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In this course, Patrick Crispen teaches the ins and outs of Blackboard 9 so that educators and trainers can get up to speed in the system quickly—even if they've never used Blackboard before. The course explores customizing a course site, managing users, and adding and organizing content, including multimedia. It also shows how to perform student assessments in the Grade Center, as well as how to communicate with students and encourage participation and collaboration.
Blackboard has a tool that allows you to create an announcement within Blackboard that is viewed by anybody who is enrolled in your course. This announcement could be a reminder of a test, a pointer to some new file, notification of a schedule or a room change. I want you to notice that inside of Blackboard there are links to the Announcements tool all over the place. In fact, I am here on My Institution tab. Under tools there's a link to Announcements right there. I've got My Announcements module which is going to show me anything that's been posted within the last seven days.
After seven days, announcements go into an archive, which you can still access. But here's the new announcements. Test has been posted. Notice it's actually under the courses that you're teaching. Your My Courses module may also show you the announcement for that particular course. But notice it's only going to give me the subject line. It's not actually giving me the text of the message. I have to click on the announcement to actually view the announcement text. Let me get back into My Institution. I am going to into one of my courses. And just like the My Institution tab, there are lots of ways to get into announcements here in your Blackboard course.
One of the easiest ways to do it is if you still have the course homepage there is a My Announcements module here. You can also find Announcements under Tools. This is the tools that are available to the students. So unless you've hidden this link from your students, you will see a link to announcements here. If I scroll down under a Course Tools, let me smush Customization and open up Course Tools, you're going to see a link to Announcements here. But again when I get into my course and access to course homepage notice the Announcements only gives me the subject.
It doesn't give me the full message. The other thing, out of the box Blackboard 9 by default does not have a link to Announcements on the course menu. Now we added a link earlier. Let me get rid of that and let's do it again. I am going to delete this link and you may not see a link to Announcements anywhere on your course menu. Well, you can fix that pretty easily just by adding a new tool link.
I am going to click on the plus in the top left-hand corner. I am going to click on Create Tool Link. I am going to type Announcements. I am going to make it available to users. Notice that Announcement is the first type of tool you can link to, but you can link to a whole bunch of other things as well. I am going to click on Submit. When I add anything to the course menu it adds it to the bottom. I am going to drag it to where I want it. The location of where this is on the course menu doesn't actually change what the course entry point is.
In fact, I've made Announcements as the number one thing. If I click on the breadcrumb trail, notice that the Home Page is still the first page that people see when they get in course regardless of where it is here on the course menu. I can change this though. So I can make it so that when students access the course they access the announcements first, not the home page. Let me show you how to do that. I am going to scroll down. I am going to smoosh Course Tools. This time I'm a going to go down to Customization > Style.
I can no scroll down and choose in number 4, a new entry point. I am going to choose an entry point not of the Home Page, but of the Announcements. By the way, when you change your course entry point the safe choices are Announcements and Home Page. You never ever want to link to an external website. Some of the other areas within Blackboard could cause a problem. Announcements, Home Page, those two are really safe choices. So I am going to click on Announcements and at the very bottom of the page click on Submit.
Now let's get back into the course and I can click on the course breadcrumb trail and notice that my home page has changed. It says Announcements. Actually, let me get out My Institution. Go back into the course and notice that the course entry point is now Announcements. The home page is still there. The students can click on it, but I've now made it so that when students access my course, they're going to see the announcements first. Two more things I want to talk about with announcements. There is already an announcement here.
The test automatically created this. So in a previous movie we created a test and it says, "The following Test has been made available in Assignments: Practice Test." What I want to do now is I actually want to link to that test. What I can do is I can click on the Edit button, the button with the two downward facing chevrons to the right of the particular item I want to edit. Click Edit and then scroll down.
I can edit this announcement, but I can also down here browse my course and add a link to that particular test. It's actually a smart idea. Blackboard automatically creates this announcement for a test. My recommendation, click on Browse, find the test, link to it. It's actually just a really smart way and it's going help your students get to the test a little quicker. I am going to skip though in this case and create a brand-new announcement. I want to remind the students that there's a test coming up.
I am going to tell the student, Test 2 is on Thursday. I am going to paste this text saying Test 2 is own Thursday. Study the week 1 files. Scroll down and I'm going to go-- and because I have a specific announcement I am going to say, well, Test 2 is on Thursday. Study the week 1 files. That's not going to make much sense after next Thursday. So I am going to have it Display Until next Thursday. I am going to say, okay, on Thursday I want this to go away.
The test is actually at 10 am. So I am going to have the message go away at 10 am. Always a good idea when working with date restrictions to work in pairs. I am going to have it show up today and the time is perfectly fine. Let me give you an example of browsing and choosing a link. So I told the students here that I want them to study the week 1 files. I am actually going to link to those week 1 files. There they are in the course menu. So I am going to have a link to the week 1 files.
When I click on Submit, I've now created a link in the announcement to that particular file. Again, I can go and rearrange these in any order that I want, completely up to me, and to see what this looks like from student's point of view just turn Edit mode off and that's what the students will see. So remember Blackboard has an Announcements tool that allows you to create a text announcement within your Blackboard course, which you can use to communicate with your students and remind them of things that they need to know.
To access the Announcements tools in your course there are links to it all over the place, but eventually you're going to get into the announcement. Let's do it the old-school way, click on the Announcements, and then you can click on Create Announcements, or you can edit any announcement. So that's how to create an announcement.
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