Possible Service Interruption – Jan.19 (11pm) – Jan.20 (3am)

This weekend, Blackboard will perform scheduled datacenter infrastructure maintenance to replace hardware which will reach end-of-life in March 2018. This maintenance will take place between 11pm January 19 (Friday night) and 3am January 20 (early Saturday morning).  Blackboard anticipates no interruption in service as a result of this work; however, they cannot entirely rule out brief periods of intermittent connectivity.  We strongly recommend users against taking online exams during this four-hour window.  If you have any questions, please contact elearning@utdallas.edu.

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New in eLearning – Collaborate Ultra, New Box View, and recent Blackboard Upgrade

Welcome to the Spring 2018 semester! You may have noticed some updates in the eLearning interface. Click the links below to view our eLearning Blog posts about each of the updates.

  • New in eLearning – Collaborate Ultra
    Blackboard’s redesigned web conferencing tool provides a much easier-to-use video conferencing functionality that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact.  Click here for more information, including a video preview.
  • New in eLearning – New Box View (Inline Grading)
    Crocodoc, the service previously used by Blackboard for inline grading, reached its end-of-life in January 2018. It has been replaced by a new inline grading service called New Box view.  Click here for more information, including a video preview.
  • New in eLearning – Blackboard Upgrade (Q2 2017)
    UTD’s eLearning server was successfully upgraded to version Q2 2017 over the break. This update provides improved performance and functionality improvement including expanded drag-and-drop functionality, submission receipts for assignments, email reminders, and more.  Click here for more information about these and other improvements.

New in eLearning – Blackboard Upgrade (Q2 2017)

Over the holiday break, UTD’s Blackboard (eLearning) server was successfully upgraded to Q2 2017. Below are highlights of some of the new/improved functionality.

Drag and Drop Files

When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can now drag files from their computers to the “hot spot” in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments. The drag-and-drop feature has been added to the Content Collection, Content Editor, Blank Page, Blogs, Journals, and Portfolios. If the browser allows, you can drag a folder of files and the files uploads individually.

drag-and-drop

Submission Confirmation Receipts

Students can receive a notification email for each assignment attempt with information about the submission including attached files. 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. 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. For assignments with multiple attempts, students receive a different number for each submission.

submission-receipt

Reminders

Faculty 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.  Faculty can also send reminders for assignments with anonymous or delegated grading enabled. To protect anonymity, students’ names and attempt statuses aren’t revealed.

send-reminder

Fewer Needs Grading Items

When multiple-attempt assessments are set to calculate using the first or last attempt, there are potentially numerous other attempts that will never be used for the grade calculation. This can be particularly problematic in anonymous or delegated grading scenarios where it can be difficult to determine which attempts are associated with students and therefore require grading. A new filter is now available both in the Needs Grading workflow as well as within the Grade Center to show or hide these attempts. Attempts that won’t calculate towards the assessment grade are now indicated with an icon.

Course Activity Reports

The Course Activity Overview report has been updated to improve the experience for larger enrollment courses. Instructors can filter the report and break down the calculations of student activity by course groups.

New in eLearning – New Box View (Inline Grading)

Crocodoc, the window where annotations can be added to assignments in Inline Grading reached its end of life in January 2018.  It was replaced by a new product called New Box View.

New Box View’s user-friendly interface enables faculty to easily provide rich feedback to students.  New Box View supports over 100 different file types, including video, audio, images, and programming code. Below you’ll find a video preview of what the New Box View inline grading looks like.


The following are some highlights of this change:

  • Faculty who use Turnitin for assignment submissions aren’t affected
  • Faculty who use Blackboard assignments for submission, but then download and mark work in other programs (such as Word, Excel etc.) aren’t affected
  • Faculty who add marks in the Grade Centre aren’t affected
  • Faculty who use Blackboard assignments for submission and add annotations to the submissions ARE AFFECTED
  • Displays a wider range of file formats (including video, audio and some 3D (Graphics and Modelling) files; is also able to render a wide range of fonts and should render existing fonts more accurately.
  • Annotations archive with courses (wasn’t possible with Crocodoc).

Lost functionality with New Box View:

  • The ability to download files with the annotations included isn’t available.
  • Drawing and strikethrough isn’t available as an annotation tools.

Blackboard are working with Box to improve functionality, particularly around downloading/printing annotations and adding strike-through and drawing tools.

Additional Information:

 

Helpful eLearning Links

Your Spring 2018 courses are now visible to your students.  Here are some helpful links to get you started in eLearning this semester.

  • Want to print your PHOTO ROSTER? CLICK HERE
  • Want to MERGE your courses? CLICK HERE
  • Want to ADD A TA to your course? CLICK HERE
  • Need to COPY CONTENT from your OLD course to your S18 course?  CLICK HERE
  • Want to CLEAN UP YOUR COURSE LIST in eLearning?  CLICK HERE
  • Need help GETTING STARTED in eLearning? CLICK HERE

eLearning Upgrade Outage Scheduled – Dec.27, 12am-10am

An eLearning outage has been scheduled for Wednesday, December 27, from 12am (midnight) until 10am.  This 10hr window will be used to upgrade eLearning.  During this time, eLearning will not be available.  If you have any questions, please contact elearning@utdallas.edu.

Extended Emergency Maintenance Outage – Tue, 12/12, 1-6am (early morning)

A five-hour extended maintenance outage has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, from 1-6am (early morning) to perform emergency maintenance on our eLearning environment. During this time, eLearning will be UNAVAILABLE.  If you have any questions, please contact eLearning@utdallas.edu.