Access Blackboard Learn – https://blackboard.valpo.edu/

Blackboard Learn gives faculty the opportunity to make learning materials available to students 24-hours a day. After class is finished meeting, students can participate in discussion boards, take online quizzes and tests or turn in assignments electronically through Blackboard Learn. Some courses at Valparaiso University are hosted entirely online through Blackboard Learn whereas other face-to-face courses use Blackboard Learn to supplement the in-class instruction.

Blackboard Training Workshops

A series of training workshops are being offered this fall! Please register from the link for the date and time that works best.  If these dates or times don’t work for you, or you need to learn something sooner than it is offered, schedule a personal, face-to-face meeting right from Kevin’s calendar, email Kevin.Steele@valpo.edu, or extension 6930.


This workshop will be an introductory overview of Blackboard.  During the session, attendees will receive an overview of Blackboard which will include best practices to:

  • Request courses to be created
  • Make courses available to students
  • Adding a test student
  • Post content in a way that is intuitive for students to locate
  • Create an assignments & assessments for electronic submission
  • View a photo roster of your students
  • Overview of grade center
  • Adding a profile picture

This workshop is intended for those that are new to Blackboard or who only use it for basic functions.  Bring your questions!


Blackboard 101 Registration Links

Monday, September 9th, 10:00-11:00am

Monday, October 28th, 2:30-3:30pm

Monday, November 18th, 10:30-11:30am


This workshop will be an overview of Blackboards features.  During the session, attendees will receive a deeper dive into Blackboard which will include best practices to:

  • Communicating with students through Blackboard (announcements & emailing)
  • Utilizing content tools
  • Building assessments, blogs, discussion boards
  • Overview of course tools
  • Course Reports
  • Packages & Utilities
  • Customization options
  • Manually adding users to course (additional instructors, course builders, course admins, etc. — students are auto created based on enrollment)
  • Requesting merged enrollments

This workshop is intended for those who use Blackboard or have attended Blackboard 101.  Bring your questions!


Blackboard 102 Registration Links

Tuesday, September 17th, 10:30-11:30am

Thursday, November 7th, 10:30-11:30am


Top Hat is a student response system (think old-school clickers) that utilizes a student’s mobile device or computer to answer in-class questions, take polls, etc. to move from a passive learning environment to an active learning environment.  Top Hat can also provide immediate feedback to the instructor about student learning or to the student about their own understanding of the content. Additionally, Top Hat can be used to take daily class attendance. Top Hat also contains a workflow to move grades and attendance back to Blackboard.  Join us for this session to learn about Top Hat and the workflow. We will work in a live demo setting.


Top Hat Integration Registration Links

Monday, September 9th, 9:00-10:00am


Setting up the Grade Center in Blackboard may seem overwhelming! This session will be focused on the grade center and insuring settings are properly setup to calculate grades as desired.  The topics addressed by this session will be:

  • Setting grading calculations to meet a number of needs (pts/pts poss, weighting, etc)
  • Setting the correct grade column for Starfish (Set as external grade)
  • Sending email reminders to those that have not turned in an assignment (before it’s due or after)
  • Creating grading categories
  • Creating grading color codes for quick visual identification
  • Setting grading schemas (grade scale)
  • Displaying letter grades in columns for students

The first 30 minutes will be a formal training with the remaining time open to consultation on the grade center.  Bring your questions and your syllabus.


Grading & Grade Setups Registration Links

Tuesday, November 19th, 9:00-10:00am


SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. This session will cover the following topics:

  • Creating SafeAssign assignments
  • Identifying thresholds of concern for similarity scores
  • Direct submit feature
  • Submitting a URL for addition to the database
  • Interpreting Safe Assign similarity reports


SafeAssign Registration Links

Wednesday, September 25th, 1:30-2:30pm

Wednesday, November 13th, 12:30-1:30pm


Many instructors who teach face-to-face and blended courses use attendance data as part of their students’ overall grades. Also, some programs have attendance policies that require instructors to track the number of class meetings students have missed. This session will cover the following attendance features in Blackboard:

  • Quickly setting up attendance dates at the start of the semester
    • Adding or removing individual dates (added sessions, holidays, days off, snow days)
  • Tying attendance to a grade in the Grade Center
  • Attendance reporting (overall & detailed by student)

The session will also end with an alternative preview of Top Hat attendance where students take attendance for themselves.  The workflow will also outline how that data returns to Blackboard’s attendance session.


Blackboard Attendance Registration Links

Tuesday, October 8th, 9:00-10:00am

Thursday, December 5th, 3:00-4:00pm


Google’s Course Kit integration is in beta version.  Google selected Valpo as a pilot university for this new tool.  This tool combines the power of Google Drive with Blackboard. This allows instructors to use all the tools of Google docs (commenting, markup, editing, etc) with grading options and an automated workflow for grading within this tool back to Blackboard. Want to know more?  Join us for this session to see if it is a fit for your courses.

Google Course Kit Registration Links

Tuesday, December 3rd, 11:30am-12:30pm

Wednesday, December 4th, 1:30-2:30pm