Blackboard Webinar: Why Can They Print? A Conversation About Online Testing


Faculty concerned about cheating in online testing are encouraged to attend this free 1-hour webinar made available by the Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series program.

To attend the webinar, come to the Faculty Innovation Center on Thursday April 21st from 1-2 PM (CT) in room M201A or use the registration link below to view the webinar on your own computer.

Register for the Webinar Here




Discouraging Cheating in Online Tests

In online courses, where a student completes a test off-campus without instructor supervision, online tests must be considered as open-book tests because students often have access to a wide variety of information resources. Furthermore, students with a mobile device would still be able to take pictures of the test questions as displayed on the computer monitor.

Although instructors may enable Respondus Lockdown Browser protections on a test in Blackboard to prevent students from printing a test, this software is meant to be used in proctored classroom environments only.

Faculty concerned about cheating in online testing are encouraged to consider these more effective countermeasures when creating their tests in Blackboard:

  • Create a large pool of test questions (100 or more) and design the test to pull random questions from the pool. That way, no two students will have the same test questions or questions in the same order.
  • When deploying a test to a course, select the “Set Timer” and “Auto-Submit” options to limit the amount of time students have to complete the test once opened. Once the test session reaches its end, the student’s test attempt will automatically submit itself.  This technique assumes that students who are prepared for the test will be able to complete it within the constraints of the timed session, but please remember to advise students of the time restraints so that they may plan accordingly.
  • To discourage students who have completed a test from sharing correct answers with classmates who have not taken the test, set the test’s feedback options to display only the student’s test score after submission.  After all students have been graded, you may edit the test’s Test Options to show students their submitted answers, correct answers, and feedback.
  • Update or add new test questions to your pools each time you teach the course so that your tests will be different each year. This is an important countermeasure to students sharing the test questions and answers that they recall from memory with new students.

To review how to build a test in Blackboard, watch the videos in this training playlist

Free Webinar – Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Blackboard Learn 9.1 Could Do

Faculty who teach online or use Blackboard to support student success are encouraged to view the FREE webinars provided by the Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series (BITS) for best-practice tips and instructional technology training.

The first free webinar, Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Learn 9.1 Could Do, will be offered on Thursday January 21st from 2-3 PM (EST) /1-2 PM (CST).


Faculty may use the link below to register for the webinar to view on their own:


Quick Start Guide for New Hires

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Newly hired faculty may review the self-paced lessons provided here for a rudimentary orientation to using Blackboard to provide their syllabi and course content to students. Please be advised that the lessons provided here are NOT a substitute for completing the three (3) Blackboard training courses

To get started, Blackboard Quick Start Training for New Hires.

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Blackboard’s Video Everywhere Tool Not Available

YouTube IconAfter January 16, 2016, Google plans to drop support for its record webcam video to YouTube feature.  As a result, Blackboard’s Video Everywhere tool  has ceased functioning and has become unavailable in Blackboard’s content editor. Blackboard is aware of this change to the Google API and is looking for a solution to apply in a future update.

Workaround Instructions

Instructors may record videos through these free external tools:

Instructors may upload videos they have recorded using external tools to YouTube and then share their YouTube videos through link or embed code in their courses in Blackboard. To learn more about these processes, please see:

For additional known issue statements and workarounds, please see MATC’s Faculty Blackboard Support site.

What Faculty Can Do to Help Students Be Successful in Their Courses

Success BadgeAll semester classes are given a course shell in Blackboard through an automated process that starts with Course Scheduling and INFOnline. At minimum, faculty are required to add their course syllabi to their course sections in Blackboard and make them available to students.

However, you may use your course sites to facilitate communication, provide frequent grade feedback, and share supplemental materials with students. We recommend that faculty perform these best practices to support all students in their learning.

Post Handouts and Supplemental Materials in Blackboard

Use your course’s tools for sharing files and links to instructional content with students. Be sure to explain how content and activities connect to learning objectives.

Use Communication Tools Regularly

Use your course’s Announcements tool to notify students of course events and schedule
reminders. Be sure to check your MATC Gmail frequently. Reply to student email within 24 to 48 hours of receipt.

To foster a sense of community and open communication, create a Discussion Board forum in the course for students to post questions they may have as the course progresses. Respond to student questions in the forum, but also direct students to reply to their peers.

Post Grades and Feedback in a Timely Manner

Use your course’s Grade Center to post grades and feedback. Communicate to students the expected turn-around time for grades. It is a best practice to provide grades and feedback to students one (1) week after students submit their work. Showing Grades to Students through the My Grades tool allows students to monitor their progress throughout the course.

Make Students Aware of Academic Resources

Share these support resources with students in your courses:

Blackboard Basics – Beginning the Semester Orientation

In this brief orientation video, faculty will review essential tasks to prepare themselves for teaching with Blackboard. Topics covered include: How to log into Blackboard and access courses; methods of adding materials to a semester course shell; the key communication tools faculty should use to support students in their learning; and resources that are available to faculty and students to support their use of Blackboard.

Additional Resources


COSMO / INFONline OUTAGE Sunday 6/28/2015

Per the IT Department, COSMO and INFOnline will be unavailable on Sunday June 28th from 7:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. CST.

Due to this scheduled outage, the MATC Portal’s Blackboard course link module will be unavailable. Please log into directly to access your courses.maintenance-bots

Upcoming Blackboard Workshop: Using SafeAssign for Plagiarism Detection


All faculty members are invited to attend any of the following workshops to learn how to use Blackboard tools to make instruction more efficient and student learning experiences more effective. No registration is required, simply attend the sessions of your choice.

An Introduction to Using Blackboard’s SafeAssign for Plagiarism Detection

Faculty interested in learning about using Blackboard’s plagiarism evaluation service to create assignments that automatically evaluate submitted student works for plagiarism are strongly encouraged to attend this one-hour drop-in training session.

Date & Time Location Leader
Thurs. May 14th, 10:30-11:30 AM Milwaukee Campus, M201A Mernathan Sykes

For additional information about SafeAssign, please see our blog post Using Blackboard’s SafeAssign for Plagiarism Detection in Assignments.

Using Blackboard’s SafeAssign for Plagiarism Detection in Assignments

As of January 2015, SafeAssign, Blackboard’s third-party plagiarism evaluation service, has been integrated with the standard Blackboard Assignment. It is no longer a separate type of content. When an instructor creates a regular Blackboard Assignment, the instructor has the option to enable SafeAssign’s Plagiarism Tools to automatically scan and compare the files that a student submits for originality.

Please note that SafeAssign does not offer conclusive proof of plagiarism; further investigation by the instructor is required. SafeAssign is best used to discourage plagiarism in student works and to create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources.

To learn more about creating Assignments that automatically assess for plagiarism, please review the following training videos and resources.

Creating an Assignment that Uses SafeAssign

Keep reading to learn how students submit Assignments that use SafeAssign. Continue reading

Blackboard Learn+: Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Learning

Blackboard Learn+: Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Learning

A stand-alone course for instructors and content developers that explores what accessibility and universal design mean and how they can be applied to online learning.

This course is meant as a stepping off point for building online courses that are usable and accessible. The content is intended to inspire further exploration and advocacy for designing materials that benefit students and help them achieve their educational goals.

Go through the material presented at your own pace. There is no set order or dependencies. Use the Course Menu links to access the content and resources. The Syllabus gives you the course goals and suggested reading material. The Course Content is organized into four modules:

  • Universal Design
  • Accessibility
  • Assistive Technology
  • Learning Styles

Start off by watching the video Campus Leaders Talk About Accessibility, linked below, to gain a perspective of how executives are thinking about accessibility and what drives them to change. How can you use these ideas to promote accessibility at your institution? Feel free to share your experiences on the Discussion Board.

Remember to Perform the Blackboard End of Semester Process

download-imgAt the end of each semester, instructors teaching within Blackboard  must perform a series of tasks called the End of the Semester Process. This process is helpful for preserving a full record of an instructor’s Blackboard course content, Grade Center, and student work in an archive file.


  • It is the instructor’s responsibility to archive each of the courses they have taught so that content and grade information can be accessed at a later date!
  • Due to the scheduled maintenance upgrade at the end of December, Blackboard will be unavailable to faculty and students from December 30th through January 1st.  Blackboard will become available again on January 2nd (unless otherwise communicated).

If you have any questions about performing the tasks in this process, please attend any of our upcoming End of the Semester Process Workshops.

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Prevent Cheating During Exams

Attend an Upcoming Webinar

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser used by hundreds of institutions to lock down a computer during an online exam. When using LockDown Browser, students can’t print, copy, visit other websites, or use other applications during an online test.

These sessions will include an overview and demonstration of LockDown Browser. There will also be a brief overview of Respondus Monitor. Please note: MATC will not adopt Respondus Monitor.

Instructor Training: LockDown Browser

“Instructor Training for LockDown Browser: Prevent Cheating During Exams”

This comprehensive training webinar is intended for instructors who plan to use LockDown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor with online exams. The session is 45 minutes, plus a Q&A period at the end. Lockdown Browser integrates with Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Sakai, and ANGEL.

McGraw Hill Connect Scheduled Maintenance – Saturday October 11th

McGraw-Hill Connect will be performing a scheduled maintenance update on Saturday October 11th from 4AM to 9AM (Central Time).  During that time, McGraw Hill Connect content will be temporarily unavailable at their website and in MATC’s Blackboard.  Be sure to visit the Connect Blog following the update for more details.

No other services will be affected.

Webinar Series: How to Pair Courses through the McGraw-Hill Connect Building Block


McGraw-Hill’s Digital Success Team is hosting a faculty webinar series to demonstrate how to pair McGraw-Hill Connect and Blackboard Learn courses using the McGraw-Hill Connect building block. This will allow single-sign on access to Connect through a Blackboard Learn course, as well as automatic grade synchronization from Connect into the Blackboard Learn gradebook.

Let your faculty know about this great resource to kick off the school year. 

Webinar Schedule
September 10 at 2:00pm CT
September 15 at 1:00pm CT