Category Archives: Uncategorized

All Those Test Options in Blackboard & How to Give a Synchronous Test*

This blog entry is going to focus on the options in Blackboard that have to do with the timing of an test.

When you are first creating the Test.. these options are found under the Test Information area and span a few sections.  If you have already made the test you can find these options by clicking the chevron next to the test name and clicking “Edit the Test Options”.

Force Completion

When you set this option, if the student looses the connection or accidentally closes the browser, they will be unable to go back and finish the test. (Without you having to intervene anyway.)  We don’t recommend enabling this setting.

Set Timer

This option gives the student a visible countdown timer during the test. It begins after the test description and instructions have been displayed. If Auto-Submit  is selected, at the end of the count down, it ends the test, no matter where they were.  If Auto-Submit is not checked, you will see an exclamation point in the grade center and have the option to adjust the grade, if they went long.

If the Force Completion is not set, and a student looses their connection or accidentally closes the browser, they will be able to continue taking the test, and the timer will continue from when it initially started. (eg., If they loose the connection for 10 minutes, they loose that 10 minutes.)

Display After and Until

A better way of handling whether students can see the test, rather than the “Make the Link Available” option.  Also consider, they can’t start what they cannot see.  *So if you want everyone to be done by 1pm and you have a 30 minute timer with auto-submit enabled, consider Display Until to end around 12:30. 

Due Date

Due dates (and times) do not affect the test availability (unless you choose the Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed option), but rather provide a flag on the test if it was started or ended after the due date/time.

Test Availability Exceptions

This section allows you to make test rule exceptions for people that need accommodations, or have other needs depending on language or technology situations.

If these settings exist for a test or survey, you can create these exceptions:

  • Number of attempts
  • Timer
  • Availability: Date and time the test is available to the student or group
  • Force completion
  • Restrict location


Have any interesting testing stories to tell?  What other testing options do you have questions about?  Please comment below!

Accepting Videos as an Alternative Form of Course Assessment

This is about using a echo360 mashup tool to accept video submissions inside of Blackboard and which instructor will be able to grade under Needs Grading in the Grade Center.  This is an excellent alternative to high stakes grading via traditional exams.

First you will want to create an assignment. You will go to your Assignments area and go to Assessments -> Assignment.

Give it a name and add instructions for the students to follow.

Create a due date and points possible for the presentation.

Make the assignment available to the students.



What the students see:  (You can also see this yourself using the student preview mode, entered by clicking on this icon in the upper right part of the screen in blackboard:

Under assignments, they locate your assignment and click in it’s name.

They see the points possible and the instructions that you wrote previously.

They need to click on Write Submission to get to the Blackboard WYSIWYG editor. They should type the name of their assignment into this text box and then select the Mashups button.

Then they click on Mashups -> Echo360 Video Library

This opens a new window for them where they have three choices.    They can choose any video already in their echo360 video library. (That is Choose From My Home), they can create something new (Create New Media) or Upload a video they have on their computer. This is what the different options look like:

Choose from home allows the student to either browse or search for files in their echo360 library.

Create New Media will give them the option to Launch Universal Capture from their computer.

Where they can name the video and start recording from their webcam, desktop and audio.

and finally Upload Existing:

Here they can grab videos from their cloud storage locations or browse from their computer.

After they have typed the name of their presentation and selected the video, they will click submit.

After submitting they will get a submission confirmation:

As the instructor, you can find the student submission under Needs Grading in the Grade Center:

…where I will see the list of submitted assignments and I can either chose Grade All or go through them one by one.  Here is the assignment I submitted and you can view the presentation, grade it and leave feedback for the learner right here.

This was cross posted from

Webinar: How TurningPoint can help educators with remote learning

In this challenging time, many schools have had to quickly adapt to the elimination of face-to-face instruction. Join us to learn how TurningPoint can support and enhance your virtual learning environment. This session will cover topics on engaging remote students with real-time formative assessment, in-the-moment engagement and the scheduling of questions and content for offline completion.

Tuesday, March 24 at 9 a.m. ET

Register for Webinar


Thursday, March 26 at 2 p.m. ET

Register for Webinar

Providing a Web Conferencing Solution that Includes Phone Support

The web conferencing solution given here will work from the Google Apps that you are already familiar with.  We will start in the Calendar App.

Create a new Event.

Give it a name.

click on Add rooms, Location or conferencing

Then click on “Add conferencing”

This will immediately give you a Join Hangouts Meet link and the URL is seen below that link.

Use the chevron to it’s left to see more information

Now… you can see a phone number and meeting room PIN that you can also provide to your class. (Do not use the number or URL shown above. Use your own.)

Rather than try to invite your whole class under Add Guests… take this information and get it to your student via Blackboard or email. Just provide them with the URL, phone number, date and time.

Google Hangouts Meet will handle up to 250 participants in a single room.

New Live Streaming Attendance Feature

This new feature is available for those instructors who have live streaming turned on inside of Echo360.  It will show, as seen below, who is logged into the live stream, as well as log this information (and the total connection time) for your use in calculating attendance.

If this feature makes a difference in your decision on whether you want to turn on live streaming, please contact us at to make any changes to your capture schedule.

SBU Inspirations 2020 – Please nominate students to participate!

SBU Inspirations 2020

SBU InspirationsIn Fall 2019, CELT staff talked to students on campus who asked if there was a way that students could share with faculty ways that they use technology for academic purposes. We have partnered with the Career Center and are excited to announce the Spring 2020 SBU Inspirations Student Technology Showcase.

On February 24th, a call will be sent out to all students inviting them to submit videos (no longer than 4 minutes) that :

  • focus on experiential and applied learning pieces.
  • highlight assignments for EXP+, DIV or SPK course where technology is used to complete that assignment
  • showcase services Stony Brook provides that students can use to share their talents

If you have a student who you believe should submit a video, please nominate them!

If you are interested in participating as a judge, please self nominate via the nomination form at:

What’s New in Blackboard Webinars – Fri 1/31 1-2pm EST & Tues 2/4 12:30-1:30pm | Registration Required!

On Friday 1/31 from 1-2pm EST &  Tuesday 2/4 from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm EST , CELT’s Instructional technologist will host a webinar via Adobe Connect on What’s New in Blackboard

This webinar provides a  brief overview of the new features in Blackboard:

  1. Attendance Tool
  2. Additional attempts – anonymous grading – instructors can now allow additional attempts from anonymous grader
  3. Specific privileges for TA’s – delegated grading

In order to access the webinar, you will need to register!

Spring Semester is quickly approaching….time to request Echo 360 Lecture recordings

Echo360 provides two tools instructors can use to record lectures:

1. Universal Capture from your personal device.

2. Lecture Capture in some Lecture halls** including audio, screen capture, on-screen notations, and/or a video feed of the lecturer.

**If you would like Echo to record your lectures in a classroom, CELT staff need to schedule recordings for you. Please submit your request online at: