Academic Technology @ Palomar College

Moving Faculty Content Into the New Blackboard System

Moving Faculty Content Into the New Blackboard System
As you may have heard, starting with this Summer term Palomar College is changing our Blackboard environment from one hosted on the San Marcos campus to one hosted by Blackboard Managed Hosting. In an earlier post I tried to address faculty questions about this change, but the largest impact to faculty will be when trying to move course content from an older course into a course on the new Blackboard environment. Anyone around back in Fall 2009 may recall the big move from Bb version 8 to 9; that was a similar shift between one environment and another, although then both environments were hosted here...
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Faculty Blackboard Managed Hosting Questions

Faculty Blackboard Managed Hosting Questions
This is an an effort to anticipate some questions faculty may have about the upcoming changes to Palomar’s Blackboard environment; should you have additional questions, feel free to pose them in the comments here, or contact us separately in Palomar Blackboard support. However, one question I am unable to answer at this time is “when are the Summer 2014 courses going to be available to faculty?” As soon as there is an answer I can share, rest assured I will post about the details.   What is this Managed Hosting for Blackboard thing I keep hearing about? Palomar’s Blackboard...
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Develop Your Own Blackboard Course

Develop Your Own Blackboard Course
Faculty, you can prepare for new classes, even before Palomar provides your course shells! The “early worm” professors are already starting to ask about when the Summer 2014 course shells will be ready; the short answer is “not yet.” However there is no reason to wait – strike while you feel inspired! There’s this thing called Coursesites.com, you see. A fully featured Blackboard Learn environment which anyone can take advantage of; in fact it’s got all the bells and whistles turned on, some of which Palomar doesn’t even have. But don’t worry, the...
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Blackboard Tests and ADA time extensions

Blackboard Tests and ADA time extensions
Do you use timed tests in your Blackboard course? Do you ever need to give students extended time on tests to meet legal requirements? Do you like to set things up once, rather than wasting time doing the same thing multiple times? If you answered yes to all of those, this post is for you! Before diving into the minutia of how to manage extended test times best, let’s define how students at Palomar end up entitled to additional time. As I’m quite ignorant on this topic, I consulted with an expert. Sherry Goldsmith of the Disability Resource Center (DRC) had this to say: “Here is how...
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Starting the Semester with Blackboard

Starting the Semester with Blackboard
Starting out another semester, and it’s time for a reminder about a few Blackboard tasks that might have slipped your busy minds: Faculty log into Blackboard using their “email name” as the username; typically this is your first initial and last name. Using the nine-digit number will only allow student access to your courses. Students will not be able to access your course sites until you make them available. The easiest way to make multiple courses available is using the Instructor Quick Tools. If you want to copy materials from an older course into your Spring 2014 course site,...
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Why I should care about mixed security modes in my Blackboard course

Why I should care about mixed security modes in my Blackboard course
Normally I try to keep the tech-speak down to a minimum in my posts, but this topic, sadly, requires a good bit. Here’s the situation: You’ve provided a web link within your Blackboard course, perhaps to a page on your own Palomar-hosted WordPress site, perhaps to one of the many videos in Palomar’s streaming video catalog. When some (but likely not all) of your students click the link… nothing. They still have the top red area of Blackboard, and the breadcrumb trail, but everything below that is blank. What is going on? Likely you are a victim of security. Not “something...
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Spring 2014 comes to Blackboard

Spring 2014 comes to Blackboard
In keeping with our general policy of providing Blackboard courses 90 days prior to the start of the new semester, the Spring 2014 course shells are set to be created on Sunday, October 13, 2013. So don’t be shocked when you log into the Blackboard system and see new courses there next week. Naturally as your students enroll using eServices in the months to come, they should percolate onto the Blackboard rosters within a couple hours. But rest assured that students will not be able to see anything in your new course sites until you manually make the course sites available for student use. Also,...
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How to Embed YouTube Video in PowerPoint 2013

How to Embed YouTube Video in PowerPoint 2013
Regular users of PowerPoint have by now noticed that the tool adding YouTube embed code to a PowerPoint 2013 (and 2010) slide has disappeared.  It is no longer possible to simply grab the code, click Insert > Video > Online Video, and paste it in.  The why of it is a bit mysterious, but the trouble started when Google updated their YouTube API from ver. 2 to 3, and only became worse over time as Google and Microsoft have had public disagreements. Whatever the causes, the tool that stopped working in PowerPoint has now, with the latest Office updates, been removed.  Unfortunately, this is still...
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Making Blackboard Available

Making Blackboard Available
As you (hopefully) already know, when your Blackboard courses are created here at Palomar (up to 90 days prior to the start of the semester), those courses are all unavailable to students. That’s why students cannot immediately start horsing around in your course site as soon as they enroll. However, until and unless you make your course available to students, they can’t get in. Even if you post a bunch of handouts, build assessments, and set up discussion board forums, and tell your students to go use them… if the course is unavailable still, the students can’t. “How can...
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Sine qua non Software

Sine qua non Software
Having just experienced a computer collapse and rebuild, and at the same time configured a new home laptop, it got me thinking about the software that I need that I could not do without.  I decided to construct a list.   An essential ingredient is interoperability with mobile devices, something that didn’t enter into serious consideration only a couple of years ago.  The desktop is now just one in a triad of equally important devices (the tablet and smart phone being the others) that any digitally literate person depends on, so my list has to embrace these platforms as well. First, and foremost,...
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