Archive for August, 2008

Blackboard 8.0 New Features!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Over the summer, Loyola’s Information Technology & Services upgraded Blackboard from version 7.3 to version 8.0, just in time for the Fall 2008 semester. While this is a major upgrade, the interface has not changed (except for the Grade Center). So we should be able to do everything we could do with 7.3 without taking a lot of time to learn Blackboard over again.

A Better Blackboard — New Features

  •  New Grade Center – Interactive view, Self-assessment and Peer Review
  •  Scholar– a free, innovative social bookmarking Web service, aimed at connecting faculty and students
  •  Podcasting – deliver a series of audio or video files to students
  •  New language access
  •  Adaptive Release – control when information is released and which students or groups can receive it
  •  Live Classroom video – Students see their professor teaching in real-time or archive
  •  Performance improvements and program fixes have been added

Please direct any questions or concerns about this upgrade to

Continue to check the Faculty Documentation page for instructions on using the new features. 

Sharing Files between Mac and PC

Friday, August 15th, 2008

1X1If you’re a Mac user and you share Microsoft Office documents with PC users then you need to make sure that the file extension is included when you a save a file. A file extension is typically a three letter code that appears at the end of a file name and is used by the Windows operating system to identify which program should open a file (i.e., .doc for Word, .ppt for PowerPoint). With Microsoft Office for Mac OSX, appending a file extension is optional; if you’re using a Mac you should check to see if your Word document or PowerPoint presentation includes an extension before posting it to Blackboard or emailing it to your colleague.  For example, a Word document would contain the file name followed by the extension as in “MyDocument.doc.”

When a PC user tries to open file with a missing extension, he or she will usually encounter a message stating that Windows cannot open the file.  Mac users can prevent this problem by verifying that the Append file extension box is checked in Microsoft Office programs (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).

Append File Extension in Microsoft Office  

When you save your document, File < Save As, check the Append file extension box, if it is unchecked.  Once you check the box, the file extension will be automatically appended each time you save.


Tip for PC users  

If you receive a file without an extension and you know which program was used to create the file, then you can try opening the file from the program.  For a Word document, you would open Word then select the File menu and click Open.  In the pull down menu next to Files of Type, make sure that All Files (*.*) is selected from the pull-down menu.  Select the file from its saved location and click Open.