Alabama's Public Liberal Arts University

Technology Services

Faculty FAQ's About Blackboard

 

What do I need to do to begin using Blackboard?
What type of files can I upload to Blackboard?
Where is the instructor manual for Blackboard?
How do I enroll a Guest speaker in my Blackboard course?
What is the difference between the Discussion Board and Collaboration Tools?
What kind of Collaboration Tools are available to me with Blackboard?
How are students enrolled in my Blackboard course?
What kind of assessment options are available to me with Blackboard?
What are the differences between a Test, a Survey, and a Pool?
How do Surveys differ from Tests?
How different is the student view of the course from mine?
How do I move course content from one course to another?
What should I do when the course ends?
Suggest a new FAQ

 


 

What do I need to do to begin using Blackboard?
All registered UM students and faculty teaching a class automatically get a Blackboard account.

Your username and password is the same as your ForUM username and password.  As of August 2010, Blackboard is available via single sign on through ForUM by clicking the Blackboard icon in the upper right corner. 

Contact the Technology Services Help Desk by calling (205) 665-6520 or via email at helpdesk@montevallo.edu if you need assistance.
 

What type of files can I upload to Blackboard?
Most type of files can be uploaded to Blackboard including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, html, PDF, audio and video. Always remember the file size can affect the download time.
 

Where is the instructor manual for Blackboard?
Go to the Control Panel for the course. Under Support click on  or go to http://library.blackboard.com/ref/a86c3648-80a5-43cc-8fed-b3f5d24518ce/index.htm.
 

How do I enroll a Guest Speaker in my Blackboard course?
Send email to webmaster@montevallo.edu with the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Blackboard course to enroll the person
  • Portal role (i.e. student or instructor)
     

What is the difference between the Discussion Board and Collaboration Tools?
The Discussion Board is a collaboration tool that is designed for asynchronous use, meaning users are not present at the same time to converse online. Conversations on the Discussion Board are grouped into threads that contain main postings, or messages, and all related replies.  All of the messages posted to the Discussion Board are logged and organized in this manner.

Collaboration Tools allow the instructor and students to participate in real time discussions and to view archives of previous collaboration sessions. The Collaboration Tools can be used to hold real-time, online classroom discussions, teacher assistant sessions, and office hour type question/answer forums.
 

What kind of Collaboration Tools are available to me with Blackboard?
There are two types of Collaboration Tools, the Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat.

  • Virtual Classroom - Allows users to enter a real-time discussion with Instructors, Students, and colleagues; access the Web; and engage in question and answer sessions.
     
  • Lightweight Chat - The Lightweight Chat is part of the Virtual Classroom but can also be accessed separately. It allows users to open just the Chat function of the Virtual Classroom.
     

How are students enrolled in my Blackboard course?
Students are enrolled in the courses they are registered two weeks before classes start and rosters are refreshed daily every day the week after classes start.
 

What kind of assessment options are available to me with Blackboard?
Instructors use assessments to test student knowledge, measure student progress, and gather information from students. There are two types of Assessments:

  • Tests – Tests are created to check the knowledge and skill level of users enrolled in the course. Tests permit the instructor to assign point values to each question on exams or quizzes. When a student completes a test it is submitted for grading, and the results are recorded in the Gradebook.
     
  • Surveys – Surveys are useful for polling purposes, evaluations, and random checks of knowledge. They function in the same way as tests and offer most of the same options. Questions on surveys are not assigned a point value and surveys are not graded.

The Assessment area allows instructors to:

  • follow a simple, step-by-step process to create tests and surveys
  • create several different types of questions
  • include multimedia or other attachments with assessment and survey questions
  • re-use questions from pools and previous tests
  • provide password-protected tests, timed tests, and instant feedback to students
  • create statistical reports of student answers.

NOTE: Create all assessments using the Pool feature. You can then reuse questions and migrate them to another Blackboard course.
 

What are the differences between a Test, a Survey, and a Pool?
Tests can be used to check the knowledge and skill level of the students enrolled in a course.  Tests permit the instructor to assign point values to each question included on an exam or quiz.  Student answers are submitted for grading and the results are recorded in the Gradebook.

Surveys provide instructors with an assessment tool that is useful for polling purposes, evaluations, and random checks of knowledge. Surveys may include the same types of questions that appear on tests, but the questions are not associated with a point value.  Surveys cannot include random blocks of questions and questions cannot be categorized. Surveys cannot be graded and feedback may not be given, although the instructor can check to see if the student has completed a survey in the Gradebook. Surveys are submitted anonymously. Instructors may access a statistical analysis of student answers.

A Pool is a group of questions the instructor can create and store for repeated use.  Instructors can create new questions to include in a pool and add questions that have been created in other tests or pools.  Pool questions can be used in tests, but cannot be used in surveys.
 

How do Surveys differ from Tests?
Surveys provide instructors with an assessment tool that is useful for polling purposes, evaluations, and random checks of knowledge. The Survey Manager is used to create, add, preview, modify, and remove surveys.

The Survey Manager functions in the same way as the Test Manager and offers most of the same options for creating and managing surveys, survey questions and settings. Surveys are deployed from within a Content Area, similar to Tests.

Surveys differ from tests in the following ways:

  • Questions on surveys cannot be assigned points.
  • Surveys cannot include random blocks of questions.
  • Instructors cannot give students feedback.
  • Surveys cannot be graded.
  • Survey questions cannot be categorized.
  • Questions may be imported into a survey. Questions that are imported into a survey may not include correct and incorrect answers.
     

How different is the student view of the course from mine?
They are the same except for the Control Panel button that allows you to customize your course.
 

How do I move course content from one course to another?
Course areas may only be copied between courses the instructor is teaching.  Refer to the How To page for directions.
 

What should I do when the course ends?
You should archive your courses on a weekly basis or when you have added a great amount of information. Courses are scheduled to be deleted 2 months after the end of the semester.