As part of the effort to make continuous improvement we have done a review of the maintenance that was completed on our Blackboard production environment. While we are pleased to announce that the upgrade went well, and after making some adjustments suggested by various users (thank you all for your feedback!), we have found the following three issues that we want to bring to your attention:
It has been reported that changing the order of content items or columns in the gradebook is not functioning properly post upgrade. Users were reporting that they were experiencing the same issue in IE and Chrome. It was discovered that many of the computers on campus are still running an old version of Chrome and that updating Chrome will fix the problem. To determine which version of Chrome you have click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of browser just below the X you would click on to exit. Next click HELP and then select “About Google Chrome.” You want version 63.0.3239.132 or higher. If you have an older version of Chrome you will need to put in a request with Tech Support (email@example.com) to have yours updated.
It was discovered that doing a course copy has resulted in the name of the course that is being copied into is changing to the name of the course that is being copied from. If you have done a course copy check to make sure that the name hasn’t changed. If the name has changed please let us know at Blackboard Support, and we will change it back for you. The official statement from Blackboard regarding this issue is as follows: “The status of the Known Issue associated with your case has been updated to Pending Release to show that we have confirmed this is a bug that is planned to be fixed in a specific future release of Learn, but that release is not yet available.”
Some users have reported that when they login to Blackboard they are unable to see the course menu on the left side of the screen. This is due to responsive web design used in the new version of Blackboard. To fix this issue in Chrome, click on the three vertical dots on the top right of your screen and reduce the zoom until the menu no longer disappears. For more information on this issue see https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/design-and-ux/responsive/
Happy new year and welcome to the spring 2017 semester! EdTech staff are ready to support you this week as you prepare for the new semester.
As you review this week’s College Community Schedule, be sure to note the following EdTech events.
Distance Learning Faculty Meeting, Monday, January 9 at 1:30 pm, Central Campus, Slocomb Auditorium (This meeting is held for all full-time faculty teaching distance learning courses. Part-time faculty should consult with their Department Chairs.)
EdTech Open Lab – Central Campus, Tuesday, January 10 at 9:00 am, C-1.219
EdTech Open Lab – South Campus, Thursday, January 12 at 1:00 pm, S-12.214
EdTech Open Lab – North Campus, Friday, January 13 at 9:00 am, N-2.207
For training and course preparation support outside of scheduled open lab sessions, faculty are encouraged to contact their campus Instructional Designers.
The second edition of EdTech Connect, our monthly newsletter, has launched.
Review the February edition for a Blackboard tip on grouping your Bb My Courses list, dates for upcoming training events, and information about the Technology Expo hosted by EdTech and ITS during the College Community Day later this month.
Each month the newsletter is emailed out to all college employees. If you did not receive that email or you would like to review archives, please visit our EdTech Connect Archives page.
As you may be aware, the new version of the Chrome browser and Microsoft’s recent release of the Edge browser do not support Java plugins. Due to this recent change, the Kaltura Screen Recorder (KSR) will not be supported in the following browsers due to the Java dependency:
• Google Chrome; Version 45 & up
• Microsoft Edge; All Versions
Kaltura has advised to use one of the following browsers to avoid the loss of KSR functionality:
• Internet Explorer
The Kaltura team is actively working on a solution for users and expects to have a more permanent solution in the final quarter of the year. They will notify San Jacinto College as soon as they have more information on what will be included and when we can expect the release.
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.
Setting availability and due dates for items and assignments in Blackboard is important so information is clear and readily available to students. However, it can be very time consuming to update these dates as you reuse content from semester to semester.
The Date Management Tool is one of the improvements the College will pick up as part of the Blackboard upgrade scheduled for August 2015. Using this tool, instructors can more easily adjust availability and due dates for their course within one convenient location.
All Blackboard items with dates are supported by date management,. These include:
Content, such as items, files, and audio.
Assessments, such as tests, surveys, and assignments.
Tools, such as discussions, blogs, journals, and announcements.