Academic Technology @ Palomar College

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New Blackboard Calendar

New Blackboard Calendar
Have you noticed that the calendar in Blackboard is… bad. Well, no longer. Blackboard has just released an update (their first significant update to the calendar tool, perhaps ever) to the Calendar tool now that Service Pack 10 is out, which makes calendaring finally useful. Drag-and-drop functionality to move calendar events, the ability to create events for multiple courses from one interface (although not all at once, sadly), automatic calendar entries for anything you set a due date on, even iCal feed functionality! This new calendar may not “have it all” but it is a serious step...
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Grading? Back up!

Grading? Back up!
As the Fall term draws to a close, quite a bit of grading is going on. If you’ve just spent the last two hours at your computer punching in student grades, this might be a good time to back up that work. If you’re already in your course site now, just follow these 6 simple steps to create a grade backup: Go to the “Full Grade Center” view, so you can see the whole grade grid for your course. Over on the upper right of the grid, open up the “Work Offline” menu, then choose “Download”. If you are hiding student grades in the grade grid, be sure to...
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Blackboard Course Copy

Blackboard Course Copy
As faculty may have noticed, the Spring 2013 courses now exist within Blackboard (in accordance with our policy of creating courses 90 days prior to the new semester). Of course, all these new courses are empty shells, so now is when you might want to use the Course Copy tool to transfer material forward from an older course site. To begin the course copy process, start in the Source course. That is, go into the older course which already contains your course materials, and use the copy tool there to transfer material to the new course site. (If you go into the empty new course site and try to use the...
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The Blackboard Course Life Cycle

We are occasionally asked something like ‘can you restore a class to the active system that I taught 3 years ago?’  The answer is ‘no.’  We have explained this many times, but the information always seems to come as a surprise to someone, so let me go over it again. We keep the current semester, the previous 3 semesters, and the future semester (as soon as future courses are created in Peoplesoft, which is approximately 90 days before the start of a semester) in our Blackboard database.  Old courses are pruned from the system on a rolling year schedule.  For example, at the...
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Blackboard Changes: Course Hopper

Blackboard Changes: Course Hopper
A wonderful new aide to navigating around within Blackboard is part of the SP8 upgrade. (Okay, so this won’t be on Palomar’s production environment until after the upgrade to Blackboard’s 9.1 SP8 version next Monday, June 4th, but it is available on the BbSandbox environment already.) Technically named “Course-to-course navigation” this tool allows movement between courses to the same part of a course. From the Blackboard documentation: Course-to-Course Navigation allows students and instructors to jump from course to course while retaining the context of the page or task...
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