Attendance Made Easy With Qwickly Attendance and Blackboard Reports

Course Tools menu with Qwickly Attendance circled There’s a new tool in Blackboard for tracking attendance, Qwickly Attendance. You may have noticed the link under course tools in the course Control Panel (see image on right).

Qwickly Attendance provides two ways to capture attendance data. First, you can manually enter whether a student was present or not in your class.

Alternatively, you can provide a passcode in class for students to login and record their own attendance. You open attendance at the start of class, set a time limit to when students must check-in, and students validate their presence by clicking on an attendance link you place on the course menu, entering the code you provide, and clicking the “check-in” button.

How to use Qwickly Attendance:
Getting Started with Qwickly Attendance
Manual Attendance Entry by Instructor
Student Check-in Set-up
Student Check-in

Blackboard has reports that, depending on how often students must access Blackboard and interact with content, discussion boards or other tools, can provide course participation as a stand-in for attendance. The “Single Course User Participation” report found under “Course Reports”  in the Evaluation section of the course Control Panel provides a snapshot of student interaction with the course site for robust Blackboard sites. The report lists, the date/time stamp for the most recent assignment, test, discussion, journal, or blog submissions within a course for each student. Other reports provide insight into when and how long students are accessing Blackboard and in their own way can provide surrogate measures of course participation. How well they will reflect course participation will depend on how you are using Blackboard. More robust Blackboard usage will provide better measures of participation.

How to run Blackboard course reports

If you are using a manual method of attendance tracking, why not give one of these tools a try? The LIT team is available to walk you through set up and help with deployment.

Cure announced for FMOOWMP!

Arizona State University has announced a cure for FMOOWMP (Fear of Meeting One-on-One With My Professor).

Encouraged by ASU’s success, LIT will be researching a cure for FTFFMS (Fear of Technology Failure in Front of My Students). Stay tuned for further developments. Building Block not working to add new course links

Recently we were notified that the building block in Blackboard had stopped working. The good news is that links in courses created already still work. The bad news is that you can’t use the building block to link to content from your course.

It turns out this is a know issue due to a recent Java update and is working on a fix. We have no delivery date for the new building block and will keep you posted as to the timing of a fix. We have set up the LTI tool but it only links to the site, not directly to specific Lynda content.

The workaround we have until the new building block is released and installed allows instructors to use the LTI to search for content. Then we recommend using the share link function in Lynda to copy the direct link to the content and then create an external weblink to it in your course.

The LTI is found under the Build Content menu in any content area.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.54.48 AM








Once you set up the LTI link, click on it to access

Find the video content you want. Locate the share menu and click on the option to copy the link to share the video or share the course (series of videos).

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 11.58.00 AM







Next create a Web link in your Blackboard course and use the URL you just copied.

The url, will provide direct access to either the specific video or to the course you selected. Users will be prompted to login with Wentworth credentials as with content added with the building block.

Turnitin Interface Changes

If you use Turnitin as part of your students’ assignment submission process you may have noticed a change in the interface. You can switch back to the old interface to get through grading for this term, however, you will eventually need to use the new interface when Turnitin disables it in July 2017.

First, how to return to the old interface:
When you open a paper in Turnitin, there will be a link on the bottom of the screen to “Return to Turnitin Classic” (outlined in the screenshot below).

Turnitin Feedback Studio1




All the controls you have used in the Classic interface are available in the new interface, they are accessed from a different location. To make the transition easier, the color coding of the tools is the same. So the blue icons on the right side of the screen link to the GradeMark tools (1 in the screenshot below) and the red icon links to the originality report (2 in the screenshot below). The gear icon (3 below) provides access to the download and submission information tools.

Turnitin Feedback Studio2










When you click on one of the tool icons, the tool opens on the right side of the screen, and displays and functions the same way the old interface did.











The tools all function the same way as they have in the past, just the way you access them has changed.

Twitter for Teaching

Did you know that you can embed a live twitter feed in your Blackboard course? This extends Blackboard functionality to include live chat and could be used for backchannel discussions in face to face classes or to encourage participation and collaboration after hours or in the online classroom.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social media platform that allows users to send (tweet) and read short (under 140 characters) messages. Users do not have to be registered to read other users’ tweets (unless other users’ tweets are specifically restricted to followers). Hashtags (#) are used to group conversations. One can use existing (trending) hashtags to comment on a specific issue (e.g. #BlackLivesMatter) or create new hashtags for a specific purpose. “@username” includes another user in a conversation.

Example of Twitter Feed

How to Embed a Twitter Feed in Blackboard

  1. Login to Twitter
  2. Access  Widget Tool
    Screen capture of Create New button
  3. Click on Create New and choose the type of the widget (Search option will create a feed by a specific hashtag):
    Screen shot of widget configuration
  4. Click on Create Widget. Copy the resulting code.
  5. In your Blackboard course, navigate to the content area where the feed will appear.
  6. Under Build Content, create an Item.
  7. Click on HTML and paste your widget code. Submit.

Your live Twitter feed should now appear.

For more information on how to use Twitter in your classroom, please contact LIT@WIT.EDU.

Follow us on Twitter @LIT_at_WIT