Category Archives: Tips

Blackboard Learn Faculty Tips – Force Completion & Display One Question at a Time

When creating a test one of the settings in the Test Availability section is Force Completion with the note, “Once started, this test must be completed in one sitting.” When selected the student loses the ability to re-enter the test should something cause them to lose their internet connection (such as an empty laptop battery or dropped internet connection). This typically has a negative impact on the student’s test grade. It also means that unless the quiz is setup for multiple attempts, you will need to either clear the attempt or create an exception to allow the student to access the quiz again.

For this reason we strongly discourage using this feature and instead select Set Timer and turn Auto-Submit ON. This will allow a student to re-enter a test that is in progress as long as the time limit has not expired. Students cannot ‘game the system’ for more time by exiting their exam attempt. Once the student clicks the Begin button the test’s timer will keep ticking regardless if they are actively in the test or not.

Blackboard Learn Tips - Set Timer image

Additionally, Bb Learn allows you to select how the test will display to your students. Currently, we are advising against selecting the option to display one question at a time. This is due to a bug within the user interface that causes the timer to dock on the bottom of the screen. When only one question is displayed at a time the timer often covers the question and/or the answer options. When all questions are displayed the student is able to use the scrollbar to clearly view each question.

Blackboard Learn Test Presentation Image - All at Once

Tech Tip: How to Create PDF files for free

On a PC

On a Mac, press File / Print and select the PDF button near the bottom of the window.  Next, select Save As PDF.   This video from shows you how:

For assistance installing or using CutePDF, please contact the CTS Help Desk at x3456 or email

Tech Tips are a collaboration of Campus Technology Services and the Campus Technology Advisory Board.  Computer assistance is always available from the CTS Help Desk,

TechTip – Campus Wifi Setup

Setting up your tablet, smart phone, or other wireless device on the campus network requires a quick, one-time configuration.  You can find all the how-to details on CTS’ Wireless Network page:

Tech Tips are a collaboration of Campus Technology Services and the Campus Technology Advisory Board.  Computer assistance is always available from the CTS Help Desk,

iPhone Spring Cleaning

With the release of the new iPhone 5S just around the corner, you may be stowing away for the latest & greatest offering from Apple. However, those who are content with their current iPhone model may want to take steps to keep it fast and ready for the new iOS 7 (Apple’s latest Operating System for the phone). The folks over at LifeHacker put together a Spring cleaning list for those iPhone users dissatisfied with their sluggish system. One of the quickest ways to improve speed is often to simply reboot (“turn it off & on again”). This clears the system memory and often results in quicker speeds!

Mobile Office Apps

We’re often asked about Office apps on the iOS and Android mobile operating systems. While an official Microsoft Office app does exist for most mobile systems, it requires an active Office 365 subscription. For those users who don’t have that subscription (probably you, if you’re reading this), there are several great alternatives.

I recommend the official Google Drive app, available for iOS and Android systems. It allows you to access all of your LakerApps files stored on Drive, including spreadsheets and presentations. Best of all, it’s free!

Alternative apps can be found under the “Productivity” category on the Google Play and iOS App Store. A popular iOS alternative is Pages ($9.99), an Apple made app. On the Android side of things, expert Office aficionados prefer Quickoffice Pro ($14.99) for an expensive experience.
Drop us a line in the comments and let us know what mobile Office you prefer!

Looking to buy a new tablet or smartphone?

The popularity of tablets & smartphones is growing at a fast rate (while PC sales slump). However, for many users it is frustrating to choose not only “what” to purchase, but “when” to do so! Because competition is so fierce among top companies like Samsung and Apple, models seem to become obsolete literally as they touch store shelves.

While that may be a bit hyperbolic, it’s certainly a bummer when your recently purchased tablet is left in the dust by that flashy new i-Quadcore-5X…-thing. Luckily for the rest of us, the good folks at MacRumors keep an up-to-the-date Mac Buyer’s Guide to let you know when is the best time to buy.

Unfortunately for Android aficionados, there is no ultimate (up-to-date) guide, because a whole slew of companies create the slates. However, there are some sites that offer brand agnostic buyer’s guides.

Tech Tips graphic.

Tech Tip

Have some important events on your LakerApps Calendar that you wished stood out from the rest?  Give it a special color.

While viewing the details of an event, click a color in the “Event Color” section.  A small palette of colors is available.  Save the event.  When you view your calendar, especially in “Day” or “Week” view, you’ll see your event stands out from the rest.