IMPORTANT CHANGES TO OUR BLACKBOARD PROCESSES!!
As you probably already know, the old R.H. Smith Blackboard environment merged with campus ELMS a couple of years ago to better leverage capabilities of the system and provide a uniform environment for all UMCP students. System administration duties have been redistributed since then and are now shared with central OIT. Security auditors, the Registrar and the campus legal office have all been involved to ensure the integrity of student data (SIS) and have established several new policies and procedures toward that end. Smith IT has been working with them to make certain that our college is in line with campus policies regarding Blackboard.
How does this affect Smith Blackboard users?
One new process you may have already noticed is the way TAs and other users are added to Blackboard courses. TAs who are paid to assist in a course must be added into the Student Information System (SIS) data by the Business School Scheduling Officer. Our Scheduling Officer is Michael Sparrow. His office is located in 2410C and he can be reached at x58437, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To add a TA in SIS, Mike will need:
- name of the student,
- their 9 digit UMID#,
- your course number and the sections they'll TA.
Within 1-2 business days they will gain full access to your Blackboard course, including access to the Gradebook. If you do not wish your TA to have access to the Gradebook in Blackboard, they may be given Course Builder access. (Course Builders may edit and add course materials, but will have no access to the Gradebook) Please be sure to let scheduling@ know to restrict TA access and make them “Course Builder.”
Note about TA access to data in UMEG – by default TAs can only see the course roster in UMEG. They cannot affect grades in UMEG unless the faculty requests it.
To add other users to your term-based course, such as a staff member who will help build course material, a guest lecturer, an observer, mentor, or someone you are mentoring. This is still accomplished by sending an email to bbhelp but we need a little more information now. Along with the course ID, please send a description of why this access is being requested and a description of what role they will play in the course (for instance, will they be helping with grading, or adding course material, or will they just need to participate the way your students do). This information is critical, as bbhelp is required to report this information to campus auditors before we add someone to a term-based course who is not associated to that course in SIS.
If the user does not have a campus Directory ID, bbhelp will need their first and last name, email address, in addition to the previously mentioned information.
For additions of students to your term-based course, here are the current policies for adding students to a course site. Note: Campus is working to identify any on-going need for exceptions and special circumstances, so if you need us to make an exception to any of these policies, please provide an explanation of why the exception is required in your email to bbhelp. The explanation you provide will be submitted to the Registrar by bbhelp to request the exception and so the Registrar can evaluate these policies for future semesters.
"Audit" is a grading option; it's not a registration status. Students must register for the course in order to be uploaded into the ELMS course space along with those students taking the course for credit.
Independent study (IS) is a course. The Independent Study course space can be requested as an ELMS course space of its own, OR, that Independent Study roster can be combined with another ELMS course space at the request of the instructors of both spaces.
The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School has advised us that graduate students, including PhD students who have been advanced to candidacy, are not allowed to ‘sit in’ courses or to utilize ELMS resources associated with a course unless they are registered and have paid the appropriate tuition.
We appreciate your patience with these changes, and your help building a safer computing environment for our students.