The Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is used to provide e-learning services to staff and students.
It allows lecturers to share module materials, post announcements for students, and run quizzes and surveys. Blackboard also includes a Virtual Classroom facility, discussion forums and various other module tools.
Blackboard Learn 9.1 Summer 2017 Release - New Features
The new features of Blackboard are classified below:-
• Improved performance and security
• Improved experience for mobile users
• Improvements such as file drag-and-drop in key workflows
• Assessment enhancements in the core teaching and learning tools
• Reporting improvements
There are over 200 client-reported issues fixed in the release.
New Icon Set and Updated Button Behavior
There is a new icon set for use in courses and organizations, and cancel/submit buttons will always pin to the bottom of the page regardless of device.
Drag and Drop Files
When Instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments.
Submission Confirmation Receipts
Instructors can keep track of all student submissions, regardless of whether the attempt or assignment is deleted or the submission history is changed. A submission receipt is captured at the time of submission and includes information such as attached file information, date, time, etc. This feature provides evidence for academic disputes, giving students assurance about their work.
For group submissions, a receipt is generated for each group member when a student submits on behalf of the group, and the anonymous state of an assignment is respected. In cases where multiple attempts are allowed for assignments, students receive a different confirmation receipt for each submission made.
Instructors can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included. Instructors can also send reminders for assignments with anonymous or delegated grading enabled. To protect anonymity, students' names and attempt statuses aren't revealed.
Fewer Needs Grading Items
A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide attempts which are not used in calculating grades in multiple attempt assessments. Attempts that won't calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon.
You can access Blackboard through UCD Connect (icon available on top right of screen) , or directly from http://elearning.ucd.ie. Your Blackboard username is the same as your UCD Connect username.
You can also access Blackboard via your mobile phone, by downloading the Blackboard Mobile Learn application to your phone from the relevant app store.
Help and advice is available from the Helpdesk, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at ext: 2700.
If you belong to the UCD College of Business, please contact email@example.com.
Feedback from academic staff and students has shown that there is significant variability across Schools in the structure and organisation of content in Blackboard (Bb) modules and that both staff and students can sometimes find it hard to place/find learning materials in the current Bb module layout.
In order to assist Schools in the easiest and most effective use of Bb, UCD Teaching and Learning, collaborating with IT Services, has devised a new, simplified Bb module structure. By providing a level of consistency of navigation across modules and some simple strategies for enhancing student learning via the Bb environment, this new structure should be easier to use for both staff and students. Associated guidelines on good design and organisation of your learning materials have also been prepared to accompany the simplification. From Summer 2013, new Bb modules will default to this new, simplified structure.
At the end of each semester, Blackboard module instructors should archive their module content to ensure that they retain all assessment material for the required period of time in accordance with the University Assessment Code of Practice(ACOP).
Archiving the material does not remove the module content, it merely creates a copy of the content at a point in time. The archiving process should be completed once the due dates for assignment submissions and exam boards have passed.
Please complete all 3 tasks listed below.
Task 1: Archive module content
1. Open the Blackboard module to be archived
2. Go to Control Panel
3. Select Packages and Utilities
4. Go to Export/Archive Module
5. Click on Archive Module
6. Choose Include Grade Center History then click Submit
Task 2: Archive Grade Center data
To archive Grade Center data
1. Open Blackboard module
2. Go to Control Panel
3. Open Full Grade Center
4. Click on Work Offline
5. Select Download
6. In the Data section, select Full Grade Center.
7. Click Submit
Task 3: Archive assignment submissions
1. Open Blackboard module
2. Open Control Panel
3. Select Grade Centre
4. Select Full Grade Centre
5. Select the drop down arrow to the right of the column name of the assignment required
6. Select Assignment File Download
7. Click on tickbox against column heading Name to select all users and then click Submit
Once these 3 tasks have been completed, to locate the archive file -
1. Open Blackboard module
2. Open Control Panel
3. Open Packages and Utilities
4. Open Export/Archive Module - the ZIP archive file will be saved here
5. To download the file to your computer, double-click on the ZIP archive file and you will be prompted where to save it.
Please note that these training courses are available to Staff members only. Students who attend the IT Services Induction day when they register will receive an Introduction to Blackboard during the presentations.
An Introduction to the use and features of Blackboard (Course IT/18)
This half-day course is designed for first time users as well as those who need to reinforce their Blackboard skills.
The course will provide you with:
- An understanding of the relationship between Blackboard, the UCD digital campus and student Banner system
- The ability to configure the look of your Blackboard course
- The ability to populate areas of Blackboard with different file types and understand how they react in Blackboard
- The ability to use communications and group tools
- The ability to create assessments
An Introduction to using Blackboard for Assessment, Assignments, Surveys and tracking of student work (Course IT/21)
This half-day course is designed for users of Blackboard.
The course will provide you with:
- The ability to create assessments
- The ability to create surveys
- The ability to create assignments with and without plagiarism checking
- The ability to use the "Grade Center"
- The ability to extract data to use in Banner
- The ability to keep copies of the submitted work
To request a place on any of these courses, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying your preferred training dates.
Q1 What browsers are supported for use with Blackboard?
The functionality of different browsers can change due to regular updates whereby some components of the system maybe adversely affected. If you experience problems with one browser using Blackboard then try a different one. If the issue then persists please contact email@example.com
Click here for a list of Supported Browsers for Blackboard.
Click here to check if Blackboard supports your web browser and Operating System.
Q2 How to log into Blackboard?
- Go to http://elearning.ucd.ie
- Enter your username and password.
- Username: Your UCD username.
- Password: Use the same password as for UCD Connect.
Q3 Why aren't some of my modules appearing in Blackboard?
To see which of your modules use Blackboard:
- Login to Blackboard.
- Your courses will be listed under the My Modules section on the My Blackboard page.
- To access a module, click on the module name. This will open its home page.
- Navigate the module by clicking the buttons on the left-hand side of the page.
Blackboard module enrolment information is read directly from the student registration system. Log into SIS, and make sure you are fully registered for the module. It is not enough to register for a programme, you must also be registered to the individual module.
NOTE: A "Provisional" registration status will not entitle you to Blackboard module access. You must complete the registration process first.
Some lecturers do not use Blackboard to provide module materials. To see if your module is available on Blackboard, log into SIS and review your class list. Blackboard-accessible modules should have a small Blackboard icon next to their names.
Alternatively, log into Blackboard and click on the Modules tab. Than search for the module by browsing the module catalogue or entering the module code in the Search window.
Q4 How to print from Blackboard?
When printing files that are stored on Blackboard, you should first save the file to your disk. Then open the saved file with the relevant application and print from there.
Q5 What is Blackboard Mobile Learn?
Blackboard Mobile Learn takes the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) mobile, providing staff and student’s access to e-learning services on a variety of popular mobile platforms.
Q6 How do I view the SafeAssignment report?
Click on the link where you submitted your assignment you will see a button called "View Originality Report".
Q7 How do I request a new Blackboard module?
Modules should be automatically created on Blackboard from the information provided from the Module Descriptor. If your module is not appearing please contact your Curriculum Liaison person and ask them to check the Module Descriptor and that it has the setting for Blackboard turned on.
Q8 How do I add a Module Instructor?
Module Co-ordinators are now able to assign roles to staff as co-lecturers, module assistants, assistant graders and tutors for access to their module's data (including Blackboard).
To do this you need to access the Module Access Management system (MAMs) See next FAQ.
Q9 What is the Module Access Management system?
The Module Access Management system allows Module Coordinators and School Administrators to view and amend who has access to their module's data (in Class Lists, Grading Lists etc.).
To access the new Module Access Management system you will need to do the following:
- Login to UCD Connect
- Choose InfoHub
- Click on Students tab
- Choose Module Access Management.
Q10 How to use SafeAssign?
Instructors may upload papers directly with the Direct Submit feature, without student involvement. Direct Submit allows Instructors to submit papers one at a time or several at once by including them in a .ZIP file. They are checked against SafeAssign's comprehensive database of source material and the originality reports, which include the results of the matching process, are delivered to instructors through the Blackboard Learning System.
Q11 Why can't I see any of my module menu buttons?
In Blackboard, it's possible to hide all module navigation buttons, so that only the contents of the module entry point (usually Announcements or Home Page) are visible. You can enable this option by clicking the Hide Module Menu button.
Q12 How to manage the file sizes of course material in Blackboard?
If you are using Blackboard to deliver course materials to your students, please note the following guidelines for including images and tips for limiting the size of your presentations:
- Physical Size: Keep image sizes small. Use an imaging application to reduce the size.
- Resolution: If you want to display an image on screen, it is not necessary to use high-resolution images. It is still possible to maintain the quality of the image and reduce the amount of space it takes up. All images should be reduced to an appropriate resolution such as 72dpi.
- Image type: Once you are happy with the image you have chosen, save the copy you wish to use for your presentation.
- Video clips and Animation: The use of video clips or animation automatically increases the size of your file and unlike images, there is no way to compress them. Please limit the use of video clips and animation in your presentations.
Q13 How to get and use pre-made Blackboard module material (course cartridges)?
Please contact your publisher to see if a course cartridge is available
The publisher will advise on methods of payment if you wish to buy a cartridge
The publisher will email you a link to allow you to download it, once you have bought your cartridge.
Please forward this email to UCD IT Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include basic information about the course cartridge.
As soon as the cartridge has been successfully installed by the helpdesk you will be advised by email.
Q14 How to get and use helpful extensions for Blackboard (building blocks)?
Visit the Blackboard website to find the building blocks you want.
When you decided on the building block you want, contact UCD IT Services to ask if it is compatible with our version of Blackboard by emailing email@example.com
If it is compatible, you can then buy the building block. When you receive it (by download or email), forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org for installations.
Q15 How to Archive a Blackboard Module and SafeAssign Submission?
To create an archive of a Blackboard module:
- Log into Blackboard and open the module you want to archive.
- From the Module Control Panel, click on the Packages and Utilities link.
- Select Export/Archive Module.
- Click the Archive button.
- Check the Include Grade Centre History checkbox.
- Click Submit.
How to Archive SafeAssign Submissions:
- Open the Module Control Panel and click on the Module Tools link.
- Select SafeAssign.
- Click on the SafeAssignments link.
- Click on the dropdown menu for an individual assignment, and choose View Submissions.
- Click the Download All Submissions button.
- When prompted, save the file.
Q16 How do I Download the Gradebook (or a Column)?
- Open the Module Control Panel and click on Full Grade Centre under the Grade Centre heading.
- Choose the “Work Offline” button, located over the top right hand side of the Grade Centre.
- Choose “Download”.
- To download the Full Grade Centre (recommended), leave all default settings and click on Submit.
- Click on “Download”.
- You should now be able to save the download file to a location on your computer.
Q17 How do I add a Plagiarism check to an Assignment?
In the Content area where you would like to place the assignment .e.g. Assessments select the Assessment tab followed by Assignment
Under Submission details in the Grading section you will now see the Plagiarism Tools options.
Q18 How to clear a SafeAssign attempt?
- Open Full Grade Centre in Blackboard module
- Go to the column associated with assignment
- Click on tickbox to left of students name whose attempt you want to clear
- In the assignment cell for the student click on down-arrow and choose View Grade details from the pull-down menu
- To the right of the attempt details select Clear Attempt
Q19 How to access your Blackboard modules?
Your modules are listed on the My Blackboard page, under the My Modules section. To access a module, click on the module name.
Q20. Why is the scrollbar missing in the Grade Centre?
The scrollbar appears missing in the Grade Centre due to the default font size on your computer being set too high. To resolve this follow these steps:
1. Click Apple -> System Preferences
2. Click [General]
3. Select [Always] from the [Show scroll bars] section of the screen
4. Close any open System Preference windows
1. Logout of Blackboard and close your web browser
2. Open the Control Panel [Windows Start Button > Control Panel]
3. Under Appearance and Personalization, click Change the theme
4. Click Window Color
5. Click Advanced appearance settings
6. In the Item: drop-down list, choose Scrollbar - select a number less than 20 from the size: option (17 is the default value)
then click OK
7. Close any open control panel windows
8. Reopen your web browser and login to Blackboard