Clean Up Your Bb Course List

January 31, 2013 in BB Tutorials, BB Tutorials, Distance Learning, Faculty, Student


I don’t know about you but my Blackboard course list can get quickly out-of-control. Thanks to some improvements in Bb, we now have the option to organize all our courses by term. This makes it much easier to find things and turn off courses in past terms. Another great thing is this option is available for both faculty and students.

Watch the video or follow the directions to learn more:


Step 1: Go to your “My Blackboard Courses” module.

Step 2: Click the gear wheel icon in the upper right hand corner of the module. You must hover over the corner for the icon to appear.

Step 3: Go to Item 1 “Terms” and click the “Group by Term” checkbox.

 Step 4: Make your selections for how you would like your terms to appear.

Step 5: Click  the Submit Button

Now, your courses should be organized by term in Blackboard. You can even use the arrows to the left of each term to expand or collapse the list.

The Challenge of Creating Art

January 30, 2013 in Distance Learning, Faculty, Inspire

An artist created a facsimile of the Mona Lisa by stacking thousands of thread spools and combined them with a glass ball for viewing. (Photo taken by me at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA)

My radical thought of the day is:

“We are all ARTISTS and our duty is to share our ART and to improve our ART.”

As educators, we should bring our passion and unique talents to our teaching everyday in both face-2-face and online classes. This is our ART and to not deliver, ship, or share our art with others is to fail at our highest calling. If you never share your ART openly with others… you are not an ARTIST.

How are you improving and sharing your ART?

What kind of ART will you CREATE today?

Copying Course Content

August 16, 2012 in BB Tutorials, Faculty

This tutorial will walk you through the steps in order to copy content from one course to another OR within the same course. You can use this function to copy content items, pictures, videos, and folders. You will not be able to copy assignments, discussion boards, and other items with a grade value.
To copy content from one course to another, please follow the steps outlined below:

      1. Log into Blackboard.  Select the course.
      2. Click on the content area (Syllabus, Course Information, Assignments, Course Documents, etc.).
      3. Click on the chevrons (down arrows) beside the title of the content item you wish to copy to get the menu.  Click on Copy.

      1. On the Copy screen, you will need to select the Destination Course and the Folder where you want the content to go.

      1. Now for a brief explanation of the two:
        • Destination Course: Contains a list of courses that you are currently enrolled in as an instructor. Clicking within the highlighted field will produce a dropdown for you to select the course you wish the item to go to.
        • Destination Folder: By clicking on Browse, a new pop-up window will appear. The list of the folders in this pop-up mirrors any editable Content Areas and any sub-folders within the Destination Course you selected.

      2. Click on the folder you want the content item to go.
      3. Click Submit to complete the copy process.

To download this tutorial, click here: CopyContent!

Fixing Text Box Issues in Bb Tests

April 4, 2012 in BB Tutorials, BB Tutorials, Distance Learning, Faculty, Student, Uncategorized

photo credit: Hernan Vargas

I have received recent reports of students having trouble with text boxes within Bb tests and quizzes. A few students have reported that they can type their answer for item 1, but they are unable to enter text for any of the following test items using text boxes.

This is caused by an incompatibility problem between Bb 9.0 and the latest release of Microsoft Internet Explorer (9) and Mozilla Firefox (11) web browsers. Students using older versions of these browsers will not experience any text box issues in their tests.

There are two possible solutions:

1. Students may turn off the text editor feature in Bb. This is easily done. Please watch the video at this link for directions:


2. Students may download Google’s Chrome browser. Then, use the Chrome browser to open Bb and take the test.

This incompatibility problem will be fixed when we move to Bb 9.1 on May 12th.


Ken Fairbanks
Director of Distance & Distributed Learning
Wytheville Community College

Discovery Fridays: Grovo

March 2, 2012 in Discovery Fridays, Distance Learning, Faculty, Inspire, Uncategorized

Have you ever asked or been asked “What is Twitter?” Or Pinterest? Or Dropbox? Or Evernote? Or Prezi? This list could continue for days! My point is there will always be some new tool or social media site on the Internet for us to learn about.

Now, there is a site called  Grovo that can actually teach us about the latest Web 2.0 technologies. Grovo is a free membership site that features short video tutorials on how to use applications like Twitter, Pinterest, Dropbox, Evernote, Prezi and many more. Grovo gets it’s name from its mission to help people grow their vocations online.

I have watched several of the video tutorials and they are fantastic. Each tutorial also includes .pdf downloads and short quizzes to help you master the latest social media darling. The site also offers certificate tracks, so you can document your training.

Check Grovo out and learn about a new technology tool. Then, you can share it with the rest of us!


Ken Fairbanks
Director of Distance Learning
Wytheville Community College