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Blackboard FAQs for Faculty

Settings

Course Content

Assignments

Tests and Quizzes

Discussion Boards

Grade Center

Course Utilities

Multimedia

Other Resources



Settings

How do I make sure my computer is ready to access Blackboard?

Run the Browser Check

My students say they can't see my course. Why not?

By default, all courses are closed to students to give you time to get things ready. You must make your course available before students will be able to access it. In the Control Panel click Customization, then Properties. Change section 3, Set Availability, from No to Yes.

How do I login to my course as a student?

Your "instructor-as-student" ID is your MySTLCC username with _s (underscore s) at the end. Before you can login as a student, you must change the password for this username, if you haven't already done so. Go to http://www.stlcc.edu/GoPRP/Default.aspx?f=change.

Your initial password is your "A" number with a # sign at the end (i.e. jdoe_s). To make it easier to remember, we suggest you change this password so it is the same as your instructor password.

Course Content

I want to add a file to a content area of my course. Where is the "Add Item" button that I'm used to seeing?

It is listed under the Build Content button along the top of the screen. Select the type of content you want to add from the list (Item, File, URL, etc.).

My students cannot open up the Word files I have in my course. Why?

They are probably using a different software or software version that cannot read the files. To avoid this problem, save a file in PDF or RTF format before you upload it to Blackboard. Use the PDF format if students do not need to edit the file. Use the RTF (Rich Text Format) format if students will need to edit the file.

I pasted some text from Word into a content item and now the text has disappeared or shows weird characters. What happened?

When you paste text from Word directly into Blackboard, a lot of Word coding is also copied, which can cause all sorts of display problems. Instead of using the copy/paste commands, add the text using the "Paste from Word" mashup in the Text Box Editor. This utility will strip out all the extraneous Word coding from the text.

As an alternative, you can copy the Word text into Notepad and then paste the Notepad text into Blackboard.

Can I upload multiple files to Blackboard at once, rather than adding them one at a time?

Yes! Blackboard 9.1 has a new "Course Files" feature which serves as a central repository for all course files. Access this tool from the Control Panel by clicking the >> arrows next to the Files button.

Why are some of my files not listed in Course Files?

Files that you added to your course before the 9.1 upgrade will not be automatically stored in Course Files. You can add them manually by clicking Packages & Utilities from the Control Panel and selecting Moves Files to Course Files.

Assignments

How do I view assignments and quizzes that have been submitted?

Open the Grade Center and look for the icon in a cell, indicating the assignment is ready for grading. Click on the cell menu (double chevrons) and select View Grade Detail. On the next screen, click the View Attempt button on the far right.

Tests and Quizzes

How can I add an image to a test question?

Click the Question Settings button and make sure that in section 2 "Add images, files and external links to questions" is checked. Then attach the image to the desired question.

I created a quiz in Blackboard, but my students can't see it. What did I do wrong?

After you create a quiz in the Test Manager, you must then deploy it to a content area of your course. Go to the location where you want to put the quiz and click Create Assessment > Test. Select the quiz from the list of available tests and set the test properties. Also check to confirm the test is available to students.

Can I upload test questions directly to Blackboard?

Yes, you can. The questions, however, need to be in a very specific format so Blackboard can interpret them. See the Formatting Rules. Link to test_Q_formatting.docx.

Discussion Boards

What is the difference between grading threads and grading forums?

If you set up thread grading, every post and reply a student makes will be graded separately. If you set up forum grading, you will provide one grade for all of a student's posts within a forum. Forum grading is less time intensive, while thread grading is more focused.

Grade Center

How do I save a copy of the Grade Center to my computer?

Click the Work Offline button above the Grade Center on the right and select Download.

How can I print my entire Grade Center?

There is not a "print all" command in Blackboard, so you must download it to Excel and print it from there.

My grade columns are not in the order I want. How do I change this?

From the Grade Center select Manage > Column Organization. Move your mouse to the far left of the column you want to move and the cursor becomes a double arrow. Click and drag the item to the desired position. Release the mouse button when the heavy black line is in the right spot.

I hid a column in the Grade Center, but my students can still see it. Why?

When you hide a column in the Grade Center, it is hidden for you only. If you do not want students to see the column in My Grades, edit the column and make sure that the option in section X, "Show column in My Grades," is No.

Why is my Extra Credit column not figured into the Total column?

If the "Points Possible" of a grade column is "0," this column will not be automatically calculated into the Total column. You can either (a) change the Points Possible to .001 or modify the Total column to include the extra credit column its calculations. (Edit Column Information > Section 3, Select Columns)

Course Utilities

What is the difference between archiving, exporting and copying a course?

Export creates a ZIP package of course content that can be imported into another course at a later date. Student enrollments are not included in the export package.

Copy enables you to copy content from one of your courses into another one. You can pick and choose the specific areas you want to copy. Make sure that you DO NOT copy enrollments!

Archive makes a record of a course, including all content and student data (assignments, discussion boards, grades, etc.). The archive is saved in a .ZIP file.

Why and when should I archive my course?

A course is removed from the Blackboard server 18 months after the course ends. An archive will save all course content and student data, should you need to access it in the future. Instructors should routinely archive their courses at the end of each semester and store the archives in a safe location.

I copied my course, but it didn't work the first time. I tried copying it again and now I have duplicates of everything in the course. Why did this happen?

The course copy function is additive - It does not copy over existing content, but duplicates the content. A course copy may take between 3-20 minutes to complete, depending on the size of your course. Wait for the email confirmation that the copy is finished to avoid duplicate items.

Multimedia

I want my students to view a video. How do I copy it from the Web to my course?

The best practice is to put a link to the video in Blackboard. Video files take up a huge amount of server space, so it is not recommend that you embed videos directly in your course. If you have permission to download the video, contact your campus CTL to see whether it can be placed on the streaming server.

To add YouTube videos, click Build Content and select "YouTube video" from the Mashup column.

Other Resources

How do I contact the Center for Teaching and Learning on my campus?

Forest Park fp-ctl-register@stlcc.edu 314-644-9207
Florissant Valley fv-ctl-register@stlcc.edu 314-513-4496
Meramec mc-ctl-register@stlcc.edu 314-984-7280
Wildwood adeshane@stlcc.edu 636-422-2102