Does anyone know if the To Do module has been fixed so that it is accurately showing all due dates? We just recently updated our installment to Service Pack 7 but I can't find any information indicating the To Do module is working accurately.
What specific problem are you having with due dates in "To Do"?
The problem is related to the To Do module not always picking up due dates even if it meets all the criteria. That is the item is available, more than 20 minutes has passed since the item was created and the user is a student. I remember reading recommendations that if it didn't pick it up you could remove the due date and then plug-in back sometimes that would trigger it to feed into the to do module. So again the issue was that not every item was being populated in the module even though everything indicated that it should be displaying to the student.
Does this problem happen consistently with a particular user/account, or with all students for a particular item? The student gets notified in "To Do" based in part on their own individual notification settings, so it's worth making sure those notification settings include notifications about items being due and being overdue for that particular person and class.
Just to confirm, though--what kinds of "items" are you talking about? Tests or assignments with the due date set, or stand-alone grade center columns with a due date attached?
I'm trying to see if I can duplicate the behavior on my newly-upgraded SP7 HF1 server.
All students for a particular item with the module listed on the home page (module page) of the course.
I had a handful of faculty reporting this issue in our Fall pilot in which we only had 35 faculty teaching in 9.1 total. They had their students demonstrate it wasn't working and I then logged in with my own "dummy" student (has the same role as all students) and confirmed that it was not picking up all of them.
These were assignments primarily although there may have been some tests.
Thank you for your help. It was sproadic in that maybe 1 out of 10 items didn't populate but I have been telling faculty to be leery of this module and I'd like to tell them its a great thing without problems.
I'd love to be able to tell faculty the same thing, but the way the "To Do" functionality is implemented through the Notification System leaves a whole lot to be desired. What *should* happen is that, instead of being run through the Notification System, due dates get added to a relatively static calendar-type "To Do" list or integrated with the course calendar (which I think is on the horizon at some point). The Notification System should only come into play if students want to get email/SMS/etc. reminders or notifications along the lines of "What's New".
That said, I wasn't quite able to reproduce the behavior you describe on my server. If I added a new item with a new due date set to be tomorrow, that notification did not become visible for a student who had been enrolled in the course a long time, but if I took them out of the course and added them back in, the item was visible in "To Do".
I'm pretty sure the notifications are handled differently depending on whether the student is in the course when the due date is added, or whether the student is added to a course that already has due dates in place, and the problems that may prevent the first type of student from getting a notification do not necessarily impact the second type--though obviously both are a problem! There seem to be synchronization issues that can screw things up for the first group, but the second group it should simply be a question of checking the due dates that are already in place when the student is enrolled.
So, if you added your "dummy" student to the class and didn't see some items in To Do after that, it's worth confirming that they were in fact properly set up with due dates, which is not at all the same as availability dates. To do that, I'd look at the Grade Center columns using GC > Manage > Column Organization, and check the due dates there.
Thank you again for your time, this response will help me troubleshoot with faculty. I will continue to recommend Faculty do not rely solely upon the To Do module to communicate due dates and hope for a better solution down the road.
I've been doing some more testing, and here's the behavior I've seen, at least in SP7HF1:
1) Anything that's already in the course when the student is enrolled will generate a notification in "To Do" or "What's New", if appropriate.
2) Anything added to the course after the student has been enrolled does not generate a notification in either "To Do" or "What's New", even after the bb.distribution.sendnotification job that runs every 20 minutes has completed.
While notifications were a little flakey for us in SP5, aside from the problem of "To Do" items expiring according to the "Notification Cleanup" time it generally worked OK. So, this is a new problem we're seeing in SP7. I've opened a ticket with Blackboard on it, and I'd suggestion you (or your admin) also do this.
I apologize for hijacking this, but I figured I wouldn't make another post about it.
I'm on SP6, not 7, and having a similar problem. I enrolled a test student into a course where the professor is complaing student's can't see anything in the To Do box. I tested it and I too cannot see anything in there from the test student account. I also then created a brand new course to see if anything would appear, and I still receive nothing with the assignment. I tagged the grade center column with the due date as well in both sections, and nothing.
Everything about it looks fine to me, and I didn't encounter this problem with SP4.
SUNY Cortland's instructional designer
Besides 'To Do", do other types of notifications like "What' New" work?
In this case, no.So I tried it in a sample box that I used last semester (SP4), and the old material popped up, but anything new that I tried created didn't appear, for both assignment and item.
Here: The things in "What's New" were posted LAST semester on SP4. Now we're on SP6, and nothing...
EDIT:Just tried a non-graded discussion, and that post appeared immediately.
You have me a little confused with your mention of a "sample box" running SP4--I can't tell which server you're talking about when you're describing the behavior.
So,here are the troubleshooting steps I would go through for "To Do":
1) On your SP6 server, are notifications turned on under Admin Panel > Notifications > Notification Collection?
2) Are you seeing other types of notifications being generated, such as newly-posted content items appearing under "What's New"? Remember, it can take up to 20 minutes for a notification to be posted. This would tell you that the notification system is indeed running.
3) Are your course default notifications settings (Admin Panel > Course Settings > Default Notification Settings) configured so that users get dashboard notifications about items, surveys, and tests being due and/or overdue is set to "Default on" or "Always on"?
For the specific course:
4) Make sure the instructor is not looking a "To Do" with their own instructor account, since only students see things in "To Do".
5) Do the grade center columns have "Due dates" set? Those are where "To Do" entries come from, and if there are no due dates there are no "To Do" entries. Also, make sure the items in question are visible/available to students.
6) If you enroll a test student in the course, do existing due dates appear in "To Do"?
Hmm, perhaps I just didn't explain it well.
Currently, we have no SP4 server. We upgraded in December to SP6.
I have 3 courses that I'm working with:
A: Newly created course to test problem (Created in SP6)
B: Faculty's course they're currently working in and experiencing said problem (Created in SP6)
C: Sample "sandbox" course from last semester (Created in SP4, but I'm running SP6)
In course A, I enrolled myself (Administrator role) and my test student (Student role). I created a discussion board and an assignment with a due date and log in as the test student. In What's New, only the discussion board appears. In To Do, nothing appears.
In course B, the students do not see the assignment with a due date in "To Do"
In course C, I enrolled myself and the test student. I created a discussion board and an assignment with a due date and log in as the test student. In "What's New", I see everything from last semester, including all assignments that were created in the "What's New", and all in the "To Do" as well. Of the two items created today (Assignment and Discussion), I only see the discussion in "What's New", but nothing about the assignment at all.
To answer your questions:1. Yes.
4. Done, as I've tested it from the test student account as well.
6. Yes, but only those made in SP4. I read your post about the student enrolling AFTER the assignment was made, and I unenrolled from course A and then put the student back in, and saw nothing yet again.
Also, no big deal, but I'm John. :-)
Ok, so you've established that the notification system is up and running, but only producing notifications for some kinds of events (new discussion posts) and not others (new assignment, new to do item).
So, I'll refer back to #3 on my list. What exactly are your course default notification settings for things like "Assignment Available" and "Assignment Due"? Are they set to "Default On", or to "Always On"? We ran across a bug going from SP5 to SP7 where one user could turn off a particular notification and it would turn it off for other users, though I was never able to determine the exact scope of the problem, nor do I know if it affects SP6 as well. The issue is identified as LRNSI-6134, and Blackboard is working on a patch, but we've been working around it by changing those default notification settings from "Default On" to "Always On". If yours are set to "Default On", you might try changing them to the see if it makes a difference--or go and change the individual notification settings for the user you're testing with, just to be sure they are set to receive those notifications. You might also open a ticket with Blackboard and reference LRNSI-6134, to find out if it impacts you.
So here's the verdict as to that last run.
I changed it to always on, and I only checked two courses, the professor's course and the one I just made.
I enrolled my test-student into the professor's course, and saw nothing in "to do"
I did the same to my course, and made the assignment AFTER enrolling the student... BINGO!
I'm going to try a few things in that professor's course and if anything funky comes up, then I'll let you know. Thanks a bunch.
Also, no worries about the name. You'll at least know now who to blame when you get migraines from too many questions!
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