• Progyamita Bhattacharya

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SyllabusI am working with the departments to make sure that their course syllabus is available online through the departmental website. As I am thinking on working on this project I was wondering is a Syllabus that hard?  A recent post on Faculty focus “What Does Your Syllabus Say About You and Your Course?is quite interesting and points out some good parts of a syllabus. I am sure most of us think we have included anything and everything the student need to know about the course down in our syllabus. But have you ever wondered how long the syllabus should be?  Here are some resources that can be very handy:

  1. Writing a Syllabus – Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
  2. The Syllabus – Enhancing Education – Carnegie Mellon University
And there are many more…
But some of you are wondering why am I talking about syllabus writing? Wasn’t the are of interest was posting the syllabus online? Yes it is … but yet is also critical to have a well written syllabus. So open up your syllabus and check out the components and make sure you got it all and showcase it for the world to see and learn..
Happy syllabus writing to all…

Online Course Structure

I created this a long time back. I am a visual person and I understand things better by seeing then just by hearing. So I did this image representation of the course structure to make it east to understand by both Faculty and Student how the course navigation is going to work in Blackboard LMS

Life Cycle of a course

As you start developing on online, you go through 3 stages of developmental process. Stage 1 is before the course starts, Stage 2 is during the course or you can say actual online teaching process and stage 3 which is after the teaching is over. The first stage comprises various parts. As a start up process you need to create a course shell requesting the campus course management system administrator. Then if the process is not automated you need to enroll the user manually to your course. You can do this at the beginning or wait till you are done setting up the rest of the course. In the process of creating a course you need to decide on the course environment, choose your course and communication tools, post your course materials and pre-assessments for the course. The stage 2 is a long cyclic process where as an instructor you will continue to update the course content, assessing and grading and communicating with students. Once the final grades are submitted please remember to export/archive your course. For the next term make sure you update and review your course before starting to teach.

Adding Youtube Video in Blackboard

I know for most of us when we add a YouTube video we simple add the URL to the course as an external link or as an new item. Here is another way you can actually display the content of the video within the course site without going in YouTube.com.

Just follow the steps below:

1. Find the video you want to add to your course.

2. Right next to the video you will find the “EMBED” code

3. Copy the code and go to your Blackboard course

4. Under the content area (like course documents) add a “New Item

5. Give a Title

6. Where you add content click on the icon <> and enter the embed code you copied from YouTube

7. Click submit.

How to collect messages in Discussion Board

Here is a video showing how to use the collect feature of Discussion Board in order to print all messages.

How to add a banner to Blackboard course using Power Point

To do this there are 2 parts in the process. First to create a banner file in Power Point and then to upload the file in Blackboard.

To create a banner image using Power Point:

1. Open Power Point 2007

2. Click on Design tab

3. Click on Page set up

4. On the Slide Sized option, choose Banner

5. On the Power Point Title Slide now add a Title (like the name of the course)

6: Add a Subtitle

7: Save the file as PPTX (for future changes)

8: Save file again as a jpg

To Upload the file in Blackboard:

1. Go the course in Blackboard

2. Click on Control panel of the course

3. Click on Course Design

4. Click on Course Banner

5. Browse to find the jpg file that you just created using Power Point

6. Click Submit and check your course homepage…

7. Wallas!! the new banner is there and the course stands out!

First Tech Tip for your next course re-design