Downloaded Zip Files Showing Up as Folders on Mac?

If you’re on a Mac, trying to download a zip file from Blackboard (an exported test, say), and it’s showing up as a folder instead of a zip file, a setting in Safari is likely to blame. To solve this problem:

  1. Open Safari
  3. At the bottom of the preferences screen, uncheck the box labelled Open “safe” files after downloading.

You should now be able to download zip packages for re-uploading into Blackboard without a problem without leaving Safari.


Optimizing Grade Center for My Grades: the student grade view

When students view their grades on Blackboard they use a tool called My Grades. The My Grades page is quite different than the Grade Center used by instructors, so it’s important to organize items in a way that makes sense to both students and instructors. When a student opens the My Grades tool from the My Knowledge page, this is what they see. (When a student opens the My Grades tool inside a specific course, the list of courses on the left will not appear but information on the right is the same.) 2016-03-28_140305-crop Notice that a grade appears in bold above each course on the left. This is the grade from whichever column is marked as the “External Grade” in the Grade Center (indicated by a green checkmark icon). For instructions on changing the External Grade column, visit Changing the External Grade column in the Grade Center. Students can switch between four display modes in My Grades: All, Graded, Upcoming & Submitted.

  • All displays all the visible grade center items.
  • Graded shows only those items that have already received a grade.
  • Upcoming is the opposite of Graded, showing only items that have not yet received a grade.
  • Submitted shows only items that have “needs grading” status such as Assignments and Assessments that require manual grading.

Students can choose between four sorting modes: Course Order, Last Activity, and Due Date (ascending/descending).

  • Course Order shows items in the same order as they appear in the Grade Center.
  • Last Activity sorts items in order of graded/submitted with the most recent changes at the top.
  • Due Date sorts items in either ascending or descending order.

To make this page easier for your students to read, IDS recommends taking the following steps:

1. Keep the Total and/or Weighted Total columns near the beginning of the Grade Center.

We strongly recommend placing the Total and/or Weighted Total columns at the beginning of the Grade Center. This will ensure they appear at the top of the My Grades page when students are using the default “Course Order” sorting option.

2. Use either the Total or Weighted Total columns, but not both.

Except in special cases, we recommend only leaving one of the Total columns visible. If you’re using the Weighted Total column, the Total column can be deleted. If you’re using the Total column, you can hide or delete Weighted Total.

3. Hide or delete any other unused or unnecessary columns.

We recommend hiding or deleting any columns from your Grade Center that are not being used and which may confuse your students. If you’re not ready to delete a column, or a deployed item is preventing you from deleting it, we encourage you to use the “Show/Hide from Students” option to hide the column from student views. For more information, see our posts about hiding columns from students or deleting columns.

4. Specify the Due Date for each column.

We strongly recommend specifying a Due Date for each column. When you create a column in the Grade Center, or create a graded discussion board, assignment, assessment, etc., one of the options is to enter a Due Date. Adding a due date ensures the item will appear on the course’s Calendar, and also allows to sort the My Grades by due date. For more information, see our posts about using due dates. (coming soon)

5. Set the correct Total column as the External Grade.

Remember to designate whichever column you’re using for the total as the External Grade so that it appears next to your course’s name in the My Grades view. You may also want to change the Primary Display mode for that column to Letter. If you are using the Letter option, make sure you fix the Grading Schema so it matches your syllabus.

Hopefully, by following the steps outlined above, you can optimize the Grade Center so that the My Grades page is easy for students to read and understand.

Signing in to Lime Survey

Using Lime Survey to gather data can be a great resource to all University of Detroit Mercy Faculty/Staff/Administrators/Students. It’s a free, supported tool should UDM folks ever need assistance. Currently, we are working on additional tutorials to better assist folks with their Lime Survey needs. Until then, you may contact the Instructional Design Studio at: 313-578-0580 or to schedule an appointment to learn how to use Lime Survey.

First you will “login” to Lime Survey by going to:

NOTE: You will use the same username and password combination that you use to get into Titan Connect, Blackboard, and the Research Portal databases. The user you wish to add must have already signed into Lime Survey in order for you to add the user to your survey. If you can not find someone, have them first sign into the site to activate their Lime Survey account.

You should see a message that looks like the following:

Up next, we’ll work on creating a new survey and work through the settings.

Using web folders in Blackboard

When a web folder is set up, all of your course files can be managed from your desktop, dragging in content from multiple drives or folders and organizing it as needed. Also, files can often be edited directly in the web folder, without downloading them, editing them, and uploading them again.

The Following set of instructions were written for a computer running Windows 10 operating system. If you have a different operating system other than Windows 10, please refer to the instructions on the “Using Web Folders” page. There’s multiple sets of instructions depending on your computer’s operating system including Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP, & Mac OS.

NOTE: By setting up a web folder, you will need to link to the item in your course menu after the web folder syncs with your course. A web folder will create a direct link from the computer you are setting up the connection with, and your specific course.


To start, in the lower left corner in the search box, type in “this pc” then select the desktop app to open up the Windows “File Explorer” window.



When the File Explorer window pops up, either right-click on a blank white area and select “Add a network location”, or click the “Add a network location” button at the top.


The Add Network Location Wizard will open. Click “Next“. files_library8

When asked where you want to create the network location, select Choose a custom network location. Click Next files_library9

Next you will be prompted to add the network location



To get the network location, go into the course you wish to set up a web folder for. Then under the Control Panel section, click on Files, then the course ID.


Next, click the “Set Up Web Folder” link on the Files Manager page.


Find the “Current Web Address” field, highlight the link in yellow, then click “CTRL+C” on your keyboard to copy the address.


Then go back to your Add Network Location window that should still be open, put your cursor in the “Internet or network address” field, click “CTRL+V” to paste the address, then click Next.


You will be prompted to enter your UDM Titan Connect username and password credentials to continue with the setup.


Then type in a name for the web folder. It’s a good idea to name this folder something that’s easily recognizable to identify the correct course, especially if you plan to create more than one web folder. Then click Next.


You’ve successfully set up a Web Folder linking your computer directly to your Blackboard course files. Click “Finish” to view/edit/add/delete the contents of your course.

Note: To access the web folder in the future, there will be a shortcut to this folder listed under “This PC“.


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