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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.
All of your courses' administrative functions can be accessed by clicking the control panel links under Course Management in the bottom-left corner of your course. Students do not see and cannot access this. It's only available to instructors, TAs, course builders, graders, and system administrators. The way this works is it's a series of collapsible menu. So if I click on Course Tools, I can expand the course tools. Click on it again to shrink it. Click on Evaluation. So I have the ability to expand and collapse the menus.
Anytime I see a button here with the two downward-facing chevrons, that usually means edit or more. In this case, it means more. So if I click on this, it shows that there is more information. I also want to show you that on the right-hand side there are two sort of right- facing chevrons, two Greater Than signs, and that just means open it to the right. Okay, so in this case if I can click on Customization and I've got a whole bunch of options under Customization, or if I click on Go to Customization's Overview Page, it opens up all those links in its own window to the right.
This is available in some places, but not everywhere. So the first thing I want to talk about is the Content Collection. This is new in Blackboard 9.1, Blackboard 9. The Content Collection allows you to see all of the files that you've uploaded to a particular course. We'll talk more about this in a later movie, but depending on whether or not your institution has licensed Blackboard's content system, Content Collection may also contain links to additional files shared across your institution. So let me collapse this, and we will get now into Course Tools.
Course Tools shows me really just some tools that I can use inside of my course, and I've got the ability to create announcements, which I can share with my students. Scroll down a little further. Here's something called Blackboard Scholar. Blackboard Scholar is a social bookmarking tool, very much like Delicious. It's a completely optional thing. Blackboard does have a blog tool, although this is an internal blog; it's not something that you can share outside of your Blackboard course. For privacy and security reasons, people outside of Blackboard can't see these blogs, so we kind of internally call them the BBlogs, Blackboard Blogs.
You've got Collaboration tools, which is sort of live chats. You've got the ability to enter your own contacts, to create a calendar-- important dates that students need to remember. There is a discussion board built into this. You can create your own glossary. You could have students create and work on journals. You can actually send your students internal messages within Blackboard. I don't recommend doing that, simply because some students might not know where to go pick up the messages. Email is always going to be a better way to communicate with students. SafeAssign is a plagiarism- detection service built into Blackboard.
Your campus may or may not be using this. I am going to show you Send Email. We've already talked about this, but you have the ability here to send your students email messages. There is a way for you to create tasks, sort of to-do items for your students to complete. There's Tests, Surveys, and Pools, and we'll actually spent a lot of time talking about that, and Wikis. For many of these items, I just want you to notice that Blackboard has build into it Help. So I'm clicking here on Blogs, and there is a link here that says More Help, and if I click on More Help, it's going to open up a quick little pop-up window giving me some basic information about that tool.
My recommendation is to learn more about these tools, keep watching these videos, or check with the Help that's built-in. So let me collapse this. Evaluation is actually where you go to get information about student activity, and it's the way you create reports. This is an advanced topic, but it is actually pretty helpful. In earlier versions of Blackboard 9, the Grade Center was actually under evaluation. Later versions of Blackboard 9, the Grade Center has been pulled out and put onto the top level of this Course Management control panel.
Grade Center is actually my grade book. I click on that it opens up my grade book in the far right-hand side of the page. I also have the different views where I can see the Full Grade Center, Assignments, or Tests. I want to just click on Grade Center to smush this. Users and Groups is where you can go and create groups and manage groups. You can also look at your roster and maybe enroll students or un-enroll students. We'll spend a couple movies talking about that. Customization, we'll actually talk more about Customization next chapter, and we'll actually talk about features that may be disabled by your institution, but here is where you go to make a course available, to change its default language, and we'll spend a lot more time next chapter talking about that.
Packages and Utilities really are just copying and exporting tools and then finally, at the bottom, Help, and in this case, you got different types of help that are built into the system.
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