My DE for teachers
This page contains information for teachers on the current My DE site and student information system (a.k.a. Whipple Hill or Blackbaud LMS). Note that Blackbaud (the supplier of software for the My DE website) is frequently updating information and adding features. Therefore, if you find a link in this article that no longer works, please notify Computer Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update this page.
Blackbaud has created a Getting Teachers Started with Online Classrooms guide that has most of the introductory information all teachers will need in order to conduct classes with an online component. (Links to videos are interspersed in the guide.) If you are in the mood to sit back and binge watch a series of videos, Blackbaud has a YouTube playlist of Videos for Classroom Educators.
There is also a My DE for students information page that includes:
How to Subscribe to My DE Schedule on an iPhone or iPad
How to submit an assignment in My DE
This is a curated list of some My DE changes relevant to teachers.
New as of Summer 2022
As part of an Early Adopter Program, D-E teachers now have access to a newly-upgraded, online Assessment Builder tool you can use for online quizzes, checks for understanding, etc. Watch the first 3.5 minutes of this video to get a quick overview of the new features. (The rest of the video is an in-depth tutorial on its use.) Blackbaud is activity collecting feedback on the tool in order to make changes before it is released to all customers in 2023. Contact Bill Campbell if you are willing to provide feedback to Blackbaud in Fall 2022 after trying out this new Assessment version with your students.
The Assignment Annotation Tool has been rewritten. Improved features include the ability to annotate in color, add text anywhere in documents, and print and download files with annotations intact. See this video or the Collecting assignments and providing feedback heading below for more information.
(Click here to show/hide the list of other past changes.)
Teachers can create seating charts for Advisory groups and use them to take attendance.
When creating or editing a seating chart, you can customize where the FRONT label appears. Under the Front label menu, select Top, Bottom, Left, or Right. This feature is available for classes and advisory groups.
In Gradebook, filters are now saved and applied even after the gradebook is closed and reopened.
Teachers can now easily see the days and times when their classes meet when assigning dates for assignments. In the Publishing options section, when teachers click the calendar icon, red dots are displayed on days when the class in question meets. Teachers can also hover over the date to the see start and end times for the class. This functionality is available from the assignment center, section assignment lists, and the gradebook.
Significant changes to Gradebook and some changes Assignment Details. Both are explained in this overview video.
IntroductionClick the Introduction heading above for more details.
The My Day page is optimized for teachers and students to see daily information such as class schedules and allows easy posting of items related to the classroom such as homework assignments. Teaching schedules for the MS and US will appear on the My Day screen during the school year.
Less frequently changing information all employees need is available under Resources.
The toolbar at the top of the page also includes links to commonly used tools such the phone and address directory for students, parents and staff; and pages for your Groups including teams, clubs and advisories.
The toolbars and the entire site have been designed to work on mobile devices in addition to computers. The interface adjusts to the size of your screen without you needing to scroll left and right much. Therefore, the toolbar will sometimes be replaced by a "hamburger" menu icon if the width of your browser or screen does not fit the toolbar. Click or tap the hamburger menu icon to navigate. On a computer, you can often get the full toolbar to display by making your web browser window occupy the entire screen.
There is a Recent Activity stream under News. This is similar to a Facebook news feed, where new information (such as assignments for students and master calendar events for everyone) and other changes to the D-E website will appear as the information is posted. The Recent Activity stream is sorted by date with the latest content at the top so you can easily see what's new at any time.
Note that teacher access to and the ability to reuse content from previous years' classes is available multiple ways including the Find More option under Classes and Groups.
Resources page with less frequently changing information.
Hamburger menu used to navigate on a narrow device like a phone.
Class Pages and AssignmentsClick a subtopic below for more details.
Note on posting/uploading files to a class page: Maximum Audio, Download, and Video file sizes are 1GB.
An explanation of the differences between Bulletin Board and Topics is available here: Bulletin boards versus topics
Differentiated assignments: You can create an assignment for only some students in your class - more details.
Roster(includes student and parent email addresses)
The Roster tab for any class includes directory information for each student in a class, photos of students, a seating chart tool, and email addresses for students and parents of those students.
Click here for a demonstration on how to copy the email addresses of your students and/or their parents. Two popular uses are 1) emailing a group of parents using the most up-to-date address the schools has for parents, and 2) inviting a group of students to a Google Classroom class in bulk.
Topics (on class pages)
The Topics feature allows teachers to organize class materials. Links, downloads, videos, and even just text descriptions can be organized into units or sections as you see fit. You can share a topic across multiple classes, co-curate them with other teachers, and reuse topics from past years.
For details including instructions for using Topics, see Topics and Topic Sharing.
Class web page Bulletin Board
This is the start page for your class. It is similar to but does not have all of the features of a Topics page, You have one Bulletin Board per course section. (You can have multiple Topics for each section.)
Introduction video by our own Mr. Biondolino including some recommended uses
A written overview with images is available in Teachers: Bulletin Board & Topics
More written details are available under Bulletin Boards in Blackbaud Academics help.
Video (4:38)by introduction to Bulletin Boards by Blackboard - includes:
a description of most of the content types you can add to a Bulletin Board or a Topic
how to import a bulletin board from a previous year's class
Collecting assignments and providing feedback
How to post an assignment (video)
Assignment Annotations for feedback to students - In-system submission
My D-E has a native feature (when you create an Assignment) that allows you to collect student work using the In-system submission option. While not required, this also allows a teacher to digitally mark up work with text, highlighting, and drawing (using an iPad or computer mouse) without needing to download a file first. For more information, see this video or written directions in Blackboard help under Assignment Annotations. Look under Supported File Types for the list of documents and image types you can annotate.
In addition, My DE allows you to assess and provide feedback via rubrics you create. See a video with more information on that at Rubrics for Teachers and Students in onCampus (video). There is also written directions at Interactive Assignment Rubrics.
Google Drive integration allows Google Drive commenting features
MyDE In-system Submission also allows students to submit documents directly from Google Drive. Students have two choices: 1) Submit a snapshot copy of the document (e.g. PDF is automatically created), which teachers can markup using the Assignment Annotations feature mentioned above. OR 2) Students can submit a live link to the Google doc.
If a student submits a live link to the Google doc, the teacher can then use all of Google Drive's standard suggesting and comment features. More information on student submission of Google Drive documents is available in the Blackbaud K12 help article Google Drive Assignments.
Here is a tutorial How to Submit a Google Doc via a MyDE assignment demonstrating how a student submits a "live link" to a Google Drive document so the teacher can comment directly on the Doc, Sheet, or Slides.
A second way to collect work electronically via an Assignment is to use the TurnItIn option. It's a bit more complex than using In-system submission (above), but provides a few more features. In addition to collecting and providing markup, the TurnItIn option provides plagiarism checking. Providing teacher feedback also works a bit differently from the In-system submission option. Like in-system submission, TurnItIn Feedback Studio allows teachers to markup documents with text comments (similar to Google Drive comments) and use rubrics. In addition, TurnItIn Feedback Studio also allows voice comments and quick editing marks. There is also a feature called PeerMark that helps manage workflow for peer editing.
Because of My DE integration, you should NOT create an account or classes for you or your students on the Turnitin website. Simply create an assignment (as you probably already do for homework) for your class in My DE and choose the Turnitin option under file submission.
Links to more Turnitin-specific information:
How to create a Turnitin assignment in My DE (video) - See the first 2:20 only.
Student process for submitting a paper (The Turnitin assignment dashboard comes up after a student views the details of a My DE assignment created for use with Turnitin.)
Introduction to providing feedback to students with QuickMarks, comments, and rubrics (video) - The current Feedback Studio interface is a little bit different from this video, but it is mostly correct.
Online class discussions across one or more sections can be assigned to students and optionally graded. See Graded Discussions for the current, text-only, official documentation for Discussions. If you prefer a more visual overview, Getting started: Discussion - Faculty is an older document that should still be accurate.
Features of online discussions in My DE include:
Teachers may host a single discuss across multiple sections of a course.
Teachers can set up a discussion question so that an individual student does not see the answers from others until after that student posts an answer.
Teachers have the option to grade discussion responses but grading does not have to be used.
A dashboard is available to the teacher that shows the total number of responses for each student and the date/time of each student's initial response.
A teacher can delete or just hide a student response. Hidden responses are only seen by the teacher and can be unhidden later.
A discussion can be long-running and posted on a class page or be tied to a posted homework assignment.
Teacher and students log in to My DE to participate in discussions so no additional username or password is required.
How to Add a Discussion:
Online assessments may include short answer, multiple-choice, and essay questions. All except the latter can be automatically graded and a summary of class results for each question is easily accessed making this potentially useful as a quick formative assessment at the beginning or end of a class. For more details see the Assessments Guide in Blackbaud help.
Note that assessments administered in My DE do not prevent students from accessing other programs or websites from their computer or iPad while taking the assessment. If you want to give a more secure assessment, the school has subscribed to the DigiExam service as of May 2019. You can use DigiExam to give more secure assessments on student computers where students are unable to access other resources during the assessment. (This assumes proctoring prevents access to a different device such as a phone or second computer/iPad.)
Early Adopter Program and new Assessment Builder
When you go to create an Assessment in the fall of 2022, you will be given the option to use the new Assessment Builder tool that is accessible only to schools who have opted-in to Blackbaud's EAP program in order to allow teachers to provide feedback directly to Blackbaud. You can still use the old Assessment Builder if you wish. If you use the new tool and are willing to provide feedback, please contact Bill Campbell to provide feedback to Blackbaud while using this preview of the new version. There have been a lot of improvements. See this video for more information and a tutorial on the new Assessment tool. (The first 3.5 minutes is an overview if you are not ready to watch the entire tutorial.)
(Blackbaud is the company who provides and develops My DE.)
A grade book is available to you in My D-E to track student work and calculate various statistics. You also have the option to publish assignment grades to students if you wish. Other features include:
automatically adding grade book entries at the same time as posting homework assignments
viewing individual student analytics and scores including comparisons to class averages for an assignment
calculating overall averages using your choice of methods including weighting assignments by type (e.g. projects 50%, quizzes 20%, etc) or using a total points system
More information is available at My DE grade book
More My DE featuresClick a subtopic below for more details.
The magnifying glass on the dark blue toolbar at the top of the screen searches the entire public website and the My DE information you share with your students. For example, if you know you posted an electronic copy of a handout but don't remember where, you can type in part of the title and search can find it even if you posted it in a previous year.
Find Me Now
Teachers can type in the name of a teacher or student to determine if that person is in class or in between obligations. If the person is in class, the location is displayed. Students can also check to see if a teacher is currently in a scheduled class or possibly available.
Directions for procedures teachers need to do infrequently are posted here including:
How do I access previous or future courses during the summer?
How does a MS teacher view or print a customized parent conference schedule?
How do I access a learning profile?
How do I print a class roster for my sub folder?
How do I print grades and comments?
How do I add an additional teacher to an existing course?