Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pardon Us While We Rebuild

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Coinciding with changes in staffing, Distance Learning @CFCC is undergoing some changes. These include redesigning our website, restructuring our Blackboard training, and revamping our processes. While we are in transition, you will continue to have access to all the current resources. Check back throughout the Fall semester to check our progress and see “what’s new.”

Hiding and Showing Gradebook Columns

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

A few people have had questions recently regarding how to hide items from students in the Grade Center, which differs from hiding them from your (instructor) view. Did you know that you can hide a column from yourself, while leaving it visible to students?

View this Blackboard training item for a short description of the differences.

While we’re on the topic of hiding, I will be permanently “hiding” starting February 24. I will be leaving the state to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Please contact Larolyn Zylicz for distance learning questions and requests after that time.

In the meantime, I am here to help you.


Contingency Planning

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Have you prepared your students?

Now that we’re in the middle of hurricane season, it’s a good time to remind students of the CFCC contingency plan. This will help decrease stress and uncertainty for students and for you.

Remember that if the server is down at CFCC, users can still reach the Blackboard server by using the alternate Web address:

The phone number for closings and delays is (877)799-2322 .

Read the complete DL Contingency Plan here.

Blackboard Blues?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Now that we’re almost through the second week of the semester, some of you have noticed a few glitches in the new Blackboard LMS. We are working closely with Blackboard to try and resolve these problems as quickly as possible.

We have documented “workarounds” for some issues, and a list can be found on our Blackboard Faculty FAQ page . On this page, you will also find other frequently asked questions and guidance related to Blackboard so you’re encouraged to check often for updates.

We’ll keep you posted on any news related to issues affecting your online courses.

A Few Reminders for Online Instructors

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Welcome back to the Fall semester at CFCC. As online instructors, you are likely busy adding finishing touches to your courses and getting to know your new students.

The Distance Learning Department wants to advise you of a few updates and tips:

Are Your Courses Ready for Fall?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

 Note: The Department of Distance Learning is revamping its Website, so some of these links will change. You can always navigate through to locate content.

It’s that time again, time to make sure your courses are ready for the Fall semester. If you teach Internet or Hybrid courses, your course shell is automatically created in Blackboard. You will then either 1) copy content from an existing course into the shell or 2) copy template information into the shell or 3) start from scratch.  Information about copying content or uploading the template can be found on the DL Faculty Resource page.

You might end up with duplicate menu items. Items that link to tools will contain the same information and duplicates can be removed.

If you copied content from another semester, make sure to:

  • Remove old discussion posts.
  • Remove old announcements.

Check the following items before your course goes live:

  • Make sure all links and dates are correct.
  • Make sure the points stated in the syllabus, class schedule, etc. match what is in the Grade Center.
  • Check your Grade Center to make sure you are using the correct grading schema, that all graded items are in the Grade Center with appropriate point values and are properly categorized if using weighting. Please refer to the Grade Center Check document (pdf).
  • Correct display problems in the course. The Teaching with Blackboard 9 page has a number of resources listed, including Resolving Invalid HTML Errors and Bb Text Display Errors .

This also might be a good time to familiarize yourself with the CFCC Course Essentials, accepted standards for quality online courses. This document is a simple checklist; if you would like to learn how to implement these and other standards, instructions for self-enrolling in Best Practices for Online Teaching can be found in Module 4 : Using Blackboard for Instruction the Blackboard 101 course in which all online faculty are enrolled. 

Please check the DL Training page for upcoming workshops and have a great semester!

Join us online for What’s New in Blackboard 9?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

I will be conducting an online training equivalent to our face-to-face workshop entitled “What’s New in Blackboard 9?”.  This workshop will be conducted in DimDim, which is a fully web-based free conferencing program. It will be beneficial for you to have a microphone to ask questions, but this is not required; there is a text-based chat available, as well.

We are hoping to use more web-based tools for training and feel this is a good move since our instructors are teaching online. DimDim will allow you to see the screen and hear audio, just as you would in a training lab.

The online workshop will be held on Thursday, March 4 from 2:00-3:00 pm.

Prerequisites: Blackboard 101 and “Getting Started with Blackboard” workshop.

Important: Please send me an email to sign up for this (or any) workshops: . I’ll send you the web address for the workshop at that time.

Don’t forget to check our training page on this blog for more training dates.

What’s New in Blackboard 9?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

You might be asking, “What’s Blackboard 9?”  CFCC will be upgrading its current Blackboard 7.3 software to the newest version, Blackboard 9. This upgrade will occur in between the spring and summer semesters and we hope it will be a seamless process, with only a day or two down time.

Please be aware that this new version looks considerably different from the current model, utilizing Web 2.0 features to provide a more flexible and robust course management system. Once you get beneath the surface, most of the tools look familiar so don’t worry that you’ll be learning an entire new system. The gradebook is now called the Grade Center and this tool has been most revised.

The Department of Distance Learning will be providing a number of workshops to get you acquainted with this upgraded platform. Please check the training page on this blog for dates and make sure to contact to sign up for workshops.

NCLOR Adds New SREB 2.0 Resource Series

Monday, February 8th, 2010

As part of the SREB State Virtual Schools Alliance in partnership with the AT&T Foundation, a list of New Media/Web 2.0 Tools has been prepared especially for SREB and online teachers by Chris O’Neal, Faculty Associate for the George Lucas Educational Foundation. This list provides practical explanations and examples of numerous new media tools that have direct applicability for teachers.

Read full article on the NCLOR News Blog.