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ITSpotlight is designed to keep the campus up-to-date on ITS' activities and services.

2012


End of Semester Blackboard Activities

ITS suggests several end-of-semester activities involving Blackboard. These essential activities include:

For additional details, consult the resource page located at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/semester_end.shtml

Blackboard Grade Center Options

ITS also offers a few clarifications and instructions regarding the nuances of the Grade Center. These include calculating extra credit, factoring in items without grades, weighting grades, managing hidden columns, and assigning a letter grade. For additional details, consult the resource page located at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/semester_end.shtml

Duplicating Blackboard Courses

Blackboard users no longer have to rely upon ITS to copy content and settings from a previous course into a shell being used for a new semester. For complete instructions on exporting a course from a previous semester and importing it into a new course shell, consult the step-by-step guide located at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/fac_staff/pdf/Export_Import_course.pdf

Controlling Student Access to Blackboard (Spring 2013)

With the upgrade to the new version of Blackboard, students are now added to Blackboard courses at the time the course shell is created. Faculty are encouraged to consider this when deciding when to make a Spring 2013 course shell available. When course shells are created, they are unavailable by default. Courses do not need to be made available to begin working in the shell (managing the design, adding content, etc.). Instead, Bb shells should be made available only when the course is ready for the students to have access.

Instructions on making a course available are located at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/fac_staff/faq_answers.shtml#cant_see

Resolution to Recent Errors in Blackboard and Turnitin

Access problems reported by some users of the Blackboard system over the past few weeks have been resolved.

Also, reports of periodic error messages reported by Turnitin faculty users (most commonly an Error 423) continue to decline. These error messages are caused by conflicts in the company's user database and Turnitin is continuing to work to fix and eliminate the problem.

The campus community is encouraged to contact ITS at (618) 650-5500 or via email at ftc_help@siue.edu to report new problems with Bb or Turnitin. Keeping ITS informed of user access problems and error messages allows us to work with the vendors to resolve the issues.

Luminis Content Management System Replaced By Hannon Hill's Cascade Server

After a long selection process, Hannon Hill's Cascade Server has been selected to replace Luminis as the University's content management system.

Pages and content are being migrated from Luminis into Cascade Server so that, in the end, the difference to site visitors will be minimal. However, users will notice significant improvements in terms of using Cascade Server to maintain and update their sites. In addition, Cascade Server offers several options that were not available in Luminis.

The ITS staff will be trained on Cascade Server in December and will begin offering user training a few weeks into the start of the Spring 2013 semester. An official announcement will be sent to the University community when a formal timeline is established.

For additional information about this upgrade, contact Curt Price at cprice@siue.edu.

ITS Employee Honored With CACUBO Award

Jill Yates, ITS' Director of Business Administration, was recently awarded the Presidential Award from the Central Association of College and University Business Officers ( CACUBO). Yates has a long-standing relationship with CACUBO, a non-profit, volunteer-led organization comprised of academic business officers, serving as a member or chair of several committees and advisory boards. President Henry DeVries described Yates as "a great ambassador for CACUBO" and remarked that she was someone who "motivates others to serve." Yates believes involvement in the organization can benefit others on campus, remarking that the "professional development, workshops, and other opportunities that CACUBO offers can be very helpful to other units" at SIUE.

ITS congratulates Jill Yates on this impressive accomplishment.

Changes to Remote Access of University Computing Resources Via Websafe

As part of ongoing efforts to improve the security of the University's technology infrastructure, the SIUE Remote Access Policy requires approval for off-campus access to SIUE computer resources.

Beginning October 10th, remote access to SharePoint and all desktop computers from off-campus requires the use of the WebSafe VPN. Faculty and staff who are not authorized to use WebSafe will need to complete the request form (including supervisor and dean/director signature) located at: http://www.siue.edu/its/fac_staff/vpn.shtml If you are already authorized to use WebSafe, no action needs to be taken at this time.

For more detailed information, please see the Remote Access Policy at: http://www.siue.edu/policies/2d3.shtml

For more information, contact ITS at help@siue.edu

Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference

Registration is now open for the 2012 Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference (FTTC) that will be held Thursday and Friday, November 1st and 2nd, on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. Many scholars, educators, and practitioners will share their online innovations and teaching experiences at the concurrent sessions and pre-conference workshops during the two-day regional conference. There is no charge to attend the concurrent sessions at the conference (thanks to our generous sponsors) and there are always good ideas and networking opportunities to take away. There is a $25 fee for each pre-conference workshop (fee includes lunch).

For program details and to register, access the 2012 Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference site at: http://www.umsl.edu/services/ctl/fttc.html

Blackboard 9.1 Is Here

SIUE officially went live with Blackboard 9.1 ( http://bb.siue.edu) on Monday, August 6th. ITS wishes to thank the twenty-three faculty members and their students who piloted Blackboard 9.1 in actual face-to-face, hybrid, and online Summer 2012 courses and the almost 300 individuals who attended Blackboard 9.1 workshops throughout the summer to prepare to go live in Blackboard 9.1 at the start of the semester. The cooperation of both of those groups greatly facilitated the transition.

Most of the Blackboard training resources have been updated for Blackboard 9.1 and are available on the ITS Blackboard resources web site at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/ View a list of upcoming training sessions and sign up at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/fac_staff/workshops.shtml

Access to Earlier Blackboard Systems

The archived version (Bb 8) that has been utilized for Summer 2012 and previous semesters will be available at: http://bb8.siue.edu/ Bb 8 will be accessible until the end of the Fall 2013 semester.

The pilot version (Bb 9.1) that has been utilized during the Summer 2012 semester to develop sandboxes will be available at: http://bbpilot.siue.edu/ The Bb 9.1 pilot system will be accessible until the end of the Fall 2012 semester.

ITS will notify the campus community prior to taking these systems offline.

Respondus Updates

Faculty using Respondus products (Respondus, StudyMate Author, and LockDown Browser) are reminded that SIUE licenses those products annually. The latest license keys for Respondus and StudyMate Author are available through the SIUE portal ( http://my.siue.edu). Once logged into the portal, click on "myLinks" and then the blue box with white "R" to access the various Respondus product pages with the licensing information.

All Respondus products must be updated this fall in order to function properly with Blackboard 9.1. Simply updating the software is not sufficient, you must also patch it. Within Respondus and StudyMate Author:

  1. Click on "Help" and then "Check for Update" to update the software.
  2. Then, go to the Respondus Patch site [http://www.respondus.com/support/patches.shtml] and download the "Campus-Wide Version" patch for the product(s) you use.

Confirm you are running the latest version of Respondus (4.0.5.03 September 12, 2012) and StudyMate Author (2.5.1.01 September 12, 2012) by clicking on Help > About Respondus / StudyMate Author.

To update Respondus LockDown Browser to version 1.0.5.03, open the browser and click on the blue circle with the white "i" in the upper left corner of the screen and follow the prompt to update.

Upcoming Training

There are several ITS training sessions and open labs scheduled in the upcoming weeks. Training will be offered on Blackboard, Luminis, Banner, SharePoint, and other systems. Hone your skills or learn something new. View and register for upcoming training opportunities at: http://www.siue.edu/its/fac_staff/training/

ITS Production Control and Reporting

ITS Production Control and Reporting provides support for Banner Production, Argos Reporting, and Account Management. This group is also responsible for providing access to key University systems including Active Directory, Banner, CS Gold, CSI, GradesFirst, ImageNow, Micros, Parking, TimePro, and WebNow. Production Control and Reporting's new site also contains a link to the Computer Account Request form, a list of upcoming training sessions, and details on AIS password changes. For additional information about this group, visit their site at: http://www.siue.edu/its/productioncontrol/

Labs and Classrooms

ITS is beginning to update AH0206, FH0300, FH1408, PH0304, PH0306, and PH0312 with new Smart classroom podiums. The new podiums include a SMART board, DVD/VCR, and a document camera. If you would like training on the new equipment, please contact ITS at help@siue.edu or call (618) 650-5500.

SharePoint

SIUE SharePoint is here! A big thanks to our early adopters and for your patience during the transition to SIUE SharePoint. For additional information on SIUE SharePoint, browse to: https://sharepoint.siue.edu

CourseEval

CoursEval is an online course and instructor evaluation tool that sends out custom email invitations and reminders to your students guiding them to the online evaluation. The program also generates detailed reports that are viewable by instructors and support staff at the end of the term. Reminder: CoursEval requests need to be submitted as soon as possible by your department in order for ITS to process them in a timely fashion. Please send requests to ftc_help@siue.edu.


Streaming Server Deadline

ITS is excited to announce the availability of the new streaming media server for audio and video files.

  • The old streaming server will be disabled on May 15th.
  • All files stored on the old server have been transferred to the new server. However, the links to the media have changed; as of May 15th, links to the old streaming server media will not work. If you would like to use this media in your Summer 2012 courses, contact ITS before May 15th so that we can provide you current links for the files.
  • If you no longer want to use existing media that was stored on the old streaming server, your files will be deleted after May 15th.

Click here for additional information. If you have questions, contact ITS at (618) 650-5500 or via email at ftc_help@siue.edu.

Blackboard

ITS suggests the following end of semester activities involving Blackboard:

  • If using the Grade Center, manually calculate one or two of your students' grades to ensure that your Grade Center Total and/or Weighted Total column(s) has/have been set up to calculate correctly.

  • Download copies of student assignment submissions.

  • Download a copy of your grade center -- including the hidden columns -- at the end of the term.

ITS also offers clarifications and instructions regarding the nuances of the Grade Center. Information on extra credit, items without grades, weighting grades, hidden columns, etc can be found on the Grade Center Tips & Tricks site.

System Upgrades - Blackboard 9.1 and Blackboard Collaborate

  • As part of the commitment to improving teaching and learning technology, SIUE will be upgrading the institutional learning management system from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1 at the start of the Fall 2012 semester. At the same time, Blackboard Collaborate will replace Wimba Live Classroom as the synchronous and asynchronous web conferencing tool in Bb. For additional information on these upgrades, consult the Bb 9.1 Resource site.

Start of Semester - Summer 2012

Request a Blackboard 9.1 Sandbox

  • In order to become familiar with the upgraded Bb system, ITS encourages all teaching faculty and staff to request Bb 9.1 practice shells. These "sandboxes" will allow instructors to gain hands-on experience with the Bb 9.1 features and functions and also enable them to begin scaffolding the structure for Fall 2012 courses.
  • Note that Bb 9.1 is currently running on a pilot server. Therefore, course shells for Fall 2012 are not being created at this time. However, instructors will have the option to migrate their sandbox shells from the pilot to the production system prior to the start of the Fall 2012 semester.
  • In addition to requesting the sandbox, Blackboard users are still strongly encouraged to attend the information and training sessions ITS will be offering throughout the spring and summer semesters.
  • Click here to access the Bb 9.1 sandbox course request form.

Transferring Courses and Content from Bb 8 to Bb 9.1

  • Because of the different architecture of the two systems, no existing Blackboard 8 courses can be exported to Blackboard 9.1. While certain elements of Bb 8 courses (tests, surveys, and pools) can be exported from Bb 8 to Bb 9.1, copying the whole course structure is not possible. Therefore, Bb 8 courses must be rebuilt in Bb 9.1.
  • No existing personal Content Collection files will be migrated from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1. All users are encouraged to follow these instructions for managing and moving existing Content Collection files from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1.

Pinnacle

  • As part of our ongoing effort to improve recording keeping and data management, ITS has recently completed a major upgrade to our billing and service management system known as Pinnacle. If you are a fiscal officer, an authorized fiscal officer delegate, or a student living in on-campus housing you would use this system to view your bill for one or more of the following services.
    • Voice Communications (IP, Digital, Analog, and Cell Phones)
    • Data (Internet and Network access)
    • PBN/STAN (Phone authorization code)
    • Leased Computers (Tangent)
  • This upgraded version of Pinnacle, known as Pinnacle V6 was made accessible to clients with the release of the February 1st bill. Pinnacle V6 will have a new web link for accessing the site and a new user interface to access your information. Basic instructions for navigating through the new users interface will be provided when you log onto the system.
  • If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact Terry Meredith by email at tmeredi@siue.edu or by phone at 618-650-5777.

System Upgrades: Blackboard 9.1 and Blackboard Collaborate

  • As part of the commitment to improving teaching and learning technology, SIUE will be upgrading from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1 at the start of the Fall 2012 semester. At the same time, Blackboard Collaborate will replace Wimba Live Classroom as the synchronous and asynchronous web conferencing tool in Bb. For additional information on these upgrades, consult the Bb 9.1 Resource site.

Request a Blackboard 9.1 Sandbox

  • In order to become familiar with the upgraded Bb system, ITS encourages all teaching faculty and staff to request Bb 9.1 practice shells. These "sandboxes" will allow instructors to gain hands-on experience with the Bb 9.1 features and functions and also enable them to begin scaffolding the structure for Fall 2012 courses.
  • Note that Bb 9.1 is currently running on a pilot server. Therefore, course shells for Fall 2012 are not being created at this time. However, instructors will have the option to migrate their sandbox shells from the pilot to the production system prior to the start of the Fall 2012 semester.
  • In addition to requesting the sandbox, Blackboard users are still strongly encouraged to attend the information and training sessions ITS will be offering throughout the spring and summer semesters.
  • Click here to access the Bb 9.1 course request form.

Upcoming Training

New Smart Classroom Upgrades

  • During Spring Break, ITS was able to upgrade equipment in 18 out of date Smart classrooms. The new classrooms feature a high resolution document camera, a 22" SMART Podium, a new DVD/VCR, and make use of the touch panel control system found in many other classrooms. The new equipment is exciting, but you may be unfamiliar with how to use it. Tutorials for the new equipment are available at: http://www.siue.edu/smart. ITS also offers one on one training, which can usually be conducted in just a few minutes before your class begins. To schedule a one on one training session, contact ITS at (618) 650-5500 or via email at help@siue.edu.

Educational Videos

Upcoming Training

A series of Blackboard 8 training sessions has been scheduled beginning February 7th. In addition to sessions designed to introduce news users to the basics of Blackboard, more advanced sessions will cover Discussion Boards, the Grade Center, Tests and Surveys with Respondus, and Turnitin. Register today. There are several ITS training sessions and open labs scheduled in the upcoming weeks. Training will be offered on Luminis, GradesFirst, Qualtrics, Office 2010, and mySIUE. Hone your skills or learn something new for the spring semester.

Required Respondus Patch

A patch was released by Respondus in mid-January that must be applied by all SIUE Respondus users in order to resolve critical test publishing issues. It is not sufficient to simply check the software itself for updates. Users must download and install the Respondus Patch "Campus-wide Version." Respondus users at the School of Dental Medicine should contact Jeff Reynolds, extension 7105, for alternate download/installation instructions.

Blackboard 9.1 Upgrade

As part of the commitment to improving teaching and learning technology, SIUE will be upgrading from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1 at the start of the Fall 2012 semester. ITS will be offering information and training sessions throughout the spring and summer semesters in order to familiarize users with the new system. ITS will keep the campus community informed about the Bb 9.1 upgrade by sending out periodic email messages, regularly updating the Bb 9.1 Upgrade Resource site, posting frequent tweets to the ITS Twitter account, and via advertisements. For additional information, consult the Bb 9.1 Upgrade Resource site. ITS suggests the following start-of-semester activities involving Blackboard: All newly created Blackboard courses are set to be "unavailable" at the time of their creation. Courses that are "unavailable" cannot be seen by students. When you deem your course is ready to be seen by your students, you must make it available. The Check Collection Links utility must be run in any new spring course created by copying a previously taught Blackboard course. Running the utility will allow you to automatically repair read permission to files located in your Content Collection. Failure to run the utility will result in broken links to those files in your Spring 2012 course. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

Application Updates

Respondus

Previously, Respondus, StudyMate Author and LockDown Browser software download files were only available on campus via an SIUE IP address. In order to provide easy, yet secure, access to these products on campus as well as from home, all have been moved to the SIUE portal. Once logged into the portal, expand the myLinks section of the portal and click on the Respondus icon. A new Respondus LockDown browser building block has been added to Blackboard. This should come as good news to Mac users who have never had access to this Windows-based application. It should also prove useful to anyone interested in requiring LockDown Browser for an exam already published to Blackboard: users will no longer need to pull the test out of Blackboard and into Respondus to apply the LockDown Browser settings and then republish it to Blackboard. For additional information see the Respondus web site for the Instructor Quick Guide and/or video.

Turnitin

SIUE has contracted to expand the Turnitin suite of products available to faculty. This spring, faculty will find three new tools available to them both within Blackboard and through Turnitin.com: ETS e-rater - automatic grammar and spell check GradeMark - online mark up tool for use in grading student papers PeerMark - online tool for distributing student papers for peer review Check the Blackboard workshop schedule for Turnitin training sessions.

New Streaming Media Server

The old streaming media server has been retired and all audio and video files have been transferred to the new streaming server. If you are using streaming media in your Spring 2012 courses , please contact ITS at 650-5500 or email at ftc_help@siue.edu immediately , so that we may make arrangements with you to give you the new link for your media. If you are not happy with the quality of the existing media, please provide us with a copy of the original media and we will create a new file for the new streaming media server.