Faculty Blackboard Buzz

The Blackboard Buzz Series provides the faculty with weekly demonstrations of Blackboard tips and tricks.  This series is hosted by iLearn's Ben Ranfeld, one of our learning technologists. 

Blackboard Buzz meets weekly on Friday in Ball Communication (BC) 220 Training Stadium at 4:00 PM. Either sign up or stop by when the demonstration is in session.

 Date  Presenter  Description
 1/31/14  Ben Ranfeld
Adaptive Release

Adaptive release rules can restrict or grant access to any content in your course.  Rules can be based on date or date range, name or group, grades, and review status of content.  We will look at how these rules are made, talk about why you might use them, and look at examples for each type.

 2/7/14  Ben Ranfeld
Announcements and Emails

Course announcements and emails are two ways to easily communicate with your students.  We will look at what options are available when creating announcements and different ways to find and sort students you need to email.

 2/14/14  Ben Ranfeld
Blogs vs Discussions vs Journals vs Wikis

The Blog, Discussion Board, Journal and Wiki tools are ways students can reflect, interact and work with each other in your course.  Sometimes it's hard to know which one or ones would be good to use.  We will look at the different features of each tool, and discuss situations and scenarios where they work best.

 2/21/14  Ben Ranfeld
Collecting Student Work

Blackboard offers several tools with which you can collect work from students.  We will look at the different ways students can electronically submit files and other information individually or as a group.

 2/28/14  Ben Ranfeld
Due Dates and Reminders

Every time you create assignment, test or other gradable content in your course there is the option for a due date.  These dates appear in multiple places within your course.  We will explore where these dates can be added and how your students can be reminded of when work is due.

 3/21/14  Ben Ranfeld
Extra Credit

Extra credit or bonus points can be added to test questions, assignments and other parts of your course as needed.  We will look at which tools have this feature built-in and how to incorporate extra points into the Grade Center calculations.

 3/28/14   Ben Ranfeld
Grading Discussion Boards

Online discussions can be a great way for your students to reflect and interact with each other, but grading participation can be a little difficult.  We will look at which settings are necessary to enable the grading options to appear and how to easily look at participation from one student at a time.

 4/4/14  Ben Ranfeld
Item Analysis

After your students have completed an exam, quiz or test the Item Analysis tool will show you statistics and useful information regarding your students' performance.  Average score, completion time, a breakdown of correct/incorrect answers, as well as discrimination and difficulty values are shown for each question.  We will talk through the different information available and how it can help you evaluate your assessments.

 4/11/14  Ben Ranfeld
Retention Center and Performance Dashboard

The Retention Center and Performance Dashboard are two tools within your course that allow you to track student performance throughout the semester.  We will look at the different information that is available to you and custom rules you can create to notify you of which students are at risk as well as which students are excelling.

 4/18/14  Ben Ranfeld
Smart Views

After your course's Grade Center is full of data it can be difficult to navigate and find particular columns when entering grades.  Smart Views filter columns and rows in your Grade Center to only show information you have selected to see.  Examples include only tests or assignments, only students from one section in a combined course, and only items that need to be graded.

iLearn: Integrated Learning Institute
Ball Communication Building, room 220
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday-Friday. These adjusted summer hours will end August 8.
Phone: 765-285-6582
View E-mail Address