All posts tagged Intermediate

Calculate and Exempt Grades

In the Grade Center, you can calculate grades by combining multiple columns to attain performance results, such as class averages, final grades that are based on a weighted scale, or total points. These are called calculated columns. You can display these columns to students so they can view performance results or you can display them only in the Grade Center for your use.

Calculated Formula Questions

Calculated Formula questions present students with a question that requires them to make a calculation and respond with a numeric answer. The numbers in the question change with each user and are pulled from a range that you set.


The groups tool allows instructors to create groups of students within a course. Course groups have their own areas in Blackboard Learn to collaborate on course work. These spaces are equipped with tools to assist in the collaborative process.

Grading Schemas

Grading schemas map numerical and percent scores to letter grades or some other notation that you create (such as Pass/Fail). The Grade Center operates as a spreadsheet, which means that all entered scores must, at their foundation, be equal to a certain number of points. In order to represent these points as a letter grade, it must convert them to a percentage and then determine which range of percentages is equivalent to which letter grade.


Instructors can use the Blog tool in Blackboard as another medium for reflective learning. Only other enrolled users in the course can view and comment on Blog posts, and Instructors can configure Blogs to be either graded or ungraded.

Linking Your Course With McGraw-Hill Aleks

ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system offered by McGraw-Hill. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to determine what a student knows and doesn’t know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained.


A Wiki is a free-form repository of information that anyone can add to, edit, or change. In Blackboard, Wikis can be created for the whole class, or for groups, and can either be ungraded or graded. Instructors can also contribute to Wikis, or it can be left entirely up to students, once the initial Wiki topic is opened by an instructor.

Grading Rubrics

A rubric is an assessment tool listing evaluation criteria for an assignment, and provides a way to convey to students your expectations for the quality of completed assignments. Blackboard’s Rubrics tool allows you to use a provided rubric, or create one of your own. You can determine how much of this rubric students see, and when, and can use this rubric directly within the assignment you are grading to assign points based on the criteria you determined.

Self and Peer Assessments

Self and Peer Assessments are a special type of assessment in which students are expected to evaluate their own work, and/or the work of their peers, with criteria and guidance provided by the instructor.

Bb Grader App (iOS)

The Bb Grader application provides teachers with a mobile solution for reviewing, providing feedback, and grading student submissions to Blackboard Learn Assignments. Currently available for iPhone/iPad only.

Awarding Negative Points for Incorrect Answers

On a test or quiz, you can penalize students’ incorrect answers with negative points. This feature is most often used in multiple choice tests to discourage guessing. You can enable the negative points option during question creation or when editing a question. If you are using negative points as a guessing deterrent, mention this in the test instructions.


A Journal is a tool for self-reflection. A course can have several different Journals, used for different purposes (e.g. one Journal for field experience reflections and another Journal for reading responses). Only the student and the instructor are able to comment on Journal entries. Journals may be kept private between the student and instructor, or made public by the instructor so that all enrolled users can read all posted Journal entries.

Basic and Advanced Adaptive Release

Adaptive release controls the release of content to users based on a set of rules you create. Control delivery of your content at a fine-grained level to only certain individual students or groups by setting up criteria that must be met before content becomes available to each individual user.


Contents About Turnitin at Pitt Request a Turnitin Account Getting Started with Turnitin Turnitin FAQ About Turnitin at Pitt Turnitin is an internet-based anti-plagiarism technology that enables faculty members to level the academic playing field for honest students. The past few years has seen a boom in websites offering term . . . Read more

Guidelines for Creating Instructional Recordings

University students benefit from having 24/7 access to course information in a variety of formats. Many faculty can take advantage of the mobile devices and other technologies that students have at their fingertips by creating instructional audio and video recordings. These guidelines are important considerations for your recording.


Use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for plagiarism potential and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.

Show and Hide Grade Information to Students

Students using Blackboard only see their own grades. You control which Grade Center data is released to students and the timing of its release. You can show or hide Grade Center columns to students, or show students class grading statistics so they can compare their performance to the class as a whole.

Delegated Grading

You can assign specific users in your course (those with Instructor, TA, or Grader user roles) to grade particular sets of student assignment submissions. The users who help you grade are called delegated graders and they provide provisional grades. Delegated graders follow the same grading steps that you do, however, the group of assignment attempts that they see are based on the options you choose. After all delegated graders provide grades and feedback, one or more instructors review the grading to determine a final grade or reconcile it.

Creating and Managing Discussion Boards

With the Discussion Board tool, course members can replicate the robust discussions that take place in the classroom. Instructors can encourage peer-to-peer communication with a rich range of evaluation and assessment tools to moderate, grade, review, and track students as they participate in threaded discussion fora.

Grade Center Reporting

You can create printable reports for your courses and students. You can also create a progress report that contains all of the grades from a particular grading period for a defined group of students in a class, such as special-needs students or transfer students. You can print this report and hand it out to each student, parent, or guardian.


Contents Getting Started Building a Presentation Stream Your Presentation Overview Nearpod is a web service that lets you develop and stream slide-show based presentations over the internet. This can either be done individually by each student on their own, or in a classroom in a live streaming session. Its primary . . . Read more

Panopto Mobile App

Note: Currently the Panopto Mobile App is out of service. You will not be able to login to My Pitt Video from the Panopto Mobile App. This is a known issue that is currently being worked on.   Panopto is available for iOS as well as Android mobile devices, however . . . Read more

Copy Course Content

Many types of content within a course can be duplicated and used multiple times within the same course. Once an item has been copied, it can be placed in any area within your course and edited, changed, or deleted without affecting the original item. This is a useful way of creating a single template course format and then duplicating it multiple times as you build out the entirety of your course, or presenting the same (or similar) material at different time-points within the course.

Qualtrics Survey System

All Pitt faculty and staff have free unlimited access to Qualtrics, a tool for easily creating sophisticated, anonymous online surveys. These surveys can be used to collect information from your students, get anonymous feedback or evaluation, or for human subjects research (provided any necessary IRB approvals have been granted). Qualtrics . . . Read more

Edit and Manage Wikis

Contents Overview Edit Wiki Content Delete a Wiki Add a Wikis Link to the Course Menu Overview You must create or have access to a wiki topic before you can edit and manage a wiki. You must create or have access to a wiki before you can assign grades. If . . . Read more

Date Management

After performing a Course Copy or Import, use the date management tool to easily adjust all content and tool dates in your course to reflect the current academic calendar.

Viewing Grade Statistics

In the Grade Center, you can view various statistical information related to a column and any user. The Column Statistics page displays numerous statistics for a grade item, including average, median, and standard deviation. The User Statistics page displays a student’s statistics in various categories.

People Tool

The People tool is a single location where you can find and connect anyone with a user profile. These connections can be made through existing connections, such as a course you are enrolled in or through new connections you decide to make.


A Space is a group that you can easily and quickly create to collaborate with other users. For example, you can create a space for a final exam study group, your athletic team, or any other special interest. Spaces are not the same as organizations. Anyone can create and manage spaces.

Windows Movie Maker Tutorial

Table of Contents Overview Install Movie Maker Startup Importing Content from a File Capturing from a Camera Editing Your Content Splitting a Clip Using the Trim Tool Customizing Your Content Titles Captions Credits Transitions Pan and Zoom Visual Effects Adding Audio Example of a Customized Storyboard Pane Saving Your Movie . . . Read more

iTunes U at Pitt

CIDDE offers consulting services and limited production assistance to members of the University community who wish to create and post instructional content to iTunes U.  Please click on the links below to review our online iTunes U materials. Tools for Creating Original Content for iTunes U Guidelines for Creating Instructional . . . Read more

iMovie Tutorial

iMovie is a simple video editing tool available on Apple OSX. It will allow you to edit video clips from digital cameras and camcorders, as well as videos downloaded from the internet. It can be used to combine clips from a variety of sources into a single video clip. It can also be used to capture from the DVD and VHS, but for this, you will require the hardware available in the Educational Technology Center computer lab.

Cengage iLrn

Cengage Learning iLrn is an all-in-one diagnostic, tutorial, assessment, assignment, and course management system that saves instructors’ time and enhances students’ language learning experience. Everything students need to master the skills and concepts of the course is built right into this online system, including an interactive diagnostic study tool, an interactive media-enhanced ebook, student activities manual (Heinle eSAM), video, partner and group voice-recorded activities, grammar tutorial videos, and more.

Using Email in Blackboard Learn

The Blackboard Learn email tool allows you to send email to other people in your course without launching an external email program, such as Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo. You can send email to individual users or to groups of users.

Audience Response Systems

Contents Overview How Does ARS Work? How Can ARS Help Faculty Achieve Their Course Goals? Recommended ARS Further Information about Audience Response Systems Overview Audience Response Systems (ARS)–also known as “Clickers”–provides students with a wireless hand-held response pad that allows them to reply to classroom questions electronically and receive immediate . . . Read more

Tools for Creating Original Content for iTunes U

Contents Overview Content Creation Tools File Formats Create Your Content Help   Overview University of Pittsburgh community members can use iTunes U to offer audio, video, or PDF files as part of course content or other academic purpose.  iTunes U can be used to publish content related to lectures, course . . . Read more

Using the Panopto Focus Recorder

The Panopto Focus Recorder is an application that allows you to quickly record and upload video to your Panopto account where it can be linked to a CourseWeb page or through email. While it is possible to directly upload a simple video file through the Panopto website without using the Panopto Focus Recorder, the application allows for the acquisition of multiple video channels simultaneously, from a webcam or other camcorder, desktop screen recorder, as well as PowerPoint Presentations.

Panopto Video Settings

Contents Overview Share Outputs Streams Search Captions Manage Log Similar to Folder Settings, each individual video presentation in Panopto has their own unique Video Settings that can be independently managed. Many of these settings will be dependent on the parent folder settings. To access your Panopto Video Settings, mouse over . . . Read more

Editing Start, Due and Post Dates of Turnitin Direct Assignments

The Start, Due and Post Dates of the Turnitin Direct Assignments you create in Blackboard impact whether or not your students are able to submit papers, and whether they can view your comments and feedback on their papers. If you made an error in setting up these dates when you created your Turnitin Direct Assignment, you can edit them at any point.