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.

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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:

 

New in eLearning – Collaborate Ultra

Welcome to the Spring 2018 semester! You may have noticed some minor changes in the eLearning interface. Over the holiday break, updates were applied to eLearning, and we’d like to take some time to tell you more about what’s new.

Collaborate Ultra (redesigned Web Conferencing tool)

Blackboard’s redesigned web conferencing tool provides real-time video conferencing functionality that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate Ultra sessions open right in your browser, so you no longer have to install any software to join a session.


Additional Information:

For more information or to inquire about training opportunities on the new Collaborate Ultra, visit the ETS eLearning Instructor Resources webpage or email elearning@utdallas.edu.

UPDATE: Fall 2017 Courses

We are receiving reports from faculty who are unable to see their F17 courses. The LMS Tech group knows of the issue and is working to fix this as quickly as possible. I apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

Browser Support for eLearning

We have heard from users who have experienced significant eLearning issues when using outdated versions of Internet Explorer. IE 9 and 10 are not supported by Blackboard (our eLearning vendor). If you are using one of these versions, we recommend that you upgrade to IE 11. If you have any questions, please contact elearning@utdallas.edu.

Click here to check your browser.

Jindal School’s Online Programs Move Up in U.S. News Rankings

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The Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas continues to prove it’s a leader in online learning programs for graduate management education, as evidenced by its high placement in two new rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

Released this week, the 2017 Best Online Programs Rankings placed both the school’s online MBA and online graduate business programs in the top 10.

Click here to read more…

Turnitin Maintenance Alert – Saturday 01/07/2017

Turnitin (anti-plagiarism) software will undergo essential maintenance on Saturday 01/07/2017 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CST. During this 8 hour window, Turnitin assignments will not be available. This does not affect regular eLearning assignments; it only affects Turnitin assignments. Users are requested to plan accordingly.