IMPACT Insights

July 2022

Upcoming Event: GW Disability Support Services

Whether you are new to SMHS, have been here for a while, teach in-person, online, or hybrid, you are invited to a lunchtime session with Chia-Ling Chiao. Chia-Ling is the Associate Director of Disability Technology Access for Disability Support Services (DSS). At this session she will talk about the accommodations and services DSS provides to make courses accessible to all students and provide an overview of the assistive technologies offered to students. Most importantly, you will get a chance to ask questions.
Friday, July 29, 2022
Noon-1:00 pm EDT
Zoom link

Recent Event ICYMI: Deep Dive into Panopto

Did you miss Linda Cotton’s introduction to Panopto, the video and lecture capture platform for SMHS? Don’t worry, watch the replay here. In the presentation, Linda covers how to record live lectures or asynchronous presentations and how to include slides, websites, screen capture, or a video feed. In addition to the basics, Linda also discusses student engagement techniques, incorporating quiz questions, auto-captions, and live streaming.

Grade Center – Make it Easy

We see a lot of Grade Centers that have calculation errors, unused items, due dates from past semesters, overly complicated grading schemas, and wonky ordering. And we get it- the Blackboard Grade Center is complex and not something faculty are accustomed to dealing with daily.
But we all know how important grades are to students. Help reduce their stress by taking the time to polish up the Grade Center and familiarize yourself with some of its powerful features.

Here are some top tips:

  • Adding a new assignment? First check the Grade Center to see if it uses points adding up to one hundred or a weighted calculation where all assignments are graded on a one hundred percent scale. Be consistent.
  • Using Blackboard’s Rubric tool? Plan your rubric to add up to a hundred if you are using a weighted calculation or the total point value for the assignment if you are using a total calculation. Avoid mixing and matching. 
  • New assignment column added all the way to the right side? Reorder columns chronologically or by category. Go to Full Grade Center > Manage > Column Organization. Click and drag or use the column headers to sort by due date or category.
  • Want to see what the student sees? Go to the My Grades page to see what columns are shown to students and in what order. Is it logical? Does it match the grading schema in the syllabus? Are there old due dates?
  • Have multiple total columns? Delete the extras. Using a Weighted total and not the Total points column? Delete any that are not being used.
Don’t have the time? Inherited a messy Grade Center? Have an error you can’t figure out? We are always happy to troubleshoot or clean up grade centers. Reach out to any IMPACT team member with your question or schedule a full grade center overhaul.    
Full Grade Center menu: third item from left is

Voicethread - New Assignment Features


Now you can ensure that a previous VoiceThread (VT) assignment was completed before a student can even view the next one.
Voicethread assignment builder. At the top left corner of the screen, there is a check box to require students to complete a prior assignment before starting this one. Underneath is a button to select a prior assignment.

Reconnect Previous Assignment

And now you can move a VT assignment to a new location in your course.

VoiceThread Assignment Builder screen. Options are: create, comment, watch, and reconnect previous assignment.
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