Thursday, November 20, 2008

How to Cheat on Blackboard!

This section is called, "How to Cheat on Blackboard", but it should be titled "How to Minimize Cheating on Blackboard". 
This summer, I started giving face-to-face tests on (our university's content management system) using the assessment tool. This new tool has proven itself to be very effective in my classroom. This is the first time that many of my students have taken a blackboard test in one of their classes.
  1. Walk around the classroom while students are taking the test.
  2. Show the students' answers and the correct answers at the end of the test. This helps the students learn which test questions they answered correctly and which questions they answered incorrectly. My students enjoy this feature. 
  3. Provide the students with a test time frame. This prevents the students from accessing the questions and answers later. 
  4. Provide a test question database for each course test (i.e. - 50 questions). Then make blackboard randomly select questions (i.e. - 25 questions) from your test question database (i.e. - 50 questions). This feature serves as another anti-cheating mechanism.
I hope this helps!

-Millennial Professor

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Benefits of Using Blackboard for Testing!

There are many benefits to using for giving classroom tests. Here are a few...
  1. The assessment feature enables the professor to add extra credit points with ease and to correct an incorrect answer with little effort.
  2. In the pre-blackboard/scantron era (i.e. - last semester), I agonized over entering the students' grades in my gradebook because it was time consuming. enables me to export grades into an Excel spreadsheet, which I import into my gradebook. This is a definite plus for me!
  3. Students get instant feedback on their test and they are also able to view their grades in the gradebook (i.e. - mygrades). This feature helps me tremendously, because the students always know their course grade at any given moment and I do not have to use paper to disperse their grades.
Millennial Professor 

Monday, November 17, 2008



Monday - "Weekly Topic Announcement"/"Ask a Professor" (Response - Next Tues. 11/25/08)

Tuesday -  "How to Cheat on Blackboard"

Thursday - "Benefits of Using Blackboard for Testing"

Next Week  - "My Response to the "Ask a Professor" Question"/New Topic

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do Students Prefer Online Courses?

        This week, registration started at my university. Every semester, I virtually watch the enrollment in each of my classes. I am not a huge football fan, but my view of class registration is similar to the NFL draft. The team (classroom) dynamic seems to change as the enrollment changes. It appears that many of the students in my classes were referred by other students who took the class before. This helps to keep a steady line of "academic minded" students as well as "class clowns" every semester. :)

        When examining the enrollment each semester, I pay particular attention to the following: (a) the number of women and men, (b) the majors that may potentially add to the dynamic context of my course, and (c) the amount of students who enroll in a class that is held at a morning time vs. an afternoon time.

        This semester's registration period is slightly different for me. I am teaching three sections of COMS 101 (Fundamentals of Human Communication) in the spring, because this will be my first semester teaching an online course at a university (I taught a similar course at a community college). The students seem to be very interested in my online COMS 101 course. At this time, I have more students in my COMS 101 online course than my three sections of COMS 101 (face to face classes) combined. I have to keep in mind that many students have not registered yet, but it seems that they are excited about taking an online course. Next semester, I plan to conduct a few assessments in both types of classroom environments (face to face and virtual). I cannot wait to see the results!

Is anyone else encountering this situation (increased enrollment in online courses vs. face to face courses)?
Millennial Professor

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My "Virtual Vacation" to Focus on the Presidential Campaign


During the past couple of weeks, I took a "virtual vacation" from the blog to focus on the presidential campaigns. Today, my information overload illness will be cured by the announcement of the new President of the United States. For now, my eyes continue to watch CNN/MSNBC/FOX, my ears continue to listen to the aforementioned stations via Sirius radio in the car, and my computer screen is fixed on the CNN electoral map. 

No matter who wins the election today, the results will be monumental. As a millennial, I am focused on the future of this country and the impact that I can make. Please bear with me through the next few days and the blog will be "renewed".


Millennial Professor