Monday, February 9, 2009

Student Accounts for Faculty and Staff in Blackboard

Your "student" account is now working in Blackboard.
For all faculty and staff with Blackboard accounts, the VCCS has activated your "student" account. To use your student account, you will need to do the following:
  1. As faculty or staff, go into your course through My NOVA or directly through the Blackboard login page -
  2. Add username_student (remember username=your username in Bb)to your course roster by going into the Control Panel>User Management>Enroll User>enter username_student in the Search box>click Search>check Add box next to user> click Submit>click OK.
  3. Log out of Blackboard.
  4. Log into Blackboard using the Blackboard direct login - Your student account will NOT work by logging into Blackboard through My NOVA.
  5. When the Blackboard portal page opens, you will be looking at the portal page as a student would see it.
The student account allows you to see your course as your students see it and to see some of the features that only students have, such as the student webpage. This may be helpful as you build your Blackboard course or add assignments to existing courses. It is also very useful for demonstrating the student only features, too.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Student Accounts for Faculty & Staff Using Blackboard

Soon all faculty & staff with Blackboard courses will have a student account!

As of Sunday, February 8, in addition to your faculty/staff account, all faculty and staff with Blackboard courses will have a student account to use for demonstration and course testing purposes.

The format for the account is

  • Username - username_student - For example, if I am John Doe, a faculty member, with a VCCS username of nvjdoe, then my related "student" account is nvjdoe_student.
  • Password -same as your password you have now when you log into Blackboard as a faculty or staff.

NOTE: As of today, the VCCS started including student IDs with the nightly download to Blackboard. So student IDs are now available in the field that by default already existed in the Grade Center.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blackboard New Features

Blackboard Grade Center
The biggest change in Blackboard 8 is the Grade Center. It has a new look and feel with many new features. NOVA's Blackboard Support Website for Faculty and Staff has many helpful resources for you to learn how to use the new Grade Center. Here you will find a TAC Quick Guide, video and selected Blackboard print documents. TAC is offering workshops on all of our campuses titled "What's New in Blackboard" that features the tips and tricks of using the Blackboard Grade Center. Be sure to register!

Blackboard 8.0 Issues

Blackboard 8.0 was successfully installed on January 2, 2009.
Since the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) has successfully installed Bb 8, the VCCS has been working out some kinks. We have had several reports involving partial copies of Blackboard exams, quizzes, assignments for the Spring 2009 semester. For example, when a course with four exams was copied, only two of the exams were copied with exam questions. The other two were there, but blank.

We urge you to check your courses now to see if your assessments, ssurveys and assignments are complete and in place. It is very important to correct this before students attempt to take tests, especially in our the Testing Centers.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blackboard Upgrade on Schedule

Blackboard 8.0 will be fully operationally when you return from the holiday break!

Blackboard 8.0 is being installed throughout the day on January 2, 2009. On this day do not make any changes to your Blackboard courses for the SP 09 semester; any changes made on January 2 may be lost. You should be able to resume your work in Blackboard on January 3, 2009. You may also continue to work on your SP 09 Blackboard courses up to January 2.

When you return from the holidays, Blackboard 8.0 will be fully operational. The major change is the old Gradebook has become the Grade Center. TAC will be holding workshops at the PUP Conference and throughout the beginning of the Spring 2009 Semester to help you with using the Grade Center. Check out the TAC website at for the training schedule.

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) is also sharing a wiki with a collection of known issues with the Grade Center. TAC will be adding a quick guide on troubleshooting the Grade Center to the Blackboard Support Website based on materials in the wiki.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blackboard 8.0 is Coming Soon!

Blackboard 8.0 Is Arriving January 2, 2009!

The VCCS is upgrading to Blackboard 8.0 on January 2, 2009. The plan is to have Blackboard 8.0 fully operational for the SP 09 semester. You will be able to continue to work on your courses for Spring 09 throughout the process. No Blackboard URLs will change. You will continue to have access to Blackboard through My NOVA. Unlike the last upgrade, this one will not require a migration of all the content.

The major difference in the Blackboard 8.0 version is the Gradebook. The Gradebook has been replaced with the Grade Center that has new functionality. For more information about the new Grade Center check out the overview information and tutorials on the TAC Blackboard 8.0 Grade Center site.

Training on the new Grade Center will be offered at the Power Up Your Pedagogy Conference and during the first weeks in January on all of the campuses.

When you are ready to copy your course into your Spring 09 Blackboard course shell, check out the video about how to copy your course.

Remember that you have available for you use the Blackboard Support Site for Students and the Blackboard Support Site for Faculty & Staff.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

FA 08 Blackboard Course Shells & Student Batch Enrollment

Information about Copying Content into your FA 08 Blackboard Course Shell(s) and Automatic Student Enrollments in your FA 08 Bb Courses . . .

Before every new semester begins, our NOVA Blackboard administrator, Michelle Gee (, creates Blackboard course shells for each course listed in the Schedule of Classes and associates each with the appropriate faculty member who will be teaching that course, if the faculty member has been designated. All of the Bb course shells for FA 08 have been created.

Now is the time for you to copy your old course content into your FA 08 Bb course shell(s) if you need that content. A video for how to copy course content from one Bb course to another can be found at

Other important information:

1. Our NOVA Blackboard administrator continues to batch enroll your students into your Blackboard FA 08 courses.

2. The initial enrolllment of students begins on Aug 19 and continues every two days until classes begin. The first two weeks of classes student enrollments are processed daily. After that point, students are processed every other day.

3. Remember that even after your students are enrolled, you must make your FA 08 Bb7 course “Available.” Enrolled students will not be able to participate in your courses until you make them “available.”

4. To make a Bb FA 08 course available, go to the Control Panel > Course Options > Settings > Course Availability > Set Availability

5. After you log into Blackboard, if you do not see your Blackboard course shells on the opening page, then contact Michelle Gee (, so she can associate that course with your name.

From time to time, the VCCS may have to make some updates to the new Bb7 servers. Please remember that if you cannot get into Blackboard, close your browser and open the browser again, retype the URL, and click enter.

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