Links to Short Video Demonstrations for USC Upstate Faculty and Staff


The following are links to some short video demonstrations of various applications. Most are “flash” files which require the free flash player or shockwave player to run. Some will begin and run automatically and others will have a “play” triangle in the middle of the screen. Most have audio narrations so be sure to turn on your computer speakers. Just click the links below to play each. This page was created and is maintained by Dr. Tom Davis of the USC Upstate Information Technology and Services Division. Please contact him with any comments, corrections or suggestions.


Blackboard Version 9.1 – We will be using this new version after Dec. 21, 2011

          Introduction to the Course Environment

          Understanding and Building Your Course

          Communicating and Collaborating – announcements, blogs, journals, discussions and groups

          Assessment – assignments, tests and the grade center

          Blackboard 9.1 for Students –showing students how to do things like take a test and submit an assignment


Blackboard Version 8.0

          Blackboard Login Instructions

          Managing the “My Courses” Section

Creating Announcements

Sending Email or “Messages”

Adding Documents and Files

          Copying One Course to Another – Important note: when copying courses where you have created links for students to

click to take tests, turn in assignments or participate in graded discussion boards with columns in the grade center, you must copy the grade center, the tests and the content area (Course Documents, Assignments, etc.) where the links are found all at once in one copying process. If you do not then the “connection” between the links and the grade center will be broken and you will have to create it manually. If you are copying Safe Assignments you also have to click the SafeAssign link in the Control Panel of the new course after copying and click the “Synchronize this course” link.

          Merge or Combine Enrollments of One or More Sections

          Using the Digital Dropbox and a demonstration to Show Students How to Use the Dropbox

Enroll Users in a CourseThis can be used to add another instructor or student to your course manually.

          Using the Content Collection

          Creating a Discussion Board Forum

          Discussion Board Participation

Creating Assignments

Creating and Grading Assignments

Creating SafeAssign Assignment for Plagiarism Checking

SafeAssign Information and Tutorials from Blackboard

Creating Tests

          Adding Test Questions

          Creating a Test from Another Test or Pool

          Creating a Test with Random Blocks of Questions

          Creating a Test with Random Blocks of Questions (part 2)

Grade Center

          Introduction to the Grade Center

          Organizing the Grade Center

          Adding a Column to the Grade Center

          Adding a “Calculated” Column to the Grade Center

          Setting up a Weighted Total Column in the Grade Center

Creating Grading Schemas to Convert Scores to Letter Grades

          Creating Smart Views to Customize the Look of the Grade Center


Blackboard Tutorial for Students – This presentation explains how to use VIP to find their username and set their password. It goes on to explain the basics of using Blackboard. You can copy and paste this URL into an email message you send your class.


Using the University VIP (Visual Information Processing) Web Site – The VIP web site is used by faculty and staff to check their personal information, employment information, view class roles and find their username for Blackboard and set their password.


Recording Short Announcements with the Windows Sound Recorder


Adobe Connect – a web based application that lets you conduct live online meetings or classes where you can speak and share what is displayed on your computer screen with those in attendance. You can also record each session for viewing later. Those viewing your live presentation over the Internet can type questions and responses or speak using a microphone if you so desire. Contact Mitchell West, for an account to use this program and he will send you instructions for installation and use. There are some short video demonstrations of the various features of the program on the Adobe web site at:


Adobe Presenter (formerly Breeze) for PowerPoint – a Windows program that lets faculty take a PowerPoint presentation, narrate it and convert it to a flash file that plays easily over the Internet or in a Blackboard course.

Installing and Configuring Presenter

Publishing your Presenter Presentation


Respondus – a Windows program that lets faculty take a test created in a word processing program such as Word and convert and upload it to a Blackboard course.

          Installing and Configuring Respondus

          Importing Test Questions from a Document

          Publishing a Test to Blackboard


Microsoft Word 2007

          Word 2007 Buttons

          Word 2007 Customize the Quick Access Toolbar


Microsoft Outlook 2007

          Create or Change an Email Group or “Distribution List”


Using a "Smart" Classroom - You can view an online demonstration of most of the various classroom technology controls and equipment at: There are directions on the teacher desk at the front of each room. In addition, copies are available on the network S drive in the Faculty and Staff ITS Info folder.


Tutorials and Handouts There are tutorials and handouts for many of the campus applications on the university network “S” or shared drive in a folder entitled Faculty and Staff ITS Info.