Welcome back to Blackboard News You Can Use, your brief monthly newsletter to help you promote student success through MATC’s online learning environment, Blackboard Learn. In this edition, we share news and resources to support your teaching practice.
Faculty Support and Training
The faculty liaisons are your first point of contact for Blackboard how-to questions and assistance. See the Faculty Liaison Schedule for their availability to meet online for consultations.
Faculty may attend Blackboard’s free Instructor Webinar Series: Teaching with Blackboard from Basics to Advanced now through May 2021. Sign up for your preferred sessions through the registration tools present on their webpage. Topics include Blackboard Learn Basics, Improving Student Engagement, Blackboard Collaborate Basics, Setting up the Gradebook, Building Mobile Content, and more.
The summer schedule of MATC’s faculty Blackboard training courses will be coming soon.
8 Week Course Conversion Workshop
Faculty interested in learning best practices in adding an 8-week option to teach your existing 16-week courses are invited to join the 8-Week Course Conversion Workshop. You will earn FQAS hours for participating in the workshop and completing the 8-week course option process. Watch your email for communications from the Center for Teaching Excellence for available dates and times. Contact the Center for Teaching Excellence at email@example.com if you have any questions about this opportunity.
Checking Grades in Self-Service
Inserting Images into Blackboard Content
Blackboard Client Support has removed the ability to copy/paste images into the content editor to address performance problems related to that process. They will review whether it’s possible to re-introduce this capability in the future. As a workaround, faculty can use Microsoft’s Snipping tool or Mac’s Screenshot Tool to save an image file to one’s computer and then embed the image file in the Blackboard content editor using the “Add Content” workflow. A demonstration of the process is available here.
Educational Technology Resources
The following tools are available to support remote teaching and learning in Blackboard. If you have questions about using these technologies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google Chrome Can Now Caption Any Webpage Containing Audio and Video
In the latest update to the Google Chrome web browser (version 89.0.4389.90), users may toggle on the live caption accessibility setting to generate automated speech-to-text captions for audio-video content played on any webpage. At this time, the automated captions are only in English but support for more languages will be added in the future. To learn how to toggle this feature on, see this article with a demonstration video.
Faculty who create their own instructional videos should upload them to Knowmia or their MATC YouTube account to ensure that videos are captioned and shared with students through streaming video services. Do not upload video files directly into Blackboard as it creates technical and accessibility challenges for faculty and students. See our Video Accessibility Resources Guide for more information about best practices.
Collaborate Ultra – Gallery View is Now Available
As of April 8th, moderators of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions can now see up to 25 student video streams at once in Gallery View. Blackboard plans on expanding the availability of this feature to session attendees in future releases.
SmarterProctoring is MATC’s online test proctoring tool for securing Blackboard exams. Faculty can customize an automated proctoring session with options for recording the student, locking down the browser, and verifying student identity through photo-ID.To learn more about using SmarterProctoring to protect high-stakes Blackboard exams, see these resources:
- First Time Faculty Guide to Using SmarterProctoring | Demonstration Video
- Student Guide to Accessing a Test through SmarterProctoring | Demonstration Video
Using Assessments and the Grade Center in Blackboard
Faculty are strongly encouraged to use the assessment tools and grade center in Blackboard to collect student homework digitally and coordinate the delivery of feedback to students. See these resources to learn more about using these tools.
- Using Assessments and the Grade Center – Recorded Webinar
- Creating Assignments | How Students Submit Assignments | Grading Assignments
- Creating Tests | How Students Submit Tests | Reviewing/Grading Test Results
Faculty should set up a Career Essentials Assessment in their spring sections to assess student attainment of the college’s Career Essential core abilities. A brief recorded webinar that explains this process is available here. If you have questions about this process, the faculty support liaisons are available for consultation.
Resources to Support Your Move to Online Instruction
- Blackboard Support Guide
- Key Blackboard Resources for Online Teaching
- Quick Start Guide to Open Educational Resources
- Faculty Guide to Using Collaborate Ultra
- Google Meet Training & Support Resources
- Want to learn more about using your Chromebook? Attend a Chromebook Chronicle session
- Get Help Now – Virtual Student Services
- Alternative Course Access Guide
- Live Online Blackboard Orientation
- Internet Resources for Wisconsin Residents during Public Health Emergency