Throughout the semester we will be using Blackboard for several course activities:
to share and respond to drafts of summary/response papers;
to share work as part of your project group
to distribute materials (such as group reports)
to communicate with your project group and roundtable group members.
We may also use the Blackboard forums for online discussions that, ideally, will grow out of and extend our in-class discussions.
You should log onto Blackboard to access our course discussion board at least once each week to review any messages that have been posted and to participate in ongoing online discussions. Once the summary/response papers begin to be posted to the Blackboard bulletin board each week, it will be essential that you log in to review those papers posted by your roundtable group.
Since we will use Blackboard exclusively for conferencing and sharing texts, you won't need to use any of the other capabilities of the program. The course web site will serve as the primary source of information about course assignments and policies.
Instructions for Accessing Blackboard
[Note: Instructions and information about Blackboard are available at the UAlbany Information Technology Services website at http://www.albany.edu/its/. Also note that you will need a UAlbany Net ID and password to access Blackboard . (Your Net ID is the same ID that allows you to access MyUAlbany.)]
To access our course discussion list on Blackboard, either claick the link on the ITS web site or go directly to http://bls.its.albany.edu, then follow these steps:
Click the button labeled "log In."
Enter your Net ID and Unix password and click "OK." You will be taken to your main Blackboard page. This is a homepage that will allow you to access all of your Blackboard courses. You should see ETAP 512 listed on this page.
Click the listing for ETAP 512. You will be taken to the ETAP 512 course Blackboard site.
Once you are at the ETAP 512 course Blackboard site, you will see several icons as well as links to various course resources on the left side of the page. To access the Blackboard discussioin forums, click the link to "Discussions."
You should now see links to each of the discussion forums for ETAP 512, including a main forum and separate forums for each of the roundtable and project groups. (Note: At the beginning of the semester, only the "main" forum may appear on this chart. Once the project and roundtable groups have been established, separate forums for these groups will be set up and can be accessed from the Blackboard Discussions page.)
Once you click a link to any of the discussion forums, you will see an index of messages that have been posted to that forum. You can read a message by clicking that message or by clicking the heading for the thread in which that message appears.
To post a message to a forum, click the button labeled "Create Message." A new window will open up, and you can enter a subject for your message and then type your message in the main box. (Note that when you click a message, a new window will appear. Once you are finished reading that message, simply close the window, and you'll return to the main index.)
Note that if you wish to respond to a message already on the list rather than post a message on an entirely new topic, click on the "Reply" button that appears under the message you wish to respond to. Once you've clicked "reply," a new screen will appear, and you can type your message onto that screen.
When you're finished typing your message, you can look it over by clicking on the "Preview" button. When you're satisfied with your message, click on the "Post" button. You will then return to the discussion list screen.
Note that you can write your message offline using a word processing program (such as Microsoft Word) and then paste it into the box in Blackboard when you're ready to post it.
Note also that there is an online help function at the top of the screen.
To exit the discussion forum, click any of the links on the left side of the page. To log out, click "logout" at the very top of your screen.