Beginning around 4:20 or so on Thursday 8/26, Knowledge began returning errors rather than pages. As of 5:00PM ITS has resolved the issue, and Knowledge seems to be running normally.
Sending email to students enrolled in your Blackboard course site is easy. Email can be sent to individual users or to groups of users within the course (for example, all Teaching Assistants). Each time you send an email you also receive a copy of it.
Email provides a more immediate contact with students, Teaching Assistants, Course Builders, and other faculty members enrolled in your course site. It also offers a personal contact when necessary to arrange private consultation, encouragement, or when providing confidential information.
Note: Email cannot be sent to anyone who is not enrolled in the specific course.
To send email from within a course site:
1. Click Send Email from the Course Tools section of the Control Panel
2. Choose one of the mail options, from the menu that displays
3. Enter email as you would using any other email service.
- The example shown here is the screen used for sending email to select users. On this screen, the center arrows pull those users you wish to contact from the “available users” list to the “select” list.
4. Attach a document to your email (optional). The link for this is under the text box. Documents (under 10 megabytes) are attached as you would with any other email service.
5. Click Submit to send the email
Email recipients retrieve email from their TitanConnect (or other provider) email mailbox. While they can respond to mail, be aware that the reply will go to the sender’s email address and not to the entire class.
Announcements are a great way to provide timely course information and stay in touch with your students. By default, a course announcement will appear on a student’s My Knowledge page in the My Announcements box and My Courses box, as well as on the course homepage. Students will also be automatically notified by email when an announcement is posted. Students using the Blackboard Mobile app for iPhone or Android will receive a notification as well.
By default, announcements appear in the order in which they were posted, with the most recent ones at the top. You can change the order of posted announcements by clicking the handle on the left side of an announcement and dragging it up or down
Announcements allow you to touch base with students on areas of concern, remind them of important assignments, or help them keep current with upcoming events. Even a brief note of welcome can provide a personal contact that students often appreciate.
To create an announcement, follow the steps below:
From the Course Menu, click Announcements.
Click in the Subject box to enter a Subject for your announcement. To grab the attention of students, the subject of your announcement can be entered in colorful text using the color select menu located next to the Subject line.
- Click in the text box to enter your message. A brief message works best for conveying information to students.
- Set the Duration and Date Restrictions by clicking the button and boxes next to each field as shown here. You can enter a date directly, or use the calendar and/or clock icons to select a specific date and time. If your announcement topic is important and students will benefit from seeing it each each time they enter the course site, choose “permanent” to keep it displayed throughout the semester. If the subject of your announcement is timely, you may not need to keep it more than a week or so.
- You can link to a course area, tool, or item (optional) to help guide students to specific areas of the course you may want to call to their attention (e.g., the course Syllabus). (Please visit the tutorial on creating Course Links for more information on this topic.)
- Click Submit.
Once an announcement has been created, it can be moved by placing your cursor over the arrows to the left of the title (as shown above), then clicking and dragging the item into place.
- Click Edit (or “delete”) from the options menu next to the title of the Announcement to be edited.
- Make changes, then click Submit.
Note: This action is final and cannot be undone.
When created, course sites are unavailable by default. This means you, as faculty, can access the site to load content, but students cannot. When you are ready for your students to access a course site, you’ll need to make it available. The process for making a course site available is fairly straightforward:
1. Enter the course site by clicking the course name in your My Courses box.
3. Select Properties from the customization menu
4. Scroll about half-way down the Properties screen to No. 3: Set Availability. Select YES, then click SUBMIT at the top or bottom of the page.
Once this is done, your course site will be available to students. If you want to make your course site unavailable, follow the same steps but choose NO for step 4.
Next fall, with the start of the 2010-2011 academic year, UDM will be upgrading to the latest version of Blackboard. This update will bring with it significant changes to how you set up and maintain your online course sites. In addition to providing some new course tools — such as journals and blogs — this upgrade streamlines course management, letting you access Blackboard’s features more quickly.
As we have done in past years, on Wednesday, August 25th we will be taking down the current Blackboard server. When Blackboard becomes available again on Friday, August 27th, we will have completed the upgrade to Blackboard 9.
To help you prepare for these changes, the Instructional Design Studio will be offering a number of workshops and hands-on opportunities leading up to this change.
Early Access & Update Schedule
If you would like to start familiarizing yourself with Blackboard now, all faculty teaching this summer have access to the BB9 workspace at http://knowledge2.udmercy.edu. Simply log in using the same username you use for TITANCONNECT, along with your T-number (with a capital T) as your password.
If you are not teaching until Fall, feel free to contact IDS to have an account and development course site created. USE THIS SPACE TO WORK ON YOUR COURSES FOR THE FALL
Tuesday July 6, courses and accounts for the fall term will begin appearing on http://knowledge2.udmercy.edu. FALL TERM COURSES WILL ONLY BE CREATED HERE.
On Friday, August 27, all content and courses at http://knowledge2.udmercy.edu will be moved to the usual http://knowledge.udmercy.edu address. Any course content you have created over the summer on Knowledge2 will be available to students as soon as knowledge.udmercy.edu becomes available again on Friday August 27.
At this time, the Knowledge2 address will be retired, and course content from the 09-10 academic year will no longer be available.
IDS will be offering an Introduction to Blackboard 9 workshop at 10:00AM on Monday 5/3, Tuesday 5/4, and Thursday 5/6. Instructional Designers will also be available throughout the summer to provide individual or group training sessions, just contact the Instructional Design Studio (firstname.lastname@example.org / 313-578-0580) for scheduling.
In July, the Instructional Design Studio will be offering a three-day intensive workshop that will show you all the ins and outs of Blackboard 9, provide an introduction to using Wimba, and introduce you to some multimedia development tools. This Teaching with Technology Workshop will begin with the pre-recorded webcast “Effective Online Teaching: Designing, Developing & Delivering an Effective Online Course”. Each day of the workshop will consist of two morning sessions and two afternoon sessions, with an hour break for lunch. Following the last session of each day, attendees are invited to use IDS laptops to develop course content in our offices, with designers on hand to answer questions and provide technical support.
We currently plan to offer this session twice in July, first on the 13 – 15, then again on 27 -29. To register, or to find out more about what will be offered during this three-day intensive, please visit the IDS web site.