FAQ

FAQ Blackboard for instructors

When is my Blackboard course available for me?

Semester 1: from the beginning of June
Semester 2: by the middle of November

On condition that the course has the status 'Definitive' in OSIRIS (this happens when all necessary information is registered in OSIRIS). The Blackboard course will then be created automatically after the dates mentioned above.

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Who can I go to if the OSIRIS information about my course (shown in Blackboard) is not correct?

If this information is not correct, it is important that this is rectified as soon as possible, so that the right information is included in both OSIRIS and in Blackboard. Ask the OSIRIS key user to correct the information.

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I want to use a single Blackboard course for more than one course code. Is that possible?

Yes, that is possible. If you have never used this kind of shared Blackboard course for several course codes before, but you would like to make use of this possibility, let the faculty Blackboard Support know as soon as possible, and before you have filled in the course details.

Further details:

• This kind of combined Blackboard course can be used for courses which are almost identical in terms of syllabus and timetable, but which have different course codes in OSIRIS because, for example, the number of ECTS credits for the various participating study programmes is different.
• The Blackboard course ID does not contain course codes, but an abbreviation of the course name. For example: 2011-SDM-1A (the course designation is short because no more than 8 characters can be used in OSIRIS. The course name will take the form of the full name, plus all the course codes for which the course is intended. For example: Secure Data Management; 192110940, 192110941 (2011-1A).

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How can I see my course the way students see it?

The 'Student preview' function allows you to view your course the way a student sees it, and take actions that only a student can (such as submit assignments, do a test, enroll for groups). You can activate the Student preview by clicking the Student preview icon (next to the Edit mode switch).

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What is the difference between an instructor, a teaching assistant and a course builder?

An instructor (= leader in an organisation) has most privileges in a course.

A teaching assistant has almost the same authorizations as an instructor, but:

• The teaching assistant can remove himself from the course.
• A teaching can't reconcile grades (applicable if delegated grading is used in a course).

Another difference is that the teaching assistant is not listed in the course catalog;

A course builder can mainly add content to a course. He cannot see the parts in the control panel where users can be monitored (especially Grade Center). This role could be used for student assistants for a course, when the instructor does not want the student assistant to have all rights for the course.

A marker can grade students (Grade Center) and has access to the functions under 'Evaluation' in the Control panel.

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How can an external guest instructor get access to my Blackboard course?

Does the guest instructor need to add information/content to the course?

Then ask your faculty Blackboard Support to request a guest account for this instructor.

Is it sufficient that the guest instructor can see the information in the course? Then consider activating the guest access setting in your course (see below).

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Can I make my course accessible for people that don't have a Blackboard account?

Yes, it is possible to make (parts*) of a course anonymously accessible, i.e. accessible for persons that are not enrolled in the course or even don't have a Blackboard account. In Blackboard that's called 'guest access' and it's not activated by default in a course/organisation. If you want to have your course anonymously accessible you have to activate it yourself:

1. Go to Control panel > [Customisation]
2. Click Guest and Observer access
3. Select 'Yes' for Allow Guests.
4. Click [Submit]

[step 5 through 7 can be skipped in courses with course ID starting with 2015 or higher]

5. Click [Tool availability] in the Control panel
6. Check the boxes in the column 'Visible to Guests' for the tools that should have guest access.
7. Click [Submit].
8. Now you still have to select the option 'Permit Guests' for each menu item that you want to have accessible for 'guests.

If guest access is enabled, someone can get access in the following manners:

• Everyone with a UT Blackboard account can click on the course in the course catalogue (to be found on the tab Courses) to get access (same applies for an organisation in the organisation catalogue).
• Anyone without a UT Blackboard account can get access if he uses the URL of the course.

The course cannot be found by searching in Google or other search engines.

* Please note: Blackboard only allows anonymous access for Announcements, Contacts, Calendar, Glossary and content area's. Content area's are menu items such as Course information, Course materials, Assignments, Extra materials, or generally speaking all menu items where you can add content through the buttons Build content, Assignments and Tools.

Is it possible to use Ephorus plagiarism detection outside of Blackboard?

Yes, you can upload documents on the Ephorus website. This requires a personal account that you can request at:

Ellen Peters (e.m.a.peters@utwente.nl) (UT-employees excluding ITC) 
Marga Koelen (m.t.koelen@utwente.nl) (ITC-employees).

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I have sent a mail from Blackboard containing an attachment, but the students didn't receive the mail.

The size of the attachment may be the cause: attachments that are larger then 25 MB are refused by Google mail (the mail provider of the student's mailboxes). Students will not receive the mail at all and you will not get a message about the unsuccessful delivery.

So put files that are larger then 25 MB in the course and don't send them by mail.

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Connected registration OSIRIS-Blackboard for students

How does connected registration between OSIRIS and Blackboard work?

This connection means that students who register for a course or an examination in OSIRIS are automatically registered for the appropriate Blackboard course. Connecting means it is no longer necessary for students to register in both OSIRIS and Blackboard. Connected registration does not apply to the ITC faculty.

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What consequences does connected registration have for me as a lecturer?

This connection has a number of consequences for working with Blackboard:

• Blackboard courses automatically become available, two weeks before they start, for students who are already registered in OSIRIS. All registrations carried out before this time will also be processed, but students don't have access to the Blackboard course yet. They do see the course listed in My Courses, and the date that it will become accessible.

• Due to the connection, lecturers can no longer make the course/organisations available themselves or alter the registration period. Faculty Blackboard Support still has these rights.

• In a given course, lecturers will no longer be able to see students who have already ended their registration. These alterations will still be visible for Blackboard Support.

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What consequences does connected registration have for students?

• According to the registration rules, students must register in OSIRIS register in order to gain access to the Blackboard course.

• Registering in OSIRIS is only possible if the registration period is open in OSIRIS. After the registration period a student can apply to register via the BOZ of his/her own educational programme. Information about the registration period can be found on the website of Student Services.

• Students can no longer register and de-register themselves for a course via Blackboard.

• De-registering for an OSIRIS course means de-registering from the Blackboard course.

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Can I add students or lecturers to my Blackboard course myself? 

Yes, lecturers can still add student assistants or colleagues to their Blackboard course. Lecturers are also still able to add students. However: lecturers are advised to refer students who want to register to the BOZ for their educational programme. No link exists between Blackboard and OSIRIS if a student is added to a course via Blackboard. 

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Several students have contacted me. They were too late for registration in OSIRIS. Should I register these students myself in de Blackboard course?

No, you are advised not to do this. You should refer students who want to register to the BOZ of their own educational programme. 

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When will my Blackboard course be available for students?

Courses will automatically be made 'available' two weeks before the start of the block.

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I want to make my course available in Blackboard earlier than two weeks before the start of the block. How can I do this? 

Due to connected registration, instructors are no longer able to alter the availability of the course in Blackboard. The faculty Blackboard support does still have this right and can organize this for lecturers. Blackboard courses may become available earlier than two weeks prior to the start of a semester. Later than two weeks before the start of a semester is not possible. If parts of the course may not be made visible for students two weeks before the start of the semester, then you can make them unavailable, or even make an entire menu-section invisible for students.

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A student has registered in OSIRIS for my course, but is not going to follow the course after all. How can a student de-register from Blackboard? 

Within the registration period, students can de-register via OSIRIS themselves. De-registering for the course in OSIRIS also means de-registering for the course in Blackboard. After the registration period has closed, the student should send a written de-registration request to BOZ.

A student has registered for a TOM module, but is not going to follow the module after all. How can the student de-register for Blackboard?

The student can de-register via OSIRIS up to one day before the start of the module.

After the registration period, the student should get in touch with the study adviser.

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A student will be following only a part of a TOM-module. Should this student register for the module in OSIRIS in order to be able to take the Blackboard course?

Students who are only following part of a module, should not register for the module in OSIRIS. The best thing to do is to refer students to the BOZ or the study advisor of their educational programme. The faculty Blackboard Support will take care of registrations for so-called ‘exceptional cases’. 

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A student has registered in OSIRIS, but does not yet have access to my Blackboard course. How is this possible? 

After registering in OSIRIS between 06:00 and 23:00 hours, a student is registered in the Blackboard course within ten minutes. Each course automatically becomes available for students two weeks before the start of a semester. All registrations carried out before this time will also be processed, but students don't have access to the Blackboard course yet. They do see the course listed in My Courses, and the date that it will become accessible.

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Will registration for Organisations in Blackboard also take place via OSIRIS

No, connected registration does not apply to registrations for Organisations in Blackboard. Registering for Organisations will continue to take place via Blackboard. 

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Can I still use the self-enrolment option for my Organisation in Blackboard? 

For the moment, the right to make an Organisation available for self-enrolment, or to alter the registration period, will no longer be available for lecturers, not even for Organisations. We are looking into whether this can be altered. Faculty Blackboard Support can make these alterations.

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A student has de-registered in OSIRIS for my course, but has not yet been de-registered in Blackboard. How is this possible?

Registrations are processed once a night.

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I have another question about connected registration. Whom should I contact?

For questions relating to Blackboard you can contact the faculty Blackboard Support.

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