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Below are updates and timely information from LAIC.
LAIC Q&A Sessions - November Dates & Times
The Learning and Applied Innovation Center (LAIC) will have weekly Q&A times for faculty starting in November. The Q&A time is designed to provide faculty with the opportunity to ask a brief question that can be answered in 5-10 mins or less via Zoom. Participants will need to be logged into their NDSU Zoom account. If questions require in-depth research and time, faculty will be asked to submit a Help Desk ticket.
- Thursday, December 3rd, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Tuesday, December 8th, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Wednesday, December 9th, 9:00 am - 11:00 am
- Tuesday, December 15th, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Wednesday, December 16th, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Zoom Link: https://ndsu.zoom.us/j/99513837909
New Blackboard Content Editor - Effective 11/5/2020
Blackboard was updated to the newest Blackboard version on 11/5/2020. The only major change users should notice is a new, updated Content Editor (the text box instructors and students use to add content throughout Blackboard).
Adding content has been simplified, and the editor works better on both hand-held devices and larger screens. There are also several improvements for accessibility and new features. Besides some updated tool icons, there are also some changes in behavior to learn about.
Recent Blackboard System Performance Issues - Updated 10/20/2020
NDUS Core Technology Services (CTS) reports sporadic and short-lived performance issues with the Blackboard system over the past 3 weeks. Some users have received 502 or 503 errors while taking Blackboard tests and/or experienced slow response times in Blackboard.
CTS worked closely with Blackboard and Amazon Web Services to scale up the system to handle increased loads. CTS continues to closely monitor this situation.
If students report 502/503 errors and are kicked out of a Blackboard test, contact the NDSU IT Help Desk . Please specify the Blackboard course id, the name of the test, and the specific dates/times of the interruption(s). LAIC staff needs this information to report issues to CTS staff for further investigation.
To avoid potential problems LAIC recommends these Test Options:
- Force Completion - leave UNCHECKED (Off) - if a student loses connectivity, they can reconnect and resume the test. With Force Completion CHECKED, students will need to start the test over from the beginning.
- Test Presentation - select All at Once; One at a Time presentation has the highest potential for problems with intermittent Internet connections.
More information about Blackboard Test Options
New Bb Annotate Issues (assignment grading annotation view) - Updated 10/14/2020
Recent Blackboard changes may cause some student submitted assignment files to display page breaks, page number positioning, line spacing, indentation, and other formats different than the way the file is actually formatted. Blackboard is working on a solution but they have not announced a timeline for this fix at this time.
If the document format is important for grading purposes, instructors should download and open the attached file in the same application use to create the document. (i.e. .docx files should be opened in Word, etc.). The original document displays as formatted when opened offline in the application - Blackboard does NOT change the original formatting, only the display in the Bb Annotate inline grading view.
Students can take ONE of these steps to avoid potential issues:
- Embed the fonts used in the document using the application used to create the file - instructions vary by application
- Save the file as a PDF file and attach it to the assignment submission.