UNI eLearning Suite

Faculty/Staff Tech Tips

The following Faculty/Staff Tech Tips were originally posted for the weekly InsideUNI email announcements.

NOTE: Due to changes in InsideUNI format and publishing, the creation of 'Faculty/Staff Tech Tips' ceased after March 24, 2020.

Spring 2020

March 24th, 2020

Zoom is the perfect replacement when in person meetings are not an option! Conduct live meetings with students, share your screen with them, and even record your sessions to later implement to Blackboard! To learn how, visit the UNI eLearning Suite FAQ or view this 10 minute video.

March 10th, 2020 

If you will be away from your email during spring break, consider creating a “vacation message” that automatically replies to received emails with a customized message. For full instructions, view Gmail's support article.

March 3rd, 2020

Check out the Blackboard Retention Center to see the overall academic health of your class and determine which students are struggling. You can easily contact at-risk students and flag those you want to monitor more closely. To learn more, visit the UNI eLearning Suite FAQ.

Fall 2019

December 3rd, 2019

As an instructor, you can see when your students opened, started, and submitted tests and assignments with the Student Activity report. This report can be a powerful tool for improving your course. See the Student Activity Details Bb Help page for details today!

November 12th, 2019

Check out the Blackboard Retention Center to see the overall academic health of your class and determine which students are struggling. You can easily contact at-risk students and flag those you want to monitor more closely. To learn more visit the UNI eLearning Suite FAQ.

November 5th, 2019

Planning on implementing a new publisher integration with Blackboard for Spring 2020? If so, start the approval process now! The Integration approval process can take a couple of months so please plan accordingly! Process details are outlined on our Integrations page.

October 22th, 2019

Looking for a past Faculty Tech Tip? Curious about other topics we’ve already covered? Check out our archive of previous posts dating back to Spring 2017! Past tips are located here!

October 8th, 2019

Looking to familiarize yourself with Panopto to best utilize all of its functionalities? Well, look no further, this Panopto blog outlines every tip that Panopto believes you would ever need.

October 1st, 2019

New for Instructors! Ally Course Accessibility Report includes Overview and Content tabs that provides a big picture, as well as specific details, about the accessibility of your Blackboard Learn course content. To learn more, visit this Blackboard Help page.

Spring 2019

May 14, 2019

Have you heard? Gmail recently introduced a new feature allowing you to schedule emails to send at a later date and time (up to 49 years in advance). Visit this UNI eLearning Gmail FAQ to get started.

May 7, 2019

A recent study conducted by the Artevelde University College Ghent found that lecture capture services such as Panopto resulted in more students passing a class and had no effect on student absenteeism. To read more, visit Panopto's blog post.

April 30, 2019

Did you know? All courses for the Summer and Fall 2019 semesters have been created. If you need help setting up your courses, request a consultation with one of our educational technologists. 

April 23, 2019

With the end of the semester approaching, it’s time to start finalizing grades. Our Educational Technologists are here to help with any issues, concerns or questions related to Blackboard Grade Center or the other tools within the UNI eLearning Suite. Schedule a consultation today!

April 16, 2019

Did you know? You can now integrate Blackboard course calendars into a Google Calendar. This way you can be assured all events and deadline reminders are in one centralized location. For full instructions, visit this UNI eLearning FAQ on Google Calendar

April 9, 2019

In Blackboard, you can create printable grade reports for your students. This makes it easier to see exactly how well students are doing in your courses. You can filter by student, assignment type, grading period and more. For more information, visit Blackboard Help.

April 2, 2019

Looking to gain some new skills? Lynda.com Learning Paths are curated groups of courses, quizzes, and practice sections which teach specific industry skills from mastering the Microsoft Office Suite, to becoming a confident online instructor. Visit Lynda.uni.edu to get started. 

March 26, 2019

As of a recent update, Blackboard's Activity Stream notifications have been broken down into additional categories-- meaning you have even more control over what notifications you would like to see. For full instructions on changing these settings, visit the UNI eLearning Activity Stream FAQ.

March 12, 2019

Save the date! On Friday, May 17, UNI is hosting a conference, “Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning: Tools, Tricks and Tips,” to highlight the innovative ways UNI faculty are using technology in their classrooms. For more information, email us at ETMS-instructionaltech@uni.edu 

March 5, 2019

Including meaningful YouTube video content can be a powerful way to enhance your Blackboard course content. For more information on how to embed a YouTube video directly in your course, visit this UNI eLearning Blackboard / Youtube FAQ

February 26, 2019

One of the most useful features of Panopto is the ability to see analytics on your student's viewing habits. By using the "Stats" feature, you can see who is watching your videos and for how long. For more information, visit the Panopto Analytics FAQ.

February 19, 2019

While recording or watching a Panopto video, you and your students can take timestamped notes. These notes can be public (seen by anyone watching the video) or private (seen only by you). For full instructions, visit this Time-stamping in Panopto FAQ

February 12, 2019

After completing a Lynda.com course, share your certificate of completion on LinkedIn! This is a great way to show off the the training you've received and skills you've developed. Visit the Lynda Certifications FAQ for more information.

February 5, 2019

Wondering how to get to your Spring courses in less clicks? Click on the star icon next to any course and it will automatically appear at the top of your Courses list. For more information, view the UNI Course Organization FAQ.

January 29, 2019

Wondering what information others can see about you in Blackboard Learn? Make sure to review your privacy settings located on your Blackboard Learn profile page. For more information, view the UNI eLearning Privacy Settings FAQ.

January 22, 2019

In Blackboard Learn Ultra Base Navigation, you can choose what notifications you want to appear in your Activity Stream or sent to your email. Change notifications for new content added, gradable items, replies to discussions and more. View the UNI eLearning Activity Stream Notifications FAQ for more information.

January 15, 2019

Instructors, encourage your students to add a photo to their profile in Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation. You'll see student profile pictures throughout courses including Grade Center, Discussions, and the Activity Stream. Visit the eLearning website for more details and how to add a profile.

Fall 2018

December 11, 2018

Was there a particular concept or tool your students struggled with last semester? Consider creating a custom Lynda video tutorial playlist. Lynda.uni.edu has thousands of videos on topics ranging from advertising to web development. For more information, watch a short video tutorial

December 4, 2018

Have you heard? Blackboard Learn will update to Ultra Base Navigation next semester. While this won't impact how your courses look, it will change the portal to a more intuitive and modern design. For more information, view the announcement on the UNI eLearning website

November 27, 2018

Google Slides now provides automatic closed captioning in real-time during a presentation. This new feature can make your presentation accessible for students who are hard-of-hearing, non-native speakers, or when presenting in noisy, ambient environments. For more information, visit the Google Slide Captions FAQ

November 13, 2018

Would you like to facilitate smaller discussion groups during Zoom meetings? Try breakout rooms! The meeting host can split participants into smaller sessions and can jump between or end these sessions at any time. For more information, view Zoom's support article

November 6, 2018

Do you wish you could keep an offline personal record of the comments you've made on a student's Blackboard assignment? Now you can with Blackboard's newest feature: Annotated PDFs. For more information, visit the UNI eLearning Annotated PDFs FAQ.

October 30, 2018

Looking for a way to implement peer review of student papers online? Try using Turnitin's PeerMark tool. A PeerMark assignment can be created directly through Blackboard. For more information, please view Turnitin's support article. Questions may be submitted to the UNI eLearning Suite.

October 23, 2018

Do you have ideas or suggestions for Blackboard Learn, our Learning Management system? The Blackboard Idea Exchange is the best way to have your voice heard. For instructions on how to get started, visit the UNI eLearning Suite Product Suggestions page. *Currently Unavailable*

October 16, 2018

Did you know that you can provide video or audio feedback on student assignments, discussion posts, tests, and more in Blackboard Learn? Visit the UNI eLearning Video/Audio Feedback FAQ for more information. Questions may also be submitted to servicehub.uni.edu.

October 9, 2018

Lynda.uni.edu gives access to thousands of video tutorials from computer skills, to advertising, to music composition and more. Creating a custom playlist of videos is a great way to add supplemental material to your course. For more information you can view a short video tutorial.

October 2, 2018

Looking to gamify your next classroom lecture? Check out Poll Everywhere's interactive competitions. Simply create your questions, send a link to your students, and watch them compete in real-time. Not sure where to start? Visit this UNI eLearning Suite FAQ on Poll Everywhere

September 25, 2018

Does your Grade Center seem overwhelming? You can filter Grade Center data in Bb Learn by Grading Period, Category, Grade Status, and more, making it easier to find what you need quickly. Questions can be submitted to servicehub.uni.edu.

September 18, 2018

Looking for an easy way to interact with your courses on the go? Download the Blackboard Instructor App. You can view course content, make announcements, create discussion threads and more from a mobile device. For more information, visit the UNI eLearning mobile apps page.

September 11, 2018

Have you noticed the colorful meters next to content you've added in your Blackboard Learn courses? This is Bb Ally, an accessibility tool which scores your content and gives suggestions on how to make it more accessible. For more information, visit the UNI eLearning Suite Ally Page. Questions can be submitted to servicehub.uni.edu.

September 4, 2018

Since Bb Learn's migration to the cloud, the Grade Center has experienced many new features including full screen mode and viewing the full titles of Grade Center columns. For more information, please view this presentation (slide 2). Questions may also be submitted to servicehub.uni.edu.

August 28, 2018

Looking to de-clutter your "My Courses" module in Bb Learn? You can now organize your courses by term rather than course title. For more information visit the UNI eLearning Suite Faculty FAQ page. Questions can also be submitted to servicehub.uni.edu

Spring 2018

April 6, 2018

Did you know that you can make your own archive (backup) of your Blackboard course(s)? Learn more from this Blackboard Help article on Course Archives. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

March 30, 2018

Need to split up your Zoom meeting into smaller groups? Try Breakout Rooms! Read the following Zoom support article to learn more. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

March 23, 2018

Run into a tech problem on the go? Submit a service hub incident from your phone with the MyUNI app!

March 16, 2018

Shared keyboards are known to be extremely germy. With flu season not quite over, remember to practice good habits when sneezing and coughing. In addition to washing your hands often, watch this Mythbusters video for good advice on how to minimize germs.

March 2, 2018

Coming soon to Blackboard...Bb Ally increases awareness of course content accessibility and provides support for teaching students of all learning styles and abilities. Workshop opportunities will be offered. See this short video to get a sneak peak. Contact Service Hub with questions.

February 23, 2018

Panopto quizzes can now be directly integrated into the Blackboard Grade Center! To learn more, read the following Panopto support article. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

February 16, 2018

Want to learn tips and tricks for using Google Suite apps (such as Gmail, Drive or Calendar)? Check out the Google Suite Learning Center. Contact the instructional design team with questions or to request a consultation.

February 9, 2018

Blackboard, the company behind UNI's eLearning system, is constantly looking for new ideas to improve their product. Blackboard Idea Exchange (BIE) is the best way to have your voice heard. Submit questions to Service Hub.

February 2, 2018

Want to improve the organization and readability of your Google Docs? Try adding a table of contents. Comprised of headers you choose, this feature is a must have for long documents. For more information, visit Google Docs. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

January 26, 2018

A new Blackboard feature, SafeAssign, lets you check assignments for plagiarism directly in the Blackboard assignment grading interface. To get started, expand the “Submission Details” box while creating an assignment. For more information, visit Blackboard help. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

January 19, 2018

Is your “My Courses” module cluttered on Blackboard? This new feature might be the solution: grouping courses by term. For more information, visit eLearning. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

January 12, 2018

Wondering what happened to your Course Menu in Blackboard? Blackboard now utilizes responsive design, delivering a more consistent experience when accessing courses on any device. Upon first entering a course, the Course Menu may be collapsed and components on the page may have adjusted to a vertical alignment. Visit the FAQ webpage to learn more.

Fall 2017

December 8, 2017

There will be a Blackboard update Thursday, Dec. 21. This includes bug fixes and feature enhancements, such as additional drag and drop locations. To learn more, visit the eLearning Site Maintenance Updates. Questions can be submitted to eLearning.

December 1, 2017

Want to transition an existing Blackboard course to a spring 2018 course? Read the following support article for instructions. If this is your first time transitioning a course in Blackboard, we recommend that you request a consultation.

November 24, 2017

With the end of the semester approaching, it’s time to start finalizing grades. Our instructional designers are here to help with any issues, concerns or questions related to Blackboard Grade Center. Consultation requests can be submitted to Service Hub.

November 10, 2017

Lynda.com, which offers thousands of free educational videos (for faculty/students) on numerous topics, now also offers their service in the form of a mobile app! To download, visit: https://www.lynda.com/apps. Questions can be submitted to https://servicehub.uni.edu.

November 3, 2017

Blackboard's email tool allows you to directly email any number of students/groups within a course. The email is sent to their UNI email address. To learn more, read the following Blackboard Help article. Questions can be submitted to https://servicehub.uni.edu.

October 27, 2017

Student Preview is helpful if you want to see what your students see, try taking a test on a student account, or make sure that due dates are working correctly. How it works: Blackboard creates a temporary student account and gives you access. Simply click the button with two arrows (on the top navigation bar) to get started! Visit this article for more information.

October 20, 2017

Instructors now have access to a report verifying student assignment submissions within Blackboard. Submission Receipts record the time of submission and include attached files, date and time. To learn more, visit Blackboard. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

October 13, 2017

Grades from Scantron tests can be easily uploaded into the eLearning Grade Center. To learn how, visit This eLearning On Scantron Scoring. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

October 6, 2017

Embedding a Youtube video into your course is a great way to share important content. This is done by using the "Mashups" tool under "Build Content." For more information, read the following Help Article. Questions can be submitted to the Service Hub

September 29, 2017

Several options are available for making videos available to students, including Panopto, Google Drive and YouTube. While videos should not be uploaded to your Blackboard course, they can be embedded on a course page. IT-ETMS can assist with learning how to accomplish this. Questions can be submitted to Service Hub.

September 21, 2017

For Panopto users, there is now a new folder called "My Folder," and it is not tied to any eLearning course. One suggestion for using this folder is to utilize it as a space for editing your Panopto video(s). You can then move the edited video to the appropriate folder/eLearning course. Questions can be submitted to servicehub.uni.edu.

September 15, 2017

Do you want Google Drive to convert your Microsoft Office files to the appropriate Google Drive format? Or do you just want to store your Office documents in Drive without converting? You have a choice in Google Drive Settings. Learn more at DocumentSnap.

September 1, 2017

If a Google Doc is shared with you for evaluation, you can insert "suggested edits" instead of editing the content or inserting comments. This visually helps the author/collaborator to see the changes you are recommending. They can accept or reject your suggestions. The "Suggesting" feature of Google Docs is demonstrated in this LinkedIn video. Questions can be submitted to servicehub.uni.edu.

August 29, 2017

New drag and drop files feature in eLearning (Blackboard)! When instructors create content items, assignments, and web links, they can drag files from their computers to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. Students can also drag files to upload when they submit assignments. For more information, please visit eLearning.

Spring 2017

May 23, 2017

Microsoft Word has an Accessibility Checker which locates elements in your document that may cause problems for people with disabilities. To start finding and fixing accessibility issues in your Word documents, view the Accessibility Checker video tutorial at: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Find-and-fix-accessibility-issues-in-Word-2016-9d660cba-1fcd-45ad-a9d1-c4f4b5eb5b7d

May 16, 2017

Do you have questions about UNI’s learning technologies? IT-ETMS instructional designers will meet with you 1-on-1 to help answer questions and discuss how various learning technologies might help you and your students achieve course learning goals. Contact Instructional Design and Development Services at idds@uni.edu.

May 3, 2017

Course dashboard, sometimes called notifications dashboard, is a convenient way to quickly view what's going on in your course. It can show what assignments need grading, what's new, important alerts, and much more. If you don't see one in your course, you can always create a new one. Simply mouse over the plus sign (+) on the left navigation pane and select "Module Page". Give it an appropriate name (like "Course Dashboard") and then add the modules you want by clicking "Add Course Module". For more information, visit the official tutorial found here.

May 2, 2017

Google Docs allows you to view older versions of a document and, if desired, restore it to an older version. You can also view who made the various changes in the document. To learn more about Google Doc’s revision history, visit this support article.

April 24, 2017

Adaptive release allows you to customize the release of content. This customization can include multiple criteria, such as date, groups of students, grade, and review status (also known as completion status). For precise instructions on how to perform adaptive release, go to the following website.

April 17, 2017

If you've ever wondered what the effectiveness of a test or test question is, the item analysis tool is perfect! This tool shows statistics that help you improve questions, create remedial lessons, or determine a grading curve. Finding this tool can be a little tricky, we recommend following the short guide found Here Regarding the Grading Curve.

April 11, 2017

Running a Blackboard course report will give you vital information about students' activity in the course. To get started, select "Course Reports" under the "Evaluation" tab on the left navigation pane. Next, pick the type of report that you want. After selecting the method of output preferred (i.e. PDF, excel, word, etc.), choose a start and end date for the data. For more information visit This Blackboard Help Page. Submit questions to servicehub.uni.edu.

April 4, 2017

The Needs Grading feature in Blackboard is a great way to see what needs to be graded in one spot and to organize your grading workload. For courses with many enrolled students and gradable items, this can be very beneficial. Additionally, you can easily filter the results by assignment, student, and date submitted. To find the needs grading page, look under the "Grade Center" tab on the left navigation pane. For more information, visit the official Needs Grading Tutorial. Submit questions to servicehub.uni.edu 

March 28, 2017

If you use Google Calendar through your UNI Gmail account, in addition to creating regular events, you also have the ability to create "Appointment Slots". It's simple, yet powerful and efficient. Faculty, for example, may want to consider it for office hours. Watch This 3-minute Lynda Video to Learn How.

March 23, 2017

If you use ZOOM, you also have the capability of recording the session on your computer. You may then share the .mp4 video file with others in Google Drive, or upload it to your eLearning course via Panopto. View the recording tutorial at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362473-Local-Recording For any further questions contact idds@uni.edu

March 9, 2017

The Blackboard Retention Center is an important tool to check the overall academic health of your class to see who is struggling. With just a glance, find out who needs your help and drill in to see their specific areas of difficulty. You can contact at-risk students immediately and flag those you want to monitor closely. As you observe their progress and send emails, you can also keep track of this correspondence and make notes about each student in the Retention Center. To learn more visit This Blackboard Help Page , and if you have any questions contact us at idds@uni.edu

March 2, 2017

IT-Educational Technology and Media Services will come to your departmental meetings to provide an overview of one or more services and/or learning technologies available to UNI faculty and students. To discuss and schedule, email idds@uni.edu

February 21, 2017

Blackboard allows you to do weighted grades as a part of the Grade Center. The best way to do this is to organize your assessments into categories (e.g. quizzes, tests, papers, etc.) and then assign the weights to the Weighted Total column in the Bb Grade Center. You even have the option for dropping the lowest grades in categories, if needed. To learn more: Visit This Linkedin Learning Page.

Scheduled Maintenance

No planned maintenance at this moment