Blackboard News You Can Use – December 2020

Blackboard News You Can Use

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 about new features and resources to support your teaching practice.

New Features in Blackboard 

The following new tools are available to students and faculty in Blackboard with our update to version 3900.0.


SmarterProctoring is MATC’s new 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 access a test protected by SmarterProctoring, students must use a Windows, Mac, or Chromebook computer with an up-to-date version of Google Chrome. Students cannot use tablets or smart-phones with this tool.

MATC faculty may attend a live SmarterProctoring training webinar to learn how to get started with automated proctoring on Friday, December 11th at 10 AM CST – Click here to join at the appointed timeTo learn more about using SmarterProctoring to protect a final exam, see these resources:

New Content Editor

Blackboard’s Content Editor is a set of tools that faculty and students use to compose rich text content in announcements, messages, assessments, or discussion forum posts. The Content Editor has been updated to a more user-friendly, mobile responsive, and powerful version. To learn more about this tool, view the Content Editor Demonstration and key changes guide. New features of the content editor include:

  • A simplified content sharing and embed tool
  • Improved copy/paste formatting
  • An Accessibility Checker tool to correct common accessibility issues with text, links, images, and more.
  • Support for sharing computer code snippets
  • HTML code editor improvements, including numbered lines and color-coding
Beebee Chatbot

Beebee Chatbot is a digital assistant where students and faculty can ask questions about common Blackboard tasks and be connected with Blackboard Learn Help Resources. To access Blackboard Chatbot, select the Ultra help icon in the bottom right of your screen, then select Chat Support to open the Chatbot panel. Users can ask Beebee their questions or select from a pre-populated list. Get a sneak peek demo of Beebee in action here!

Blackboard Assist 

Blackboard Assist is a new page that is available in Blackboard’s base navigation soon to help students find information about accessing valuable student services. Click on the Assist link in the base menu to review and access featured services.

Faculty Training and Support 

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. 

Upcoming Blackboard Webinar Training Sessions

Before you join a session, review the First-Time Guide to Using Collaborate to prepare your technology. On the appointed date and time, click on a provided webinar link and enter your full name to join your session!

Session Topic Day Time Leaders Webinar Link
Meeting Level 2B 21st Century Classroom Tuesday, December 8 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM N. Caballero
S. McKennie
How Students Can Use TechSmith Knowmia Thursday, December 10th 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM K. Witchen Register in Advance –
SmarterProctoring – Faculty Training Friday, December 11th 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM S. Doty
Using Collaborate Ultra to Support Learning Tuesday, January 5th 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM M.Hamilton
P. Curtin
Getting Started with TechSmith Knowmia – Faculty Training Wednesday, January 6th 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM K. Witchen Register in Advance –
Using Collaborate Ultra to Support Learning Wednesday, January 6th 3:00 PM – 4-00 PM M.Hamilton
P. Curtin
Blackboard Basics I Tuesday, January 12th 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM K.Love
P. Curtin
Blackboard Basics II Wednesday, January 13th 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM K.LoveP. Curtin
Recorded Webinar Videos

The following special topic webinar recordings are available to help you prepare and deliver instruction online.

Resources to Support Your Move to Online Instruction

Faculty Support 
Student Support


Published by the Department of Online Learning

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