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When you login to Blackboard you will see your course list. You can change the order your courses are listed as well as hide courses from view. To change the order of your course list follow the steps below. Refer to Bb tip # 36 to hide courses from view.

Follow these steps to do it.
To change the course list order, click on the small manage my course module settings icon located on top right corner of the [My Courses] section. Using the arrows on the left of the course name, click and drag the course to the new position. Click [Submit] to save the changes.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

Here's a great resource from ACS for those who teach Chemistry and want to learn about incorporating Service-Learning into their curriculum.

4

Announcements provide timely information for your students about class activities. Announcements are the ideal way to post time-sensitive material. The announcement area can be used to remind students of assignment and/or test dates, post changes to the course, announce upcoming events (such as a guest speaker), etc. You may direct students to a particular section of your course from an announcement. You also have the option to broadcast announcements to your students' email. You may create multiple announcements when setting up your course and time them to be released separately by choosing staggered future display dates. For example, you know now that you want to post an announcement about the midterm exam and another about the final. Create both announcements now, but set the midterm announcement to display the week before the midterm and the final exam announcement to display a week before the final. Students will not be able to view either announcement until their assigned display dates.

Follow these steps to do it.
To create an announcement, go to the [Control Panel] of the course in question. The Control Panel is located under the Course Management menu. Click on the [Course Tools] link to expand it. Click on [Announcements] and then click the [Create Announcement] button. Type a subject and message for your announcement. Select the duration/date restrictions for the announcement. If you want to email the announcement to the students in the course, you should check the box next to [Override User Notification Settings]. Click [Submit].

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

The Course Menu may be hidden to increase the viewable area of the main content frame within your course. This feature may be helpful when accessing areas of a course where you need a larger viewable area to see the content (e.g., Grade Center, Discussion Board forums, Blogs, Journals, etc.). Once hidden, the course menu can be shown again at any time.

Follow these steps to do it.
To show/hide the course menu, click on the show/hide course menu (arrow) button on the middle right-hand side of the main content frame. This button acts like a toggle. Click on it once to hide the course menu. Click on the show/hide course menu button a second time to show the course menu again.

Note: Hiding and showing the course menu is course and user specific. Individuals can hide a course menu within any given course, while still being able to view the course menu within other courses.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

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The names of courses in Blackboard are identical to the names that appear in the Banner system. Instructors have the ability to change the names of the courses to suit their needs. For example, if you teach two sections of French 1010, you can personalize the names to become FREN1010 – 9 MWF and FREN1010 – 11 MWF.

Follow these steps to do it.
To change the name of your Blackboard course, go to the [Control Panel] of the course in question. The Control Panel is located under Course Management. Click on the [Customization] link to expand it and then click on [Properties]. Enter the new name for your course and click [Submit].

Note: Care should be taken to make sure the new name of the course can be easily recognized by the students enrolled.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

2

When you login to Blackboard you will see your courses for the previous two semesters listed along with the courses you are currently teaching on the Xavier University and Courses tabs. If you do not want to see older courses in this list, you can hide them from view.

Follow these steps to do it.

To hide courses from view:

  1. Click on the small manage my course module settings icon located on top right corner of the [My Courses] section.
  2. For the courses to be hidden from view, make sure the check marks in the [Course Name] and [Announcements] columns are removed.
  3. Click [Submit] to save the changes. This will hide the courses from view on the course list but not remove them from the system.

Want more information?

Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

Tip: At the end of each semester you should export your grade book and create a backup of your course content.

Student access to courses is removed two weeks after the end of each semester. During this process all Grade Center (gradebook) records are deleted. You should download your gradebook to your local computer after you submit your final grades. While the course content you created will remain in your Blackboard courses for three semesters before it is removed, it is a good idea to export your course content at the end of the semester so that you will have a backup of it.

Follow these steps to do it.
Instructions are available in previous Bb tips for exporting your grade book and exporting your course content.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available.
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

One of the most talked about issues on college campuses these days seems to be retention. How do we help our students graduate and how do we help them graduate on time? Several studies have concluded that Service-Learning contributes to student retention. In a recent study of Tulane students, Gallini and Moely concluded that students engaged in service-learning not only felt more connected to the university and the community, but also spent more time studying for their service-learning classes and felt they learned more in these classes.

For more studies about how Service-Learning can impact student retention see Campus Compact's article "How Can Engaged Campuses Improve Student Success in College." Several studies are cited in the article which concludes: "These findings complement other researchers' conclusions that high-quality service-learning is effective pedagogy, contributing to the intellectual, social, and civic development of students that, along with persistence to graduation, is a key measure of student success."

Tip: Starting Spring 2011 Blackboard Learn 9.1 will be the version of Blackboard used here at XU. The upgrade to Bb 9.1 will be done during the break between fall and spring semesters. The new version of Blackboard adds exciting new features and a completely redesigned, modern Web 2.0 user interface. This redesigned version allows users to work more efficiently. New features include course files, blogs, journals, wikis, mashups, improved tests and surveys, enhanced assignment tool and group tools. The digital dropbox is no longer available in version 9.1. The assignment tool replaces the digital dropbox.

We have a “New Features in Bb version 9.1” workshop scheduled for November 11th. Please RSVP for this workshop if you would like to see Bb Learn 9.1 in action.

Beginning November 1st, Bb Learn 9.1 sandbox courses will be available to all faculty who want to familiarize themselves with the new Bb Learn 9.1 environment before the upgrade. If you would like a Bb Learn 9.1 sandbox course, you should send an email message with your name, department, extension, and Xavier email address to Janice Florent.

You can view online tutorials about the new and changed features of Bb Learn 9.1 at Blackboard’s On Demand Learning Center.

Want more information?
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional Blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

We had a good and passionate discussion Monday afternoon at the first meeting of this year's faculty book club. That was my feeling, and I hope the sentiment was shared. We began by going around the table; each person introduced themselves and explained why they signed up for the book club. Thus we all shared what expectations we brought to our reading. Of the eleven people at the table, three cited Parker Palmer as one of the reasons they were eager to read The Heart of Higher Education.

Next, we followed the authors' advice on page seven, looking at the Wendell Berry quote on page one and asking, "What do you think?" From there we moved on to the concept of integrative learning and the critiques against it.

As the conversation opened up, a number of themes emerged. I will try to summarize the ones that seemed most salient to me, though I'm sure I'm missing plenty.

  • For ourselves as teachers, the need to examine "who we are" rather than technique
  • For our students, the need to focus on inquiry rather than answers
  • The importance of conveying a sense of awe and wonder
  • Holistic perspectives need to be woven into discussions on our campus (one faculty member reported only having such discussions off-campus)
  • One faculty member confessed: We are not connecting with students in our program as we should
  • Our relation to students may have moved from transformational to transactional
  • We may do more integrative learning than big research institutions — but perhaps less than we did twenty years ago

With regard to the first point, I wanted to mention our upcoming discussion session, "Who Are You?" Dr. Miranti's comments in particular bolstered my confidence that this was a good topic to pursue at this time. You can find details on our website.

Thanks to everyone for participating in Monday's conversation, both verbally and through respectful listening. I was struck today by a passage on the "sociology of knowledge" in another book I'm reading, Dark Green Religion by Bron Taylor: "What people perceive and believe is shaped by conversation." Simple and obvious, perhaps, but also profound. It is my hope that our conversations will continue to be just as transformational as the education we hope to offer our students.