“Collect” Feature in Discussions

Have you ever wanted an easy way to view all replies to a Discussion thread,
without having to click through each one individually?

In Blackboard Learn, the “Collect” feature provides just that!

Enter any Discussion Forum.  To the right of any thread title, click the action menu:

Action menu to the right of thread title link

Then select Collect:

Collect option on the action menu

You will receive an aggregated view of the entire thread, from the original post (at the bottom) to the latest reply (at the top):

all thread posts and replies displayed on one page

You can also use the buttons in the upper left to sort the posts by Author, Subject line, or Thread Order, either Ascending or Descending.

I hope this makes your life (or at least your discussion thread experience) a little easier!  🙂

What’s New in Blackboard in Service Pack 10

The following features, new to Blackboard in Service Pack 10, are available now!

My Blackboard

My Blackboard displays important information from all courses in one centralized location.  This makes it easy for you and your students to quickly become aware of updates and new activity in your courses.

My Blackboard also includes a streamlined and stylized version of My Grades, for students.

View a video overview of My Blackboard.


The Calendar has been modernized in style and function.

It now automatically reflects any due dates (but not display after/until dates) that you add to tests/assignments/grade center columns!  Editing entries is as easy as clicking them to change their information, or just clicking and dragging them to a different date!  And due dates changed from within the calendar will also be updated in their corresponding test/assignment/grade center column.

The calendar can also synchronize with your Outlook/iCal/Google Calendar.  Scroll down to look for the “Get External Calendar Link” button in the lower left corner.

View a video overview of the new Calendar.

Text Editor

The Text Editor appears to you and your students, in many areas throughout the Blackboard course.

With this update, you can now copy/paste directly from Microsoft Word (without risking faulty coding).  There is a full-screen view, and also a convenient word count in the lower right corner.

Hint: Click the “i” icon in the upper right of the text editor menu to view a legend of all icon functions.

View a video overview of the new Text Editor.

Item Analysis on Tests

Item Analysis provides statistics on student test performance, to help you recognize questions that could be improved, or may have been scored incorrectly.

Questions are marked as poor discriminators when students who generally performed well on the test chose the incorrect answer for the question.  Question difficulty is determined by the percentage of students who answered the question correctly.

Questions that may need review due to poor discrimination and/or difficulty are indicated with red dots.  The test questions can be adjusted from within the Item Analysis area, and the student attempts will be automatically regraded, based on any changes made.

View a video overview of Item Analysis.

For more information, please visit Running Item Analysis on a Test, on Blackboard’s Help Site.

Webinar: Creating Content with Respondus

Respondus is a very useful program that simplifies the process of importing tests to Blackboard Learn.  We have a campus-wide license for Respondus, so you can download and use it for your course. (Please contact the Online Instruction Department for details.)

Respondus is offering a free webinar tomorrow, with helpful information on how to use the software:

Webinar: Creating Content with Respondus 4.0 (45 minutes)
Thursday, January 26th at 1 p.m. PST

Register:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/863573952

This training will cover the following:

  • Overview of Respondus 4.0
  • Using the Import Wizard to bring in questions from other sources; includes formatting tips for Word files
  • Copying items from other Respondus files from the Edit Tab
  • Accessing publisher test banks through the Respondus Test Bank Network
  • Using the Retrieval Tab to reuse and/or edit assessments already in your LMS
  • Question-and-Answer time

Video Tutorials: Make-Up Tests

In a case where a student has simply missed the deadline, follow the steps in the Reopening Tests video.

If the student attempted the quiz and had technical difficulties, follow the steps in the Clearing Attempts video.

If the student attempted the quiz once, and the deadline has passed, follow the steps in both the Reopening Tests and the Clearing Attempts videos.