Monday, August 20, 2018

Update to RESPONDUS Interface

The following information is for all faculty/staff who use RESPONDUS to create/generate tests for use both within and outside of Blackboard. This information was sent by RESPONDUS on August 15, 2018:

We wanted to let you know about some user design changes for Respondus 4.0. In short, we gave it a “facelift.” But don’t worry, these changes don’t require retraining – or even new thinking – on the part of current users. Everything pretty much works the same. It’s just… well, prettier than before. Here’s an example of the old and new Start screens: 

There are two ways to get the update. First, you can start Respondus 4.0 and use the “Check for Update” feature. Or, second, you can run the full installation program. 


The Team at Respondus

UHCL Faculty who would like more information about RESPONDUS are welcome to review our team's website about the application or they may contact their designated Instructional Designer (ID) directly with any questions/concerns.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fall 2018 Technology Learning Conference at UH - Downtown

On Friday, October 12, 2018, UH - Downtown's Academic Technology Committee and their Technology Teaching and Learning Center will host a one-day Technology Learning Conference. Per the information/registration page for the event,  this year’s theme is Relaunching Technology in the Classroom and will feature conference tracks including:
  • Classroom Technology
  • Mobile Technology & Applications
  • Learning Management Tools
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Student Involvement
The Technology Learning Conference started as a vision from the Academic Technology Committee, formed by a team of dedicated faculty and staff from across many areas of the campus.  The conference was designed to showcase, discuss and demonstrate technology being used in the classroom.

Registration (free) is now open and may be completed online.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Providing Textbook Information in Blackboard

During the Spring 2018 semester, UCT was advised by the university's business office that the use of the Blackboard tool that displayed textbook information (including suggested retail prices) placed the university in violation of their contract with Barnes & Noble, who operate the university bookstore. As a result, our Blackboard system administrators were required to disable that feature in our system.

If you would like to provide students with an image of the textbook and its ISBN, you can photograph/scan its cover and then create an Item in Blackboard that contains a thumbnail of the saved image and the ISBN. We have created a handout about this workaround, called Adding a Textbook Information Item, and it is available on our team's Faculty Blackboard Support web page. If you need additional assistance regarding this matter, please contact the Support Center or your designated Instructional Designer and we'll be happy to help.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

FA18 Course Provisioning Reminders

Provisioned Blackboard courses for the FA18 15-Week and 8-Week 1 sessions will be released to students on Saturday, August 25. Faculty who have not yet provisioned, but who want their students to have access to a Blackboard course on that date, should complete the provisioning process in OPALS no later than the close of business on Wednesday, August 22. Once a provisioning job is submitted in OPALS, it can take up to 24 hours before the semester offering is available to the instructor and it can take up to 48 hours before student roster data from PeopleSoft/E-Services is added to the course. Similarly, if students register for a course after the Saturday release, it can take up to 48 hours before their information will be reflected in Blackboard and for them to have access to the class.

Video tutorials about how to provision are provided on the OPALS landing page. Faculty needing additional provisioning-related assistance can contact the Support Center, either by telephone at 281-283-2828 or by email at A member of the Support Center staff will create a help ticket for the inquiry that will be routed to the appropriate member of our instructional design team, who will then be in touch with you to assist.

As a final reminder, if you have already provisioned and your course has since either been assigned a different section number or was transferred to a different instructor, please contact the Support Center to request assistance from the instructional design team. In these cases, there are steps that need to be taken by our team to ensure that students have access to provisioned courses as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

E-Services/PeopleSoft Support Reminder

UCT's Blackboard support staff would like to remind all instructors that our Blackboard team has no access to E-Services/PeopleSoft. Although our Instructional Designers can help you with many end-of-semester Blackboard and/or OPALS issues, we are unable to provide assistance with entering or editing final course grades into the E-Services/PeopleSoft system.

Each college should have personnel trained to support this effort and they should be your first point of contact regarding E-Services/PeopleSoft questions. Please contact the Associate Dean’s office for your college for more information.

•    BUS: 281-283-3111
•    COE: 281-283-3620
•    CSE: 281-283-3715
•    HSH: 281-283-3400

The back-up support for E-Services/PeopleSoft inquiries will be the Office of Academic Records (OAR)/Office of the Registrar and the Student Assistance Center (SAC).  These offices will be your contact for technical difficulties and other related assistance as needed. You may contact the OAR at 281-283-2525 and can reach the SAC at 281-283-2722.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Warning: Errors with Student Assignments Uploaded from Edge

Warning! Students are strongly advised to NOT use Microsoft's Edge browser when submitting assignments or attachments in Blackboard.  There have been problems reported by students using Edge when they upload Word documents to an assignment drop box. The documents will not upload properly and will contain no contents.

Blackboard includes Edge on its list of browsers that are "Supported" with that application. However, based on user reports, our team recommends the following browsers for working in Blackboard:
  • Windows 10 users: Firefox (preferred) or Chrome (optional)
  • Windows 7/8/8.1 users: Chrome (preferred) or Firefox (optional)
  • Macintosh users: Chrome (especially on systems using Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.1+) and Safari

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Adding an Academic Support Link

You can readily create a left menu item that will take students to the university’s web page containing information about and links to Academic Support office. The addition of this link to your Blackboard course provides students with ready access to the Library, Math Center, Writing Center, and Career Services. All newly created “from scratch” Blackboard master courses automatically include this item. However, the vast majority of existing Blackboard offerings do not have this valuable link. Please review the document, Adding an Academic Support Link, for instructions. If you require additional assistance, remember that you can always contact your designated Instructional Designer (ID) directly or contact the Support Center to have a help ticket created and assigned to your ID.