Getting Started with LectureTools

LectureTools is the exciting new lecture supplement that you can use to make your classroom more interactive. It's easy to learn and use, so we've included all you need to know to get started in this guide.

Start with Setting Up Your Course, then browse the other areas to get information and tips you can use before, during, and after your course. In each section, you'll find links to written instructions and video tutorials that will help you get ready to go in no time!

This document is for instructors. If you are a student, please see our Student Information Guide.

Note: When you create a LectureTools course, it will default to a trial license. This means that you will be limited to only two LectureTools courses. To remove this restriction, enter each of your courses (existing and future) and perform the following steps:

  • Click on your name in the top right corner, and select Manage Courses from the drop-down menu.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page that opens, and select the existing UK license
  • Click Save.

This document is for instructors. If you are a student, please see our Student Information Guide.

Setting Up Your Course

Getting an Account

To create a LectureTools account:

Add a Tool Link in your Blackboard course

  • Log in to Blackboard, and enter a course in which you intend to use LectureTools.
  • Make sure edit mode is ON.
  • Choose a content area, such as Course Content, and click on it to open the area. Whichever you select will contain a link which you and your students can use to access LectureTools.
  • Once you are in your selected content area, select LectureTools from the Tools drop-down menu.

  • In the Create LectureTools form that opens, enter LectureTools in the name field and optionally enter a description to explain the link to your students. Note: if you intend to make use of the grading feature in LectureTools, check "yes" under Enable Grading in section 3, then enter a number for Points Possible. This must be done before your Blackboard course is linked with LectureTools.
  • For more rapid access to LectureTools, you may add a link directly to the Course Menu. Select Course Link from the drop-down menu under the "+" button. In the pop-up that appears, name your Course Link LectureTools, and click Browse to find the LectureTools link you created in the steps above (in the example, it is found in Course Content). Remember to check the "Available to Users" box, so your students have access to LectureTools, too!

Creating Your Account

  • Now that you have a link to LectureTools (wherever you have placed it), click on it. In the window that appears, click on Enter LectureTools. This will automatically begin the process of creating your LectureTools account.
  • Please note the email address for which your account is being created, as you may need this information to log in later. Enter and confirm a password as requested.
  • You are now ready to create a new LectureTools course. Please follow the directions for Creating a New Course below.

Creating a New Course

When you access LectureTools from a Blackboard course for the first time, you have a choice of two options:

  • Connect to an existing LectureTools course: You may select this option if you have previously created a LectureTools course without linking it to any particular Blackboard couse, and now wish to do so.
  • Create a new LectureTools course: This is the more common option. Select this if you are creating a new LectureTools course for the Blackboard course you are coming from. By default, the course title is set to your Blackboard course title, but you can change it later.

These instructions will explain how to Create a new LectureTools course. Once this option is selected, a form will appear. Fill this out with your course information. When entering lecture days, don't worry about exceptions to the rule (holidays, extra lectures, etc.). You can add, change, and remove lectures once your course is successfully created.

Adding Students to Your Course

If you have linked your LectureTools course to a Blackboard course by following the directions above, this step is not necessary-- all of your students are automatically enrolled in the LectureTools course the first time they follow the LectureTools link you set up. However, if you would like to grant unenrolled students access to your lectures, these instructional guides will help you do so.

Teaching Your Course

Adding and Editing Lecture Dates

After your course has been created, you can add, delete, or edit individual lecture dates. Keep in mind, however, that you cannot batch edit as you did when creating this course (for example, setting the lecture list to Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 AM).

For minor changes, choose Add & Edit Lecture Dates from the bottom of the lecture date drop-down menu. More detailed instructions can be found in the links below.

To reset all of your lecture dates, you may prefer to start over, creating a new LectureTools course to replace your current one.

Importing Slides

It is possible to import slides from both PowerPoint and Keynote (you must first save Keynote as a PDF file). From the lecture date drop-down menu in the upper right, locate the lecture you wish to set up.

The first time you do this for a given lecture, you will be prompted to title your lecture and optionally import slides.

To import additional slides after a lecture has been set up, enter the lecture page to which you wish to add slides, and select Import Slides from File from the Import Slides drop-down menu.

For more detailed instructions, visit one of the links below.

Interactive Slides

One of the most unique things about LectureTools is the ability to create and use interactive slides. LectureTools can even assign participation grades based on the activities you include in your lectures. Provided below are some tutorials designed to show you how to use the great variety of interactive features available in LectureTools.

The following links contain additional useful slide editing features (non-interactive).


Integrating with Blackboard

Sending Participation Grades to Blackboard

The participation grades generated by LectureTools as your students engage in your lecture activities can be exported to a single grade column in Blackboard. Note: this means if you want to keep your students updated on their participation grade through the semester, you will have to export multiple times, and select ALL lecture dates you wish to include every time you export.

First, you will need to log in to LectureTools from your Blackboard course site. Once logged in, you will need to click the Assess tab from the course menu. Choose Activity answers, and then select Activity participation.

Each column represents specific lectures, with total activities and percentage of participation listed for each lecture, sorted by date. Using the check boxes above each colum, you can select the sets of data you wish to send to Blackboard. Note: Checking or unchecking boxes will adjust each student’s total score. The total score column is what will be sent to Blackboard as a percentage for each student.

Once the total score column has all of the appropriate lectures included, click Send Total to LMS. A dialog box will appear to confirm your included lectures, including a reminder to select all lecture dates you wish to be included in the participation grade.

In the Blackboard Grade Center, you can configure the LectureTools column in the Column Information menu to be included in Grade Center calculations, be visible to students, and/or make statistics (average and median) available to students.

Note: For the column to grade students correctly, your Primary Display must be set to Percentage and the Points Possible must be 1.