How to export tests from BlackBoard to Word

Occasionally you will need to export a test from Blackboard to another format – such as Adobe PDF or Word for keeping a printed copy off line. You cannot easily do this directly out of Blackboard, it is not designed with that in mind. You CAN do so through Respondus.


Firstly – Install and configure Respondus on your machine. You may have it installed already; it is a test generating tool available from the VCCS on the Teach tab in Blackboard.screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-10-07-53-am

Once Respondus is set up and running on your machine, follow this procedure:

1)  Click the Retrieval & Reports tab in Respondus.

2)  Click the Retrieve Questions button

3)  Verify the sever settings in the Wizard window. They should be set for the VCCS Blackboard server: Click Next

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-10-15-37-am4)  When prompted, enter your Blackboard username and Password.

5)  In the appropriate drop downs, select :

1- the Course to retrieve questions from

2- Which Exam (test)/Survey/Pool you wish to pull from

3- Name for the file you are creating

Click Next when ready

6)  Respondus will talk to Blackboard, retrieve your questions, then notify you that the File is Saved with a pop-up. Click OK on the popup.

7)  When the message –Completed Successfully— appears in the Respondus window, click the Finish button.Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 10.22.10 AM.png

8)  Go to the Start tab in Respondus. Click the Open button.

9)  Select your file (named in step 5-3) can click the Open button.

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 10.26.07 AM.png** Important – you will NOT receive a message or see anything when the file is open, it will just do it and wait for you.

10)  Go to the Preview & Publish tab.

11)  At the bottom of the window you will see two main options.

1 – Save to File – will allow you to save as a text (TScreen Shot 2017-01-18 at 10.32.34 AM.pngXT) Rich Text (RTF) or Word (DOC) file.

2 – Send to Printer will allow you to print a hard copy or “print” to a PDF file if that option is installed on your machine.


Students – How to Create Portfolios on Blackboard

Blackboard has numerous resources available to students, including portfolios.  Students can compile past work into these portfolios to share with prospective hiring managers or graduate schools.  Multiple portfolios can be created for different purposes, such as displaying research or examples of writing.  Read below to learn how to create a portfolio.

Creating Portfolios

The My Portfolios page is the launching point for viewing, creating, and reviewing portfolios. Access the My Portfolios page from the global navigation menu at the top right of the page. Select “Tools” and click “Portfolios”.

To learn how to make a portfolio, watch the step-by-step video below.


Artifacts are evidence of learning, frequently accompanied by reflection by the artifact owner. Artifacts are pieces of content that you can attach to a portfolio and reuse.

Course artifacts are graded content from your course and remain available to you even if you no longer have access to your course. Personal artifacts are any content—text, files, links and multimedia assets—you create/upload.

Using the Content Editor

Learn how to share your portfolio here.

FREE VoiceThread training!

FVoicethread logoaculty: want to learn how to have your students create virtual presentations or conduct oral or video discussions? Look no further than VoiceThread!  On Friday, October 28, at 12:30pm VoiceThread will be conducting a customized training for USD faculty. In this online session, participants will learn the basic features of VoiceThread. An expert VoiceThread trainer will share a variety of examples from real courses and show you how VoiceThread works in the Blackboard environment.

Sign up!

Content to users outside of a Blackboard course (Passes)

What if a student is waitlisted and still needs access to course materials? Or you are collaborating with a user who is not at USD and s/he needs access to course content? Faculty users in Blackboard can issue a Pass!

Passes allow faculty to share a file, folder, or entire course worth of content to any user. Passes generate a shareable URL that can be set to expire on any date.

Click the Content Collection tab to get started, and follow the directions on this page or this  handout!

Blackboard Upgrades!

Love Blackboard? Well it’s just getting better with a bunch of new updates!


  1. Goal Performance Dashboard: Using the Goal Performance Dashboard, students and instructors track progress toward learning objectives as specified within a degree, certificate, or program. The Goal Performance Dashboard provides a personalized learning opportunity for students to progress through content at their own pace and as they master concepts or skills.
  2. Announcement Date Restriction Default: When creating an announcement, “Not Date Restricted” is now selected by default.
  3. Browser Support: Learn 9.1 now supports the Microsoft Edge browser. Some new browser releases no longer support NPAPI plugins. Without these plugins, some Learn features may not render correctly.
  4. User Interface: Users can navigate from thread to thread without having to return to the main Discussions page.
  5. Bug Fixes: A comprehensive list of bug fixes contained in this release can be found on Behind the Blackboard.
    Assessments Test completion status bar floats and covers test questions.
    Grading Unable to print more than one page of a student grade report.
    YouTube Users are unable to embed YouTube videos using YouTube Mashup or Video Everywhere.
    Assessments Calculated formula questions do not go to next screen or answer box is not visible.
  6. BB StudentBB Student Mobile App: With Bb Student, you can view course content and participate on your mobile device:
    • Stay on task with push notifications, a due date list, and activity stream updates.
    • Take assignments, tests, and quizzes and review your submissions.
    • View your course grades as well as individual test and assignment grades.
    • Participate in discussions.
    • Collaborate with your class through video conferencing.
    • Attach assignment files from Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.


Bb Student Mobile App

BB StudentWondering how you can access Blackboard on the go?  Look no further than the “Bb Student” mobile app (free on iOS, Android, and Windows phones).  This is a new version of the “Mobile Learn” app that you may already be using to access your Blackboard courses.

How to begin:
1.  Download Bb Student on your iOS, Android, or Windows phone.
2. Once the app is downloaded, open it and type in University of San Diego.
3. Enter in your login information (username and password) for Blackboard Olé.

What you can access with Bb Student:
1. Course activities and announcements
2. Courses, grades, and class updates
3. Documents, assignments, tests
4. If your professor uses Blackboard Collaborate (video conferencing), you can join on-the-go.  (How to use Collaborate)
5. Bb Student will send push notifications to your phone when assignments are due, when you receive new announcements, or when grades/tests/content are posted.

A Quick Guide to Bb Student

On the left is the “Activity Stream” which will show any current or upcoming activity for your courses (including assignments due, announcements, grades, content added, etc.). Items are prioritized automatically by the app.

On the right is the navigation menu, accessed by clicking on the three horizontal bars in the upper lefthand side of the screen, or by swiping down from the top of the screen.  As the image shows, you can access individual courses, grades, and due dates, as well as update your profile.  To log out, click on the circle and arrow on the upper righthand side of the screen.

For more information and a recap of this post, watch the video below.

Here’s to a great new semester!

Blackboard Test Feedback

Ever wondered how to create a specific exam on Blackboard for students. Do you want your students to see the correct answer, or just their score?


Click on any of the hyperlinks below for information in every section regarding testing feedback and how you would want to create a test for you students.


Also Click here for the entire article: Full Article


Changes to Blackboard Collaborate

Early in the summer, USD IT upgraded Blackboard Collaborate to the newest version, Collaborate Ultra! This video highlights some important and exciting changes to the product.

Major new features include:

  • Telephony (ability to call into a session)
  • Polling
  • Scheduling and session attendance tracking

Sessions can be recorded and downloaded.

Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate has been updated to Collaborate Ultra! For the faculty using the classic version now, this will mean some changes but should not negatively affect how Collaborate is being used in your classes.  Some of the major improvements include the ability to join sessions quickly (without downloading Java), an updated modern aesthetic, and an easy-to-use interface that allows instructors to focus on teaching.

The chart below helps to layout some of the changes and restrictions with the main features of Collaborate:

Feature Description
End-User Tools
Application Sharing Changed: Application sharing is noticeably faster and easier to use. Application sharing uses the new WebRTC standard giving a high definition experience with superior image quality. To learn more from the moderator’s perspective, see Share Content for Moderators.Restriction: Application sharing requires an extension on Google ChromeTM.
Audio and Video Changed: The Ultra experience uses the new WebRTC standard giving a high definition experience with superior image and sound quality for users with Google Chrome. Browsers that do not yet support WebRTC will receive audio, video and application sharing using a Flash plugin.
Breakout Rooms Not Available Yet
Chat Unchanged: Users can still chat during a session. Moderators may disable chat in their session.Restriction: Private chat is only available for moderators.
File Sharing Changed: Like application sharing, file sharing is faster and easier to use. Uploaded files are accessible during the specific session they are uploaded to.Restriction: Users can upload PPT, PPTX, PDF, and most image files at this time.
First Time Connection Walkthrough New: Users are presented with a choice to switch to the Ultra experience.
Live Closed Captioning New: Sessions can now include live closed captioning. Moderators must make participants captioners. Captioners type what is being said during a session. Other participants can view what is being typed in real time. You can have multiple captioners for multiple languages.
Plan Not Available Yet
Recording Changed: Moderators can record their sessions and share them. The recordings are saved as MP4 files. Users can stream or download them to view them.
Navigation Changed: Navigation in Collaborate with the Ultra experience is simple and intuitive. Everything users need is available exactly when they need it. The interface dynamically adapts to all activity in the session, putting the focus on who is speaking and any content that is being shared.
Polling Not Available Yet
Profiles Changed: Users will have access to simple profiles with their names and the ability to add profile pictures.
Timer Not Available Yet
Whiteboard Changed: Users have access to a basic whiteboard, which includes basic annotation and text entry tools for making edits.
Moderator Unchanged: Moderators continue to have the same privileges in their sessions.
Presenter New: Presenter is a new role created to allow students to present content without giving them full moderator privileges.
Participant Unchanged: Participants continue to have the same privileges in sessions they attend.
Captioner New: This new role is designed to provide an accessible learning experience for students who are deaf or heard of hearing, as well as for students whose native language is different from the moderator’s.
Accessibility Changed: Some of the accessibility features include full-screen reader support of all key workflows, whiteboard activities, and uploaded files. Global keyboard shortcuts for common actions are also supported.The Ultra experience now provides live closed captioning. This provides an accessible learning experience for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for students whose native language is different from the moderator’s.
API Framework Changed: Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience uses REST APIs for custom LMS integrations.The public Collaborate APIs have been updated to include scheduling session, requesting session links, and attendance. Please contact Blackboard Services for more information.
Bandwidth Efficiency Changed: The Ultra experience uses WebRTC encoding.
Deployment Unchanged: Collaborate is a SaaS deployment.
Downloads Changed: The Ultra experience is entirely browser-based. No downloads or installs are required.
Localization Unchanged: Collaborate continues to be localized.
Integrations Changed: The Ultra experience is available through the following means.

  • System Administration Server (SAS)
  • Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 and Blackboard Learn SaaS
  • Moodlerooms
  • Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) compliant Learning Management Systems (LMS)

The public Collaborate APIs have been updated to include scheduling session, requesting session links, and attendance. Please contact Blackboard Services for more information.

Mobile Changed: Browsers on mobile devices are not supported at this time. Students can use Bb Student to join sessions.
Telephony Changed: With Integrated Telephony, you don’t need your own teleconference provider. The teleconference service is provided by Blackboard Collaborate. Teleconference phone numbers and PINs are automatically generated during session creation. Anyone can dial into the session and initiate the connection between the session and the teleconference bridge.

We supply a Virginia-US number for U.S. and Canada, a UK number for Europe, and a Sydney number for Australia. Long distance and international calling charges may apply.



How to Turn Off Notifications in a Collaborate Ultra Session

The Blackboard Ultra Session is a useful way to collaborate with students.  With this tool comes many new and exciting features — and some not so fun ones.  If you’ve spent any time in Collaborate sessions, you know that the addition of new individuals to a session or chat messages trigger an alert  notification, which can be distracting.  Below outlines directions on how to shut it off and continue on with your Collaborate sessions in peace.

1.  Hover over the avatar (or your picture) up in the lefthand corner.  A wrench image should pop up, with “My Settings” written above it; click on that.


2.  Click on the “Notification Settings” dropdown menu.


3.  Click on the checkmark next to “Audio Notification” to disable the notification sounds.  You can choose to do this for when someone joins or leave a session, as well as when a new message is received.


And that’s it!  Enjoy your collaborate sessions without the distraction of notification noises.