Saint Louis University

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is the Learning Management System available to the Saint Louis University community at both the St. Louis and Madrid campuses. Blackboard provides an online space for instructors to share course content, manage student work, and access to tools that can support activities such as group work, class discussions, and student projects.

Topics:

Types of Courses in Blackboard Learn
News about Blackboard at SLU (Updated 8/24/2015)
Support Browsers and Operating Systems
Faculty Support and Training Information
Student Support Information
Standard Maintenance Window

TYPES OF COURSES IN BLACKBOARD LEARN

Access your courses by clicking on the Blackboard Learn icon on the Tools tab of mySLU.   Depending on your role at SLU and course enrollments, you may see two kinds of courses in Blackboard Learn:

  • Courses from Banner: All courses in the Banner catalog are automatically created in Blackboard Learn; however, the instructor has the choice whether or not to utilize Blackboard Learn and when to make the course available for students.
  • Courses not in Banner: Departments, programs, and instructors may have a need for a course in Blackboard Learn that is not tied to a course in Banner.  These courses can be used for course development, department/program orientation content, or other purposes. Faculty and staff can request a non-Banner course in Blackboard Learn - click for the Blackboard course site request form.
    Click here for the non-Banner Blackboard Learn course request form.

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Blackboard News!

Topics:

New Video Tutorials Available

There are three new Blackboard Video Tutorials available.  Click on the video link below which will take you to the page the tutorial is on.

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Blackboard Update Completed May 30, 2015

What should you do now that the Blackboard update is completed?

Blackboard

  • Open your active course(s) and review to make sure all of your content and Grade Center is there and all of your links work correctly.
  • Check out the new features within Blackboard Learn Oct. 2014 below.

Respondus

  • Respondus will have to be upgraded to version 4.0.5.14. on personal computers to work with the updated Blackboard.  ITS has pushed out the new version to SLU managed PCs that already had Respondus installed. Personal computers will have to updated manually. Directions can be found at the Respondus support page.

What will be new or different after the Blackboard update?

Student Preview Mode: It's Finally Here!

One of the most requested features has been included in this Blackboard update: Student Preview Mode. This allows you to switch, with the click of a single button, to see your Blackboard course as your students do. Due to this great new feature, the Add Test Student tool and Test Students will be retired. Click here for more information about this exciting new addition to Blackboard.

Grading: Delegated Grading
Instructors can delegate grading to specific users from the create Assignment screen. (Smart Views in the Grade Center will still be available.) Click here for more information.

The Delegate Grading option offers many new grading scenarios including Parallel Graders, Blind Parallel Graders, Sample Double Graders, Sample Double Blind Graders and Instructor + Colleague Grader. Click here for more information.

Grading: Anonymous Grading
Instructors can now turn on anonymous grading in the create Assignment screen. In addition, there are Proofs that the Assignment was graded anonymously. Click here for more information.

Assignments:
The create Assignment screen has been updated to include the Delegated and Anonymous Grading options and has arranged other current options into collapsable sections to make navigating the screen more efficient. Click here for more information.

Calendar:
Courses that are hidden on the My Course module will also be hidden on the calendar. This will make the Calendar much easier to use because you will have less course calendars to turn off. Click here for more information.

Content Editor:
Spellcheck is now on by default.  Click here for more information.

Assessments:

 In calculated formula questions, instructors can select the number of decimals or significant figures for the correct answers generated by the system. Click here for more information.

Improved "My Grades" Tool for Students:
The look and feel of My Grades has been updated. You can now view feedback by clicking View Feedback.  Click here for more information.

New First Names:  (Completed 5/16/2015)
Blackboard will now pull first names from Banner using the "Preferred Name" rather than the "Legal Name."

Organization Module:  (Completed 5/16/2015)

The new "Organization" module will be added to the Blackboard "Home" tab page beneath the "Announcements" module.  This module is the first use of the Blackboard Community features that are being implemented on the SLU Blackboard installation.  Watch for more news about Blackboard Community in the coming months.

Note: The Blackboard Learn Mobile app is not directly impacted by this upgrade. The Mobile app update schedule is managed by the Blackboard Mobile development team according to a separate schedule.

Note: the information and videos linked to above were created by the Blackboard Company and may show some features that are not available under SLU's Blackboard Learn license.

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New Video Tutorial for Blackboard Final Grade Integration with Banner:

A new video tutorial for using the Blackboard/Banner Grade Integration tool is available.  It has all of the information you need to integrate your Final Grades in Blackboard with Banner.  Click here for the video tutorial.

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SUPPORTED BROWSERS & OPERATING SYSTEMS

View the Blackboard Learn Browser Compatibility List to find an appropriate supported operating system/browser for your computer. Please note that other applications you may use, such as Tegrity, may have different supported browsers.

 

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FACULTY SUPPORT

Faculty Blackboard Support can be contacted at 314-977-2252. Support hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Faculty can also e-mail facsupport@slu.edu or visit the Faculty Support pages for help with Blackboard Learn.  This team can also provide individual technical training for Faculty to explain the features and tools in Blackboard Learn. Please use the contact information above to submit a request for a training session.

Faculty can get help incorporating Blackboard Learn into a course from the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning: cttl@slu.edu. Contact the Reinert Center to discuss why and how best to use this or any other technology to achieve your instructional goals.

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STUDENT SUPPORT INFORMATION

Students can visit the Tech Services Center website for tutorials and FAQs or contact the Student Service Desk at 314-977-4000, extension 2.

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STANDARD MAINTENANCE WINDOW

As with all technology, sometimes you have to apply an upgrade or swap out old hardware. The standard planned maintenance windows for the Blackboard Learn system are:

  • Wednesday 10 p.m. to Midnight CDT
  • Saturday 6 a.m. to Noon CDT

What this means is that if system maintenance is required, any downtime would be scheduled during one of those two maintenance periods. These times were selected based on system usage reporting to identify lower-usage periods. The maintenance schedule will then be communicated to the University community via Newslink.

Occasionally, other systems that the Blackboard Learn system relies on have maintenance occurring outside those times, and we are forced to schedule outside those windows. Whenever we have an planned maintenance outage, we try to notify the University community as soon as we possibly can.

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Updated: 8/24/2015 by KRS

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