Welcome back to Blackboard News You Can Use, your brief monthly newsletter to help you promote student success through MATC’s web-based learning environment, Blackboard Learn. In this edition, we share a few updates and reminders.
Collaborate Ultra February Update
By February 7th, Blackboard Learn instructors will able to host a Collaborate Ultra session that automatically tracks student attendance. Collaborate will track if a student is present, late, or absent from a session and will post this information in your course’s Attendance tool.
INFOnline/COSMO Outage Coming February 14th through 17th
Per the IT Department, COSMO/INFOnline will be unavailable starting Thursday, February 14th 5:00 PM CST through Sunday, February 17th. Services will resume Monday, February 18th. During this timeframe, faculty, staff, administrators, and students will not have access to COSMO, INFOnline and Self-Service Student Planning.
During the outage, faculty and students will be able to:
- Login to MATC desktops to use campus internet, networked printers, and drives
- Access Gmail directly through mail.google.com/a/matc.edu
- Access Blackboard directly through blackboard.matc.edu
During the outage, faculty will not be able to post midterm or final grades through INFOnline or the ILP tool in Blackboard.
For concerns or questions regarding this outage, please contact the IT Support at 414-297-6541.
Blackboard Update Coming February 21st
On Thursday, February 21st starting at 5:00 PM (CST), Blackboard will receive a routine maintenance update that will correct a few known issues impacting teaching and learning online. The update process will take approximately 24 hours to complete with no expected downtime. We will be using the same major version of Blackboard as we do currently, updating from Blackboard 9.1 version 3500.0.2 to 3500.0.3. Blackboard’s navigation, icons, and tools will not change. See here for details.
Procedure for Students with Incomplete Grades
In Blackboard, students finishing an incomplete grade must do so in the original course section where they enrolled. This ensures that the student’s activity and grade data are organized in one central location and it maintains the integrity of MATC’s student enrollment processes. An instructor can make the Blackboard course section available to just the student finishing the incomplete by following these instructions.
Best Practices for Creating and Taking Tests
If you plan to deliver tests through Blackboard, we recommend reviewing these resources to follow best practices in online testing. Please note that Respondus LockDown browser is meant only for proctored testing environments.
Spring Training: Enroll in Our Blackboard Training Courses!
Do you want to learn how to use Blackboard to support teaching and learning? Enroll in our free 1-credit Blackboard training courses that count towards FQAS this spring. See our schedule here for details. Remember – Per the Faculty Handbook, faculty who want to teach online must complete ZERD-197 Intro to Blackboard, a prerequisite to ZERD-011 Intro to Online Teaching.
Engage Students with Instructional Video through NBC Learn
Available within Blackboard, NBC Learn is a collection of more than 21,000 videos, documents, and images that can be integrated with classroom lectures and online teaching materials. These resources enable faculty to add real-world case studies and current events to instruction to keep students up-to-date on the latest developments in their fields. Take advantage of NBC Learn’s Curriculum Alignment Service to find resources that fit your course. Send your syllabus or a list of course topics to firstname.lastname@example.org and the NBC Curriculum Team will return a document with links and summaries of related videos. See these resources to get started.
Career Essentials Assessment Resources
Faculty should set up a Career Essentials Assessment in their courses at the start of Spring semester. See the following resources to learn how to add this to your course.
Friendly Reminder About Printing Services
Did you know that you can send your classroom handouts e.g., syllabi to Print Services? Print requests from instructors can be sent to print services through interoffice mail, dropped off in person Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., placed in the drop box after hours or sent via email at email@example.com, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
Print Services is located at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus in Room M141 and provide print services for the Mequon, Oak Creek, West Allis, and Downtown Campuses. Contact Print Services at 414-297-6878.
Calling All Faculty – Join MATC’s Online Quality Council!
The Online Quality Council is looking for faculty to join the team in establishing standards and training mechanisms that ensure quality instruction in online courses. Past initiatives included implementing Quality Matters, creating the Instructional Resources document, and identifying requirements for online teaching. To join, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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