Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blackboard 9, Fall Semester and ASU Tidbits

Sometimes, when you least expect it, technology actually works. Too busy to drive to the ASU Tempe campus for the Blackboard Course Administrators Fall 2010 startup meeting, but the technology walked its talk this time by making session available via Adobe Connect. We have this virtual meeting software available as a site license here at ASU for just these multi-campus events, and we hardly ever use it for IT gatherings. It would be like the beautician having nice hair or the plumber having time to fix her own leaky faucet.

But use it we did and had a great session, reviewing the full-scale implementation of BB Learn/9 here, as well as the full-scale release of hosting BB off-site at Blackboard. Fingers crossed, wish us luck.

Here's some information that instructors will find useful as we move forward:
The name: BB Learn/9. It's version 9, the one after 8, but stylish people are calling it Learn to mitigate reality that it's still just a course management system, not a learning environment. A rose is a rose, but feel free to call it an orchid.

BB9looks very different, and some helpful navigation to the new look has been provided by UTO at What's New in BB 9.

For support files once we get past new features and BB9 startup, the official BB 9 Guide site is also online.

Reminder: If you haven’t requested your Fall courses, the ‘Blackboard Course Request’link is at and right now, courses are being created within hours. This will slow to a day or so at the beginning of the semester, when requests are in the 1,000s.

If you prefer live encounters when seeking help, I’ll be in my office (UCent 413) all day August 19-20, reserving the time for BB support, questions, and sharing ideas. Stop by/call/Skype/Google chat/or Tweet me!

Quick tips on BB9?
  • The Digital Dropbox is gone. Use ‘create assignment’ for student submissions
  • There is a new “Edit mode” button on top right that allows you to toggle between instructor/course edit view and student view.
  • The Control Panel is now a part of the Navigation panel on left, with all the links bundled by topic. Click the Evaluation arrows to find Grade Center. Click the Customization arrows to find tools and change course look.
  • All the menus are now context-sensitive, available from the pull down chevron next to their names.

Have a great semester!
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