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Teaching with Blackboard

About Blackboard

Blackboard™ is a course management system used campus-wide at NIU. The system allows faculty to post materials, deliver tests and surveys, hold online discussion and many other course-related functions. All currently-enrolled students and teaching faculty have access to the Blackboard system. We are running Blackboard version 9.1 Service Pack 14, having upgraded the system May 25, 2014. Login to the NIU Blackboard site at: http://webcourses.niu.edu

New Tool Available for Posting Audio and Streaming Video

Posted: 6/19/2014

Screenshot highlighting the Helix Media Library option under Mashups in the Text Box Editor

The Helix Media Library is available as a mashup in the Text-Box Editor, which is used for most of the areas that text is typed into Blackboard, including (but not limited to) when adding an item, submitting an Assignment, posting to a Discussion Forum, or providing feedback in the Grade Center.A new tool is now available in Blackboard that makes it easier for both faculty and students to add their own audio and video files to Blackboard. The Helix Media Library allows both faculty and students to upload audio and video files to a server that is optimized for streaming media and embed them within Blackboard.

Files uploaded will not be included in the Course Quota. Faculty, staff, and students will have 4 Gigabytes (GBs) of storage space, and individual files can be up to 2 GB in size. If necessary, free 4 GB quota increases can be requested from ITS by completing the Computing Access Resources (CAR) form.

To learn more about the Helix Media Library, please visit www.niu.edu/blackboard/build/content/helix.shtml.

Updates to SafeAssign Originality Reports

Posted: 4/28/2014


Blackboard released an update to SafeAssign on April 26, 2014, that establishes a new look and feel for the Originality Report. Because Blackboard maintains the SafeAssign servers, NIU had no control over the timing of this change. The general features of the plagiarism check and report have not changed, and the new report is cleaner and easier to read. In addition, this update resolved a few issues that users may have experienced.

The new Originality Report opens as a small pop-up window with the text of the submitted document visible. Click the ... button in the upper right to view the details about the plagiarism check, including percent matching and citations that may have been plagiarised, or resize the window wider to display the right column.

Read the full story or learn more about the new Originality Report.

A Look At What's Next For Blackboard - May 2014 Upgrade

Posted: 3/25/2014

See What's Better

Blackboard Learn, the course management system utiilized by Northern Illinois University faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and students, continues to be an important platform for facilitating teaching at learning at NIU, with over 97% of students and 85% of teaching faculty using the system during Fall 2013. Over the past several years, there have been significant upgrades implemented to the system which have added many new features as well as an improved overall user experience.

The upcoming upgrade will be completed over Memorial Day weekend, from May 23 - May 26, 2014 and will provide an even more user friendly and modern experience for students and faculty alike. An outage will be necessary to perform the upgrade, and details will be announced as they become available. In this upgrade, many existing features have been improved and some exciting new features added to make the user experience more accessible and efficient.

For more details, visit niu.edu/blackboard/upgrade

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