Blackboard Learn 9.1 Support @ Texas Tech

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Tests, Surveys, and Pools:

How to copy (import/export) tests or pools from one BB9 course into another?
New!How to re-open a Blackboard test for specific students after the initial closing date?
New!How to handle ADA accomodation to give students extra time for tests?
How do I change which score is accepted in the Grade Center when there are multiple attempts allowed?
How do I ignore a student’s test attempt so they can take the test again?
Where do I go to see the individual student’s test attempts?
Where and when do my students see assessment results and feedback?
Can my students close and then re-open a test in my course? How does the Timer fit into this question?
How can my students review exams?
How do I add an image to a test question?
Can I make a question worth extra credit in a test?
How do I set my test to use Respondus LockDown Browser?

 

Assignments:

When I'm grading an assignment, can I download the annotated assignment submission?
Can I download all my student’s assignments at once?
How do I allow an additional attempt to a specific person?

 

Grade Center:

How do I download my Grade Center to Excel?
How to add extra credit in the Grade Center?
How do I delete a column in the Grade Center?
Is there a way to create a column that will calculate the final course grade?
Can I exempt a grade for an individual student?
How do I upload scores from Scantron?
How do I upload the students Final Grades to Banner?
How do I hide or unhide a specific column from my students in My Grades?

 

Live and Development Shells:

Where do I request a Development Shell?
Where do I request this semester’s Live Shell?
How do I copy last semester’s section (or a Development Shell) into this semester’s Live Shell?
How do I turn off student access for a previous semester’s Blackboard courses?
How do I make a course available to my students before the first day of the semester?
How do I add my Teaching Assistant, Course Builder, or Grader to my course?

Communication tools (email, discussions, blogs, journals, etc.):

What is the difference between the Send Email and the Course Messages Tools?
Why do I receive a strange return email about the "noone@nowhere.com" email address when I use the Send Email tool to email my students?
How do I disable the Send Email Tool in my course? Does that also disable the Send Email link on the My Institution Screen?

 

Browser Issues:

What is the best browser to use with Blackboard? Is there a list of which browsers are supported or certified for use with Blackboard?

 

Creating Content and managing files:

What’s the best way to upload a group of files to Blackboard?
How do I create a Content Folder on the Homepage to help organize my course content?
What’s the best way to link to files inside a Content Folder?
How do I create a link to a Blackboard tool on the Course Menu?
Can I upload videos to my Blackboard course?

 

 


 

Questions and Answers

Tests, Surveys, and Pools:

 

How do I change which score is accepted in the Grade Center when there are multiple attempts allowed?

1. Go to the Full Grade Center and click on the action menu for that quiz column.
2. Select Edit Column Information
3. Click on the drop-down option for "Score attempts using" where you will choose between Last, First, Highest, Lowest, and Average graded attempt.
4. Click Submit.
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How do I ignore an individual student’s test attempt so they can take the test again?

1. Go to the Full Grade Center and mouse over the cell for a specific student and specific assessment.Grade Details
2. Click on the action link that appears.
3. Select View Grade Details. In this section, you will see an "Ignore Attempt" button. This will ignore the student's attempt, allowing them to take the test again, but also retain the ignored attempt for your audit log documentation.
4. Click Submit.

 

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Where do I go to view an individual student’s test attempt?

All grading of tests and assignments happens in the Grade Center, and to view an individual student's attempt, open the Full Grade Center and hover your cursor in the cell for the specifict student and test/assignment. Click on the action link that appears. In the menu you will see a list of "attempts." Click on the attempt that you wish to view. This will open a view of the test questions and answers for that test attempt. You can grade, remediate, or return extra feedback from this screen if needed.

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Where and when do my students see assessment results and feedback?

The students will see the quiz results and any assessment feedback in the My Grades area. Note that they will see only the tests they took, and within those tests, they will see only the questions they received when taking the test. If you do not see My Grades linked on the Course Menu to the left, follow these instructions to add that link.

Use the Display After and Display Until fields in the Edit Test Options in order to open and close the assessment. (The Due Date field is just a suggested due date, and all submissions after that point will be marked “Late”, but it will not prevent students from taking the assessment after that date.) The Display Until date is the only way to cutoff submissions.

Important information about Feedback: When you Edit Test Options for the test, you can select which of the following the students see when accessing My Grades: Score, Submitted Answers, Correct Answers, and Feedback. If you do not want the students to see the results (Feedback) until after the test availability date (Display Until), leave all the Feedback options unchecked while the test is open to students. Then, once the test availability has closed, go back into the Test Options and select the Feedback options that you want the student to see.

The easiest way to determine if students can see the grade column in My Grades is to click on the Student View button and then open My Grades. If you cannot see the column from that view, then the students cannot see it either. If that is the case, go to the Grade Center – find the column in question – is there a dark circle with a red slash next to the title of the test? If so, the column is hidden from students. Click on the action link for the column and click on “Show/Hide to Users” – that will release it to students.
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Can my students close and then re-open a test in my course? How does the Timer fit into this question?

That depends on the options you have turned on or off in Edit Test Options for the test. I’m including some scenarios below with the options needed.

Scenario 1: You want your students to be able to close and re-open the test multiple times and take as long as they want before submitting.
Edit Test Options: “Force Completion” and “Timer” options are not checked, and “Auto-Submit” is OFF.Timer and Force Completion

Scenario 2: You want your students to be able to open the test only ONE TIME.
Edit Test Options: Check the “Force Completion” checkbox. If your students close the exam, it will automatically submit the exam with any saved answers, and they will NOT be able to re-open the exam.

Scenario 3: You want your students to have extra time to take a test if needed, but you want to use the Timer.
Edit Test Options: “Auto-Submit” option is turned OFF. The time will expire, but the student will be able to continue saving questions and have unlimited time.

Scenario 4: You want to enforce the Timer setting to ensure the student takes only the allowed amount of time.
Edit Test Options: “Auto-Submit” option is turned ON. When this is turned on, Blackboard will automatically Save and Submit the test at the end of the time, and students will not have the option to continue or re-open the test.

Note: “Auto-Submit” is available only when the Set Timer is engaged.

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How can my students review exams?

The most common method for students to review exams is through the My Grades tool (make sure you have added the My Grades tool on your Course Menu or somewhere prominent in the course). They will see only the exams they took, and within that subset, only the questions they received when taking the exam. If you want them to review through that tool, make sure that you have released the appropriate feedback that you want them to see by going to Edit Test Options for each test and select the type of feedback you want displayed.

If you do not want the students to see the results (Feedback) until after the quiz availability date (Display After/Until in Test Options), leave all the Feedback options unchecked while the quiz is open. Then, once the quiz is closed, go back into the Test Options and check the Feedback options that you want the student to see.

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How do I add an image to a test question?

When you Edit (or Create) a question, you can insert an image in the question text or even in the answer text. It is best upload the image to the Blackboard File Manager first.
1. Create or Edit the question. Insert / Edit Image
2. In the HTML Editor, click the icon to Insert/Edit Image (see the image below).
3. On the following screen, click the Browse Course button rather than Browse My Computer.
4. Browse to the image and select the image.
5. Click Submit.
6. Add an Image Description for ADA compliance. (Remember that when students hover over the image, they will see the image description, so do not give the answer in the description.)
7. Click Insert.

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Can I make a question worth extra credit in a test?

Use this functionality when you wish to give students the opportunity to earn extra credit on a test, but do not want to penalize the students who choose not submit for extra credit. Doing this removes a given question from the total points calculation for the purpose of grading, making it possible for a student to achieve a score greater than 100% on the test. Also, in the Grade Center, extra point values will not be added to the Total or Weighted Total column calculations.

The following steps should be done before the students access the test.

1. When on the Test Canvas to create or edit a test, click on the Question Settings button and select the Scoring option to “Provide option to assign questions as extra credit.” Click Submit.

2. Once you have added the extra credit questions to the test, click on the current Points number for those questions. In the resulting popup, select Extra Credit. Click Submit.

3. When a question has been designated as extra credit, mention that designation in the question or question title, and in the test instructions if appropriate.

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Assignments:

When I'm grading an assignment, can I download the annotated assignment submission?

This can be done from the Needs Grading screen or if viewing the attempt from the Full Grade Center. After Download Annotated Fileyou have completed any annotations on the student’s submission, you can choose to download the annotated document to your computer. When you click on the Download icon right next to the Comment icon at the top of the annotation panel, you have the choice to download the original submission and/or your annotated document (see image below). Plus, all annotation is saved and will be visible any time you open a student’s assignment submission attempt.

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Can I download all my student’s assignments at once?

1. Open the Full Grade Center and click on the action link next to the title of the assignment.
2. Select the option Assignment File Download.
3. Check the box next to each student assignment to download (or check the box next to Name to select all).
4. Select which attempt(s) and click Submit. This creates a ZIP file.
5. Click on the link “Download assignments now” to download the zip file to your computer. Once downloaded, you can extract/unzip the file to access the individual assignments.

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How do I allow an additional attempt to a specific person?

If you have a Blackboard Assignment where there are a specified number of attempts allowed, and the student has used all the attempts, you will see the following “Allow Additional Attempt” button in theAdditional Attempt Grade Center Grade Details screen Use this button if you would like to allow a student to have an additional attempt above the specified number of attempts allowed. (If you wish to give all the students an additional attempt, go instead to Edit the assignment and change the number of attempts specified.)

1. From the Full Grade Center, mouse over the cell for a specific student and specific assessment, and click on the action link that appears.
2. Select View Grade Details.
3. On the Attempts Tab, click the “Allow Additional Attempt” button.

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Grade Center:

How do I download my Grade Center to Excel?

1. From the Full Grade Center, mouse over the “Work Offline” button and select Download.
2. Select the data to download (i.e. Full Grade Center or selected columns).
3. Select the file delimiter, Comma (.CSV) or Tab (.TXT).
4. Click Submit.
5. From the Download Grades screen, click the Download button and Save it to your computer. When you open the file, it will open automatically in Excel.

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How to add extra credit in the Grade Center?

Use this functionality when you wish to give students the opportunity to earn extra credit, but do not want to penalize the students who choose not submit for extra credit. Doing this removes the column value from any calculated columns in the Grade Center.

1. On the action bar, click Create Column.
2. On the Create Grade Column page, provide the appropriate information.
3. For Primary Display, select Score from the drop-down list.
4. For Secondary Display, select Percentage from the drop-down list.
5. For Points Possible, type 0.
6. Select Yes for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations.
7. Click Submit.

The extra credit column appears in the Grade Center. After adding points in an extra credit column, it is possible for a student's total points to equal more than 100 percent. If a student receives full credit for all gradable items (100 points) and also receives 6 extra credit points, his or her total is 106 out of 100 or 106%.

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How do I delete a column in the Grade Center?

To delete a column in the grade center that is associated with an online test or assignment, you have to delete the test or assignment first. When you delete the test or assignment, that function will automatically delete the column.

If the column is not associated with an online assessment, go to the Full Grade Center and click on the action link to the right of the title of the column. Select Delete.

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Is there a way to create a column that will calculate the final course grade?

In the Grade Center, you can calculate grades by combining multiple columns to attain performance results, such as class averages, final grades that are based on a weighted scale, or total points. These are called calculated columns. You can display these columns to students so they can view performance results or you can display them only in the Grade Center for your use. The available calculated columns include the following:

View the detailed instructions for creating Calculated Columns here at the Blackboard Help Text.

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Can I exempt a grade for an individual student?

You can exempt students from any grade item in the Grade Center. You might exempt grades for students who transfer to your school, add a course late, or require other accommodations. You might also exempt students from a grade because their performance is superior and you want to reward their work. Existing grades that you exempt are not deleted, but are ignored in all total and statistical calculations. No secondary display value appears for exempt items.

1. From the Grade Center, access an item's contextual menu.
2. Select Exempt Grade.

(OR)

1. Access the item's contextual menu and select View Grade Details.
2. On the Grade Details page, click the Manually Override tab.
3. Click Exempt. Optionally, provide feedback or grading notes.
4. Click Save.

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How do I hide or unhide a specific column from my students in My Grades?

1. Go to the Grade Center – find the column in question – is there a dark circle with a red slash next to the title of the test? If so, the column is hidden from students.
2. Click on the action link for the column
3. Click on “Show/Hide to Users." If the column is hidden, this will unhide (Show) it. If the column is not hidden, this will hide it from the students. The option is a toggle between the two views - Show and Hide.

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Live and Development Shells:

Where do I request a Development Shell?

Development Shells are already formatted with a standard course design template which includes numerous student and instructor resources as well as other components which help to jumpstart the development of your course. Please note that a development course does not support student access – it is strictly an avenue for developing your course. To request a Development Shell, go to the following link and fill out an individual request form for each Blackboard course you need to develop. This request can take from two to five business days to complete. Request a Development Shell.

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Where do I request this semester’s Live Shell?

Once you have finished developing your course course and are ready to start teaching, you will need to request the semester-based Live Shell. The Live Shell is connected to Banner and will auto-populate your course with all registered students. After the Live Shell is created, you will have the option to copy the content from an existing Development Shell or another existing Live Shell into the new semester's Live Shell.

To request a Live Shell, go to the following link. There you will find a list of all the courses for which you are identified by Banner as the Instructor of Record, and you may select the courses for which you would like a Live Shell to be created. The Live Shell request is processed within two hours of submitting the request. You will not receive any notification that your Live Shell has been created; rather you will see the course listed in your Blackboard Course List which you will access by logging to Blackboard. Request a Live Shell.

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How do I copy last semester’s section (or a Development Shell) into this semester’s Live Shell?

The Live Shell is blank when it is created, but you can use the following instructions to copy an existing BB9 course into your new Live Shell for the semester. 

1. IMPORTANT: Open the BB9 course that contains the content you want to copy (original course) into your Live or Development Shell (destination course).  Do not open your Live Shell at this time.
2. On the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and click Course Copy.
3. Click the Browse button to select the “Destination course” (Select the Live Shell on this screen).
4. Click Select All to select the course materials that you want to copy over to the existing course.
5. DO NOT CHECK THE BOX TO COPY ENROLLMENTS!
6. Click Submit.  Do NOT open the newly copied course until you have received the email confirmation sent to your TTU address – this usually takes just a few minutes depending on the size of your course.  Opening the Live Shell before the copy process is complete can disrupt the copy process and cause some content to not copy correctly.

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How do I turn off student access for a previous semester’s Blackboard courses?

1. From the Control Panel, click on Customization
2. Click on Properties
3. Set Availability to NO
4. Click Submit

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How do I make a course available to my students before the first day of the semester?

1. From the Control Panel, click on Customization
2. Click on Properties
3. Set Availability to YES – this overrides the term start date
4. Click Submit

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How do I add my Teaching Assistant, Course Builder, or Grader to my course?

1. From the Control Panel, click on Users and Groups
2. Select Users
3. Click on the Find Users to Enroll button (don't miss this step!)
4. Type the eRaider username in the field (or Browse if you do not know the username) and select one Role
5. Click Submit. They will have access immediately.

See the following course roles for an explanation of the different roles available:

Communication tools (email, discussions, blogs, journals, etc.):

What is the difference between the Send Email and the Course Messages Tools?

The Course Messages email tool is specifically an internal Blackboard email tool. The instructor sends the emails from within Blackboard, and the students must open the Blackboard course to receive those emails when you use the Course Messages tool. Using the Send Email tool will send emails to the student’s external email address. Any student responses to emails sent through the Send Email tool will be routed to your TTU email account.

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Why do I receive a strange return email about the "noone@nowhere.com" email address when I use the Send Email tool to email my students?

The "noone@nowhere.com" email is associated with the Student View function that was added to Blackboard. The Student View Building Block adds a student in the Grade Center named “Demo User” with this email address. When you use the Send Email tool, you will receive this error message telling you that it is not a valid email.

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How do I disable the Send Email Tool in my course? Does that also disable the Send Email link on the My Institution Screen?

Follow these instructions to disable the Send Email tool completely for your course. This process also removes your course from the Send Email list in an individual’s My Institution screen.

1. From the Control Panel, click on Customization.
2. Click on Tool Availability.
3. Locate “Email” in the list of tools, and uncheck the box in the Available column.
4. Click Submit.

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Browser Issues:

What is the best browser to use with Blackboard? Is there a list of which browsers are supported or certified for use with Blackboard?

It is important to know that many of the newest versions of our favorite browsers are not yet certified as fully supported by Blackboard, and we have had reports of many issues with IE 11.

See Blackboard's list of supported browsers here (v. 9.1 with SP11)

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Creating Content and managing files:

What’s the best way to upload a group of files to Blackboard?

You can add files and folders to Course Files in multiple ways, including when you create course content.

See Blackboard's Help Text with instructions for the multiple methods.

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How do I create a Content Folder on the Homepage to help organize my course content?

1. From the course homepage, mouse over the Build Content button.
2. Select Content Folder.
3. Type the Name of the folder.
4. Add any descriptive Text to be displayed on the homepage.
5. Modify the Standard Options if needed.
6. Click Submit.

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What’s the best way to link to files inside a folder?

1. Open the Content Folder.
2. Hover the cursor over the Build Content button.
3. click on “File” option.
4. Type the Name you wish the students to see .
5. Click the Browse Course (or Browse My Computer to upload files if needed) button, and click on the radio button in front of the file name to select the file to link.
6. Modify the Standard Options if needed.
7. Click Submit.

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How do I create a link to a Blackboard tool on the Course Menu?

1. Hover over the “+” at the top-left side of your Course Menu.
2. Choose “Tool Link” and type the title in the first field,
3. Select the tool name from the drop-down box.
4. Check the checkbox to make it available to users.
5. Click Submit.

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Can I upload videos to my Blackboard course?

There is a limited amount of space per course for Blackboard courses, and uploading video files can exceed that limit very quickly! Instead of uploading video to Blackboard, you might consider using the Texas Tech-supported Mediasite multi-media server. This server can house video files externally to Blackboard. You would then create a Web Link in your Blackboard course that would open and stream the video to the students. Visit with the technology staff in your college or department to see if Mediasite is already available to you through your department or contact the IT Education Services at iteducation@ttu.edu for more information on using Mediasite. The TLPDC also has Mediasite studio available for faculty and instructors to use by appointment. Call the TLPDC at 806-742-0133 if you would like a tour of the studio or to schedule an appointment.

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For more information about Blackboard training, consultations, or technical support, please email blackboard@ttu.edu or call 806-742-0133