The San Jacinto College Blackboard system has been successfully upgraded. We are still finalizing updates on the Kaltura, Smarthinking, and WebAssign building blocks and expect these to be finalized by 8/18/2015.
At this time we are releasing Blackboard to faculty and students for normal operations.
In addition to the new features included as part of the scheduled Blackboard upgrade, there are also a number of improvements made to features currently a part of the environment. This post will provide details as to these improvements.
Improvements were made to the portfolio tool and groups tool within Blackboard.
Course reporting improved with the addition of a Single Course User Participation Report to provide data required for the reporting of student academic contribution in compliance with Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) rules established by the U.S. Department of Education.
Anonymous grading practices are adopted by faculty to add a layer of impartiality and fairness to assignment grading. Faculty who’ve adopted this practice – or those interested in exploring the concept – will be excited to learn about the anonymous grading feature coming to the San Jac instance of Blackboard as part of our August upgrade.
After the upgrade, faculty can enable the anonymous grading feature in the grading options for a course assignment. Faculty can elect to schedule a date to disable anonymous grading or remove the student anonymity once all submissions are graded.
It is important to understand that anonymously graded assignments are not included in course average calculations or in Grade Center reports until anonymity is disabled – by date or once all submissions are graded.
Students are made aware of anonymously graded assignments when uploading their assignments and when reviewing grades through the My Grades tool. However, we do recommend faculty using the anonymous grading practice inform their students so they avoid including identifying information within the file they are submitting.