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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

2

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.

Tip: Blackboard Mobile Learn allows you to access your Blackboard courses and organizations using a mobile device (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Android). Bb Mobile Learn allows you access to all of your course content in the web interface, with the added ability to access documents in multiple formats, post announcements, create discussion threads and posts, and comment on blogs and journals, all from your mobile device.

Follow these steps to do it.
You can access Blackboard with your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices when they are connected to Wi-Fi. You can access your Android or BlackBerry devices via the Sprint Network (Sprint carrier) using both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connections. More information about supported mobile devices and how to download the required app for your mobile device can be found here.

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

I sat next to empty seats on my two flights up to Hartford (changing planes in Charlotte) so I didn't talk to much of anyone until I got on the shuttle I'd reserved. I was sharing the vehicle with three young folks who looked to be in their mid-twenties. As we pulled away from the airport, I said, "Hey, I noticed y'all had instruments. Are you musicians then?"

The reply: "No, we're not, we just enjoy carrying musical instruments with us wherever we go."
...continue reading "Contemplative Academy"

Tip: Blackboard has a useful feature called breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are a "trail" of links that can help you navigate back to different areas in your course. As you move around in your course, Blackboard keeps track of where you are and allows you to jump to any of the pages that you used to get there. The breadcrumbs are found at the top of your course page and indicate the current page that you are on as well as the pages you accessed to get to the current page. Using the Back button in your web browser to return to previously accessed pages within your Blackboard course may have unpredictable results. It is generally better to use the breadcrumb trail to go back because it is more reliable in pointing you back to the desired course page.

Follow these steps to do it.
Locate the breadcrumbs at the top of the course page and click the link to move to a previous page.

breadcrumbs

In the example above, we are in the ADM.FLORENT (121306) course and are currently on the WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS page. You could return to the DISCUSSION BOARD page, the CONTROL PANEL or the ADM.FLORENT course entry page by simply clicking on the name within the breadcrumb trail.

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