Wednesday, January 25, 2017

iDevelop – NSCC’s Faculty Professional Development eNewsletter (1/23/2017)

Welcome to iDevelop, a weekly eNewsletter providing faculty with information about professional development opportunities at NSCC. The intent of this eNewsletter is to spotlight the various professional development events for faculty in one convenient location as well as share best practices, resources and tips related to the teaching practice. iDevelop is being brought to you by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation (CTLI).
Sign reads:  Got 20 minutes?  Then you have time to learn with the Monday Morning Mentor

20 Minute Online Professional Development
The Monday Morning Mentor series will be available over the spring semester to bring you professional development in twenty minute snippets. The topic for the week of January 23rd is What Is the Role of Communication In Teaching Excellence? The presentation is available Monday at 10:00am and is accessible through Sunday of that week. For information on accessing the presentation and supplemental materials, please view the Bulletin or the email version of iDevelop. 

More information about this session (including description, topics, and learning goals) is available at The complete spring schedule of Monday Morning Mentor sessions is available at

Looking for transcripts of past Monday Morning Mentor sessions? Please email with the session title and we can provide you with the transcript and supplementary materials.  

Other Professional Development Opportunities
Upcoming Webinars of Interest

Program/Department Learner Outcome Statements

For those participating in program review, the third installment on writing program/department learner outcome statements is being distributed with iDevelop. Questions or assistance, please contact Cate Kaluzny.
Share Teaching Resources or Professional Development Opportunities
If you have any teaching resources that you would like to share with other NSCC faculty or know of any other professional development opportunities that NSCC faculty might be interested in, please feel free to send them to and we will share them in the upcomimg issues of iDevelop.
We hope you have enjoyed this weekly eNewsletter and would love your input. Please let us know if you have any feedback on the format, content, and resources or if there is anything else you would like to see in the eNewsletter.

Thank you,
Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blackboard Learn Pre-Semester Course Checklist

Do you copy your previous Blackboard Learn course sites to a new semester? If so, here is a checklist to help you prepare your course site in Blackboard Learn for the upcoming semester and ensure that it is ready for your students to use.
  1. Course Menu Items
    Reorder and/or rename the course menu items to be more reflective of your course structure. Any course menu items not in the default course template will be added to the bottom of the course menu under Help. Also, hide or delete any course menu items that you are not using for a more streamlined and simplified course navigation tool.
  2. Announcements
    It is important to check the display dates of announcements to make sure that old announcements are not visible to students. Student Preview is a great way to see if old announcements are displaying. Change the display dates of any announcements that you plan on re-using. Delete any old announcements that you are not using.
  3. DocumentsCheck all documents to make sure they still open properly. Update and re-upload any semester-based documents such as the syllabus and course schedule.
  4. Due Dates
    Check and update due dates in discussion forums, assignments, and quizzes/tests so they will automatically be reflected in the Calendar. This also ensures that students do not receive past due notifications for future activities. You can easily view all due dates from within the Full Grade Center under Manage > Column Organization. Also, all due dates can be updated in the Date Management Course Tool.
  5. Viewing Options
    Check the viewing date options for content folders, discussion forums, assignments, and quizzes/tests to ensure that only those items that you want students to see are visible. Change any display dates on items that you want to release to students at a later point.
  6. Web Links
    Check the external hyperlinks to web resources in your course to make sure they still open properly and then update as necessary.
  7. Quizzes, Tests and Pools
    Double check to ensure that all of your quizzes, tests, and pools were copied over from the previous course site and are deployed properly in the content areas. If not, please contact the Blackboard Helpdesk at right away. Also, check and update if necessary any quiz or test taking options.
  8. Grade Center
    Check the Full Grade Center to ensure that all of the grading columns are present and visible to students (or not) and that the weighting is set up properly (if you use a weighted grade).
  9. Student Course Tools
    Hide links to any course tools that you are not using with students to streamline the tool area and reduce confusion.
  10. Content Collection
    Check the files listed in the course content collection and delete any files that you are not using as this helps manage the course quota. The course content collection can be accessed from the course's Control Panel and the 360 ° View allows you to see which files are linked into the course or not.
A printable version of this checklist is available at

When your course is ready for students to view, you will need to give them access. All course sites are unavailable to students by default.

To make your course available (when you are done updating it for the new semester):
  1. In your Blackboard course, expand the Control Panel, click Customization, and then Properties.  
  2. Scroll down to the Set Availability Section and choose Yes.
  3. Click Submit to enable students to see and access your course.
Please send us an email at if you need help with any of these tasks.