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Self and Peer Assessment/Tests and Surveys/Notifications/Wikis . . .

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Self and Peer Assessment

What is the Self and Peer Assessment Tool in Blackboard?

The Self and Peer Assessment tool is designed to facilitate the objective, analytical and comprehension skills of student by providing students with the opportunity to review the work of their peers. The tool allows for the creation of an exercise composed of a variety of questions and criteria that engage the students in reflective and evaluative processes. Students can evaluate text, images, and digital based information as well.

See the Self and Peer Assessment tutorials for further information.

Can the Self and Peer Assessment Tool be used for Grading purposes?

Yes. Each Self and Peer Assessment activity created also creates a corresponding column in the Grade Center. Self and Peer Assessment activities are essentially accomplished in three steps. Students submit the assignment. Students then Evaluate each submission as assigned. The Instructor can check in at any time, but it is in Viewing the Results where the grading option becomes available.

See the Viewing the Results tutorial in the Help Tab under Self and Peer Assessment for more information.

If a Self and Peer Assessment is set to Anonymous, can I still determine who evaluated who?

Yes. The purpose of the Anonymous peer assessment is to attempt to eliminate bias in the peer review process. So, while Students will not see the names of the peers they are evaluating .The Instructor, for the purpose of assessment/grading, is presented with the names of the evaluator and the Students they evaluated.

Tests and Surveys

Where is the Test Manager?

With the elimination of the Control Panel, access to the Test Manager is now accomplished within the Course Management area. Click on Course Tools under the Course Management area and select Tests, Surveys, and Pools. From there select Tests and Build Test. From there the creation of the test is similar to the process used in previous versions of Blackboard.

See Creating a Test in the Tests and Surveys tutorials for more information.

Can I grade individual test questions anonymously?

Yes. These features are both new to Blackboard 9.1. Once students have taken the exam/test, the attempts can be accessed from within the Grade Center. Click the Action link button (chevron sign) next to the Test column name in the Grade Center. From there select the option to Grade Questions. Click the check box to Grade Responses Anonymously, then click the hyper linked response number for the question you wish to evaluate. All of the question responses will be presented with the given answer and an Edit button allowing the Instructor to add a grade to the question. It’s that easy.

Can I grade all tests anonymously?

Yes. This feature is new to Blackboard 9.1. Once students have taken the exam/test, the attempts can be accessed from within the Grade Center. Click the Action link button (chevron sign) next to the Test column name in the Grade Center. From there select the option to Grade Anonymously. The exams will be presented randomly with student names listed as numbers. Review each exam and provide a grade for each question within the exam. To move to the next exam, select Save and Next. To exit the system and save the grade for the Student currently being graded, select Save and Exit.

Can I allow students the opportunity for multiple attempts on a test?

Yes. This feature was introduced in Blackboard 8. During the process of deploying the test, Multiple Attempts can be set under Test Availability. The options include: Allow Unlimited Attempts or allow a set Number of Attempts.
When Students take a test allowing Multiple Attempts, they receive a prompt indicating they have already taken the test and asking them if they wish to take it again. In the case where the Number of Attempts is limited, once the attempt limit is reached, Students are informed that there are no remaining attempts.

How does Blackboard know which test attempt to include in grading?

Where Multiple Attempts are allowed, it is necessary for the Instructor to “tell” Grade Center how the attempts will be graded. This is accomplished from within the Edit Column Information area for the test column within Grade Center.  In Column Information under Score Attempts Using, the grading options include:

  • Grade of Last Attempt

  • Grade of Highest Attempt

  • Grade of Lowest Attempt

  • Grade of First Attempt

  • Average of Attempt Grades

See the Grade Center tutorials for more information.


What is the Notifications Dashboard?

The Notifications Dashboard is a new feature in Blackboard 9.1. Aimed at increasing communications and workflow efficiency within Blackboard, the Notifications Dashboard is divided into Student Notifications and Instructor Notifications. The data presented within Notifications are aggregated from all courses and organizations for which an Instructor is teaching or a Student is participating.

  •     Instructor Notifications include the Needs Attention and Alerts modules.

  •     Student Notifications include the To Do and What’s New modules.

While the default modules cannot be removed, Instructors and Students are encouraged to Edit Notifications Settings to personalize how they receive information from Blackboard.

See the Notifications Dashboard tutorials for more information.

How do I set an announcement to email to the students?

Blackboard 9.1 allows Students to decide what information they wish to receive from the system and how they wish to receive it. However, Instructors can use the Override User Notification Settings option to send the Announcement via email regardless of the Student’s settings.

To send an Announcement to the students via email, select the option to Override User Notification Settings found under the Option 2 Web Announcement Options.

How do I get all the emails from Blackboard to stop?

By default, notifications settings for email are ON for all users and functions; however, each individual has the ability and are encouraged to personalize the Notification Settings.
See the Notification Dashboard tutorials for more information.


What is a wiki?

A wiki within Blackboard is a page or set of pages that can be collaboratively edited by the instructor and by the students enrolled in the class. It is one of the few tools available within Blackboard that allows students to add content to a Blackboard course site. Students can edit and add pages, image, and links. A log of all changes is kept so it is easy to keep track of a given page’s editorial history and of students’ editing activity.

What are some of the benefits to using wikis?

The nature of Wikis means they offer a number benefits relating to learning and teaching applications:

  • Wikis are extremely flexible allowing any site structure to be created.

  • Wikis can be used in classroom based, hybrid, and online courses.

  • Wiki functionality makes them ideal for collaborative writing applications and knowledge bases that can be utilized across sections, terms and courses.

  • Wiki integration into the curriculum assist in transferring from instructor-centered to learner-centered educational opportunities.

  • Enables web publishing without knowledge of HTML or use of special web development tools.

  • Enables faculty to track who contributed what and when (see "Marking Group Authored Wikis" section).

What, if any, considerations should be made when making the decision to use wikis?

There are a few disadvantages that you may want to take into consideration before utilizing this tool in your courses:

  • Using a wiki does involve learning about acceptable editing practices (e.g. how to deal with conflicting opinions).

  • Managing a wiki can require significant time commitments from faculty and/or student moderators as page edits should be closely monitored at the beginning of the project/assignment.

  • A wiki has no predefined structure to guide new users and visitors can find navigating a wiki difficult (a hypermedia content page and/or search tool would assist with this issue.)

  • IP ownership and copyright of Wiki pages can be contentious unless clear policies are in place.

  • If wiki work will be graded, some form of grading matrix, such as a rubric, should be in place and available to the students prior to the start of the assignment.

Why am I unable to add a Wiki to my course site?

If you are adding content to a course but the Campus Pack Wiki is not an option within the Add Interactive Tool menu, it will be necessary to activate it. To activate the Wiki Tool, click on Customization in the Course Management area. From the resulting menu options select Tool Availability. Find the Campus Pack Wiki tool and check the box under Available in Content Area. Click [Submit] to apply the selection.

Can Wikis be graded?

Yes. When creating wikis, click the option to Create Grade Book Entry for this wiki. Type an Entry Name and Points Possible. Then, select Yes or No for display grade to students.
The complexity in setting wikis to be graded is that the Points Possible should represent the cumulative points possible for all the contributions by the student. Students just need to be made aware that the grade they see for the wiki may change during the semester to reflect grading milestones or cumulative assignments. The development and implementation of a rubric is highly recommended when grading work completed within a wiki, particularly when group work is involved.

Can I allow other students to see and comment on wikis to which they are not members?

Yes.  In the Non-member Settings area in the wiki setup, select the setting(s) most appropriate for the goal of the wiki. Options include:

  • Allow non-members to view the wiki.

  • Allow non-members of the wiki to: Read Comments, Write Comments, Delete Comments

See the Wiki tutorials for more information.

Is it possible to recover Wiki content that another student has removed?

Wikis are inherently built on trust, since all participants can edit all content. That means that it is possible for anyone in the group to edit or even delete other group member's contributions. Theoretically, it is possible for a user to delete all pages within a wiki, inadvertently or not. Fortunately, recovering content is simple.

To restore a page to a previous version, go to that page, and click on history in the page section of the gray task bar on the right. This will bring up a list of all the saved versions of the page, identifiable by date and time, and by user name.

See the Recovering Wiki Content instructions within the Wiki tutorial.

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