Blackboard Academic Suite (Release 7.1) Essentials Training Communication Tools
Workshop Objectives and Agenda • Group Pages • Create a Group and assign members • Group versions of course-wide collaborative tools • Asynchronous Tools • Send Email • Messages • Discussion Board • Create Forums and Threads • Use board management tools • Understand viewing options
Workshop Objectives and Agenda • Synchronous Tools • Lightweight Chat • Discuss 508 Compliance • Manage active/passive users, use Instructor controls and archiving tools • Virtual Classroom • Use Web Browsing, Course Map, Whiteboard, Equations • Understand Breakout Sessions, Private Messaging • Manage active/passive users, use Instructor controls and archiving tools • Best Practices and Suggestions
Groups • Function allows for small group work to take place within the course (study groups, projects, individual communication with instructor and student). • Group Tools • Discussion Board • Virtual Classroom • Group File Exchange • Group Email • Remove function is irreversible. If a student is removed from a group, the student’s interactions (Discussion Board postings, files in Group File Exchange) are removed as well.
Overview • When using asynchronous communication tools, it is not necessary for individuals involved in the communication to be online at the same time. • This delayed response allows the instructor and students to participate in reflective text-based discussions. • Discussion threads may be archived and Blackboard Messages may be saved.
Asynchronous Communication • Send Email • System communication tool to “push” email to users with user accounts in the Blackboard system. • Messages are sent to recipients’ email accounts residing outside of Blackboard system. • Blackboard Messages • Internal course communication tool with the functions of an email account. • Enables safe and secure communication within courses whereby email addresses are not necessary.
What are Blackboard Messages? • Internal course communication tool with the functions of an email account. • Messages may not be sent or received outside of the course. • Tool may be enabled or disabled by Instructor in Manage Tools Area of Course Control Panel. • Features • Individual user has a designated Inbox. • Compose and send messages. • Add attachments. • Reply to messages. • Organize messages through moves and maintaining folders.
Course ID Blackboard Messages Inbox Message Options Folder Structure Module available in the Blackboard Community System
Blackboard Messages User Interface Fields for Designating Recipients of Message Select recipients from list of users enrolled in course Text Box Editor for Composing Messages
Discussion Board Applications • Provides forum for a free exchange of ideas • Facilitates student/teacher interactivity • Activates student learning • Encourages students to work together • Enables the juxtaposition of opinions • Offers students the time to formulate thoughtful responses • Emphasizes intellectual responsibility and the morphology of ideas
Sample Forum Ideas • Introductions • A place where participants can get to know each other. • Technology Tips • A place where participants can assist each other in using Blackboard and with technology in general. • Cyber Café • A place to discuss topics of general interest.
Discussion Board Prompts • Sharing personal experiences • Share a job interview experience that you would like to • have the opportunity to do again. • Debating a topic in teamsWhat is the best method for weight loss? • Role playing • Imagine you are a customer with a complaint. Write a • letter to request a refund. (Another student answers as the “manager.”)
Discussion Ideas • Describing a complex process in detail How can one make the perfect shortbread cookie? • Considering ethical dilemmas Should an employee be fired for stealing ink pens from work? • Finding mistakes in a document or process What steps are missing in the following process?
Eight ways to involve students . . . • Require participation. • Create learning teams or groups. • Make the activity interesting/relevant. • Demand analysis – don’t settle for opinions. • Structure the activity. • Include a graded assignment. • Consider peer reviews in final assessment. • Involve yourself in discussions.
Discussion Board Terminology • Forum • A space to discuss a specific topics • Unlimited forums may be created by the instructor • Different preferences may be set for each forum • Thread • A subtopic within a forum • Post • Component of a thread created by a user
Discussion Board Terminology • Published • All threads are assigned this status by default. Threads can be read by members of the course and users can reply to them. • Locked • This feature suspends the user’s ability to reply or comment further to a thread. The thread can still be seen and read by users. (Use when assigning grades to threads.) • Hidden (Formally “Archive”) • A thread assigned this status is accessible by users through the Display dropdown menu but hidden from the default view in the Discussion Board. It is in an locked state. • Unavailable (Formally “Archive”) • A thread assigned this status is not accessible by users. It can only be viewed by the Manager. • Show All • This display choice should be used to display and locate drafts.
Discussion Board Terminology - Actions • Reply • Generate a response to a post. • Remove • Remove the post. Removing a post also removes all the replies to that post. • Subscribe • Receive an email alert when a post is updated or a user posts a reply. • Rate • Select a score for the post on a 1 to 5 scale. • Moderate Forum • Moderating posts requires that all posts are reviewed by a responsible party (Manager or Moderator) before the content is shared with the class.
Discussion Board: Forum Settings • Thread subscription • Email notification • Peer rating of posts • Force moderation of posts • Allows managers/moderators to provide feedback with posts • Allows managers/moderators to control what posts are published • Posts managed from the Moderation Queue • Grading • By Forum • By Thread (If threads are graded, users cannot start threads. The Manager must post a Thread to enable discussion to begin.) • Gradebook column
Discussion Board: Feedback with Grading and Peer Rating • Faculty who wish to evaluate student participation in e-Learning now have the ability to create graded forums and threads, as well as peer-reviewed (rated) threads. • Graded threads have a column in the Gradebook, and can also be viewed in the Performance Dashboard. • On rated threads, users can use a star system to indicate their support for a particular posting – they can rate a posting only once.
Discussion Board: Comprehensive Assessment • The Performance Dashboard has been enhanced to give instructors a view of Discussion Board statistics for each user. • Each user has a page that displays details of all forums in which the user has participated. The Manager can also email the user or grade the user from this page.
Discussion Board : Using Drafts • The Discussion Board defaults to display only Published Threads within a Forum. • If a user saves a post as a draft (s)he must select Show All to see his/her draft.
Discussion Board: Additional Features • Discussion Board displays with Threads collapsed • Forum Availability • When Adaptive Release is set on a Discussion Board Link in a course, the Discussion Board tool on the course menu will respect the rule(s). • A Discussion Board Forum can be made available or unavailable in the properties to remove the forum from the view of users. • Improved Search • Search can now be expanded to include all forums in all discussions within the course. • Date Criteria can also be added. • Note that while the search is a fuzzy search it is case sensitive • Thread Collection • Collected Threads and Replies now appear in appropriate order. • Collection Page allows for sorting and filtering. • A Print Button has been included. • Archive has been replaced with “Hidden” and “Unavailable” status.
Overview • Synchronous communication tools allow the instructor and students to participate in real time text-based discussions. • Instructors have options to record and archive sessions for later viewing. • Section 508 compliant with accessibility standards.
Collaboration Tools • Lightweight Chat • Text-based chat tool intended for group collaboration. • May be used alone or in conjunction with Virtual Classroom. • Low band-width. • Enhanced Virtual Classroom • Consists of all the functionality included in Lightweight Chat. • Contains advanced features to conduct “class tours.”
Considerations for Collaboration Tools • Virtual Classroom requires a Java Plug-in. • Java Plug-in [v.1.4.1] should download and begin installation automatically. • If you do not have the Java Plug-in installed or have problems loading the application, click a link to download the Java Plug-in. • Implements JAVA Accessibility API, making the tool Section 508 compliant. • Macintosh Users: • OS8 or OS9 – Must use Accessible version of the tool. • OSX and Netscape - Use Netscape 7. (Netscape may put the tool in the background – Check under the Window menu for the Collaboration tool.) • Safari – Disable Pop-Up Window Blocking. • Located in Course Control Panel. • Click Collaboration in Course Tools. • A multiple number of Collaboration Sessions may be scheduled in advanced or on the fly.
What is Lightweight Chat? • A tool that allows users to participate in real time text-based discussions. • Includes Chat Control Panel, through which the Moderator may allow or disallow access to particular functions. • Features: • Recording Sessions • Archiving Sessions • Sending private messages • Viewing user information • Creating breakout sessions
Uses of Lightweight Chat • Online office hours • Peer mentoring • Synchronous study groups • Remote review sessions for examinations • Guest speaker presentations • Student lounge
Instructor Interface Menu Items Chat Display Area Participant(s) Panel Chat Compose Area
Student Interface Menu Items Chat Display Area Participant(s) Panel Chat Compose Area
Lightweight Chat: Controls Default settings Modified Access Rights – No rights