“Online” Training Option

There have been questions about the online training option for the new BB9, so I want to put more words to it.

There are 2 sets of online resources.

http://ondemand.blackboard.com/ (and this is the link I fat-fingered when we gave it out before, sorry!)

This is a link to a series of online tutorials about specific topics. These are mostly videos, they are short (2 to 5 minutes) and very targeted about the tools within Blackboard. There’s no ‘context’ in terms of how one might use the tool, they are technical videos about how to use a tool (or parts of a tool).

At the top, there are 3 sections:

  • understanding & building your course
  • communicating & collaboration
  • assessing learners

They are very helpful, but they are not enough. Like I said, not a lot of context.


This is an external web site, run by Blackboard. You need to create an account and sign in to this resource.  It will ask you about creating a course, you can do that if you want (and sometimes it’s easier to go with the flow than to fight the forms that pop up!). You can use the sandbox course to practice the techniques you learn inside.

Once you have logged in, if it takes you inside the course you created, look for the “My Course Sites” link at the top of the page and click on that. (clicky on hte pics to make them bigger!)

Then look for the box on the right that says “My Courses” and then the link that says “Getting  Started with Course Sites”

Work your way through all the “Steps” to complete the online training.  You’ve done reasonably well if you know how to (1) make a menu that looks like either of the ones below and (2) how they created the “Introduction: Start Here” module. If you can re-create those things, you’re on the right track. Think of those tasks as measurable SLOs.  ::grin::

That isn’t everything, but it’s a big step.

If you do work through the online training, do feel free to ask me questions…. More than willing to give pointers and discuss the philosophical “why did they do it that way; I’d prefer to do it this way” sorts of questions. I have my own bias, but willing to debate the question!

I’ll re-post all this on the blog at https://bb9atgcc.wordpress.com later today so we can point to it again at the end of July!

If all this makes your eyes cross, we’re still taking sign-ups for the in person training sessions. Dates and registration information available here: https://bb9atgcc.wordpress.com/training-schedule/

Talk to you soon!



Training – Updates

We’ve updated the training schedule (see the tab above) for new dates, a couple of evening sessions and some Saturdays.

Now that we’ve done our first session, two days is the best, if you have the time. It’s an investment in sanity.

In the two days we just did this week, one person pretty much moved all her face-to-face course materials to the new shell and it’s ready to go for summer! Which is an incentive to the rest of you folk to take the time to take advantage of the sessions that are available between now and the start of summer.

Folk teaching fully online will probably take a bit longer — just being honest — but it’s a good thing to work on.

We’ll have the Thursday afternoon / Friday morning session this coming week (March 22 & 23) then be off on March 29/30 since Harold and I will be learning more so we can do training better.

Come! Learn! It’s cool!


Training, Day 1

There’s a brave group of souls on campus on a soggy, gray day (although the sun is predicted for later!) for Day 1 of Blackboard 9.1 training.

I’m going to tell you more tomorrow about today’s topics but just wanted to let you know that Training for Bb 9.1 is started and will be ongoing.

Yes, two pretty full days is the plan. There are lots of thoughts about that. There are enough new things in Bb 9.1 that we don’t want to skimp over them. But a lot of folk are experienced in using Blackboard CE and don’t need to spend a lot of time talking about why one uses discussions, just what’s new in discussions.

This is the plan, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday Agenda

  • Understanding the changes
  • Getting started with a course moved from CE 8
  • Getting started with the course environment
  • Getting started with course content

Wednesday Agenda

  • Getting started with Assignments
  • Getting started with building a test
  • Getting started with the Grade Center

More tomorrow!

Go “Live” Update

From Harold….


My intentions are always to do what is right for you and your students. Conversations and meetings with you over the past couple of weeks have caused me to reevaluate our complete move to Blackboard 9.1 for the Summer semester. This morning I made a recommendation that we maintain and operate both versions of Blackboard over the Summer with a full transition to Blackboard 9.1 for the Fall. My recommendation was considered and approved. I still need to work out the details on how both systems will be accessed and that information will be shared with you in the next couple of days.

After the Summer semester all Fall semester courses will be in Blackboard 9.1.

Your Summer options are now:

  1. Use our current version of Blackboard to deliver your Summer courses while you work on preparing Blackboard 9.1 courses for the Fall semester.
  2. Use Blackboard 9.1 to deliver your Summer courses while you work on preparing Blackboard 9.1 courses for the Fall semester.

The training schedule will remain the same with some additional evening and weekend sessions yet to be determined.

I really believe that Blackboard 9.1 gives you the best tool possible to deliver great instruction. I look forward to working with each of you and to a smooth transition.

I do listen and I truly appreciate your input, suggestions, and concerns. Please feel free to contact me about anything relative to our move to Blackboard 9.1.

With much respect,

Looking for BB 9.1 Info?

While Harold and I know a lot of things, we (horrors!) don’t know everything about Blackboard 9.1. To be honest, we’re really about 1/2 a step ahead of you. There are a ton of things we don’t know!

One of the things we do know, however, is how to look things up. Or where to look for information.

“Ask Dr. C” is a classic Blackboard support option located at http://discussions.blackboard.com. While it lives on the Blackboard official web site, it’s actually run by a group of volunteers who are also practitioners. Folk who use BB in their daily lives.

So, a the questions about “what happened to who’s online?” came in over the weekend. When I couldn’t find it in my course, I went looking. I glanced at the active forums but they are too high level for something like this. I just put the phrase “who’s online” into the search box.

Turns out that who’s online doesn’t exist in the new version. Who knew? Well, Dr. C did! 🙂

Go look. Cool stuff out there!

Course Sites – Behaving Badly

It’s still doing it… 😦

The Blackboard CourseSites web site is not working well today (Feb 15). It’s been up and down all morning and now it’s slower than molasses when I try to bring it up. And when it does come up, it doesn’t want to cooperate.

So if you’re using Course Sites, it’s not us, it’s them.

And, watch the warnings. Blackboard is planning a system upgrade overnight tomorrow (Feb 16). Plan for that.

Online Resources

Blackboard offers a wealth of materials that we can’t even begin to duplicate — and they’ve done it way better than we have the time for.

Go to:  http://ondemand.blackboard.com

There is an entire section of materials related to:

  • building and understanding your courses
  • communicating and collaborating
  • assessing learners

Videos, documentation and suggestions galore! As I parse through them, if I find something particularly useful, I’ll make a note of it on the blog. Or tell me what you found especially interesting.

Go check it out!