Happy New Year to everyone. 2012 is gone (thankfully) and 2013 is gonna be a better year, whether it wants to be or not!! The new year is always a time for folks to make and hopefully keep resolutions. And like everyone else, I am planning some resolutions as well. I have actually written them down longhand with a pen and paper (remember what that is and how to do it?) and have sealed it in a mayonnaise jar and buried it in a time capsule (or was that the garbage can). Anyway, While I was working on resolutions, I thought about a few things that you can resolve to do to help you with your Blackboard course administration. So here goes.
Always Check Student Password
This one is a gimme. As an instructor, you have the ability to change or reset the password for any student you teach. Most of the time a student can not log in, it is because they have changed their password. If a student can not log in, RESET their password to THEIR MSIS NUMBER. If they can not log in then, contact Tech support.
Know How to Enroll Students
Every year when the school year begins, teachers send us batch enrollment sheets. This is mainly because you have 120-150 students, and you have to enroll them one at a time. Also, if the student is not in the system, we have to enter them. BUT after that, if the student is ALREADY IN THE SYSTEM, you as a teacher can simply enroll them yourself, since most of the time you only have one or two new students. This is a lot quicker for you, because your enrollment will not get bogged down in the process. IF YOU DO batch enroll in January be sure to email Blackboard@rcu.msstate.edu
Know How to UN-enroll Students
Coming back in January, there are always some students who transfer out. As an instructor, you have the ability to REMOVE a student from your course. Be sure to go to USERS and REMOVE the students who are no longer there. And be EXTREMELY WATCHFUL of the Blackboard prompts. Sometimes, with everyone coming back, the system slows down. WAIT for the GREEN BLACKBOARD MESSAGE to appear to confirm your previous removals are complete before clicking again. IF you are not careful, you delete EVERYONE INCLUDING YOURSELF from the class. And that leads us to our next resolution.
Know Your Course ID
If there is one resolution you need to make, it is to KNOW YOUR COURSE ID. That is the single most important piece of data we need when you contact Tech Support. If you have removed yourself from your course, and you do not know the courseID, you might as well be looking for a grain of sand in the desert. We have thousands of courses, and without that reference, we might end up having to recreate your course, causing you to have to rebuild it, simply because we could not find it.
Archive Your Course
Archiving is not as difficult or as sinister as it sounds. It is a simple procedure that you received an email about in December. Is it required? Of course not. The only thing required is death and taxes!! BUT, if you archive your course, and something happens (like accidentally deleting your course) you can simply restore it to the system. Sure, you MIGHT have some content to add again, but the bulk of your course is there. We recommend archiving your course In December and May.
So if you make any resolutions, and you want to alleviate some stress from your teaching, be sure to make the five resolutions we mentioned above.