1. Login to the site

Many institutions create accounts for their staff. In that case, your administrator will provide you with a username and password for you to log into the website.

  1. Select Log in.
    How it looks in Snap
    How it looks in another theme
     
  2. Type your Username and Password.
  3. Select Log in.

More on User Accounts


2. Access your course

No two pages, courses, or Blackboard Open LMS systems will look the same. However, there are some features that you can rely on, and terminology you should know.

Activities

Activities are tasks you want students to do, such as complete an assignment or participate in a discussion.

How it looks in Snap
How it looks in another theme
 

More on Activities

Resources

Resources are items you use to support learning, such as a video of a lecture or an article to read.

How it looks in Snap
How it looks in another theme

Blocks

Blocks are elements that add extra information or learning content to your course. You can add blocks to the sides or center of your course depending on the design theme your course is in.

How it looks in Snap
How it looks in another theme
 

Administration blocks are standard on every page for teachers and administrators.

Breadcrumbs

There are breadcrumbs on each page that show you where you are. You can also select breadcrumbs to go back to previous pages, including the Home page.


3. View enrolled users

Steps in Snap: Course > Course Dashboard > Participants

Steps in other themes: Course > Participants

Want to know who is in your course? The Participants page displays user names and profile pictures. Select a name to message that person.

From your course, select Course Dashboardand Participants to see a list of people enrolled in the course.

If you are not using the Snap theme, you can find Participants in the Navigation block.

More about the participants page (may be available in English only)

If enabled by your site administrator, you can enroll, search, filter, bulk edit and bulk delete users from the Participants and Enrollments screen.


4. Add course blocks

Blocks are elements that add extra information or learning content to your course. You can add blocks to the sides or center of your course depending on the design theme your course uses.

Steps in Snap: Course Dashboard > Edit blocks > Add a block

Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Add a block

Blocks can be moved, hidden, and deleted.

If you are using Snap, all blocks appear under Course Dashboard. You must select Course Dashboard to view added blocks. You can rearrange the order of blocks in Snap but you can't move them to another area in your course.

  • Move a block. Select Move and drag the block where you want it.
  • Hide a block. Expand the Actions menu and hide the block.
  • Assign roles in a block if permitted. Expand the Actions menu and assign roles.
  • Delete a block. Expand the Actions menu and delete the block.

More on Blocks


5. Set up the gradebook

Setting up your Gradebook is simple. One simple trick is to use categories to organize your Gradebook.

Steps in Snap: Course Dashboard > Gradebook > Add category

Steps in other themes: Administration > Course administration > Gradebook setup > Add category

Categories are used in the Gradebook to group gradable items. This can make the Gradebook easier to view. You can filter your Gradebook view by category. You can also use categories to combine grades, drop the lowest grade, and weight a group of grades.

More on Grade Categories

To get the most out of categories you must add them to your gradable activities. From the activity settings, expand Grade and select the category from the Grade category menu.

The next step is to choose how you want the gradebook to calculate the grades. This is called the "aggregation" in Moodle. Different methods calculate the grades differently, so choose the method that is most aligned with how you want the totals to calculate.

Steps in Snap: Course Dashboard > Gradebook > Setup

Steps in other themes: Administration > Course administration > Gradebook setup

By default your Gradebook is set to calculate grades using the Simple weighted mean of grades. This aggregation method does not allow instructors to assign a weight for specific assessment activities. You can change how the Gradebook calculates grades.

  1. From Setup in the Gradebook, select Edit beside the course name.
  2. Select Edit settings.
  3. Select the grade calculation method from the Aggregation menu.

    More on each grade aggregation method (may be available in English only)

  4. Select Save changes.


6. Add activities and resources

Steps in Snap: Create learning activity or resource > Choose an activity or resource > Add

Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Add an activity or resource > Choose an activity or resource > Add

Courses are a collection of activities and resources.

  • Activities are tasks you want students to do. For example, complete an assignment or participate in a discussion.
  • Resources are items you use to support learning. For example, a video of a lecture or an article to read.

7. Enable course and activity completion

You can set Activity completion options when you create or edit an activity. Activity completion works with course completion. With it you can allow students to set their progress in a course or automatically update progress in a course based on conditions for activities.

Activity completion is enabled by default in new installations. View the report for your course to see if it is on. If you do not see the report, you may need to turn it on for your course and set it on each activity you want to track.

Turn Completion tracking on for your course

Steps in Snap: Admin > Edit settings > Completion tracking > Yes

Steps in other themes: Administration > Course administration > Edit Settings > Completion tracking > Yes

Activity completion requires that a course have completion tracking enabled before these settings will appear for a resource.

Set Activity completion on activities

Steps in Snap: Create or edit an activity > Activity completion

Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Create or edit an activity > Activity completion

You must turn tracking on for your course to use activity completion.

  • Completion tracking: If enabled, activity completion is tracked, either manually or automatically, based on certain conditions. Multiple conditions may be set if desired. A check next to the activity name on the course page indicates that the activity is complete.
  • Require view: If enabled, the resource or activity is considered complete when a student views the resource.
  • Expect completed on: This setting specifies the date when the resource or activity is expected to be completed. The date is not shown to students and is only displayed in the activity completion report. Check this option to enable and set a date.

Discussions have additional activity completion settings:

  • Require posts: Student must post discussions or replies.
  • Require discussions: Student must create a certain number of discussions before the forum is considered complete.
  • Require replies: Student must post a certain number of replies before the forum is considered complete.

8. Set up badges

Badges are awarded based on criteria you set and interactions within your course. They are displayed on a user's profile. Badges can push to a user's Badgr Backpack because they are compatible with Badgr Backpack.

Create a Badge

Administration block > Course administration > Badges > Add a new badge

  1. Type a name and description.
  2. Add an image. This image displays when the badge is issued to students.
  3. Give the Issuer details of the issuing agent or authority for this badge. It appears when the badge is displayed as well as the e-mail address for the badge issuer.
  4. Optionally, set a badge Expiry date.
  5. Select Create badge to progress to the next page.
  6. On the Criteria tab, select from the drop-down list:
    • Manual issue by role - identify the roles that can award the badge. Specify whether all or any of the identified roles must award the badge in order for students to receive it.
    • Course Completion - Add a minimum grade required, a date to be completed by, or both.
    • Activity Completion - select required activities to be completed before awarding the badge. You need to configure activities with completion tracking criteria in the activity's settings.
  7. On the Message tab, modify the e-mail message sent to students when a badge is awarded to them. Select whether or not you want to Attach badge to message or Notify badge creator.
  8. Select Enable access in the header to make it visible to users and allow them to start earning it. Enable access only when you are certain you are done editing the badge. After at least one user earns it, the badge is locked for editing.

More on Badges


9. Set up certificates

Being rewarded is a powerful extrinsic motivator. One of the best rewards is recognition for a job well done. Providing these opportunities for rewarding students throughout your course can keep students motivated and create a map of what they can learn.

Giving recognition for student achievements is also becoming the new standard for verifying learning. You can use certificates to round out a grade. You can provide details and examples of exactly what students achieved in your course.

Creating a certificate is really easy in Blackboard Open LMS.

Steps in Snap: Create learning activity or resource > Certificate > Add

Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Add an activity or resource > Certificate > Add

You can customize the awards with borders, watermarks, seals, and grade information. You can establish conditions for receiving certificates, such as attainment of a certain grade.

  1. Type a name. This is the only required field.
  2. Optionally, type an introduction to describe the certificate and requirements.
  3. Optionally, make selections in the following areas to customize the certificate.
    • Issue Options - set the delivery method to students and if teachers or others receive emails when certificates are issued.
    • Text Options - specify information printed on the certificate.
    • Design Options - determine the look of the certificate.
    • Outcomes
    • Common Module Settings
    • Restrict Access
    • Activity completion
  4. Select Save and return to course to show the course front page or Save and display to show only the new certificate.

More on Certificates


10. Explore Personalized Learning Designer

The PLD uses rules to trigger automated events in your course. You can create rules to reduce excessive manual effort and reach out to at-risk students. For example, a rule can watch for at-risk grades and send messages to key figures in the student's life. A rule could also encourage students by watching for the completion of activities.

Each rule has an event, optional conditions, and at least one action.

  • Events: An event is what triggers the rule, or causes it to run.
  • Conditions: A condition determines if there are actions when an event occurs. If there are no conditions, actions happen automatically.
  • Actions: An action is what happens when the right conditions are met.

More on Personalized Learning Designer