Happy New Year and 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 review resources to help you get started in your Spring 2019 courses.
Blackboard Update Coming January 24th
On Thursday, January 24th starting at 5:00 PM (CST), Blackboard will undergo a routine maintenance update to correct a few known issues. We will be using the same major version of Blackboard as we do currently, updating from Blackboard 9.1 version 3500.0.1 to 3500.0.2. The update process will take approximately 24 hours to complete with no expected downtime. Details are available here.
Preparing for Spring Semester
Per college leadership, all faculty are required to post a syllabus to each of their courses in Blackboard and to make their courses are available to students. Faculty teaching face-to-face courses are strongly encouraged to support student success by using Blackboard’s communication, content sharing, and grade feedback tools. To prepare courses in Blackboard, review the tasks and tutorials in our Beginning of the Semester Checklist. If you have questions about using Blackboard, contact your campus Faculty Support Liaison for personal consultation.
Instructors who teach online classes at MATC are expected to adhere to the following best practices guidelines for delivering effective instruction that supports student success.
Faculty and Student Support
As faculty, you have access to resources in Blackboard to support your teaching. Did you know that students have access to support resources as well? Visit the Student Blackboard Support Website to review helpful tutorials and more:
- Submitting Assignments in Blackboard
- Using the Discussion Board
- Test Taking Tips
- MATC GMail
- Academic Support
Feel free to share these links in courses when creating assignments or discussion topics so students have easy access to directions and support. Have questions about these resources? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
New Tool Spotlight: FlipGrid
FlipGrid is a free web-based tool to record short video-based discussions. With a webcam or mobile device, you and your students can record short clips to a topic grid and reply to others. This tool is great for creating opportunities for online social interaction, self-expression, and formative assessment. To learn more about using this tool to engage or assess your students, see these resources:
- Mastering FlipGrid in 5 Easy Steps (Free on-demand training!)
- The Educator’s Guide to FlipGrid
- FlipGrid Resources
- Recorded FlipGrid Webinars
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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