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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.
Types of Courses in Blackboard Learn
News about Blackboard at SLU (Updated 5/22/2014)
Support Browsers and Operating Systems
Faculty Support and Training Information
Student Support Information
Standard Maintenance Window
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.
What should you do now that the upgrade is completed?
1. Review your courses within Blackboard
- Open your active course(s) and review to make sure all of your content and Grade Center columns are there and all of your links work correctly.
- Become familiar with the new look of the direct login page and the new Academic Tech at SLU tab.
- Check out the new features within Blackboard Learn SP14 listed below.
- Respondus required an update to work with the upgrade of Blackboard Learn. The update was delivered to SLU-managed computers on May 14. If you have Respondus on your personal computer you will need to update it. Go to the ITS Respondus page for more information about the upgrade.
What will be new or different after the Blackboard upgrade?
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.
The upgrade to Service Pack 14 includes several changes and new features, as listed below.
- New Login Page
- There will be a new direct login page at blackboard.slu.edu. It will contain all the information from the current login page in an easier to read format with clear information on how to find support for faculty and students.
- New "Academic Tech at SLU" tab
- This tab will be available both before and after you login.
- The new Academic Tech at SLU module will offer you a list of Academic Tech's products organized based on what you need to do.
- You will find the support information for faculty and students here as well.
- This tab will be expanding and growing with new modules based on the needs of Academic Tech users.
- After you login, this tab will display a new "Tell Us What You Think" module. This module will contain surveys where you can share with us what works or does not work for you, and what would you like to see in the future.
- New Blackboard Home tab (after you login)
- The "Courses" tab has been removed.
- The updated "Tools & Links" module will include a "My Blackboard Grades" link that students can use to access their grades from all of their classes in one place. (Instructors control what grades students can see from the Grade Center in their Blackboard classes.)
- New or Updated Blackboard Tools (Click the links below for more information.)
- Test Access Logs - They're Back!
- Course Messages Notifications - They're Back!
- Date Management - It's Back!
- Grade Center Improvements
- My Grades Design Update
- Enhanced Calendar (see video)*
- Enhanced Discussion Board
- Test Availability Exceptions for Creating Different Settings for Different Users
- Exporting or Copying Tests to New Course Retains Questions in Question Sets and Random Blocks
- Quick Links for Sighted Keyboard-Only Users (see video)*
*Note that the videos were created by the Blackboard Company and may show some features that are not available under SLU's Blackboard Learn license.
Other recent updates:
Three new things for Faculty have been added to the default course content:
1. Blackboard Columns for Integration with Banner Now Standard: Columns labeled 'external midterm grade' and 'external final grade' are pre-created in the Blackboard Grade Center, making it easier for faculty to use the Banner grade integration feature. Go to the Blackboard Faculty Support page for more information on the Blackboard to Banner grade integration.
2. My Grades Tool on Course Menu Now Standard: In response to user requests, the 'My Grades' tool has been added to the Course Menu, but hidden from students. The 'My Grades' tool allows students to view their grades in the Bb Course Grade Center. To make the ‘My Grades' link visible to students, hover over the 'My Grades' link in the course menu to display an action link to the right. Then click the 'Show Link' option - that's it! Go to the Blackboard Faculty Support page for links to Blackboard Help videos on how to customize the course menu.
3. Terms Now Available in the My Courses Module on the Blackboard Home tab: (which applies to Faculty and Students)
Users will be able to group courses in the My Courses module by the course term. This option applies to courses starting with the Spring 2014 semester. Courses from past terms will be grouped together under "No Term Assigned." Click the gear icon for Settings to control the settings for the My Courses module on your Bb home page to show the terms.
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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.
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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the Reinert Center to discuss why and how best to use this or any other technology to achieve your instructional goals.[Top of Page]
Students can visit the Tech Services Center website for tutorials and FAQs or contact the Student Service Desk at 314-977-4000, extension 2.
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 or 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.
Updated: 6/20/2014 by KRS