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Blackboard Resources for Instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

Top Five questions:

Question categories:

Before you get a site/How to get a site

After your site is set up: Start-up tasks and common questions

Questions about student enrollment

Questions about course management

Questions about course tools and content

Questions about the Discussion Board

Questions about quizzes/tests/exams:

Questions about Assignments:

Questions about the Grade Center:

Other Questions


What is Blackboard?

Go to the page What is Blackboard and Ways you and your students can use Blackboard.

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How to Login to Blackboard (as an instructor), enter your email address, and change your password

NOTE: To complete the steps below, you must have already requested your Blackboard sites and therefore had an account created.

  1. Go directly to https://clpccd.blackboard.com/  or go to the Chabot College Homepage and click the Blackboard icon at the bottom of the page.
     
  2. Type in your username and password and click Login. If you do not know your username and password, submit a help request.
     
  3. Upon successful login, you will be taken to the My Institution page, where you should see the links to the course site(s) you requested. (If you do not see the sites, request your sites). Note that new course sites start out as "unavailable" - this means that it is unavailable to students (in other words, they can login to Blackboard, but they won't be able to enter your course site(s)). Be sure to make it available when you are ready to do so.
     
  4. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD:
    1. Look for the Tools box (see screenshot, right), and click on Personal Information. (If you do not see the Tools box, you are not on the "My Institution" page. Click on the "My Institution" tab in the upper-left corner).
    2. Click Change Password
    3. Enter your own unique password in both password fields.
    4. Click Submit at the bottom. At the next two screens, click OK.
    5. If you forget your password, click on Forgot Password or request a password re-set from the Help Desk.
    screenshot of Tools menu
  5. VERIFY YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. Look on the far left side for a text box titled "Tools," and click on the last item, Personal Information.  (If you don't see a box titled "Tools" you are on a different page. To get to the My Institution page, click the "My Institution" tab in the upper left corner).

IF YOU NEED TO UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:

  1. Login to CLASS-Web (for CLASS-Web login help, call ITS at x1715)
  2. Click the link What is my email address?
  3. Click Update Email Address
  4. Under Faculty/Staff (from Groupwise), click on the email address link. If you don't see Faculty/Staff then click on Type of E-mail to Insert and select the Faculty/Staff option.
  5. If there is an email address in the E-mail field, erase it and type in the correct email address.
  6. Check the box, Make this your Preferred address.
  7. Click Submit.
  8. Be sure to exit CLASS-Web.
  9. Within a few hours, the correct email address should display in Blackboard as well. If you need help with CLASS-Web, call the ITS help desk at x1715. 
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How/when are students uploaded/enrolled in/dropped from Blackboard

Since Fall 2004, students have been added and dropped from Blackboard automatically via a "Snapshot" tool that in effect takes a 'snapshot' of the enrollment data from Class-Web. Generally speaking, once students are enrolled or dropped in CLASS-Web, his/her status is reflected in Blackboard about 4 hours later. However, the change may not take effect until approximately 11pm that evening. Therefore, it is safest to let your students know that the effect can take as long as 24 hours.

Throughout the semester, the basic process is as follows: 

Enrolling Students into Blackboard: the Process
  1. A student enrolls through Class-Web.
  2. During the next Snapshot run (8am, 12pm, 4pm, or 8pm, and 11pm seven days a week), the student is uploaded to Blackboard and/or the course(s) they are enrolled in.
  3. Instructor will see student on his/her Blackboard roster, and student can now login.
Dropping Students From Blackboard: the Process
  1. Either the student drops themselves through Class-Web, or the instructor drops the student through Admissions and Records, or the student is dropped by AandR for other reasons (i.e. non-payment of fees).
  2. During the next Snapshot run (5am, 8am, 12pm, 4pm, or 8pm, seven days a week), the student is dropped from the Blackboard course site (technically speaking, students are actually just "disabled" - that is, while the student disappears from the instructor's Blackboard roster, the student and his/her records are actually just "disabled" in case they ever re-enroll).
  3. Instructor no longer sees student on his/her roster, and the student no longer sees the course after they login to Blackboard.
When do we upload students for a new semester or a new site?

We begin uploading students (who are already enrolled) about 1 week prior to the start of the semester. Students enrolling afterwards will be enrolled according to the details provided above. Note: if your site was just created, all students may not be uploaded until 11:00 pm that evening. The following morning, you can view the list of students by going into the Control Panel and either clicking on the Grade Center or List/Modify Users.

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I no longer see a student in the Grade Center nor do I see his/her work - what do I do?

Our campus/district uses a tool called Snapshot which essentially takes a "snapshot" of what is in Class-Web and reflects it onto Blackboard. In other words, the enrollment in Blackboard should exactly represent the enrollment in Class-Web. Therefore, if you do not see a student in a course in Blackboard, most likely the student isn't on the Class-Web roster either (for whatever reason). (For more details on how students are enrolled/dropped, click here).

Fortunately, if a student was dropped in Class-Web, they haven't been erased from the course; rather, they are simply "disabled" in Blackboard which causes his/her enrollment and almost anything tied to that student to be hidden from view (exception: any posts to the Discussion Board from that student should remain). How to resolve this depends on the scenario. To figure out what to do, please follow the steps below:

  1. First, login to Class-Web (don't know your login? contact the Help Desk) and make sure that the student is listed on your roster. If the student is in fact on your CLASS-Web roster, but not on the Blackboard roster, then submit a help request to the campus Bb Administrator. There could have been a problem with the last Snapshot run.
     
  2. If the student is in fact not on the CLASS-Web roster and should be, then the key is to re-enroll the student back into the class via Class-Web. We have had cases where an instructor dropped a particular student but did not realize they did so. Contact Admissions and Records if necessary. Once the student is back on the roster in Class-Web, they will be re-enrolled ("re-enabled") during the next Snapshot run (5am, 8am, 11pm, 4pm, or 8pm, seven days a week - although it's best to wait until the following day). The student should reappear in the Grade Center and all of his/her work should display just as it did before.
     
  3. If the student was correctly dropped in CLASS-Web but you need to view their grades in Blackboard (they dropped the class or you dropped them), you can request that the student account be temporarily re-enabled in the Blackboard course site. Because of the convenience of automation we have with the Snapshot tool, we do not have the power to permanently, manually override enrollments in Blackboard (to make it permanent, they must be on the roster in Class-Web). However, what we can do is request Blackboard to re-enable a student temporarily (about one day). Then, during the 11pm Snapshot run, the student will be, once again, disabled from your course site and all of his/her work will disappear from your view (the "Cinderella" effect). The difficulty is that we do not know exactly when Blackboard will do this (may be a few days from the original request), and once it's done, the instructor only has that one day to access the student work. But it appears to be sufficient to faculty. To request this, request help, being sure to provide the necessary details (course ID, student W number) and indicate in the comments that you need to "temporarily re-enable" this student.

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The scrollbars are missing in the Grade Center

Missing scrollbars have been reported when using Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox 6.0.2 on Windows XP. To fix this problem, change the settings in your computer display properties:

  1. Click on the Start button, and then go the Control Panel
  2. Click on Display Properties
  3. Click on the Appearance Tab
  4. Select the Advanced Button
  5. Select the Scroll Bar from the item drop down list
  6. Change the Setting to 19
  7. Submit the changes

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Why can't I just "make [the course] unavailable" to individual students?

With the automation we gained from Snapshot came some loss of control, one being that instructors no longer have the option to make the course unavailable to individual students. If they try to do so, and the student is still enrolled in the course in Class-Web, within the next Snapshot run (for exact times, read the above paragraph) the course will be made available to the student again. The instructor will need to drop the student through Admissions and Records. If the student is still showing up in your Class-Web roster, contact Admissions and Records.

I have a student who needs to finish an incomplete. What are my options?

According to the Counseling Division Academic Regulations, incomplete (I) grades represent an instructor-student agreement that the student may complete the course work by the end of the following semester and receive an appropriate letter grade. How your student(s) will finish an incomplete within Blackboard for a course depends on the level of need.

  • Option 1: Complete coursework in original site (most common). Most instructors have the student finish the coursework in the original course site. The instructor must leave the course site set to available (as a reminder, the instructor is in complete control of site availability for up to two years). While other enrolled students could potentially access the course site, this does not appear to be an issue for most instructors/courses. In addition, instructors have the option to make various areas of their course unavailable to students as needed. For this option, you do not need to notify the Chabot Blackboard Administrator.
     
  • Option 2: When interactivity with other students is required. If interaction with other students is a crucial component of the course, Option 1 may not be adequate. In such cases, if the instructor is teaching the same course in a future/current term, the student(s) can be manually added to the current-semester. Note, however, that none of the coursework will be brought over to the new site. Instructors would need to re-enter grades in the Grade Center of the current site and/or the original site (entering of grades in the original site is recommended for consistency and accurate record-keeping). For this option, request to have the student manually added to the new site.

For any questions, please submit a help request.

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How do I view the list of students (roster) in my course?

Go to the Control Panel, then List/Modify Users, then List All, then List All again. You will see his/her names and email addresses. Note that if your site was just created, not all students may be uploaded. Find out when the next upload time is.

How can I find out the last time a student accessed a course site?

You can go to Contol Panel > Performance Dashboard. The Performance Dashboard will show the instructor the last time the student accessed the course site, as well as the number of days since his/her last login.
 
You can also go to Control Panel > Course Statistics, but the Performance Dashboard loads more quickly.

Create a "Start Here" Button

Based on feedback from our student orientations, we strongly recommend that you name one of your buttons "Start Here" or "Start Here - Syllabus" or anything that is a clear indicator where the students should begin. You may have a lot of information posted, and it can be overwhelming to the student where to begin. Simply go to Control Panel, Course Menu, Add Content Area.

Note that once the semester begins, you have the option to remove or change the name of the "Start Here" button, as students become more familiar with the course site.

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How to Make Your Course Site(s) Available / Unavailable to Students

When we create new courses, the default setting is that they are unavailable to students. This is so that you, the instructor, have complete control as to when students can access your course. Your course will remain unavailable (students cannot view your course) until you make your course available.  To make your course site available or unavailable: 

screenshot of Control Panel > Properties

  1. From within each course, locate the Control Panel (directly below the main course menu).

  2. Select Customization (if you do not see "Customization," click on the chevron (double arrow to the right of the Control Panel).

  3. Select Properties

  4. Within the main frame (to the right), look under #2 Set Availability.

    • To make available, select Yes
    • To make unavailable, select No.

  5. Click Submit

  6. To verify that the course site has been made available to students, click on the My Institution tab and make sure that (unavailable) does not display.









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How instructors/staff can get assistance with Blackboard

While you can always contact support staff individually, to reach the most available staff member, please use our online Blackboard Support Request form. We highly recommend using this form because it asks for the specific information we need right away so we can better assist you.

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Guests Access

For added security, system-wide guest access has been disabled since Fall 2009. Faculty who would like to provide another instructor or a student TA (or other role) "guest" access to their course site can provide their fake student login or they can request other types of access.

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Your own "fake" student (and the "chabotsupport" student)

What is a "fake" student?  - is a student account created just for you (the instructor) so that you can view your course sites exactly as your real students do. Logging in as your fake student can assist you in verifying that content is available, tests are/aren't displayed, and that the Grade Center columns you intend to be available are displayed, among other things. A fake student is especially essential if you have copyright-protected publisher material in a course cartridge), since the instructor view includes access to verifying but the student view may not. Note that in order to access your site as a student, you will need to make your course available.

What is my fake student username/password? Submit a Help Request.

 

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How do I request Blackboard course sites?

Faculty can request Blackboard sites for their courses using the form Request Blackboard Course Sites.

What is a "merged" Blackboard course site?

For most courses, one course site is setup for each Course Registration Number (CRN). Instructors also have the option to "merge" two or more CRN's and setup as one course site. Once courses have been merged into a single site, students in all of the indicated sections can access the same Blackboard course site. This site should contain content meant for all of the students in those specified sections.

Prior to requesting a merged site, please note the following:

  • When you request course sites for Blackboard in CLASS-Web, only the courses for which you are the instructor of record will display. For course sections that you want to include in the merge but list another instructor of record, please ask that instructor to request the site, making sure to indicate it as "merged."
  • Courses are setup as either individual sites or as part of a merged site - a CRN cannot coexist as part of a merged site and also be part of a merged site.
  • A merged site cannot be "unmerged." In other words, we cannot separate individual courses from the merged site. The only option to "unmerge" is to delete the site and re-create each course (CRN) as individual sites. All of the course content, student submitted work, and grades would be lost.
  • Note that a merged site does not distinguish which students are from which section, so ALL students will be listed alphabetically in the Grade Center. However, there are ways to sort the students.

Instructors can request individual or merged sites by using the Request Blackboard Course Sites in CLASS-Web. Click here for the steps to Request Blackboard Course Sites in CLASS-Web.

What is a "developmental" site?

A developmental site is a temporary Blackboard site for faculty to use for development of a future course or to test out publisher material such as a Course Cartridge. The site is not tied to Class-Web, so there is no concern of students accidentally accessing the course. This is important especially for Course Cartridges, as faculty may need to temporarily make the site available to test functions available only to students.

A developmental course site is typically requested for one of two reasons:

  • You are developing a site for a future term that isn't in Class-Web yet (no CRN available yet). However, If you have the CRN from Class-Web, available, please request the "live" course site(s) instead. This will prevent you from having to copy over the content later on.
     
  • You are reviewing a Course Cartridge and you are not sure that you want it downloaded into a live site yet. Note that if the Course Cartridge will require students to purchase an access code (that is, it is "copyright-protected"), you won't be able to copy over the content to a live site later on - you will have to request a new cartridge download key from the publisher each time a new site is created (each semester too). If the course cartridge requires students to purchase an access code, you may want to just go ahead and request the "live" course site(s). If you find that you do not want the cartridge after all, we can delete the live site and create a new blank one (granted that it's before the term begins!). More info on course cartridges...

Once the CRN of the actual course becomes available in Class-Web, faculty will need to copy over the content to the "live" site.

How to hide outdated courses on your My Institution page

  1. Login to Blackboard and make sure you are within the My Institution tab.
  2. Click on the pinwheel icon in the upper-right corner of the My Courses module:
     screenshot of the pinwheel in Blackboard
  3. Uncheck all of the boxes to the right of each course that you want to hide.
  4. Click Submit.

Please note that the above steps only affects the display of courses on the My Institution tab. All of the Blackboard course sites that you have taught in in the past two years will continue to display on the My Courses tab.

 

If you have any problems, request help (if having problems hiding sites, you'll need to provide your password in the help form).

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Can I change the main menu buttons in my Blackboard course?

Yes. As the course instructor, you have complete control over the naming of all of the navigation buttons in your course. Go to: Control Panel-->Manage Course Menu.

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How to copy content from one Blackboard site to another

  1. Go into the course site that you want to copy content from (the "source" course).

  2. Click on the Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Course Copy

  3. Click the Browse button, select the course that you want to copy to (the "destination" course), and click Submit.

  4. Under "Select Course Materials," check the appropriate boxes. If you are unsure what to check, it is best to check all of the content type boxes.

    IMPORTANT: If you have any content/tools that are linked to the Grade Center (Assignments, Discussion Board, Tests, Surveys, and Pools), be sure to check those areas AND the Grade Center Items and Settings. If you don't, connections may be lost and you will have to wait for Blackboard to fix the problem.

  5. Click Submit. While the copy process usually only takes a few minutes for most courses, you may want to wait until you receive an email confirming that the copy process has completed.

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How do you delete your previous semester students' introduction, responses and assignments on the Discussion Board?

To remove all of the posts in a forum (which are copied over when you copy a course):

  1. Go into the forum.
  2. Click on the List View.
  3. Scroll all the way down to "Select all."
  4. Once all of the threads are selected, go to the top of the page and click remove. This should clear all of the threads in the forum.
  5. Repeat for each forum.
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I do not see one of my students listed in the Blackboard roster

If a student does not show up in your roster in Blackboard, then most likely they aren't in the roster in Class-Web. Enrollment data is retrieved directly from Class-Web into Blackboard (more about the upload to Blackboard process). Most likely the student needs to check with Admissions and Records to find out why he isn't enrolled. If you verified that the student is in fact in your Class-Web roster but you still don't see his/her name in the Blackboard Roster, request assistance.

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I want to give someone access to my site(s) and/or have a TA in my class. What are my options?

Blackboard actually provides many different "roles," each with different levels of access. Please click on the link below to read about the details of each role, where you will also provide the necessary information to request someone access to your site(s). Please note that we do not enroll anyone in your course site without your prior request/permission - if the person desiring access makes the request, a confirmation will be required by you prior to enrollment.

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What is "Observer" access?

When you modify your menu items you may notice the option to allow observer access. For the most part, you can ignore this. Observer access is a one-on-one role in which one user is assigned to observer another user's work in the course. For example, the observer role is used more frequently in the K-12 schools, where a parent could view his/her child's (and only his/her own child's - one else's) work. If you have a need for this, contact the request this using the "request for access" form, providing both names.

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How can I change the way my name is displayed to students in Blackboard?

All first and last names in Blackboard are retrieved automatically and directly from the Banner/Class-Web system, which is however you entered your name on your human resource forms. Due to this automation, there is no way from the Blackboard end to change a user's first name, last name, or user name. If a faculty/staff/student would like to change how his/her name displays in Blackboard, they would need to obtain and submit the appropriate forms from the Chabot Business Office or the CLPCCD Human Resources Department.

What is a Course Cartridge and how do I import it into a course?

Many publishers offer content which can be imported into a Blackboard site to accompany a textbook. Examples of the content may include PowerPoint presentations, chapter summaries, and test banks. To find out if a Blackboard course cartridge is available for any one of the textbooks you use, you can search from the Blackboard website or contact your textbook publisher representative. Please note that cartridges fall into one of two categories:

  • Open Access. This type of cartridge does not require students to purchase an access code, and you should also be able to copy cartridge/publisher content from one site to another, from one semester to the next. These typically contain less content than the copyright-protected cartridges.
     
  • Copyright-protected. IMPORTANT: This type of cartridge requires students to purchase an access code, and you will not be able to copy the cartridge to other sites (you will have to request a new cartridge download key for each site for each semester). After the student logs into Blackboard, and enters your site, and then clicks on a content area that contains cartridge content, they will be prompted to enter in an access code (just once for the entire semester) that they purchased (either shrinkwrapped with the textbook or sold separately - as determined by you and your publisher representative). Below is a screenshot of what a student might see:

To obtain/import a cartridge:

  1. Decide which site you want the cartridge in, and if needed, request a site (either an "official" site or a developmental site - should be a blank site). Because most faculty do end up using the cartridge they selected, and copyright-protected cartridges cannot be copied over (you'll have to request a new download key for each site), we recommend that you request that the cartridge be imported into an "official" but blank/empty site for an upcoming semester. That way, you won't have to worry about extra steps of copying over (if an option) later. If you decide not to go with the cartridge, we can just delete the site. Note however that there is no way to remove a cartridge, so do not copy over any content yet - the only way to "remove" a cartridge is to delete the site. If you would like to evaluate the cartridge prior to importing it into a live site, or the course has not yet been scheduled, you will have the option to request a developmental site.
     
  2. Contact your publisher representative and tell them you are interested in a Blackboard Course Cartridge for a particular text that will go into the campus Blackboard server. Please be sure that your publisher orders the correct combination and that the bookstore receives it. There have often been problems with the bookstore receiving the wrong codes, delaying students from accessing content.
     
  3. Once you have decided on a text/cartridge/package, the publisher representative will most likely direct you to an online form, where you will select the appropriate text and/or package, enter other details, and then request a Course Cartridge Download Key. You may be asked a few details:

    • Our Blackboard version:   screenshot of our Blackboard version
    • For the system administrator name, type "Chabot Administrator" because it is going to vary.
    • For the email address, enter bbhelp@chabotcollege.edu (do not use an individual's email address - using this alias email ensures that it reaches the Chabot Bb administrator on duty (subject to change).
       
  4. Submit the online form.
     
  5. Check your email to see if you have received an email containing the Course Cartridge Download Key. Once you have received it, that means the Chabot Blackboard Administrator received it too. You can either wait until the administrator emails you to confirm which course you want this downloaded to, or you can forward a copy to bbhelp@chabotcollege.edu and specify exactly which course site this is for.
     
  6. The administrator will then import the cartridge (usually only takes a few minutes) and you will be notified when this has been completed. Once you decide that you are going to use the cartridge, you can use the Copy Course tool to copy content from other sites and/or edit the site as you wish.

How do I import a publisher packaged ePack (zip file)?

"I need to download an ePack (other names may be used) from my publisher, who directed me to a ftp website of a packaged zip file. How do I import this?"

To import an ePack (other names may be used):

  1. Follow the instructions as provided by your publisher representative, which may include clicking on a link to a ftp website (if you are required to login, the username and password is provided by the publisher rep.).
  2. Locate the zip file, and save the zip file to your desktop, computer, or wherever you normally save files and can easily locate them later.
  3. Login to Blackboard, click on the course link that you want to import the package to, and go to the Control Panel.
  4. Click on Import Package. Click browse to locate the zip file that you just saved, check the boxes of the content you want to import, and click Submit. Importing may take a while. Do not do anything until you receive a log import status message.

Note: The "Import" option in the Pool Manager is for test banks only. Use only if you know how to create these test banks or if directed by your publisher.

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What file format should I use for documents posted to Blackboard?

The best solution is to save files in a universal file format so that your students are able to access the files regardless of the software they use or his/her computer platform. Blackboard recommends saving documents in one of the following three file formats: HTML, RTF (rich text format), or PDF (portable document format). Need suggestions what works best as HTML, RTF, or PDF?  Please refer to our File Format Comparison chart. To view the list of supported file types according to Blackboard, go to the recognized file attachments (Blackboard instructor manual). Chabot Web Services strongly recommends converting documents to PDF, especially large PowerPoint files. Otherwise, direct your students to download the appropriate 'readers'. You can find out how to add a document at the SDSU Step-by-Step guides - Add Item website.

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What file types are supported by Blackboard?

The Blackboard Learning System recognizes several file types that can be attached to content items and opened in the page or directly in an associated application. To view the list of supported file types, go to the recognized file attachments (Blackboard instructor manual). Theoretically, any type of file can be uploaded to a content item and made available to students. If the file is not of a type recognized by the Blackboard Learning System, users can always download the file and open it locally. However, many students rely on dial-up internet access, so file size should be kept to a minimum. Because we do not currently have a streaming server, only relatively small audio/video files can be posted. You can find out how to add an item at the SDSU Step-by-Step guides - Add Item website.

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I am unable to open my Vista/Office 2007 files on a XP/Office 2003 computer

Most likely, you are trying to open a document created in Office 2007, when your computer only has Office 2003 or earlier. Since Office 2007 programs typically creates files in docx, xlsx, and pptx format, Office 2003 and earlier versions cannot read these files. If you do not use Office 2007 but would still like to ensure that you can read Office 2007 files, you will have to install the Compatibility Pack from Microsoft. The Compatibility Pack can be downloaded at this link and then follow the instructions below to install it. All the campus computers should have the converter installed already, so any campus computer will allow you do this (For help with the converter, contact the Chabot College Computer Support). More details and a workaround for this problem are provided by Northern Illinois University.

You will need to follow the prompts to download the converter. If you are on a Chabot computer, you may need to contact the Chabot College Computer Support.

Another Suggestion: When you save the document at home, save as Word 2003."

If you have any other issues with general software, contact the Chabot College Computer Support.

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I want to post a PowerPoint file within Blackboard. What do I need to know?

If you are considering creating a PowerPoint presentation to include in Blackboard, here are some things you should consider in advance.

Document structure and design
  • Each slide heading becomes a bookmark when converted to a PDF file.
     
  • Use alternate text descriptions for images. When you insert a graphic on your slide, right-click the graphic, choose Format Picture on the context menu, and choose the Web tab on the Format Picture dialog. This tab has an area in which you type the alternate text.
     
  • All the text in the slide show must be in the outline. Do not use text boxes.
     
  • Any fly-in bullets or other fly-in animations may not be preserved, but the information is preserved in the PDF conversion. If this makes a difference, then adjust your presentation as needed.
  • For information on narrated PowerPoints, please check out the next FAQ.

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I want to post an audio/video file. What do I need to know? How do I make audio/video ADA compliant?

Copyright. First and foremost, must make sure that you have met the rules for copyright. You can find thousands of video clips on EduStream, which is provided for use to all instructors at Chabot College. Your textbook representative may also be able to provide access to video resources.

Size is a factor. For audio or video longer than a few seconds, we suggest posting your files to EduStream, which provides streaming service to all instructors.

Accessibility. ADA says that institutions must make "reasonable accomodations" for disabled students. Disabled students includes hearing impaired, visually impaired (those who might use a screen reader on the text), learning disabled, motor impaired (text files are relatively easy to access), etc.

Before beginning the dauting task of creating your own video and adding captions, you might first try searching for closed-captioned videos on YouTube or EduStream. For any audio/video you created, please check with the Chabot College Disabled Student Resource Center for captioning options.

There are many ways to make accommodations. For starters, the instructor can just type up a summary of the audio content (such as in the PowerPoint notes area. Scripts can also keep the developer focused, which makes for a better performance.

For more information about ADA standards, contact the Chabot College Disabled Student Resource Center or the High-Tech Center Training Unit (Foothill-DeAnza colleges).

How can I search for closed-captioned videos in YouTube?

You can search only for closed-captioned videos by selecting "Closed-Captions" from the Type menu. Then type in your topic in the search field and click on "Search."

screenshot of where to find the link to search for closed-captioned videos on YouTube

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I am having display issues in my course site

If you are experiencing display issues anywhere in a course site, there may be hidden html code or font within the a Text Box Editor that is causing the problem. When text is copied and pasted from one location to Blackboard (such as from a web page or from a word processing document), hidden html and font are often copied over as well. Below are suggestions for resolving the problem:

Option #1: Use a Format-Free Program

The quickest method is to copy/paste the text into a format-free program such as NotePad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac) and then copy/paste the text back into the Text Box Editor. Simply copying text from a format-free program removes the hidden html and allows you to paste an html-free copy in Blackboard.

  1. In Blackboard, select and copy all of the text from within the Text Box Editor.
  2. In NotePad, paste all the text that you just copied.
  3. In NotePad, save a copy of the file (as a backup).
  4. In Blackboard, delete all of the text in the Text Box Editor.
  5. In NotePad, select & copy all of the text that you just pasted.
  6. In Blackboard, paste all of the text back into the Text Box Editor, format as needed, and Submit.
Option #2: Use the Remove Formatting tool

There is a Remove Formatting tool available on the top menu bar of the Content editor. Although the usefulness depends on just how much hidden html/font there is, this tool claims to remove all formatting leaving only the plain text. For illustrations and more details, please visit the Content Editor page of Blackboard Help website.

 

 

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How do I download a copy (a file) of my Grade Center?

We strongly suggest that you periodically download a copy of your Grade Center, especially right before you drop students or make any significant changes. Soon after a student drops or is dropped in CLASS-Web, most of the records for for that student in that particular course disappear from your view in Blackboard and can only be accessed temporarily with special assistance from staff (if you are trying to access records for a dropped student, click here for more information). You can download a copy (such as an Excel file) of your Grade Center. The downloaded file has no impact on your actual Grade Center records whatsoever. It is just a copy. You can download as many copies as you would like.

  1. Go to the Control Panel of your course site(s).
  2. Click on the Grade Center.
  3. In the upper-right-hand corner, click on work Offline, then click Download.
  4. Select the data to download, such as the full grade center, a selected column, or user information only.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. Click Download.
  7. Follow the remaining prompts to save your file, depending on your browser.
  8. To view the file, open up the file in Microsoft Excel.

How do I modify, then upload my Grade Center?

Once you download a copy of your Grade Center (steps above), you can modify or add more items as needed (such as adding a test or changing a student's score), and then upload the file to make the changes to the "live" Grade Center.

  1. Be sure to complete the steps above for downloading a copy/file of your Grade Center.
  2. Open Excel, locate the file you just downloaded (unless you changed the filename, will be named "gb_export"), and open the file.
  3. Make the modifications that you want made (note: do NOT remove any student names).
  4. When you are finished, Save the file.
  5. To upload the grades, from the Blackboard Control Panel Grade Center, click Work Offline, then Upload.
  6. Click Browse to select the Excel/csv file you just saved (must be a *.txt or a *.csv file).
  7. You will need to either select the destination column for the uploaded data, or select Create New Grade Center Item for the data to appear as a new Grade Center item.
  8. Click Submit.
  9. (If applicable) Check the boxes for the students in which you want to upload modified scores.
  10. Click OK. You will be returned to the Grade Center with the changes made.

You can find more details in the directions for uploading to the Grade Center as per the Blackboard Instructor Manual

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How can I display Complete/Incomplete Grades?

  1. From the Control Panel, click on the Grade Center
  2. Click on the column of test for which you want to display grades as Complete/Incomplete
  3. At item option screen, select Item Information
  4. For score, specify a point value
  5. For Display As options, select Compelete/Incompelete
  6. Under Options check the following items:
    • Check "Yes" in response to " Make item visible to students:"
    • Check "No" in response to "Include item in Grade Center score calculations:"

As soon as student takes the test, a checkmark appears in greadebook. For those students who have not taken the test, nothing appears in Grade Center.

Is there a way to hide class averages from the Grade Center and the student's "View Grades"?

At the moment, no. One workaround is to give your fake student a grade equal to the negative sum of the entire class for the assignment. This will set the average to zero.

A student has an exclamation (!) posted as his/her grade.  What does this mean?

As you'll notice in the key of the Grade Center (left side of screen), the exclamation (!) normally means "needs grading."  If the student completed the test but there is still an exclamation showing, that indicates that there is a time limit set on the test and the student went over time.

I have a merged site. How can I sort students by section in the Grade Center?

If you use a single Blackboard course site for multiple sections you can create a Grade Center item to sort the students.
  1. Go into the Grade Center, and select Create Column.
  2. Enter the Column Name, such as "Section."
  3. Select Text as the Primary Display.
  4. Select No Category for the Category.
  5. Enter "0" for the Points Possible.
  6. Select "No" for "Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations."
  7. Select "No" for Show this Column to Students."
  8. Click Submit.
  9. Back into the main Grade Center view, locate this column.
  10. In each cell, enter the appropriate section number, (i.e. ON1, ON2) or descriptor of your choice for each student.
  11. At the top of the column, click on the double arrow and select Sort Ascending.
  12. To return to sorting by last name, you can click on the triangle above the "Name" field.
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How can I get a site for a non-Chabot course or a non-instructional group (committee, club, etc.)?

Our Blackboard system currently allows the setup and enrollment of courses and students associated with a Course Registration Number (CRN). If you are looking to setup a site for a non-Chabot course or a non-instructional group, consider one of the following options:

  • CourseSites by Blackboard
  • Google Docs for Educators
  • Group Studio

CourseSites by Blackboard

CourseSites is a free, hosted online course creation and facilitation service that enables instructors to add a web-based component to their courses, or host an entire course online. CourseSites is currently running Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 as well as some of the latest Blackboard features available. Instructors will need to manually enroll or remove participants/students from the site. You can find out more and sign up for an account at the following link: https://www.coursesites.com/webapps/Bb-sites-course-creation-BBLEARN/pages/getstarted.html

 Google Docs for Educators

Google Docs for Educators consists of an easy-to-use online word processor, spreadsheet and presentation editor that enables you and your students to create, store and share instantly and securely, and collaborate online in real time. You can create new documents from scratch or upload existing documents; you can even create basic assessments (multiple choice, text, etc.) and view the results as a graphical summary or detailed spreadsheet. There's no software to download, and all your work can be accessed from any computer. You can view an overview of resources for instructors at the following link: http://www.google.com/educators/p_docs.html

Group Studio
Included in the Zone web portal is a tool called Group Studio. Group Studio offers faculty, staff, and students the ability to create and manage group homepages for departments, workgroups, and committees which includes online tools for collaboration, communication or information sharing.

Because Group Studio is part of the Zone which is already accessible to all faculty, students and staff, it is very easy for the designated group moderator to add members to the site and provide immediate access, without waiting for new accounts to be created.
screenshot of GroupStudio Tools  

 

Types of Groups Available

There are three types of groups available: public, restricted, and hidden.

  • Public Groups: open for anyone (who can login to the Zone) to join.
  • Restricted Groups: membership is subject to certain restrictions as determined by the group moderator. For example, only existing committee members may access the site.
  • Hidden Groups: reserved for handling sensitive information.

How to Request a Group in Group Studio

  1. Go to the Chabot College homepage and login to the Zone: Zone login             Group Studio Icon

  2. Once you are logged in, click on the Groups icon (top right corner):

  3. Click on Request Group and complete the fields to the best of your knowledge (you can change most of it later). This request will be sent to ITS.

For more information on Group Studio, contact the ITS help desk.

How do I ensure that my Blackboard site is accessible (ADA compliant)?

Chabot College is required by Federal Law (the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act) to provide access to its programs and services to all qualified individuals. Accordingly, as the system develops its capacity for creation of technology based instructional resources and the delivery of distance learning; it must proceed with the needs of all students in mind, including the unique needs of students with disabilities.

Please check each of the following resources:

Access requests: FERPA, student confidentiality & privacy, and campus liability

Faculty teaching with Blackboard may submit a request to allow site access to specific individuals using our Course Site Access Request form. Blackboard includes a handful of varying-level roles to meet these needs. Examples of such requests may include:

  • Providing an assigned instructor-of-record instructor-level access for purposes of team-teaching.
  • Providing an instructor temporary access for purposes of viewing an example of course design.
  • Providing an instructor temporary student-level access for purposes of a course evaluation.
  • Providing a non-enrolled instructor, staff, or student student-level access (sometimes unofficially called a "TA").
  • Providing a non-enrolled student such as a Learning Assistant student-level access for purposes such as assisting in discussion forum responses or posting content.
  • Providing a non-enrolled student student-level access for purposes of finishing an incomplete.

In order to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), it is important to note that ONLY the assigned instructor-of-record should have access to confidential student information, such as grades, as well as the instructor username and password.

Students currently enrolled in the course site may not be granted access beyond their current student-level access. A student who is not currently enrolled in the course who is a Learning Assistant or Tutor may be provided access with the purpose of assisting enrolled students in his/her subject, and not necessarily Blackboard.

Similarly, the district-wide policy for instructor use of CLASS-Web reads that "only the primary instructor is allowed to enter the grades for a class. If you are team teaching, you must work with your colleague in getting the grades entered into CLASS-Web. This also means that no one else can use Web for Faculty to enter your grades." If any of personal student data are compromised - the instructor, college and District could be held liable of any breeches.

Please note that requests for access to Blackboard for non-CLPCCD authorized users must be approved first by the respective division dean before those users can be placed into Blackboard.

Also note that training and support resources are intended for the assigned instructor-of-record, and does not include TA's, Learning Assistants, or other individuals provided access to your course site as requested.

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I need help logging into CLASS-Web and posting grades

If you are having problems logging into CLASS-Web first make sure you are aware of the standard login information (username and password). Basically, Otherwise, you should be able to log in using your SSN or W number and your birthdate in the format MMDDYY. If you are still having problems logging in, please contact HR at 925-485-5238 (PLEASE NOTE that this phone number is for faculty/staff only; students need to call Admissions and Records at (510) 723-6700).

Accessing Old Course Sites

Faculty have immediate access to two years worth of old course sites (Reference: 12/4/2007 Distance Education Committee), plus the current and/or immediate future sites. During Fall 2014, faculty can expect to have access to the following sites:

  • Fall 2014
  • Summer 2014
  • Spring 2014
  • Fall 2013
  • Summer 2013
  • Spring 2013
  • Fall 2012
For access to a course site older than two years, the Blackboard System Administrator would need to restore an archive of the course records to a blank site. Please submit a Blackboard Support Request, indicating the subject, course subject and number. If you taught more than one section of the course, please provide a section number of CRN.

Just as before, faculty also have the option to hide additional sites.

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How can I make product enhancement suggestions to Blackboard?

Suggestions can be submitted through their online product suggestion box at http://www.blackboard.com/Contact-Us/Feedback/Suggest-Product-Enhancements/For-Learn.aspx

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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 8/11/2014