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Blackboard/Online Teaching Resources for Instructors

The Online Learning Link
A publication for Faculty about Online Learning at Chabot College

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Summer SunSummer To Do List: While summer is a great time to relax and enjoy the outdoors, it can also be a good time to catch up on things we do not get to during the school year. Here is a short "to do" list to help you get a jump start on the Fall semester.

1) First, if you have not yet used Blackboard, summer is a great time to start.  Blackboard can be used for online/hybrid courses or as a supplement for face-to-face classes. Looking to teach an online or hybrid course? A great way to start is to use Blackboard for your on-campus classes to get used to the functions before you have an online or hybrid class. Please visit our get started with using Blackboard resource page for information on how to learn about Blackboard and obtain an account and course site. We can even create a "practice" Blackboard site for you to use while you learn.

2) If you haven't already done so, request Blackboard sites for your Summer and Fall 2012 courses via CLASS-Web. Simply log into CLASS-Web, click on the Menu for Faculty Staff & Advisors, scroll down to the Blackboard Course Site Request link, and get started by selecting the semester and campus. Detailed instructions are listed at /OnlineTeaching/Blackboard/RequestSite/

3) If you are looking to teach online in Spring 2013, Summer is a great time to get started on the Online/Hybrid Course Approval Process. Online/Hybrid course proposals are due on Monday, September 10, 2012 so it is important to get started early. The first step is to view the Online Course Consultation website at /OnlineTeaching/Online_Course_Consultation/ and an overview of the entire process can be found at /cool/process/. Please let us know if you have any questions.

4) Try out a learning tool that you haven't used before - see some options below and visit our website for even more ideas.

Integrate Video into your online class
To help make your course site more engaging and dynamic, try integrating videos! EduStream is a FREE, user-friendly, centralized resource providing video-on-demand capabilities, such as access to thousands of captioned-ADA compliant videos from a repository of professional educational films. Subject areas include History, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Business, English Communications, Fine Arts, Health and Wellness, and Humanities. To get started with EduStream, and request an EduStream account, please visit our resource page at /OnlineTeaching/edustream/.

Learn other methods for adding videos to your course sites from our May Issue of the Online Learning Link at  /OnlineTeaching/newsletter/may2012.asp

You can also find a list of websites that offer free educational videos at http://www.refseek.com/directory/educational_videos.html

Blackboard Assignment Submission options
When using an learning management system, such as Blackboard, you have options for what tools to use to have students submit assignments. Some of these options are:

Bb AssignmentAssignments tool: Instructors can use the Assignments tool to provide a submission area within Content Areas or folders, and the submitted files can be retrieved through the Grade Center. Assignments also provide the instructor with the opportunity to include assignment directions and/or attach a file (such as an Assignment sheet), and point value. Instructors can set the dates of availability to control student access to the submission area.

Bb SafeAssignmentSafeAssignments: Instructors can set up SafeAssignments in their Blackboard courses (much like the Assignments feature). SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention service offered through Blackboard. This service helps educators prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers through faculty submissions or SafeAssignments. As students submit files to a SafeAssignment, they are checked against SafeAssign's comprehensive databases of source material. Student files, along with the results from SafeAssign, will be delivered to the instructor in the Gradebook.

Bb Discussion Board iconDiscussion Board/ Journals/Blogs: While such collaboration tools as the Blackboard Discussion Board, Journals, or Blogs are not traditionally used to submit assignments, they are viable options for students to turn in work. The Discussion Board can be used to have students post their assignments. For instance, some instructors use the Discussion Board for assignments requiring a peer response. Students can also attach files to their Discussion Board posts, allowing other students to read and give feedback or a response to their submission. While Journals and Blogs do not allow file attachments, they have the option of being restricted to the author and the instructor. Therefore, a journal or blog can be used as communication between instructor and one student (such as when submitting an assignment directly to the instructor. Discussion Boards, Journals, and Blogs offer collaboration functions, as well as another option for instructors to collect student work.

The above are just a few learning tools to explore. For information on any of the tools and functions above (and more), please visit /OnlineTeaching/Blackboard/guides/ or click on the Need Help button to the right to request assistance.

Volume 3, Summer 2012

Online Retention Tips
From the Online Retention Faculty Inquiry Group.

Make your course site user-friendly and visually interesting:
One of the best things you can do for your students is to make your course site clearly organized and engaging. Here are some tips to make your course site functional, yet visually interesting:

- Organize materials into folders by week or unit. Help students make connections between content.

- Make course menu buttons clearly named so that students know where to locate materials.

- Change your course banner when you add/release new content.

- Include a "road map" of what students need to do for that week. Make it clear what they need to focus on and when assignments are due. Explain items several ways and include visuals if relevant.

- Be sure to include clear directions for assignments/coursework, including how the student will submit his or her work.

- Be cautious of "overdesigning" the site. Choose fonts, colors, styles, and alignments that are functional (not just visual). Your course site should employ principles of good web design, which prioritizes clarity and function.

- Do not underline text to show emphasis. As underlining signifies a hyperlink when used online, this can be confusing for students.

- Employ the PARC rules of design:
Proximity: Keep related content near each other.
Alignment: Keep content aligned the same (left, center, right). This helps to keep information grouped visually.
Repetition - Repeat the same formatting throughout all parts of the course. Be consistent.
Contrast: Provide visually contrasting elements to engage students. This doesn't mean that you should include a rainbow of colors, it means that If the elements (size, line thickness, shape, spacing, etc.) aren't the same, make them different for contrast.

Bb Logo Blackboard

Subscribe to Discussion Board Threads:
One of the features in the Blackboard Discussion Boards Forum Settings is the ability to allow users to Subscribe to a Discussion Board by thread or forum. The subscribe option allows students and instructors to receive an email when new postings are posted in a forum or thread. The email could include the body of the post or just a link to the post in the email, depending on the settings selected. Please note that forum or thread subscriptions are not allowed by default - the instructor must enable this setting in the forum options.
To allow Subscriptions:
In the forum settings, under Subscribe - select either "Allow members to subscribe to threads" or "Allow members to subscribe to forum." It is recommended that you set the post notice to "include body of post in the email." (image below)

Subscribe options

Now that Subscriptions are allowed, to subscribe to a forum or thread (depending on which selection you enabled):

To Subscribe to a Forum: Go into the Discussion Board > Select the Forum > Click Subscribe.

To Subscribe to a Thread: Go into the Discussion Board > Click into the Forum > Select the Thread you want to subscribe to > Click Subscribe.

Note: You will receive an email for each individual posting in the discussion thread or forum you have subscribed to in that course. We recommend allowing subscriptions to a thread so that students can utilize this option to keep updated with a specific discussion.

Need help icon

A publication by the Chabot College Online Learning Staff

Minta Winsor,
Distance/Online Education Coordinator; Blackboard System Administrator
Lisa Ulibarri,
Instructional Designer/Developer; Blackboard System Administrator

Find us on Twitter! @ChabotOnlineFac

View previous editions of the Online Learning Link at /OnlineTeaching/newsletter/default_conv.asp
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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 2/14/2018