Online Campus News You Can Use – February 2022

Blackboard Online Campus News You Can Use

Welcome to Online Campus 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.

Hot Topics

Coming Soon: Student Online Readiness Module

Last year, MATC’s Department of Online Learning developed a virtual New Student Orientation to introduce all students to college pathways, practices, and resources that support success. Students may log into the orientation using their MATC network account and password. We are pleased to announce that an additional module designed specifically for orienting students to online learning will be available by the end of February 2022. The topics covered in the Online Readiness module will include study skills, time management, and navigating tools commonly used in online learning. Watch your MATC Gmail for an announcement of this great new resource’s availability.

Online Courses Require Regular and Substantive Interaction

The Department of Education requires the delivery of online courses to incorporate instructor-initiated regular and substantive interaction with students. To learn more about this important topic and how to apply it in your teaching practice, a recording of the Online Learning Consortium’s webinar How to Increase Regular and Substantive Interaction in Online and Distance Learning is available on demand.  We recommend using the Course Communication Planning Guide to design a plan for regular and substantive communication in courses you teach. The Online Learning Department will be hosting its own webinar session on this topic soon. Watch your email for the announcement.

Regular and Substantive Interaction is best evidenced by weekly announcements explaining course content, graded assessments with instructor feedback, recorded or live lectures with activities, facilitated discussions, and regular office hours.

Known Issue: Course Duration Warning Appears When Making a Course Available on Courses Page

Faculty may experience a course duration warning on the Courses page if they attempt to make a course with a future start date available by clicking on the icon and selecting “Open Course”. Blackboard added this warning in an attempt to notify faculty of a section’s future start date and prompt faculty to follow an alternative process to release a course earlier than the start date if needed. To review the process, see this video demonstration.

Important Beginning of the Semester Tasks

Per the Faculty Appendix (P. 145) all faculty are required to use Blackboard (for all instructional methods), to ensure high-quality instruction fostering student success. Each semester, complete these tasks for each section: 

  1. Upload a syllabus developed from an approved syllabus template to the section’s Syllabus area. 
  2. Update the Faculty Information area with your contact information and office hours.
  3. Use the announcement and email tools to regularly communicate with students.
  4. Add learning module content and activities that reflect the learning plans in the syllabus.
  5. Set up a Career Essentials Assessment, and make course sections available to students. 
  6. Set up your section’s Grade Center to provide regular assessment feedback to students.
  7. And make your sections available to students by their start-dates.

Video overviews of common Blackboard tasks are available in the Key Resources for Online Teaching Guide. Additional on-demand and in-person webinar-based training will be available through the Blackboard Instructor Webinar Series.

Blackboard Support

Faculty liaisons are your first point of contact for Blackboard how-to questions and instructional support. See the Faculty Liaison Schedule for their availability to meet online for consultations. For high-level troubleshooting/errors, contact

Blackboard Training Courses

Learn how to use Blackboard tools for teaching and learning online. Register for classes online in Self-Service. See this video for more information. Additional information is available in our Spring 2022 Schedule.

CourseDelivery ModeDate/Time
Introduction to Blackboard 9.x
VIRTSaturdays February 19 & 26, 2022 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Additional hours of coursework required
Introduction to Blackboard 9.x
VIRTTuesdays March 22, March 29, and April 5, 5:00 to 7:45 PM
Additional hours of coursework required
Intermediate Blackboard 9.x
VIRTTuesdays April 19, April 26, and May 3, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Additional hours of coursework required

Student Online Blackboard Orientation Schedule

Students whose courses will be delivered in an online format this semester are advised to attend a Student Blackboard Orientation Webinar through Collaborate Ultra. Sessions will be offered throughout the month and additional sessions will be planned for the future.

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

Chromebook Resources

Faculty and students who are new to using Chromebooks may find these resources helpful.

Resources to Support Online Instruction

Faculty Support 

Student Support