Monday, December 2, 2013

Bb SP13 Training

On 12/2/2013, Paige Brooks-Jeffiers provided training  that covered new features in Blackboard SP 13.

My notes are posted here:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bb SP 13 Test Server

SP 13 is now installed on the staging server and available for testing.  The URL is  Use your normal credentials to login.

For information and how-to’s on SP 13:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

OER Webinar

  Learn more about about an NROC initiative called EdRead, offering information about Open Educational Content, at the link below

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Committed to the Race Conference (Bowling Green)

Western Kentucky University Distance Learning and the Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning (ADEIL) are proud to announce ADEIL 2013:
 "Committed to the Race" - October 10 - 12, 2013 in Bowling Green, KY
Meet us in Bowling Green, KY, home of the Corvette, for the annual ADEIL conference at the Knicely Conference Center. Take advantage of the opportunity to discuss topics and issues relevant to the realm of distance education and interact with other education professionals to gain new concepts or share your own. 
More Information:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

KLA Workshop: Open Education Resources

The Kentucky Library Association is hosting a workshop in Louisville September 11-13 on OER and more.

Details here:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bb Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning is a free, one day event hosted by Blackboard and will be held at the University of Cincinnati on 10/28.  Register here.

Ben has reserved the BCTC Van and it will depart bright and early from the Cooper Campus (7:45 AM). 

Date: Monday, October, 28, 2013
Location: University of Cincinnati, 2600 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45221
Start Time: Check-in & Breakfast available at 8:00am, program begins at 9:00am
End Time: 4:00pm

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bb Attendance Tracker

A great tip for an online attendance tool in Blackboard.  Excellent solution for in-class attendance tracking. . .

Thanks to Ashland's Amy Poteet

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Teaching with Technology Mini Conference

The KCTCS Teaching with Technology Mini-Conference will be held on the Cooper Campus of BCTC

Additional information linked below:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Testing the Bb Managed Hosting Server

The test server for the new Blackboard server is now available for testing.  Time permitting, follow the directions below to visit the new server and give it a spin.

Testing Information:  Site is located at:  Courses and content should be available review and testing. Courses & Content will be updated through 05/09/2013. Please check your content from both instructor and student view. Also do any testing you’d like on the site…create content, folders, use building blocks, copy course, export course, ETC to ensure all functionality is working. If you prefer to use a checklist please see the attached spreadsheet. Report any issues you find to or use the discussion board in the Bb organization: KCTCS Bb Testers (Summer 2013) on  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bb Managed Hosting

The move to Blackboard Managed Hosting is scheduled for Monday, July 29, 12:01 a.m. ET through Thursday, August 1 8 a.m. ET.  Blackboard will be unavailable to students and faculty during this time.

Please plan accordingly.  For many instructors (and particularly in online classes)  Blackboard is integral to class instruction.  Instructors should  communicate with their students about how assignments are to be completed during this time.  Options include:

KCTCS Email.  Faculty may locate student email through the Faculty Center in Student Self-Service.  Directions available here.  Assignments may be submitted via email attachment.  Note: KCTCS email is considered a secure form of communication.  It is permissible to discuss student grades and other FERPA sensitive material using KCTCS email.

District Locker.  The District Locker allows faculty to share information over the Web.  Tutorials available here.  Note: information placed on the District Locker is publicly available for all Internet Users.  Do not place FERPA protected material in your district locker.

Social Media.  Facebook and Twitter permit faculty to communicate with students.  As with the District Locker, do not discuss FERPA protected information in social media.

Blogs.  Free blogs Web site such as Blogger, allow instructors to share information as well as receive feedback from students.Again, information should not be FERPA protected.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bb Managed Hosting

As you may know, KCTCS Online is moving to Blackboard Managed Hosting (MH).  What is this?  KCTCS has outgrown the server space provided by the Center for Rural Development.  To provide better reliability, KCTCS will be using servers owned by Blackboard and located in Washington, DC.   If all conversions and testing go well, we are looking at moving our hosting during the July 4th weekend.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Disability Support Services Meeting

I attended a meeting of disability support services directors from across the state. We heard a presentation from Pearson about the steps they have made to make their MyLab products ADA compliant. We also held a discussion about how best to provide support for DSS students enrolled in online classes. There was general agreement that a system-wide solution for captioning video and audio content is needed.

More in my Meeting Notes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In Line Grading Tool

Here's some info about a new Blackboard resource:

Here are 2 YouTube videos about Inline Grading that will be sent out to faculty when we launch this tool.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Summer I Late Registration

BCTC Faculty Advisors are required to advise for TWO hours of Summer I Late Registration.  Advisors may choose to switch those hours for participation in Stop by Get Started.

Summer I Late Registration Sign-Up

View Completed Sign-Ups

Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Teaching with Technology Workshop

Teaching with Technology Workshop
May 10, 2013

Join us in the newly refurbished Leestown Conference Center (formerly the Student Center) for a Workshop on Teaching with Technology. This workshop offers sessions for both on-ground and on-line instructors.

Our Keynote Speaker is novelist, Robin Sloan, author of Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

*The Workshop is Free and Lunch is Provided to Registered Participants

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Online Forms from Records....

The Student Records department is happy to announce the launch of new online forms and e-mail address!

Students will now be able to:
· Apply for Academic Bankruptcy
· Enroll in Courses (when not able to self-enroll)
· Withdraw from Courses
· Apply for Graduation (AA/AS only!)
· Change Program/Plan

All of this online and a completely paperless process!

Students must supply Name, Student ID Number, and KCTCS E-mail in order to complete these forms.

The New Records E-mail address is OR!

Both addresses reach the same mailbox – and are a convenient contact for all your Student Records & Registration questions!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spring 2013 Advising Workshops

Here's a list of Spring 2013 Advising Workshops . . .


We have two Advising Workshops schedule for Friday, February 22 as part of the Changing Classroom Cultures conference.  These sessions are:
·        PTK’s C4 Workshop (2/22, 12:30-1:45, AT 211).  Faculty are usually unaware of all the various types of information available to students on PS. At this workshop PTK members will demonstrate PS from a “student’s viewpoint.”
·        Transfer Center: Transfer Advising Training Program (2/22, 2:00-3:15, AT 211).  This workshop will introduce faculty to the newly revised transfer advising training program. We hope to provide you with the tools you need to be involved in the educational process of students as they consider furthering their education after BCTC

NEW ADVISOR TRAINING (March 1 – April 12)

New faculty members are currently undergoing advising training in preparation for the Fall semester.  All faculty advisors are welcome to attend any of these sessions.  Sessions are held on Fridays from 12:30 – 1:30 on the Cooper Campus in OB 310.  Advisors interested in attending should contact Cindy Baker (5-6464)

Planned sessions:
  • Friday, March 1….Mandatory Placement and PeopleSoft
  • Friday, March 8…the AA/AS Degree Plans AND Degree Plans Online AND QuickView
  • Friday, April 5….AdvisorTrac AND Phone and Email Advising
  • Friday, April 12…SAP and AdvisorTrac/PeopleSoft from the Student’s View


This Spring ‘Fifth’ Friday fell Good Friday and has been moved from March to April 26. Advising Sessions are planned for this Friday.


Ben (that’s me) is creating an online training session, “The Remote Advisor”, which will provided suggestions and tips on working with students at a distance using telephones, email and social media.  Look for an announcement next week.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Captioning YouTube Videos

Captioning audio and video content makes your course accessible to students with hearing impairments.  The link below shows how to add captions to YouTube content:

Video Everywhere

Video Everywhere is a new Bb feature that allows users to insert YouTube clips. . . . i.e. the proverbial talking head. . . into their Bb announcments, discussion posts, and more.

See link below for directions on how to use this feature:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


SafeAssign is a plagiarism detection tool available in Blackboard.  Essays submitted to SafeAssign and stored in a vast Bb database and cross-checked against other submissions as well other information gathered from the Internet.

Read more about SafeAssignment here:

The video below illustrates how to create a SafeAssignment in Blackboard:

I encourage all Bb instructors to have students submit essays via SafeAssign.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Using PeopleSoft to Notify Students

At times when Blackboard is unavailable, instructors may use the PeopleSoft Faculty Center to send email to their students.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bb SP 10 Updates

From Sandy Cook. . .

Greetings DL Peer Team:  We’ve had a few discussions among the DL Peer Team this week, and I wanted to provide information and an update.  Thanks so much for your  continued efforts and support for your faculty and students.  Please keep me posted if you need help

1.       Blackboard Learn SP 10:   KCTCS Technology Solutions/Distance Learning, CRD, and Blackboard Support staff members have met this week to discuss the application server/database issues in preparation for first day of class January 14.  Blackboard Support has their top team working through the weekend to identify and resolve two major issues:
a.       Application Servers where a server suddenly becomes inactive.  That’s why some faculty report “no response” while others will have “response” when in Blackboard.
b.      Database where spikes in activity cause slow performance for Blackboard Learn.  This also impacts the course copy progress/queue.

2.       Proctored Exam Journal Process to Delivering Colleges for Financial Implication to Home Colleges Assessment/Proctor Center:  This issue is a broad one to include Business Directors, Chief Academic Officers, Assessment Centers, and DL Peer Teem.   As the DL Peer Team members have discussed for a number of months, the increasing numbers of courses that require proctored exams has impacted the staffing needs of Assessment/Proctor Centers at some colleges.  While faculty members directly oversee assessments with face-to-face classes, increasingly the assessment oversight for online exams has been shifted to Assessment/Proctor Centers.  Fall 2011, DL Peer Team, Business Directors, and Assessment/Proctor Center staff members were invited to a systemwide meeting at Elizabethtown CTC to discuss the increasing demand on Assessment/Proctor Centers for online classes.  That meeting resulted in a number of recommendations to the guidelines that would help to alleviate the impact on Assessment/Proctoring Centers.  These guidelines and meeting notes have been communicated (see attached and posted here,  Colleges do have the approved option to charge back for the costs of administrating an assessment for another college -- see approved KCTCS charge below.   We’ll be involved in future discussions.

Proctored Tests: KCTCS classes
If a student takes a proctored test required by a KCTCS course at a KCTCS Assessment center, and if the test is taken during the normal operating hours (as posted) for that Assessment Center, the student may not be charged for that test. However, the Assessment Center may charge the Academic department requiring the proctored test through a journal process.

3.        KCTCS Blackboard Technical Help Desk:  Please use the KCTCS Blackboard Technical Help Desk for issues to be reported and investigated.  Issues reported via emails can be lost among all of our increasing email traffic.  While email may be the easier method to talk about an issue, it’s not the effective method to use to report a serious Blackboard issue. Feel free to email the issues to everyone; however, please also submit a ticket or report to the Help Desk.  Let me know if you or your faculty/students have not received good service from the Help Desk.

KCTCS Blackboard Technical Help Desk link is here: