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August 16, 2012 / maureen

Posting a Voicethread in Blackboard

Voicethread is an online program that lets you upload pictures, video and document and add narration via microphone and webcam. You can permit others to comment on your Voicethread by text, audio or webcam. They can even draw on the slides while commenting.

A free voicethread account gives you 75 MBytes of storage space and 30 webcam minutes. There are also paid individual, departmental and site licenses.

The voicethread website ( has excellent instructions for creating a Voicethread. This lesson explains how to post your voicethread in Blackboard and allow students to comment.

Setting Playback Options


(1) Click on "My Voice" and then the menu button under the Voicethread you wish to post in your class
(2) Click Edit

Click on Playback Options


You’ll find this button near the bottom of the page once you are editing your Voicethread.
Note the other buttons here too – we’ll also need to use them.

Playback Options


(1) By default there is a 4 second delay between slides – you may want to reduce this to a smaller number to make the thread play more smoothly
(2) Generally you don’t want the thread to autostart when posting in your class – uncheck this
(3) You can decide whether students can download or export your thread. Be careful about this when using copyright material under "Fair Use"
Click the boxes to set or unset you options, then Save

Publishing Options


(1) You’ll need to check "Allow Anyone to View" to share the Voicethread with your students. If you post teh link in your Blackboard class in an area restricted to students (Guests are denied) then only your students will be able to view the Voicethread.
(2) You can decide whether you want your students to Comment on the thread. Moderate comments means you’ll have to approve them before they are visible.
(3) Don’t check Show on Browse Page if you don’t want other people to be able to search and find it

If you want to post a link to your Voicethread


(1) Click the Share button
(2) Click Get a Link – you’ll be able to copy the link and also decide the commenting options

You can paste this link in an email or include it on Blackboard. To add a link on Blackboard:

  • In any content area – choose "Create Content" then "URL" or "External Link" for the type of content.

To embed the Voicethread in Blackboard


Embedding a Voicethread means it will show up directly on the Blackboard page.

  • Click the Embed button at the bottom of the page.
  • After clicking the Embed button you’ll see window that allows you to copy the Embed code.
  • Click Copy this

Go to your Blackboard Class and to the content are or folder where you want to post the Voicethread


In the content area or folder you choose, use the Build Content menu (1) and choose Item (2)

Go to HTML source mode ("code view") to paste the Embed code


(1) Give your Item a name
(2) Click on the symbol that looks like < > to switch to HTML source mode
(3) Note – if you don’t see all the editing buttons then you may need to click on the triangular arrows to the left to expand the toolbars. Some of the editing does not work in Safari – it is recommened that you use Firefox or Chrome on a Mac.

Paste the Embed code in the window.


(1) When you are in "code view" the button that looks like two brackets should be depressed < > and you should see a message that you are in HTML source mode.
(2) Paste the Embed code into the textbox
(3) You can paste by typing Cntrl-V or by using the button that looks like a clipboard




Click Submit. Now your Voicethread should appear on the page! It’s a good idea to view it using a test-student account to make sure you’ve set the Publishing options – if your students can’t view it you may have forgotten to set "Everyone can View" as an option.

June 18, 2012 / maureen

Getting Started with Respondus

This tutorial explains how to use Respondus to convert a Word file into a test which which can be imported into Blackboard. UAS has a site license for Respondus, which is a Windows program. Contact the helpdesk for assistance in installing the program.

Set personality to Blackboard 7.x-9.x


Start Respondus.
(1) Make sure you are on the "Start" tab.
(2) Set the "personality" to Blackboard 7.x-9.x

Getting Help


The Help in Respondus is context sensitive. The easiest way to find the "Help" for importing questions is to click on Import Questions then click on Help in the dialog box that opens up. Click on links in the Help to find help for:

  • The Standard Format for Importing Documents
  • Importing Images with Questions

Create an Exam using Word (.doc or .docx) or as a Rich Text Format file (.rtf)


Creating an Exam File in Word. A variety of question types can be used. This tutorial will discuss the most common ones. To learn more about the different options, Click on the Import Questions button in Respondus and then click on Help in the dialog box that opens.

Multiple Choice: Simply type the question as shown above. Note that "show hidden characters" in Word has been turned ON. This means that spaces are shown as dots and the end of paragraphs by the special character that looks like a backwards P.

  • Each question has a number followed by either a period or a close-parenthesis and a single space: 3. or 3)
  • Each answer has a letter followed by a period or close-parenthesis and a single space: b. or b)
  • The correct answer is preceded by an asterisk: *
  • There should be no spaces in front of the leters and numbers
  • Do NOT let Word use auto-numbering (turning the numbers or letters into a automatic list). If autonumbering starts you can type Control-Z (undo) to cancel it.

You can insert pictures in your questions by inserting them in the Word document in a new paragraph after the question. Note that the picture must be a single image file. You cannot create a picture or label it using the Word drawing tools. One way to create a single image file of a picture you wish to label is to insert the picture in a separate Word or Powerpoint document, use the drawing tools to label it, and then use a screen capture program like Snag-it or Jing ( ) to select the area around the picture, make a screen capture, and then save the image to a file.

If you are starting with a Word file that is supplied by a publisher, then you can also indicate answers by listing them at the end of the document – see the Respondus Help for more information.

Other question types


Multiple choice is the default quesion type. Other question types must be labeled. You do this by including the text "Type: X" above the question where the word Type is followed by a colon and "X" indicates the question type. You must insert this text for EVERY question that is not a multiple choice question. Even if you have several of the same questiont types in a row, the designation "Type: X" must precede EVERY question. Some question types include:
Essay: Type: E
Multiple Answer (more than one correct answer): Type: MA
Fill in the Blank: Type: F
Matching: Type: MT
Ordering: Type: ORD

In is also possible to include feedback for questions. Additional information about formatting question types and indicating answers and feedback can be found in the Respondus Help.

Importing the Word File into Respondus


Once your exam has been typed up you will need to save and close your Word file. (You don’t have to close Word, just that particular document).
You will start Respondus and click Import Questions
(1) Choose the type of file (correct version of Word)
(2) Click Browse and find your file
(3) Type a name for the "Respondus File" that will be created by this program
(4) Choose Exam or Survey (surveys are the same as exams but do not have correct answers)
(5) Click Preview

In the Window below you’ll see the questions that were imported and Warnings and Notes below.

  • Warning: Questions with duplicate titles. This can be ignored – if you didn’t explicitely give the question a title then Respondus uses the first words for a title. Some of your questions may begin with the same words.
  • Warning: X questions had no correct answers (with questions listed below) – do not ignore this one, you either forgot to indicate an answer or it is formatted incorrectly
  • Warning: X questions were invalid or missing – this should not be ignored either. In this case the number of questions is also wrong, so this indicates what is probably a formatting error.

Do not close Respondus or this dialog box yet!

Re-open the Word file


Note the question numbers which had possible errors. Without closing the "Import Questions" dialog box, switch back to the Word document. This can easily be done if you did not close Word (just the document) – You can easily find the Word exam file in your most recently opened documents.

Go the the question(s) where there were possible errors. You’ll find the errors most easily if you "turn on" the ability to see unprinted (invisible) characters using the backwards "P" button (1).

In the example above, there was no answer given for question "3" and question "4" is not formatted correctly because there is no space after the "b". A tab would not be correct in this case either – it must be a space. This is why showing the invisible characters is helpful

After you have edited the Word document to correct it, save the document and then close it (but do not close Word in case you need to come back).

Go back to Respondus


Go back to Respondus. If you did not close the Import Questions dialog box, you simply need to click "Preview" again.

If everything has been cleared up, you can click "Finish"

Preview your questions


Click on the Preview and Publish tab(1), then on Preview the File(2). Click through to view each question (3) If you find an error you can click "Modify Item" to edit (4). Click Close when you are done.

When you are ready you can click "Publish to Blackboard"

Publish to Blackboard

  • Click on the Publish to Blackboard button on the left (1) then on Publish Wizard (2).
  • Leave the selection set up Publish to a Single Course (3)
  • Choose the Blackboard Server (4) if it is already set-up or choose "add new server".

If this is the first time you’ve used Respondus you’ll need to "add new server"

Adding a new server (UAS Blackboard


Using the UAS licensed Campus-Wide Respondus program, you’ll be able to add UAS Blackboard as a server by choosing "Yes, check for preconfigured server settings.

Leave the selection on "Yes" and click Next.

If you are unsuccessful in setting up a server it is still possible to save the exam or pool as a "zip" file and upload it manually.

Additional steps for uploading this zipped file into Blackboard can be found here:

Setting up UAS Blackboard on the Campus Wide licenses Respondus


Give the server a name (such as UAS Blackboard) and enter your UA username and password (the same as you use to login to UAS Online). Check the box to save if you wish. Click Next to continue. The server will attempt to connect. If it reports success then you are all set up! Click Next and Finish.

If there are problems it may be that

  • Your username and password are incorrect (or you have not yet visited a UAS Blackboard course and are not in the Blackboard database).
  • The settings have changed and the set-up file is out of date

Uploading a Test using Respondus


Once the Blackboard server is set up, choose that server and click Next

Uploading a test or pool but not deploying it


To upload the test to Blackboard but not deploy it
(1) Choose the course
(2) Give the test (exam) or pool a new name
(3) Uncheck all the boxes for deploying the test
Click Next and when success is reported click Finish. The test or pool will be uploaded to the Test Manager – you will still need to deploy it.

To upload and deploy a Test at the same time, you’ll first need to go the Settings tab in Respondus and choose the Test Options. Then you can publish. You’ll be given a chance to browse and select the Content Area into which you want to deploy the test.

More about Respondus: When you create a test or pool in Respondus it creates and saves a "Respondus File" – usually in a folder called Respondus Projects in My Documents. You can re-open this file to edit or re-upload your test rather than starting from the Word file. There are many more options in Respondus (such as printing tests, retrieving tests and so forth). Use the Help documentation within Respondus to learn more.

June 15, 2012 / maureen

Getting Started With Elluminate

This lesson will help you get your computer set-up for using Elluminate. You will need a microphone and headphones to use audio in the Elluminate room. If you are using a USB microphone or headset with a Windows computer, you will need to plug in your microphone before starting the Elluminate meeting.

Go to the Elluminate "First Time Users" page


To use Elluminate (known at UAS as Webmeeting) you will need a reliable Internet connection, appropriate computer and have "Java" installed on your computer.
Step One

  • Using the computer that you will use for Elluminate, follow this link: Elluminate Live! First Time Users
  • If your computer is properly set-up – you should see success messages similar to those shown above (with appropriate operating systems and version of Java)
  • If you do not have Java installed you can follow the link on the Elluminate page:

The Elluminate page may report that the operating system "Lion" for Macintosh is not supported. However it WILL work for most functions if you install "Java" by following the link above.

Step Two: Configuring Your System


Follow the link in Step Two on the Elluminate First Time Users page to the Configuration Room

When you follow this link you may get some security warnings. If you are using Internet Explorer you may see the yellow bar above the browser window as shown above

Accept the download using Internet Explorer


In Internet Explorer, click on the Yellow Bar and choose Download File

Choose to Run the file


You’ll get one or both of these screens –

  • (1) Choose "Open" when asked what you want to do with the file then click OK (2)
  • You may get an additonal security warning – choose "Run"

Elluminate will start


Elluminate will start. If you are asked the speed of your connection — choose one that is no faster than your current connection. If unsure or you are operating on a wireless connectin – choose "Dial-up"

Follow the instructions to test your audio set-up


Once you’ve joined the meeting you’ll see a list of participants on the left side. Follow the instructions on the whiteboard to test your audio set-up.

If your microphone or headset are not working or you have other problems joining the Elluminate meeting you can contact the helpdesk. You should try to do this before your first Elluminate meeting.

June 15, 2012 / maureen

Deploying a Test and Setting Test Options

After a test is created in or imported to Blackboard it is necessary to "deploy" it to a content area. This "posts" the test and also created a column in the Gradebook (Grade Center).

In Blackboard both computer graded quizzes and essay tests are considered "Tests" – the only difference is the question type.

A test can be deployed in any Content Area or Folder. You’ll want to decide on a predictable place for your students to find the test. One option is to put the test inside a folder corresponding to that unit or week along with other content and activities that go with that unit.

Tests are located in the Test Manager.

  • Go to the Control Panel located in the lower left below the course menu (1)
  • Click on Course Tools to expand it (2)
  • Click on Tests, Surveys and Pools (3)
  • Click on Tests (4)

Now you’ll be in the Test Manager. There you’ll see all your tests (both quizzes and essays) (5) and an indication of whether or not they are deployed (6).

To deploy a test you’ll need to go to the content area where you wish to post it.

Browse to the Content Area where you wish to deploy the test.


Using the Course Menu and clicking on Folders within your main Content Areas, browse to the Content Area or Folder in which you wish to deploy the test. In the example above, the test is being deployed in Week Two, so I click on Course Content and then the Week Two folder.

Create Assessment > Test


At the top of any Content Area you’ll see the buttons "Build Content", :"Create Assessment", "Add Interactive Tool" etc.

Mover your cursor over Create Assessment and select Test.

You can create a new test or deploy an existing test

  • At this point you have the option to create a new Test or deploy an existing Test.
  • You’ll only see Tests that are not yet deployed to a Content Area – you can’t deploy a test in two different places.

What you can do is write a notice or do a "cross course link" so that students looking in one Content Area or Folder are aware that the test is (or will be) deployed elsewhere.

  • After selecting the Test, click Submit.

Test Options


There are many test options – the following describes the most common. Additional help for setting test options can be found by following a link on the Blackboard page (1) or by viewing the tutorial at

The Test Name is mandatory as indicated by the orange asterisk. A description is optional – it will appear below the link to the Test and the students will see it before they take the test (but only if the test is available to them).

Make the Test available


By default the Test is NOT available. This is so you don’t accidentally have it available before you are ready. At the very least you must change this selection to Yes.
No means the test will NEVER be available to students.

Set options for availability


(1) For the Test to EVER be available you must set this option to "Yes" – you can then set a time window to limit availability
(2) Set number of allowed attempts
(3) Check these boxes if you want to set a time window – you must both check the boxes AND choose dates and times
(4) Choose dates and times. When choosing a time at the end of the day – scroll down the list and choose "End of Day"
(5) You can set a password for a proctored test.

There is also a "Due Date" option – this does not limit availability. It simply provides information to the student and can also be used in the Blackboard early warning system.

Test Feedback


This section determines the level of feedback the students will see both after they complete the test and whenever they go to "My Grades" (their view of the gradebook) and click on the score.

  • During the time the test is open and available – you may want to limit the feedback (to Score for example)
  • After the test is no longer available (the link to it will disappear) you can change the level of feedback. If you want to let students see the correct answers you can check the boxes for Submitted Answers and Correct Answers. They will view these by going to "My Grades" and clicking on their score.
  • The box labeled "Feedback" does not apply unless there is feedback entered for a test question.

Set any other options you wish and click Submit.

Link to Test in Content Area


The Test link will now be available to you in the Content Area or Folder. If the test is not available, it will be grayed out and a message will indicate its status.

  • If the message simply says "This item is not available" – that means "No" is still checked. It will never be available unless you manually change this.
  • If the message says "Item is not available. It will be available after date." or "Item is not available. It was last available on date" then the Availability is set to "Yes" but you are outside the time window.

Editing the Test or Test Options


Use the drop-down menu found by clicking on the two downward arrows next to the Test name. This is how you change the availability dates or feedback levels.

There is usually no need to remove a test from a Content Area or Folder unless you don’t plan to use it again. You can make it unavailable and then the next time you teach the course you can edit the options for availability and feedback. You also use this menu to delete a test.

The Test in the Gradebook


Deploying a Test automatically puts it in the gradebook. It will be at the end of the list. You can change its position by going to "Manage" and then "Column Organization".

Hiding a Column


Gradebook columns that are still linked to things that are deployed can NOT be deleted from the gradebook. You must first locate and delete them from the Content Area.or Folder. If you don’t want students to see this column in the gradebook then you can choose "Show Hide to Users" from the drop-downmenu next to the column name.

Be sure to choose "Show/Hide to Users" and not the entry "Hide Column" which is lower down on the list!

Columns Hidden from Students


If a column is hidden from students then you will see a circle with slash through it next to the column name. Make sure you see this indication – if the column simply disappears, it means you have hidden it from yourself but not your students! You will need to go to "Manage" and "Column Organization to reverse this. After hiding it from your students you can also hide it from yourself, if you wish.

Moving a Test

A test cannot be moved – instead it must be deleted and then re-deployed in a new location.

NOTE – deleting a test from a Content Area or Folder does NOT delete it from the test manager.

If there are no grades associated with this test then deleting it will also delete the column from the gradebook. If there are grades, you will be asked whether or not you wish to delete the column.


June 15, 2012 / maureen

Uploading a Syllabus to Your Blackboard Course Site

This tutorial describes how to upload a syllabus to your Blackboard coure site.

First have the syllabus prepared using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word. Save the syllabus on your computer.

Go to UAS Online ( and sign in with your username and password. Click on the link to your course.

Go to the "Syllabus" Content Area


On the left side of the course site is the Course Menu. The default course menu has a content area called "Syllabus". Click on the link "Syllabus"

In the "Syllabus" Content Area


At the top of the syllabus content area you’ll see three buttons. Move your cursor over the Build Content button then choose Syllabus from the menu.

Upload Your Syllabus


(1) Type in a name for the syllabus
(2) Select Use Existing File. The Browse My Computer button will now appear.
(3) Click the Browse My Computer button – then browse on your computer to find your syllabus file. The name of the file appears below the Browse My Computer button.
(4) Click Submit

Add a Description


After you click submit you will havea chance to add a description – this will appear below the link to the syllabus.

Further down the page you have options to restrict availability of the syllabus. Most often you’ll want to leave the syllabus available all the time, so you don’t need to change these options.

Scroll down and click Submit.

Editing the Syllabus in the Future


In the future you’ll want to edit this item. You’ll edit the original file on your computer, then re-attach an updated version to the Syllabus item.

Next to the name you’ve give the item with the attached syllabus, you’ll see two downward facing arrows – these indicate a drop-down menu. Choose Edit and you will have the option to delete the original attached file and attach an updated file.

You can add more to the Syllabus Content Area by choosing "Add Item" from the Build Content menu.

June 15, 2012 / maureen

Importing Static and Dated Announcements and Assignments

Static and dated Announcements and Assignments that are exported from UAS Online will be imported into Blackboard as HTML (web) pages. That is, each separate Announcement or Assignment will be an individual HTML page, including any formatting, images, links etc. Webliography and Bibliography are treated in the same way.

These will be located in the Course Content area inside separate folders.

Imported Announcements and Assignments


All static and dated Announcements or Assignments will be imported, including with drafts and archives. They will all be visible to students. Clicking on one of these links will open that Assignment or Announcement.


One way to manage the imported Announcements and Assignments is to make the folders that contain them invisible to students then moving the items you wish to re-use into a new Content Area or Folder. The invisible folders will serve as containers for "draft" version of Announcements or Assignments.

Lets look at how you would make a Folder invisible to students and then move a particular item in it to a new Content Area or folder.

Making a Folder Inaccessible to Students


Click on the drop-down menu next to the folder name, then choose "Edit"

Rename the folder and make it invisible


(1) Rename the folder if you wish. You can also add a description.
(2) Scroll down and in step 3 change "Permit Users to View this Content" select "No".
Click Submit

Imported Announcements and Assignments are now invisible to students


The imported Announcements and Assignments are now invisible to students.

Suppose that you want to re-use one of these Announcements or Assignments. You can do this by moving or copying it to the appropriate Content Area or Folder. As an example, let’s move an Announcement to the "Getting Started" section.

Click on the name of the "Hidden Announcement" folder to go inside it.

Moving or Copying


Click on the drop-down menu next to the name of the Announcement or Assignment you wish to copy or move and choose Copy or Move.

Browse and select Content Area or Folder


After you choose Copy or Edit, you will get a dialog box which lets you choose any course in which you have instructor access.
(1) Click on the Browse button
(2) A window pops up which shows every Content Area on the Course Menu and every folder in your course.
Click on the name of the Content Area or Folder to which you want to copy or move.
Click Submit.

The Announcement or Assignment can now be found in the new location.

Re-creating Announcements or Assignments as Items

The HTML files which are created from your old Announcements and Assignments cannot be edited online and are difficult to edit even if you download them to your computer. If you plane to re-use Announcements or Assignments, you will need to recreate them as Blackboard Announcements or as Blackboard Items. To do this you will:

  • Copy the material from your imported Announcement or Assignment

and then either

  • Create a Blackboard Announcement by clicking on Announcements in the Course Menu and then "Create Announcement"


  • Create a Blackboard "Item" in the Content Area or Folder of your choice.

Create a Blackboard Item


To create a Blackboard Item, go to the appropriate Content Area and Folder. At the top of every Content Area and Folder you’ll see the buttons "Build Content", "Create Assessment", "Add Interactive Tool", etc,

  • Move your mouse cursor over "Bulld Content" and select "Item"

Name the Item and paste the content from the UAS Online Assignment into the textbox.


(1) Name the Item
(2) Paste your content in the textbox
Scroll down and click Submit. (You also have options to attach files and limit availability.)

You will now easily be able to edit the Item.

Re-ordering and editing Items.


Newly created Items will be at the bottom of the Content Area or Folder. Use the double-headed arrows on the left (1) to drag them up or down and re-order them.
Use the drop-down menu to the right of the Item name (2) to get a menu and choose "Edit" to get back to the textbox that lets you edit or format the content of the Item. You will also be able to change its availability.

June 15, 2012 / maureen

Creating a Webliography in Blackboard

Both the Webliography and Bibliography can be imported into your Blackboard course – each as a single HTML page. It will be located in the imported Class Resources section. It will not be possible to edit these online. There is no similar function in Blackboard at this time.

You can compile a list of web resources in Blackboard by creating a Content Area or Folder and then adding content as a "URL". (URL is the acronym for a web address.)

  • Go to the Content Area or Folder and from the Build Content button at the top choose "URL"
  • Enter a Name, URL (the web address including http://), and description
  • Set other options as desired and click Submit

Build Content > URL


From the Build Content menu choose URL

Add Name, URL, and Description


You can give the web citation a Name, URL and Description

The Description is where you would put the information needed for a web citation

  • Title
  • Author(s)
  • Publishing Organization or Institution
  • Date of electronic publication

and any other annotations.

There is no way for students to add to the list of web citations on their own. Suggestions for student input include:

  • Having them recommend citations in a discussion board forum
  • Using a sociol bookmarking site such as Diigo ( )

June 15, 2012 / maureen

Using the Export Tool from UAS Online and Importing into Blackboard

To move content, tests, and resources from UAS Online to Blackboard you will:

  1. First go to your UAS Online Course
  2. Use the Export tool found in Instructor Tools
  3. Save a "package" file to your computer
  4. Next go to your new Blackboard Course
  5. Use an Import tool there to upload the package file

The UAS Online Export tool is described below.

Go to your old course in UAS Online

  • Login to UAS Online and go to your old course. You should have Instructor Tools on your menu.
  • Within Instructor Tools: Click on Export

Select the items you wish to export

  • Select the Items you wish to Export.
  • In the box labeled "Title" you will see the default name of the Content Area into which Blackboard will import your resources, links etc. The default is to import into the existing Content Area labeled "Course Content". If you change this name, Blackboard will create a new Content Area (new area on the Blackboard Course Menu).

Click the button labeled Generate Export Package

The package file is created


After a while (the time will depend on how much content you have to export) a package file will be created – you’ll see a link to the file near the top of the page.
Click on the link and save the package file to your computer. You can rename it but be sure and keep the extension .smscc
NOTE – if you rename the file do not include spaces or unusual characters in the file name (you can include dash or underscore, but not characters such as &, # etc.)

After you save this file to your computer, the next step will be to import it to your Blackboard course site.

Go to your new Blackboard course site


Login to your new Blackboard course site. You should see the Control Panel in the lower left below the Course Menu.

  • Click on Packages and Utilities to expand it
  • click on Import Package/View Logs

Click on the Import Package button on the left


Browse and select your package file


Click the Browse button and select the package file that you previously saved to your computer.

Select the types of items you wish to import


Select the types of items you wish to import.

  • "Content Areas" (1) will need to be checked to import resources (files and links) or Announcements/Assignments/Webliography/Bibliography(as static html pages).
  • "Tests, Surveys and Pools" (2) will need to checked to import Quizzes and Essays

Completing the Import Process

  • A "Success" message (1) should appear near the top of the page – you will get an email when the import process is complete.
  • Do not edit your course until the process is complete!
  • A log file (2) will appear when the import process is complete (you will need to reload the page to see it).

The log file frequently may contain warnings and non-fatal errors. If the import process appears to have worked satisfactorily you can ignore them. If it doesn’t work, the log file can be forwarded to the helpdesk along with information about what UAS Online course/semester you exported from and which Blackboard course/semester you are importing to.

Where to find your imported content

  • Your Resources (files and links) and html pages created from Announcements, Assignments, Webliography and Bibliography will be imported into the Course Content area (1) on your Blackboard Course menu (unless you decided to create a new Content Area by renaming it).
  • A new Content Area called Weblinks (2) will also be created and contain any links that were exported. These are duplicates – they will also be imported into Course Content in the appropriate locations.
  • Clicking on Course Content, you’ll see folders corresponding to the different types of items.
  • Clicking on Class Resources, you’ll see your imported Resources (sorted into folders if you used Categories) as well as Webliography, Bibliography, and links to Web Recordings.

Where to find your imported tests

  • Go to the Control Panel located below the Blackboard Course Menu and click on Course Tools (1) to expand it.
  • Click on Tests, Surveys and Pools (2)
  • When that page loads, click on Tests (3)

Quizzes and Essays are both imported as Tests


All of the Quizzes and Essay tests you exported will be listed. They are not deployed (posted) to any Content Area yet. In Blackboard, both Quizzes (containing multiple choice and other types of computer graded questions) and Essay Tests (containing questions to be answered in written form) are considered "Tests" – they just contain different question types.

WARNING! – The imported content area becomes the Entry Point for your course.


When using the UAS Online to Blackboard export/import tool. The Content Area becomes the Entry Point for the course (rather than the default Annoucements).

You usually want announcements to be the entry point – so anyone entering the course won’t miss Announcements. Reset the Entry Point by doing the following:

  • In the Control Panel click on Customization
  • Click on Style
  • Scroll down to item number 4 and where it says "Entry Point" – change the selection to Announcements.

June 15, 2012 / maureen

Collecting and Grading Assignments

A Blackboard "Assignment" is the mechanism for any task in which the students type a submission in a textbox and/or turn in one or more electronic files. These may be papers (word processing documents), spreadsheets, images, mp3 files – any files which they can upload from their computer. When you create an assignment you can add instructions and attach files. After the student submits their response, you collect files from the Grade Center, evaluate them, then give a grade, feedback and any returned files back to the students. Assignments can be given individually to students or to groups that are set up in Blackboard.

TIP: Make sure your students know how you expect them to submit the assignment. If you want them to enter text directly online rather than as an attached file, let them know. On the other hand if you expect a word processing document, let them know what format(s) you can view.

The Blackboard Assignment is the analog of the UAS Online Task.

Needs Grading


After students submit their assignment, a "needs grading" icon will appear in the Grade Center. The student will also see a "Needs Grading" icon in their gradebook (My Grades).

Viewing a single students submission


To view a single student’s assignment:

  1. Click on the drop-down menu to the right the icon for their attempt. You will need to "hover over" this space to see the two downward arrows that represent the menu.
  2. Choose View Grade Details
  3. On the resulting information page, choose View Attempt.

Open or download the student’s files, submit grade and feedback


You’ll see any text submitted by the student, link (s) to the file(s) and any comments they added (1) . Click on the link to open or download the file. When you are ready to submit a grade and feedback, return to the gradebook, view the attempt again, and enter a grade (2) and feedback in the textbox (3). You can also attach one or more files to return to the students (4).

Below this is a textbox where you can enter Instructor Notes – these are notes to yourself and any other co-teachers. The student will not see them.

Scroll down and click "Save and Exit" or "Save and Next"

Viewing Multiple Students’ Files


If you prefer to open your student’s files one at a time – then you can page through the submissions using the "Save and Next" button (1) at or the navigation button (2) to the right of that. You’ll only view attempts for which work has been submitted.

Bulk file download


You can download all the student’s files as a zipped package. Click on the drop-down menu next to the column header in the gradebook (1) and choose Assignment File Download (2).

Select student files to download


Check the boxes next to student names or check the box at the top of "Select Users" to select all. Click Submit

Download zipped file


The next page has a link to the zipped file. Click to download and save on your computer. You can rename the file as long as you keep the extension ".zip".
The assignment files will have the course name, the assignment name, and the students username appended in front of the name the student gave the file. Do not make your assignment names too long – it can cause problems!

After you have saved the zipped file to your computer extract all files. In Windows, right click on the zipped file and choose Extract All. A folder with the same name as the zipped file will be created. In the zipped package will be the students submitted files as well as text and comments they entered directly online.

TIP: Its a good idea to at least open all the files immediately after the assignment deadline, even if you can’t grade them right away. That way if there is a glitch and a corrupted file, you can contact the student and have them re-submit.

After extracting all the assignment files, grading them and perhaps adding comments or text as feedback, you will return to the Grade Center and enter grades, feedback and return papers to the students.

TIP: As you grade each paper in the download folder – add your comments, "Save As" and change the name. You might save them in a new sub-folder to keep track of them.

How student view their grades and feedback

The student views their grades through "My Grades". They see only their own grades. After you give them a score, the "Needs Grading" icon will change to a numerical or letter grade. Clicking on that will allow then to view their score, feedback, and any returned file(s).

June 15, 2012 / maureen

Creating a Blackboard Item

An "Item" is one of the most useful tools for building content in your Blackboard course site. Use it when you want to put text and/or image on the page. You can also attach files and include links. Choose an "Item" with attachments instead of "File" when you want to add a description to a file you are making available to your students.

An Item can have:

  • A Name
  • A description or other text (can include formatted text, images, links and inline attachments).
  • Attached Files
  • Restrictions or time limits on availability

Items can be place in any Content Area or Folder.

From the Build Content Menu choose Item


Content Areas and Folders all have the buttons "Build Content", "Create Assessment", "Add Interactive Tool", etc. at the top.

  • Move your mouse cursor over Build Content (1) and Choose Item (2).

Give your Item a Name and description or other text


Give your Item a Name and enter a description or other text in the textbox.

You can add images, links and inline attachments


Tools in the Rich Text Editor will let you:

  1. Insert an image – click the button that looks like a picture and you can browse your computer or previously uploaded content for an image file
  2. Insert a hyperlink – select the text you want to be a link and then click the globe
  3. Add attached files within your text – after clicking the button that looks like a paper with paperclip, you will be able to browse your computer and add an attachment

If you do not see all the tools in the Rich Text Editor, then they menus might be collapsed. Look for the triangle shaped arrows on the left side of the editor (4). Click on those to expand or collapse the toolbars.

Attaching one or more files


You can attach one or more files to your Item.

  • "Browse My Computer" lets you upload files from your computer
  • "Browse Course" lets you attach previously uploaded files

To attach additional files, simply repeat the process. The links to the attached files will appear beneath the Item name and above the description.

Restricting availability


As with almost all Blackboard components you can restrict availability

  • To make the item completely unavailable – change the choice "Permit User to View this Content" to "No". "No" means the Item will NEVER be available to students.
  • To date restrict the Item, leave the choice as "Yes", but check the boxes and select times and dates you want the Item to be available.

Click Submit to finish

Editing the Item


Edit the item to change text, attachments, availability, etc by using the drop-down menu (1) next to the Item name and choosing Edit. This same menu allows you to copy, move, or delete the item.