Taskstream

taskstream logo

TaskStream is the College of Education's assessment system.  TaskStream is a Web-based software and support system that provides services to effectively plan and manage the College of Education’s assessment process. This system also helps us to streamline assessments throughout the college, demonstrate achievement of professional, state, and national standards, and provides data to ensure the continuous improvement of our education programs. This system was selected as the assessment system by the College of Education faculty after much research because of its effectiveness.


TaskStream can also be referred to as a Web-based electronic portfolio application that allows students to upload and share selected work via the World Wide Web. TaskStream also has tools which allow students to create standards-based lesson plans, evaluation rubrics, and entire instructional units.

      

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to purchase TaskStream?

  • All enrolled student in the College of Education are required to purchase and register on Taskstream.

How many semesters/years do I have to purchase TaskStream?

  • All students required to have an account will be required to maintain an active TaskStream account until program completion and/or graduation.

Where can I purchase TaskStream Key Code? How much does it cost?

  • Key Codes are free for all students.  Key Code will be included on the syllabus you will receive from your instructor every semester.  

How do I receive my TaskStream username and password?

  • Once you subscribe online, TaskStream will e-mail your account access information to the e-mail address you designated during the subscription process.


What happens to my work once it is uploaded?

  • You are the owner of your work and of any portfolios you create in TaskStream. Affiliates and employees of Bowie State University (staff, faculty, administrators, etc.) DO NOT have access to your account or any of your portfolios, unless you actively share your work with them. Further, your portfolios can be downloaded locally if you wish to cancel your TaskStream subscription.

How many assignment/portfolio can I have or upload?

  • As a TaskStream subscriber, you may upload an unlimited number of assignment/portfolios, as long as you stay within the 500 MB storage limit that comes with your account. If you need more space, it can be purchased separately. (Click on “Subscribe/Renew Today”).

Will my Bulldog, Angel and BSU email username and password work automatically with TaskStream?

  • No. Your TaskStream account is distinct and separate and is not affiliated or connected to any accounts at Bowie State University. You may choose to use your My BSU username and password when you subscribe to TaskStream ... this is your decision.

What can I upload to my TaskStream account?

  • Generally, you are able to upload word document files, image files, audio files, video files, and Web page files that are associated with your teacher education program. For additional information, please consult your End Users License Agreement associated with your subscription. Remember that basic subscriptions come with 500 MB of storage, so use this space judiciously.

 

Technical Questions

Why do I not receive emails from TaskStream?

  • It could be that your email program is interpreting incoming TaskStream mail as “spam,” which is a term for junk mail. Spam is not typically stored in your inbox, but rather in a folder specifically designed to hold unwanted mail. Begin by checking your unwanted mail folder for TaskStream-related emails. Secondly, examine your mail options and check for spam-blocking software. If possible, add TaskStream as an “accepted” source for emails. Add TaskStream_subscriptions@TaskStream.com and help@TaskStream.com to your address book.

I have downloaded a lesson attachment, but I cannot open it. What is wrong?

  • There can be a number of causes of such a situation. The most common cause is that your computer does not have the software application that created the file. For example, if you download a student sample product attachment that was created in Inspiration, you need a copy of this software application to be able to open the sample.

    Some software applications provide a trial or viewer version of the program that you can download from the Web and use to open the file that you downloaded from TaskStream. For example, if you do not own Microsoft Word, you can download a Word Viewer from Microsoft that will allow you to open and view Word files.

How do I print my work?

  • To print pages, you need to make sure to select the frame that contains the information you want to print. To select a frame, click somewhere on the page with the information you want to print and then click “File” on your menu bar and select “Print.” You can also click the print icon on your browser's toolbar or right click somewhere on the page that contains the information you want to print and select “Print” from the resulting pop-up menu.

What is a browser? Does it matter which one I use for accessing TaskStream?

  • Your browser (such as Firefox, Netscape or Internet Explorer) is a computer application that allows you to access and view various websites on the Internet. TaskStream is a highly dynamic environment that responds slightly differently to each browser.

Supported Browsers – PC:
Internet Explorer 5.0 and above
Netscape 7.x 
AOL 6.0 and above
FireFox 1.0 and above

Supported Browsers – Mac:
Internet Explorer 5.0 and above
Netscape 7.0 and above
AOL 10.3 for OS X
FireFox 1.0 and above
Safari 1.0 and above

Optimal Browsers – PC:
Internet Explorer 5.0 and above
Netscape 7.0
AOL 9.0 and above
FireFox 1.0 and above

Optimal Browsers – Mac:
Netscape 7.0 and above
AOL 10.3 for OS X
FireFox 1.0
Safari 1.2

How can I tell what browser I have?

  • Depending on your browser and platform (PC/MAC), follow the directions below:

To find out what version of Netscape Communicator is being used on a PC: 
1. Open Netscape Communicator
2. Click “Help” on the tool bar 
3. Click “About Communicator” 
4. A new screen will appear that indicates the version of Netscape Communicator being used.

To find out what version of Netscape Communicator is being used on a Mac: 
1. Open Netscape Communicator
2. Click the Apple icon, located on the upper left corner of your screen
3. Click “About Communicator” 
4. A new screen will appear that indicates the version of Netscape Communicator being used.

To find out what version of Internet Explorer is being used on a PC: 
1. Open Internet Explorer
2. Click “Help” on the tool bar
3. Click “About Internet Explorer” 
4. A new window named About Internet Explorer will pop up that indicates what version of Internet Explorer is being used.

To find out what version of Internet Explorer is being used on a Mac: 
1. Open Internet Explorer
2. Click the Apple icon, located on the upper left corner of your screen 
3. Click “About Internet Explorer” 
4. A new window named About Internet Explorer will pop up that indicates what version of Internet Explorer is being used.

To find out what version of AOL is being used on a PC: 
1. Open AOL
2. Click “Help” on the tool bar 
3. Click “About America Online” 
4. A pop-up window will come up on your screen that indicates what version of AOL is being used.

To find out what version of AOL is being used on a Mac: 
1. Open AOL
2. Click the Apple icon, located on the upper left corner of your screen
3. Click “About America Online” 
4. A new window named About America Online will pop up that indicates the AOL version that is being used.

I have a pop-up blocker enabled in my Web browser. Will it affect my use of TaskStream?

  • Yes. TaskStream utilizes pop-up windows in order to deliver our tools in the most efficient manner possible. Luckily, in most browsers TaskStream can be added as an “accepted site.” This will allow TaskStream’s pop-up windows to appear as you browse www.TaskStream.com. The instructions for your specific pop-up blocker can be found below. Please keep in mind that your pop-up blocking software may be installed on your computer as a separate piece of software or as part of a security software package.

Internet Explorer (XP SP2)
Click “Tools” in the IE menu bar 
Select “Pop-up Blocker” and then “Pop-up Blocker Settings” 
Enter ”*.TaskStream.com” in the “address of website to allow” text box, and click the “Add” button.

Yahoo 
Click the pop-up icon on the Yahoo toolbar 
Select “Always allow pop-ups from” 
A list appears of pop-ups that were blocked during the current session. 
Highlight TaskStream.com’s website and click the “Allow” button.

Google 
Click the pop-up blocker button on the Google toolbar 
The current webpage will re-load and the pop-up blocker button should say “Site pop-ups allowed.”

MSN 
Click the “Options” button on the MSN toolbar 
Click the “Pop-up Guard Settings” button 
Click the “Allow list” tab 
Enter “http://www.TaskStream.com” in the text field and click the “Add” button 
Click the “OK” button the bottom of the page

Earthlink 
Click the “Earthlink Pop-Up Blocker” button on the toolbar 
Select the “Always allow pop-ups for this Web site” option

AOL 
Go to AOL keyword: Pop-up Preferences 
Enable the “Suppress pop-ups from web sites” checkbox 
Enter http://www.TaskStream.com in the “Allow only these sites” text box, and click the “Add” button 
Click the “Save” button

Why is my computer unable to get pop-ups from TaskStream.com?

  • If pop-up windows do not appear within TaskStream, more than likely you have a pop-up blocker installed on your system. A pop-up blocker prevents websites from opening additional windows while you surf. TaskStream employs pop-up windows to make our tools easier to use. To allow pop-up windows from TaskStream, first find out what type of pop-up blocker is installed. The instructions for your specific pop-up blocker can be found here. Please keep in mind that your pop-up blocking software may be installed on your computer as a separate piece of software or as part of a security software package.

When I click on a button it seems as if nothing ever occurs, why is this happening?

  • Certain Web browsers have software that regulates the creation of new windows within a website, this software is commonly referred to as “pop-up blockers.” If you’re not getting any pop-up windows, more than likely you have a pop-up blocker installed on your system. TaskStream employs pop-up windows to make our tools easier to use. To allow pop-up windows from TaskStream, first find out what type of pop-up blocker is installed. The instructions for your specific pop-up blocker can be found here.

What if my browser shows a message that says I need "JavaScript"?

  • TaskStream uses JavaScript to enhance the interactivity and functionality of our site. Your Web browser comes with JavaScript capability. If you have received this message, it means that your browser's JavaScript feature has been disabled. You will have to manually enable this feature and restart your browser. Depending on your browser, follow the directions below:

Netscape Navigator 
1. Click "Edit" on the menu bar 
2. Click "Preferences" 
3. Select "Advanced" 
4. Check the "Enable JavaScript" checkbox 
5. Click "OK"

Internet Explorer 4.x 
1. Click "View" on the menu bar 
2. Click "Internet Options" 
3. Click the "Advanced" tab 
4. Find the Java VM section 
5. Check the "Java JIT Compiler enabled" box 
6. Click "OK"

Internet Explorer 5.x 
1. Click "Tools" on the menu bar 
2. Click "Internet Options" 
3. Click the "Advanced" tab 
4. Find the Microsoft VM section 
5. Check the "Java JIT Compiler enabled" box 
6. Click “OK”

This issue may also be caused by certain security software. You may need to disable or adjust your preferences on your computer while working in TaskStream.


What do I do if my page does not load properly?

  • Sometimes you may navigate to a page and as it loads a picture or text might be missing or seem out of place. You can try to reload the page by clicking the “Reload/Refresh” button on your browser.

How can I get my TS (Instant) Messenger to chime?

  • In order to enable the sound feature, your computer must be equipped with sound card/speakers, and either a Flash or QuickTime plugin. Additionally, the following configurations do not support this feature: IE 4.0-4.5 (MAC), AOL All versions (MAC).

To download the Flash plugin, go to the Macromedia website, and follow their download instructions. It may take a few minutes to install.

To download the QuickTime plugin, go to the Quicktime website, and follow their download instructions. It may take a few minutes to install.

What does it mean when I get an "Error 404, Page/File not found" message?

  • When browsing the World Wide Web, there are many reasons why you might see such a message. Most likely the link you clicked or the URL (web address) you typed in no longer exists, has been changed, or is no longer valid. Make sure the URL that was entered is correct and try again. If you received this message in TaskStream please contact us.

Which is the better connection for using TaskStream: dial-up or broadband?

  • TaskStream’s site performs under both conditions; however, because broadband operates at least 15-50 times faster than dial-up, broadband is the preferred connection type.

When I am viewing TaskStream's website with an increased font size setting, why do certain pages continue to display in small fonts?

  • Some TaskStream pages disregard the increased font size setting because it would lead to a loss of tool functionality. An increased font size setting tends to ‘shift’ page elements, often times ‘hiding’ buttons and/or tabs critical for work completion. 

    If your browser text size setting is set at Larger or Largest, you may have difficulty viewing the TaskStream site. Changing the text size setting to Medium will ensure that the entire TaskStream site is visible. To make the text size smaller, follow the directions for your browser. 
    To reduce the font size in AOL: 

    Minimize the AOL browser window 
    Open Internet Explorer 
    Follow directions below for Internet Explorer. 
    Restore AOL and refresh the page

To reduce the default font size of Internet Explorer: 
Go to the View menu 
Click on “Text Size” 
Select “Medium”

To reduce the default font size of Netscape Communicator, use either Ctrl-[ or: 
Go to the Edit menu 
Select “Preferences” 
Go to the Appearance -> Fonts Category 
On the line that says “Variable Width Font,” set the size to 10

Is TaskStream's site accessible to users with disabilities?

  • TaskStream is committed not only to providing quality tool sets, but also to making those tool sets available to everyone with Internet access. We have begun the process of making our site compliant with Web Accessibility standards, and will be releasing a compliant version of our tool set in the near future. We thank you for your patience while we work on improving the TaskStream experience for all users.

Why does the TaskStream Messenger icon flash (blink) all the time?

  • The section of the menu bar with the TaskStream Messenger icon is programmed to check every ten seconds to see if you have received any instant messages and to announce if you have received one. The flash occurs because the frame holding the icon is reloading to check for messages; however, if the icon is blinking at a fast pace then it is informing you that you have received an instant message.

My file is too large to upload. What can I do to reduce the size of the file?

  • The following tips on optimizing files should help reduce file size: 

    • When using a scanner, the scanning resolution determines the size of the scanned image. Use a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi) to get a life-size image when displayed on the screens of most computers. Since computer screens display only about 72 pixels per inch, using a resolution higher than this will make your file size unnecessarily large.   Use digital imaging software to crop unnecessary parts of the image. Note: Cropping the image in PowerPoint will not reduce the file size. 

    • Use .gif format when you do not need a lot of colors. For example, simple line drawings, shapes, and small icons work well in this format. You can optimize .gif images by reducing the number of colors. The fewer colors you use, the smaller the file size will be. Start with 256 colors, and reduce the number of colors until just before you notice a difference in the image. Note: Save your original images separately.

    • Use .jpg format, when you are working with photographs. You can optimize .jpg images by using a lower quality choice when prompted. The default save for a .jpg in most programs will be set to 10, the highest quality. You can try reducing it to a smaller number, depending on the necessity of a sharp image for your project. The lower the quality, the smaller the file size will be. Start with the maximum quality and reduce the image quality until just before you notice a difference in the image. Note: Save your original images separately!

    • Reduce image size using a graphics-editing program (such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Photo Editor). The smaller the dimensions of the image, the smaller the file size will be. Since computer screens display only about 72 pixels per inch, using a resolution higher than this will make your file size unnecessarily large. When you resize the image in a program such as PowerPoint, you are only making the picture appear smaller on the screen—the actual file size of the image has not been reduced at all. 

    • Graphics in PowerPoint: Individual images should be no larger than 200 KB whenever possible. Maximum size of all the images in the presentation should be no more than 4 MB. Whenever possible, include a blank slide at the beginning of the presentation. It would seem as though adding a blank slide at the beginning of a presentation would increase file size; however, the opposite is true. The blank slide serves as the preview image—the image PowerPoint displays when you select a file in the “Open dialog” box. Since a blank slide is far less complex than the real first slide, the preview image is much smaller, thereby reducing the size of the presentation file. If you open and save a PowerPoint presentation without making any changes, the file size may increase. Repeating this process will result in file size increases up to 300% of the original file. To fix this problem: From the Tools menu, click “Options,” on the “Save” tab, click to clear the “Allow Fast Saves” check box, click “OK,” and save your presentation. 

I uploaded a file with my Mac. Now the attached file will not open. What should I do?

  • An error of this nature may occur if the document has been saved and then uploaded without the proper file extension because of the way Mac handles files and file extensions. We recommend you remove the file from your folio, and then re-save it to your computer, ensuring that the extension is included in the document path. Once this has been done, you should re-attach the file to your folio and then re-submit the work product for evaluation.

Can I have TaskStream open in more than one window at the same time?

  • At times, subscribers may find that they wish to have TaskStream open in two distinct windows. However, because of a known issue with multiple instances of TaskStream, you should not open a second instance of TaskStream, especially to copy work from one window to another. This may cause permanent loss of data to occur. TaskStream expects to have this issue resolved in the near future.

 

TaskStream Tutorial Manuals
[Currently being updated -- To Be Posted]

 

Related Links

TaskStream

Blackboard

 

Contact/Support  Information


If you have questions not addressed above, please contact:

Oladayo Oyeyiola
Center for Assessment, Accreditation and Retention
301-860-3168
ooyeyiola@bowiestate.edu

OR

TaskStream Mentoring Services
1-800-311-5656
help@taskstream.com