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Columbia College’s Online Orientation to Blackboard

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Columbia College’s Online Orientation to Blackboard


Hi students! My name is Melissa Colon and I’m the Distance Education
Coordinator here at Columbia College. I’m going to show you how to access your
online class and be a successful online student. I’m
going to take you through some tools, tricks and
techniques that will help you feel confident in the
online learning environment. Let’s get started! We are on the Columbia College homepage
right now, you can access Columbia College home
page by typing gocolumbia.edu in
one of your favorite browsers text box. I’m gonna show you two ways
that you can actually find a blackboard login if you selected students on the left you’ll notice on the menu to the left you have the Blackboard login. I also want you to know that at the top under My Columbia if you click the link its also going to
provide you with the menu to the left with the
Blackboard login and I want you to see there’s more. If you scroll down just a bit you’ll notice there’s the Blackboard login, there’s also Blackboard
resources There’s some information that you might want
to know more about. For example the list of classes that are
offered every semester. There’s some other student resources if
you click here. scroll down check some of the information
out. There’s also some “need to know”
technology skills you might need to practice and check out
before becoming an online student. We have a link that tells you about the
face to face and our virtual orientations, with a quick guide for bBackboard 9.1, it’s
in a PDF format. We have student tutorials and you’ll notice as we scroll down there’s many other helpful resources for you to become a successful online student. Okay I’m going to scroll up to the top of the resource page There is also a link to go directly to the Blackboard login right at the top. Here’s our Blackboard login page and before we actually log in I want you
to check out some the resources and links that are
available. For example all the Columbia College
links are on the right and all the MJC links on the left hand
side. We also have what’s called a Blackboard Browser Compatibility Check. When you click on this link and I
encourage you to do this. For example if you happen to be working at home you’re going to want to run
this compatibility check and you’re going to want to run it at school or in the library. You can click on the link Tips and
Tricks and it’s going to take you to a page where not only will there be some
information about the supported browsers but also some plugins you can download
and some “how tos”, for example disable your pop-up
blocker. How to clear your cache and more
importantly where to download the Java Runtime
Environment. Some of these tools are really important to
run in your classroom. For example the Java
Runtime Environment is important for chat rooms and other
content areas. Make sure that you checked some of these are working. Nnother example is your pop-up blocker,
please disable your pop-up blocker because a lot of things in Blackboard
might pop up, like a new window and assessment, and
if you have your pop-up blocker it’s not going to appear for you. I’m just close this page right now
and get back to the login page. Another really important feature here on this
login page is the information about the helpdesk. If
you’re not sure what’s going on and you’re having problems no matter what you do. Please email or call the helpdesk. I’m also going to give my phone number at the end and my email so you can always call me and leave a message. If you want to try out being an online
student before you actually go into your class. You can be a demo student in our demo
course and you can actually practice and try some of the activities. Just log in as
username: demo password: demo and scroll down to where the course list appears. Click on the Demo Course and
notice you’re in Blackboard. and you can check all the different
types activities out. For example there’s
discussions. You can look at an online glossary, you can
find out if your ready for an online class and more importantly you can check out the Tech Skills module.
This is some basic technology skills and there are “How To’s”and then there’s a
“Try Me”. I’d like to emphasize that it is important if you need to, practice some of the basic
technology skills that are needed to be in online learning environment. For example copy and paste skills are
important, saving documents as RTFs or different file
formats, how to download a file, how to attach a
file. All of these types of technology skills are important for you in the online
learning environment. Okay we’re ready to go to a live online class. So Ia m going to logout here. I’m it take you back to the Blackboard
login page. now as a student you’re going to be using
your “w” number with a lower case w nd you’re
gonna be logging in with the six digit birthday: month day and year, just like this example here for your password. If you’re already an
online student then you’ll be using the password that
you have changed it to you. After you login with your student ID or
“w” number you will come to the entry page for Blackboard. You’ll notice that
there’s a lot of different modules and panels. make sure to take some time
to check these out. For example messages from your
courses might be displaying. You will have some
tools that you can use and there’s lots of different things
going on with announcements that are available for you. Before we
actually go into the class I’m gonna take you up to
the very top right to the global navigation menu. This is going to be a very helpful to
find out information that’s going on in your class. For example you’ll want to get started by uploading an image of yourself. This image or picture will be very important in some other
communication tools that you encounter such as threaded discussions. blogs, the wikis, the journals. This way you will be able to see your
fellow classmates and instructor as you participate in building a
community. Another item that you’re going want to pay attention to it for privacy options on the very right hand side. So
make sure that you look these over, learn more about the profile privacy settings if you need to.
Once you’re ready submit and you’ll see a little tiny avatar or image in this corner. in the open global navigation menu. But I
want to take you back because there’s other portions this menu that are going to be very
helpful. For example the Blackboard home can give you an
overview of the items that are due and recently graded. You can move your mouse over to reveal
some of your grades and it reveals the most recent activities
that might be relevant to you. The next thing I want to show you is Posts.
If you click on this icon, if you have been participating in
threaded discussions and blogs, journals and wikis, you’ll see
the posts from these particular communication
tools. You’ll be able to reply to your fellow
classmates as well from here, or you’ll be able to go into your
individual classrooms and do the replying. The next one is Updates, the updates reviews
the list of notifications that alerts you to important information,
events and items that are going on in your
class. Then we have “My Grades”, you can view your grades for each of your classes, for assignments, your
tests, your activities. You can sort the grades by date or course. Then we have our Calendar, this is very helpful
because it can help you review everything you have to due, and then we
have this people learning network area on a global
navigation this provides your social community, this is dependent on how you set your privacy profile. So make sure you look
into that and you find out more about it. Okay, before we move on I do want to show
you some other items here on the global navigation
menu. You can actually collapse and expand these areas here for courses. Also I want you to notice settings, here
you can change your text size if you needed to make your text larger. You can also come back here in do a high-contrast setting, then your
personal information, this is where you can change your
password. Remember you started off with your 6-digit birth date. but you can also changed your password here Then some personal settings
privacy options again make sure you check these area
out. Edit notification settings this is
important to know. You can define your general notification
settings for your email format reminder schedule for your courses. Your individual courses or a bulk notification global, for all the classes for
example that you might be taking. So this is something that you might
wannt to check out! This will provide some information, you
can actually get some text messages sent to you if you have
that checked and if your instructor uses
Announcements. So be sure you check that out and then submit once you make some changes. Back to the global navigation menu and notifications
dashboard you can come back to where you logged into blackboard, this is the same entry page that we first started of with. You get actually click on My Blackboard it will take you to the same place. Okay I
think we’re ready to enter a classroom. The class I’d like to go into is our Spanish
1A. I’d like you to actually notice something
before we actually click on the course. If we clicked on this link on the course name it will take us into
into the course itself. I also want you to notice that right here is a link. It is an announcement. It is perfectly acceptable to click on the announcement
and it will take you into more information. about the announcement. I also want you to know that you’re not
actually in the class when you click on announcement. Notice that the
announcements are here but when you’re done reading, that you
need to click back into My Blackboard or you can
navigate using the global navigation menu. You’re going to have to click on the
course itself to enter, like this, once you click
on the course name you’re now actually getting into the
course. If you click on Announcement link
you would just be entering the Announcement Tool area. Now I want you to notice something I am
in the Announcements again. That’s because this particular
instructor who teaches this class has the point of entry for her class
as the announcement. It’s not going to be that way in every
online class. For example your instructor might have a
point entry at the Notifications Dashboard. Don’t get confused, just make sure you
look around and pay attention to where you’re at.
This is This is only the notifications dashboard for
this particular class. The point being that every online class
may be different. Some instructors have their class open up at the Announcements. Some the Dashboard
Notifications, modules, some might have them open up in
a content area called Start Here. The good news you should see some
directions from your instructor on what to do next.
Now it’s pretty easy in this particular class because as you see are left hand panel this is the menu and big bright buttons. Sometimes you’re not gonna see
that in a class you might see just text. But you will see a
description what that area happens to be. As I move my mouse over these areas a little pop-up text tip is going to appear. One of the first things
you’re going to want to do is make sure you click around and get
familiar with the online class. I can’t tell you how many times I help
students and I asked them have you checked the
classroom, clicked on things? You’re not going to harm it in any way. Get familiar, click around, check things out! In most in the online classes you take you’re going to have something called
Start Here, Getting Started. This is going to be a module or folder filled with beginning activities your Syllabus and in this particular
class you can see there’s a Learning Module
Overview, getting started. There’s even dates on when these items will
appear and how how long this particular module
might be open. I also want you notice this is what’s
considered a learning module. That means that over here you have a table of contents, so you can
actually click through out of sequence to some items. I also want you notice that you have a little nav bar over here where you can actually go
through each page sequentially. Scroll down make sure you see everything that’s in
this particular module. You have two different ways to go through
the materials. It will be important to know that in
most online classes that have a “Start Here”
we’re “Getting Started” learning module also what you to work on Week 1’s activities con-currently. For example this particular course has weekly
learning modules as well as the “Start Here First.” Now very nicely this instructor has linked this “Getting Started” learning module in this content area and also included Week 1. On the outside the learning module
you’ll see an overview of basically the different types of
activities that are going to be required. It won’t be
until you click on that link to enter the Learning Module that you’ll
see all the activities and you’ll be able to
click through each one, participate in a threaded discussion, it might be downloading file uploading a filled out document maybe an assessment. In this particular case
this is the Week 1’s learning module materials. Okay I think we’re just about ready to explore some of the
communication tools in Blackboard. For example if you look on
the left hand side there’s something called Discussions
and then it looks like this particular instructor has Journals and then if we
come down here we see other communication tools such as
the Course Mail and the Blackboard Instant Messaging.
Some of these tools will be common to many online classes. Some of the other online instructors
might use a blog rather than a threaded discussion
or might use a journal. I would like to share with you right now
how to use the Discussion Forums. This is probably one of the most
common communication tools to build community
in your online class. We are gonna click on the discussions but notice as we’re looking at these
questions you’ll see there’s a particular forum topic and then the description. This particular class has technical
issues a forum where you can ask questions about navigating around and Blackboard
or the publishers content in this case. There’s also a Q&A forum if you want to
post any questions about the course material. Now if we come down here, we’ll notice
there’s additional forums. One of the first forums
you will most likely see in an online class is
the introduction. This is where you build that sense of
community, you get to know your instructor, you get to know your fellow
classmates. Can you tell us a little bit about
yourself. Now in this particular class you are requested to upload your avatar
photo, that was where we came up here to the
top in the open global navigation menu and you uploaded a picture. Okay so I’m
going click in this particular discussion
forum to introduce myself. Now when I get in there
and if I’m 1st person there isn’t going to be
anything necessarily that you’re going to be able
to see. The prompt, the description has actually disappeared until you click on “Create
Thread.” Now you may want to check on grading information. Your instructor may provide some information. I want
you to notice I’m using bread crumbs, this is what
Blackboard calls this when there’s links and I’m going to go back to that forum so I’m
going to use the links to go back. Blackboard recommends it’s a strong recommendation because
you might get a Page Error that you don’t use be back button up
here at the top in your browser, that you use the
breadcrumbs and you use the links going back to the Forum
Discussion. I’m going to click on Create Thread and now my prompt or my
description on what I’m supposed to first writing about will appear and I can look at it and I can answer some of the questions. Whenever
you see an asterisk * this means that it is required. I’m just going to write
something in the text box. That’s the subject text box and then I
can come down here and I could start typing in this area. When I’m done answering the questions I can even have
an attachment but I want to come down here and submit this so I’m just going to write something very quickly. and I’m going to submit because I want you to
see what this looks like. I also have another recommendation if
you’re going to be writing a lengthy post. I would write it offline, meaning open up
your word document copy and paste into that word document
your description, now you’re working offline and that way if for some reason something happens to
your internet connection or something happens to Blackboard, it times
out after you’ve been on there for a couple of hours, you still
have record of that forum post that you’ve been
working on and you can save that and then when you’re done you can copy
and paste it back to that area. That’s one of the reasons why the technology
skills copy and paste is very important to have
in online environment. I do want you to see
what’s happened once I submitted my post. You see my picture or avatar and you can just move your mouse slowly
over it, and it will pop up. There might be some more
information about your fellow classmates. Now if I wanted to read this if I was a
student coming in for the first time and wanting to read it I’m going click on this link and I will
be able to read the post and then if I want to
reply to that person I can click on reply. Now your instructor for this class
that you’re in is going to provide maybe a way to
subscribe to all your posts, maybe to quote, to edit. Sometimes you won’t have all of the same options so make sure you understand what it is first of all
that your instructor is asking you to do and then
make sure that you have some of those options. You might have some
grading information, you might have edit opportunities so once you post you can go back and edit your post. If you just move your mouse over the button, say you read a post, and you
want to mark it read. Click on this little check box
go to the thread action. And if you say I want this unread
because I want to save it for later if you have multiple posts here you can collect it. I’m just going to
select that and if I click on the button Collect all of the posts in that particular forum are going to open up, in this case there’s only one, mine, but if you had say 10 or 12, as many as there are,
there going to open up in this particular format. It may take you a little bit of time to
get familiar navigating, clicking around your threaded
discussions. There is tree view, there is list view,
there’s so many different aspects to this particular discussion board that it may just take some time to be
familiar with it. The power in this, is you build community and you get to articulate and discuss things outside the classroom pertinent to your content. Maybe a question your instructor
has. Really take time to learn these communication tools whatever it
may be. I want to say and reinforce the fact that not all online classes have the same
tools. some of them will be very similar. The sooner
you get into your online environment, click around, get familiar,
download print documents out, the more comfortable you will be. I would like to discuss another aspect online class that is very
important and that is the grade book. In this
particular class the instructor has named the grade book My Grades. Clicking on My Grades will take you to the area where
all the current grade information will be listed as well as your points. There will be some descriptions there
could be rubrics for grading criteria for some of
the activities. This is a place to check frequently and often, keeping an
eye out for what to do, what will be coming up in the future and
to know exactly where you stand in the class. With that I’d like to
conclude and say thank you very much for viewing this tour. I understand that there’s a lot more
to the online environment than what I’ve been able to show you in less than 30 minutes. I also want to
let you know please do not forget that you email me at [email protected] if you have any questions. Each semester there will be one hour
orientations both face to face and online. And with that again, I’d like to thank
you for taking the time and being an online student. Here’s to
your success!

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