Blackboard News You Can Use – November 2018

Blackboard Online Campus News You Can Use

Welcome to a new issue of Blackboard News You Can Use, your brief monthly newsletter to help you promote student success through instruction with Blackboard Learn. In this edition, we bring to you some updates about tools you may be using in your teaching practice.

Films on Demand

Per the MATC Library, links to Films on Demand (FOD) videos have recently changed. Students will benefit from the new links because once logged into Blackboard, they won’t have to log in a second time to view the FOD videos in their courses. Although an old FOD web link may continue to work, it is best practice to test links periodically and update them. See the library guide Linking to Resources in Blackboard for more information about integrating this tool with your course materials. If you need additional help, submit a question on the Library Get Help page or call x77030.


On Thursday November 15th at 5:00 PM (CST), Blackboard will undergo routine maintenance to update security and correct known issues impacting online learning. 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 3400.0.4 to 3500.0.0.  Blackboard’s navigation, icons, and tools will not change – see this document for details.

As a reminder, the October 18th update added the following new features:

Collaborate Ultra

Collaborate Ultra’s chat tool now shows you when someone is typing. This feature will help faculty leading a session monitor the chat to see if someone is about to ask a question or make a comment.

Use NBC Learn to Engage Learning

NBC Learn is a tool in Blackboard that you can use to provide students with over 21,000 engaging, accessible instructional videos. Every video is equipped with closed captions and a transcript! These resources enable faculty to add real-world case studies and current events to instructional content to keep students up-to-date on the latest developments in their fields. To learn more, see the First Time Guide to Using NBC Learn and these resources.

There is Still time to Train this November and Earn FQAS Renewal Hours

There is still time to be trained on using Blackboard to support learning this November. Enroll in INFOnline today to claim your seat in these classes:

ZERD-197-802 Introduction to Blackboard 9.x  (1 Credit/40 Renewal Hours)
Saturday,  November 3 and Saturday November 10,  8 AM – 11:55 AM and online, Room M458, Milwaukee Campus   

ZERD-199-801 Advanced Blackboard 9.x  (1 Credit/40 Renewal Hours)
Sessions will be held online, Sunday, November 4th through the 24th, with one web-based meeting TBD.

Per MATC’s Faculty Appendix (p. 129) faculty who intend to teach online must complete ZERD-197 “Intro to Blackboard” and ZERD-011 “Preparation for Online Teaching”. Completion of ZERD-197 or demonstrating its competencies is a prerequisite to enrollment in ZERD-011!

Blackboard Instructional Support – We’re Here to Help

Do you have questions about using Blackboard in your teaching practice? Connect with a Faculty Support Liaison for one-on-one assistance. Faculty Liaisons can also answer general questions regarding WIDS and COS’s. See their schedule for their availability in your local campus Faculty Resource Center.

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

A 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, 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.

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