Most Recent Posts

  • Using Announcements in Blackboard

    by David Halsted | Jul 18, 2014
    Blackboard Announcements are a good way to communicate with your students.  Announcements appear in your course site and can be sent to students via email.  They can also be linked to specific items within your course.

    Let's create an announcement asking students to read the course syllabus in preparation for the first day of class.

    First, open the course page and click on Announcements in the menu.  Then click on the Create Announcements button:



    The Create Announcements screen has several sections. 

    First, you can name your announcement and write a message to students.




    (Notice that I included a link to the 1984 Apple SuperBowl ad--please ask if you want to know how to create links in Blackboard!)

    The next section lets you control how long the announcement will be displayed.  It also lets you choose to send the announcement as an email to students.  We'll choose to do that.



     Then just click on "Submit" to post your announcement.


    And you should get this message telling you that your announcement was posted and email went out to students.



    So now you have posted your announcement!  But what do your students see? 

    First, let's have a look at the email:



    This is what a student will see in his or her email inbox.  The announcement will also appear on the course main page:


    Notice that in the full-text version we see the link we made to the course syllabus.  That means students who come to your course site will be able to navigate directly to the linked resource.

    By the way, that Apple ad is on YouTube.  It was directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner).  Worth a look if you haven't seen it.
  • Adding Your Syllabus to Blackboard

    by David Halsted | Jul 17, 2014
    Want to be sure that your students can find your course syllabus?  One effective way to make sure is to post the syllabus to your Blackboard site.   Students know that they should look on the Blackboard site for course information. ACCC statistics show that 80% of UIC students enrolled in courses with Blackboard sites log in to Blackboard at least once a week.

    For the 2014-2015 Academic Year, new Blackboard sites all have a Syllabus section by default:

    Syllabus Link in Blackboard

    In order to distribute your syllabus to your class, all you have to do is upload the syllabus file to this location in your Blackboard site.  You can do this in a few easy steps:

    1.  Click on the Syllabus link to get this screen and hover over the Build Content button:



    2.  When the menu below appears, click on File (highlighted below):



    3.  Add the file using this screen:



    First, type in the name of the syllabus.  Second, use the "Browse My Computer" button to find the file on your computer.  Third, click "Submit" to submit your syllabus.

    4.  You're done!  The little gray square by the "Syllabus" menu item has disappeared to show that there is content in that section.  Your syllabus file is online, in an easy place for your students to find it.



    If you want help with any of these steps or to learn more about uploading files in Blackboard, a good lesson is available on lynda.com.  Lynda.com tutorials are free to all University faculty, staff and students.

    For extra credit, upload a PDF version of the syllabus, so it will be visible on many different devices--even phones!  Depending on the word processor you use, creating a PDF may be as easy as clicking Save As and selecting PDF.  Please ask LAS IT if you have any questions.
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