Center for Teaching Excellence

Blackboard® at USMA

What's New with USMA Blackboard?

Currently, all West Point courses are able to take advantage of USMA Blackboard on the Internet, hosted by Blackboard.com. This site is available 24/7/365 from any Internet connection, making it accessible from computers and personal devices, (e.g., iOS and Android tablets). The general authentication method is through O365; a separate email will be sent from AMS to new cadets, faculty, and staff with this information. When you access the Blackboard login page at https://usma.blackboard.com, you will be presented with a large blue button labeled 'Sign In With O365.' If you already have an active O365 session initiated with the browser you are using to access Blackboard, clicking the button will pass you directly into Blackboard. Otherwise, clicking the button will initiate the O365 login process with which you are already familiar.

If you are using a mobile app to access Blackboard you will still need to use your username and password. If you are having trouble with your login, please put in a help ticket at https://help.westpoint.edu and specify that you need help with your Blackboard username or password.

What is Blackboard Learn™?

Blackboard Learn™, Release 9.1 has matured to become is a true platform for teaching and learning . With a totally new user interface, deeper integration of its parts and expanded openness, it brings its own set of powerful capabilities for engaging and assessing learners at all levels. Simply put, a lot has changed . Blackboard Learn has capabilities that together roll up to a pretty powerful and unique teaching and learning platform, one that goes well beyond the categories and boxes (CMS, LMS, etc.) we know today. Blackboard is:

A course management system that is much more than a course management system...

...and that offers a great way to use the power of the Internet to support the teaching and learning process. Blackboard provides "one stop shopping" – one place for Faculty and Cadets to go to manage all of their course and course related activities. Blackboard has robust capabilities in three broad areas: Content Sharing, Communications and Collaboration, and Evaluation.

Content Sharing

Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 has the capability to allow Faculty to post course materials in any format  (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Video, Audio, just about any format or media you can name!) for 24/7 Cadet access. All instructors need to do is browse for files or folders on their computer, and they can be easily moved into Blackboard. Blackboard also gives Cadets the ability to post assignments and papers into a central area managed by the course instructor. These student postings are time stamped and can be easily managed in the integrated and greatly improved Blackboard grade center .

Communications and Collaboration

Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 has a diverse feature set to support Faculty/Cadet and Cadet/Cadet communication, especially through the creation of groups . Blackboard’s powerful asynchronous discussion board can be used to answer Cadet questions, or as a general forum to allow Cadets to respond critically to questions posed by the instructor. Another Blackboard tool is the synchronous virtual classroom. This tool allows Faculty and Cadets to collaborate in real time using a text chat and/or shared whiteboard. Many Faculty use these tools for Extra Instruction and evening office hours. Faculty and Cadet communication is also enhanced via Blackboard’s integrated email, which can be used to easily send messages to individuals and/or all students in a course. Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 also features the addition of contemporary social learning and teaching tools, like weblogs and wikis, that can assist in creating more logical, visually stimulating and active learning opportunities for cadets.

Evaluation

Blackboard offers the ability to produce robust assessments . Assessment types can be either exams or surveys (survey responses are recorded anonymously). Question types include multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, matching, multiple answer, and essay. All questions, (except essay) are auto-graded by the computer, saving valuable instructor time and effort. Questions can also be randomized and can include feedback to increase the Cadet learning experience. Additionally, Blackboard has a sophisticated tracking system that tells instructors which materials have been viewed by the Cadets and when those items were viewed.

Use the following links to:
  • Learn how to use version 9.1 by visiting Blackboard Learn Training Videos
  • For links to more Blackboard® resources return up to the Blackboard Links in the right sidebar
  • Contact Patrick Gill via email or at Microsoft Teams with any questions

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