Several third-party tools are available within Blackboard, as well as outside of Blackboard. Some of these tools are off by default in courses. To turn them on, in a course go to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability and check all boxes new to the tool name and Submit. Additional third-party tools may be requested by contacting the ITS Support Center. New requests should be submitted well in advance in order to allow time to vet for security, accessibility, etc.
Atomic Learning provides a collection of products containing workshops, training tutorials, and assessment tools to support instruction. These are integrated with Blackboard so that instructors can link presentations on topics such as incorporating quotations in essays and citing sources. Only the subscription portion of Atomic Learning is available to users. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. On the Tool Availability page, check off the box next to Atomic Learning and Submit the page. In a content area of your course, point to Build Content and select Atomic Learning under Mashups. It can also be added as a Tool link on your Course Menu.
The Attendance Tool allows for attendance tracking and grading in Blackboard. From the Control Panel of your course, select Course Tools and then Attendance. It can also be added as a Tool link on your Course Menu.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, record sessions, conduct polling, create breakout groups, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. It can also be added as a Tool link on your Course Menu.
Echo360 is a lecture capture system that allows the recording of video, audio, computer display, and other inputs depending on the room in which the capture device is installed. The resultant video files can then be made available for students to review on their own. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. On the Tool Availability page, check off the boxes next to Echo360 and Submit the page. In a content area of your course, point to Build Content, and select Echo360. It can also be added as a Tool link on your Course Menu.
Feedback Box (Anonymous Feedback)
Feedback Box provides a simple text box in Blackboard courses for students to submit anonymous feedback to their instructor. Instructors receive a daily email alerting them to new feedback, and can optionally reply back to the student.
Gradescope is an alternative assignment grading tool, mostly used by Volgenau School of Engineering. To use Gradescope, in a Blackboard course go to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. Then check box next to Gradescope and Submit. More information at Gradescope website
. Support for Volgenau faculty is available through Volgenau Computing Resources
An iClicker is a wireless handheld device that allows a student to anonymously respond to questions instructors pose in class. Instructors can synchronize their iClicker classroom roster and session data into the Blackboard's Grade Center. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. On the Tool Availability page, check off the boxes next to iClicker Instructor Resources and iClicker Student Registration and Submit the page. IClicker Instructor Resources is located under the Control Panel > Course Tools > iClicker Instructor Tools. Students can register their iClicker remotes within their Blackboard course by selecting Tools from the Course Menu.
Kaltura is a video management tool that allows faculty and students to easily create, host, and share video and audio inside the Blackboard course environment. Users upload audio and video directly to Blackboard using the Kaltura Media Mashup tool. Media uploaded will reside in the users My Media Library—a personal cloud-based storage area located in Kaltura My Media under the Courses tab. Kaltura Capture can be used for presentation or screen recordings.
Leaderboard is a module that displays students' total points and their rank compared to their classmates. An instructor will see the students' names displayed, while students will only see an anonymized rank. Leaderboard can be added to any Module page (e.g. Home Page) by clicking on Add Course Module. Once added, various settings can be changed by clicking on the gear icon.
LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com)
LinkedIn Learning (LIL) is an online learning platform that contains a video library of courses taught by recognized industry experts. To add LIL to a content area of your course, point to Build Content and select LIL course under Mashups. LIL will suggest videos based on your course name; or you can browse and search through all videos on LIL. Alternatively, you can link directly to a specific video or lesson.
Turn it on in a course, by going to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability and checking the box next to “MATLAB Coding Problem.” Now MatLab Coding Problem will appear under the Build Content menu where they add a link to a problem and optionally choose to create a Grade Center column for it. More information
. Note that the integration allows the instructor to link to only one problem with each link in Blackboard. MatLab is working on allowing links to multiple problems/problem sets.
OneNote Class Notebook
OneNote Class Notebook allows instructors to share assignments with students and provide feedback on student work. The Collaboration space allows both instructors and students to edit content. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. On the Tool Availability page, check off the box next to OneNote Class Notebook and Submit the page. In a content area of your course, point to Tools and select OneNote Class Notebook. It can also be added as a Tool link on your Course Menu.
Piazza is a free online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore under the guidance of their instructors. Students, as well as instructors, can answer questions to fuel a healthy, collaborative discussion. While not affiliated or supported by Blackboard or Mason, Piazza offers instructors an interesting alternative to the native discussion board in Blackboard. Piazza classes can now be integrated into Blackboard course sites > Add Piazza to your course.
Portfolios is an academic and professional development tool that provides a medium for users to collect and organize artifacts representative of work completed over time. Portfolios offer a means to demonstrate formative and/or summative progress and achievement. Portfolios can be used as a student assessment (integrated into the Assignment tool) and/or created via the Global Navigation Menu > Tools.
Many academic textbook publishers now offer web-based services to accompany the digital versions of their textbooks. If you have adopted a textbook from Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, or Wiley, you can manually enable that publisher's tools within your Blackboard course(s) by selecting it under Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability. Depending upon how your textbook publisher designed the Blackboard integration, the links to the publisher's tools will display under the Control Panel > Course Tools or in a content area (point to Tools) or under Tools from the Course Menu.
Respondus LockDown Browser
Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom web browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard Courses. There is no cost to students for the browser. Instructors can choose to require the LockDown browser for any existing deployed test in their course. When a student uses Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another website, or access other applications on their computer. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser. Click on the icon next to the test and select Modify Settings.
Used in combination with LockDown Browser, Monitor records webcam audio and video of the student taking the test. This ensures student identity and that the student is following the instructor's requirements, such as closed-book or working alone. Instructors can review the video after the test is complete. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser. Click on the icon next to the test and select Modify Settings.
SafeAssign™ is an anti-plagiarism tool for encouraging original writing and proper citation practices within your course. SafeAssign is integrated into the Assignment Tool. This option is in the Submission Details section of the Assignment page.
DirectSubmit generates SafeAssign™ reports on papers submitted outside of a SafeAssignment and it may also be used to add papers to the institutional database. Because DirectSubmit is not integrated with the Grade Center, Instructors should use SafeAssignments to collect submissions whenever possible. In your course, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > SafeAssign > Direct Submit.
Tk20 (now VIA) is an online centralized system for scoring and storing all student/candidate assessment work for future reporting and analysis.
WordPress is a website and blog creation tool. Mason faculty can automatically generate a WordPress site from within any Blackboard course or organization. Access to WordPress will always be from within Blackboard in order to authenticate users. In a content area of your course, point to Tools and select WordPress Course Blogs. It can also be added as a Tool link on your Course Menu.
Instructors can schedule Zoom sessions inside of Blackboard courses. Recordings are available from within the Blackboard course. More
Other (not associated with Blackboard)
Open Learning Initiative (OLI)
OLI offers innovative online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach.
PBworks is an easy-to-use web page (wiki) that multiple people can edit. It can be used to collaborate on projects and share syllabi, assignments, and files. To request a PBWorks site for your course, complete the Contact Us form on myMason.