Announcements » Administrative

August 22, 2019

If you're a faculty member returning to campus after a summer away, you may have missed completing vital tasks necessary to plug you into Iowa State's new Workday system for human resource and financial business processes. Your first step is to log into Workday and update your personal information. Workday help is available.
More.

For more information, contact You human resources delivery team at HR_Delivery@iastate.edu or your finance delivery team at Iowa State University at Finance_Delivery@iastate.edu.

May 28, 2019

Happenings emails will resume August 13: May 28 marks the final emailed issue of Happenings of the academic year. Items will be added to the online version over the summer. The next issue will be emailed on Tuesday, August 13.
For more information, contact Cathy Curtis in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-9175 or ccurtis@iastate.edu.

May 14, 2019

Faculty and staff: Use the WorkCyte Training Map and sign up for WorkCyte classes now: It's time for faculty and staff sign up for WorkCyte classes to ensure you're ready when WorkDay goes into effect on July 1. Visit the WorkCyte Training Map to figure out which classes you need. Then log in to Learn@ISU (Learn.iastate.edu) to sign up for your courses. New to Learn@ISU? There is a simple job aid to walk you through the log-in and course registration.
More.

For more information, contact Mandy Chan, WorkCyte Readiness Lead at Iowa State University at 312-825-4697 or mndychan@iastate.edu.

April 22, 2019

Portions of parking lot 29 will be closed April 23-25 for outdoor concert: A section of Lot 29 will be closed on the evening of Tuesday, April 23, so crews can erect the concert stage for the Student Union Board-sponsored Ella Mai and Bazzi outdoor concert that will take place next to the Molecular Biology Building. Additional sections of lots 29 and 28 will close by 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. After 4:30 p.m. on the concert day, Thursday, April 25, vehicles will not be allowed to enter the north campus lots (27-30, 33, 35). Winlock and Morrill roads will be barricaded, so vehicles in the lots will exit west via WOI Road or east to Stange Road. Iowa State University police officers will direct traffic at the end of the work day. All lots will reopen by 6 a.m. on Friday, April 26.
For more information, contact Megan Riordan, national events director at the ISU Student Union Board at mcrior@iastate.edu.

January 8, 2019

Faculty approve revised college governance document: College of Human Sciences faculty voted in December to adopt revisions to the college's governance document as previously approved by a faculty task force. The revised governance document reflects changes in policies and procedures for appointing, evaluating, and advancing term faculty to align with changes made at the university level.
More.

For more information, contact Theresa Boettcher or Jenn Plagman-Galvin in administration at 515-294-5380 or theresab@iastate.edu.

December 18, 2018

The next issue of Happenings is scheduled to arrive in your inbox on Tuesday, January 8.
For more information, contact Cathy Curtis in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-8175 or ccurtis@iastate.edu.

November 30, 2018

Faculty: Cast your vote by 5 p.m., December 14, on revisions to "Term Faculty" portion of the College of Human Sciences Governance Document: Check your email for an invitation to your online ballot. Be sure to vote by 5 p.m., December 14.
For more information, contact the Dean's Office in the College of Human Sciences at hsdean@iastate.edu.

November 13, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving. The next issue of Happenings will email on November 27.
For more information, contact Cathy Curtis in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-8175 or ccurtis@iastate.edu.

October 1, 2018

FEMA national wireless emergency alert system to text all cell phones in first test, 1:18 p.m., Oct. 3: The Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct its first test of a national wireless emergency alert system at 1:18 CST on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The alert, with the headline "Presidential Alert," is scheduled to pop up on every cell phone in the nation. Cell towers are scheduled to broadcast for 30 minutes and cell phones may receive these texts over that entire time, and possibly beyond. This test is not associated with the university or the "ISU Alert" service. No action will be required when cell phone owners receive the test message. ISU Information Technology Services will monitor effects on local systems. More».
For more information, contact Kristen Constant at 515-294-3337 or constant@iastate.edu.

Learn about FMLA, FMDA faculty-support policies at CHS workshop: The College of Human Sciences is hosting a workshop to build understanding of the Family and Medical Leave Act and Faculty Modified Duties Assignment and what they mean for faculty. The workshop will run from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, October 24 in 331 Palmer. Panelists will include Dawn Bratsch-Prince, Leslie Ginder, and Brenda Lohmman. Learn the benefits of each, when to use them, whether they influence the tenure clock, and more. More».
For more information, contact DeAnn Barnes in administration at 515-294-7800 or dhbarnes@iastate.edu.

August 13, 2018

Protect yourself from scammers spoofing Iowa State University phone numbers: There has been a spate of scammers spoofing Iowa State University phone numbers and targeting individuals to share their personal information. The Federal Communications Commission calls these “neighborhood spoofing scams.” The calls can come from anywhere on Earth, but criminals manipulate caller ID information so the call seems to come from the same area code as their victims. You can protect yourself by following these tips from the FCC:

  • Caller ID showing a “local” number does not mean it is necessarily a local caller.
  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.
  • Don’t provide any personal information to callers.
  • Review call blocking tools provided by your phone company or third party app developers.
  • If you are called by a scammer, feel free to file a complaint with the FCC
  • If the caller claims to be from a legitimate company or organization, hang up and call them back using a valid number found on the company or organization’s website, or on your latest bill
  • If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls, or asks you to say “yes” in response to a question, hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents, or to use your “yes” to apply unauthorized charges to your bill.
  • If you answer and the caller asks for payment using a gift card, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate organizations will not ask for payment with a gift card.
  • If you have lost money as a result of a scam call, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance. For Ames, submit a Scam Reporting Form or contact the non-emergency number at 515-239-5133.
  • Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. Lawful telemarketers use this list to avoid calling consumers on the list.
  • Iowa State will never ask for personal information such as passwords. If you suspect you are a victim of spoofing, or have received a call from a spoofer, contact the IT Security team at itsecurity@iastate.edu. More».
    For more information, contact the Information Technology Security team at itsecurity@iastate.edu.

    August 10, 2018

    Make copyrighted articles or streaming video available to students via Parks Library eReserve: Any instructor who wishes to make copyrighted articles or streaming video available to their students from Parks Library eReserve is encouraged to contact library staff to make arrangements as soon as possible. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 31, 2018

    Happenings on hiatus, resumes August 7: The last regular email issue of Happenings of the academic year went out May 15 and is on summer hiatus. Happenings emails will resume on August 7.
    For more information, contact Cathy Curtis in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-8175 or ccurtis@iastate.edu.

    June 14, 2018

    School of Education director search extended: Laura Jolly, dean and Dean's Chair in the College of Human Sciences, has announced that the search for the next director of the School of Education will be extended. Jolly will meet with the search committee and Parker Executive Search representatives in the next few weeks to develop a search process and timeline for a second round of interviews to be held during the fall semester. Strathe had planned to retire at the end of June but has agreed to continue her leadership. Jolly expressed appreciation for Strathe's commitment as well as for the efforts of the search committee and School of Education faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders who have participated in the search process. She also asked for their continued assistance in bringing the search to a successful conclusion.
    For more information, contact Laura Jolly in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-5380 or ljolly@iastate.edu.

    May 29, 2018

    Blackboard access ends June 1: Access to Blackboard for all staff and instructors will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 1. Due to the upcoming deadline, there is a limited amount of assistance available from the College of Human Sciences Online and Distance Learning unit.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 22, 2018

    Canvas Quiz Statistics: For any quiz, it is possible to view summary and detailed quiz statistics by question and by student. After the quiz is over and all questions are graded, click the Quiz link in the course menu, click the quiz name, go to the far right menu and click the Quiz Statistics button. Class performance on the test is summarized online and a breakdown is given for each question. Click the Item Analysis button in the top right to download a detailed, excel-compatible report of question performance. Click the Student Analysis button in the top right to generate a detailed, excel-compatible report that lists every student's response to each question. If the quiz includes open ended questions, the students' typed responses are included in the report. These are handy tools for investigating question performance and for investigating specific student's responses or concerns.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Canvas Gradebook tips (part 2): To move the Total column from the end of the table to the beginning, go to the final Total column, click the arrow in the bottom right corner of the header cell, and click "Move to front". If you mute a grade column, students will not see their score or feedback to the muted activity and their scores will not be added to the class total. From the Gradebook you can bulk message all students who meet specific performance standards on an assignment by going the activity column, opening the header cell menu, and selecting "Message Students Who...". Pick one of four listed performance issues (didn't submit, haven't been graded, scored less than X, scored more than X) and Canvas will select student recipients based on the criteria. You can remove any student from the list. Compose a message and click send: each student receives an individual message and will not know who else received the same message.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 20, 2018

    Multiple assignment submissions in Canvas: Canvas allows a student to resubmit an online assignment as many times as they wish, up until the assignment closes, as defined by the "Until" setting. If the instructor has specified a due date that is earlier than the close date, any submission made between the two will be labeled as "Late" and the student will see a warning message before finalizing the submission. Grade book cells containing late submissions are shaded red. If a student made multiple submissions, the instructor will see a "Submission to view" drop down menu in Speedgrader and can use it to move between submission attempts. Students can only see their most recent submission attempt, which means they will not be able to view feedback on earlier submissions. The instructor should therefore only grade the latest attempt, and only do so after the submission period has closed.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 16, 2018

    Blackboard access ends June 1: Do you have all your course materials and student worked saved from Blackboard that you want to save? The winter shutdown date push back we gratefully received cannot be expected to happen again: ISU's multiyear license expires this June. If you need assistance getting course content moved to Canvas or CyBox, contact Karla Embleton (embleton@iastate.edu ), Ann Bugler, or Jessie Christensen in the college's online and distance learning unit as soon as possible. Due to the volume of final job requests expected, staff will likely not be able to handle requests made after mid-April. When making a request, remember to indicate course prefix, number, section, last semester the course was taught, which materials you want moved to Canvas, and whether you need any material stored to CyBox. If you want student assignment submissions saved, please indicate assignments by name.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 8, 2018

    Create an email link in Canvas: If you want your students to email you, rather than send a message through Canvas, consider adding an email link to your course Home Page. The following instructions assume your course begins on either the Syllabus index (recommended) or a Front Page of your design. Go to the Home Page and click Edit. Type in your ISU email (e.g. somebody@iastate.edu ), highlight it, and copy it. Next, click the "Link to URL" chain link icon in the text editor. Remove the 'http://' that displays in the box and paste in (or retype) your email. Click "Insert Link" button and then save your revised page. Verify that the link displays and functions properly by switching to Student view (Settings > Student View), then find and click the new email link.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 6, 2018

    Canvas gradebook tips: Here are several tips to help you navigate your course grade book. Use the buttons in the top right corner to view grades by Individual, by enrollment section, or by full enrollment. Use the Gear menu (upper right) to rearrange columns by due date, point value, or Assignment group. You can drag a column to a new location. A small triangle displays in the header cell of the column on which the table is currently sorted. Grades typically are sorted by student last name but if you click the empty left corner of any header cell, you can sort by that column. If you do not assign an activity to a student, group, or section, the grade cells for the affected students will be grayed out. You can also type EX in a cell to exempt a student from the activity but understand that this reduces the total points for the course for that student by the value of the exempted activity.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 1, 2018

    Hide total and subtotal scores in Canvas grades: Each Assignment index group creates a Grades subtotal column. Subtotals are reported as a percentage, based on the student's earned scores in the Assignment group's activities. If you leave a grade cell blank for a missed activity, the student's subtotal grade will display as higher than it ought to be. Therefore, always enter a grade for every student. To excuse a student, type EX in the grade cell but understand that this reduces the total course point value for that student. Subtotal and total scores are visible to students by default. To hide them, go to Settings > Course Details > More Options, and check the "Hide Totals in student grades summary" box. The subtotal spaces will still display in student view but will not contain scores. Hiding totals is a good option if your final course grade requires any manipulations at all or if you don't enter zeros for missed work/attendance.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Student activity reports in Canvas: Canvas provides summary and detailed class and individual student activity reports. One way to check what a specific student has done is to click the People link in the Course Menu, then click on the name of a student. A summary of the student's standing in the class appears in a panel on the right. In that panel, click the Analytics button. The full history of the student's interaction with the course is displayed in graphical format. It is useful to slide the toggle in the top right from "graph" to "tabular" format to get a breakdown of student activity listed by date, in text format. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Show Canvas grading history: To see a complete report of who has entered scores into your course, go to Grades, click on the gear in the upper right corner, and select "View Gradebook History." Every grade entry is displayed by date, student name, grader name, assignment name, before and after score, and current score. Happily there are several filters that can be applied to shorten the report and focus in on the data you are investigating. For example, you can enter one student name or one grader name, click the red Filter button, and see just the data for that person.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 26, 2018

    Create Alternate Submission Periods in Canvas: The instructor can create more than one set of start/end/due date windows for any quiz or assignment. One time window can be set for the class as a whole and a second (typically later) window for a student who has an excused absence. Click the "Add" button below the Assign settings box in the quiz or assignment settings. Click in the "Assign to" area to reveal a drop-down list of students' names. Select the student(s) who should have a new common time period and define the period. When you add a second release condition, the original "Assign to" setting changes from "Everyone" to "Everyone else." If you define release settings in such a way that one or more students are excluded, their grade cells for the activity are grayed out and they cannot submit the activity (it is not assigned to them.) The same approach can be used to create section based availability periods but there is no ability to set different times windows by Group. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 25, 2018

    Set Up Canvas Quiz Time Accommodation: In Canvas, an instructor can set up extra time per attempt for individual students who require this accommodation. After creating and publishing the quiz as normal, click the link to the quiz so the quiz overview page displays. In the right hand column, click the new "Moderate This Quiz" link. (If window is too narrow, the menu appears on the bottom rather than on the right.) A list of all students appears, with a pencil icon after each name. Click the pencil icon for your student. Enter the amount of extra time that should be added for this individual. Example: if class gets 30 minutes to complete the quiz and a student has an accommodation for 150% time, add 15 minutes for that student. Save your change. Verify that the extra time displays on the list of students. Note: The same process can be used to give students an extra attempt on a quiz. The accommodation must be added to each quiz individually, and for each student individually. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 19, 2018

    Setting up Prerequisites for Canvas Modules: A prerequisite is a rule that states that a student must have completed a specified Module before the current Module (on which the prerequisite rule has been added) can be viewed. This ensures that students complete modules in a specific order. Prerequisites are often used in conjunction with Module requirements, which specify what must be done within a Module for it to be considered "finished." For example, the instructor could have a "Getting Started" module that includes a syllabus quiz. The requirement for the Getting Started Module could be that the student must score at least 80% on the quiz. The prerequisite for the Week 1 module would be that the Getting Started module is complete. With this combination, each student would need to score 80% or better on the syllabus quiz in the Getting Started Module in order for the Week 1 Module to display. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Setting up Requirements in Canvas Modules: Module requirements are essentially exit conditions. When you add requirements to a Module, each student must complete the requirements before they can proceed to the next Module. You can require students to complete all requirements in the module or specify a specific task. That task could be to view an item, mark an item as "done," contribute to a discussion, submit an assignment, or achieve at least a specified minimum on a quiz. After building your Module, click the gear to the right of the module name, select Edit, then click "+Add Requirement." As you select different requirements, additional settings may appear to further define the conditions. Be sure to click the "Update Module" button to save your changes. Verify your course set up by switching to Student View and checking that the new requirement rules work as expected. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 13, 2018

    Check your Canvas Course Menu: The default Canvas Course Menu should not be kept. It provides students access to things they normally should not have direct access to and tools you will likely not use. To edit the Course Menu, click Settings (on bottom of Course Menu) then click the Navigation tab (on top of the screen). Drag unwanted items from the top table to the lower table, scroll down and click save. The exception is that you should leave the ISU AdminTools in the top menu as you need it and it won't display to students. Leaving only these things, in this order, in the top table will generally work: Home, Announcements, Syllabus, Modules, Assignments, Grades. If you plan to use them, include Discussions and/or Quizzes on top. Be on the lookout for items that get suddenly added when ISU incorporates new software, such as StudyMate. The Course Menu can easily be changed at any time. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Set up a class email list: Instructors need a way to email their classes. In Canvas, the "inbox" tool can be used to send an internal message. If each student has their personal notifications set up to alert them that a new message has been received, they will indeed get your message via email — either immediately, daily, or weekly, depending on which alert settings was selected by the student. To guarantee that students get your message in a timely fashion, go to Account Services on the Web ( https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/ ), login with your NetId, click "Manage Lists", click "Manage Class Lists", under the heading "Classlist not created" select one or more classlists then click "Create selected classlist(s)". The email list name is on the screen and will be emailed to you also. Your new email group list will start working at the top of the hour (e.g., if you order it at 2:20 p.m., it will be available to use a little after 3 p.m.). It will be updated nightly with adds/drops. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 8, 2018

    All instruction moves from Blackboard to Canvas this semester: All instruction must occur in Canvas, Iowa State's new learning management system, this semester. Sign-on links for Blackboard on the main Iowa State University website were turned off at 5 p.m. Friday. To access Blackboard as an instructor, grader, course designer, or teaching assistant, go to https://www.lms.iastate.edu/. This page contains links to both Canvas and Blackboard. Please view the Blackboard site as purely a reference and archive of past courses and organization accounts for the next four months. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 3, 2018

    Enrolling students in Canvas courses: There are several steps each Instructor of Record must do to ensure that students are added to the appropriate Canvas account and gain access at the appropriate time. Teaching assistants and support staff cannot perform these steps for the Instructor. See full details in the MORE link. Steps: (1) Go to Canvas Help > Global Course Administration > ISU Admin (click AUTHORIZE) > Prepare to Teach; (2) If necessary, switch term to SPRING and click CHANGE TERM; (3) For each class list you are the instructor of record of (column one), specify the Canvas account it should be loaded into (column three) — if you make any changes, such as grouping sections together into a single account, click CONFIRM; (4) Click ENROLL STUDENTS — students will then see the course card tile but cannot enter the class; (5) Click PUBLISH to give students to the class. Student names should appear in the People section of the course within an hour. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Include course name in Canvas group names: Students see a "Group" link in the red global menu. When they click it, they see the name of every class group they have been assigned to. There is no automatic course identifier on group names. If a student is in Group 1 in two separate courses, they won't know which group is for which course until they click and actually enter the course. Save your students some confusion by including the course name in the group name. For example: Group 1 (HDFS 110), or Team Red (FSHN 367).
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Two extremely helpful Canvas tools: There are two extremely helpful tools in Canvas that are both accessed by going to the Settings Page (Settings is the lowest link on the Course Menu). Make sure your display window is wide enough so that a menu appears on the right side of the screen. Near the top of the right menu is a Student View link. Click it to see what students can access. It's a great way to check for problems — such as unpublished links — and to check the appearance of content. Click the button in the lower right corner to leave student view. This button placement can be problematic if you have made the window full screen size as it overlaps bottom system menus. The second helpful tool is the Validate Links in Content tool, which generates a report of unresponsive links to content stored both within the course account and to outside web pages.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 8, 2017

    Quiz banks and question templates in Canvas: Quiz questions can be imported into Canvas or built using question templates that Canvas provides. While it's possible to create questions directly in quizzes, we strongly encourage instructors to create and store questions in question banks so that it's easier to re-use questions. Go to Quizzes, click the gear icon in the right corner, and click Manage Question Banks. Add a new bank, click on the bank to enter it, then click Add a Question. Select a question template from the pull down menu (the menu begins with Multiple Choice showing). Remember: When creating matching style questions in Canvas, set up the columns such that the longest phrases are in the left column, and the short "matches" are in the right column. Always preview your tests — questions display somewhat different in instructor edit mode than in the actual student test view.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 5, 2017

    Final grades due Dec. 20: Final letter grades are due by 2:15 p.m. Dec. 20. Letter grades can be submitted through Blackboard, Canvas, or AccessPlus, but just use one route. Only the documented instructor of record with the registrar can submit grades (TAs and professional staff cannot do so on your behalf). There are several ways by which grades can be prepared, and the preferred method varies by course size and grading details. Once grades are prepared, they must be submitted by the instructor. The college's online and distance learning staff can help you with the entire process. Contact Karla Embleton for an appointment. Follow the "more" link for an overview of the final stages of the submission process from Blackboard. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    How to add students to the appropriate Canvas account: There are several steps each instructor of record must do to ensure that students are added to the appropriate Canvas account and gain access at the appropriate time. Teaching assistants and support staff cannot perform these steps for the instructor, nor can they check that things are set up appropriately. See full details in the More link. Required steps: (1) Go to Canvas Help > Global Course Administration > ISU Admin (click Authorize) > Prepare to Teach section; (2) Switch term to spring semester then click Change Term; (3) For each class list you are the instructor of record of (column one), specify the Canvas account it should be loaded into (column three) — if you make any changes, such as grouping sections together into a single account, click Confirm; (4) Click Enroll Students — students will then see course card; (5) The week before classes begin, return and click Publish to give students entry into your class. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 4, 2017

    Define your Canvas class menu: The first thing every instructor should do when working on their Canvas class account is to create an efficient and correct class menu. The default menu provides students with access to things they should not have and tools you will likely not use. Click "Settings" (on the bottom of the course menu), click the Navigation tab on top of the screen, then drag the items students should not access from the top table to the lower table. While courses may differ, leaving just these things, in this order, in the top table will generally work: Home, Announcements, Syllabus, Modules, Assignments, Grades. If you plan to use them, include Discussions and/or Quizzes on top. Scroll to the bottom of the Navigation page and click save to preserve your new layout. The class menu can easily be changed later if necessary.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Combine class lists into one Canvas account: Iowa State has automated the creation of Canvas accounts such that one Canvas account is created for each section of the class. To move a class list from its original account to another account, go to Help > Global Course Administration > ISU Admin Tools: click Authorize > Prepare to Teach > Adjust display to the spring semester, click Change Term. Your classlists are listed in the first column. Your Canvas course accounts are listed in the third column. Change the destination Canvas course to move a class list. For example, put the section 2 class list into the Section 1 Canvas course and then confirm the change. Click the Enroll Students button: this lets students see the class card and student names will appear in the course. However, students cannot enter your course until you return to this screen and click Publish. Also check the listed start date inside the course, in the Settings > Course Details screen. It will also limit student access but you can change that date — or remove it. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Moving Panopto videos from Blackboard to Canvas: Did you create videos in Blackboard Learn using Panopto? If so, they need to be copied or moved if you plan to use them in Canvas. You can do this yourself, or the online and distance learning staff can help. Contact Ann Bugler at bugler@iastate.edu, and include the course/section/semester the videos are currently in, which videos need to be moved, and the destination course (if different). To move or copy videos, you must be enrolled as Instructor in the Blackboard Learn course and Teacher in the corresponding Canvas course. See attached for details. More».
    For more information, contact Ann Bugler in administration at 515-294-5812 or bugler@iastate.edu.

    November 21, 2017

    Position description posted for School of Education director: The School of Education director position description is now posted and open for applications. The search committee aims to host candidate finalists on campus in March and have a new director in place in July. More».
    For more information, contact Search committee co-chairs Ann Foegen in the School of Education at 515-294-8373 or cweems@iastate.edu.

    Ruth Litchfield named interim chair of FSHN as Ruth MacDonald assumes interim posts in CALS: Ruth MacDonald is now interim senior associate dean and associate director of the Experiment Station in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Ruth Litchfield has been named interim chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. The appointments follow the naming of Wendy Wintersteen's acceptance of the Iowa State University presidency and the subsequent naming of Joe Colletti to interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is jointly administered by the College of Human Sciences and the College of Agriclture and Life Sciences. More».
    For more information, contact Ruth Litchfield in food science and human nutrition at 515-297-9484 or litch@iastate.edu.

    November 7, 2017

    Question response formatting in Canvas: Question templates in Canvas do not use a number or letter designater in front of multiple choice question responses, e.g. the responses are not listed as 1. 2. 3. or a) b) c). This omissions is intentional because in the quiz delivery detail settings, an instructor can indicate that all responses be randomly shuffled. Be very careful before selecting this option! It can only be used if NO question in your entire quiz has the option "none of the above" or "all of the above." It also shouldn't be used if any answer response refers to the order of other responses, such as "D. Only A and B." Any questions you load into Canvas must therefore have all reference to response order either removed, OR the responses must include the designaters and not be shuffled, OR the choices that are a combination of other responses must repeat the wording in full.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Define your Canvas class menu: The first thing every instructor should do when working on their Canvas class account is to create an efficient and correct Class Menu. The default menu provides students with access to things they should have and tools you will likely not use. Click 'Settings' on the bottom of the course menu, click the Navigation tab on top of the screen, and drag the elements students should not access from the top table to the lower table. While courses may differ, leaving JUST these things — in this order — in the top table will generally work: Home, Announcements, Syllabus, Modules, Assignments, Grades, ISU AdminTools, UDOIT. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click SAVE to preserve your new layout. The class menu can easily be changed later if necessary.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-94-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Sensible content management in Canvas: All the content in your Canvas course is stored as either (1) Files that you load into Canvas from your computer, (2) Pages that you create using the provided rich text editor in Canvas, (3) content stored outside the course (e.g. videos), and (4) the activities that you create inside Canvas, which may themselves have content stored in Files, Pages, or externally. Be careful and thoughtful about content storage! In Files, create subfolders for different "chunks" of materials (Week 1, Week 2) and/or different "types" of material (e.g. Quiz images, Assignment instructions). Pages doesn't allow for a folder structure so create a naming system that groups Pages together by use or type, e.g. all Pages created for week 1 have a name that begins with 1-. These conventions will let you efficiently build your course and maintain it semester to semester.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Canvas course building webinar: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering a 60-minute webinar that will walk participants through the process of building a simple course in Canvas, and direct participants to the extensive Canvas online resources, webinars, self-paced tutorials, and 24/7 Canvas support available. This webinar will be repeated three times, Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 20-22. Follow the MORE link for registration details and instructions for logging in through Zoom. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 3, 2017

    Jennifer Flugge begins serving as new director of CHS information technology: Flugge, who has been with Iowa State University since October 2013 and joined the College of Human Sciences as a systems support specialist in February 2016, on Monday began her new role as the college's director of information technology. She was selected from three finalists who shared their visions for the position during open forums in October.
    For more information, contact Jennifer Flugge, Brenda Lohman or Ann Bugler in administration at 515-294-5488, 515-294-7804, and 515-294-5812 or jflugge@iastate.edu, blohman@iastate.edu, and bugler@iastate.edu.

    October 31, 2017

    Removing unwanted text formatting in Canvas: The Canvas text editor is used to compose communication posts, assignment directions, quiz question, and to create attractive pages for content and course navigation. Teachers, designers, and students will want to copy and paste into the editor. To avoid unwanted hidden code that create problems later, get into the habit of pasting in your text, highlighting it, then clicking the "Tx" button in the text editor. This tool removes most of the formatting, both bad and good, while preserving the basic line, paragraph, and list structures. Use the other buttons in the text editor to add desired formatting back in in a safe way.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 20, 2017

    Hide Columns in Canvas Grades: When a classlist is connected to a Canvas account, eight different student record columns are added to the gradebook. In addition to student name, NetID, and student ID, are columns for major, college, classification, etc. Teachers in the course can reduce the columns they see by clicking on ISU Admin Tools > Add/Remove Custom Gradebook Columns > unchecking the box for columns they don't wish to see. This will hide the column. The teacher can go back through ISU Admin tools to turn the display back if it becomes necessary. Hiding record columns makes it much easier to view student grades.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 17, 2017

    Check for broken links in Canvas: Teachers never want to hear from their students that there is a broken link in the course! Canvas makes it easy to avoid this problem by providing a link checking tool. Click "Settings" (on bottom of Course menu) and stay on the Course details tab. Click the "Validate Links in Content" button in the right-hand column, then click "Start Link Validation." Note that if your window is too narrow, the right hand column ends up displaying below the "middle" screen so you have to scroll down to find it.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 6, 2017

    Accessibility in Canvas seminar: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Student Disability Resources, Digital Access, and the Office of Equal Opportunity are joining forces to provide a seminar from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 in 31 Parks library. The seminar will focus on how to be proactive rather than reactive regarding accessibility of content and activities in your Canvas courses. Register using your netid/password via the Learn@ISU website (click the More link to reach this site) , email celt@iastate.edu, or call 515-294-5357. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 2, 2017

    Order your Canvas course shell: It is time to start building your spring courses in Canvas! Begin by logging into Canvas (click More link). Click the Help link in lower left menu > Request a Course > Authorize > Request Course. Set the Course type to 'Credit-Earning' course and complete the form. A course shell tied to the specific semester you identified will be created within about a day. When official course shells are issued for each registrar section later in the fall, you will be able to either move the Registrar classlist from the official account to your requested account, or move the material you have developed to the official shell. If you are building a course that was previously delivered in Blackboard, it is much easier to reassemble while you still have Blackboard access. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    How to create columns in Canvas Gradebook: Other than student registration details and one comment column only visible to instructors, every column in a Canvas Course Gradebook is created by making and publishing gradable assignments. The Canvas Assignment tool can contain many different types of activities including offline activities, online file submissions, quizzes, surveys, and discussions. Each of these can be set as graded or ungraded. Assignments that are graded and published (i.e., made active, "turned on"), create a grade book column. Scores can be displayed as points, percentages, complete/incomplete, letter grades, or GPA scale. At this time, it is not possible to easily create a column that contains a non-grade related text entry, such as a group name. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 5294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 26, 2017

    Moving question banks to Canvas: To move questions from Blackboard to Canvas, go to the Blackboard Pool (Course Tools > Test, Surveys and Pools > Pool), hover over a pool name, expand the menu and select "Export to local computer." A zip file is downloaded. Go to your Canvas class, click the Settings link (bottom of Course Menu). Go to the right side menu, click Import Course Content, and set content type equal to "QTI .zip file." Set the Source to be your downloaded zip file and in the Default Question Bank setting specify that a new bank be made. After the import is complete, check the questions by clicking Quizzes (in Course Menu), clicking the gear (upper right), selecting Manage Question Banks, clicking bank name, and check marking Show Question Details.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 15, 2017

    Recording voice message on Canvas:When using Canvas's Text Editor, Students and Instructors have the ability to record (or upload) audio and video from their computers. An Instructor could use this feature to create a short welcome video, verbal unit overviews, or to comment on individual student's homework. A student could use it to provide a spoken answer on a foreign language test, ask a question in a discussion, or reply to an instructor's homework comment. Click the record/upload media icon on the bottom bar in the rich text editor. Select the Record Media tab. Activate (allow) Flash, then click either the camera or audio recording icon. For more details, follow the MORE link. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 12, 2017

    How to order a blank shell on Canvas: In preparation for teaching with Canvas, you can order an empty course shell to begin building your class site. You can order as many as needed. Log into Canvas (follow the More link) and click the Help link on the bottom of the left side menu. Click "Request a Course," click "Authorize" on the ISU Admin Tools screen, then click the red "Request Course" link. Set course type equal to Development Course. If you want to add a college support person or co-teacher/designer, include that information on the request form. Click the green "Submit Request" button on the bottom of the form. You'll receive an email when the account becomes available, typically within 24 hours. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Setting up test options: When deploying a test, the Instructor defines the Test Options that control when and how the test functions. To change one or more settings for a specific student, use the Test Availability Exceptions section, midway down the Test Options form. In Test Availability Exceptions, click "Add Users or Group" then checkmark the student(s) on the class list who should get an accommodation. Click Submit. For each selected name, revise the settings that will be different from the class rules. Do not change anything else. Accommodations can be made for students who need more time per attempt, more attempts, or who will do the test at a later time. Tip: Create an exception rule for your preview student to see the test before the rest of the class then use your preview student account to check test appearance and functionality.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Canvas walk-in support hours: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering free walk-in Canvas training and support every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8-10 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. in the Rotunda of Parks Library (second floor, north of stairs, through glass doors, near room 281). This service will be available until November 23. Instructors and students can also access online training and resources through the ISU Canvas MyTeacher and MyStudent course accounts, which every ISU member has access to when they log into Canvas (follow the MORE link) using their netID and associated password. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 5, 2017

    Using Blackboard group manager: The Blackboard group manager can be used to create student work groups, create sign-up sheets, create groups for class management (e.g., lab section grading), and to manage enrollment in groups. A course may have several different group "sets." For example, students may be divided into groups of 10 to 15 for weekly discussion activities and also divided into smaller teams of three to four for a term project. The size of each group should be chosen to best facilitate the task at hand. Discussion groups should be large enough to allow differences of opinion while project groups need to be small enough to keep each member involved and individually responsible. To create groups, go to Users and Groups > Groups > Create and then select the type of group and type of enrollment. If all students are to be divided into groups for some activity, create a "Group Set." If you need a group that only a few students will belong in — such as a sign up for an extra curricular activity — create a "Single Group." It is recommended that students be enrolled either randomly or manually, i.e. according to a purposeful strategy the instructor has chosen. At the next screen you define the group/group set properties. Give the Group/Group Set a name (you can edit individual group names within the group set later). If the Group/Group set is for instructor use only, set "Group is visible to students" to "No." If group is for student work, deselect tools that will not be needed. Typically groups only need discussion board, email and file exchange. If creating a Group Set, define either how many groups should be created or how many students should be in each group. After groups are created and populated, any new student who enrolls in the course must be manually added to a group. To check students' group enrollment status, click the "All Users" link in the top dark bar. It is very hard to see! Each student will be listed along with which groups they belong in. You can add/remove students to groups in the right hand column. If you switch back to "All Groups" view, you can see the size of each group to figure out which group the new student should be added to.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 27, 2017

    When considering changes to spaces that require coordination with FP&M, alert Jenn Plagman-Galvin: The College of Human Sciences has a comprehensive facility improvement plan. Plagman-Galvin will attempt to leverage resources to best implement your project and improve the physical environment of the college.
    For more information, contact Jenn Plagman-Galvin in administration at 515-294-1410 or jpgalvin@iastate.edu.

    Coordinate with CHS communications team when developing communications and marketing materials: The communications team can provide expert advice and assist you in navigating the university brand standards. For reference, see ISU Visual Identity resources: brand standards, branded shirt, word mark usage. More».
    For more information, contact Jenn Plagman-Galvin, Darlene Fratzke, or Cathy Curtis in administration at 515-294-8175 or ccurtis@iastate.edu.

    Follow university trademark licensure guidelines when developing communications, marketing materials: When developing marketing materials from t-shirts to brochures that promote your department, school, unit, major, program, or club, be sure to follow university trademark and licensure guidelines. More».
    For more information, contact Jenn Plagman-Galvin, Darlene Fratzke, or Cathy Curtis in administration at 515-294-8175 or ccurtis@iastate.edu.

    Avoid adhering paper notices to walls, doors, windows: Post paper announcements on designated community bulletin boards or work within your unit to advertise and communicate initiatives and programming via the monitors located in hallways throughout the college. Considerable resources have been invested in updates to the hallways, classrooms, and overall physical environment of the college and that quality should be maintained.
    For more information, contact Jenn Plagman-Galvin in administration at 515-294-1410 or jpgalvin@iastate.edu.

    Schedule meetings using College of Human Sciences Reserve Rooms webpage: The page provides a comprehensive list of conference rooms and seminar rooms in the college, along with each room's capacity and contact information for reserving the space. More».
    For more information, contact Jenn Plagman-Galvin in administration at 515-294-1410 or jpgalvin@iastate.edu.

    August 14, 2017

    Class email lists: Instructors need a way to email their classes. In Blackboard, the "send email" tool can be used. However, if you don't want to log into Blackboard, or are not using it, it's handy to have an email group that remains accurate as students add and drop your course. To create an automatically updated class mailing list, go to Account Services on the Web ( https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/ ), login with your netid, click "Manage Lists", click "Manage Class Lists", under the heading "Classlist not created" select one or more classlists, then click on "Create selected classlist(s)". Your new email list should start working at 6 a.m. the following morning. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 7, 2017

    Reserve service testing center slots before semester begins: Any instructor wishing to use the Online Testing Center for in-term exams, quizzes, and/or final exams must make their request to the center by no later than the Friday before classes start. Instructors must register their course and basic exam information prior to this date. Instructors with large enrollment classes (over 50) should limit the number of test attempts per student to no more than two so as to reduce demand and student access delays. Follow the MORE link to reach the Testing Services information and space ordering page for Faculty. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Order your fall blackboard accounts: If you will be teaching this fall, please get your Blackboard accounts ordered immediately. Fill out the form available from the MORE link below. Begin by indicating whether you want a new blank course or a copy of a course in which you had Instructor access. You will be asked to enter your netID and password. For a new blank account you will need to enter the semester, department (course designator), number, and section(s). To copy an account, specify which account is to be copied then select the Fall 2017 semester and the new section designators. You also have the option of changing the department (course designator) and number in the new copy. The person who completes the course order will automatically be listed as an Instructor in the account. You can add additional instructors and TAs on the order form or after the account becomes available. You will receive an email confirmation that your request was received and another email when the account becomes available. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 31, 2017

    Blackboard course set-up walk-in service: Staff from human sciences online and distance learning unit are hosting three mornings of walk-in support services to help you with your fall Blackboard course set up. They will be held 8:30 to 11 a.m. Aug. 15 to 17 in 312 MacKay Hall. Walk-in services will include ordering your account (instructors are encourage to pre-order their class accounts using form at the MORE link), setting up the course menu, personalizing the appearance of your course, checking grade book defaults, enrolling students and teaching assistants. If needed, we will also provide basic instructions on how to load files, make announcements, and create links to external sites. For more in-depth instructions, please set up a personal training appointment with one of our staff. If possible, bring your laptop computer to the walk-in session. Please note that only the instructor of record, as listed with the Registrar by your department, can enroll students. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 28, 2017

    Using Testing Center services in summer: Any instructor wishing to use the Online Testing Center for in-term exams, quizzes, and or final exams must make their request to the Center by no later than the Friday before classes start. Instructors must register their course and basic exam information prior to this date. Instructors with large enrollment classes (over 50) should limit the number of test attempts per student to no more than two so as to reduce demand and student access delays. For more information, follow the MORE link. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 24, 2017

    Final grades due May 10: Final letter grades are due by 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, May 10. Letter grades can be submitted through either Blackboard or AccessPlus, but only submit to one. Only the documented Instructor of Record with the registrar can submit grades (TAs and professional staff cannot do so on your behalf). There are several ways by which grades can be prepared, and the preferred method varies by course size and grading details. Once grades are prepared, they must be submitted by the instructor. The College's Online and Distance Learning staff can help you with the entire process. Please contact Karla for an appointment. Follow the MORE link for an overview of the final stages of the submission process from Blackboard. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 21, 2017

    Testing Center access during final exams: Testing Center hours are extended during final exams. Students can download the Iowa State MyState App to receiving Testing Center information and view webcams so they can gauge wait time. You can also visit the URL provided in the MORE link below. Please share this link with your students and post in your Blackboard class site if you use the Testing Center. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Reminder: Order Blackboard accounts for summer: If you will be teaching this summer, please get your Blackboard accounts ordered immediately. Either fill out the form available from the MORE link below, or send the necessary information to Karla Embleton, (embleton@iastate.edu). To order a course, you must specify the course designator, number, section, and whether you want a new account or wish to have a previous account copied. To copy an account, specify the semester it was taught and the section number. You can only have a course copied if you were an instructor in it or have the instructor's permission. Summer course details can be found in the online Schedule of Classes. Also, if you plan to have materials available through Parks library, it is critical that you make those arrangements now. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 17, 2017

    How to set up your summer Blackboard course training session: Please join us Wednesday, April 26, from 8:30-9:50 a.m. in 312 MacKay. Karla Embleton will review how to order and structure new course accounts, and how to order and reset copied courses. Blackboard tips, traps, and best practices will be described. This session is not intended as a complete "How to use Blackboard" training, but there will be time to answer your specific questions. For more comprehensive training, contact Karla to set up a meeting. Please RSVP to embleton@iastate.edu if you are interested in attending this seminar.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Preparing and submitting final grades training session: How you calculate final grades will be influenced by the complexity of your grading scheme, the number of students in your class, and the degree to which you wish to manipulate borderline students' outcomes. Karla Embleton will explain three letter grade calculation options and demonstrate the steps for submitting letter grades to the registrar from Blackboard. This seminar will be presented twice, in room 312 MacKay: (1) 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, and (2) 9:00-9:50 a.m., Friday, April 28. Please RSVP to embleton@iastate.edu and indicate which session you plan to attend.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 5, 2017

    Order Blackboard accounts for summer: If you will be teaching this summer, please get your Blackboard accounts ordered as soon as possible. Either fill out the form available from the MORE link below, or send the necessary information to Karla Embleton, (embleton@iastate.edu). To order a course, you must specify the course designator, number, section, and whether you want a new account or wish to have a previous account copied. To copy an account, specify the semester it was taught and the section number. You can only have a course copied if you were an instructor in it or have the instructor's permission. Summer course details can be found in the online Schedule of Classes. Also, if you plan to have materials available through Parks Library, it is critical that you make those arrangements now. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 24, 2017

    Shareable student content in Blackboard: Some instructors wish to create a space in their Blackboard course where students can post files that other students can directly access. However, only a few tools allow this type of sharing. One method is to create a discussion forum dedicated to this task: students can create posts and attach files to their posts, which other students can then read and download. The advantage of this approach is that the post to which the file is attached can provide important keywords or a brief description of the file. A disadvantage is that each student's files are posted separately. A second approach is to enroll all students who will be sharing content into a new group, called something like "File Sharing". Note that this could be the entire class. Remove all the group tools except the File Exchange from the new group. When students login to the class, they see the new group and are able to click on it to reach the File Exchange folder, where they can upload and download files. This method has the advantage of all files being stored together. A final approach is to have students submit their files to the instructor - through email or an assignment dropbox - and then the instructor posts the files in the course. This method allows the instructor to review each file's content before it is made available to the class but requires extra time and effort on the instructor's behalf.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 7, 2017

    How to archive Your Blackboard courses: It is important for every instructor to selectively archive any needed information from their existing Blackboard course accounts in such a way that it can be viewed outside of Blackboard. During 2017, you will have access to course accounts dating back two years. When Iowa State changes learning management systems (LMS) in 2018, access to old courses may change significantly so it's best to begin archiving every semester as we move forward. Archiving is not the same as preparing for course migration - it uses different tools and has a different purpose. At a minimum, instructors should archive their gradebooks. Detailed instructions are provided in the MORE link. For direct assistance, contact Karla, embleton@iastate.edu More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 6, 2017

    Upcoming changes to Gold Sheets: On Monday March 13 the system for routing Goldsheets will be down and no one will be able to approve Goldsheets while the system is down that day.The way faculty and staff will log into the LiquidOffice (AutonomyProcessAutomation) will change. As of March 14, instead of having to remember a separate password for the approving a Goldsheet, users will log into the Goldsheet system using their ISU NetID and the same password they use to log into email.
    For more information, contact Sarah Carlson in administration at 294-0211 or scarlson@iastate.edu.

    March 3, 2017

    Using the Blackboard announcement tool: Announcements are a great way to post time-sensitive information, reminders, corrections, and tips in your course. Because Blackboard class accounts open to the Announcement page by default (unless the course designer has altered the site structure), students are very likely to see your posts. To create a new announcement you must be logged in as either an instructor, t.a., or course builder, and have the edit mode turned on. Click the "Create Announcement" link to display the familiar Blackboard text editor where you can compose a message. All messages must have a subject line. If you paste from Word directly into the text editor, be sure to highlight the copied content then click the eraser icon on the right end of the upper tool bar to remove extraneous hidden Word code. If left in, that code has the potential to drastically interfere with Blackboard's functionality and the appearance of your message. By default, announcements are posted immediately upon submission but you have the option to restrict the display date range. You can select a start date, an end date, or both to limit when the post displays. Try to keep your Announcement page free of clutter that might be misleading if read at the wrong time. Below the date settings is an option to send the message by email to all class participants. If selected, the email sends immediately and not according to the display date range. If after submitting an announcement you go back in and edit it, think carefully about whether you want to send it out a second time by email: does the edit warrant a second email? Finally, note that you can make a link from your announcement to any content page or activity in your course BUT be aware that the link is not included in the emailed announcement.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 27, 2017

    Extra credit columns in Blackboard: The trick to including extra credit scores in Blackboard is to have the grade column worth zero points. In this way a student can be given points but the overall point value for the course is not changed, e.g. student score might be 5/0 in the extra credit column. Whether you are manually adding a column to the grade book or adding a column automatically by creating on online activity (a test, assignment, or communication activity), specify that the point value is zero and that any entered grade should count towards the student's running total. Remember to switch to Student Preview mode to verify both the student's My Grades view and the total point value listed for the course. A cautionary note: Running Total grade calculations for a course work best when they are simple sums, and not weighted totals. However if you do choose to use a weighted total calculation, you must assign the extra credit column to an existing column category for which the total point value is greater than zero. For example, you might have one extra credit column that is categorized as an Assignment and one that is assigned as a Test. The extra credit score will then contribute to the overall total by some proportion or weight, not the absolute point value of the extra credit score.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 21, 2017

    Midterm grades due March 3: Midterm grades are due by 2:15 p.m. Friday, March 3, through either Blackboard or AccessPlus (pick one method only). The only grades that should be submitted are F, D, and C-. Only the Instructor of Record can submit grades. To submit from Blackboard, first prepare the grade column. It should be labeled exactly "Midterm Grade." The green check mark must be moved to the column to indicate/confirm it is the "externally shared grade" column. The column must have primary display equal to either text (if you plan to manually enter the letter grades) or the name of the letter grade schema that will assign letter grades based on a calculation. The default letter grade schema in Blackboard is called Letter Grade, which is quite confusing as it is not the proper breakdown for midterm letter grade assignation and will need to be adjusted for this use. Once the midterm grade column is populated with student grades, go to Course Tools > ISU Admin Tools > Grades tab. If everything has been done correctly, the midterm grades will display. Scroll to the bottom of the list and click the Submit button. You can revise the grades and resubmit as often as is necessary up until the Friday afternoon deadline. Contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu, for assistance. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 20, 2017

    Blackboard Blogs: The Blackboard Blog tool allows students to create a post that their classmates can read, and to leave comments on other students' blog posts. The instructor creates the blog activity, specifies the type of blog it will be, chooses whether students can edit/delete their own posts, provides student instructions, enables grading and assigns a point value (optional), and inserts release dates. Each gradable blog activity has a single associated column in the grade center. Blackboard has three different types of blogs: course blog, individual blog, and group blog. In a course blog, all students post to the same page so it forms one long presentation. This works well for small classes but consider whether using a threaded discussion forum would better suit the activity. Most blogs are individual blogs: each student posts to their own page within the blog activity and students can flip through their classmates pages. In a group blog, all the students in a group share a single blog page, so it acts like a class blog that is confined to the group members. It is not possible to set up multiple group blogs but it is possible to create multiple class and individual blog activities. A direct link to any blog can be created on any content area, folder, or module.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 2949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 13, 2017

    Schedule your faculty headshots by March 10: The deadline is March 10, before Spring Break, for all College of Human Sciences faculty and staff to schedule a headshot photoshoot for the college directory. Contact photojournalist Ryan Riley at rbriley@iastate.edu. Due to the increased size and shape of the photos for the college's new website layout, current directory photos cannot be used. Those who do not schedule a headshot photoshoot will have their directory profile say, "No photograph available."
    For more information, contact Ryan Riley in administration at 294-0866 or rbriley@iastate.edu.

    February 10, 2017

    Checking the Blackboard course total: There are several reasons why the default "Total" column displaying to students may be showing what appears to be an incorrect earned score or an incorrect class, or "out of", value. Every column that contains a score has a column property listed at the bottom of its settings screen that indicates whether it should be included in running totals. This value is set to "yes" when the column is created. If you have a practice activity, switch its column setting to "no". If you hide a column from instructor or student view, it will still be used to calculate the total class worth. Either delete unneeded columns (which can mean deleting the online activity which they are a part of), or change the column setting so it's not added to the total. In full grade center view, select Manage > Column organization to check for columns that are hidden to instructor view, make them show, then edit the column information (settings). By default, the total column will only show the student's earned score divided by the total of the activities that have been submitted by that student. If a student skipped an activity and the instructor did not enter a zero, then the display total will be misleading, i.e. too high. To avoid this, the grader should fill in a zero for every missed submission. To have the total reflect the sum of all possible points in the class, edit the total column and switch the running total value to "no". This must be done in every course, every semester, for every calculated column. Switch to "Preview Student" and check "My Grades" to verify what your course displays.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 2949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 6, 2017

    Create read-only discussion forums in Blackboard: If you use class or group discussion forums in your course, there may come a time when you would like to prevent students from making further posts or replies in a forum but still allow them the ability to read the posts that have been made. This is a common situation if the activity is to be graded or when a guest instructor moderates the forum for a specific period of time. Go to the Discussion tool (you will see a list of all class discussion forums), find the forum, pull down its Action Menu (arrow after its name), then select "Manage". Select all students and change their role from "Participant" to "Reader". The quickest way to select all participants is to check the box on top of the column of boxes, then individually uncheck instructors, TAs, and graders. After selecting the students, click the "Edit Role" button and select "Reader". The screen will refresh and indicate the updated role for each participant. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 27, 2017

    Don't leave ungraded test submissions in Blackboard: If a student submits a test after the posted due date, Blackboard will not autograde the submissions. The student and instructor will then see a yellow ball representing the ungraded submission in their respective grade books. This is a fairly common occurrence. It results from the fact that the test availability settings that defines when a test can be started (the "Availability Until" setting) and the "Due Date" are set to the same date and time. If a student begins a test attempt very close to the last availability time then by the time they complete and submit it, the due date has passed. The instructor should ALWAYS force such submissions to be graded. Don't overwrite the grade manually or leave any attempts ungraded since this can cause inaccurate/incomplete scores in any downloaded excel files. One way to force grading is to go to full grade center, find a cell with a yellow ball and open the cell menu. Select "View Grade Details" then click the "Grade Attempt" button. Another way to force grading is to go through "Needs Grading "and set the item filter to the name of the test, click the student's name, then save. It may seem tempting to adjust the due date to after the "Display Until" setting but this causes worse problems - don't due it.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Setting up test accommodations in Blackboard: When deploying a test (i.e. making a navigation link for students to use to reach a test), the Instructor defines the Test Options. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 2949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 19, 2017

    View Blackboard Gradebook by student group or enrollment section: Blackboard has predefined "smart views" that create special views of data stored in the gradebook and allows instructors to create additional smart views. Any smart view can, with one click, be turned into a "favorite". Favorites are links that display under the "Full Grade Center" in the left hand course management menu. When the favorite link is clicked, the associated smart view is displayed. Every course begins with a Test and an Assignment favorite view link that display those specific categories of book columns. To reach the smart view manager, go to Grade Center > Full Grade Center > Manage > Smart Views. The list of existing smart views displays. To the far right of each is a star icon. Clicking on a start turns it green, which tags it as a "favorite" view. Click the "Create Smart View" link in the black box above the list to define a new smart view. To create a link that shows all students in a specific section, eg S-1, called the new view "Section 1", in Type of View select "Custom Build a query based on user criteria", in the User Criteria dropdown menu pick the "Grade on Section (Text)" column, set Condition to "Equal to", and in the Value box type: S-1 (this must exactly match how the section is listed in the grade center cells). Submit the new rule. Repeat for each section. You have the option of creating a smart view for each group both when the group is created, and later when from the Smart Views manager screen. In addition, you can filter the group view to include not just the group members, but also specific columns. A common smart view rule is to display just the discussion columns for a specific group. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 13, 2017

    Blackboard course policies can reduce grade disputes: Want to keep students better informed of their grades and reduce end of semester grade disputes? Consider implementing three course policies that clearly dictate responsibilities: one affects your (grader) behavior and two affect students' behavior. First policy: inform your students that it is their responsibility to verify that any gradable online class communication post (graded discussion, blog, journal or wiki), assignment submission, or test attempt they have completed has gone through. They can easily verify these by returning to the activity link and/or by looking in their course grade book (called My Grades) immediately after completing the activity. Explain that if they cannot see their own posts or assignment/test submissions, then neither can you (the grader), and it will be assumed they have not done it. Second policy: as the grader, your responsibility is to ensure that every student receives a grade in a timely manner - enter zeros for missed activities, do not leave any cells blank. You can always modify zeros later should circumstances warrant. Students will react to zeros whereas they may not even see activities that are left blank on My Grades. The third policy rule is to tell students that they have one week to dispute any score after the grade has been posted. By implementing these student conduct expectations, and keeping on top of grading, you should never find yourself in the position of investigating grades, attendance scores, etc. weeks after the activity was due. In addition, students will have a clearer idea of their progress and will receive timely notice of missed work.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Using Student Preview mode in Blackboard: As an instructor, you want to be confident that your course is well designed and functions as intended. Old due dates, inaccuracies in the grade book, broken links, and oddly displaying test questions are unprofessional and do not inspire students' confidence. Use the "Student Preview" feature to verify that content and activities are available and correct. To get the fullest range of use from your Student Preview, enter preview mode, click the "Settings" button in the top orange panel, check mark the statement "Do not ask me about ...", click the button by "Keep the preview user and all data", then click the Submit button. This keeps your preview student as a regular member of the class so that you can assign it grades, check its submitted work, put it in groups. As instructor, you can use the Test Availability Exceptions feature in Test Options to specify that your preview student has early access to each test, thus allowing you to review a test's functionality, appearance, scoring, and feedback levels before it is becomes available to the class. You can review an assignment's instructions and submit work as a preview student, switch to instructor mode and grade the submission, switch back to student mode and verify where grades and comments appear in My Grades. If students report that a link isn't working, switch to Preview Student mode and verify the problem. If you add your preview student to a group, you can verify what the group members see and when they see it. It is particularly important to check the student's view of the grade book by going to My Grades: check that the class Total is accurate and that the activities, point values, and due dates match your current syllabus. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 3, 2017

    Class email lists: Instructors need a way to email their classes. In Blackboard, the "Send Email" tool can be used. However if you don't want to log into Blackboard, or are not using it, it's handy to have an email group that remains accurate as students add and drop your course. To create an automatically updated class mailing list, go to Account Services on the Web ( https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/ ), login with your netid, click "Manage Lists", click "Manage Class Lists", under the heading "Classlist not created" select one or more classlists, then click on "Create selected classlist(s)". Your new email list should start working at 6 a.m. the following morning. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Finding and updating old dates in your Blackboard course: Are you working with a copied Blackboard this semester? If so, you can use the Date Management function to generate a report of most Due, Start, and End dates in the course. These dates can be found throughout the class site in association with announcements, structural elements (folders, modules), content pieces (links, files, items), and all types of graded and non-graded activities (tests, discussions, blogs). Access this tool by going to Course Tools > Date Management. If it is the first time you are running it, select "List all dates for review" then click "Start". If you are returning to it, click "Refresh". A report appears onscreen and is also emailed to you. If your course has many dated items, it may take a minute or two to generate the report. In the onscreen report you can set a filter to view just one type of item, such as Tests. You can also select several/all of the listed items and have the dates associated with the selected items advanced by any number of days that you specify, either forward or backward (useful if you overshoot the mark when advancing dates). This can be a great time saver! One shortcoming in the Date Management tool is that Group Discussion Forum Start and End dates are not included in the report, therefore those dates need to still be updated individually in each forum's settings. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 19, 2016

    Blackboard Learn upgrade Dec. 27 brings new features and enhancements: The Dec. 27 upgrade to Blackboard Learn will bring new features and enhancements with version 9.1 Q4 2016. Improvements relate to drag-and-drop files, submission receipts, email reminders, course activity reports, accessibility, and VALUE rubrics. Other enhancements include fewer needs grading items, improved behavior for self- and peer assessments, and improved searches for content collection. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 12, 2016

    Course support arrangements for spring classes: Please arrange for your spring teaching technology needs now, if you have not already done so. Three things should be done as soon as possible: order your spring Blackboard account, arrange for a library course reserve site (if needed), and schedule exams times in the Testing Center (if needed). Delaying in any of these may result in your course material not being available the first day of the spring semester or, with the Testing Center, may mean that all available spaces are already booked. Due to the annual ISU winter close down period and the high volume of requests received, university and college support staff simply will not be able to process all requests in time if they are not made early. For assistance with Blackboard course requests, contact Karla Embleton in the CHS Online and Distance Learning unit. Test Center information is provided in the MORE link. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Final grades due Dec. 20: Final letter grades are due by 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20. Grades can be submitted through either Blackboard or AccessPlus, but just use one route. Only the documented Instructor of record with the registrar can submit grades (teaching assistants and professional staff cannot do so on an instructor's behalf). There are several ways by which grades can be prepared, and the preferred method varies by course size and grading details. Once grades are prepared, they must be submitted. The college's online and distance learning staff can help you with the entire process. Contact Karla Embleton for an appointment. Follow the MORE link for an overview of the final stages of the submission process from Blackboard. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 29, 2016

    Turn It In Assignment Due Dates and Late Submissions: Instructors can create assignments in Blackboard that make use of the Turn It In (TII) plagiarism detection software. However, be aware that the settings and behavior of TII are not the same as regular Blackboard assignments. A TII assignment has a start date, due date, and (grade) post date. TII allows students to resubmit their assignment as many times as desired up until the due date. However, once the due date is reached, no student can resubmit. If the setting called "allow late submissions after the due date" is turned on, then students who have not yet made any submission can make one. If an instructor wishes to allow late resubmissions, then a second assignment should be created and labeled as "late assignment." More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 7, 2016

    Faculty vote on curriculum closes at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15: College of Human Sciences faculty members are voting online on curricula proposals that include establishing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, offering a new minor in textile science and product performance, and discontinuing the minors in athletic coaching and sport and recreation. Also on the ballot is approval of the College of Human Sciences 2017-18 Curriculum Report to the Faculty Senate. Eligible voters received invitations to vote via email at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning. More».
    For more information, contact Suzanne Hendrich, chair, College of Human Sciences Curriculum Committee in food science and human nutrition at 515-294-4272 or shendrich@iastate.edu.

    November 4, 2016

    Reserve spring testing center times now: The testing center has already started taking reservations for spring exams! Available spaces fill quickly and all requests should be made BEFORE the spring semester begins (requests placed after the first day of class must go through additional approval process through Provost's office). Remember that registering your course and exams with the Testing Center is NOT the same as setting things up in Blackboard. The two systems do not talk back and forth so you still need to build the test, adjust the delivery settings, and set a password for the exam in Blackboard. It is particularly important to make sure the password provided to the Testing Center is the same that is used in Blackboard to secure the exam. For assistance in creating your Blackboard tests, contact Karla in the CHS Online and Distance Learning unit. Follow the More link to reach the Testing Center instructor site. You should reserve exam times now even if you don't have your spring exams created yet so that the time slots will be held for your students. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 2, 2016

    Learner responsibility policies reduce problems: It is crucial to define the roles and responsibilities of both the instructor and learners in your class syllabus. By stating up front who is responsible for what, a considerable number of problems related to grades, missed exercises, and incorrectly submitted assignments can be avoided. For example, explain that every time a student posts a message on a discussion board, journal, or blog, it is their responsibility to immediately ensure that the message is displaying. Similarly, when a student posts an assignment, it is their responsibility to ensure it is submitted with the correct file and that the attached file will open. When assignments are submitted in Blackboard, students immediately see the assignment grading screen and receive a message in a green banner stating the submission was received. After the assignment submission link has closed, the student can still verify that the assignment was submitted by checking "My Grades", assuming that the instructor has specified this grade column is visible to students. Ungraded submissions are indicated by a yellow ball and clicking on the assignment name allows students to review what they submitted. (Instructors can use the Preview Student to check how all these steps work!) In your policy statement, explain that if a file won't open to the student, it won't display for the grader and that it is the student's responsibility to verify their work before the activity deadline. As for the instructor, it is crucial to supply grades to all students in a timely manner. If a score of zero is not entered for missed work, then a student may not even realize there was a problem. Allow students one week to contest any posted grades. Stating and enforcing policies such as these provides clear expectations for all parties and reduces complaints that the "computer ate my homework" two months previously, thus saving student, instructor, and staff time.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 28, 2016

    Setting up student accommodations in Blackboard tests: It may be necessary to modify the delivery settings of a test for specific individuals if they require additional time per attempt, additional attempts, or will do the test later/earlier than the rest of the class. To set this up, turn edit mode "On", then open the test link and select "Test Options." Scroll down to "Test Availability Exceptions", click the "Add User or Group" button, and select the individuals or group to be accommodated. For each group/individual, specify unique test delivery settings. These individualized settings over-ride the "class" settings for the test. An important caveat: if adding test availability exceptions, make sure to leave the "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" option unchecked, as it interferes with test exception rules when checked. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 24, 2016

    Blackboard tests: Adding questions to the Test Shell When building a Blackboard test, the best way to add questions is to link to questions kept in storage Pools. There are three linking options: "Create Random Block," "Create Question Set," and "Find Questions." More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 18, 2016

    Building Blackboard tests: Overview: Building a test is one of the most complicated processes in Blackboard because there are many steps involved and the best way to do it is not the most obvious way. The ODL unit recommends this process: (1) Build one or more question Pools, (2) Create a Test shell and link questions from the Pool(s) to the test shell, (3) Create a link in the course area to the Test and specify class delivery settings (Test Options) and any individual accommodations required, and (4) Complete the Test as a Preview Student to verify appearance, flow, and feedback settings. When tests are created in this manner, questions can be reused in multiple tests, there will only be one version of each question in the course so maintenance is much easier, point value for the question is tied to the test it is used in and not the question, and pools can be easily shared with other courses. For assistance in any aspect of test creation, contact Karla Embleton in the Online and Distance Learning unit. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 10, 2016

    Student preview tool in Blackboard: As an instructor, you want to be confident that your course is well designed and functions as intended - before your students see it. Old due dates in My Grades, broken links, and oddly displaying test questions are unprofessional and do not inspire instructor confidence. Use the "Student Preview" feature to verify that content and activities are available and correct. To get the fullest range of use from your Student Preview, enter preview mode, click the "Settings" button in the orange panel, check mark the first statement ("Do not ask me about ..."), then click the button by "Keep the preview user and all data." After changing these settings, click the Submit button. This adds your Preview Student as a regular member of the class so that you can assign it grades, check its submitted work, put it in groups. As an instructor, you can use the Test Availability Exceptions feature in Test Options to specify that your preview student has early access to each test, thus allowing you to review test functionality, appearance, scoring, and feedback level before it becomes available to the class. You can submit assignments as a preview student, switch to instructor mode and grade the submission, switch back to student mode and verify where grades and comments appear in My Grades. If students report that a link isn't working, you can check its functionality from a student point of view. If you add your preview student to groups, you can verify what the group members see and when they see it. One thing you really ought to check is the student view of the grade book, called My Grades. Check that the class Total is accurate and that the activities, point values, and due dates match your current syllabus. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 3, 2016

    Midterm grade submission details: Midterm grades are due by 2:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 through either Blackboard or AccessPlus (pick one method only). The only grades that should be submitted are F, D, and C-. Only the instructor of record can submit grades. To submit from Blackboard, first prepare the grade column. It should be labeled exactly "Midterm Grade." The green check mark must be moved to the column to indicate/confirm it is the "externally shared grade" column. The column must have primary display equal to either text (if you plan to manually enter the letter grades) or the name of the letter grade schema that will assign letter grades based on a calculation. The default letter grade schema in Blackboard is called Letter Grade, which is quite confusing as it is not the right breakdown for midterm letter grade assignation. Once the column is prepared, go to Course Tools > ISU Admin Tools > Grades tab. If everything has been done correctly, the midterm grades will display. Scroll to bottom of list and click the Submit button. You can revise the grades and resubmit as often as is necessary up until the Friday afternoon deadline. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 23, 2016

    Reader View in FireFox 49: Version 49 of FireFox (for the PC) offers an improved reader view that simplifies the display of web pages, provides easy control over text size and color contrast, and a narration tool. In Reader View, much of the clutter is removed: buttons, advertisements, and background images are stripped out. Text and images are realigned linearly, and text size and contrast are adjusted to improve readability. Simple controls are provided on the left of the screen that allow the user to further modify text appearance and color contrast. Not only does this improve online reading, it is great if you want a cleaned up version to print. In addition, the user can turn on a narration tool and FireFox will read the article aloud. This allows you to multitask. The Reader View does not work with every web page. If it will work, a small open book icon appears at the right edge of the URL bar. Clicking on this book icon toggles Reader View on and off. (You can also start Reader View by expanding the View menu in the main FireFox tool bar and selecting Enter Reader View.) More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 16, 2016

    Creating accommodations in Blackboard tests: An instructor makes a test active in Blackboard by defining a set of Test Options that control such things as when the test link is visible (available), how many attempts students have (# of submissions allowed), time allotted on an attempt once it is begun, the amount of feedback provided and timing of that feedback. These rules apply to the class as a whole. However note that there is a section in the Test Options labeled "Test Availability Exceptions." Here an instructor can select specific individuals (or groups) and create unique test release criteria. For example, the instructor can select a student and specify that this student is allowed twice the class's allotted time per attempt. For a different student the instructor can specify an extended test taking window. Only the test release criteria that are specified for each student will differ from the class, the undefined criteria revert back to the class standard. Two things should be noted: the feedback condition cannot be changed uniquely for the individual and it is very important to leave the box next to "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" unchecked! There is never a reason to check this box and it will interfere with exception time releases if it is checked. TIP: Use the Test Availability Exceptions tool to allow your preview student early access and multiple attempts to tests so you can check them over before the class has access.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 9, 2016

    Create read-only discussion forums in Blackboard: If you use class or group discussion forums in your course, there may come a time when you would like to prevent students from making further posts or replies in a forum but still allow them the ability to read the posts that have been made. This is a common situation if the activity is to be graded or when a guest instructor moderates the forum for a specific period of time. Go to the Discussion tool (you see a list of all class discussion forums), find the forum, pull down its Action Menu (arrow after its name), then select Manage. Select all students and change their role from "Participant" to "Reader." The quickest way to select all participants is to check the box on top of the column of boxes, then individually uncheck instructors, TAs, and graders. After selecting the students, click the Edit Role button and select Reader. The screen will refresh and indicate the updated role for each participant.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Create a Blackboard grading schema for attendance: A grading schema is a lookup table that converts a student's earned score on an activity to a letter grade, checkmark, or short text message. It can also be used in reverse to convert letter grades back to numeric values for additional mathematical manipulations. The two most common uses of grading schema are to convert midterm totals and final class totals to letter grades, and to indicate to a student that a survey has been submitted. A third way an instructor could use a grading schema is to have a phrase, such as "incomplete/complete" or "absent/present" appear in a grade column. To set up this type of schema, go to Full Grade Center, expand the menu labeled Manage, and select Grading Schema. Click Create Grading Schema then fill out the form by giving the schema a name, then specifying a phrase to appear for each grade range (grade is listed as a percentage). Make sure to also complete the far right column which assigns a point value for manually entered letter grades - this information won't actually be used but must be technically plausible. You could specify that if the student has a score of 0-1, the word "Absent" appears, and for a score of 1-100 the word "Present" appears (in the right most column enter 0% for Absent and 100% for Present). In regular grade book view, enter a score of zero if a student did not attend, and 1 (or higher) if they did. This will trigger the correct phrase to appear in the column. IMPORTANT: You must still specify whether the attendance column contributes to student's overall grade, and if so, to what degree (i.e., point value). This will affect what score you enter as the "Present" value.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 29, 2016

    How to review a student's test on Blackboard: Go to the Grade Center and find the student's grade cell. Hover over the cell and select the View Grade Details option (top option). This gives a summary of how many attempts the student has submitted, when they were submitted, and the score on each. The instructor can delete, ignore, or grade submissions from this screen as well as override scores, and get a history of changes that have been made by the instructor/graders. If a student has a "hung" test, the instructor can force it to be graded. To review a specific submission, click the Grade Attempt button for that submission. The students submitted answer and the correct answer for each question is shown. Expand the Test Information link above the first question to get summary of score, time spent, and date. The instructor can clear the attempt using a button in the Test Information panel. Click the Access Log button to see how long the student spent on each question. This can be a useful guide to confirming technical problems, and to gauge where the student ran into problems. Follow the More link to reach more test information in Blackboard's Online User Guide. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Class test performance statistics in Blackboard: To get a summary report of overall class performance on a test, as well as a breakdown of how each question was handled, go to the Full Grade Center and find your test column. Hover over the header cell of the column, expand the menu for it, and select Item Analysis. Make certain that the test name appears in the Select Test box and then click the Run button. When the report is ready, a link appears below the Available Analysis heading. Click the link to display the report. It may be several pages longs. Click any question link to get further details of performance on that question. Follow the More link to go to Item Analysis section of Blackboard's Online User Guide. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 19, 2016

    Update color template in your Blackboard course: Changing the color template used in your Blackboard course is one of the simplest ways to keep track of which course you are viewing and provides a touch of uniqueness to your class. It is very helpful when you have more than one course per semester and need to distinguish between different copies of the course taught in different semesters. Simply enter the course as an instructor, make sure that the Edit Mode is switched "On" in the upper right corner, then hover on the color fan icon on the left side of the Edit Mode switch. This causes a menu of template options to display. Scroll down the list and pick one that sounds promising to see how it looks. Color templates change the color of the side bar and background, text color, link color, and breadcrumb color. Note that several templates do not provide very good contrast on the breadcrumb trail but work fine in other areas of the course. Test out several. Whichever one you settle on will be the one all students see. Only an instructor, TA, or course builder can change the color template.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Create class email lists outside of Blackboard: Instructors need a way to email their classes. In Blackboard, the "Send Email" tool can be used. However, if you don't want to log in to Blackboard, or are not using it, it's handy to have an email group that remains accurate as students add and drop your course. To create an automatically updated class mailing list, go to Account Services on the Web, https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/ , log in with your netID if prompted, click "Manage Lists," then click "Manage Class Lists." Select one or more classlists under the heading "Classlist not created," then click on "Create selected classlist(s)." Your new email lists should start working at 6 a.m. the following morning. You will receive a confirmation email with the email address for the list. Emails sent to the list address will be delivered to all students registered in the class. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 17, 2016

    The College of Human Sciences welcomes Karen Williams as new international programs assistant: Karen Williams will serve as the new international programs assistant as of Aug. 25. Williams previously worked for Academic Programs International, a study abroad program provider, since 2008. She also studied abroad three times while pursuing her undergraduate degree in anthropology at Central College and plans to earn her master's in Leadership Development from Drake University.
    For more information, contact Erin French, director of international programs in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-7153 or efrench@iastate.edu.

    August 14, 2016

    Revisions required in student Blackboard tutorial: If you rolled over a course that includes the college created "How to use Blackboard" student tutorial, there are several things to check and revise in it each semester. (1) Update the first link under "Additional Information" labeled, "ISU Blackboard Support for Students." The website for this link changed because of changes in central IT support processes last year. The new URL is http://support.bb.its.iastate.edu/blackboard/for-students/. (2) Edit the test options for the Practice Quiz and change the end and due date to Sept 30. Make sure to also change the date in the link description. (3) Change the end and due date for the Practice Assignment to September 30. You might also wish to change the practice assignment point value to zero. (4) Check the Practice Discussion. The starter message was likely stripped out when your course was rolled over. You can enter your own new starter message or copy the one from the previous course to your new course. For assistance, contact Karla Embleton in the Online and Distance Learning unit, embleton@iastate.edu.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 12, 2016

    Date Management: Are you working with a copied Blackboard course this fall semester? If so, use the Date Management function to generate a listing of most Due, Start, and End dates in the course. Access this tool through Course Tools > Date Management. If it is the first time you are running it, select "List all dates for review" then click "Start." If you are returning to it, click "Refresh." A report appears and is also emailed to you. In the onscreen report you can choose to view just one type of item, such as Tests, select specific items, and have all the dates associated with it advanced by the number of days that you specify. This can be a great time saver. One problem is that it does not yet include Group Discussion Forum Start and End dates so those still need to be updated individually in each forum's settings. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard course set up tips: As you begin the summer semester, please take time to ensure that your Blackboard course is displaying the correct information to students. Remove old announcements. Hide any folders or activities that should not display at the beginning of the course. If you had group discussions in the past, check that all student posts have been removed from each forum in each group (we are seeing cases where this is not happening automatically). Be certain that all activities have fall 2016 Start, End, and Due dates. Remember that Due dates appear in the student's view of the grade book! Remove unneeded columns from the grade center: don't just hide them from instructor view because students will still see them and they will continue to count toward the class grade. Also note that every course account gains up to three new grade columns: Availability, Weighted Total, and a new Total column. Hide the Available column. Delete the Weighted Total column. Edit the Total column and change Running Total setting to "No." If this setting adjustment is not made, students will see their earned score on what they submitted, NOT their earned score on everything that was due. This is a critically important difference! Switch to Student Preview to verify the My Grade information and the visibility, functionality, and accuracy of all content and activity links. For assistance, contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 4, 2016

    Order fall Blackboard accounts now: It's time to order your fall Blackboard accounts if you have not already done so. You will need to know your netID, course number, and course section(s). You can verify these on the schedule of classes, http://classes.iastate.edu/. You can either email Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu, to request your class account OR order it yourself by going to the Blackboard login page and clicking the "Course Creation Request" link in the Blackboard Help at ISU panel (follow the MORE link below). You can request a new account or indicate that an existing account be copied for re-use. Note that you can only request copies of accounts in which you had Instructor access. For assistance and training in using Blackboard and other academic software, contact Ann Bugler or Karla Embleton in the college's Online and Distance Learning unit on the third floor of MacKay. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 1, 2016

    Apply now for a Foreign Travel Grant to support travel between Aug. 16, 2016 and May 13, 2017: The original copy of your application is due to the CHS Dean's Office (E262 Lago) by the end of the business day on Friday, September 23, 2016. Attached please find the Foreign Travel Grant Application Rules and Guidelines along with the application form. If you have any questions, please contact Judy Carter in the Dean's office, carter59@iastate.edu. Please familiarize yourself with the attached RFP/application and deadlines included therein. Note that information found at the Faculty Senate website does not include the CHS deadlines and has proven confusing for applicants in the past. Applicants who miss the college deadline noted in the attachments will not be allowed to submit a late application. More».
    For more information, contact Judy Carter in administration at 515-294-7002 or carter59@iastate.edu.

    Top Hat Training: A representative from Top Hat, ISU's new interactive teaching and learning platform, will visit campus this week from Tuesday to Thursday, Aug. 2 to 4. Erin Neal will be available for two walk-in sessions for instructors who want an overview of Top Hat's features: (1) Wednesday, Aug. 3 (2-3 p.m., 116 Durham) and (2) Thursday, Aug. 4 (12:30-1:30 p.m., 116 Durham). Neal also will host individual sessions for instructors who want more in-depth training. You can sign up to meet individually with her by going to the MORE link and selecting an available time. If the time slots are all filled, email her at erin@tophatmonocle.com to arrange a different time. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 29, 2016

    Top Hat student response system: Top Hat is a student response collection tool that ISU has licensed to replace clickers. Instructors can get a free faculty account, create a course folder that has a unique 6-digit enrollment number to share with students, then create questions using six different templates. When creating the questions in Top Hat, the instructor assigns participation points and/or correctness points to each. After downloading an app, paying to activate their account, and linking to a specific course, students can see and respond to questions the instructor has activated during class from the class computer or a tablet. Students respond using any mobile (smartphone, tablet or computer, or text from a simple phone). Instructors can choose to upload their PowerPoint slides into Top Hat but be aware that this will flatten each slide and cause the loss of links, animation, and transitions. Some instructors may therefore prefer to use a downloaded Top Hat interface tool ("widget") to efficiently switch between the class presentation and Top Hat as desired during the class period. If you plan on using the widget, ensure ahead of time that it is available on the computer you will be using during the class period. For more information, including details about a clicker rebate voucher offer for students and technical support for faculty, click the MORE link. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 26, 2016

    Summer session II grade submission: The Summer session II grade submission window begins on July 27 at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, August 9. For assistance in calculating and submitted letter grades from Blackboard, please contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu, in the HS Online and Distance Learning group. Additional information about grade submissions is available by following the MORE link. Note that only the instructor of record can submit grades, each student must receive a grade, an incomplete should not be given to any student who is failing, and every "F" must be explained during grade submission. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 25, 2016

    Schedule fall use of testing centers: Instructors who wish to have their students complete online exams at one of the 3 available ISU Testing Center computer labs this fall should schedule their exams now. Do not wait until the fall semester begins since all booking slots may then be full. The Testing Center requires students to swipe their ID card and has proctors to monitor test takers. Online tests must be set up with a password that the proctor will enter. Testing Centers have set daily hours, which vary by day of the week and semester, so be sure to provide correct information to your students. There are separate websites for students and instructors to use. To see the student information site, go to the ISU Index > T > Testing Center. To reach the faculty information site, which includes information about requesting space for your students, follow the More link. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 13, 2016

    Blackboard Scheduled Maintenance: Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 23, Blackboard Learn will be taken offline to facilitate the upgrade of the Oracle database server used by Blackboard Learn to a new server. Work should be complete by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. (Original notice from Dan Ryan, ISU Information technology Services) More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    June 20, 2016

    Request library course accounts for fall: Instructors who wish to place required materials on reserve in the library for the fall semester should submit requests now. Don't delay! Follow the more link to reach the online request forms. You will need to have an ISU library password and pin set up to use the online form system. (Set up your library password at http://www.lib.iastate.edu/myaccount-setpwd/6888 ) More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Summer grade submission deadlines: Summer Session I grade submittal begins on June 29 at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 12. Summer Session II grade submittal begins on July 27 at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. For assistance in calculating and submitted letter grades from Blackboard, please contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu in the CH Online and Distance Learning group. Additional information about grade submissions is available by following the "more" link. Note that only the instructor of record can submit grades, each student must receive a grade, an incomplete should not be given to any student who is failing, and every F must be explained during grade submission. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 23, 2016

    Fall Course Reserves at Parks Library: Plan now to have your Parks Library fall course reserve site created. You can have articles, streaming video, books, and DVDs in your course reserve account. If you have had course reserve material in the past, you can make arrangements to have it rolled over for reuse. Remember that copyrighted material should normally not be posted into your Blackboard accounts. Instead, have library staff arrange for copyright permission and host the material, but be sure to give them plenty of time to do so. The library offers resources and information about copyright as it pertains to various topics including best practices and educational fair use. Follow the MORE link to reach the library course reserves information page. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Three critical Blackboard Gradebook settings: Each column in the Blackboard Gradebook has three distinct settings that are crucial for instructors to understand. Errors in any of these settings lead to incorrect and/or misleading grade book data in both instructor and student view. The first two settings, "Hide from Students (on/off)" and "Hide to Instructor View" are listed directly on the grade column's Action Menu. Hover on column header cell and click the V icon to open this menu. These settings are independent of each other, i.e., hiding a column from the instructor does NOT hide it from student view, and vice versa. A column that is hidden from student view contains an icon showing a gray circle with a red slash through it in the header cell of the column. To check for columns hidden to the instructor, open the Manage menu, which is above the Full Grade Center table, and select Column Organization. Columns displayed in light gray are hidden from the instructor in regular grade book view and can be set to show again from this screen. The third critical grade column property is found within the "Edit Column Information" link of its Action Menu. Near the bottom of that screen is a setting labeled "Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations." By default, the setting will be "Yes," so the column score is added to both the class's total value and to the student's earned total value. Hiding the column does not change this setting. Never hide columns to either the student or instructor that are actively contributing to the class score calculations! To verify which columns the students see, the listed column scores, and class total, switch to Student Preview mode and open My Grades.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 284-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 16, 2016

    Send your Summer 2016 course syllabi to Karla Embleton: Please send your Summer 2016 course syllabi to Karla Embleton for posting on the college website. College support staff are available to assist with ordering and setting up your Blackboard class accounts. Email or call to set up an appointment with Karla Embleton, 294-9198, embleton@iastate.edu, for Blackboard and/or Online forms or with Ann Bugler, 294-5812, bugler@iastate.edu, for Panopto and/or Blackboard.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard course setup tips: As you begin the summer semester, please take time to ensure that your Blackboard courses are displaying the correct information to students. Remove any old announcements. Hide any folders or activities that should be not display at the beginning of the course. Be certain that all activities have Summer 2016 due dates. Remove unneeded columns from the grade center: don't just hide them from instructor view, as students will still see them and they will continue to count toward the class grade. Also note that every course account gains three new grade columns: Availability, Weighted Total, and Total. You should hide the Available column. The Weighted Total column should normally be deleted. The Total column should be edited and its Running Total setting should be switched to "No." If this setting adjustment is not made, students will see their earned scored on what they submitted, NOT their earned score on everything that was due. This is a critically important difference. Be sure to switch to Student Preview to verify the My Grade report and the visibility, functionality, and accuracy of all content and activity links.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 10, 2016

    Kent Davis joins College of Human Sciences communications team: His news beats include food science and human nutrition, human development and family studies, and kinesiology. He will also coordinate marketing projects and write about honors and awards.
    For more information, contact Kent Davis in administration at 515-294-1326 or davisk@iastate.edu.

    May 9, 2016

    Date Management: Are you working with a copied Blackboard this semester this summer? If so, use the Date Management function to generate a listing of most Due, Start, and End dates in the course. Access this tool through Course Tools > Date Management. If it is the first time you are running it, select "List all dates for review" then click "Start." If you are returning to it, click "Refresh." A report appears and is emailed to you. In the onscreen report you can choose to view just one type of item, such as Tests, select specific items and have all the dates associated with it advanced by the number of days that you specify. This can be a great time saver! One problem is that it does not yet include Group Discussion Forum Start and End dates, so those still need to be updated individually in each forum's settings. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Scheduled Blackboard down time: The ISU Blackboard Learn system will be down starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12 for database and Blackboard software updates. The downtime is likely to run until late evening Friday, May 13. Students and instructors will not be able to access the system during this time and new accounts orders will not be processed until after the system is brought back online. Please plan accordingly.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 3, 2016

    ISU Policy on issuing a grade of Incomplete: Under certain special circumstances, it may be appropriate for an Instructor to file a grade of "Incomplete" for a student. However, there are strict policies on when this is allowed and for how long an incomplete can remain on a student's record before it automatically becomes an F. Guidelines explaining the use of an Incomplete grade are available in the ISU Catalog. An Incomplete Contract form must be submitted and the first paragraph of this form reads: "An incomplete may be assigned when the student is passing at the time of the request, but special circumstances beyond the student's control prevent completion of the course. In general, failing the final exam or project or not submitting course work as a result of inadequate preparation or learning are not valid justification for an Incomplete." Many students and instructors are unaware of the stipulation that Incompletes cannot be assigned when a student is failing the course. Follow the MORE link to reach the incomplete contract form,a Word DOCX file. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 2, 2016

    Submit final grades by May 11: Final letter grades for Spring 2016 are due by 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, May 11. Grades can be submitted through either Blackboard or AccessPlus, but just use one route. Only the documented Instructor of Record with the Registrar can submit grades. (Teaching assistants and professional staff can not do so on your behalf). There are several ways by which grades can be prepared; the preferred method varies by course size and grading details. The college's Online and Distance Learning staff can help you with the entire process. Contact Karla Embleton for an appointment. Follow the MORE link for an overview of the submission process from Blackboard. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 28, 2016

    Uploading Questions to Blackboard Pools: The normal process for populating question storage pools in Blackboard has been to either slowly create each question within Blackboard, using the supplied questions templates, or to use Respondus (3rd party software) to read a specially formatted word or text file then push it into Blackboard. A third option exists, as explained in the video that can be reached through the MORE link. This video demonstrates how to format several question types in an Excel file, save it as a tab delimited text file, then upload it into your Blackboard course. However, instead of uploading the questions directly into a specific test, you are strongly urged to instead upload the questions into a question storage Pool. It is much easier to manage your stored questions and reuse them if they are stored in "Pools", rather than directly in "Tests". More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 19, 2016

    Submit final grades by May 11: Final letter grades for Spring 2016 are due by 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 11. Grades can be submitted through either Blackboard or AccessPlus, but just use one route. Only the documented Instructor of Record with the Registrar can submit grades (teaching assistants and professional staff can not do so on your behalf). There are several ways by which grades can be prepared and the preferred method varies by course size and grading details. The college's Online and Distance Learning staff can help you with the entire process! Contact Karla for an appointment. Follow the MORE link for an overview of the submission process from Blackboard. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Create more effective online tests in Blackboard: Assessing students in an online environment can be both challenging and liberating. Instructors are sometimes shocked to discover that students can print or take screenshots of online tests or that the test banks to all the major textbooks are for sale on the web. In fact, students can often Google every answer if given the time and opportunity. So how can you be certain you're accurately assessing students in your exams? Some basic test design and delivery strategies can reduce the risk of academic dishonesty and encourage students to prepare for exams. Since courses have different reasons and "stakes" for testing, there will be differences in how tests occur but in general, strive to meet the following principles. First, create questions pools and provide just a subset of the stored questions to each student on each submission attempt. Don't be lazy and use the same set 50 questions every semester! Try to add new questions to each pool every semester. Second, for small stake quizzes, allow students more than one attempt and average the score of their attempts. If you just keep the highest attempt score, some students won't bother to work with the content first - they will skip directly to the test. Counting all submission scores reduces the chance of this behavior. Allowing a second attempt sends the message that if the student wishes, they can go back and review the material again and then try to better their quiz score. This is an option they have for taking responsibility for their own success in the course. Having a second attempt also reduces the pressure on students to cheat since it is not a single high risk endeavor. Thirdly, set a restrictive time limit on your tests. For recall style material, a minute per question is plenty! For math based questions, a little more time may be reasonable. Providing 2 hours for a 30 minute multiple choice style test changes it into a participation type activity since every answer can be googled or looked up. Finally, for high stakes test (only), require a proctor. ISU has proctored Testing Centers (follow the More link) but arrangements must be made before the start of the semester! Another option is to proctor your own online tests in one of the College of Human Sciences computer labs. To arrange for this, contact lab manager Keith Swanson. For assistance in test set up, contact Karla Embleton in the CHS Online and Distance Learning unit. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 14, 2016

    Request Library Course Accounts for summer and fall now: Instructors who wish to place required materials on reserve in the library for the summer and fall semester should submit requests now. Don't delay! Follow the more link to reach the online request forms. You will need to have an ISU library password and pin set up to use the online form system. (Set up your library password at http://www.lib.iastate.edu/myaccount-setpwd/6888 ) More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 2949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 8, 2016

    How to set up your Blackboard course: Two Blackboard review sessions for summer and fall classes will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Monday, April 18 and Tuesday, April 19 in 312 MacKay. Faculty may choose one of the seminars to attend. The seminar will review the specific steps needed to order an account, structure a new account, and revise a copied account. Tips will be given on when and how to enroll students, and how to verify exactly what students see at any time in your course. A detailed handout can be viewed at this link. Please RSVP specifying which date you plan to attend by emailing Karla Embleton at embleton@iastate.edu. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 1, 2016

    The College of Human Sciences welcomes Troy Anderson as new FCEdS program coordinator: Troy Anderson will serve as the new family and consumer sciences program coordinator and lecturer in human development and family studies, as of Aug. 16. Anderson will replace Lisa Stange, who now works as a family and consumer sciences consultant at the Iowa Department of Education.
    For more information, contact Carl Weems in human development and family studies at 515-294-9659 or cweems@iastate.edu.

    March 28, 2016

    Qualtrics Survey Options: Iowa State has a site license for Qualtrics survey software, which means that anyone with a netID can go to "Q" on the Iowa State site index, select the Qualtrics link, login, and begin making surveys. You should switch each survey's properties to meet its specific objectives. For example, if you wish to make survey submissions anonymous, edit "Survey Options" and checkmark the box that tells the system to not collect IP address. Other useful survey option adjustments are to check the box that causes a Back button to display on your form, uncheck the "Save and Continue" box, enter an appropriate title and meta description so search engines can find your survey more easily, and change the "Partial Completion" deadline from one week to 4 hours. If you want respondents to be redirected to a second survey or to a specific web site when they complete the current survey, you can enter that information in Survey Options or in Survey Flow. For assistance in coding your research, instructional, or administrative surveys, contact Karla Embleton in the Online and Distance Learning Unit, embleton@iastate.edu, 515-294-9198. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 21, 2016

    Blackboard use in the College of Human Sciences: Have you ever wondered how widespread the use of Blackboard technology is in our teaching? In fall 2015, the College of Human Sciences had 441 active class accounts in Blackboard, that together made an enrollment of 20,826 students. This was a 10 percent increase in the number of active class accounts and an 11 percent increase in the number of students reached as compared to fall 2014. Last fall, the College of Human Sciences accounted for almost 16 percent of Iowa State's total use of Blackboard - which is very high considering that many introductory English, math, and science courses drive up the account numbers in other colleges. In summer, the College of Human Sciences' use of Blackboard has consistently been more than 20 percent of all class accounts at Iowa State, with human development and family studies and the School of Education being the largest users. So if you have been hesitant about using Blackboard, please give it a try. Students appreciate having all their course materials, announcements, grade information, and activities in one spot. Just ask a student who has to log into multiple different systems - or doesn't have a class site at all - for their opinion! To get started, contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu, 515-294-9198, or Ann Bugler, bugler@iastate.edu, in the CHS Online and Distance Learning unit. We provide individual training, course account set up, troubleshooting, and course development.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 4, 2016

    Blackboard gradebook tips: Manage columns: The "Manage" menu above the Full Grade Center is extremely important for organizing your grade book and checking its accuracy. Go to Manage > Column Organization. A list of all columns in your grade book appears. There is no indication nor control in this view over which columns students can see, since instructor view and student view are separate settings in Blackboard. However the value of each column and due date is shown and should be checked. Start the clean up by using the leftmost icon on each row to drag columns that are associated with student enrollment to the top box. This includes Username, Student ID, Major, College, Classification, etc. Do not include activity or grade columns specific to this class. Typically the record related columns are left hidden to the instructor, other than student name and UserID. Now drag the columns in the lower box into a sensible order, either chronological or by type of activity. Both you and students see the columns in this order if the columns are set as visible to each. In almost every case, all columns in the lower box should be made visible to the instructor! If some are grayed out, checkmark those and use the "Show/Hide" menu at the bottom of the window to make them display. Click "Submit" to save your changes. When you return to regular grade book view, the columns hidden to students have a circle with slash icon in the header cell. If there are columns that should no longer be present, delete them. If they are connected with activities that still exist in the course, you must delete the activity first. Always verify the accuracy and completeness of the students' grade view and total point value by switching to Student Preview mode and looking at My Grades. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 26, 2016

    Blackboard gradebook tips: Extra credit column: The trick to including extra credit activity scores in Blackboard is to have the associated grade column worth zero points. In this way a student can be given points but the overall point value for the course is not changed. Whether you are manually adding a column to the grade book or adding a column automatically by creating on online activity (a test, assignment, or communication activity), specify that the point value is zero and that any entered grade should count towards the student's running total. Remember to switch to Student Preview mode to verify both the student's My Grades view and the total point value listed for the course. A cautionary note: Running Total grade calculations for a course works best when they are simple sums, and not weighted totals. If you do choose to use a weighted total calculation, you must assign any extra credit columns to existing column categories for which the total point value is greater than zero. For example, you might have one extra credit column that is categorized as an Assignment and one that is assigned as a Test.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 24, 2016

    Adding Date Release to Blackboard Course Menu Links: Normally, when you want to edit a link in Blackboard, you hover over it to make its Action Menu icon appear, open the Action Menu, and select the desired action from the list of options. When you open the Action Menu for a Course Menu link, you only see three options: Rename, a Hide/Show toggle, and Delete. If the link goes to a Content Area or a Blank Page, it is possible to set a release date and time. The trick is to add the component, then click on it and edit it in the right hand window. With a Content Area, hover over its name at the top of the right window, pull open the Action Menu, select Edit, set the release date and time, then click Submit. With a Blank page, it opens in Edit mode with the release date and time setting immediately available. Note: If the programmed release date has not been reached for a component, its Action Menu in the Course Menu will not have a "Show" option. Once the release date has passed, the Course Menu Action Menu allows the link to be both hidden and shown again, as usual.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 22, 2016

    College of Human Sciences welcomes Amanda Schickel as recruiting and career coordinator: Schickel on Feb. 22 joined the College of Human Sciences career services office as the recruiting and career coordinator. Schickel has worked at Kaplan University as a career services adviser for the past four years, performing in a very similar role to what she will be doing here for career services. Prior to her role at Kaplan, Amanda worked at the University of Northern Iowa as a career services peer adviser.
    For more information, contact Tammy Stegman in administration at 515-294-3708 or tstegman@iastate.edu.

    February 19, 2016

    Blackboard gradebook tips: Manipulating a grade cell -- It saves considerable confusion and reduces errors when instructors to learn how the Blackboard Gradebook works. An instructor can go to the Full Grade Center, hover over a grade cell, open the cell's menu, and select "View Grade Details". From this screen, the instructor can view a history of who has entered or changed grades, grade a submission, clear away a "bad" submission, allow a student another opportunity to submit an assignment without throwing out the student's earlier submission, override or manually enter a grade, or exempt the cell from the student's grade calculations(not recommended). A common problem arises when an instructor manually enters a grade, then has the student submit work later. The manually entered grade overrides any score connected to the submission until the instructor goes back and clicks "Revert" to remove the override grade. It is also important to look at the full grade center to check for submissions that are hung up (blue ball icon) or which have been submitted but are not graded (yellow ball icon). To calculate midterm and final grades accurately, there should be no ungraded attempts in any cell used in the calculations. Be sure to ignore, clear, exempt, or grade every submission even if it is the second or third submission for the same activity.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 17, 2016

    Submit midterm grades by March 4: Midterm grades must be submitted by 2:15 Friday, March 4. They can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Blackboard, but only use one method! The only grades that get reported are C-, D, F, and M (for non attending). Graduate student grades, audits, pass/fail, and grades of C or higher are not reported at the semester midterm. To submit from Blackboard, the grade must be stored as text or letter in a column labeled exactly "Midterm Grade". The instructor must move the green flag to the column header by specifying it is to be "Set as External Grade" which is an option in the column's menu. Once the column and grades are prepared, the instructor submits the grades to the Registrar by going to Course Tools > ISU Admin Tools > Grades tab, and clicking the "Submit" button. Only the Instructor of Record listed with the Registrar can submit grades; it cannot be done by a TA or technical support staff. Grades can be resubmitted, overwriting the earlier submission, up until the Friday deadline. Contact Karla Embleton for assistance. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 15, 2016

    Parrott promoted, Hanfelt maintains oversight: Molly Parrott has been promoted from the post of Development Director I to Development Director II in the College of Human Sciences, effective March 1. Parrott has successfully engaged donors and enhanced fundraising efforts in the college over the past two years. She will lead the Human Sciences team of Sarah Wernimont, director of development, and Anette O'Shea, development coordinator, and will continue to work closely with Dynette Mosher, alumni relations director. Parrott will report directly to Kelly Hanfelt, who previously served as senior director of development in the College of Human Sciences, and now serves as senior executive director of development in the ISU Foundation. Hanfelt will maintain oversight of the College of Human Sciences fundraising unit, and will continue to work directly with a few CHS donors.
    For more information, contact Pamela White in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-5380 or pjwhite@iastate.edu.

    February 12, 2016

    Submitting on BlackBoard: Instructors, please inform your students that for best results, ISU Blackboard support staff strongly advise that students submit all work in their Blackboard courses through an actual computer. There have been several recent issues at Iowa State and other schools where students state they have submitted work through a tablet or smart phone but no trace of the activity is noted on the Blackboard server. Students can verify whether their discussion posts, assignment submissions, or test submissions have worked by checking My Grades and/or the activity links, yet they often do not do so and fail to realize that their work has not been submitted properly.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 1, 2016

    Blackboard emails: Blackboard has a Send Email tool that is normally present by default, but which can be added to any course. This tool simply forwards a email composed in Blackboard to the email address associated with each participant's user account. Typically this will be an Iowa State email but you can check by going to the user list in your course. No messages are stored in Blackboard. The tool works the same way for all participants in a course. First, the sender must select who is to receive the email by either selecting a type of user (i.e. all course participants, all instructors, all students, all TAs), a group created in Blackboard, or a specific individual. The person who sends the email will always receive a copy in their own email inbox. By default, the recipient names are NOT shown anywhere in the email that is sent. If you wish to have recipient names listed in the confirmation copy you get as the sender, then be sure to click the "Return Receipt" box below the message composition box when writing your email. (This is easy to overlook!) Note that files can be attached to the email but they must be small enough to be handled by the recipient's email service. All email delivered from a class will have the course prefix and number in the subject line.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Respondus on Blackboard: Respondus is Iowa State licensed software that can be used to create, edit, and transfer question banks. With it you can import specially formatted word and text files into Respondus and then push them into Blackboard. You can also use it to extract questions from Blackboard pools and tests and save as word files. You can even use Respondus to create multiple versions of an in-class paper test. Textbook publishers provide question banks in multiple formats, including Word, Respondus, and Blackboard. Check with your publisher to see what is available. If you have one format, you can convert it to another but you'll save a lot of time if you can get the file in the format you need directly! Follow the "MORE" link to reach the Iowa State Respondus page with download information. Anyone with an Iowa State netID can download Respondus. You must renew the license every August and there are often patches required throughout the year. Contact Karla in College of Human Sciences Online and Distance Learning Department for training and support. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 25, 2016

    Create class email lists outside of Blackboard: Instructors need a way to email their classes. In Blackboard, the "Send Email" tool can be used. However if you don't want to log into Blackboard, or are not using it, it's handy to have an email group that remains accurate as students add and drop your course. To create an automatically updated class mailing list, go to Account Services on the Web, https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/ , login with your netID if prompted, click "Manage Lists" , then click "Manage Class Lists." Select one or more classlists under the heading "Classlist not created", then click on "Create selected classlist(s)". Your new email lists should start working at 6 a.m. the following morning. You will receive a confirmation email with the email address for the list. Emails sent to the list address will be delivered to all students registered in the class. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Student preview in Blackboard: As an instructor, you want to be confident that your course is well designed and functions as intended - before your students see it. Old due dates in My Grades, broken links, and oddly displaying test questions are unprofessional and do not inspire instructor confidence. Use the Student Preview feature to verify that content and activities are available and correct. For example, you can specify that your preview student has early access to each test, thus allowing you to review test functionality, appearance and scoring before it is available to students. In student preview mode you should check My Grades to ensure the class Total is accurate and that the activities, point values, and due dates match your current syllabus. And you can add your preview student to groups, to verify what students see, and when they see it, in group discussion activities. In order to get the fullest range of use from your Student Preview, enter preview mode, click on the Settings button in the orange panel, then click the button by "Keep the preview user and all data". It is also handy to checkmark the first box for "Do not ask me about the preview user..." so that the setting box doesn't display every time you exit preview mode. Also, if you don't save your student preview account, you won't see it in the roster so won't be able to add it to groups or fully check grade center functionality. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 18, 2016

    Date Management in Blackboard: Are you working with a copied Blackboard this semester? If so, you should use the Date Management function to generate a listing of most Due, Start, and End dates in the course. Access this tool by going to Course Tools > Date Management. If it is the first time you are running it, select "List all dates for review" then click Start. If you are returning to it, click "Refresh". A report appears and is emailed to you. In the onscreen report you can choose to view just one type of item, such as Tests, and you can also select items and have all the dates associated with its settings advanced by a number of days that you specify. This can be a great time saver! One problem though is that it does not yet include Group Discussion Forum Start and End dates, so those need to be updated individually still in each forum's settings. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Collecting Assignments through Blackboard: Use Blackboard's Assignment Tool to a create a dropbox where students submit homework. Assignments are normally either grouped together on a single content area titled "Assignments," or placed into weekly folders. They can be configured for students to submit individually or by group. The instructor can check a settings box to require all submissions to be evaluated by SafeAssign, a plagarism detection service. The instructor can attach files for the student to review (template, instructions) and add a grading rubric. Assignments normally have a point value, link start and end display dates, and due date. The due date will appear in the student's My Grades and Calendar views. A column is automatically added to the Grade Center for the assignment so don't add another column manually. Students can enter their submission with the onscreen text editor, but more commonly will upload files they created. In the assignment's instructions, specify the file formats you are willing to accept: PDF, DOC and DOCX files can be graded online using a tool that lets you add comments to the submitted file (much like MS Word Revision Tracking). Each student can verify whether their submission was successfully made by returning to the assignment link (if it is still available) or checking their My Grades report. The greatest advantage of collecting work this way is that the student's original submission and the instructor's feedback are archived in one place for both to refer to. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 11, 2016

    Spring syllabi collection: Please send your Spring 2016 course syllabi to Karla for posting on the college website. College support staff are available to assist with ordering and setting up your Blackboard class accounts. Email or call to set up an appointment: Karla Embleton, 294-9198, embleton@iastate.edu (Blackboard, Online forms) or Ann Bugler, 294-5812, bugler@iastate.edu (Panopto, Blackboard).
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 11, 2015

    Reset Copied Blackboard Courses: There are many things you need to do to get a duplicated Blackboard account ready for reuse. Begin by deleting old Announcements. Then revise, replace, or delete out-of-date files and activities. You'll need to revise all "due", "start", and "end" dates on files, folders, and activities. Two useful tools are "Course Tools>Date Management" and "Student Preview". Date Management generates a listing of most "due", "start", and "end" dates in the course. With it you can advance all, a subset, or individual dates from the list - a great time saver! However, it does not yet include Group Discussion Forum start and end dates, so those need to be updated individually. Check all class and group discussions and remove old posts - starter posts are no longer being cleared out when accounts are duplicated. In the Grade Center, delete the "Weighted Total" column, hide the "Availability" column, and ensure you only have one "Total points" column. The "Total" column should have its "Calculate as Running Total" setting equal to "No". This is not the default setting and a new "Total" column is added every semester with the wrong setting. Click Manage>Column Organization and ensure there are no grade columns hidden to Instructor view: Shoe any hidden ones if necessary. Verify what students see by clicking the "Student Preview" icon in the top right of the course. Be sure to look at My Grades as a student to check that the course total is accurate. When you exit Student Preview mode, save the dummy student. It can then be added to groups and assigned grades, giving you a fuller view of the course. For assistance, contact CHS Online and Distance Learning staff.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 7, 2015

    Check for broken links connecting to Iowa State University provost's website: The website for the ISU Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost has been redone and files previously found on that site are no longer housed in the same locations. When faculty and staff are editing syllabi, handbooks, and other documents, double-check all links to make sure previous links still work. For example, if your document links to the faculty handbook, that link will need to be redone as the handbook was moved to a new URL. More».
    For more information, contact Alisha Zika in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-9304 or amzika@iastate.edu.

    December 3, 2015

    Final Letter Grades are due by 2:15 pm Dec. 22: This is quite a bit earlier than in past years! Grades can be submitted through either Blackboard or Accessplus, but select just one method. Only the documented Instructor of Record with the Registrar can submit grades; TAs and professional staff cannot do so on your behalf. If you wish to have assistance from the college's ODL staff with preparing and submitting your grades through Blackboard, this must be done before December 19 due to staff travel plans. Contact Karla for an appointment or for further instructions. There are several ways in which grades can be prepared for submission and the preferred method varies by course size and grading details. Follow the MORE link for an overview of the submission process from Blackboard. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Request your Parks Library Course Reserves Now: Instructors who wish to place required materials on reserve at Parks Library for spring semester should submit requests now. Follow the "more" link to reach online request forms. Please note that you must have a library password set up, which is separate from both the AccessPlus and central computer system. (Links are provided during the request process if you need to set it up.) More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 13, 2015

    *REMINDER* Use Blackboard rubrics for efficient grading: Instructors can specify that a grade column, assignment, or communication activity (e.g., Discussion forum, Blog, Wiki, or Journal) will be scored using a grading rubric. The instructor builds the rubric with a template that is accessed by going to Course Tools > Rubrics > Create Rubric. There are many ways to set up a rubric but all have a grid format in which each row is a distinct criteria that is being evaluated and each column represents a performance level. The instructor can add a description (comments) to each cell in the grid that explain why that score would be given. Cell scores can be specified as points, point range, percentage, or percent range, or have no points at all (feedback). When an activity or grade column is created, attach the rubric in the "Grading" portion of the setting specifications. By default, a rubric does not display to students: you will normally change this setting to "Yes (With Rubric Scores)". This allows students to see the rubric before they have submitted the activity as well as after it has been filled out for them. If made available, students see a rubric link in My Grades and on the assignment submission page. A rubric can be attached to more than one activity but once it is created and used, it cannot be altered. When grading, the instructor selects the appropriate performance cell in each criteria row, and the cell values are summed to arrive at a raw total score. The instructor can adjust this total if necessary and add additional comments. Rubrics must be built in Blackboard but can be exported from one course and imported into another. More». More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    *REMINDER* Order spring Blackboard and Library accounts now: If you will be teaching in Spring 2016, it is time to order your Blackboard and/or Library Reserve accounts. You can request that one of your existing Blackboard accounts be duplicated for spring use or you can order a new account. The "Course Creation Request" link can be found on the main Blackboard page. If you wish, Karla can add a "How to use Blackboard" student tutorial to your spring class that includes practice discussion, quiz, and assignment activities. This tutorial can be added after an account has been created but is easiest to add to new courses that are ordered through Karla. If you are interested in this option, it must be requested soon due to the almost complete absence of technical support anticipated during the semester break. If you wish to make copyrighted material available online in a Course Reserve site with Parks Library, follow the MORE link. More». More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 12, 2015

    Flippped Course Showcase: The President's Flipped Classroom Initiative Showcase will be held Nov. 19, from 2:30 pm - 4 pm in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union. This initiative supported 22 projects (3 from Human Sciences), involving over 60 faculty and staff, from 25 academic departments. The program will begin with opening remarks from the CELT administrators and Provost Wickert. There will be four special presentations showcasing diverse aspects and uses of the flipped course approach, a student panel, and poster presentations. Many poster presenters will have laptops to demonstrate aspects of their work. All are welcome to attend!
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 3, 2015

    Use Blackboard rubrics for efficient grading: Instructors can specify that a grade column, assignment, or communication activity (e.g., Discussion forum, Blog, Wiki, or Journal) will be scored using a grading rubric. The instructor builds the rubric with a template that is accessed by going to Course Tools > Rubrics > Create Rubric. There are many ways to set up a rubric but all have a grid format in which each row is a distinct criteria that is being evaluated and each column represents a performance level. The instructor can add a description (comments) to each cell in the grid that explain why that score would be given. Cell scores can be specified as points, point range, percentage, or percent range, or have no points at all (feedback). When an activity or grade column is created, attach the rubric in the "Grading" portion of the setting specifications. By default, a rubric does not display to students: you will normally change this setting to "Yes (With Rubric Scores)". This allows students to see the rubric before they have submitted the activity as well as after it has been filled out for them. If made available, students see a rubric link in My Grades and on the assignment submission page. A rubric can be attached to more than one activity but once it is created and used, it cannot be altered. When grading, the instructor selects the appropriate performance cell in each criteria row, and the cell values are summed to arrive at a raw total score. The instructor can adjust this total if necessary and add additional comments. Rubrics must be built in Blackboard but can be exported from one course and imported into another. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Order spring Blackboard and Library accounts now: If you will be teaching in Spring 2016, it is time to order your Blackboard and/or Library Reserve accounts. You can request that one of your existing Blackboard accounts be duplicated for spring use or you can order a new account. The "Course Creation Request" link can be found on the main Blackboard page. If you wish, Karla can add a "How to use Blackboard" student tutorial to your spring class that includes practice discussion, quiz, and assignment activities. This tutorial can be added after an account has been created but is easiest to add to new courses that are ordered through Karla. If you are interested in this option, it must be requested soon due to the almost complete absence of technical support anticipated during the semester break. If you wish to make copyrighted material available online in a Course Reserve site with Parks Library, follow the MORE link. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 30, 2015

    Adding and removing students from Blackboard groups: There are multiple ways to add or remove users from class groups in Blackboard. One of the less known, yet most useful methods, is through the "All Users" screen. Get to this screen by clicking Users and Groups and selecting Groups, then clicking the "All Users" link in the upper right corner. It is easy to miss this link because it, and two others, appear on a dark colored band in most course templates. The "All Users" page lists every student in the course along with their group membership. This is an easy place to check that everyone has been added to a group. Group membership can be edited by placing your mouse in the Group space after the student's name, to make the "Add to Group" menu appear. Open the menu and select a group, then click Submit. To remove a student from a group, click the red X in the group name box.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 22, 2015

    Update your phone number, address on AccessPlus: New employees sometimes get temporary phone numbers. Current employees change jobs. Departments move and units merge. These are some of the ways inaccuracies creep into the online directory. It can take a while for university systems to catch up to some phone or address changes. There's an easier, faster way. Through AccessPlus, faculty and staff can quickly update their phone numbers and physical addresses for both the office and home. They also can withhold home addresses from appearing in the directory. Just follow these instructions: Sign on to AccessPlus. Select employee tab. Select "address info" (top left). Complete changes and submit. Exit AccessPlus. Changes on the directory's department listings can be made throughout the year, with a little help from information technology services staff. Send corrections to teleinfo@iastate.edu. More».
    For more information, contact Diana Pounds in administration at 515 294-4845 or dpounds@iastate.edu.

    Linking and attaching files on BlackBoard: When you make a link to a file or attach a file to an activity in Blackboard, you are normally copying the file from your computer and storing it in the course's Content Collection without realizing it. Unless you understand the process, you will quickly end up with multiple saved versions of each file, which causes unnecessary storage demands and is a nightmare to untangle. Blackboard Drive is software you can install on your MAC or PC that allows you to add, delete, organize, and edit folders and files in your course's Content Collection without even logging in to Blackboard (e.g. you can edit files that are in your course directly from your desktop without downloading and uploading). Note that students still only see files to which you have built a link, or which you have connected to activities. With Blackboard Drive, it is easy to update files in Blackboard without changing the existing links students see. The trick is to make sure the revised file overwrites the original (i.e. the name and storage location are the same) or to edit the original file through your desktop Drive connection. Follow the MORE link for instructions to install Blackboard Drive. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 20, 2015

    Resetting Blackboard test scores: Certain circumstance may warrant resetting a student's test attempt, such as a server crash or accidental closure of the test window. The instructor can go to the course Full Grade Center, find the student's test cell and pull open the cell's menu, then select View Grade Detail. From this screen the instructor can view the attempt. It is very useful to expand the "Test Information" section and click on the "Access Log" to gain a better understanding of how much time the student spent on each question. This can back up a student's claims or indicate an anomaly. Back on the Grade Details screen, the instructor has several options: do nothing, clear attempt (throw it away), or ignore the attempt (keep for archive but don't count it in class grade). If the instructor wishes to give the student an additional attempt, or an attempt outside the class time period for the exam, this is done on the Test Options settings associated with the link the student clicks to reach the exam. Remember that the rules about the number of attempts the student is allowed apply - simply expanding the time period a student has access to the quiz is pointless if they have used up their allowed attempts. The bad attempts need to be cleaned out of the grade book.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 7, 2015

    Creating accommodations in Blackboard tests: An instructor makes a test active in Blackboard by defining a set of Test Options that control such things as when the test link is visible (available), how many attempts students have, time allotted on an attempt once it is begun, and the amount of feedback provided and timing of that feedback. These rules apply to the class as a whole. However there is a section in Test Options labeled "Test Availability Exceptions." Here an instructor can select specific individuals (or groups) and create unique test release criteria. For example, the instructor can select a student and specify that the student is allowed twice the class's allotted time per attempt. For a different student the instructor can specify an extended test window. Only the test release criteria that are specified for each student will differ, the undefined criteria will revert back to the class standard. Two things should be noted: the feedback condition cannot be changed uniquely for the individual and it is very important to leave the box next to "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" unchecked! There is never a reason to check this box, and it will interfere with exception time releases if it is checked. TIP: Use the Test Availability Exceptions tool to allow your preview student early access and multiple attempts to tests so you can check them over before the class has access.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Midterm grades are due Friday, Oct. 16: Midterm grades must be submitted by 2:15 Friday, October 16. They can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Blackboard but only use one method! The only grades that get reported are F, D, and C-. To submit from Blackboard, the grade must be stored as text or letter in a column labeled exactly "Midterm Grade". The instructor must move the green flag to the column header by specifying it is to be "set as external grade," which is a setting option in the column's menu. Once the column and grades are prepared, the Instructor submits the grades to the Registrar by going to Course Tools > ISU Admin Tools > Grades tab, and clicking the Submit button. Only the Instructor of Record listed with the Registrar can submit grades - it cannot be done by a TA or tech support staff. Grades can be resubmitted, overwriting the earlier submission, up until the Friday deadline. Contact Karla for assistance.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 5, 2015

    Importing in-class exams directly on Blackboard: If you have students do in-class exams using bubble sheets, then you can request that Testing Services import the scores directly into your Blackboard Grade Center. To do this properly, create a column in your grade center to hold the exam score. Pull down the menu for the column's header cell and select "Quick column information". Write down the 5 or 6 digit "Column ID" number. Now go to Course Tools > ISU AdminTools > click on the Testing Services tab on top. Fill in the form as completely as possible. Enter the exact column name in which to store the test score (capitalization and spaces are important). Enter the Column ID number in the "Special Code Column Name" box. When you submit the form, an important cover sheet is generated. Print it off and deliver it with your answer key and bubble sheet to the testing center drop off site.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 2, 2015

    Check if your syllabus is archived: In anticipation for the upcoming university review, the college has created an online archive of course syllabi, which includes exemption forms for classes that do not traditionally have a syllabus (research credit, intern and teaching experiences, etc.). This should seem familiar as we have maintained our "ClassWeb" records online since the college formed. If you teach, please verify that there is a syllabus (or exemption form) for every one of your courses since beginning of Fall 2014. The current semester is located at http://www.hs.iastate.edu/classweb . To reach past semesters and exemption forms, click the "Past Syllabi" link. If your syllabus/exemption form is not listed, please email it ASAP to me at embleton@iastate.edu
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 17, 2015

    College of Human Sciences international programs welcomes Erin French as new director: Erin French will be the new director of international programs as of Oct. 5. She succeeds Andrew Hong, who retired. French joins us from the College of Design where she serves as the director of study abroad. She will work to increase the global opportunities and study abroad experiences in our college. French will also be working with our international students to ensure their adjustment to our college. More».
    For more information, contact Linda Serra Hagedorn in administration at 515-294-5746 or lindah@iastate.edu.

    August 27, 2015

    Collecting assignments through Blackboard: Use Blackboard's Assignment Tool to a create a dropbox where students submit homework. Assignments are either grouped together on a single content area titled "Assignments," or placed into weekly folders. They can be configured for students to submit individually or by group. The instructor can attach files for the student to review (template, instructions) and add a grading rubric. Assignments normally have a point value, start and end display dates, and due date. A column is automatically added to the Grade Center for the assignment. Don't add another column manually. Students can enter their submission with the onscreen text editor but more commonly will upload files they created. Each student can verify whether their submission was successfully made by returning to the assignment link (if it is still available) or checking their My Grades tool. The greatest advantage of collecting work this way is that the student's original submission and the instructor's feedback are archived in one place for both to refer to.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 26, 2015

    Emails claiming to be from "Blackboard ITS" and other variations are not from the university: There have been at least 2 reports of CHS instructors receiving suspicious email that is marked as having come from "Blackboard Learning ITS" or "Blackboard ITS", and from an address that is NOT an ISU address. Please treat such mail as potentially hazardous and simply delete. When in doubt, please do NOT click links provided in such emails - contact the college or university IT groups (solution@iastate.edu) and /or forward suspicious email to abuse@iastate.edu for further investigation. It is not unusual to see scams such as this at the start of the university semester. Note that emails coming from your class account will have the class number in the subject line and an ISU email extension.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 20, 2015

    Blackboard test option settings: It's critically important to understand what each Test Option setting controls, which to use, and which to avoid. The Test Options selected should complement the test structure (i.e. whether students all see same questions or a randomly drawn subset), the number of times students can submit, and length of the test. If allowing multiple attempts, specify which grade to record (highest, average). NEVER check "Force Completion." If using the timer, turn it ON. As a rule, allow 1-2 minutes per multiple choice question. DO specify availability dates as these control when the test link is visible. DO specify Due Date, it appears in student's gradebook and class calendar. NEVER check mark, "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed." Use the Test Availability Exceptions feature to build accommodations for students needing longer attempt times and/or different test dates. Adjust feedback so only score is shown after submission for multiple attempts. Create a second feedback rule to show more details "After Due Date." For assistance, contact Karla Embleton.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 19, 2015

    Blackboard course set up tips: As you begin the fall semester, please take time to ensure that your Blackboard courses are displaying the correct information to students. Remove any old announcements. Hide any folders or activities that should be not display at the beginning of the course. Be certain that all activities have fall 2015 due dates. Remove unneeded columns from the grade center (don't just hide them from instructor view). Also note that every course account gains 3 new grade columns: Availability, Weighted Total, and a Total column. The Available column should be hidden. The Weighted Total column should normally be deleted. And the Total column should be edited and the Running Total set to equal no. If this adjustment is not made, students may not see an accurate value for their Class Total. Be sure to switch to Student Preview to verify the content and activity links being displayed as well as the information shown in My Grades.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Qualtrics Survey Software: ISU has a site license for Qualtrics survey software. This allows everyone with an ISU netID and password to login to Qualtrics, create an online survey, distribute the survey, and analyze the collected data. Online surveys can be created for a wide variety of purposes, including as a means of providing administrative forms, class/group evaluations, voting, and testing. Remember that ISU has strict protocols for conducting online research and for ensuring student privacy. Visit the Office for Responsible Research (follow the More link) and the ISU Policy Library for required training and guidance. Members of the College of Human Sciences can get free assistance with survey coding by contacting Karla Embleton.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 14, 2015

    College of Human Sciences development team welcomes a new staff member: Sarah Wernimont will join the College of Human Sciences development team as an associate director of development, effective September 8. Wernimont will report to Kelly Hanfelt, senior executive director of development for leadership gifts, who leads the CHS development unit. Molly Parrott, director of development, and Anette O'Shea, development coordinator, will continue in their current roles. O'Shea now reports to Parrott, who continues to report to Hanfelt.
    For more information, contact Pamela White in the College of Human Sciences at 515-294-5380 or pjwhite@iastate.edu.

    August 4, 2015

    Blackboard Learn maintenance and support: Blackboard Learn will be down from 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday for system upgrades. Also, central support for students and instructors will now be done through the Solution Center by emailing solution@iastate.edu, calling 294-4000, or dropping into 195 Durham. This central support change does not alter college support services. Please continue to contact Ann Bugler and Karla Embleton, in the college's Online and Distance Learning unit, as your first line of support and training for Blackboard, Qualtrics, and Panopto.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 5152962084 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 29, 2015

    Panopto Server taken offline to be upgraded: At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Panopto server will be taken offline to upgrade to the latest version. Expected downtime is about an hour. During this time no existing content can be viewed and no new recordings can be processed. However, offline recordings can continue to be made and may be uploaded after the upgrade is complete. All currently installed Recorders will need to be upgraded before they can be used on the new system. The newer version will eliminate the need for Silverlight, which has been a problem for many users. If you need assistance with the upgrade, please submit a request by clicking more. More».
    For more information, contact Ann Bugler in administration at 1-515-294-5812 or bugler@iastate.edu.

    July 27, 2015

    Order fall Blackboard and library accounts now: It's time to order your fall Blackboard and library accounts, if you have not already done so! You will need to know your course number and section (see online schedule of classes, http://classes.iastate.edu/ ) Go to the Blackboard login page and click "Course Creation Request" in the Blackboard Help at ISU panel (or follow the MORE link below). You can request a new account or that an existing account be copied for re-use. (You can only copy accounts in which you had Instructor access). If you will be using the online reserve system through Parks Library, get your requests in immediately or risk not having material posted by the first day of your class. Library Instructor forms and information are available at: http://www.lib.iastate.edu/info/6506 . Blackboard helpdesk assistance and training is available to all instructors and TAs in the college through the Online and Distance Learning unit on third floor of MacKay. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 5152949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 20, 2015

    Setting up Blackboard group discussions for fall: Many online and hybrid courses (and a few face to face classes), require students to work in small groups. A common activity for groups is to respond to a weekly question. These discussions occur in pre-built group discussion forums. Setting up these forums is a very time consuming task - each forum has to be individually created for each group, for each week. Building a forum involves adding the text prompt, start date, end date, due date, grade value or grading rubric, and specifying posting properties such as whether the forum requires students to post first before they can read others' posts. Having the group discussion activities in place before the semester begins is a tremendous time saver later and will give you some peace of mind. If you send a complete schedule of the questions and posting settings to us, and let us know how many groups you need, we will get them created for your fall class! Then all you will need to do is add students to each group, either when you enroll students, or preferably, after a few days when adds/drops settle down. Contact embleton@iastate.edu for assistance.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 5152949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    July 13, 2015

    Repairing Youtube Links in Blackboard: Early this summer, YouTube made changes that caused all of Blackboard's MashupTool YouTube links to cease working. While a Blackboard fix is anticipated, it may not be available in time for fall semester. The following workaround requires recoding every broken link individually. First, locate the video in YouTube then click the share button below the video. Click the embed tab and click "show more" below the embed code for additional options, like preventing YouTube from suggesting related videos at the end of the video. After specifying settings, copy the embed code. Go to the location in your course where you want the video to show. Click build content > item. Click the html button in the text editor, paste the embed code in the pop-up window, then click update. Click the submit button when you are done editing the text. When correctly done, you will see an embedded video in both the instructor's edit mode and in student preview mode. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 5152949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 6, 2015

    Planned Blackboard Outage: The Blackboard Learn system's Oracle database server will undergo major software updates starting at 6 am CST Friday, May 15. This is likely to take all day Friday and maybe even into Saturday. Blackboard will not be available to any users during this maintenance period.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 30, 2015

    Blackboard Summer Course Preparation: Will you be teaching a summer course and using Blackboard as a supplemental website or a full delivery platform? Do you have questions about setting up your Blackboard site to reduce management hassle, improve communication with students, and avoid Blackboard pitfalls? Join us Thursday May 14, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in 312 MacKay for an informal overview of best practices and tips about Blackboard, course design, and class management. Please come with tips that you can share with others and questions that you would like answered. Follow up one-on-one meetings can be schedule with college online and distance learning support staff as needed.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Make sure your grade calculations are accurate in Blackboard: By default, Blackboard's calculated columns report the sum of what each student earns, divided by the maximum possible sum of what that student turned in. This is not the same as performing the calculation based on the maximum possible points of what each student was supposed to turn in. The calculation will only be correct if the instructor has made sure that every missed submission has been given a zero. To change the default setting for the calculated column, go to the full grade center, expand the menu for the column, select edit column information, scroll down to calculate as running total, click the no option. Then click submit on the bottom of the screen. This will then perform the calculation based on all the columns that are set to contribute to calculations, regardless of whether each individual student received a score or not.
    For more information, contact karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 21, 2015

    Order summer courses for Blackboard: If you have not ordered your summer course yet, please do so by going to the Blackboard login page and clicking "course creation request" in the Blackboard Help at ISU panel (or follow the "more" link below). You can request a new account or request that an existing account be copied for re-use (you can only copy accounts in which you had instructor access). If you will be using the online reserve system through Parks Library, you must get your requests in immediately or risk not having material posted by the first day of your class. Library Instructor forms and information are available at http://www.lib.iastate.edu/info/6506. Blackboard assistance and training is available to all instructors and TAs in the college through the Online and Distance Learning unit on third floor of MacKay. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Review your Blackboard grade book for accuracy: As the semester winds down, it is well worth the time to review your Blackboard grade book from both the instructor and preview student view. First, compare it to the syllabus and make sure that all the grade columns that should be present are there and have the correct point value. Then, remove unused or unnecessary grade columns. Note that you can't delete columns associated with existing online activities, even if they are not being used. You must delete the activity. Next, in the full grade center, expand the manage menu and select "column organization." This displays all the grade columns, even those hidden to instructor view. There should be no hidden columns contributing to grade calculations. Note that you can't delete columns from the manage view and you can't be certain from this view whether a column is contributing to running total calculations since that is a column property. This is a good time to decide how you will calculate final grades. For assistance, contact Karla.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    24/7 technical assistance for students on Blackboard: Students can now receive 24/7 technical assistance for Blackboard through a new service contract ISU has entered into with Blackboard. Previously, students' only source of Blackboard support was the course instructor. Now they have three options: visit http://www.it.iastate.edu/blackboard, email blackboard@iastate.edu, or call 515-294-9198. The ITS Solution Center will field basic support questions related to issues such as browser configuration and access to course content. However additional support will be routed to the corporate Blackboard support office. More course-specific questions such as grading disputes may still require faculty involvement, but this pilot should significantly reduce the Blackboard support load on faculty. Over the summer, another pilot will expand faculty support to a 24/7 format. Follow the "more" link to reach the Blackboard Help site. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 6, 2015

    Order Summer and Fall Blackboard Accounts: Beat the rush! Order your summer and fall Blackboard accounts now. You can order a new account or have an existing account copied. However you can only copy accounts in which you hold instructor access. If you order a new account, be sure to edit its course menu to reflect your class organization and content. For assistance, contact Karla Embleton. Follow the "more" link to access the online account order form. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 30, 2015

    Create Practice Activities with Quia: Quia is web-based software that allows you to create 16 different learning activities, for solo or team play. Activities can be created for study purposes (e.g. flashcards, matching games) or for evaluation (quizzes with multiple question styles). An instructor can create class-based pages and enroll students. Quia creates and maintains a gradebook for each class, which includes scores and time spent on activities. Games can be played with or without logging in, depending on how the instructor has set up the activity. Instructors can modify each test's deliver settings similar to how it's done in Blackboard, including creating individual overrides for accommodation purposes. The annual license registration is low (about $50). The tools do not allow for much customization but it is correspondingly simple to use. You can register for a 30 day free trial. For more information, visit http://www.quia.com/ More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 5152949198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 24, 2015

    Learn more about Turnitin: This winter, ISU invested in TurnItIn, a software program that can be used through Blackboard for checking the originality of student's submitted work. Come to 312 MacKay on Friday March 27 at 2 p.m. for a short demonstration of TurnItIn. Meg Berta, graduate student in HDFS and Online and Distance Education assistant, will describe how the tool can be used by instructors and students. Click "more" to access user guides and training videos from the TurnItIn company. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 5, 2015

    Submit a Blackboard product enhancement request: Blackboard has an online form for requesting product enhancements. The link to this form is available in the "Blackboard help at ISU" module. You can use this form to submit bug reports or improvement wishes. Requests received most frequently will be targeted for faster delivery. Not all enhancements can or will be met and it usually takes many months before changes are incorporated into the software. If you need help with Blackboard immediately, contact Karla or Ann in the college's Online and Distance Education unit. To see Blackboard's enhancement request form now, click "more." ISU is currently using Blackboard Learn, version 9.1. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 25, 2015

    Submit midterm grades: Midterm grades must be submitted by 2:15 Friday, March 6. They can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Blackboard (use only one method). The only grades that get reported are F, D, and C-. To submit from Blackboard, the grade must be stored as text or letter in a column labeled "midterm grade." The instructor must move the green flag to the column header by specifying it is to be "set as external grade." This is a setting option in the column's menu. Once the column and grades are prepared, the Instructor submits the grades to the Registrar by going to course tools > ISU admin tools > grades tab, and clicking the submit button. Only the Instructor of record listed with the Registrar can submit grades - it cannot be done by a TA or tech support staff. Grades can be resubmitted, overwriting the earlier submission, up until the Friday deadline. Contact Karla for assistance. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 23, 2015

    Read-only Blackboard discussion access: Instructors often create discussion-based exercises in their Blackboard courses. These activities typically have an end date by which all student posts must be made so that grading can then begin. However, it may be desirable to allow students access after the activity is over to read posts and replies, without allowing them to continue contributing. To arrange this, the instructor must do two things. First, go to the list of discussions, open the desired forum's menu, select manage, and change the role of all the students in this forum from "participant" to "reader." Second, open the forum menu again and select edit, then uncheck the "display until" date so that the link is once again visible to students. A word of caution: if you duplicate the course for future, you will need to change the student role back to "participant" in the duplicated course as part of the course set up process.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 13, 2015

    Moderating Blackboard discussions: One of the options in Blackboard Discussions is to set a forum so that every post in it must be approved by the instructor before it becomes visible to the class. This applies to both initial posts and replies. There are certain circumstances when this might be desired. For example, in a human sexuality class, forum moderation could be used to screen questions in a discussion on a particularly sensitive topic. To set this up, go to the forum settings screen and check mark "Force Moderation of Posts." When a student posts in the forum, they see their own post with a status message of "Queued for Moderation." The instructor enters the forum and clicks the "Moderate Forum" button to see the queue of waiting posts, clicks on each, and chooses to make the post public or return it. If a post is returned, no one sees it except the student who created it. The instructor can include an explanation as to why it is being returned. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Grading as complete/incomplete in Blackboard: For many years and versions, Blackboard has had a function to allow a grade column to be set to grade as complete or incomplete. In the current version, a check mark is used to mean "complete." There is no "incomplete" marker other than dashes. When a survey is submitted, a check mark appears in the student's grade cell. An activity such as an assignment can also be graded as complete. When submitted, the yellow ball icon appears in the grade cell, indicating an ungraded submission. If the assignment is set to show "Complete/Incomplete" as the primary score, then anything the instructor enters into the cell will cause a check mark to appear. The activity can still have a point value listed as a secondary score, and that point value can be added to the running total calculations. Remember that secondary grades only appear to the instructor and are displayed in brackets after the primary score.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 2, 2015

    Collect assignments through Blackboard: Use Blackboard's assignment tool to a create a dropbox where students submit homework. Assignments are created on a course content area. Typically assignments are grouped together on a single content area titled "assignments" or placed in specific course week folder. They can be configured for students to submit individually or by group. The instructor can attach files for the student to review (e.g., a template or instructions) and add a grading rubric. Assignments normally have a point value, display dates, and due date. Students can enter a response with the on-screen text editor but more commonly will upload and submit files. Students can immediately verify whether their submission was successfully made. A column is automatically added to the grade center for the assignment. The greatest advantage of collecting work this way is that the student's original submission and the instructor's feedback are archived in one place for both to refer to. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Understand Blackboard smart views and favorites: A smart view is a rule to show some subset of columns and/or users in the grade center. A favorite is a bookmarked smart view that appears as an indented link below "full grade center." A favorite smart view can be used to show a specific type of activity - two such links are shown by default for tests and assignments. You can create a smart view for each group or section of students in your course. You could create a link for each teaching assistant to show just the students they should grade. You can also create a compound rule that shows a subset of users and columns, such as a link that displays just the discussions for group one and another for group two discussions. To create a smart view, go to the full grade center > manage > smart views. A list of all smart views appears. Click the star icon to the right of an existing smart view to activate it as link in the grade center menu. Click "create smart view" to define a new one. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 26, 2015

    Using class and group discussions in Blackboard: Blackboard provides two discussion tools, one for use in small groups and the other for the whole class. These tools are similar but not identical. Only the instructor can create discussion spaces, called forums, on the class tool and everyone in the class can potentially view and post to class discussions. The group discussion tool allows any group member to create forums, read, and post on the group board. Non-group members cannot view other groups' discussions. Typically the instructor creates a series of graded discussion activities on either each group's discussion board or on the class discussion board. These normally have release and due dates. Because they are worth points, a grade column is automatically created. If the instructor wishes, these forums can be set up such that a student must post first before being able to read other's posts. This encourages unique contributions. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 23, 2015

    Change student access to old courses in Blackboard: Class accounts in Blackboard are tied to the semester in which the course is offered. The ISU system administrator specifies a start date and end date for the semester and these dates dictate whether student roles are active in classes. For example, on Feb. 2, fall 2014 courses will become unavailable to the students who were enrolled in them (the courses will no longer appear when students log into Blackboard). However, an instructor can override the system defaults. This is necessary if you have students with "incompletes" who must have access longer or if you wish to bar students sooner (perhaps because quiz answer keys are given in the course). The settings are located in customization > properties. First specify whether the course should be available (yes or no). If yes, then in the "set course duration" section specify when the course should be closed down to students. Barring students does not bar instructors or teaching assistants.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 15, 2015

    Understand Blackboard test option settings: It's critically important to understand what each test option setting controls, which to use, and which to avoid. The test options selected should complement the test structure (for example, whether students all see the same questions or a randomly drawn subset), the number of times students can submit, and length of the test. If allowing multiple test attempts, specify which grade to record (highest, average). Never check "Force Completion." To use the timer, turn it on. As a rule, allow one to two minutes per multiple choice question. You must specify availability dates because these control when the test link is visible. Specify the due date so it appears in the student's grade book and class calendar. Never select "do not allow students to start the test if the due date has passed." Use the test availability exceptions feature to build accommodations for students needing longer attempt times or different test dates. Adjust feedback so only score is shown after submission for multiple attempts. Create a second feedback rule to show more details "after due date." More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 12, 2015

    Prevent time-outs in Blackboard: Each user's connection to Blackboard times out after 30-60 minutes of "idle" time. This is also affected by your own internet service provider. Idle time is the time between messages to the central Blackboard server. When a student saves a test question, that sends a message to the central server and the idle time count begins afresh. When a person it composing a message in a journal, blog, or other text entry box, nothing is being sent to the server, so that is idle time. The danger is that the connection times out before the message is sent, so when the work is submitted, it is lost. Save yourself and your students this frustration by doing the following: (1) Instruct students to compose any long message on their own computer, save it, then transfer it to their BB activity screen. (2) When typing long responses into the Blackboard text editor, periodically save the message in draft format. Work saved in draft format is only visible to the person who created it. Students must reopen their drafts and submit them for the instructor to grade. (3) Encourage students to save each test answer as they go. Avoid just selecting but not saving answers and clicking the "Save" button once on the bottom of the screen.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Create class email lists: In Blackboard, the "Send Email" tool can be used to create a class email list. However, if you don't want to log into Blackboard, or are not using it, it's handy to have an email group that remains accurate as students add and drop your course. To create an automatically updated class mailing list go to Account Services on the Web, https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/, login with your netID (if prompted), click "Manage Lists", click "Manage Class Lists", select one or more classlists under the heading "Classlist not created", then click on "Create selected classlist(s)". Your new email list should start working at 6am the following morning. You will receive a confirmation email with the email address for the list. Emails sent to this address will be delivered to all students registered in the class. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 7, 2015

    Access Blackboard and Panopto support: The recent upgrade to Blackboard had unexpected consequences that are affecting college staffs' ability to provide direct technical assistance. CHS Online and Distance Learning staff can no longer see which accounts exist or add ourselves to your accounts. For assistance with Blackboard or Panopto you'll need to enroll us into your class. In your Blackboard course, click Users and Groups > Users > Find User to Enroll > type in embleton (and/or bugler) into the Username box, Role=Instructor, Enrollment=Yes, click Submit. If we ordered your account for you or if you added us when you filled in the account order form, then we already have access and you'll see us listed on the User list. Since only Instructors can order course copies, future support work is also affected by the role you give us now. This issue is affecting Blackboard support staff in all ISU colleges. Central IT is working with Blackboard company support to find a solution.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 5, 2015

    Reset copied Blackboard courses: There are several things you will need to do to get a duplicated Blackboard course ready for reuse. You'll need to remove old Announcements and revise, replace, or delete out-of-date files, adjust all activity dates, and verify that the Grade Center is accurate. Two tools that will prove invaluable during this process are "Date Management" and "Student Preview." Date Management is under Course Tools and is used to generate a listing of all Due, Start, and End dates in the course. You can advance all, a subset, or individual dates from this list. To verify what students see, click the Student Preview icon in the top right of the course. When you exit Student Preview mode, save the dummy student so that it gets listed as a student in your course. It can then be added to groups and assigned grades, giving you an even fuller view of the course. If the student's My Grade has errors, check the Grade Center for columns that are hidden to the instructor, incorrectly scored columns, and missing columns.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 8, 2014

    Order spring Blackboard accounts: it's a great time to order your spring Blackboard accounts and arrange for Parks Library reserve materials. To facilitate final exams, Blackboard course orders will not be fulfilled during final exam week, Dec. 15-19. Note that most central Iowa State support staff will be gone much of the winter break, Dec. 22-Jan. 5. It is important to get your account requests in as soon as possible. You can request either a new, blank course or a duplicate of a course in which you were previously the instructor. To order an account you must know your course prefix and section number, e.g. 1A, XW, or 'All', which can be verified by visiting the online schedule of classes page. The 'More' link will take you to the online order form. You must have an ISU netID to order an account. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Final Grades due Dec. 29: final grades must be submitted via AccessPlus or Blackboard before 2:15 p.m. Dec. 29. If submitting via Blackboard, eight criteria must be met: (1) it must be done during the grade submission period, (2) you must log into Blackboard using the netID that has been designated as the registrar Instructor of record, (3) the class must have been enrolled from a registrar classlist, (4) there must be a column labeled "Final Grade," (5) the Final Grade column must have a green flag in its header cell to indicate it is the externally shared column, (6) the column must be set to contain text or letter data, and (7) the column can only contain valid final grades. After the final grade column is properly configured in the Grade Center, go to Course Tools>ISU Admin tools>Grade tab, (8) document why each F is given by using the dropdown list provided, then click the "Submit" button. You can overwrite stored grades by resubmitting up until the deadline. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    December 1, 2014

    Faculty vote on curricular changes ends Friday, Dec. 5: Faculty will receive email invitations via the Quatrics voting interface. More».
    For more information, contact Suzanna Hendrich in food science and human nutrition at 515-294-4272 or shendric@iastate.edu.

    Order spring Blackboard accounts: it's a great time to order your spring Blackboard accounts and arrange for Parks Library reserve materials. To facilitate final exams, Blackboard course orders will not be fulfilled during final exam week, Dec. 15-19. Note that most central Iowa State support staff will be gone much of the winter break, Dec. 22-Jan. 5. It is important to get your account requests in as soon as possible. You can request either a new, blank course or a duplicate of a course in which you were previously the instructor. To order an account you must know your course prefix and section number, e.g. 1A, XW, or 'All', which can be verified by visiting the online schedule of classes page. The 'More' link will take you to the online order form. You must have an ISU netID to order an account. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 14, 2014

    How many discussion posts?: If you are curious to know how many discussion posts your students have made, there are a couple ways to get counts. To find out how many posts have been made by each student individually, click on Evaluation > Performance Dashboard. The number of posts per student is listed. Click the number to burrow down and see where the messages were posted, word count, date, and earned grade. You can click further to see the actual text of the posts. To get a better feel for how many posts have been made overall in each forum by the entire class, click Course Tools > Discussion Board. The number of unique participants and posts per forum is listed. Click on a forum name to go to the forum itself, where you can view threads with post and participant tallies. For additional information about searching and collecting posts, follow the "More" link.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    ISU licenses antiplagiarism service Turnitin: Turnitin is a comprehensive cloud-based solution that can be used by instructors to check student's work for potential plagiarism and which can be used by students to check their own work for proper citations. It is now available as a tool within Blackboard at ISU. Support and training for both instructors and students is provided by the Turnitin Company in the form of online manuals, online videos, and helpdesk experts that can be reached by email or phone. Follow the More link for details and links. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    November 7, 2014

    Extra credit grade columns in Blackboard: the trick to including extra credit activity scores for students in Blackboard is to have the associated grade column worth zero points. In this way a student can be given points but the overall point value for the course is not changed. Whether you are manually adding a column to the grade book or adding a column that is generated from an online submission (a test, assignment, or communication activity), specify that the point value is zero and that any entered grade should count towards the student's running total. Remember to switch to student preview mode to verify both the student's grade book view and the total point value listed for the course.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Extra credit test questions in Blackboard: Blackboard allows instructors to specify that select questions in tests should be counted as extra credit, i.e. a student can earn a score for answering the question correctly but the overall worth of the test is not changed by including the question. The instructor builds the test and includes the extra credit question in the normal way (preferably by storing questions in pools, then linking to the pooled question). As each question is added to the test, it is given a default point value (usually 10 pt). Click on the question's point value to get a pop up window in which the value can be changed. In this window checkmark the "extra credit" box, then click Submit. The words "extra credit" should display in brackets after the point value.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 31, 2014

    Blackboard use continues to increase:The use of Blackboard within the college continues to increase modestly, with this fall's usage being 5 percent higher than fall 2013. This fall there are 389 College of Human Sciences class accounts. In most courses, Blackboard is used primarily as an information management tool. At the low end of use, instructors post a schedule, grades, and announcements. In the "mid" use range, instructors post notes, study aids, collect assignments and may provide learning activities such as weekly quizzes or group discussions. At the most involved level, Blackboard is used to deliver and manage fully online courses. In this situation, all content is delivered through Blackboard (though it may not be created and housed in Blackboard), students work collaboratively using online tools, and both student-student and instructor-student communication is done through Blackboard. To get started with Blackboard, contact Karla in the Online and Distance Learning group.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 13, 2014

    Midterm grades due: Midterm grades must be submitted by 2:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. They can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Blackboard. The only grades that get reported are F, D, and C-. To submit from Blackboard, the grade must be stored as text or letter in a column labeled exactly "Midterm Grade." The instructor must move the green flag to the column by specifying it is to be "set as external grade," which is a setting in the column menu. Once the column and grades are ready for submission, the instructor can submit them by going to course tools > ISU admin tools > grades tab, and clicking the submit button. Only the instructor of record listed with the registrar can submit grades. Grades can be resubmitted, overwriting the earlier submission, up until the Friday deadline. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    October 6, 2014

    Test accommodations in Blackboard: It may be necessary to modify the delivery settings of a test for specific individuals if they require additional time per attempt, additional attempts, or will do the test later or earlier than the rest of the class. To set this up, turn edit mode "on," then open the test link and select "test options." Go to "section 3. test availability exceptions," click the "add user or group" button, and select the individuals or group to be accommodated. For each group or individual, specify unique test delivery settings. These individualized settings over-ride the "class" settings for the test. An important caveat: if adding test exception, make sure to leave the "do not allow students to start the test if the due date has passed" option in section 4 unchecked, as it interferes with test exception rules when checked. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Grading discussions in Blackboard: Class discussion forums and group discussion forum's can be set up as gradable. When a forum's settings specify a point value, a column is automatically created in the grade center for the activity. To begin grading, the instructor can either go into the forum and select the "grade discussion forum" button, go to the grade center > needs grading > click on a user attempt, or go to grade center > full grade center > find a cell with a yellow alert ball and select "grade user activity". All routes arrive at the same grading screen. All of the student's starter posts and replies within the discussion forum are listed together. A summary of the number of posts, length of posts, and position in conversation threads is available by expanding the forum statistics panel. If a rubric is attached for grading, complete and save the rubric. If a rubric is not used, just enter a grade. Click the "submit" button to record the score in both cases. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard date management tool: Is your course haunted by due dates of past years? Do students complain that quizzes are not appearing when the syllabus states they should? Courses that have been duplicated may still contain old date settings and new courses can have errors. Use the date management tool to generate a list of all due, display after (start), display until (end) dates and adaptive release rule dates in your course along with the exact element that they apply to, e.g. announcement, assignment, quiz. Dates can be altered from the list individually, or advanced in bulk, e.g., shift all dates ahead 202 days. To use the tool, go to course tools > date management > list all dates for review > submit. When the report is generated, it will be emailed to you and can be displayed on the screen. Remember to refresh the listing if you make changes. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 22, 2014

    Blackboard assignments and SafeAssign: The assignment tool in Blackboard allows an instructor to create a dropbox for students to submit homework, typically as an uploaded file. Only the instructor, or grader, and student who makes the submission can see the submitted work. The instructor defines when the dropbox is active, posts a due date, can create a rubric for scoring, and if desired, can specify that all submissions will be checked for plagiarism using the SafeAssign service. Using SafeAssign limits which assignment settings can be used though - visit the MORE link for details. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 16, 2014

    Batch download Blackboard assignment submissions: Both the instructor and student who submitted an assignment can view and download it from Blackboard. The instructor may wish to download all the submissions at once though. To do so, go to the grade center, expand the column menu for the assignment, and select "Assignment File Download." On the next screen, select which submissions are to be downloaded then click "submit." A .zip file is created containing all the selected submissions. It may take several seconds to compile. Click the "download assignments now" link to save the .zip file to your computer. This file contains a text document for each student since each had the opportunity to type into a text entry field. It will also contain any files they uploaded. Follow the MORE link for additional details. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 15, 2014

    Blackboard: student access to rubrics: Instructors can specify that a grade column, assignment, or communication activity (e.g., discussion forum, blog, wiki, and journal) will be scored using a rubric. The instructor builds the rubric with a template in Blackboard. A rubric can be attached to more than one activity. For each use, the instructor specifies whether students should see the rubric, however, where the link shows varies by type of activity. The new update of Blackboard is not consistently showing rubric links in the students' My Grades view but students can see it in the activity and in their submitted work. Follow the 'More' link for rubric building instructions. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    September 8, 2014

    Creating special views of the grade center on Blackboard: The grade center already has pre-built views for displaying only the assignment columns, and only the test columns. However you may find it useful to define other views (subsets) of the grade database. If your students work in groups, you may wish to see each group separately. Or, you might want to create a new category to track attendance for guest speakers and have just those columns appear. If you need to create new categories for defining your columns, go to full grade center > manage > categories. To make a unique view, go to full grade center > manage > special views. To have a special view appear as a link under the full grade center side link, click the star next to the smart view. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard test feedback settings: the summer upgrade to Blackboard subtly changed the default test feedback settings in Blackboard. The default setting shows students their total score for the test and a list of the questions they received with an indication of which were answered correctly and which were not. Neither the full list of response options, the correct response option, nor the student's selection are shown. If you want students to only receive their overall score, with no questions details, then uncheck the "Score per Question" box in test options > section 6. If you don't want students to see even their score, then go to the grade center, find the column and select "Hide from Students". Remember to unhide it when they should see their scores. Full details of test option settings are available from the MORE link. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 18, 2014

    Instructors need a way to email their classes: In Blackboard, the "Send Email" tool can be used. However if you don't want to log into Blackboard, or are not using it, it's handy to have an email group that remains accurate as students add and drop your course. To create an automatically updated class mailing list, go to Account Services on the Web, https://asw.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/acropolis/, login with your netID if prompted, click "Manage Lists", click "Manage Class Lists", select one or more classlists under the heading "Classlist not created", then then click on "Create selected classlist(s)". Your new email list should start working at 6 a.m. the following morning. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard: assignment plagiarism detection: The plagiarism detection service, SafeAssign, is now directly integrated within the Blackboard Assignment tool. This makes it very easy for instructors to review submissions for plagiarism potential, and for instructors to provide students with the opportunity to evaluate their submissions for proper citation of sources. SafeAssign supports file types that are convertible to plain text, i.e. .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, html, and zip files composed of such files (no PowerPoint or spreadsheet files). After a paper is processed, a report is generated detailing the percentage of text that matches existing sources. The report shows the suspected sources for each section of the submitted paper that returns a match. The instructor can delete matching sources from the report and process it again. The report is available from the instructor's grading interface and the student's "My Grades" screen. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Setting up online surveys: Need an online survey for a research project, class activity, or administrative form? Iowa State and the College of Human Sciences provide a couple of options. Everyone at ISU has access to Qualtrics software and can use it to create, distribute, and analyze their own set of surveys. To reach the software, go to Q on the university index and log in with your netID. The college's online and distance learning (ODL) unit also has a SurveyGizmo license which may be a better option for more complicated surveys. The ODL unit will even code your IRB approved surveys in either software and provides training to those who wish to do their own Qualtrics coding. For more information, contact Karla at hsonline@iastate.edu
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard: new student view tool: Instructors can now easily verify exactly what students can see and do in their Blackboard courses. The new "Student Preview" tool displays in the upper toolbar, next to the colored fan icon, and consists of two arrows around a dot. With 'student preview' mode is enabled, the instructor can submit assignments, take tests, create blogs, post discussions, check My Grades, and use any other tool available to students. The preview user appears in the course roster as "Instructor last name_PreviewUser." It is visible to all students enrolled in the course and listed in the Grade Center. Co-instructors each have their own preview user account. When student preview mode is turned off, the instructor is prompted to keep or delete the preview user and all its associated data. Click the More link for additional details. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    August 11, 2014

    Checklist for fall courses: Are you teaching this fall? If so, make sure to reach out to the College Online and Distance Learning unit, hsonline@iastate.edu, for help with Blackboard, Panopto, and class surveys. We provide one-on-one assistance to get your class site ordered, structured, and populated. We can assist with posting content you create and/or train you how to do so yourself. If you wish to make copyrighted material, such as journal articles, available to students, work with Parks Library Reserve so as to avoid copyright infringement. Finally, remember to send your course syllabi to the support person in your department who is collecting them, who will then send them to me for web posting, as this is a new university requirement.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard: resetting duplicated courses: if you will be teaching with a Blackboard account that is a copy of an older one, do the following things BEFORE enrolling students: (1) remove old Announcements, (2) hide links and folders that should not be available at the start of the term, (3) remove obsolete adaptive release rules and groups, (4) update all start display, end display, and due dates throughout the course (tip: use the Course Tools > Date Management feature to generate a listing of all dates), (5) verify accuracy of Grade Center, and (6) update syllabus and other components as needed. For assistance, contact the College Online and Distance Learning unit, hsonline@iastate.edu
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 15, 2014

    Blackboard course policy suggestions: Whether you are teaching in person or online, it is critical that the responsibilities of both the student and instructor are clearly spelled out and met throughout the course. This helps creates an atmosphere of respect and accountability. The following course policies and procedures, when applied together, reduce several grade-related problems: (1) Only accept homework submitted through Blackboard tools (discussions, test, assignments, journals, etc.); (2) State that students are responsible for verifying their submitted work is actually stored in Blackboard before the due date; (3) Instructors should commit to having all assignments graded within a week of the due date; (4) Instructors should always enter a zero for missing submissions so that students are alerted quickly and total score calculations are done properly; (5) Implement a policy whereby grade changes for any activity will only be considered during the week following the activity grades are posted. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 14, 2014

    Test accommodations in Blackboard: It may be necessary to modify the delivery settings of a test for specific individuals. This usually is necessary if the student requires additional time per attempt or additional attempts -- or will take the test at a different time than the rest of the class. To set up such modifications in Blackboard, turn on Edit Mode. Open the test link and select Test Options. Select Section 3, Test Availability Exceptions, and click Add User or Group. From there, select the individual or group in need of accommodations. For each student, specify the unique test delivery settings. These individualized settings override the normal settings for the test. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Starting your summer class with Blackboard: Whether you are building a Blackboard course from scratch or working from a copy of a previous course, there are various set-up steps that should be completed before you enroll students. Follow the More link to reach a Word file that contains a series of recommendations and instructions. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    May 6, 2014

    Update on CHS diversity climate survey: A total of 543 individuals participated in the CHS diversity climate survey this semester. Thank you for your contributions. The largest group of responders was undergraduate students, with 293 completing the survey. Ten of those students were randomly drawn to receive a complimentary gift certificate for Caribou Coffee. The CHS Diversity, Equity, and Community Committee is currently analyzing the data from the survey. Major themes in the open-ended responses have been identified, and quantitative analyses are in progress. We will begin reporting of key findings early in fall semester and introduce resources and programs related to the findings for students and faculty.
    For more information, contact Mary Lynn Damhorst in apparel, events, and hospitality management at 515-294-9919 or mldmhrst@iastate.edu.

    May 5, 2014

    Quality Matters training: Quality Matters is a nationally recognized program that promotes quality in online and blended learning. The Quality Matters program includes (i) a peer reviewed rubric for quality course design, (ii) a formal process for course review and certification, and (iii) instruction on producing quality online and blended courses. As a subscriber to the Quality Matters program, Iowa State personnel are able to enroll in training courses at a reduced cost and have access to various tools on the QM website. Participants are also part of a large and growing community of colleges and universities engaged in a national conversation about quality in online education. For more information, contact Ralph Napolitano in CELT, ren1@iastate.edu , 515-294-9101, or the college ODEET staff. Follow the More link to read descriptions of the trainings available. Trainings target all stages of course design and review - find the ones that best suits your stage and need. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Order summer and fall Blackboard accounts: Summer classes begin in two weeks. Make sure to order your Blackboard course shell or request an existing account to be duplicated for reuse. Also make any necessary arrangements with Parks library for distributing copyright protected papers or articles you wish students to access. For Blackboard help, contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu. For help with screen/voice capture, video editing or webinars, contact Ann Bugler, bugler@iastate.edu Please also send you course syllabi to Karla for inclusion in the college online archive. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 24, 2014

    Known issues with emailing in Blackboard: Email sent from Blackboard goes to the address connected with each participant's username, which is typically their ISU email and is displayed in the Users list. Email can be sent from many places in your course but there are known bugs. Some examples include: 1. Emails sent from the Grade Center does not have a course identifier in the subject line; 2. If sending email from the Grade Center, the message will be empty if the Instructor uses CC, BCC, or checks the "Include list of recipients" option; 3. File links in emailed Announcements do not work. Course Links in emailed Announcements take the reader to the Blackboard login page; 4. Formatting of emailed Announcements can be very different than the display of the same post within Blackboard. An emailed version of an Announcement may be riddled with dozens, or hundreds, of blank lines and strange characters if the message was pasted from Word directly into the Announcement text box.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 23, 2014

    Preparing for final grade submission: The semester is almost over and soon you will need to calculate grades. To reduce student confusion and the chance of inaccuracies in your Blackboard Grade Center, the Office of Online Learning and Distance Education has put together a short checklist. You can access this list, which is a Word file, by clicking the "More" link. If you prefer, contact Karla Embleton to arrange for a staff member to work through the checklist with you. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 21, 2014

    Order summer classes: Summer classes begin in less than a month. Make sure to order your Blackboard summer course shell and make arrangements with Parks library for distributing any copyright protected papers or articles you wish students to access. For Blackboard help, contact Karla Embleton, embleton@iastate.edu. For help with screen/voice capture, video editing or webinars, contact Ann Bugler, bugler@iastate.edu Please also send you course syllabi to Karla for inclusion in the college online archive. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    SafeAssign maintenance with service outage on April 26: The SafeAssign central services will undergo maintenance that requires a service outage on Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT. For the first half hour, SafeAssign functionality will not be available and an error will be displayed to the user. For the remainder of the maintenance window, papers will not be processed. Papers submitted during this maintenance window will be queued, and reports will be delayed until after the maintenance has completed.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Branding a Qualtrics survey: You can add an image to brand your Qualtrics survey. Begin by creating your image and saving it in as a JPG or GIF file of appropriate size, typically no wider than 700 pixels. If it will appear on every page, keep it under 100 pixels tall. If it will appear just on the first page, a slightly taller image can be used. In Qualtrics, click Library > Graphics Library > Upload a New Graphic. Upload and save your file. Next, edit your survey. To add the image just once, click "Create a New Item" and select the "Descriptive Text" element. Edit the new element using the rich text editor, click the "Insert Graphic" icon, and grab the image you have stored. To edit the header or footer, click Look&Feel > Advanced > Header Edit, or Footer Edit > Insert Graphic icon. Make sure to preview your survey to ensure the new image fits well.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 14, 2014

    Modify Qualtrics survey appearance: When you create a new survey using your ISU Qualtrics account, it is given a very plain template that contains the Qualtrics "Q" brand. To select a different template, click Edit Survey > Look & Feel. A pop-up window appears. In it, pull down the arrow after "Iowa State" and select Qualtrics, then click the right pointing arrow in the same window (>). Select a new template from the 30 designs offered. You can further modify fonts and font size, colors, and navigational features using the four button menu: General, Font, Colors, Advanced. To remove the Qualtrics "Q" branding, click "Advanced" then "+ Add Custom CSS". Type the following line of code into the CSS Editor and save it: html .Skin #Logo {display: none;} More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Accessing online video from Parks Library: The ISU Library has been acquiring subscriptions and partnerships with a number of important streaming video vendors, giving students and instructors access to thousands of streaming video documentaries and films. Through these subscriptions, ISU community members can legally stream copyrighted content in the online and face-to-face classroom. Many of these videos include closed captioning and/or full-text transcripts, making them accessible and adding value for all users. A number of these packages also give users the capability to annotate a film, which means instructors can indicate to students aspects of the film to observe, etc. For more information, contact Associate Professor Susan Vega Garcia, Head of Instruction Department, Parks Library, savega@iastate.edu More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 294-9198` or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 11, 2014

    Step-by-step process for test developers: Developers are strongly recommended to follow a five step process to create and deploy tests: (1) place questions into storage pools, (2) create a test shell and link pooled questions to it (do not build questions in the test itself), (3) deploy the test (create link with delivery instructions), (4) modify the Grade Center column so that the correct submission score is recorded, (5) use a demo student account to verify that the test displays and functions properly. Once an assessment is made available to students, no further changes should be made to any part of it except in emergencies - such as to fix a typo that would change the intended answer. Do not add questions, remove questions, or change the test name. It is possible in some cases to change the grading key for certain question types and force all submitted attempts to be re-graded, but extreme care must be taken to ensure proper scoring and some details about completed submissions may be lost.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    April 4, 2014

    Side-by-side questions in Qualtrics: Iowa State's Qualtrics license allows everyone at the university to create their own online surveys. There are over 100 ways to ask questions, which are divided into 18 specific question style categories. The side-by-side option allows you to ask multiple questions in one condensed table. For example, you could set up a table that lists extra credit lectures vertically, then asks students to indicate which they attended (e.g., a yes/no question column), followed by ranking of the lecture (poor->good Likert style question column), followed by a comment field in which to enter a highlight of the talk. This question format allows a large amount of data to be collected in a small space and it is thus not suitable for use on mobile devices. A special variation of the side-by-side format is called "gap analysis" and allows the researcher to collect reasons for given satisfaction ratings and report on negative or positive gaps. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Blackboard's built-in text editor for instructors and students: Instructors use it to compose announcements, emails, activity directions, and enter test questions and answers. Students use it to compose communication posts (email, discussion, blog, wiki), and can see it in on assignments. It is a good practice to compose and save long text passages outside of Blackboard to prevent data lose in case of service interruption. However, copying and pasting from outside word processors typically carries considerable hidden code that both interferes with text display in Blackboard and causes page errors. The work around is to copy the text twice: first copy to a lower-level text editor (Notepad, Vim, or StickyNotes) to remove the formatting characters, then copy from there to Blackboard. Avoid copying non-alphanumeric characters whenever possible. If necessary, special characters and additional formatting can be added after the text is pasted into Blackboard.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 31, 2014

    Blackboard roster tool just for students: The Blackboard Roster tool, like the My Grades tool, is just for student use. Students use it to search for other students enrolled in their course. To generate a list of all classmates, set "First Name" = "Not blank" then click the Go button. The information displayed is from each participant's "Personal Information" data. Most of this information can be customized in the My Blackboard > Settings frame (top right corner). However, user names are pulled from the Blackboard login records and are therefore normally based on the official Registrar records. If Instructors, TAs, or graders wish to see the list of enrolled participants, they should go to Users and Groups > Users. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Avoid use of force completion in Blackboard: When deploying a test, the instructor has the option to activate "Force Completion." This should not be done as it limits the number of times a student can enter an exam. If selected, any interruption to an exam causes it to be automatically submitted. Interruptions can be caused by: time-out of the Blackboard session, internet service interruption (common if using a wi-fi connection), clicking any Blackboard option outside of the test, double-clicking any buttons inside the test, use of the mouse scroll wheel, and technical errors when saving an answer. A much better design approach is to specify how many test attempts can be submitted, specify a duration for each attempt, turn the duration timer on, and leave the Force Completion unchecked. In this scenario, a student can immediately log back into Blackboard and resume an interrupted assessment as long of the there is still time left in the duration clock. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 25, 2014

    Grading Blackboard assignments: Expand the Grade Center link then either click "Needs Grading" or "Assignments". In needs grading, set the filter to the activity of interest, click go, then click on a user submission link. In the Assignments view, find a cell with a yellow ball icon, expand the cell's menu then click attempt #. Both methods bring up the same online grading screen. The right hand blue panel has several easily overlooked arrows that expand critical portions of the interface. Click these to reveal the grade entry box, rubric, and feedback to learner box. Click the student's submitted DOC, DOCX, PDF file to view it online. Click the "Add comment" balloon to reveal markup tools - markup is saved as a transparent overlay and doesn't change the original file. If grading with a rubric, make certain to click "Save" on the rubric panel. Clicking Submit on the Assignment screen records the grade in the grade center. Submitted files can be downloaded in bulk from the grade center column. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Creating assignments in Blackboard: Blackboard's Assignment tool provides an easy to use, efficient method for disseminating, collecting and grading student work. Use the tool to create an assignment link on any "Content Area" page, typically grouping all assignment links together on one page or grouping all content and activities for a given week together. The instructor specifies when the assignment link will be visible to students with the Display After and Display Until date toggles. The instructor can also specify a "Due Date", which is listed automatically in the calendar and in the student's grade book view. To allow late submissions, set the display until date to be after the due date. The instructor specifies a point value for the activity and can add a grading rubric (rubrics are built and stored in Blackboard). A grade column is automatically created for the assignment. The instructor can attach files to the assignment for student's to review or use. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 24, 2014

    Using screening questions in Qualtrics: Place screening questions at the beginning of a Qualtrics survey to filter out respondents who don't meet the survey's participation criteria. Place these questions in the first "block" of the survey and use the Advanced Options menu to add a second block for the remaining questions. Use the Survey Flow tool to define a "branch" after the first block so that anyone who does not meet the screening criteria is shown a custom "end of survey" message. People who pass the screening move to block two. If you add nothing to the end of block two, respondents will see a default end of survey message when they finish the last page of survey questions. Other options include redirecting clients automatically to a specific web page, to a second survey, or displaying a custom thank you message. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 7, 2014

    Distributing Qualtrics surveys: When planning an online survey, carefully consider how you will distribute it. Do submissions need to be anonymous or is confidential sufficient? Does it matter whether people submit more than once? Must the survey be completed in one sitting? Do you have an email list of targeted respondents? Do you want to be able to send follow-up reminders to non responders? Do you need to keep track of individual respondent's submissions, perhaps for pre-post test analysis? Some delivery options are mutually exclusive. For example, you can't keep a survey completely anonymous and allow people to come back to complete their submission at a later time. The easiest way to deliver a survey is to keep it anonymous, use a single URL, allow multiple submissions, and if needed, create a second survey that asks for identifying information for optional incentive chances (prize drawing, class credit). More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    March 3, 2014

    Midterm grades due by 2:15 p.m. Friday, March 7: Grades can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Blackboard, but not both. The only permissible values for midterm grade submission are F, D, C-, and M, where M = not attending. To submit via Blackboard you must have a grade center column called exactly "Midterm Grade," it must be flagged as the "External Grade" column, it must contain valid grades, you must be logged in as the Instructor of Record (as recognized by the Registrar), students must be enrolled via a connection to the registrar list through the ISU Admin tools feature, and it must be during the open period for grade submission. Once the grade column is prepared, go to Course Tools > ISU Admin tools > Grades tab and click "Submit." You can change grades in the Grade Center and resubmit up until the Friday deadline.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 26, 2014

    Including extra credit activity in Blackboard: To include extra credit activity scores for students in Blackboard, have the associated grade column worth zero points. In this way a student can be given points but the overall point value for the course is not changed. Whether you are manually adding a column to the grade book or adding a column that is generated from an online submission (a test, assignment or communication activity), specify that the point value is zero and that it should count towards the student's running total. It is recommended that you login as a demo student to verify both the student's grade book view and the total point value listed for the course.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Using Blackboard extra credit test questions: A recent change in Blackboard allows instructors to specify that select questions in tests should be counted as extra credit, i.e. a student can earn a score for answering the question correctly but the overall worth of the test is not changed by including the question. The instructor builds the test and includes the extra credit question in the normal way (preferably by storing questions in pools, then linking to the pooled question). As each question is added to the test, it is given a default point value (usually 10 pt). Click on the point value to get a pop window in which the point value can be changed, checkmark the "extra credit" box, then click Submit. The words "extra credit" should display in brackets after the point value.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 21, 2014

    Test accommodations in Blackboard: It may be necessary to modify the delivery settings of a test for specific individuals if they require additional time per attempt, additional attempts, or will do the test later/earlier than the rest of the class. To set this up, turn edit mode on then pull down the link after a test and select "Test Options." Go to "Section 3. Test Availability Exceptions", click the "Add User or Group" button, and select the individuals or group to be accommodated. Next, specify unique over-ride accommodations for each selected individual or group. Any over-ride setting that is not specified falls back to the "class" setting for the test. An important caveat: if adding test exception, make sure to leave the ""Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" option in Section 4 unchecked, as it could interfere with your test exception rules otherwise. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Creating read-only Blackboard forums: If Discussion forums are used for a course, there may come a time when you would like to prevent students from making further posts or replies in a forum but still be able to read the posts that have already been made. This is a common situation if the activity is to be graded or when a guest instructor moderates the forum for a specific period of time. To make this change, go to the forum link and pull down its Action Menu, then select Manage. Select all students and change their role to "Readers." (The quickest way to select all participants is to check the box on top of the column of boxes, then individually uncheck instructors, TAs and graders.) After selecting the students, click the "Edit Role" button and select "Reader". After a moment, the screen will refresh and indicate the updated role for each participant. Unfortunately, this can only be done in Class Discussion Forums - there is a bug preventing the process from working in Group Discussion forums.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 19, 2014

    EndNote Web makes collecting, organizing, and citing references easy: The Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching's Professional Learning Community has found EndNote Web, a free service for those with an ISU email address, to be a great tool because of its ability to easily collect, organize, and cite bibliographic information. To help those interested in getting started with EndNote Web, using EndNote Web with online databases, or using EndNote Web to create bibliographies in Microsoft Word, the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching (CTLT) has created a series of video tutorials. You can access the videos through the CTLT YouTube Channel or by visiting the CTLT's Facebook page. The videos will show you how to create your EndNote Web account, add and organize references, export references from an online database, add in-text citations, and create a bibliography. More».
    For more information, contact Dennis Culver in the School of Education at 515-294-6327 or dculver@iastate.edu.

    February 18, 2014

    Midterm grades due by 2:15 p.m. Friday, March 7: Grades can be submitted through either AccessPlus or Blackboard, but not both. The only permissible values for submission are F, D, C- and M, where M = not attending. To submit via Blackboard you must have a column called exactly "Midterm Grade," it must be flagged as the "External Grade" column, it must contain valid grades, you must be logged in as the Instructor of Record (as recognized by the Registrar), students must be enrolled via a connection to the registrar list through the ISU Admin tools feature, and it must be during the open period for grade submission. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    February 3, 2014

    Sharing copyrighted work online: Do you provide your students with journal articles, book extracts, etc.? Sharing such items in your Blackboard account may be a violation of copyright laws. Instead, use ISU Parks library ereserve service. Begin by setting up a library password. Then can complete the online reserve submission request forms. Librarians will obtain copyright permission for the articles you wish to share and make electronic copies available through the ereserve website. It is best to start this process several weeks before the semester begins but you can request materials at any time - just understand there may be big bottlenecks at the start of each semester. In your Blackboard class, include a link to ereserve. Note that all users now see a "My Library" tab in Blackboard, which includes helpful information such as how to access library materials from off campus. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Selecting which Blackboard test score to record: When setting up a test in Blackboard, the instructor specifies how many times each student can attempt the test (i.e. how many times a student can submit the test). By default, the score of each student's last graded attempt is shown in the Grade Center. To change which attempt score is recorded, go to the Grade Center > Tests. Open the menu for the test column and select "Edit Column Information." In part one of the settings, set "Score Attempts Using" to the desired attempt, which is usually "highest grade."
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 20, 2014

    Sending class emails through Blackboard: You can easily send email to all the members of your class through Blackboard. However, if you want to email the class outside of Blackboard, you'll want a mail group that is automatically updated should students add or drop the course. Central IT has a process for this using the Registrars classlist. Follow the link below for instructions on setting this up. Remember, you'll need to activate these class email groups every semester since they are based on the current registrar lists, and only the Instructor of Record can activate a course email group. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Using Qualtrics survey software: Anyone with an netID can create an online survey on Qualtrics. If conducting research, you will likely launch your survey, wait a specified amount of time or until a specific number of submissions have been received, then close the survey. But if you have created a feedback form, application form, or similar questionnaire, it likely doesn't have an end date. You can receive an alert message every time a submission is made by adding an email trigger to the survey. Edit your Qualtrics survey, expand the "Advanced Options" menu (upper right corner), select Triggers > Email Triggers. Enter the email recipient address, a message, and indicate whether survey data should be included or not. At the bottom of the window you can select "Add Another Trigger" if you wish to send email to more than one person. Finish by clicking the "Save Triggers" button. See the "More" link for a video tutorial. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 13, 2014

    Grouping courses in Blackboard: Users may find it useful to rearrange their list of courses in Blackboard to group by semester, to group all semesters of a single course together, or to hide old courses. The course list settings are reached by hovering the mouse over the "My Courses" panel title, then clicking the gear icon which displays in the upper right corner of the title bar. In section one, you can choose to have items sorted by semester, specify which semesters to show and which semester should be displayed "open." In section two, you can hide or show each course you are enrolled in. Before leaving this screen, click the Submit button otherwise your settings won't be saved. Note that there are two course panels - one on the My ISU tab and another on the Courses tab. The settings for each list are independent, so you can set them up to be the same or different.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 11, 2014

    Include spring syllabi in online collection: Send your spring syllabi to Karla Embleton for inclusion in the college's online syllabi collection. More».
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 10, 2014

    Creating a demo student in Blackboard: To create a demo student you need to create a new, unique username. Go into the course, then to Course Tools>ISU Admin Tools>Enroll tab. In the "Manually Add Students" box, enter without spaces: username,FirstName,LastName,password,email. Keep in mind: "username" must be unique within the ISU netID system, the first and last name should not be your own, the "password" must be 8 characters or more, the "email" is optional but useful. Without an email, which can be your ISU email address, the demo student receives no Blackboard emails. If the username is unique, it will be created and added to your list on enrolled students, displayed in the righthand column. Note that when used, the new username is preceded by a "w." so login as w.username (example: w.redhood ).
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    January 7, 2014

    How to get around the Lagomarcino Hall construction: Remodeling of the School of Education facility began Jan. 2. Fencing went up around the north end of the building, construction barricades were installed, and demolition began. Faculty, staff, and students returning for the spring 2014 semester can access the basement from the east, west, and south wings of the building. More».
    For more information, contact Chuck Achter in the School of Education at 515-294-7937 or cachter@iastate.edu.

    January 6, 2014

    Blackboard semester start-up: Whether building a new Blackboard class from scratch, or rolling over an existing account, there are several startup steps to perform. 1: Make sure to create/enroll and use a demo student to verify what students actually see. 2: Customize the course menu to reflect your course's structure (the default template contains things that should not be available). 3: Make certain all link display and activity due dates are correct, and remove old announcements. 4: Verify that the Grade Center is accurate. When all four steps are done, enroll your students. It is usually best to wait a week or two for enrollment to settle out before putting students into work groups.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

    Duplicating Blackboard course accounts: When Blackboard course accounts are duplicated from previous semesters, it is tempting to go to the Grade Center and hide columns you don't want current students to see. This can lead to considerable confusion and errors because there are two "Hide" options. The "Hide Column" option nearest the bottom of the column's edit menu only hides the column to the instructor. Students still see it and it may still be contributing to the class point calculations. Avoid using this hide option. The "Show/Hide to Users" command in the middle of a column's edit menu toggles column display to students. Use this to hide a column from student view but be careful if the column is contributing towards a running total. Click the "Edit Column Information" option to adjust a column's point value and to specify whether it should be included in running total calculations.
    For more information, contact Karla Embleton in administration at 515-294-9198 or embleton@iastate.edu.

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