General - Administration

1. How do I access my members list?
2. How do I add more instructors, TAs OR user to a course?
3. How do I see a list of students in my class?
4. How do I enable the Roster Tool?
5. How do I see the course as a student?
6. How do students get/use the Mobile Apps?
7. What are some of the tools available?
8. How do I customize tools and their availability in a course?
9. How can I gather statistics in my course and generate reports?
10. How do I enable Guest Access? (Show to Public)
11. What are the proper naming conventions for files?
12. How can I change the course availability to the students?
13. How do I copy the development course to a live course?
14. How do I roll forward a course from term to term? (Course Copy)

1. How do I access my members list?

The Member List course tool replicates the member list functionality of the old PAWS Course Tools and allows for the export of a course list compatible with SiRIUS.
  1. On the "Control Panel" menu on the left expand "Course Tools".
  2. Select "Members List"
  3. Select your desired file format (Excel, Comma Separated Text, or HTML)
  4. Select "Download" from the drop down beside the chosen format.

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2. How do I add more instructors, TAs OR user to a course?

To add a user to the course.
  1. Log into the course.
  2. On the "Control Panel" menu on the left expand "Course Tools".
  3. Select "Manage Users"
  4. Select "Add User By Role"
  5. Enter OR browse for the username of the person (NSID) to be added (you may have to ask them for their NSID).
  6. Select the role they should have. A "Teaching Assistant" has all the privileges that an instructor has, but does not get listed as an instructor when the course name is shown to students in the course list.
  7. Select "Submit".

NOTE: Once you have added a USER by ROLE, you will NOT be able to remove that user. Contact help.desk@usask.ca if required.


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3. How do I see a list of students in my class?

If you only want to see a list of students, you can use the Grade Center
  1. Under the Control Panel in the bottom left of the window, select "Grade Center"
  2. Under Grade Center, select "Registered Users". This will give you a list of all students enrolled in your class
NOTE: If you do not see any students in this list, then the SiRIUS system has not populated your class yet. Contact your college SiRIUS Administrator/Course Builder if this problem occurs. 

To see all users in your class, you must use Users and Groups
  1. Under the "Control Panel" menu on the left, select "Users and Groups"
  2. Under "Users and Groups", select "Users"
  3. When the "Users" page opens, select the "Show All" button at the very bottom right corner of the page. You will now see every user in the class, including instructors and teaching assistants.

NOTE: If you do not see any students in this list, then the SiRIUS system has not populated your class yet. Contact your college SiRIUS Administrator/Course Builder if this problem occurs.


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4. How do I enable the Roster Tool?

  1. From the Control Panel on the left, expand Customization 
  2. Select Tool Availability
  3. Scroll through the list of tools until you find the Roster Tool.  Ensure all boxes associated with the tool are checked.
  4. Click the Submit button.
  5. The Roster Tool now appears in the Tools area, accessible from the left side menu.

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5. How do I see the course as a student?

To quickly view course as a student, turn "Edit Mode" in the top right hand corner to off. To see full functionality, including "My Grades"
  1. Under the "Control Panel" menu on the left, expand "Course Tools"
  2. Select "Add Test Student"
  3. Enter a password (it is easiest to simply use your NSID password)
  4. The student "NSID" is YOUR NSID followed by  _s   Example: (abc123_s)

In a separate browser

  1. In the address bar of a DIFFERENT browser, type http://bblearn.usask.ca
  2. Select "TEST ACCOUNT LOGIN"
  3. Enter your NSID, followed by _s (e.g. abc123_s), and the test password

OR in your current browser window

  1. Click "Logout" in the top right hand corner of the window
  2. Select "TEST ACCOUNT LOGIN"
  3. Enter your NSID, followed by _s (e.g. abc123_s), and the test password

NOTE: To see BOTH the instructor view AND the student view at the same time, you must login to ONE supported browser window (ie Firefox) as the instructor AND ANOTHER supported browser (ie Safari) as the student. Check the online documentation for supported browsers.


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6. How do students get/use the Mobile Apps?

Students may access a course on certain mobile devices.

For more information on Blackboard Mobile, please see Blackboard Mobile.


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7. What are some of the tools available?

Download the PDF: List of Tools and Their Definitions

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8. How do I customize tools and their availability in a course?

Download the PDF: Customizing Tool Availability

OR:

  1. Under the "Control Panel" menu left side, expand "Customization"
  2. Select "Tool Availability"
  3. Select the check box beside the tool that you would like to enable
NOTE ***Ensure that if there is more than one check box, that all are selected.***
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9. How can I gather statistics in my course and generate reports?

One of the easiest ways to track usage in BBLearn is through "Statistics Tracking". Statistics tracking needs to be enabled for each piece of content that you would like to monitor.

This feature is enabled in the following manner:
  1. Click the drop down arrow beside the title of a piece of content
  2. Select Statistics Tracking (On/Off)
  3. Select a radio button "On".
  4. Click the Submit button. You will see "Enabled: Statistics Tracking" under the title of the content item when enabled)
To gather statistics data / run report:
  1. Click on the down arrow beside the title of a preferred piece of content and select "View Statistics Report"
  2. Click the down arrow beside Content Usage Statistics and choose"Run"
  3. Choose the preferred options and select Submit (this action will run the report)
  4. You may now save the report to the Content Collection, Download the Report or Run a New Report.
More generalized reports may be accessed in the Control Panel on the left > expand Evaluation >Course Reports.
  1. Expand Evaluation > Course Reports.
  2. Click the down arrow beside the selection that meets the parameters of your needed report and click "Run".  
  3. Choose your preferred options from the Run Reports page that appears and hit Submit.  This will run the report and deliver it in the format chosen.

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10. How do I enable Guest Access? (Show to Public)

BEFORE setting Guest Access, please be aware that the Syllabus and Public links that appear on the left side menu are, by default, open to the public and materials placed into these content areas will be accessable by the Public.


Enabling Guest Access (Show to Public) for a course requires the instructor to

  1. Add a user to the course as a guest
  2. Set the course settings to allow the guest access to the material

NOTE: Once the course or sections of the course are set to allow guest access, those sections are OPEN and ACCESSIBLE TO ANYONE in the PUBLIC, not just the person  added as a GUEST. 

Steps required to SHOW TO PUBLIC:

  1. Add a user with the guest role. You can use "guest" in role of "guest" which means that ANYONE can get in without even logging into Blackboard. (go to BBLearn, instead of logging in, select "Preview as a guest"). Or you can add an NSID with role of guest OR Enable guests in your course. Go to Control Panel > expand Customization > Guest and Observer Access and turn on Allow Guests (some courses will have this turned on by default)  WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND CONTACTING THE HELP DESK for help
  2. Go to each and every section that you want to make public, use the down arrow and select "Show to Public". Note that you will never be able to allow guests into anything to do with students (gradebook, forums, discussions, wiki, chat, etc.)

DO NOT ADD STUDENTS who are not registered in your course AS GUESTS. This will NOT be helpful as the students will be UNABLE to access assignments, grade book etc.


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11. What are the proper naming conventions for files?

  • It is IMPORTANT to properly name files for upload or download. Keep filenames short (8-10 characters is plenty), lower case, no spaces and be sure a file extension is included (such as .doc or .jpg)
    Example: Bad: biology assignment lab # 1.1 Good: bio_a1.doc
  • Do not use special characters in filenames (*,/,^,!,@,#,$,%,&, ,"",'', etc.)
    Example: Bad: help@me!.pdf Good: help_me.pdf
  • Use standard formats (.doc, .pdf, .jpg, .png)
    Example: yourlastname_a1.pdf
  • For the Hot Spot question type, use on .jpg images with no special characters in the file name
    Example: Bad: car diagram.png Good: car_diagram.jpg
  • Keep filenames short (fewer than 25 characters in length)
    Example: Bad: this_is_the_first_assignment_for_the_course_my_course.doc Good:yourlastname_a1.doc

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12. How can I change the course availability to the students?

Download the PDF: Making a Course Available/Unavailable to Students
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13. How do I copy the development course to a live course?

Download the PDF: Copying a Development Course to a Live Course

NOTE: 

Do not perform a "Course Copy" multiple times into the same course. You will be sent an email when the course copy has completed. Wait for that email to arrive before working on your course. If the email does not arrive within 30 minutes, please contact help.desk@usask.ca for assistance. Do not copy your course again as that can cause duplication in your course when both copies are finally processed.


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14. How do I roll forward a course from term to term? (Course Copy)

The procedure is the same as the one followed for moving a development course into a live course, however there are some best practices which should be observed.

  1. Steps for Course Copy and recommended settings (see Copying a Development Course to a Live Course)
  2. Wait for the confirmation email that the copy has finished
  3. Update all dates in the new course (adaptive release, assignment due dates, etc.). This is now easy and all dates may be changed on one screen.
  4. Review all the menu items and make sure the “public access” is set correctly for each item. Only “Show to Public” things that are safe for the public to see.
  5. Test the entire course using the test student. The recommended procedure is to use the option to remove the test student from all courses, then add the test student back to this new course (so it is only in the new course), then log in as that test student and test EVERYTING in the course, noting any errors, missing images, etc.

To add OR remove the test student:

  1. Select Control Panel
  2. Expand Course Tools
  3. Select Add Test Student

NOTE: 

Do not perform a "Course Copy" multiple times into the same course. You will be sent an email when the course copy has completed. Wait for that email to arrive before working on your course. If the email does not arrive within 30 minutes, please contact help.desk@usask.ca for assistance. Do not copy your course again as that can cause duplication in your course when both copies are finally processed.


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