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 Blackboard.matc.edu directly to access your courses.maintenance-bots

Upcoming Blackboard Workshop: Using SafeAssign for Plagiarism Detection

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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.

PLEASE NOTE!

  • 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

Last Call for Last Fall – Archive FA2014 Courses Before End of September!

  Blackboard courses from last fall will be deleted September 30th!  

Download Your Course Files

Did you teach in the Fall of 2013? Be sure to download your FA2014 courses and Grade Center files before they are permanently deleted from Blackboard on September 30th at 8AM (CST).

Follow these instructions so that you have a copy of your course materials and grade center information for your future use:

 BEST PRACTICE FOR SAVING COURSES 

If you do not have a “master copy” of your course permanently stored on the Blackboard system,  please complete the “Personal Master” request form and import your archived course file into it for future use and revision.

WARNING

Due to the changes in username formats, servers, and service packs that have happened since June of 2013,  requests for old course archives may be time-consuming and restorations may be unsuccessful. Downloading an archive of your courses and grade centers NOW ensures that you will have easy access to them LATER!

Introducing Qwickly – A New Tool for Faculty

On the Employee tab in Blackboard, faculty will now find a Qwickly module containing tools to simplify the workflow of common tasks. In just a few mouse clicks, you can manage course availability and send class announcements or emails from one central location. To learn more about this new feature, please see our simple tutorial.

BITS Webinar Follow-Up: Wikis, Blogs, Discussion Board and Journals

This is a quick list of how members of the webinar chat are using each tool discussed:

  • “My students often create personal pages within Wikis. I use the first assignment as a template for students to introduce themselves to the class…And, I set guidelines for participation which is very helpful.”
  • “I’ve used a Blog to have students state a recommendation based on the research they’ve done on a topic related to education curriculum.”
  • “We use journals for an internship supplement course where students post about their internship experience and the instructor guides them through that experience.”
  • “Use discussions to compare and contrast readings assigned for the module.”

Here is the link to the Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series webinar, Wikis, Blogs, Forums and Journals.

Here is the link to the Blackboard recording.