Dr Christopher Jobling

Senior Lecturer

Engineering

c.p.jobling@swansea.ac.uk

One of the tasks I often have to do in Blackboard is creating groups for students. This is fairly trivial for small classes, but is a royal pain for large classes. I’ve never had much success with the Batch Group Enrolment tool, and I end up having to do enrolment manually.

The problem is that when you use the add users tool and you use the list all facility you are presented with a paged list of your students. If you add the students you want from page 1 and submit, you have to go back to the list and you get a new paged list. And quite often the list fills up behind the page where you first chose your students, you end up visiting the same page several times before you can move on.

However, if you start adding users from the last page, and then work backwards, this behaviour is avoided and you get a small productivity gain. This is because once you have added all the users you want from the last page, then move to the second to last page, you know you are dealing with a new list – the last page is clear and you know you won’t have to revisit it.

Of course, if list all really did show the entire list rather than a paged list, this would not be a problem at all! I don’t know if you find it as ironic as I do that when you ask for the entire list, and then answer Blackboard’s question “the list may be very long, are you sure” in the  affirmative, that the last thing you get is the whole list!

October 15th, 2009

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In a recent posting to the Learning Lab Community Blog, I demonstrated how to add a TeamLX wiki to a Blackboard site. For that 5 minute demo, I used the free screencasting tool Jing. In this article, I use screencasting to demonstrate the use of Jing itself. (more…)

January 28th, 2009

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As reported earlier, I am now creating a glossary of Internet terms for one of my modules using the TeamsLX wiki that is built into Blackboard. I wanted to report here are a couple of limitations that hopefully will be addressed in later releases.  (more…)

January 15th, 2009

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In a comment on my previous post, Chris Hall pointed out that you can in fact add course links and external links to a Blackboard course menu. I’ve been using Blackboard since it was installed at Swansea and I can’t believe that I missed that feature!

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January 15th, 2009

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In the feedback to one of my modules on Internet Technology, my students suggested that I create a glossary of all the technical terms and prototocols that are mentioned in the course. As you can imagine, for a topic as rich in jargon as the Internet, this will be a lot of work. I have made a start using the Blackboard glossary tool but I am quickly running up against its limitations.  (more…)

January 14th, 2009

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In this follow-up to Really Simple Surveys with Google Docs and Zoho, I outline how we created a rough and ready web application for dissertation project selection with Blackboard, Zoho Creator and Course Genie. If you are interested in the result, visit EG-353A: Research Project Selection on Blackboard. Guest access is turned on.

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June 6th, 2008

Posted In: blackboard, case study, tips, web applications

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In this second of my occasional series of Blackboard productivity tips I want to give another tip that is related to Tip #1: Exploit External Links. This simple tip provides an easy way to get your module details into a Blackboard module site using a link to the catalogue entry. This particular tip is also available in screencast format at Screencast.com. (more…)

May 15th, 2008

Posted In: blackboard, blogging, e-learning, tips

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One of the commonest pieces of student feedback that we hear is “why doesn’t Professor X have a Blackboard site.” A query that crops up quite regularly at IT Support is apparently “My Blackboard site isn’t working: there’s no link to Module Y.” Both are symptomatic of a mismatch between our students expectations of our primary e-learning platform (which at Swansea happens to be Blackboard) and our provision of e-learning support. Quite simply, our students see the absence of a module from Blackboard as a bug!

In this first of an occasional series, I will attempt to persuade you to address this for your own modules by passing on some lessons that I’ve learnt about exploiting Blackboard for students’ benefit without incurring too much extra work for yourself. Hopefully, by creating Blackboard sites for your modules and exploiting some of these tips, you’ll earn the gratitude of your students (and the higher satisfaction scores that your teaching materials no-doubt deserve) without incurring too much additional stress.

(more…)

May 14th, 2008

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