eCampus Version 9.1 Tutorials: Best Practices

BEST PRACTICES

Email

For better security, if you use your GroupWise email address, please use the alias for the email address in lieu of the Novell ID email (example: jdoe@dcccd.edu instead of jxd0000@dcccd.edu). If you are unsure of your alias, contact your location IT department.

Assessments

Remove any duplicated or unused pools and tests.

Course Navigation Buttons

Any buttons that are not being used should be made unavailable or removed. Duplicate buttons should be removed.

Course Availability

Unless you have students with Incompletes, a course should be made unavailable after the semester is over. This will preserve the integrity of the grades and course statistics. If a course must be available for Incompletes, consider disabling (but not removing) those students who have completed the course. Again, this will preserve the integrity of the grades.

Assignments Feature

Do not use # signs in the assignment names, or this will cause an error.

Web Pages

Do not copy and paste a webpage into the textbox editor on eCampus. This can cause issues when trying to remove the item. This applies to any textbox, even those in the discussion board.

Grade Center

Download your grades once a week, and prior to making any significant changes (removing or modifying tests, pools, users).

Templates and Organizations

If you no longer need your template or organization, please notify the faculty help desk so that it can be archived and removed. NEVER enroll students in templates, please (see Policies).

SafeAssign

If SafeAssign appears not to be working, check the Blackboard Central Services Updates page.

Additional Suggestions

Archive your course weekly and save to a backup drive at the end of each semester.

Ask your students to clean out their digital dropboxes regularly to help it load faster.

Consider making some more advanced Blackboard features appear after the class has gotten to the point where they are needed.

Put a picture of yourself, contact information and relevant information about yourself in the Contacts section so distance students get a sense of who you are.

Add content before you actually want students to see it, and set it as unavailable until it is needed. This avoids the rush and possibility that you will have technical problems at the last minute.

If you need to drop a student from a class, consider just disabling his access to the course. This allows you to keep his or her work for later reference. If you delete a student from your class, all class records pertaining to that student are deleted.

Include directions in your course on what file format students are expected to use when submitting assignments. For example, tell them that you want them to create and save the file using Microsoft Word.

It can help to specify file names for files that will be submitted. For example "Assign1JSmith.doc". Special characters should not be used. Only alphanumeric characters are recommended.

 


eCampus Policies

Video Files

In order to keep as much space available on the eCampus server and keep the response times optimized, we kindly ask that you please not upload any video files to eCampus. If you have any video files that you want to add to your course or that are already in your course, please contact the faculty helpdesk for help with putting them on our media server. Once on our media server, we will send you the link to them and you can then link to them from your course. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Cancelled Course Removal

Courses which are cancelled will be removed from the system without being archived. Any material that is in a cancelled course will not be saved.

Periodic Removal of Past Courses

In order to maximize server space and keep server response times optimized, we periodically remove old courses from the system. Each (non-cancelled) course is archived before removal.

Student Enrollments in Wrong Semester Shells

Students should be enrolled in the course shell for the semester for which they have registered. Do not "re-use" your shell by removing last semester's students and enrolling this semester's students. We must, by district policy, keep an archive of the course. When you alter the course after the end of the semester, the integrity of the archive is compromised. Also, your students will not be automatically entered and updated if they are enrolled in a previous semester shell.

Student Enrollments in Templates

Students are not to be enrolled in templates. We must, by district policy, keep an archive of each student's work each semester. Templates are not archived. Also, your students will not be automatically entered and updated if they are enrolled in a template.