What's New in BB 5.5?

This file is an overview only- it does not provide specific training in all the various features. To check out our training scedule, visit the CTL Training pages. This document covers more than 25 new features and changes in our move from Courseinfo 4 to BB 5.5.

 

Blackboard Portal Login:

All instructors and students now login via the Blackboard Portal. This simplifies the login process and makes it easier for instructors and students to find their courses.

 

 

Centralized Class/Announcement Listing: When they login to the portal, students now see a list of the courses they are enrolled in and a list of current announcements for each course.

 

 

 

Tabbed-based interface and navigation: Navigation in Blackboard 5.5 is handled with tabs. To move from one tab to another, simply click on the tab. The tabs include My SLCC, Courses, andAcademic Web Resources. Also not the icons for BlackboardHome, Help, and Logout. Clicking on the SLCC logo will take you to the college homepage.

 

 

 

Course Listing: The Courses tab allows students and instructors to quickly browse and search the entire listing of all SLCC Blackboard courses.

 

Tools area: Grades and Tasks: Students can access their grades for any Blackboard course through the Portal without having to go to the course Web site. Tasks are also easily visible in the main portal window.

 

Control Panel: A few of the categories have been reorganized and some names have changed (i.e. Virtual Classroom = Virtual Chat)

Some of the changes between CourseInfo 4.0 and Blackboard 5 include the
following:


· Page Editors is now called Content Areas.
· Communication Center is now called Course Tools and includes links to
the Digital Drop Box and Virtual Classroom.
· Assessment and Assistance Areas have been relocated to the right side.
· Site Management no longer exists but the features have been integrated
into other areas.
· The Return to Course button has been replaced by the CourseID
navigation path and is located at the top left of the Control Panel.

 

New organization of control panel: Control panel functions are grouped in a slightly different organization under the following 6 functional areas: Content Areas (Announcements, Projects, Staff information, Course Documents, Assignments, Books, External Links) ≠ depending on the course areas you have selected Course Tools (Course Calendar, Tasks, Send Email, Discussion Board, Virtual Classroom, Digital Dropbox) Course Options (Course Settings, Course Utilities, Course Images, Resources, Course Marketing) User Management (Add Users, List/Modify Users, Remove Users, Manage Groups) Assessment (Assessment Manager, Pool Manager, Online Gradebook, Course Statistics) Assistance (Online Support, Online Manual, Contact System Administrator)

 

 

Search tabs: User and group management navigation is handled through a tabbed search interface. You may search for a single user with a "string" search by entering a name in the search field or select one of the search tabs for more general searching.

 

 

Changes in Digital Dropbox: With Blackboard 5.5, both instructors and students can add a file to the dropbox without sending right away. Adding a file simply uploads a copy of the file to your Digital Dropbox - no one else can access this file.Blackboard 5.5 retains a record of posted (i.e., added to personal dropbox) and submitted (i.e., sent) files. Files include a time stamp in addition to a date stamp. As stated, students will have the ability to store files in their drop box before they submit them to the instructor.

The Bad news is that you can no longer select multiple files to delete.

Note that there is a difference in "Posted"and "Submitted". Submitted indicates it has been actually sent to the students. Posted on: indicates that the file has been added but not sent to the students.

Date and Time Restricted Viewing: Documents, Assessments, and Announcements can now be set to display during a specified date and time range. They will only be visible to students during that specified time range and will be hidden at other times.

 

Returning to a Course: At the top of the Blackboard Content Area navigation path, click the CourseID hyperlink to view the modified document in the student view of the course. The Course ID hyperlink is an added navigation path (breadcrumb trail) in Blackboard 5. It replaces the return to course button found on the control panel screen in previous versions of the software.

 

New Gradebook Features: Grades in the gradebook can now be weighted and grades with decimals will now sum correctly in the gradebook. The columns in the gradebook can now be reorganized allowing instructors to change the order that items are listed in the gradebook. However, the weighting formula assumes that each item has the same points possible. If items have different points possible, weighting them will not give an accurate measure of student performance.

 

Course Statistics: Instructors can use the feature to generate reports on the course usage and activity. The buttons that appear at the top of a report allow you to:

 

Announcements: The date range of announcements is now displayed at the top making it easier for students to select the announcements they wish to see. Instructors view the announcements in the Control Panel in a fashion that more closely resembles what the students see.

 

Learning Units: The new Learning Units feature enables the instructor to set a structured path for progressing through content within a course. The instructor may either allow students to access content nonlinearly within a Learning Unit or enforce a sequential path. Learning Units may be added to any content area (with the exception of Announcements, Staff Information, and External Links) by selecting the "Add Learning Unit" button.

 

 

Tasks: Instructors can create a set of tasks for students to complete throughout the semester, such as homework assignments. The tasks will be shown to students on the Blackboard Portal as the due date approaches.

 

 

 

Course Options : Course Options, formerly Site Management, allow the instructor to manage the appearance and structure of the course. One of the most significant changes in Blackboard 5 is that instructors can manage the appearance and structure of the course as well as customize navigational buttons.the pertinent areas are:

New choices for course areas and navigation buttons: There can be up to 9 course areas or sections and navigation buttons - in previous versions there were only up to 8. An instructor may select a different label for the areas and navigation buttons from a drop-down list that includes: Bibliography, Books, Course Information, Course Documents, Course Materials, Documents, Homework, Information, Lectures, Labs, Projects, Syllabus, Textbook, and Assignments. However, it is not possible to create a customized label - there is no "other" that would allow you to enter your own label title.

 

The most significant differences to Course Options in the Course Settings section of the Control Panel are:

 

Area Availability ∑ set the areas that are used in your course (e.g., Course Information) ≠ up to 9 areas possible ∑ set security for each area (i.e., by setting an area to ≥Secure≤, only users who are enrolled in your course will have access to the area) ∑ enable/disable communication areas (e.g., Virtual Chat) and tools (e.g., Digital Dropbox)

Course Availability ∑ decide when to make course available to students Set Course Entry Point ∑ in 4.09, when a user entered a course they were presented with the ≥Announcements≤ page, now you can choose which page is presented (e.g., Course Information)

Guest Access ∑ manage guest access for your course

Course Settings: Instructors now have naming options for the navigation buttons on the left side of the course Web site using a pull-down menu. Many new settings are now available and are listed in separate categories.

Course Images is now a separate category under Course Options.

The Question pool feature WORKS! this was a problem in our implementation of CourseInfo 4. this feature allows you to roll questions from assessments into a pool from which subsequent quizzes can be built. In effect, you build a database of questions imprted from external files. Potentially, you can share or import pre formatted questions with this feature as well. Quizzes and surveys can now be imported/exported in the form of either a pool of questions or the assessment itself allowing instructors to easily move an assessment from one course to another.

 

Send Attachments: Instructors now have the ability to send email attachments to their students using the built-in email tool in Blackboard

Nav Buttons: New choices for course areas and navigation buttons: There can be up to 9 course areas or sections and navigation buttons - in previous versions there were only up to 8. An instructor may select a different label for the areas and navigation buttons from a drop-down list that includes: Bibliography, Books, Course Information, Course Documents, Course Materials, Documents, Homework, Information, Lectures, Labs, Projects, Syllabus, Textbook, and Assignments. However, it is not possible to create a customized label - there is no "other" that would allow you to enter your own label title.

 

Virtual chat WORKS!

Another buggy feature of CI 4 that works in BB%.

Electric Blackboard:

The Electric Blackboard allows users to save notes for a particular course within the Blackboard 5 environment. From the Tools area, click Electric Blackboard to access the Electric Blackboard page.

 

Course Cartridges: Course Cartridges are new to Blackboard 5 and are comprehensive collections of publisher-created content, available for import into an existing Blackboard course. Content ranges from textbooks to slides, documents, quiz banks, lists of relevant links, and other materials.

 

 

Embedding graphics: (Does not work yet) One notable change to the functionality of Blackboard 5 can be seen when modifying an embedded graphic or multimedia file. In CourseInfo 4.0x you would have to make modifications to the HTML source code to align the image, change Blackboard, Inc. Blackboard 5.0 the placement, add a border, etc. In Blackboard 5 when you modify an embedded graphic file you are presented with a multimedia options screen that allows you to simply change the display parameters of the file.

Enter the Course Cartridge Download Key. Note: A course cartridge key must be obtained from the textbook publisher. For more information on this feature visit the Course Cartridges server hyperlink.