Blackboard Collaborate is here

Blackboard’s web conferencing tool, Collaborate, is now available in all HuskyCT sites. This tool makes it possible for instructors to interact with students synchronously in an online web conferencing session that includes the capabilities for video, audio, screen sharing, text chat, hand-raising, file sharing, and an interactive whiteboard.  To learn more about Blackboard Collaborate and how to host a session, please visit this help page on the IRC website.

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Preventing extra line spacing in notifications for Announcements

The Content Editor in HuskyCT will double space between lines of text when you hit “Enter” on your keyboard. If you wish to go to a new line, but do not want double spacing, hold down your “Shift” key and then hit “Enter”.

At the current time, if the Enter key is used for line spacing when creating an email or an Announcement, the email delivered includes extra spacing between lines.  By using “Shift+Enter” once for single spacing between lines and twice for double spacing between lines when creating an announcement or an email, the delivered message should properly reproduce the line spacing. This is shown in the examples below.  Please note that a fix for this issue is expected soon.

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formatting_notifications_announcements

Respondus Webinars Available

Webinars covering the use of Respondus 4.0 to create tests, as well as webinars for Respondus Lockdown Browser are available for instructors. Please visit http://www.respondus.com/products/webinar/ to sign up.

Email notifications for Announcements

To insure that an email notification is sent to students when an announcement is posted, it is important to check the box for “Send a copy of this announcement immediately”, as shown below.

send email announce

In the past, checking this box also meant that the email would come from the instructor’s email address. Now, the email will come from “do-not-reply@uits.uconn.edu”, but if students reply to the email, their message will go to the instructor’s UConn email address.

Important End of Semester Reminders for HuskyCT Users

1. Consult the “Grade Center Checklist” before posting grades to be sure that Calculated columns in your Grade Center are working properly and students are seeing the correct columns in My Grades.

2. Download your Grade Center at the end of finals

3. Request your sites for Fall 2015 classes and have content restored if needed.

Why are students seeing grade columns I don’t see in the Grade Center?

twoHidesThere are two kinds of “hide” when it comes to Grade Center columns – hide from the instructor’s view in the Grade Center and hide from students in My Grades. Choosing “Hide Column” vs. “Hide from Users” will result in the column not appearing in the Grade Center, but it will still appear to students in My Grades.

To determine if students are seeing columns they should not, instructors can use Student View to access My Grades. Once the columns that still need to be hidden from users are identified, those columns need to be set to show in the Grade Center before they can be hidden from users. Columns not visible to users will have a black circle with red line through it next to the column title. Once hidden from users, columns can be hidden from the instructor’s view as well.

It is especially important to determine if the default “external grade” Total column is showing to students because this automatically generates a sum of the scores in all columns in the Grade Center. The green check mark next to the column title indicates an external grade column, which is a Grade Center requirement. The black circle with the red line through it indicates the column is hidden from the students and will not be visible in My Grades.

two_totals

Please see our checklist for preventing Grade Center problems and the help files for “Disabling the Default Total Column”, Showing/Hiding Columns to/from Students, Showing/Hiding Columns to/from Instructors, and our chart for “Managing Column Visibility”. We also have a new video tutorial demonstrating how to disable the default Total column.

Making the most of Student View

Once HuskyCT sites are open to the students in the class, instructors can take advantage of the Student View, which is accessed through the Course Tools list in the Control Panel. Entering student view adds a new “student” in the Grade Center with the name “Demo User”. (Visit our webpage on Student View)

The Student View tool enables instructors to take online tests they have created and to submit assignments. You can even grade this work as you do for the “real” students. Checking on your site from student view will help you discover any content that should be visible but is not, or find materials that should be hidden and are not. (See our help page on hiding or showing content)

Student view is also a great asset when it comes to the Grade Center. Need to check to see if your formulas in the calculated columns are working? Just enter the grades for “Demo User.” Can’t understand why students keep saying they see a “Total” column in My Grades when you don’t see it the Grade Center? Check on this yourself using Student View. You may also find columns in My Grades that you thought were hidden or you may not see columns you expected to show. In either case, once you are aware of the discrepancy you will be able to fix the problem.  (See our help file on managing grade column visibility)