Center for Educational Resources and Technology at DSU

Author: DeSales CERT Page 2 of 5

This week’s online DEIT workshops: Collaborate Weds 3/8, Panopto Thurs 3/9

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Wednesday, March 8, 7 pm (Online)
Panopto: Embedded Quizzes and Other Advanced Features: Thursday, March 9, 7 pm (Online)

To register or for more information go to
If you have any questions contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290

Blackboard Discussion Boards

Discussions are a popular interaction tool in Blackboard courses. When using surveys, there are a few items to keep in mind:

  • When added to a content area such as the Weekly Units area of a Blackboard course, what is being created is a link. Changing the link name or description does not change the corresponding discussion. Deleting the link will not delete the discussion.
  • All course discussions are listed in the Discussion Board menu within a course. Making a discussion link unavailable or putting a date restriction on a link will hide the forum in the Discussion Board menu. Putting an available discussion link in a hidden folder will not hide the discussion in the Discussion Board menu.

Additional information from “About Discussions, Forums, and Threads” (

Discussions are a good way to encourage students to think critically about your coursework and interact with each others’ ideas. You can create discussions around individual course lessons or for your course in general. As the instructor, you own the discussions. After you start a discussion, you can post comments of your own to guide students.

Just as it is critical to plan and structure your course content, you need to provide structure for online discussions.

The main discussion board page displays a list of forums. A forum is where participants discuss a topic or a group of related topics. Within each forum, users can create multiple threads. A thread includes the initial post and all replies to it. You can create forums and threads to organize discussions into units or topics relevant to your course.

Discussions appear sequentially so all course members can follow the conversation.

Lecture Capture Demos, Feb 21, 12:35 and 5 pm, Dooling Hall

The Distance Education and Instructional Technology Department invites you to a Lecture Capture Room Demonstration! 

The demo will take place on February 21st, 2017 at 12:35 PM (Dooling 229) and 5:00 PM (Dooling 228).

The Lecture Capture rooms can be used for many things such as…

  • Allowing students the ability to access your lecture at any time.
  • Allowing absent students to access the lecture they missed.
  • Accommodating students with disabilities.
  • Creating a copy of the lecture to be used during a future semester.

This workshop will demonstrate the many features of our Lecture Capture rooms. This includes demonstrations on how to use the permanently mounted webcam and ceiling microphone, along with a demonstration of Panopto recording software to create lecture recordings. Panopto recordings can be set to record automatically or be initiated by the instructor.

Register at

If you have any questions contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290 

NEW! Bb Collaborate Ultra

DeSales is in the process of transitioning from the current version of Blackboard Collaborate to a new version, technically known as Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience, but Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or just “Ultra” for short. Come to one of our upcoming workshops to learn more or if you just like to try things out, log in to our Bb Collaborate Ultra test room and give it a try.

Ultra is more modern-looking, has a more intuitive interface, is better for collaborating using video, and, best of all, does not require a launcher program to be downloaded and installed. All that being said, it is a big change from the previous version and will take some getting used to if you are an experienced user of the current version.


Now: Ultra available on request, “old” Collaborate remains available as well.

Fall 2017: all new sessions to be conducted in Ultra.

Fall 2018: end of support for replaying sessions recorded in “old” Collaborate.

Questions? Contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290.

Panopto 5.3 update

Panopto5Logo_SmallIn mid-December, Panopto released version 5.3 of their platform. The update includes some new features, including:

  • Quizzing – questions can be added directly into Panopto recordings during the editing process. Instructors can see the results in Panopto, at both the individual student and class levels.
  • Captions – all sessions created after 12/17/16 will automatically have machine-generated captions added. The captions can then be changed during the editing process. Captions can also be manually requested for older recordings.
  • Enhanced editing – several functions previously only available in the advanced editor have been added to the standard web-based editor, including switching between multiple video feeds, adding new slides into a recording, and adding a custom image that appears prior to playing a recording.

Find more details on these new features by visiting the Faculty or Student orientations within Blackboard Learn (, or watch a webinar from Panopto.

Bb Down for Maintenance Dec 21-22, 2016

Due to a planned service outage for system maintenance, Blackboard will be totally unavailable to all users from Wednesday, December 21 at 5 pm through Thursday, December 22 at 9:30 am. Questions? Contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290.

Panopto Outage

The Panopto site will be offline Saturday, December 17th, from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.

During the outage, you will not be able to access recordings on the server, and any attempts to upload new recordings will result in a “Server unable to connect” message.

December 2016 Instructor Workshops

Register for all sessions at

NEW! Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Learn about DeSales’ new, improved system for leading live online sessions. No more launcher program!
Online via Blackboard Collaborate, Wednesday, December 14, 7 pm

DeSales’ system for high-quality at-home or in-class lecture recording
In person, Dooling Hall Room 40, Saturday, December 10, 10 am

Blackboard Fundamentals
For instructors new to online/hybrid or veterans that would like a refresher.
Online via Blackboard Collaborate, Monday, December 12, 7 pm
In person, Dooling Hall Room 40, Saturday, December 17, 10 am

Questions, special requests, or to schedule one-on-one appointments: contact DEIT at or 610-282-1100 x2290.

Emergency? Contact the Help Desk at or 610-282-1100 x4356.

If you see something, say something (instructional technology edition)

Can’t get into Blackboard or email or MyDSU? Does the slide advancer “clicker” in your classroom not work? Is some other classroom technology component not working? Please submit a Help Desk ticket through the MyDSU portal or by emailing or by calling 610-282-1100 x4357. Don’t assume that someone else already reported it. If they had, it would probably be fixed already since DEIT and IT try their best to respond to instructional technology issues ASAP.


Creating a Blackboard Banner Using PowerPoint

This article explains the steps necessary for creating a custom Blackboard course banner using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Creating a custom Banner for a Blackboard course using Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 (or any other version) is a two part process: First you need to create your banner, then you need to upload it to your Blackboard course.

Part 1: Creating your custom Banner with PowerPoint

  1. Choose Start a new presentation, then choose the Design Tab.Design tab
  2. Choose Slide Size. Then choose Custom Slide Size.

Custom Slide Size

  1. On the Slide Size window, choose Banner, then OK.


  1. When prompted, choose Maximize. Leave the default banner dimensions.Maximize
  2. In the Presentation screen, add the course name and other preferred information. Add background colors and images as desired.
    MG-201 Banner
  3. Save the completed banner to your computer as a GIF, JPEG, or PNG file. To do this, click the File button at the top left of the screen, select Save As, then select the location. TIP: Saving to the desktop will make finding and uploading it easier. Select .JPG, .GIF, or .PNG as the file type. Click Save.Format Select Screen
  4. Select Just This One.Just This One

Part 2: Uploading your banner to Your Blackboard Course

  1. Enter your Blackboard course, and choose Customization –> Teaching Style.Teaching Style
  2. Scroll to the Select Banner section and choose Browse My Computer.Browse My Computer
  3. Navigate to and select the Banner you made in Part 1 above.Banner Files Select
  4. Verify the correct file is attached and choose Submit.

Banner Submit Screen

Modified from article published by Rachel Myers, Iowa State University (

Page 2 of 5

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén