the course. Therefore, the email function and class roster is ready to go.

Links to the course sites  are not seen by your  students because the course is ‘unavailable’ by default. The students will only see them if you make them available. If you do not intend on making material available to your students or do not  have anything for them to do in Blackboard, don’t make it available.  You can view the roster and send email without making the site available.   Instructions for making it available

To learn more about what you can do with Blackboard, see https://en-us.help.blackboard.com//Learn/9.1_2014_04/Instructor

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Owncloud access

For files that you want to retain on campus and protect (this is usually for large, copyrighted  files), we provide a service called own cloud.  Before requesting that this be set up for you, please explore other avenues such as the library reserve, Youtube, Blackboard, vimeo …  While these are off campus services i.e. in the cloud, they have useful safeguards and can be streamed.

To request an owncloud account contact octet@oberlin.edu to get set up with an account.

Basic instructions:

Once the account is set up, log in to your folder by going to https://octet1.csr.oberlin.edu/owncloud using the credentials you were given by the OCTET staff.

  • Create folders / Upload videos/files.Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 8.32.42 AM
  • Get the shareable link and paste it into your website or Blackboard site.  You may want to password protect the link (add the password directly to Blackboard post). Without the password, anyone that stumbles across the link would be able to view the item.

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Blackboard at Oberlin 17-18

Blackboard_logolist of changes for 17-18

Logging in

Your ObieID and password will get you into Blackboard.  Your ObieID is your first initial, last name (max of 8 characters) e.g. jcalisto.  Using your email address e.g. jcalisto@oberlin.edu or john.calistoga@oberlin.edu as your username will not work.

Getting help

Check out the Need Help tab. Common issues are addressed there. A search box will search Blackboard and relevant postings in our site for the answer to your question.  You can also go directly to Help on the Blackboard site. Please don’t spend too much time searching for answers. It is very likely that our office (octet) has already worked through the issue.  Therefore, we recommend a 10-minute rule. If you can’t get an answer in 10 minutes, call (440 775-8345) or email OCTET (bbhelp@oberlin.edu). We highly recommend contacting us if you intend on using the grade center.

FIRST STEPS:

Make sure your personal information is correct

you Most information in Blackboard comes from our Student/Employee information system.  Therefore, if it is incorrect in Blackboard, it is probably incorrect in Banner, our information system. If the information you see in Blackboard is incorrect, contact the appropriate office asap. Having incorrect information in Banner can affect many systems.  Students should contact the Registrar (registrar@oberlin.edu). Faculty and Staff should contact Human Resources (human.resources@oberlin.edu).

While most information is changed via contacting the registrar or H.R., your cell phone number (needed to activate txt messages from Bb), a website URL and your personal pronouns can be adjusted directly from within Blackboard.

 

 

Make sure you have access to the correct courses and orgs

All students should see an advisor and a Class Hub organization. Once a major/minor has been declared, the department org for that major/minor will appear.  Furthermore, when a student is ready to graduate, other organizations will appear.  Classes will appear if they have been made ‘available’ to students by the instructor.

Faculty should see unavailable AND available course sites as well as organizations corresponding to their division and department. They will also see sites for any committees they are on and ones with their advisees already enrolled.  Other miscellaneous organizations may also appear in the My Organizations module.

Set your NOTIFICATION Preferences

Set your notifications and remind your students to do the same.  You can also have Blackboard send txt messages by first adding your cell phone number in your Personal Information settings before going to the Notification Dashboard. There are many ways to get your Personal Information.  The easiest is to click on the ‘Check Info’ option in the My Info module on the landing page (the one with your photo in it).  To get to the Notification Dashboard go to the arrow next to your name in the top right corner, click on Settings and then click on Notification Dashboard (you’ll also see a link to Personal Information in this menu area).

 

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Tabs

The interface is customizable and can be different for staff, faculty and students.  Currently, the design presents 5, or 6 tabs:

Blackboard tabs

  • Academic Hub – Announcements will show up at the top. Frequently used tools will be links in the left column. Courses will show up in the center and organizations in the right column.  Your info will show in the left column under the Tools/Quick link module.
  • Survey – this tab only appears for students when it is time for them to evaluate their course.  Faculty/Staff should always have access to this tab.
  • Courses – list of ALL courses as well as info on registering, course locations etc.
  • Community – list of various organizations and tools are collated here including the user directory and classroom information.
  • Content Collection (only faculty/staff) – provides access to documents, images etc. in all your courses and organizations. It also allows for the storage of ‘institutional’ documents. It acts much like a google drive.
  • Calendars – Academic calendar & Blackboard calendar
  • Need Help? Various request forms can be found here as well as information on how to use specific features.

Don’t forget to check out the subtabs!

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Additional noteworthy functionality:

Modules in each tab can be  …

  • rearrangeddrag the module by putting the mouse in the module header and clicking and holding while moving the module.
  • added
    Click on the Add Module button in the top left margin. If you have other information you would like to have access to as a ‘module,’ contact bbhelp@oberlin.edu with your idea and we’ll see what we can do.
    Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 11.17.27 AM

The Content Collection area (faculty/staff only) allows for easier management of documents.  The link titled ‘Content Collection’ at the top of the site will take you to a window where you can search for, modify, delete or add documents in sites in which you are a member. You can also overwrite files. This will keep the links to the file but show users the new file rather than the old file.  More info


‘Personalize’ your tabs – give them your own color scheme by clicking on the ‘Personalize Page’ option in the top right corner of the site.

Use the Mobile App. Free access to Blackboard mobile app allows the viewing of organization and course materials, the adding of discussion posts and the ability to have other interactions via a phone and/or tablet. There is a fast grader app for iOS devices that looks interesting and a separate one for students (bbstudent).

Activate text messaging and txt to voice capabilities. This is related to the Notifications section but deserves additional attention. Get announcements and information about changes to your courses or orgs via txt or txt to voice messaging. While faculty and organization leaders will still be able to post announcements and send  emails, users can set up additional notification channels by modifying their notification settings.

 

Specific information for instructors of courses

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Screen Recording Software

There are various ways to record your screen while giving a presentation and share that video with others. Many of these programs are online, free or have a nominal cost.

 

The recommended cross-platform solution at the moment is Google Hangouts on Air. This method works with both Windows and Mac, allows you to record webinars as you give them and is free. It is important to note that currently, with Hangouts on Air, to record a powerpoint presentation successfully you will need to select the “Screen Share” option instead of choosing the powerpoint application.

For a step by step tutorial on how to set up Google Hangouts on Air to record what is displayed on your computer screen, use this guide: http://www.eduhacker.net/technology/google-hangouts-lecture-capture.html

  • NB: You will need to have activated  youtube  for your particular google account you want to use for the instructions at Eduhacker.net to work.

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Summer Teaching and Tech Workshop May 27th, 2015

May 29th 1- day Teaching with Technology session in Academic Commons

Good time was had by all. Schedule and information from each session can be found here.

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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.

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User Directory w/photos

Only  users identified in Banner as ‘students,’ ‘faculty,’ ’emeriti’ or ‘staff’ have the ability to search the Blackboard directory.

Searches will only bring up current student, faculty, staff and emeriti.  Users with Non-Obie role in Blackboard won’t appear in the directory. This includes trustees, outside reviewers, high school students and a few others. They will however show up in any courses they are explicitly enrolled in.

Different information is displayed if a student is search or a faculty/staff person is searching for information. In ALL cases a search will show the users photo, their name (preferred first name if available), and their email address.

In ALL cases a search will show the

  • user’s photo,
  • their name (preferred first name if available),
  • their email address and
  • OCMR.

Additional information is displayed if person searching is searching for a …

Person searching Student Faculty or Staff
Student
  • none
  • position
  • department
  • office phone
  • office location
  • website
Faculty/Staff
  • major
  • class dean
  • advisor
  • year
  • current courses being taken (that are in Blackboard)
  • position
  • department
  • office phone
  • office location
  • website

 

  • Note that while text information is available to users logged into Blackboard from off-campus, the photos are only visible from a 162.132.XXX.XXX address. Therefore, someone off-campus will only see the photos if they are using a VPN connection.

NOTES:  Future adjustments:

  1. Adjust listing for those that have directory listing restrictions
  2. Create the ability to not show photo in directory but continue to show it to faculty/staff in courses and orgs.

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Student View

The way  an instructor or leader  views how a student  experiences their course or organization has changed.

OLD WAY:  Select the ‘Student View’ option from the Control Panel>>Tools area.  This option is no longer available.

NEW WAY: Click on the not so obvious icon at the top of the page.

StudentView

 

 

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Photo Roster giving a JAVA error

In some cases trying to access the photo roster is producing a page full of error messages.  This is due to an interaction between the notification system and the way we've implemented the photo roster. While we ultimately would like to fix this, the quickest solution is to dismiss the notification (see the image below for details).