This may be the perfect time to address some of the issues that will eliminate issues down the road.
If you have been using the Retention Center (which, by the way, is quite awesome!), you will notice that as your library of courses grows, so does the number of notifications coming from them, alerting you that your students haven’t logged in in weeks – only in old courses from past semesters. (Do not do it in your current courses, however tempting!!! If you teach a course with another instructor, and turn off the Retention Center, you are turning it off for both of you.)
You can easily get rid of those notifications by stopping tracking them. Please see the screenshot. (You see this view in “My Blackboard” when you click on “Retention Center Updates” from the Global Navigation – it looks like an up and dow arrows and probably has a read number over it).
While you will have to do this by the course, it’s a time-saver in the long run. Spring cleaning, right?
Another little detail that you may share with students is their ability to change their first name in the course, – we know not everyone goes by the legal first name, but that’s what is required by law to be in the University system. To rectify that, please advise students to edit their personal information under “Global Navigation”>Settings>Personal Information. See the screenshot:
Users are locked out changing their last name, however, that’s why some of us are stuck with the hyphenated last names. 😉
And finally, it is a bit misleading to label us, folks on the Instructional Design Team, as IT, although very tempting as shorthand!!! We are always happy to help out in a variety of ways, even if sometimes it is simply by referring you and your students to the IT department, but are often unable to resolve pure IT problems ourselves as we don’t have appropriate permissions and capacity. We collaborate closely with the IT Department. We are happy to go by the ID name (Instructional Design), and this is the best way to refer to us in communications with students. While the direct responsibilities and capabilities may be evolving in the future, at the moment we are primarily involved in course design and ensuring best possible student and facilitator experience!
Until next week,
Your ID Team