eCampus Tips for Instructors & Students

Overview:

Here are some tips and tricks to help make your eCampus experience easier.

eCampus has a way to conveniently navigate between all the courses a user is enrolled in. Click the Course-to-Course Navigation icon to access the menu and select another course. If the same page the user is presently viewing in the course exists in the next course, that will be the landing page. The most recently visited course is listed first.
Users enrolled in a large number of courses may have a difficult time navigating through their My Courses module. Follow these instructions to group all courses in the My Courses module by term.
  1. Log in to eCampus.
  2. Mouse over the My Courses module.
  3. Click the Gear Icon at the top right-hand corner of the My Courses Module.
  4. On the next page, check the box next to Group by Term and click Submit.
  5. The courses in the My Courses module are now organized into collapsible headings by term.
  6. Click the term headings to collapse/expand the list of course in that term.
Students: It is recommended to log out and log back into eCampus just before taking a test if you were already in eCampus, and have been in any other courses since it was opened. This is because after 90 minutes of inactivity while logged into the system, eCampus will time out. That means information entered into a test will not be recorded. All the answers that you have typed into essay fields or any multiple-choice answers will be lost. To prevent this, it is recommended to create content in a word processor, e.g., Notepad, and then copy & paste the content into eCampus. If taking a test within eCampus, save answers as you work in the test, or click on the application frequently to avoid timing out.

Instructors: User's session will be timed out if they don't click within eCampus and are inactive for more than 90 minutes. When the user attempts to access the eCampus system again, they will be prompted to log in. To prevent lost work, users may want to create their content in a word processor, e.g., Notepad, and then copy & paste the content into eCampus.

Also, closing the browser window doesn’t automatically log you out. Instead, you are logged on to that machine until the session expires. Having multiple sessions open can also lead to problems.
Copying and pasting in eCampus can present some issues. View Blackboard's Work with Text instructions for steps to copy and paste content without complications.

Depending on how the instructor sets up the course, eCampus may be used to:

  • View course announcements

  • Participate in online discussions, forums and group activities

  • Access course materials and resources

  • Submit assignments or take online tests and quizzes

  • Check your grades

For more details, view the eCampus Student Quick Tips, eCampus Student Orientation or Blackboard's How to Succeed Online page.

The Course Entry Point is the area where the users will first enter the course. The course entry point of the course can be changed to a preferred Course Menu item. The instructor or course builder can choose an available area from the menu.
  1. From the Control Panel, click Customization > Teaching Style.
  2. Choose Course Entry Point in the Select Menu Style section.
  3. Click Submit.

eCampus course sites have a maximum size of 500MB. You can minimize the uploaded file sizes as you create content to stay within the limit for the entire term. These recommendations can help you conserve space, also providing students with a more responsive user experience.

  • Video Tools: You can link to videos rather than uploading your video files to your course by using embed tools like My Mediasite or VoiceThread

  • Mashups: Upload slide presentations to SlideShare, videos to YouTube, or images to Flickr. You can embed these elements in your own course with the mashups tool.

  • Manage Content Collection: Look for large file sizes, duplicates and unused files and folders that you can delete. Use the 360 view to show if, or where your content is linked with in the course.

  • Reduce file sizes: Before you upload files, try to reduce their size. For example, compressive images in a Word Document, or save it as a PDF. For Power Point presentations use the Compress Media option.

For more details, please see the Large File Submission Options.

Instructors can send email reminders from the Full Grade Center for Assignments, and Assessment including manually created columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if included.
Include due dates for graded course items such as tests, assignments, and discussions. Due dates are automatically added to the calendar and all students can access it. Students can import their course calendars into external calendars such as Google Calendar. Additionally, items with associated due dates will appear in the To Do module, and can be sent as Notifications.
There are several options for group creation: self-enroll groups, manual enroll groups, randomized enrollment in groups, group set creation and student created groups.
  • Self-Enroll allows students to add themselves to a group with a sign-up sheet. Self-enrollment is an option available for both single groups and group sets.
  • Manual Enroll allows you to assign each student in your course to a group. Manual enrollment is available for both single groups and group sets.
  • Random Enroll is available for group sets only. It automatically distributes students into groups based on your settings for maximum members per group or total number of groups. Random distribution applies only to students who are currently enrolled in your course.
  • Group Sets allows the instructor to set the number of Groups that are created at one time.

Instructors may also manage groups and group properties in bulk.

  1. Setup and access groups from the Control Panel: Users and Groups> Groups.
  2. To create a single group, select Create Single Group > Self- Enroll or Manual Enroll.
  3. To create multiple groups at once, select Create Group Set >Self-Enroll, Manual Enroll or Random Enroll.

See Blackboard's Create and Manage Groups page for more information.

In eCampus, “Tests, Surveys, and Pools” is the name of the course tool with which you can create and manage tests and surveys, as well as the database (pool) of questions.
  • Tests are sets of questions that are graded to measure student performance. Once a test is created here, it must be deployed within a content folder or learning module before students can take the test. Test results are reviewed in the Grade Center. Note that some question types are not automatically graded.
  • Surveys are not graded. They are useful for gathering data from students that is not used to evaluate student performance. Surveys must be deployed in a content folder for students to respond to the survey. Pools are sets of questions that can be added to any test or survey.
  • Pools are useful for storing questions and reusing them in more than one test or survey.

The difference between tests and surveys is test questions have points assigned to them for grading evaluation, whereas surveys do not. Tests and surveys are used to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students. Read more about tests, surveys and pools here.

  • Blogs: Blog is a short form for web log. It is a personal online journal frequently updated and intended for general course access. Blogs enable a commenting system where people can interact with one another. It enables students to express their ideas to expand various aspects of social learning. Blogs are effective means of gaining insight into users’ activities and provide a way to share the knowledge and materials collected.

  • Journals: Journals are a personal space for you to communicate privately with your instructor unless the instructor has made Journals available to all course users. Students can also use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and analyze course-related materials.

  • Wikis: Wikis allow course members to contribute and modify one or more pages of course-related materials and provide a means of sharing and collaboration. Users can create and edit pages quickly, and track changes and additions, which allows for effective collaboration between multiple writers.

WVU departments can demonstrate that their programs and curriculums are effective with goal alignment to course content and activities. The process consists of the following steps: 
  1. Instructors create goals. Instructors can email a word document with their goals to ITSHelp@mail.wvu.edu or log a ticket with eCampus Team. eCampus administrators will then create the goals.
  2. Once the goals have been created, instructors can align course content to one or multiple goals. Content types include discussion forums and threads, blogs, journals, tests and individual questions, assignments, and Grade Center columns.
Adaptive Release is defined in eCampus by creating rules on content items in your course.  A rule is a set of criteria that determines the visibility of this content item to users. If multiple rules are created, the content will be visible to the user if any of the rules are met. For content to be released to a user, that user must satisfy all criteria in one of the rules created. To create more restrictions that a user must satisfy, add criteria to one rule. To create more potential ways for a user to see the content, create multiple rules. Add, edit, or delete criteria in any rule by selecting Edit in the rule's contextual menu.
There are two types of adaptive release:
  • Adaptive release: Instructor can apply one rule to a content item. This rule can contain all four types of criteria, but not multiple instances of the same type. All criteria in the rule must be satisfied before the item is released.
  • Advanced adaptive release: Instructor can set more complex release criteria. For example, they can add more criteria to a rule, or specify different options for releasing the content. Students must meet all of the criteria of one of the rules to gain access.

There are four types of criteria when you create rules:

  • Date: content items can be displayed based on particular dates. There are three options available:
    • After a specific date with no end date.
    • Until a specific date with no beginning date.
    • After a specific date and until a specific date.
  • Grade: content items can be released based on attempt or score.
  • Membership: will allow content items to appear to specific users and groups.
  • Review Status: use review status criteria to release content based on a student's review of a specific content item.
  • Creating Assessment Columns: When you create gradable items in your course, grade columns are created automatically in the Grade Center.

  • External Grade Column: The results in the external grade column are shared with STAR/Banner during the GradeSync process as your students’ final and midterm grades for your course. You decide which column is set as the external grade.

  • Manage Column Organization Center (Freeze, Re-order and hide columns): You can use the column organization tool to view all the columns in the Grade Center on one page, reorder the columns and the changes you make appear in the Grade Center grid.

  • Smart View: When the Grade Center includes a great number of students and columns, you can use smart views to find and sort data quickly. Several smart views are available by default, but you can also create your own.

  • Color Code the Grade Data: You can create rules to apply color to the cells in the Grade Center, either by grade or status. Color in the Grade Center provides visual indicators to help you interpret information quickly.

  • Grade Categories: Grade Center, you can use categories to group related columns together and organize the data.

  • Grade Schemas: For some instructors, changing the default grading scale may be required for courses that use a different grading scale other than the 10 point letter grading scale. Grading scales are referred to as Grading Schemas in eCampus.

Requests for a Teaching Assistance may be submitted through eRS (https://ers.wvu.edu/). After submitting a person for enrollment as a Teaching Assistant, that person will receive an email directing them to complete the code of confidentiality (COC) in eRS system. Since a Teaching Assistant can have access to grades, Teaching Assistants must sign and agree to the WVU eCampus Code of Confidentiality (COC) each term they are to be enrolled. The TA can acknowledge this by logging into https://ers.wvu.edu with their WVU Login and submitting a Teaching Assistant COC. Only one COC per term needs to be submitted.
The Retention Center is available only to instructors. It provides an easy way to discover which students in a course are at risk. Instructors can communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement. Instructors can also keep track of patterns over time. View Blackboard's Retention Center page for more information. 

The eCampus system recognizes several file types. For a list of supported file types, visit Blackboard's Supported File Types page.

Use the following in file names:

  • Letters (ABCabc...)
  • Numbers (0123456789)
  • Underscores (_) can be used to represent a space

Avoid using these in file names: 

  • Special characters
  • File name length cannot be more than 32 characters
Both a Learning Module or Content Folder are used to arrange the content of a course in an organized fashion. While many of the options such as availability and visibility are the same, there are some differences. The two features learning modules have that folders do not are a table of contents and forced sequential viewing. Another major difference is the navigation of the items in each in a learning module or a folder. View Blackboard's Create Learning Modules page for more information.
When instructors enter student preview mode and are logged in to a course with the preview user account, a preview user appears in the course roster and is visible to all students enrolled in the course. Other users can easily identify this as a preview user account by the way it is named: its last name is an instructor's last name appended with “_PreviewUser” and its username is an instructor's username appended with “_previewuser”. As a preview user, all the data associated with an instructor's activities are captured by eCampus, such as submitted assignments and discussion posts.

Important: When instructors exit the student preview, they are prompted to keep or delete the preview user and all its associated data. Select Keep the preview user and all data if instructors need to keep the user and data.

View the eCampus Student Preview PDF or visit Blackboard's Student Preview page for more information.
Instructors can copy tests or surveys created in eCampus from one course to another using the Export and Import a Test or Survey option. Instructors can also use the Course Copy feature to copy tests and surveys between courses. However, Course Copy will copy all of the tests/surveys, while the Export and Import a Test or Survey procedure will allow instructors to do an individual copy. View Blackboard's Import or Export Tests, Surveys, and Pools page for more information.
A discussion board forum is an area 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. Instructors can manage the discussion board and its content within forums and threads.
If the content has already been submitted, students will not lose their work. However, eCampus does not currently permit offline discussion submissions.
Test feedback: Four test feedback options are available to students after they complete a test.
  • Score: Shows the score the student achieved out of points possible.
  • Submitted answers: Shows all the submitted answers.
  • Correct answers: Shows which answers the student scored correctly and which were answered incorrectly.
  • Feedback: Shows instructor-created feedback messages for each question.

View Blackboard's Results and Feedback Options page for more information.

Assignment feedback: Instructors can annotate and grade student files directly within the browser with Box View. View Blackboard's Assignment Inline Grading page for more information. 

Instructors can use the date management tool to adjust content dates. Date types include due dates, availability, and adaptive release dates related to the course content. View Blackboard's Date Management page for more information.  
When creating a forum, instructors can use the “Participants must create a thread in order to view other threads in this forum” setting, which will require students to post to a discussion before seeing other students' posts. View Blackboard's Create a Forum page for more information. 

You can make changes to different parts of your course content at one time by using two different web browsers (like Chrome and Firefox). To get started, open two browser windows and sign into eCampus in both. Navigate to the two different course content locations you want to view or edit. The changes you make in one web browser window will not interrupt the changes you make in another browser window, but both changes will be applied to your course. This will save you time when viewing or making changes in different areas of your course, such as simultaneously reviewing student progress in the performance dashboard and sending individual course emails.
 
You can also keep separate browser windows open to reference previous work. For example, you can open a finished course module in one browser and use it as a reference while you are building a new module in another browser.

Instead of browsing through the long list of available course tools to email students, you can add the email tool as a hidden link within your course.
 
To add a hidden tool link, click the plus sign within your course shell and select Tool Link. Name the link appropriately and select Email from the Type drop-down menu. Leave the Available to users box unchecked to make sure students can't see the tool link and email the class.

Details

Article ID: 62378
Created
Mon 9/17/18 11:12 AM
Modified
Tue 5/14/19 10:07 AM