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Introduction to Blackboard Blackboard Blackboard is an integrated set of web-based tools for course management and delivery. Requirements For web-based courses, students should have a basic working knowledge of computers and Internet use and access to a computer with a broadband(DSL, cable, satellite) Internet connection. Other requirements for each course are listed in the university catalog. Review how to prepare your computer for online courses at: http://www.Blackboard.com/tuneup Support for Students Office: John Gray Center, Building B, Room 125 Phone: (409) 880-2222; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Monday-Friday Email: email@example.com Website: http://dept.lamar.edu/cde/ Tutoring: SMARTHINKING connects students to E-structor® Certified tutors anytime, from any Internet connection. http://smarthinking.com Your Smarthinking login is your My Lamar email address. Your password is identical to your Blackboard password. After hours and weekend support for Blackboard • Blackboard support for students is available after hours(5 P.M.-8 A.M.), on weekends, and on Holidays Please call toll free 1-866-321-7170 for assistance during this time • For Monday-Friday, 8 A.M.-5 P.M., call 409-880-2222. • An online chat support and knowledge base are also available at http://d2.parature.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8089 Orientation for Online Courses An introduction to taking online courses is available for students who are taking online courses for the first time. For registration or more information call (409) 880-7849. Logging into Blackboard The Blackboard login page can be reached by using the following URL: http://luonline.blackboard.com Your Blackboard ID is the same as your myLamar ID. Your Blackboard LOGIN ID Your Blackboard ID is the same as your myLamar ID. This will be true, even if you have used a different Blackboard ID for other classes you have taken. Also read the “Your Blackboard password” section below. You can find your "MyLamar" ID by: 1. Going to my.lamar.edu 2. Click under "How do I get a username and password?" (left side of screen) 3. Follow the instructions presented to you Please note that Blackboard ID is case sensitive. Enter it exactly the way you receive your MyLamar username. Your Blackboard password YY - 2 digit year of birth MM - 2 digit month of birth DD - 2 digit day of birth "_" (use the _ with no quotations) Last initial - capital letter First initial - capital letter Last 4 digits of your social security number Example: John Doe Born January 25, 1981 Social Security Number 123567890 John Doe's Password: 810125_DJ7890 ***You will not be able to login to your course until it has been activated for the semester that you are taking it. This happens on the first official day of class. Navigating Blackboard Blackboard Layout Becoming Familiar with the Student Interface: Click into a course from the My Blackboard screen after logging in. The student interface has a course menu and a content area. The course menu is the primary navigation feature in a course. You use the course menu to access all tools and content in a course. When you access a tool or content, it appears in the content area in the center of the screen. You view and work with tools and content in this area. The course menu can appear either vertically or horizontally. If the course menu appears vertically, it can have the following headings: Course Tools My Tools Course Tools include all of the content, organizational, communication, and evaluation tools that a Section Instructor uses to teach the course. A tool is a function in the software that allows users to perform specific activities. You use course tools to view content and perform learning activities in the course. If new content becomes available in course tools, a New items available icon appears next to each tool. My Tools can include the following: My Grades. If available, you use My Grades to view your grades for assessments and assignments. The Section Instructor must release the grades before you can view them here. My Files. If available, you use My Files to access files for the course. You can also upload files from your computer. My Progress. If available, you use My Progress to track your activities in the course, including the number of content folders, files, discussion messages, assessments, assignments you accessed during a session. Notes. If available, you use Notes to make general notes or notes on a specific learning module. You can use these notes as a reminder or study aid. Your current location in a course appears in the breadcrumbs at the top of the screen. Breadcrumbs also list the path of screens that you have visited. You can click a breadcrumb to return to a previous screen. See Figure 1 Blackboard Learning Modules/Lectures Learning Modules Learning Modules (called Course Contents or Table of Contents in Blackboard) Learning modules contain related course content that is organized to specify a learning path. A learning path is meant to guide you through the content in order to help you achieve the learning module's objectives. Example: A learning module may contain four content items. The first item may be an introduction and overview of the content in the learning module. The second and third content items could be links to articles and web sites with information about the course. The fourth content item may be an assignment pertaining to the information in the articles and web sites. There could also be a link to a Chat room where you and other Students could post questions and comments about the learning module's content. When you work with a learning module, you can navigate the content by using the table of contents or Action Menu: If the table of contents is set to display, it appears as either a pane to the left of the learning module, or as the first page of the learning module. Navigate the learning module by clicking links in the table of contents. If the Action Menu is set to display, it appears above the learning module. Navigate the learning module by clicking the navigation buttons in the Action Menu. The Action Menu can also provide links to content, such as a quiz or discussion topic, or tools which help you work with the learning module. These tools are: Bookmarks, Create Printable View and Notes. Navigating Learning Modules Using the Action Menu After clicking on the Learning Modules button in the Course Tools area, Choose a learning module or Unit to click on. If you click on a Unit, you may find a PowerPoint file, or other directly downloadable files. If the page is an HTML page or webpage, you have some options. To go to the next item, click the Next Page icon. To go to the previous item, click the Previous Page icon. To retrace your path, click the Retrace icon. To access a content item or tool, click the appropriate icon. To return to the learning module, click the Retrace icon. Blackboard Communication Tools Announcements Announcements are course-wide notices sent by administrators or instructors. Announcements appear in your My Blackboard, on the Announcements screen, or they can appear as a pop-up message when you log into the course. Announcements usually include important information pertaining to your course. Example: If there is an upcoming due date for an assignment or assessment, the Section Instructor or Teaching Assistant may send out a course-wide announcement to Students as a reminder. Email The email tool built into your online course is only for use within that course. Using the email within your online course will allow you to communicate with your instructor and classmates. You will not be able to send email outside of the course, nor will you be able to receive email from email addresses outside of the course. In fact, the email tool in your online course does not even have an email address for you. You will simply send email to the instructor name and other student names. You will have to login to your online course to check for new email and to send email within the course. Email allows you to send, receive, reply, and forward messages to others in your online course. You can store drafts of email, view sent emails, search your mail messages, add mail folders, and delete old mail. Email also consists of a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. You can format your mail with color, style, tables, and you can spell check before sending. To learn how to read, compose, send, and manage your email messages, read the tutorial below. Where is Email? The email (Mail) tab is located on the Menu Bar. Figure 1 Go to the Menu Bar and select Mail. Figure 2 Figure 2 Your mail screen will consist of the following: A Create Message button A Create Folder button and default folders Options to delete messages A Refresh Button Figure 3 Figure 3 Compose New Message To compose a new message click on the Create Message button. Figure 4 Figure 4 You will find a send to field, a subject field, a message field, along with various options to edit your email. Figure 5 Figure 5 Select the Browse for Recipients button to locate the instructor or student name. Figure 6. Figure 6 A list of names will appear in a new window. Using your computer mouse, select the name of the instructor or student you wish to send a message to. Once you have selected all the individuals you wish to send a message to, click Save. Figure 7 Figure 7 The Blackboard ID of the recipient you selected will be placed in the To: field. Figure 8 Figure 8 Type a subject into the subject field, and then type your message into the message field. Figure 9 To edit the style, font, and color of your email message, selects the HTML creator button. A WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor will launch and you will now have the ability to edit your email as if you were typing it in Microsoft Word. Click Send when finished. Figure 9 Attaching a File: To attach a file to your email, select the Add Attachments button to locate the file you wish to attach. Figure 10 Figure 10 The Email Inbox: The email inbox will display all new messages. The status column will indicate either a closed or open envelope. A closed envelope signifies new mail and an open envelope signified read mail. You can click on the subject of the email to read the message sent to you. You can also view the author and the date of the email sent to you from the email inbox screen. Figure 11 Figure 12 Tip: It is suggested that you set your email display to All. This way you will be able to see all new and old email in the order they are sent to you. Figure 12 Discussions Discussions With the Discussions tool you can discuss course topics with Section Instructors, Teaching Assistants, and other Students in the course. There are three types of discussion topics: Threaded: A traditional online discussions where you can post and reply to messages. Replies that are associated with the same post are grouped together, creating message threads that can be expanded and collapsed. Class blog: A more collaborative space, where you post a chronological series of entries on a particular topic. You can then add comments to any blog entry. Journal: A place for your own writing, the journals can be kept private between you and your Section Instructor or shared with the class. Depending on settings, within the topics created for your course, you can read, post, and reply to discussion messages, and submit peer review. You may be graded based on your participation in a topic. When you enter a topic, the topic details are listed: Topic Type: Threaded, Blog, or Journal Graded: Yes or No Peer Review: Yes or No Posting Restrictions: Allow post and reply, Allow reply only, or Allow post only Access: Public or Private Note: Only journal topics can be private. If private, only the Section Instructor can view your journal entries. User Identification: User Name or Anonymous Replying and Commenting on Messages Rather than posting a new message, you can reply to threaded messages or comment on blog messages. If a journal topic is public, you can also comment on journal entries. Click on the Thread you want to enter. Note This functionality may not be available to Students. Once inside the thread, click on the message you would like to read. You can also create your own Message by clicking on Create Message. Figure 1 Figure 1 From the message, click Reply or Comment. Enter your reply: To reply in Plain Text format, enter the message in the text box. The message will appear exactly as you have typed it. To reply in HTML format, you can use the HTML Creator or you can hand code the HTML: Figure 2 Figure 2 If you want to attach files to the message click Add Attachments. The Content Browser pop-up window appears. Click Post when finished. Figure 3 Figure 3 Other Communication Tools: Chat The Chat tool allows you to communicate in real time with other users in the course. You can use Chat to engage in real- time conversations with all users or selected users. You can also use the Chat tool's Whiteboard to draw objects, enter text, and import images that can be viewed in real time by other users. Your Section Instructor has the option to create Chat rooms, Whiteboard rooms, or combined Chat and Whiteboard rooms. Calendar Calendar allows you to view and create dated reminders about events. Entries can be viewed for a day, week, or month. Course members can create course-related entries that are viewable to all course members. Institution Administrators can create institution-related entries that are viewable to all institution members. All users can create personal entries that are not related to any course but are for personal reminders. These types of entries are private. You can access Calendar from the My Blackboard screen or from Course Tools in a course. Assignment Tutorial The Assignment Tool is used for exchanging files between the instructor and the student. The instructor can attach and retrieve a file, apply a grade, comments, and then return the file to the student. Below are instructions for the student to follow when submitting an assignment using the Assignment Tool. The Assignment Tool is located on the Menu Bar. Note: Assignments may also be located in the Assessment imbedded in Course modules BUT always accessible via the Assignment Tool Tab on the Menu Bar. Navigation: Select the Assessments icon from the course Menu Bar. Figure 1 Figure 1 Upload Assignment: From the Assignment Tool page, locate the title of the assignment you need to complete. There are four tabs including: Inbox, Submitted, Graded and Published. To open the assignment, click on the assignment title link. Figure 2 Figure 2 From the assignment information page, you will find a maximum grade, due date, instructions, related assignment files, submission directions, and notification information. Locate the Submit Assignment directions near the bottom of the screen. If you have not submitted your assignment you will find a status message of "not submitted" and your student files To upload your completed assignment, click Upload File. gure 3 Click Add Attachments to find your file in the My Computer or My Files (already added files) area. Then select the file from the pop-up window and click Open. Figure 4 You should now see the confirmation screen, and see the submitted assignment under the Submitted tab of the assignments area. Figure 5 Figure 5 Quiz Tutorial The Assessments tool is used to deliver online tests on course content. There are three types of assessments: Quizzes: Quizzes are online tests for which you receive grades and feedback. The grades are recorded and can be used to evaluate your performance in a course. Depending on the settings your Section Instructor has selected: You may be given one or several attempts to complete the quiz. You may be given a time limit to complete the quiz. You may receive your grade immediately or you may have to wait until after your Section Instructor releases the grade. Self Tests: Self tests are online tests for which you receive grades and feedback. However, your grades are not recorded and they do not count towards your final grade for the course. Self tests give you the opportunity to test your knowledge and understanding of course content. Self tests are not saved after you have viewed your results. From the Assessments screen, locate the assessment and click its title. Note the availability, duration, and question delivery method, attempts allowed and total grade. Figure 1 Click Instructions and Troubleshooting for a thorough explanation of assessment instructions. When you are ready to start, click Begin Assessment. Figure 2 Continuing Assessments If you exited an assessment before submitting it, you can continue the assessment as long as the allotted time for the assessment has not expired. Viewing Submission Scores You can view your score for a submission attempt. From the Assessments screen, click on View All Submissions, then locate the assessment for which you want to view the score and click its ActionLinks icon. Click View Attempt.
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