Best Practices for Asynchronous Learning

    February 23, 2023 | Rhonda Wakelyn

    Rhonda Partney-Wakelyn, MA, M.Ed What does Asynchronous mean? In an asynchronous learning environment, communication does not occur in real time. In other words, different time/different place. Course materials are self-navigated, and students progress through the learning materials at their discretion. Students often find this design more convenient. However, interaction can be minimal, and many may…

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    Beating ChatGPT

    February 1, 2023 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Jake Martar, M.Ed. Ever since the public launch of ChatGPT academic circles have been alarmed by its potential for abuse. Let’s talk about some strategies for mitigating its’ use in class. But first, what is ChatGPT? ChatGPT is a chatbot powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to respond in human-like conversational tones. Simple inquiries through ChatGPT…

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    Spring Cleaning: Declutter Your Content Collection

    January 27, 2023 | Cristina Gamalie

    It is that time of the year again; the new semester started, and the courses are now available for the students. You may have created a new course or copied and updated the content from previous semesters. In either of these cases, you added course materials. It is important to monitor the course storage to…

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    New Name Pronunciation Features in Blackboard

    July 7, 2022 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Beginning July 7th, Blackboard has enabled name pronunciation features. This enables users to add text guidance and an audio recording of their name to Blackboard. Users will be able to see and listen to your pronunciation when they click your profile picture. Please see the video demonstration for more information.   Faculty and Staff…

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    New Session Engagement Insights-Collaborate Ultra

    May 3, 2022 | Rhonda Wakelyn

    Session Engagement Insights is a new tool companion in Collaborate Ultra. Now, moderators can view data on audience engagement during a live session! For example, moderators can see at-a-glance attendees’ interactions such as the number of hands raised and the number of chat messages sent throughout the session. Please note: The Session Engagement Insights panel…

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    SafeAssign Plagiarism Detection

    April 28, 2022 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    SafeAssign is a Blackboard tool used by instructors and students to review the originality of assignments. SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a database of academic papers and identifies overlap between the assignment and existing works. SafeAssign reports the originality of the assignment with a score. Both instructors and students can use the report to review…

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    Keep your class going with Blackboard

    January 3, 2022 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Extended closures or one-time class cancellations can occur for a variety of reasons: inclement weather, natural disaster, unexpected events, etc.  It is important to have a contingency plan which will help you continue course work successfully.  Blackboard provides faculty with a multitude of tools to assist with keeping courses live. All official UAMS courses have…

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    Common Accessibility Mistakes, Part Two

    November 15, 2021

    Written by Bonnie Kenney, MEd Creating course materials that are accessible for all students is important.  This article will attempt to address a few of the most common mistakes made when creating materials that will be disseminated electronically.  PDFs When using PDFs, follow these suggestions: Make sure the document has a title. You can check…

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    Common Accessibility Mistakes, Part One

    November 1, 2021

    Written by Bonnie Kenney, MEd Creating course materials that are accessible for all students is important.  This article will attempt to address a few of the most common mistakes made when creating materials that will be disseminated electronically.  Images Add descriptions or alternative tags (alt tags) to images.  This description is a textual alternative for…

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    Introducing Groups in Collaborate Ultra

    October 26, 2021 | Rhonda Wakelyn

    Course Groups are now integrated with Collaborate Ultra What does this mean? This means that you can now pull groups from your course into Collaborate Ultra to quickly create Breakout Groups. How do I get started with groups? First, you must make sure you have Group Sets set up in Blackboard. This feature does not work…

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    Introducing Grade Import

    October 11, 2021 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Instructors are now able to pull Final Grades from Blackboard to GUS through the Grade Import tool. How does it work? A new Import Grades button will appear on the Grade Roster page in GUS. How to Get Started Step 1: Configure your Grade Column in Blackboard If you’re already using a column to track…

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    Introducing Collaborate Gallery View 

    June 18, 2021 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Gallery view is a highly requested feature for Collaborate at UAMS. We’re happy to announce that Blackboard has enabled Gallery view for all users through the Google Chrome web browser.   Gallery view lets you see the most students at one time. With this view, you can see up to 25 attendees on a page.…

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    Introducing Blackboard Ally

    May 3, 2021 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Blackboard Ally is here for all courses. What is Ally? Blackboard Ally is a course accessibility tool with multiple features that can help instructors, students, and the institution. It provides automated alternative file formats,  feedback, and accessibility reports. How does Ally help? Alternative Formats. Ally does a lot of work for instructors and students out…

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    Announcing Ultra Base Navigation

    April 1, 2021 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Old Navigation (Left) vs Ultra Base Navigation (Right) When? May 16th at 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM, UAMS Blackboard will upgrade to a new navigation experience. What does this mean for me? Your courses will not change. They will look and operate exactly as they do now Starting May 16th at 8:00 AM to 12:00…

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    Recording Video and Audio Simultaneously in PowerPoint 365

    December 2, 2020

    One of the newest features in PowerPoint is the ability to record video using a webcam on your Windows computer.  This is a great way to record a PowerPoint slide show with video and audio of yourself.  The file can then be saved as an MP4, stored in your Box account, and shared with students…

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    Enhanced Text Editor in Blackboard

    October 28, 2020 | Cristina Gamalie

    Blackboard has introduced an improved text editor with the newest Blackboard Learn 9.1 release.  This new release will be applied to our environment on November 5th. Adding content has been simplified, and it works better on both hand-held devices and larger screens. There are several improvements for accessibility and some new features, too. Here are…

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    Improve Your Course Accessibility. Blackboard Ally Pilot Sign-Up.

    October 13, 2020 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Beginning Spring 2021 faculty and programs can sign-up to enable Blackboard Ally for their courses. What is Ally? Blackboard Ally is a course accessibility tool with multiple features that can help instructors, students, and the institution. It can provide alternative formats,  feedback, and accessibility reports. How does Ally help? Alternative Formats. Out of the box,…

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    Seven Copyright Best Practices for Online Teaching

    July 10, 2020

    Guest Writer: Lisa Ferris, Ed.S., Instructional Designer (OED) Seven Copyright Best Practices for Online Teaching If a video, photo, or document is on the internet, is it OK for faculty to freely use it in their course materials? Answer:  It depends!  Follow these seven best practices to help you legally use resources for your online…

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    Asynchronous vs Synchronous Activities Online

    June 15, 2020 | Cristina Gamalie

    The online environment enables us to use powerful tools for teaching and learning.  Asynchronous and synchronous eLearning strategies have benefits and limitations and they complement each other. Asynchronous eLearning is related to activities taking place when participants are not present online at the same time. Synchronous eLearning happens when participants who are not located in…

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    Grade Student Assignments with Bb Annotate

    May 14, 2020 | Cristina Gamalie

    Starting with June 1st, 2020  Blackboard assignments will be gradable inline with a new tool called Bb Annotate.  This tool will replace the Box tool. Old Box tool   New Bb Annotate tool Instructors can access information about Bb Annotate here .  A video tutorial is included in the documentation. After Bb Annotate becomes available, Box annotations…

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    End of Collaborate Classic

    February 14, 2020

    Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing software that can be used to host meetings, guest speakers, virtual office hours, and lecture/presentation recordings. Blackboard has announced that the Classic/Original version will be discontinued on December 31, 2020. On the UAMS campus, there are two versions of Collaborate available: Classic/Original and Ultra. The most recent and preferred…

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    Blackboard Testing is Easy with Respondus 4.0 (update information included)

    January 15, 2020 | Cristina Gamalie

    Respondus 4.0 is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to Blackboard and other eLearning systems. To learn more, you can visit Respondus 4.0 Resources. You can type test questions in Word, import them to Respondus 4.0, and publish them to Blackboard.  The reverse process…

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    New Log-In Page for Blackboard

    December 6, 2019

    During the Christmas/New Year holidays (Dec. 23, 2019 – January 1, 2020*), UAMS Blackboard Learn 9.1 will be updating to switch from managed hosting to SaaS. SaaS (software-as-a-service) is a cloud technology that will give us a single version of Blackboard that is continuously updated. Advantages of SaaS deployment are fast releases with zero scheduled…

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    Flash Player End of Life. Test your course content.

    September 16, 2019 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Dear Faculty,   Adobe has announced December 12th, 2020 as the end of life date for the Flash Player browser plugin. Once this date passes, it will be difficult for students to access Flash content.  Flash content could be in the form of Flash videos or some interactive learning modules. The eLearning team strongly encourages…

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    Manage the Blackboard Grade Center

    September 15, 2019 | Cristina Gamalie

    You can use the Blackboard Grade Center as your ally in order to manage your class and help your students succeed. First, the Grade Center must be set up to include all gradable activities posted in the Syllabus.  Any gradable items you set up in your Blackboard course will have a respective Grade Center column. …

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    Tips to Prepare Your Course for the Upcoming Semester

    August 19, 2019

    As we are gearing up for the upcoming semester, eLearning would like to offer a few tips to help you prepare your Blackboard courses. Tip 1: Make sure your course is available At the start of the semester, your Blackboard shells must be made available to students so that they can access the course content.…

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    Course Analytics and Student Analytics in Blackboard

    July 15, 2019 | Cristina Gamalie

    Blackboard provides a multitude of reports and data analysis.  One of the newest tools is Course Analytics.  This Blackboard tool can help instructors to oversee student progress and provide support. Instructors can access Course Analytics reports in Control Panel/Evaluation area of the course navigation menu. Before we describe the reports, we need to address a…

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    Collaborate Ultra Offers New Interactive Tools

    June 20, 2019

    Collaborate Ultra is a web conferencing tool that is widely used across the UAMS campus for lecture capture, virtual office hours, meetings, and much more. Collaborate now offers several new features that can be used to make sessions more interactive. Use custom polling to interact with participants.   Polls are a feature that allows participants…

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    Add Variety to Study Materials with StudyMate Campus

    April 15, 2019

    StudyMate Campus is a Respondus tool located within Blackboard that instructors can use to create study materials and other learning activities. Studymate Campus is the latest version of Studymate. What are the benefits of using StudyMate Campus? One of the greatest benefits of using StudyMate is that it is available in your Blackboard course shell.…

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    Save time setting up your Blackboard course. Date Management

    March 15, 2019 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    The beginning of the semester is a very busy time for all UAMS faculty. It takes a lot of commitment to set up a course for the new term. One pain point we’ve noticed is that it takes a lot of time to change the multitude of due and availability dates within a Blackboard course.…

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    Track Attendance With This New Feature

    February 13, 2019 | Jake Martar, M.Ed

    Beginning Spring 2019, UAMS instructors have access to the Blackboard Attendance tool. What does it do? The Attendance feature allows instructors to track attendance on a single page within their Blackboard course. From this page, an instructor can mark students as present, late, absent, or excused. Instructors can do this from their classroom workstation computer…

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