Academic Technology @ Palomar College

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Personalizing Blackboard Content

Personalizing Blackboard Content
I’m certain you’ve received bulk messages, either on paper through the mail or (often as spam) though email. Often those messages use a function known as “mail merge” to modify the content of the message to show personalized information. Although that sort of function can be awkward if used poorly, Blackboard has limited options to get a “mail merge” effect out of your Blackboard content. This function was originally intended for developers to be able to list personal details, but these “tokens” will work for students and instructors within Blackboard...
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Blackboard Offline August 11

Blackboard Offline August 11
As previously noted, Palomar’s Blackboard system is going through some software upgrades and system tuning on Monday, August 11, 2014. The plan is for the system to go offline starting at 12:30 AM Pacific time, and have the system back online before 4:30 PM Pacific time. Should there be any news-worthy events during the upgrade process, I’ll be editing this blog post. So check back during the day on Monday, if you’re the obsessive type who wants to keep informed on the Blackboard system progress. UPDATE: Posted 10:40 AM 8/11/2014 The Blackboard system has been offline since 12:31 AM,...
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Blackboard Upgrade on August 11, 2014

Blackboard Upgrade on August 11, 2014
On Monday, August 11, 2014, Palomar’s Blackboard system will be upgraded to release version 9.1.201404.160205, known as the April 2014 release. This process is set to begin August 11, 2014 at 12:30 AM Pacific time and is expected to take around 12 to 16 hours to complete, but as always we will get the system available to users again as soon as possible. Should there be anything worthy of note that crops up during the actual upgrade, I’ll be sure to post something on the PalomarATRC Twitter feed, so look there for updates. The major instructor-focused changes in this new version are:...
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A Blackboard Year in Review

A Blackboard Year in Review
In July of 2013 I had the opportunity to attend the Blackboard World conference, and it was intense. Next week I’ll be able to attend the 2014 Blackboard World conference, and before that happens I wanted to reflect on the past year’s experiences with Blackboard here at Palomar. Last July I challenged faculty to work with me to review their course workflow and layout; sadly only a couple faculty took me up on that. But the offer remains open, to have a one-on-one meeting (or more, if desired) to have someone completely ignorant of your content (that’s ME, of course) offer an...
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SafeAssign Outage and Improvements

SafeAssign Outage and Improvements
This next Saturday, April 26, from 7 AM until 9 AM Pacific Time, the SafeAssign service (the plagiarism detection tool within Blackboard) will not be working. Until 7:30 AM SafeAssignments will not accept new submissions, and anything submitted between 7:30 and 9 AM will not immediately have reports generated. Instead submissions during that time period will be put in a queue and originality reports will be generated later. It would be a good idea for students to avoid submitting papers to the SafeAssign tool Saturday morning, and any instructors who set deadlines on SafeAssignments may want to modify...
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