JumpStart: The Next Step (#4516)
Logging into Blackboard
Logging into BlackboardThere are a few ways a user can log into Blackboard:
1. A user can go to https://blackboard.vcu.edu and log in using their eID and password.
2. A user can go to the VCU homepage (www.vcu.edu) and click on the Blackboard link.
3. A user can go to the VCU homepage (see link above) and enter their eID and password into the myVCU area and click on the Blackboard link.
Where to find Help for “Teaching” with Blackboard (Center for Teaching Excellence)
It is important to think about how Blackboard can help with your teaching. This initial set-up is a way to get started connecting with your students. To take it to the ‘next step’ we would recommend you contact the Center for Teaching Excellence (firstname.lastname@example.org). They can help you with the principles of web-based course design.
Making a Course AvailableOnce logged in, the user will see the course created under the My Course module. The course, by default, will say "unavailable" beside it. This just means that the students cannot view the course or any of the course materials until the instructor makes the course available. This is so the instructor has time to get the course prepared for the students before allowing them to actually see it. Please follow the directions below to make the course available for student view.
1. Click on the course located in the My Courses Module.
2. Under the Control Panel and Customization, click Properties.
3. Under Set Availability, select Yes and click Submit.
How to Add New Buttons
When entering the course, the user will see seven buttons and links to different areas of the Control Panel.
1. Announcements, where faculty can put any type of class notices, such as upcoming test, assignment due dates, etc.
2. Syllabus, where faculty will upload the syllabus (as well as, any other documents needed).
3. Contacts, where faculty will put any type of contact information, office location, office hours, etc.
4. Tools, there are many options, such as, Wimba Voice Tools, Blogs, Journals and, most importantly, a place for students to check their grades under the My Grades link.
5. Help, users can have easy access to further assistance in cases of course issues.
6. Bb Manual, one click to the Blackboard Manual.
7. VCU Resources, easy access to resources to enhance educational value.
8. Control Panel, only accessible to users with the instructor, Teaching Assistant or Course Builder role.
1. Make sure Edit Mode is ON.
2. Above the default buttons, hover on the + icon.
3. Select “Create Content Area” from the menu bar.
4. Enter the Name and check the availability box.
5. Click Submit.
Note: Students cannot see a content area button unless the instructor has uploaded something to it, even if the availability box has been checked. This is to prevent students from seeing empty buttons.
How to Upload Documents1. Make sure Edit Mode is ON.
2. Click the content area button (created above).
3. Click Create Item.
4. Enter the Name, any text you would like to add in the box (optional), and click browse next to “Attach local file” (you will find the file from you hard drive, disc, CD, etc.).
5. Select Yes to “Permit Users to View the Content Item”.
6. Click Submit.
How to Create a Test1. Go to a content area, hover Evaluate and select Create Test.
Under Control Panel and Course Tools, click Test, Surveys, and Pools, click Tests, then, click Build Test.
3. Enter the test name, description and instructions.
4. Click Submit.
5. Hover Create Questions and select a question type.
6. Repeat #4 until all questions are entered.
7. Click OK.
How to Use the Grade CenterThere are a few ways to have a new column added to the Grade Center. An instructor can go to the Grade Center from the Control Panel under Evaluation and click on the top menu bar. Other ways are to create a test/quiz, use the assignment feature or select the grade option in a discussion board forum or thread. Grades can be displayed as score, percentage, letter, complete/incomplete or text. To find out more on how to use the Grade Center, please view the Bb tip sheet entitled Grade Center or go to the Technology Services Knowledge Base under Blackboard (see Find More Help).
The Content System is used by faculty, staff and students as a repository. Users can put files in this area as a back up by going to the Content System tab, My Content, and Add Folder, Item or Link. Once documents are uploaded into this area, users can access them from any computer with an internet connection. With this feature, users will no longer need to carry around disks or flash drives.
How to Proceed Next Semester
When creating a course for the following semester, instructor can either create a new course or copy a course from a previous semester. This is done from the My Faculty Tools module located in the My Blackboard tab once logged into Bb. Once the course is created; students will populate into the course roster within 24 hours.
How to Create a New CourseOnce logged into Blackboard, the user will see a module entitled My Faculty Tools.
Within this module, the user will click Create a Course. Make sure to have the correct semester and year selected. From the “Select Course From All Courses” drop down menu, the user will find his/her course using the Course ID (ie. MISC-101-001-2009Spring). To be sure the correct course is chosen, in addition to the Course ID, the CRN number and the instructor’s name is provided as well.
If the user is tying to copy information from a previous semester course into a current semester course, from the My Faculty Tool module, select Copy a Course instead of Create a Course.
When trying to create a special course for other sections to be merged into (ie. MISC-101-ALL-2009Spring), (s)he will need to manually enter the Rubric, Course Number, Section Number and Title (see below).
Where to Find More Help1. Users can find more tip sheets by going the askIT Knowledge Base at http://www.ts.vcu.edu/kb/blackboard/3693.html.
2. Users can click the Help link at the top of the Bb page located between the Home link and the Logout link.
3. Users can receive Blackboard training by contacting the Center for Teaching Excellence
This article was updated: 08/12/2011