New teachers go through BigSky Orientation and Training Sessions before their first term starts. If by any chance, you were
not able to attend these sessions or you would like to review how to navigate and use certain BigSky tools, then you are in the
right place. Check out our videos and text tutorials now!
This video will teach you how to log in to BigSky, search for courses using the waffle icon, and pin the courses for easy access.
The News tool enables you to create announcements containing important course-related information, alerts learners to a change in the schedule or an upcoming due date, and distribute additional resources to students based on need (in conjunction with release conditions). The News widget is a good area for displaying important information since this is the first page students see when they access your course.
Use the Content tool to post and organize course content so that information about course expectations, course syllabus, lecture notes, and important dates display to students clearly. Course materials you post in Content can include documents, images, media files, presentations, URL links, and existing course activities. You can add release conditions, grade items, and learning outcomes to topics to ensure users navigate through course materials while fulfilling specific course requirements and learning expectations. You can also monitor class and user progress as students work through course content by setting automatic (determined by the system) or manual (determined by the student) completion tracking.
Four submission types are available to instructors when creating assignments to allow evaluation of many different tasks.
► File submission: learners upload and submit a file to the assignment.
► Text submission: learners post text, image, or a link to their work in a text box within the assignment.
► On paper submission: learners submit a physical copy of their assignment directly to their instructor. No file upload is required to complete the assignment.
► Observed in person: allows instructors to observe learners as they perform tasks, such as in-class presentations, and evaluate them using Assignments. No file upload is required to complete the assignment.
Activity Feed is a course homepage widget that provides a central location for learners and instructors to post messages that are visible to the entire class. For example, your instructor might post reminders about upcoming assignments and links to course materials. Instructors determine if learners can post Activity Feed messages. You can add attachments by copying and pasting a web link or embed code, or using the attachment icons. For a rich and immersive experience, most attachments can be previewed, viewed, or interacted with directly in the feed. For example, web links show a thumbnail and description, if available. Images uploaded from your computer, remote plug-in attachments, and videos embedded from YouTube, Vimeo, and TED display directly in the feed and can be viewed without leaving the course homepage.
BigSky uses specific terms to refer to different parts of the Discussions area, including the following:
► Forums are used to house discussion topics that are similar. For example, there might be several discussions in the first week of the course, so create a forum titled “Week One Discussions” for them.
► Topics are where the discussion actually takes place. This is where students can post threads in response to a discussion prompt.
► Threads are the initial comments added to a discussion topic.
► Replies are responses posted to a specific discussion thread.
Setting up a discussion is a two-step process: first create a forum that can hold one or more discussion topics, then create discussion topics within that forum.
Create a quiz with a randomized set of questions to distribute a unique set of questions to individual learners.
There are 9 Types of Quiz Questions that you may include in your Quizzes. Discover which types will help you best assess the learning of your students!
The Import/Export/Copy Course Components tool allows you to save and reuse existing content components for future course offerings. To access Import/Export/Copy Components you need to first access your Bigsky account and select a course that you want to import or to export.
Virtual classroom sessions are an excellent way to bring life and engagement to online learning. They also provide a way to support some of the key aspects learners love about face-to-face classroom settings (live discussions, debates, group work, role play, etc.). Virtual classrooms can enhance interaction and build a sense of community among learners of online or blended courses.
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