eLearning Upgrade Outage Scheduled – May 12 (Sat), 2:30am-2:30pm

An eLearning outage has been scheduled for Saturday, May 12, from 2:30am until 2:30pm.  This 12hr window will be used to upgrade eLearning. During this time, eLearning will not be available.  Once the upgrade is complete, the LMS Tech group will spend the next 48hrs updating settings, the language pack, and branding.  If you have any questions, please contact elearning@utdallas.edu.

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Merging Your Courses in eLearning

What is a merged course?

A merged course refers to a single main course in eLearning where instructors can manage multiple individual courses. The following terms are important to keep in mind:

  • Parent course – the main master course, where the instructor keeps the content and grades
  • Child course – the individual courses that combine to form the Parent course

 

Why would I need a merged course?

If you teach multiple sections of the same course, managing a merged course can make things much easier than having to deal with a number of different shells. For example, if you teach BIOL 2312.001, .002, and .003, you can have them merged into one course. This way, you only need to focus on one course (the merged Parent course) in eLearning instead of having to navigate between various sections.

 

How can I merge my courses?

The eLearning system will automatically merge courses that are cross-listed in Orion (i.e. CS/SE 1301.001 or ACCT/BA 1301.001). You can see if the system did this when those courses show up in your My eLearning page.

If you would like to manually merge your courses together, eLearning has a Merge Course Tool available for instructors to merge their courses together. When available, you can find this tool at the bottom of your My eLearning page. Click here to view the Merge Course Tool tutorial.

Please note: Only instructors can merge courses together. If you are not the instructor of the course, you will not be able to complete a merge.

 

When can I manually merge my courses?

The Merge Course Tool becomes available about one month prior to the semester start, and the tool remains available to faculty until the end of the first week of the semester.

 

What if I want to merge my course after the semester starts?

While the Merge Course Tool is available up to one week after the semester, it is important to remember that any student activity completed in the course (i.e. discussion posts, test submissions, grades) is no longer accessible after the course merge.  For this reason, it is important to do the merge as early as possible in that first week as possible – ideally, before the semester start.

 

What if I have questions?

Feel free to contact us at elearning@utdallas.edu with any of your questions.

Preparing Your Online Exam for the Testing Center

With UTD entering Finals period, the eLearning Team wanted to provide instructors with a checklist to follow when setting up and reviewing their course exams. While not all items may apply to each exam, reviewing the following points can help prevent any issues on exam day.

1) Is Your Exam Available?

Link Availability

A deployed exam in eLearning is unavailable by default, as seen in the picture below.

not_available_border

Professors will need to manually change the setting so that students can access the exam on exam day. To do this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to your deployed test in eLearning.
  2. Click the gray arrow to the right of the exam name.
  3. Click Edit the Test Options.
  4. Select “Yes” for the option Make the link available under the Test Availability section.

 

Date/Time Availability

eLearning also offers settings to open and close exams on certain days and times. Outside of those set periods, students cannot access the exam.

Before the scheduled start of your exam, go back into your exam’s settings and check the information in the Test Availability section of the settings, specifically the Display After and Display Until values.

dates and times

To find this information, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your deployed exam in eLearning.
  2. Click the gray arrow to the right of the exam name.
  3. Click Edit the Test Options.
  4. Scroll down to the section labeled Test Availability.

If the information does not match when your students are supposed to take the exam, make sure to update the values so that students are able to access their exams during the proper times. Use the fields provided to select open/close days and start/end times for the exam.

 

2) Is Your Password Set?

To ensure students take a proctored exam, professors will often set an exam password, then provide the password to the Testing Center staff to administer during exam periods. This way, students must visit the Testing Center (or, if the student is not in the Dallas area, a Testing Center close to them) to take the exam. Without this password, the Testing Center staff cannot administer the exam.

Make sure you double-check your exam’s password so that the Testing Center can quickly and easily open your exam for your students. Your password is case-sensitive, so the password you enter into the system will need to exactly match the password you provide to the Testing Center.

password 1

To find this information, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your deployed test in eLearning.
  2. Click the gray arrow to the right of the exam name.
  3. Click Edit the Test Options.
  4. Scroll down to the section labeled Test Availability.
  5. Enter a password in the field to the right of the word Password.
  6. Select the checkbox to the left of the word Password.
  7. Click Submit.

 

Respondus LockDown Browser

If you plan to use Respondus LockDown Browser, you will need to add a password through the LockDown Browser’s settings.

respondus

To access the settings, follow these instructions after your test is deployed in eLearning:

  1. Click on the Course Tools section on the left-hand side of your course’s screen.
  2. Click on Respondus LockDown Browser.
  3. Click the gray arrow to the left of your exam’s name.
  4. Click Modify Settings.
  5. Select Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam.
  6. After completing Step 5, a new option for a password will appear. Enter your password, then select Save and Close at the bottom right of the setting box to confirm the setup.

Please note: If you set a password using LockDown Browser, the system will automatically generate a string of letters and numbers to fill the Password section in the actual eLearning test. It will look something like this:

password

This is normal and can be ignored, but do not delete this password. It exists so that LockDown Browser can function. The password you entered by following the above steps is the only password you need to provide the Testing Center.

 

3) Are Your Exceptions Set?

If you have a student who requires certain accommodations (such as taking the exam on another day or for a longer period than the rest of the class), you will need to set up a Test Availability Exception for the student.

exception

To set an exception for a student, follow these steps:

  1. Find your deployed test in eLearning.
  2. Click the gray arrow to the right of the exam name.
  3. Click Edit the Test Options.
  4. Scroll down to the section labeled Test Availability Exceptions.
  5. Click Add User or Group.
  6. Select the student in question.
  7. Select the number of attempts and the availability.

You can do this for as many students as necessary.

 

If you have any questions, or if you would like someone from the eLearning team to review your exam’s settings, please contact eLearning@utdallas.edu. If you have any questions about the Testing Center, please visit their website here.

Emergency Datacenter Maintenance – Possible eLearning Service Interruption – Fri April 27 1-5 am

We just got a notification from Blackboard that they will perform emergency datacenter maintenance early tomorrow morning, April 27th (Friday) from 1-5am CDT. While they anticipate no interruption in eLearning service, we cannot entirely rule out brief periods of intermittent connectivity. We strongly recommend that students NOT take tests during this maintenance window. We apologize for the late notice. If you have any questions, please contact elearning@utdallas.edu.

Merge Course Tool available & Early Student Access for U18 courses

MERGE COURSE TOOL

The Merge Course Tool is available in eLearning, and faculty can now use the tool to merge U18 courses. (Any courses that are officially cross-listed in Orion have been automatically merged for faculty.)

TUTORIAL: How to use the Merge Course Tool

 

EARLY STUDENT ACCESS TO U18 COURSES IN ELEARNING

Courses will automatically become available to students the morning of the first day of the semester (May 21). If you would like your students to access your course before the first day of class, please complete the eLearning Early Course Access Form.

Recent Safari update causes problems when uploading files

Safari released an update for its web browser on March 29th that causes problems for students and faculty when attempting to upload files. Students are unable to upload files to assignments. Faculty are unable to upload files into course content areas. Blackboard is working to fix the issue as quickly as possible; however, it is recommended that users switch to Chrome or Firefox when using eLearning until the issue is resolved.

Recent Safari update causes problems when uploading files

Safari released an update for its web browser on March 29th that causes problems for students and faculty when attempting to upload files. Students are unable to upload files to assignments. Faculty are unable to upload files into course content areas. Blackboard is working to fix the issue as quickly as possible; however, it is recommended that users switch to Chrome or Firefox when using eLearning until the issue is resolved.