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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
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Facilitating discussions


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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

with Patrick Crispen

Video: Facilitating discussions

In our last movie we created two discussion board forum or rooms and then created one conversation or thread. Now before I show you what this looks like from a student's point of view, I want you to notice that here in our Course menu look at the word Discussions and to the right there is this box with this slash through it. That means that this item is hidden from the students. If I turn Edit mode off, there is no link, the link doesn't show up. So if the Discussions link is hidden on your course menu and you want your students to be able to see it, make sure you click the button with the two downward facing chevrons to the right of Discussions and choose Show Link.
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  1. 7m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
    3. What is an LMS?
      4m 15s
    4. Understanding Blackboard 9.X versions and campus customizations
      1m 52s
  2. 28m 38s
    1. The new graphical user interface
      5m 53s
    2. Exploring course-to-course navigation
      2m 20s
    3. Using course themes
      2m 15s
    4. Looking at course structures and the Quick Setup Guide
      6m 56s
    5. Using new and improved assessments
      7m 24s
    6. Looking at temporary obstacles and workarounds
      2m 36s
    7. Finding more Blackboard information
      1m 14s
  3. 26m 27s
    1. Logging in to Blackboard
      2m 9s
    2. Accessing your course and uploading files
      5m 40s
    3. Creating announcements
      4m 15s
    4. Sending emails
      4m 57s
    5. Viewing your roster
      3m 50s
    6. Downloading the Grade Center
      3m 17s
    7. Setting course availability
      2m 19s
  4. 14m 9s
    1. Understanding the tabs and sub-tabs
      5m 51s
    2. Working with modules
      3m 25s
    3. Personalizing the My Institution page
      1m 40s
    4. Editing the My Courses module
      3m 13s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding the course layout and breadcrumbs
      5m 13s
    2. Toggling the Edit Mode
      1m 26s
    3. Hiding and unhiding the Course Menu
      1m 9s
    4. Touring the Control Panel
      4m 50s
  6. 23m 53s
    1. Renaming, reorganizing, and deleting
      4m 58s
    2. Adding new menu items
      6m 4s
    3. Managing tools
      3m 40s
    4. Customizing a course
      9m 11s
  7. 16m 17s
    1. Viewing the course roster
      4m 55s
    2. Enrolling students and others
      7m 31s
    3. Why not to unenroll
      3m 51s
  8. 53m 34s
    1. Organizing content into folders
      5m 24s
    2. Uploading files
      11m 49s
    3. Using the Text Editor
      6m 19s
    4. Inserting a multimedia file
      9m 56s
    5. Linking to an external web resource
      4m 25s
    6. Linking to an internal course file
      6m 3s
    7. Making content available to students
      2m 2s
    8. Using the Content Collection
      3m 35s
    9. Copying and moving content
      4m 1s
  9. 24m 24s
    1. Exploring how students view course grades
      4m 1s
    2. Optimizing the Grade Center
      1m 36s
    3. Changing the default letter grading schema
      4m 24s
    4. Creating score columns
      6m 37s
    5. Entering grades
      5m 19s
    6. Viewing grade histories
      2m 27s
  10. 56m 19s
    1. Creating text columns
      3m 1s
    2. Managing columns
      4m 52s
    3. Creating grading periods
      5m 34s
    4. Creating categories
      5m 42s
    5. Dropping scores in the Grade Center
      9m 3s
    6. Weighting grades in the Grade Center
      6m 4s
    7. Downloading grades and editing in Excel
      7m 51s
    8. Uploading student grades
      4m 29s
    9. Changing grades
      3m 37s
    10. Changing a final grade
      6m 6s
  11. 16m 26s
    1. Creating assignments
      6m 22s
    2. Downloading assignments
      5m 16s
    3. Grading assignments
      4m 48s
  12. 37m 51s
    1. Best practices for using online assessments
      4m 21s
    2. Creating an empty test and choosing the Question Settings
      5m 29s
    3. Creating multiple choice questions
      7m 57s
    4. Creating true/false questions
      2m 48s
    5. Creating essay or short answer questions
      4m 5s
    6. Creating fill-in-the-blanks questions
      3m 39s
    7. Creating opinion scale/Likert questions
      5m 51s
    8. Reusing questions
      3m 41s
  13. 30m 28s
    1. Setting test availability and deploying the test
      13m 13s
    2. Assisting students with common testing obstacles
      8m 16s
    3. Viewing the student results
      6m 40s
    4. Reviewing the differences between surveys and tests
      2m 19s
  14. 16m 43s
    1. Sending emails
      6m 20s
    2. Creating announcements
      7m 14s
    3. Using the Course Calendar
      3m 9s
  15. 33m 15s
    1. Creating discussion forums and threads
      13m 1s
    2. Facilitating discussions
      9m 32s
    3. Moderating forums
      3m 36s
    4. Rating posts
      2m 47s
    5. Grading discussions
      4m 19s
  16. 9m 2s
    1. Creating groups
      7m 57s
    2. Adding members to groups
      1m 5s
  17. 4m 32s
    1. Next steps
      4m 32s

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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
6h 52m Beginner Jun 30, 2011 Updated Oct 09, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Accessing a course
  • Creating announcements
  • Viewing the roster
  • Working with modules
  • Adding new menu items
  • Enrolling students and others
  • Making content available to students
  • Entering grades
  • Downloading and editing grades in Excel
  • Creating assignments and collecting papers
  • Creating online tests
  • Adding discussion forums and groups
Subjects:
Elearning Teacher Tools Education Educational Technology Higher Education LMS
Software:
Blackboard
Author:
Patrick Crispen

Facilitating discussions

In our last movie we created two discussion board forum or rooms and then created one conversation or thread. Now before I show you what this looks like from a student's point of view, I want you to notice that here in our Course menu look at the word Discussions and to the right there is this box with this slash through it. That means that this item is hidden from the students. If I turn Edit mode off, there is no link, the link doesn't show up. So if the Discussions link is hidden on your course menu and you want your students to be able to see it, make sure you click the button with the two downward facing chevrons to the right of Discussions and choose Show Link.

By the way if you don't do that, let me turn Edit mode off, if we decide not to do that students can still access the tool by clicking on Tools and then scrolling down and clicking on Discussion Board. Now lets hop on over, I'm in Internet Explorer right now logged in as Patrick Crispen. I'm going to go into Firefox. Now I am going to be logged in here as Jayden Brown, who is a student in one of my courses. I am going to click on this link and let's show you what the discussion board looks like from Jayden's point of view.

There's now a link to the Discussions here in the course menu. If there wasn't Jayden would be able to click on Tools and then scroll down and get to the discussion board that way. So when Jayden accesses the discussion board, he sees two forums, a Weekly Class Discussions and the Parking lot. Notice that there is a button with two downward facing chevrons to the right of the forum. However, he can't actually edit this. He's a student, so the students can't make changes. Also notice that it shows Jayden the number of posts that are in this particular forum and how many of these he's unread.

If he clicks on Unread it shows him only those threads that he hasn't read. However, if he clicks on the forum itself, he sees the entire forum, all the threads, all the sub threads, either shown as a list or as a tree. In this case, I am going to click on the name of this thread and this actually opens up sort of two windows. This little window up here is going to show me all of the replies in this particular thread, and then down here I've got the message.

In this case, this is going to be Patrick Crispen or my message to the students, saying give me some information on self-efficacy and motivation. Jayden has two possibilities here. He can actually reply. Reply just opens up a empty text box or he can quote. Wuote actually will create a new reply but quote my original message. It's completely up to him. Although Quote doesn't work as easily as you think it does, it's not like Microsoft Word where I can now cut and paste this and put it into the middle.

I can either put it usually at the bottom. Trying to put it back up at the top tends to be a challenge as well. I am going to just reply with some Lorem ipsum text. Let me show you what I was saying. When I said that moving this around can sometimes be a little challenging. If I go up here and see if this works, yeah it worked. Sometimes that doesn't. It's not the easiest thing to do but the students can be replies and move things around. It's completely up to them. Its completely up to you and whether or not you are going to allow that when you set up the forum settings.

So now Jayden has taken the prompt and given his response. Jayden does have the ability to attach a file here. If he wants to he can browse his computer, click on Submit, and now Jayden has replied to my post. That's what it looks like from a student's point view. Let me get back into Internet Explorer. Let me get back into my course. I'm now back in as Patrick Crispen. I'm the instructor. I am going to turn Edit mode back on. Remember I want to be in Edit mode to make any changes in my course. And I want to get into the discussion board. I can link to it here.

In Discussions I can go to Tools. I can actually scroll down and click on Discussion Board. If I do that, remember I am going to have to click on the name of the discussion board because I can see not only the course discussion board but any group discussion board on this page. I click in, and notice now that there are two posts in my Weekly Class Discussion, including one unread post. If I click on Unread Post, that will show me only Jayden's post, the one that I haven't read yet. It's not going to show in any context and that might be a little confusing.

My recommendation is until you get comfortable with this discussion board don't click on Unread Post. Just go into the Thread view itself. Thread view is going to show you that Jayden has now replied to my message. So my message actually is what started the conversation and because Jayden is replying to my message it appears indented underneath my conversation. I can actually minimize this and see that those two are actually related to each other. If I want to, this is my message, I can now start going next, next, next through the responses and I now,see the student's post. I have the ability to go here and reply.

And I can do nice use of Latin. I could attach something here, click on Submit. Now because I was replying to Jayden, my reply is indented underneath Jayden's post. So what I'm seeing now is sort of an order or hierarchy, meaning that Jayden replied to me. So I can see that his message is a reply to mine. I can see that this is a reply to this.

That's what this sort of top window gives you. I have the ability here, and I want to show you something that's actually really great as an instructor. Underneath this, I can select all of the different posts that are in this thread. And then if I click on Collect, I want you to see this. I love this feature. Collect actually collects all of the students posts, all of my posts, puts it on the page, in this case in reverse chronological order, although I have the ability to change the order to be ascending. So I can see my post first, who posted next.

And this is a great thing for me to print out then and carry around with me. if I want to grade my student's discussion board post outside of the discussion board or if I just , it's not locked in a thread. That gives me that option right there. So we showed you how to reply to a thread. Let me show you also that as the instructor you have the ability to go and delete threads. So if it turns out that a student or somebody says something inappropriate, as an instructor you absolutely have the ability to delete threads.

Let me also show you that you have the ability-- let me select these three. I can read all these. I can mark them all as unread. I can set a flag on them so it says hey, I want to come back and read them. Completely up to me. Let me also get back here into the forum. Now I want you to notice here that in the forum I have some options. I have the ability to mark everything in this forum as read. Because I have already read it, it already says that, but I can make it as unread. When I do that it'll say that you have three unread posts. I have the ability to set a flag saying this is important, come back and read this later.

This is a flag for me, not for my students. I can clear it. Publish this means that students can use it. They can start seeing it and get into it. Hiding it hides it, making it unavailable makes it so that only the instructor or the teaching assistant or a person that you assigned to be the leader of that group can get in it. I can lock a particular thread and that's actually a really good idea. At the end of week 1, I may want to lock this thread. What that does is the students can get back into the thread. They just can't make any changes to it.

I can also unlock a thread, meaning that once I've locked it I can change that. I could subscribe to the thread. Remember that when we setup the form we had the choice of whether or not we were going to allow people to subscribe. Subscriptions will actually send you an email message when something changes. Aand Collect is what we showed you earlier. You can actually do collect from the forum and just collect everything and that creates everything on one page that you can then print out. And then finally the last thing-- and I really recommend you never do this you can delete this.

Now this is not a collection of files. This is a collection of things that are stored in Blackboards database. So if you delete a forum, Blackboard is not going to have a copy of this in the content collection or course files. If you delete, it's gone. It's not coming back. In fact, you're not to going to be able to contact your system administrator and say, "Oops, I accidentally deleted this. Can you give it back to me?" The answer is no, they can't. Delete is always a bad idea. do not delete these unless you are absolutely certain you're never going to need it.

So that's how they manage Blackboard discussion board forums and threads. In the next movie we are going to talk about how to moderate forums and this is an option that you may or may not want to investigate.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors.


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Q: This course was updated on 10/09/2012. What changed?
A: This update adds 7 new movies in the "What's New in Blackboard 9.x SP8 and SP9," on topics such as course themes, new and improved assessments, and other new features found in service packs 8 and 9.
 
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