Monday, June 17, 2013

Blackboard upgrade coming on June 30th!

Our Blackboard system will be down for an upgrade on Sunday June 30th (between the Early Summer and Summer terms) beginning at 2:30 AM Central Time. The upgrade should be completed by 5:30 p.m. Central Time on the same day.

PLEASE NOTE: If you access the system during this downtime, your browser’s cache may "save" the "Blackboard is currently offline" message and may display that for several days after the upgrade has been completed. Please contact OU Help if this happens so that we can help you to clear your browser's cache so that you once again see the Blackboard login screen. The system will not be down for more than 15 hours, so please make sure you contact OU Help instead of assuming the system is still down.

ATTENTION FACULTY:
  • If you would like to retrieve student work from Blackboard in advance of the system going down so that you can grade it and provide feedback offline while Blackboard is unavailable, please refer to these instructions.
  • Following the upgrade, you will have a much improved option for providing comments and feedback on student work directly within Blackboard (instead of saving and opening individual files). This is known as ‘Inline Grading’ and we have several training opportunities for you. Instructor training for inline grading is being provided at our campuses and via webinar. Please contact your campus for your local training date and time, or visit our training calendar to register for a webinar.
We apologize for any inconvenience and ask for your patience as we strive to keep our e-learning environment in top condition for our students and instructors. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact OU Help: www.ottawa.edu/ouhelp.

Thank you,
Carine Ullom
Director, Office of Academic Technology

Friday, June 7, 2013

Announcing: Inline Grading available July 1st, 2013

The Office of Academic Technology is excited to announce an upgrade to the Blackboard Grade Center. On Sunday, June 30th, Blackboard will be temporarily unavailable for this upgrade. When it’s back up and running, students and instructors will experience a new way of viewing submitted assignments.
  • For instructors, the new Inline Grading feature streamlines the grading process by providing the option to comment on student assignments directly within Blackboard. This means instructors no longer have to download student papers to provide and save specific feedback.
  • For students, this means specific feedback can also be viewed directly in Blackboard.


Inline Grading is powered by Crocodoc and supports the common file types of Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF (PDF).

Instructor training for inline grading is being provided by campus. Stay tuned for further email communications (Online instructors will receive an invitation to attend one of several webinars).

Thank you,
The Office of Academic Technology

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blackboard's Anti-Bullying Initiative

Did you know about Blackboard's anti-bullying initiative? On May 29th Blackboard announced TipTxt, a two-way anti-bullying service for students to confidentially notify school officials of bullying or school safety issues. This service is available to every K-12 school in the U.S. for free. When used "real time" in a bullying situation, it provides the opportunity for school administrators to respond with immediate action.

Visit Blackboard's TipTxt page to learn more.