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Student Preview Mode and Edit Mode in a Blackboard Course

When you enter your Blackboard course and are adding content or reorganizing materials, you are likely in Edit Mode. Edit Mode allows you to add, delete, move, and change settings of the materials in your course. You can check to see that you're in Edit Mode by looking at the top right corner of your course. When in Edit Mode, the indicator will have a green dot and states that "Edit Mode is ON"

However, there are two other modes that you can enter: Edit Mode Off, and Student Preview Mode. The following chart highlights some of the basic differences between these two modes.
Edit Mode Off Student Preview Mode View the course from the student's perspectiveDetermine which items are hidden from the student's view due to availability settings, empty content, or adaptive release settingsDisable ability to add, delete, move, or change any settings of the materials in your courseComplete student activities such as taking tests, submitting assignment, posting in blogs, jo…
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Getting Started with Office Mix

Of all the programs in the Microsoft Office toolkit, PowerPoint may be the most familiar and widely used in the classroom. Whether they serve as a loose backbone to guide class activities and lectures, or as a comprehensive repository for all of your statements, notes, and links, chances are you have at least a few PowerPoint presentations you reach for a on a regular basis.

Office Mix is a relatively new add-on for PowerPoint 2016 - and a useful one at that. Using Office Mix, you can easily record and add lecture material to preexisting presentations, embed your PowerPoint presentations directly into Blackboard for easy access, and update your presentations easily from semester to semester.

For this blog post, we will direct you to three of our tutorials on Office Mix. The links below serve as crash-course on the topic, and should get you well on your way to creating more engaging content for your students.

Office Mix Part I: Installing Office Mix

Office Mix Part II: Recording Audio, …

Using Date Management

Whether you have just copied over an older course section to current one, as we discussed in our last blog, or you have recently built a course from scratch, chances are you have some tweaking to do with due dates and availability before the Fall. In this post, we will show you the most efficient way of setting up all the date and time criteria in your course using the Data Management tool. Date Management allows you to adjust availability and due date permissions for any Blackboard items currently using them - not only assignments and tests. For example, you can also adjust settings for Announcements, Discussion Boards, Journals, and even folders or modules that have availability parameters.

Date management is housed alongside the same course tools you use most often. You will find it about halfway down the list of course tools under the content management pane.

Upon selected the tool, you will be presented with three options for adjusting your dates.
Use Course Start Date: Allows you…

Copying a Blackboard Course

Copy a Course
In Blackboard it is possible to copy one course to another using the course copy feature. This is useful if you have designed and developed a course you'd like to use again.

Follow these 8 simple steps below to complete your course copy:

1. Open the course that you would like to copy the materials FROM.
2. On the Control Panel of that course (left, blue menu), click on Packages and Utilities.

3. Click Course Copy.

4. The Copy Course screen will appear. Click on the Browse button to select the Destination Course ID. 5. A list of your courses will appear. Select the appropriate destination course that you would like to copy the materials TO.
6. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the window.
7. Click on the Select All button to be sure that you copy ALL of the course materials over to the new or existing course. Otherwise, select only items you would like to copy. Note: You may want to change discussion board option to Include only the forums, with no starter posts

Booking an Instructional Design or Blackboard Meeting

While next semester may still feel a ways off, it is never to early to start planning for your next set of classes. But getting started, as they say, can be the hardest part. In this post, we'll show you an easy way to check "get started" off of your to-do list: book a meeting with us!

Whether you need some help using Blackboard, moving a course online, or just want to bounce ideas off of someone for feedback, you can set up a meeting at a time or date of your choosing in as little as 60 seconds.

First, visit our web page at and select Contact Us.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself "oh no, emailing back and forth during the Summer is going to take forever!" Well, fret not. To schedule meetings, we use a tool called, which provides a real-time view of our Outlook calendars. Upon clicking the link to "Schedule a One-on-One Meeting" with anyone in the department, you will be presented with a list of times…

Syllabus Statements Part I

Are you planning your fall course yet? Thinking about how an online course might differ from a face-to-face course or trying to overcome some obstacles with student expectations in your online course? Consider some of the following tips in this post on writing your online course syllabus in order to get your courses started with clear communication and expectations.

Online courses provide students with flexibility. They're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so students can work when they have time to work. However, they sometimes also need help in those wee hours of the night or whenever they're working in the course, and they want you, the instructor to be available to help them. We know that's not always possible. We'd do anything to support our students, but we also have families, scholarship, other courses, hobbies, oh and sleep that take up our time. It's impossible to be as available to our students as the course content is.

Consider the following two m…

Exporting and Archiving Blackboard Courses

A few weeks ago, we posted instructions for exporting your course gradebooks to keep for your records. This week, we are going to help you take your summer “housekeeping” a step further by detailing how, and why, to export or archive your courses.

When you export or archive a course from Blackboard, your course is condensed into a single ZIP folder that you can save to a computer or storage device for safe keeping. In both instances, your course layout, assignments, exams, grading schemas, adaptive release criteria, etc, are preserved within this ZIP folder. This ZIP folder can then be uploaded into Blackboard at a later date to recreate these components.

However, archiving and exporting differ in one very important area: exporting a course does not preserve student data, whereas archiving a course does preserve student data. When archiving a course, the final ZIP folder also contains student enrollment, assignment submissions, grades, discussion board and wiki contributions, and ge…